In March of 1942, the Skookum Slope coal mine, which had been closed since 1883 was re-opened. The main slope was sunk in 1942 when it was re-opened by the Wilkeson Coal & Coke Co. The U.S. Defense Plant Corp. had signed an agreement with the Wilkeson Products Company to develop a mine near Wilkeson to produce coal for the industries in the Pacific Northwest. The Wilkeson Coal and Coke Company re-opened the mine in March of 1942 to provide coal for the war effort. Named for "Skookum" Smith, who made history by bringing the Northern Pacific rails into Tacoma just one day before the line's charter expired, the mine produced thousands of tons of coal from March 1942 until 1956 when it was once again closed.
It is no easy task getting close to the mine site, especially during the rainy season.