These oral histories were collected by local social studies teacher Frederick Krueger, his students and colleagues between the 1970s and 2000s. In each interview, a resident of upper Kittitas County speaks about the ethnic, racial, cultural, and industrial history of Kittitas County and in particular the history of coal mining at Roslyn, Cle Elum, and Ronald, Washington.
Please note: To access the following audio and video recordings, click on "Link to Audio/Video File" after opening each record. If you have trouble playing the videos, you may have better success using a different Internet browser such as Safari or Chrome. If problems persist, please contact the site administrator at email@example.com with a note about the title of the video you were attempting to access, the URL, and the browser you were using. Thanks!
Frederick Krueger, high school history teacher, provided a tour of the cemeteries in Roslyn, Washington, in 1987. He was assisted by students in his history class and by Fabian Kuchin, a local resident.
Mary Fassero speaks about her family's Italian roots and involvement in lodges, mushrooming, holidays, seamstress work, hunting, and bocce ball. She describes her father's work as fire boss at the Carbonado and Wilkeson coal mines. She talks about school life, the Great Depression, and marrying her husband, Peter, in 1936.
The cover image shows Mary Fassero in 1996.
Esther Faudree discusses her family's Scandinavian roots and immigration to Fowler Creek, Washington, where they homesteaded, farmed, and logged. She talks about school life in Easton, Roslyn, and Cle Elum, and in particular about Fowler Creek School. She describes memories of the Great Depression, World War I, and World War II, and speaks about her husband Mel and his Faudree family history.
The cover image shows Fowler Creek School, circa 1907. Faudree speaks about this image in her interview.
George Favero and Mary Favero
George (b. October 9, 1920) and Mary Favero (b. February 1920) talk about their Italian roots and immigration to Roslyn, Washington, in the early 1900s. They describe ethnic traditions like wine-making, lodge activity, bocce ball, holidays, and home remedies. George talks about going to work in the No. 3 Mine in 1939. He talks about the geology of the mines and comments on coal cutting machines, timbering, setting, drilling, bunkers, and other mining methods. The Faveros describe recreation and business life in Ronald, Washington, in the early twentieth century.
The cover image shows the Northwestern Improvement Company Store in Ronald, Washington, 1917. The store provided goods to mining families throughout the early twentieth century.
Lylia Fay and Marguerite Fay
Lylia and Marguerite Fay talk about Easton, Washington, including the Easton Tollgate; the McGuiness Homestead; and the development of travel, business, logging, and communications in Easton. They also discuss the effects of World War II in Easton and talk about the 1906 and 1934 fires, railroads in Easton, and the activity of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Easton.
The cover image shows Easton Ridge flashing a beacon near Easton, Washington, circa 1935.
Clara Ferra talks about her immigrant roots, noting that her ancestors--the Hunters--arrived in Roslyn, Washington, by 1919. She describes her father's work in the No. 5 Mine and her family's involvement in lodges and food preservation. She mentions her husband, Emil Ferra, and the effect of the Great Depression and new technology in Roslyn.
The cover image shows Roslyn, circa 1940. The viewer is looking northeast down Pennsylvania Avenue toward First Street, where several of Roslyn's businesses can be seen. Most of the wooden buildings and brick structures were built during the 1890s when coal mining brought hundreds of mining families to the area. Businesses that lined both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue during the late 1930s were the Brick Saloon, Roslyn Bank, Gustna-Ponerio-Ramsay Barbers, Jean's (Jeans) Beaute Shoppe, Cuculick Beer Parlor, Log Cabin Beer Parlor, Pioneer Parlor, Slim's (Slims) Place, Masonic Temple, the Medical-Dental Building, Pine Cone Confectionery, Low Dentist Office, Central Drug, Northwestern Improvement General Merchandise, Pioneer Grocery, Hartman's Meat Market, Public Meat Market, and Cascade Telephone. Many homes were built on the slopes of the surrounding foothills.
Emil Ferra and Fabian (Fab) Kuchin
Emil Ferra (b. August 1906 in Roslyn, Washington) and Fabian (Fab) Kuchin (b. January 20, 1907) talk about the history of Roslyn. They talk about the geography of the town, as well as their experiences in sports, including track and field, basketball, football, and baseball. They speak about the local coal mines, where Ferra worked for a time. Ferra and Kuchin also describe their respective family histories. The interview includes shots of photographs and objects. Clara Ferra is heard in the background.
The cover image shows three men in front of a saloon in Roslyn, Washington, circa 1914. The poster in the window promotes a no vote on State Initiative Measure No. 3 prohibiting the sale of alcohol.
John Ferro (b. 1919, son of Peter Ferro and Mary Grecco) discusses his family's origins in Switzerland and his father's work in the Roslyn coal mines beginning in the 1920s. He talks about home remedies, cultural traditions, recipes, coal picking, cow herding, Grecco's Dairy, berry-picking, Ducktown, baseball, and changes in technology. He talks about his own work in the No. 5 Mine beginning circa 1935. He also worked in the No. 9 mine until it closed in 1963. He touches on underground geography, coal moles, pan lines, cribs, chutes, hoists, rope riders, tipple operations, working conditions, and mine closure in the 1940s-1950s. He mentions his marriage to Aggie in 1941.
The cover image comes from the Northern Kittitas County Tribune, December 5, 2002.
Harry Forbes (b. 1885) describes his childhood, including time spent in Easton, Cle Elum, and Ellensburg, Washington, in the 1890s. He talks about homesteading in Ellensburg and irrigation along Wilson Creek. He discusses the Washington State Normal School, early transportation and technology, sheep ranching, water rights, early mills, and grazing grounds. He talks about placer mining, environmental changes, gold mining, businesses in Liberty, the Ole Jordin strike of 1932, Native Americans in the Swauk, logging, African Americans in Ellensburg, stills and speakeasies in the Prohibition era.
The cover image looks northwest from Craig's Hill toward Washington School in Ellensburg, 1890. On the left is Washington State Normal School. Homes and small city farms appear on the east end of Fourth Street in the foreground.
The Gallahers owned and operated Newport Restaurant and boarding house on Lake Cle Elum from 1888 until the lake was raised and their property flooded.
The cover image shows two men and two boys fishing at Lake Cle Elum in upper Kittitas County, Washington, circa 1920.
In two interviews, George Gasparich talks about his family's migration to Ronald, Washington, in 1915. He describes his work in the coal mines beginning in 1939. He touches on duckbill operators, pan lines, brass checks, rescue teams, working conditions, wages, labor unions, mining technology, women in the No. 9 Mine, and the Western Miners strike. He describes the impact of Prohibition and World War II on Ronald, as well as the effects of mine closure.
The cover image shows five men standing behind a sign in front of Mine No. 3 near Ronald, Washington. From left to right they are Joe Maras, Matt Zauhar, Joe Chopp, Marion Maras and George Gasparich.
In her interview, Sarah Gillette (b. 1908) describes strip mining around Cle Elum, Washington. She explains how the Russell-Gillette Company began strip mining coal on the north ridge of Cle Elum. She describes the quality of the coal, the process, and company operations. She also talks about efforts to save the mining economy in the local area.
The cover image shows Pennsylvania Avenue in Cle Elum, Washington, looking north in about 1935.
Kate Glondo (b. 1911 to Francis Mynavich Maritich) talks about her family's Croatian roots and migration to Roslyn, Washington. She talks about gardening, wine-making, lodges, burial customs, holidays, recreation, and her career as midwife. She talks about her marriage to Joe Glondo circa 1928, and his work in the No. 3 and No. 7 Mines. She discusses the effects of Prohibition and World Wars I and II on Roslyn.
The cover image shows Roslyn, circa 1940. The photograph was taken from the intersection of First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Many of the businesses that lined the east side of Pennsylvania Avenue can be seen. On the left in the foreground is the Brick Saloon, which was managed by W. Sullivan. The next business was the Pioneer Grocery Store owned by Stephen Kuchin. The Panerio and Ramsay Barber Shops were also on this side of the street.
Olga Gregorich (b. June 1905) talks about migrating from Austria to Ronald, Washington. She talks about home remedies, gardening, holidays, recipes, music, mushrooming, religious traditions, the 1914 flu epidemic, burial customs, clothing, recreation (bocce ball, baseball, plays, handicrafts), and home brewing. She talks about being a coal miner's wife---about strikes and women's pickets and African Americans in Ronald. She discusses Prohibition, women in taverns, sewing bees, the Great Depression, fires in Ronald, and local businesses.
The cover image shows Ronald in 1912. In the late 1880s, when the No. 3 coal mine opened, the town of Ronald was created. Named after Alexander Ronald, Superintendent of the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI), the town was a supply center for miners and their families. The miners built their small homes on NWI land. The first school was opened in May 1890 with 49 students and one teacher. Roslyn-Cascade Coal Mine opened in 1898 west of No. 3 Mine, which added greatly to the increase in Ronald's population and economy. On August 17, 1928, the town suffered a devastating fire which was started when a moonshine still exploded.
Slava Gregorich discusses his family's migration to Ronald, Washington. He talks about businesses in Ronald, as well as working conditions in the coal mines. He touches on the cost of coal, the influence of the Northwestern Improvement Company, mining technology, nationalities of miners, and the effects of mine closure. He talks about Jonesville and Patrick's Mine. He also describes the effects of Prohibition and World Wars I and II in Ronald.
The cover image shows the Croatian musical group known as the Tambura Band from Roslyn, Washington, 1903.
Alfred Hanson speaks about his childhood in the Swauk area of Washington state, and particularly about interactions between white settlers and Native Americans. He describes homesteading, gardening, and food preservation, as well as recreation (skating, baseball, dances), hunting, Prohibition, and transportation. He talks about his work as a Washington state representative, about the World War I draft, fire in Cle Elum, and bank robbery in Roslyn.
Hanson lived for a time with a Native American man nicknamed Indian Pete. The cover image shows Indian Pete on horseback at Cle Elum, Washington, circa 1910. He lived on Lower Peoh Point Road on the old Miller Place next to the Milwaukee Road Railroad tracks. See the Ted Rooks Interview for more information.
Eleanor Hein talks about her family's migration to Roslyn, Washington (family name: Blazina). She talks about her grandfather's work as watchman for the Northwestern Improvement Company No. 9 Mine in Roslyn, and speaks about African American families in town. She describes businesses and recreation in Cle Elum, as well as the Milwaukee Railroad and Depot. She talks about her school days in Lester, as well as wildlife and recreation in Lester (she mentions Lester Hot Springs Hotel).
The cover image shows the Hot Springs Hotel in Lester, Washington, 1910, with several large sheep corrals in the foreground.
Tauno Hill talks about his Finnish roots and parents, Anton Hill and Valva Perkinen Hill. He talks about how the family migrated to Cle Elum, Washington, and his childhood, including chores, gardening, activities at the South Cle Elum Ball Park, holidays, dances, and music. He talks about working at the No. 9 Mine from 1936 to 1944. He describes tipple operations, rope riding, unloading, sorting coal, and more.
The cover image shows the mine tipple or mine entrance in Cle Elum, which was located near to many mining family homes.
Helen Hofstrand talks about her family's migration to Ellensburg, WA---she mentions the Adlers, Poiners, and Alleys in the family. She describes her childhood in Ellensburg, touching on the Chinese population in town, the Washington State Normal School, and the Ellensburg Rodeo. She talks about her husband, Marvin Hofstrand, and his logging activities in Liberty, Washington, circa 1938. She also describes his connection to Russell and Gillette, Co., and their strip mining operations near Mine No. 5.
The cover image provides a view of Liberty, Washington, looking west, circa 1900.
Dale Horton worked on irrigation projects for 46 years in the Yakima and Kittitas Valleys, Washington state. He talks about the construction of Lake Keechelus Dam, 1913-1916. He discusses his family's history and their arrival in Yakima around 1900. He talks about his work for the Bureau of Reclamation, about land ecology, Native Americans, changes in technology, fishing, Prohibition, and the Great Depression.
The cover image shows a man standing next to an automobile overlooking Lake Keechelus in upper Kittitas County, circa 1915.
Gus Jaderlund talks about migrating from New Mexico to Roslyn, Washington, circa 1902. He explains how he began working in the mines at 17 years of age, cirNewca 1916. He describes a typical work day in the coal mines, health hazards, system of payment, mining technology and practices. He talks about the Western Miners strike, circa 1933, actions by women on the picket line, and the closing of the mines in 1963.
The cover image shows ruins from the mine explosion and fire at Mine No. 4 at Roslyn, Washington, on October 3, 1909.
Morris Jenkins (1908-2006) was one of nine children born to Byron and Mary Jenkins in Lucille, Idaho. Following a family tragedy, he was raised in foster care and received his education at Sandpoint, Idaho. In 1929, he migrated to upper Kittitas County, where he began working for the Forest Service and Northern Pacific Railroad's Land Division.
Jenkins spoke about his life in three interviews which took place in 1981, 1984, and 2000 (to listen, click on "Link to Audio/Video File"). In these interviews, Jenkins talks about his home in Easton, Washington, and about communications, trapping, and recreation in the area. He discusses resorts, hot springs, Indian trails, camp sites, the Northern Pacific Railroad, logging, and dam construction.
Doris Jones (b. 1912) talks about her family history, including parents John Parkson Abbott and Vesta Barlow and their experiences with the Civil War, pony express, and Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania. Jones married in 1935 and settled in Lester, Washington. She talks about logging, Northern Pacific Railroad operations, and her business career in Lester.
The cover image shows the railroad depot in Lester.
Lelah Jordin talks about her parents, John Lockhart and Lucinda Emily Decker, and her childhood in Pendleton, Oregon, and Oaksdale, Washington. She talks about cooking, home remedies, clothing, Native Americans, recreation, religion, and railroads. She discusses her later life in Liberty, Washington, and changes there in transportation and communications.
The cover image shows a group of men, women and children sitting and standing in front of the Wild Cat Dance Hall in Liberty, Washington, circa 1915.
Ole Jordin talks about his family's roots in Ellensburg, Washington. He describes the Benson hanging, skirmishes with Native Americans, threshing, water disputes, law and order, a saloon shooting, African Americans in Ellensburg, ranching, logging, fires, wildlife, and local Chinese residents. He talks about logging near Curlew, Washington, in 1904, and speaks at length about working in the Blewett mining camp. He talks about gold mining---tools, methods, claims, conflicts, Native American miners. He describes life in Liberty, Washington, and Northwestern Improvement Company operations in Roslyn/Cle Elum. Lelah Jordin interjects from time to time.
The cover image shows hydraulic methods of mining for gold at Swauk-Liberty Mining in Upper Kittitas County, Washington, circa 1910.