Newcastle legend Milt Swanson passes away

January 21, 2014

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Jan. 21, 2014

Milt Swanson

Milt Swanson

The Newcastle Historical Society announced that founding member and local legend Milt Swanson died Jan. 20.

Swanson, who was born and raised in Newcastle, spent all of his 95 years living in the same area, 90 of which were in the same company house that still stands at the edge of town near the Cougar Mountain trailhead.

He knew more about the city’s vast coal-mining history than anyone, because he actually lived it. He worked in the mines as his father and grandfather did before him. Read more

Mining past lives in today’s cemetery

April 1, 2011

Just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Newcastle City Hall, one can be transported back in time. The Newcastle Historic Cemetery offers a window into the town’s mining past.

Newcastle began as a company-owned mining town, explained Pam Lee, who has been involved with the Newcastle Historical Society since its beginning. She said that the land and the mines were originally owned by the Pacific Coast Coal Co.

The Newcastle Historic Cemetery, just northwest of Lake Boren Park, is a moss-coated reminder of the city’s coal mining past. By Kelly Humphreys

During the late 1800s, the 2.2-acre cemetery was created to serve as a final resting place for the immigrant miners, whose ethnicities varied from Welsh to Italian. Also buried there were the families of those in the surrounding town.

No gravestones are apparent as you enter the cemetery; one has to venture up a short hill to truly see the site. A variety of grave markers are spread throughout the moss-covered grounds. Those made of stone are still visible today, casting shadows over the root-bound landscape. Some are shrouded by the many trees that encompass the area.

A paper flyer detailing the history of the cemetery can be viewed on a bulletin-board upon entering. According to this document, there were once wooden grave markers that were swept away in a fire in the early 1900s.

Read more

Help clean the historical cemetery

May 7, 2010

NEW — 3:17 p.m. May 7, 2010

From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. tomorrow, Newcastle Weed Warriors, Scout Troop 499, Hazelwood Cub Pack and volunteers will clean the Historic Coal Miner’s Cemetery, 7810 129th Ave. S.E., in preparation for its Memorial Day opening.

The cemetery is only opened on major holidays and by appointment. Volunteers and members from The Newcastle Historical Society maintain the cemetery.

As part of the cleaning, volunteers will remove downed branches and groom the loop trail inside the cemetery.

All are welcome to join in the effort. Volunteers should park at Lake Boren Park and walk north to the cemetery using the gravel path west of the park. The cemetery is located about 500 yards up the path.

Call Weed Warriors founder Grace Stiller at 228-7927 for more information or learn more here.