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Roslyn Black History

The remains of coal mine shaft no. 4 can be seen through the smoke after the October 3, 1909 Roslyn mine explosion.

Arthur Wiseker born in 1906 at Granite Falls, Washington was the son of Mary Wiseker. Arthur attended the Roslyn schools with his brothers and sisters. He later became a track star at the University of Minnesota where this picture was taken in…

ca. 1917
Many African-American families left the Roslyn coal mines to homestead and farm their own land. This is the Cle Elum, Washington home of Mrs. William "Cynthia" Barnett who was born in 1888 in Louisiana. Also pictured are Cynthia's two sons:…

Beulah Craven Hart (1925-1980) the daughter of Samuel and Ethel Craven revived the Emancipation Day Celebration during the 1970s in Roslyn, a tradition which dates back to the 1890s. Now called the Black Pioneer Days, this special day celebrates the…

ca. 1890
Many African-American families left poor social and economic conditions to seek new oportumitiesin the coal mines of the Pacific Northwest. This family from Alabama was related to Lula Echols who was born in Alabama in 1878 and arrived in Roslyn in…

Henry "Kid" Strong (1876-1956) was the only African-American worker in this 1909 photograph showing the workers of the Roslyn Brewery. Kid Strong is seated in front row third from the left.

Communications to John Kongley general manager of the Northern Pacific Coal Company concerning African-American miners in Roslyn.

C. H. Rothbum, secretary of the Star Coal Company in Illinois was corresponding to John Kongley, general manager of the North Pacific Coal Company in Roslyn about sending African-American miners to the Roslyn mine.

Peter Casassa (1871-1937), an Italian immigrant, arrived in Roslyn in 1892 to work in the coal mines. In 1897, he operated a saloon in Roslyn. He also owned a saloon in Ronald. Casassa John Buffo were business partners.

ca. 1920
A one-time Roslyn resident, Charles "Charley" Wesley was born in Illinois in 1877. He lived in Roslyn with his wife Rovella and daughter Gwendolynn. This photograph was taken in Ellensburg ca. 1920.

This 1906 view of the interior of a Roslyn school classroom is crowded with many serious looking children. The large, dark window drapes are pulled shut to block the bright September sunshine.

Looking south down Cle Elum's Pennsylvania Avenue several newly built businesses can be seen. People had been moving into the Washington Territory community since the early 1880s.

The Northern Pacific Railroad depot of Cle Elum during the snowy winter of 1910. The Northern Pacific Railroad reached Cle Elum in October of 1886.

Cle Elum, Washington Territory created in 1886 became a major northern Kittitas county mining community. By 1889, the Northern Pacific Railroad was well established and Cle Elum became home to miners, loggers and ranchers.

A panoramic view of Cle Elum during the winter was taken from mine No. 7 on the hillside north of town.

ca. 1890
Unidentified members of the Craven family were photographed in Texas in the 1890s.

ca. 1898
A mining spur of the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks run parrallel to the business district of Roslyn in this ca.1898 photo.

In 1983, Ethel Craven was chosen Pioneer Queen of the Upper County Day Celebration. Ethel (1906-1993) was a life-long Roslyn resident.

Twelve year old Ethel Florence Williams (1906- 1993), the daughter of Harriet and David C. Williams, would spend her entire life in Roslyn, Washington. Ethel's mother Harriet arrived in Roslyn in 1888 and her father was a coal miner.

Eva Williams born in 1897 was an 18 year old young woman when photographed in 1921. Eva was a member of the African-American community in Roslyn, Washington.