On August 6, 1925 the local Kiwanis club descended 700 feet underground to the 5th level of the Bellingham coal mine.

On August 6, 1925 the local Kiwanis club descended 700 feet underground to the 5th level of the Bellingham coal mine. The visitors are shown sitting on benches in a place called the “dog-house,” where miners would wait for their ride to the surface at the end of a work day. Sitting behind, and to the right of the front-and-center miner on the floor in work clothes is mine superintendent, Jim Pascoe, known by his nickname ‘Smiling Jim.’ Pascoe has on a white shirt, tie, and vest and is wearing a miner’s lamp on his hardhat. On that day chefs prepared an underground meal for the Kiwanis visitors, which included both wives and children. The entertainment was provided by musicians playing banjo, violin, and saxophone. Chinese lanterns covered light bulbs and pine boughs decorated the mine timber. Even tea was served – an event captured in another photo to be published at a later date. The Bellingham Coal Mine Company was famous for its outreach to the local community. Tours like this one continued until 1937 when an underground methane gas and dust explosion claimed the life of Fred “Soapy” Lancaster. This photo by J.W. Sandison comes courtesy of Jim Pascoe’s grandson, Roy Asbahr and great-grandson, Nathan Asbahr, both of Portland, Oregon. Sandison was a member of the Bellingham Kiwanis who experienced an underground coal mine just about 93 years ago today. Research assistance was provided by George Mustoe, of Western Washington University and Jeff Jewell of the Whatcom Museum. Next week, a photo of a younger Jim Pascoe together with a glimpse of his life as a miner.
On August 6, 1925 the local Kiwanis club descended 700 feet underground to the 5th level of the Bellingham coal mine. The visitors are shown sitting on benches in a place called the “dog-house,” where miners would wait for their ride to the surface at the end of a work day. Sitting behind, and to the right of the front-and-center miner on the floor in work clothes is mine superintendent, Jim Pascoe, known by his nickname ‘Smiling Jim.’ Pascoe has on a white shirt, tie, and vest and is wearing a miner’s lamp on his hardhat. On that day chefs prepared an underground meal for the Kiwanis visitors, which included both wives and children. The entertainment was provided by musicians playing banjo, violin, and saxophone. Chinese lanterns covered light bulbs and pine boughs decorated the mine timber. Even tea was served – an event captured in another photo to be published at a later date. The Bellingham Coal Mine Company was famous for its outreach to the local community. Tours like this one continued until 1937 when an underground methane gas and dust explosion claimed the life of Fred “Soapy” Lancaster. This photo by J.W. Sandison comes courtesy of Jim Pascoe’s grandson, Roy Asbahr and great-grandson, Nathan Asbahr, both of Portland, Oregon. Sandison was a member of the Bellingham Kiwanis who experienced an underground coal mine just about 93 years ago today. Research assistance was provided by George Mustoe, of Western Washington University and Jeff Jewell of the Whatcom Museum. Next week, a photo of a younger Jim Pascoe together with a glimpse of his life as a miner.