Remnants of Crocker coke oven plant near Orting, Wa.

Crocker was one of the several flag stations on the Western Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad with a station house serving both as depot and residence for the section foreman.  The name of Crocker was derived by naming it after one of the railroad board of directors.

The station, located on the north side of the railway line, was adjoined by a hop ranch and dairy. Nearby, the first sawmill was established under the ownership of Walter Stevenson of Puyallup who, in 1896, moved it to a new location.  Early families to Crocker include: Robertson, Ramsey, Stevenson, Alward, Rauch, Flory, Hodge, McKinney, Tripp, Pineo, Butler, Nickishima, and Johnson.

source: Rushton, Alice. The History of the Town of Orting Warren's Publishing 1981

Charles Crocker, the California railroad magnate purchased the Carbon Hill Coal Company in 1882 and the mines were used to provide coal for the Southern Pacific Railway and were called the Crocker Mines.

In 1917 the Carbon Hill Coal Company began construction on 66 new coke ovens.  Due to limited space in Carbonado the coke oven plant was located at Crocker near Orting, the junction of the mine branch with the Buckley branch of the Northern Pacific railway

In 1919 the Crocker Coke Ovens were leased to the M.S. Allison Company.

Of the 66 original coke ovens it appears 1/3 of them still exist today.  The ovens are located on or border private property.  Some of the ovens were obviously removed to accomodate drive ways to houses.  Others are landscape decor.



Railroad tunnel on the Crocker branch of the Northern Pacific Railraod. 
Crocker 1890's -1920's WA

site visit 2011

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Remnants of the Crocker bee hive coke oven plant  

Charles Crocker

Inside Railroad tunnel of Crocker Branch.
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Pierce County Mining Towns


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