Sunday Best

By 1910, Carbonado Washington was a thriving mining town owned entirely, land, buildings and services, by the Pacific Coast Coal Company. The giant coal mines fueled the age of steam for the railroads, steamships and industries that formed the early days of Washington State. When the Northern Pacific pushed the transcontinental railroad to its west coast conclusion on Commencement Bay, they were simultaneously laying rails to the huge deposits of coal in the Carbon River Valley. The rail lines between the valley and Tacoma were the busiest in the south sound region, running day and night to provide the black gold to the towering steamship bunkers that once stood along the shoreline between the downtown and Old Town. Mountains of coal were kept by the railroad in South Tacoma and along the rail extensions in every direction.

Coal miners from 40 different countries called1910 Carbonado home where families, church congregations, schools, cultural organization, sports teams and musical groups helped create a buzzing community that rivaled Tacoma in population for a time. And on summer Sundays, there were crisp white dresses (so contradictory in a black coal dust world) band concerts, bicycles, beer taps and baseball games attended by a thousand people, all in their Sunday Best.


Carbonado in 1908
1908, Miner's Band
Miner’s Band, 1908

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