Car being loaded with coal from the bunkers
The past several weeks have featured a series of photos capturing historic images of the Pacific Coast Railroad which hauled coal from Black Diamond’s mines to Seattle from 1885 until 1969.
Originally known as the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad it was later reorganized with a new name under the corporate umbrella of Pacific Coast Company.
This week’s photo features a car being loaded with coal from the bunkers of the Mine #11 preparation plant located in Black Diamond.
Frank Manowski, the wash plant operator is shown standing on the end of the car. Bill Morris is standing above on the bunkers and operating a chute filling the rail car with coal.
Morris was one of Palmer Coking Coal Company’s founders. Palmer began operating this plant several years after World War II and later acquired most of the Pacific Coast Company’s King County properties.
A photo similar to this one appeared in the Seattle Times Rotogravure section on February 1, 1948. The caption from that article read: “Coal is the life and breath still in the body of the Pacific Coast rail line from Maple Valley to Black Diamond. The railroad has applied for and received from the Interstate Commerce Commission authority to abandon such portion of this line as have not been abandoned already.
Twice a week at present, an elderly locomotive labors up to Black Diamond with a string of empties and comes back to Seattle with coal loads.”
This privately-owned photo comes courtesy of JoAnne Matsumura, an Issaquah historian.