In 1896 work began by the Western American Company on the mine. The construction of a railroad from Carbonado, and the opening of the mine were carried on in 1897 and 1898 and in 1900 the mine became a producer. The property was first operated with white, then black, and finally Japanese labor. In 1900 the company had built twenty-five coke ovens and increased the number to sixty in 1901. In 1907 the Tacoma Smelting Company secured the property and worked it until 1911, at which time work was started on a new mine in section 34.

"Fairfax once thrived as a lumber mill and coal mining town on the last leg of the Northern Pacific Railroad system up the Carbon River Canyon. The town was located in 1892 by W.E. Williams and his father. Williams later became a Pierce County Commissioner. Fairfax was named after Fairfax County Virginia for its well-known coal producing area.
Fairfax Coal Mine Pierce County WA.

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Old Fairfax Coal Mine 1897 - 1911 
Site visit 2013

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Pierce County Mining Towns


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