Pacific Coast Coal Company mine office in Black Diamond, circa 1913
Shown here is the Pacific Coast Coal Company mine office in Black Diamond, circa 1913.
This office was located next to the Mine #14 surface facilities in an area along SR 169 just south of the Cenex gas station. Mine #14 was the underground coal mine that made Black Diamond. Located on the famous McKay coal seam and opened around 1885, Mine #14 was destined to produce over 3.3 million tons of coal before closing in April 1916 after 32 years of operation.
The mine also experienced at least 12 fatalities, though records of the State Coal Mine Inspector are sometimes unclear as to location. In later years its workings were connected to those of Morgan Slope, also known as Mine #11, which was the deepest coal mine in the country at that time.
The mine office was the center of operations and supported a telegraph station, mine management, with a payroll girl and accountant. Russell Mowry worked in the office and related how each miner would be paid in gold pieces and coin, after deductions for rent, company store charges, union dues, hospital, medical aid, and home-use coal. However, before the miner received his money they were required to sign their personalized statement of account showing earnings, less deductions.
At the time of this photo, Pacific Coast Coal operated seven underground coal mines including three in Black Diamond: Mine #11, Mine #14, and Mine #B. The mine managers who frequented this office in 1913 included: William Hann, General Superintendent; R. Christiansen, Mine Supt.; Ben Allen, Paul Gallagher, Fred Ring and Wesley Williams, mine foremen; and Joe Upton and Mike Bassinger, outside foremen.