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.
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Frank Jovanovich (b. July 2, 1924) talks about his parents, Fred Jovanovich and Mary Mataya, and their roots in Merkopal, Yugoslavia. He talks about their immigration to the Roslyn/Cle Elum area in the 1920s-1930s, and his childhood in Cle Elum, where his father worked as a baker. He touches on coal mining and its effect on the local economy.
The cover image shows the New Home Bakery at Cle Elum, Washington, circa 1910
Nina Kanyer talks about immigrating with her family from Italy to Roslyn, Washington. She talks about cultural traditions, holidays, lodges, recreation, and coal mining in Roslyn.
The cover image shows crowds gathering on wooden sidewalks during the summer of 1899 in Roslyn, Washington, for the annual lodge parade. The image looks north up Idaho Avenue toward the towering Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The various lodges prepared to march through the streets carrying flags and musical instruments. Hundreds of people posed for the photographer, who was high above the street.
Gilda Kauzlarich talks about her Italian roots, mentioning the Broccoli, Salvatore, and Lento families, who arrived in Roslyn, Washington, in the 1910s. She talks about life in an immigrant family (language, education, holidays, recipes, gardening), and life after marriage to John Kauzlarich in 1937. She talks about her husband's work in the Nos. 3, 5, 7, and 9 Mines in Roslyn, where he acted as fire boss. She discusses working conditions, unions, and strikes at the mines.
The cover image shows a Roslyn band. Pictured members include:
Back (left to right): ?, Summervill, Jas Balmer, Jr., Thomas?, Ball, Moffitt, Connell, Reed? Middle (left to right): Russ Connell, Fred Connell, William Burge, Henry Burge, JJ Padden, H. Bolyard, A. Sarteris, Mike Oban. Front (left to right): H. Williams, Alf Burge, Jno Lemm, Jno Oban, Jas Feranga?
Raymond Kladnik Jr.
Raymond (Ray) Kladnik, Jr. (b. 1921), talks about his Slovenian roots and his life in Cle Elum, Washington. He talks about working in the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI) No. 9 Mine, Prohibition, World War II, and his work in law enforcement and the U.S. Forest Service. He talks about recreation in Cle Elum and particularly his involvement in baseball.
The cover image shows the Cle Elum baseball team in 1946.
Raymond (Ray) Kladnik Sr.
Raymond (Ray) Kladnik, Sr. (b. September 7, 1892), talks about his family's Slovenian roots and about his life in Cle Elum, Washington. He describes his family's life in Austria and their experience immigrating to the United States in 1912. On arriving in Cle Elum, Kladnik worked in the Independent Mine (1922-1925), No. 7 Mine, and No. 9 Mine (1931-1946). He talks about mine strikes, lodges, local entertainment, and working conditions in the mines.
The cover image shows the east end of Cle Elum in 1905. At the time, most local mining families worked in the Independent Mine located on 3rd Street.
Frederick Ernest Krueger
In this video interview of Frederick Krueger , conducted in Brooks Library archives and Special Collections on November 23, 2015 by Scott Templin, Director of the Roslyn Museum; Mr. Krueger discusses his education, training, and early teaching career in Minnesota. He also discusses moving to Cle Elum, Washington and graduate study at the University of Washington. He talks about his work with Suncadia during the development of the resort and the oral histories he collected. He discusses his teaching experiences in Japan and China in 1993 and 1995 and changes in the region since his arrival in 1967.
Frederick Krueger worked throughout his career to document cultural life in Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, and other areas of Kittitas County. He began teaching at Cle Elum High - Roslyn School in 1967 and thereafter launched several student-oriented projects to capture the regional history of the valley. His many students became involved in historical community projects, oral history programs and various other activities to preserve the area’s rich heritage. The most notable was the Roslyn cemeteries preservation and documentation project carried out in partnership with the Roslyn Kiwanis Club. Krueger managed the project from 1974 to 1996. He was one of the founding members of the Upper Kittitas County Heritage Council in 1973 and was very influential in saving the historic Salmon la Sac guard station from destruction in 1977. Krueger retired from teaching in June of 1996. Thereafter, he collaborated on several state, county, and regional history books and wrote numerous articles for local newspapers.
Fabian (Fab) Kuchin
Fabian (Fab) Kuchin (b. January 20, 1907 in Roslyn, Washington) talks about his life in Roslyn. He explains how his father, Stephen Kuchin, worked in the local coal mines until he had an accident and left mining for grocer's work. He took ownership of Pioneer Grocery Store. When Fabian Kuchin returned to Roslyn in 1928 after completing some college work, he assisted with the family business. Fabian Kuchin married Rosella Kuchin and the two ran the grocery together for some years.
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 is the Pioneer Grocery Store, which was owned by Stephen Kuchin. The Panerio and Ramsay Barber Shops also appear on this side of the street.
Thomas (Tom) Lambert III, Nell Lambert, and Jack Lambert
Nell and Thomas (Tom) Lambert, III (mother and son), talk about their family roots in Iowa and Oklahoma. They explain how Nell married Thomas (Tom) Lambert, II, in October 1928. They discuss how Thomas (Tom) Lambert, I, began homesteading in the Teanaway area of Washington state circa 1912---and how Tom Lambert, II, and Nell also began farming there in 1929. They talk about farm life, including weather, chores, food preservation, transportation, logging, and the impact of World Wars I and II.
The cover image shows hay farming at the Teanaway in Kittitas County, Washington, circa 1910.
James (Jim) Larrigan
James (Jim) Larrigan talks about his parents, James (Jim) Larrigan, Sr., and Janette Hogan. He talks about his Canadian, Scottish, and Irish roots, and describes his childhood in the Ronald, Washington, area during the Great Depression. He describes Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps and his work for MC Miller, Co., and the Nos. 3, 5, and 9 Mines. He describes mining operations (coal washing, rope riding, coal cutting, moles, and hydraulic mining). He also speaks about working conditions in the mines, the effects of mine closure, and recreation in Ronald.
The cover image shows rope riders who worked in the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI) mines in the early to mid-twentieth century.
James (Jim) Larrigan, James (Jim) Barich, John Ferro, Joseph (Joe) Melos, and John Martin
Rope riders worked in the coal mines at Roslyn, Cle Elum, and Ronald, Washington. They did the most dangerous work in the mines, balancing precariously on the hitches between coal cars as they wound through darkened tunnels. When the cars were full, the rope rider would signal that it was time to return to the surface. All the while he would balance himself between the two cars, each carrying a ton and a half of coal when full.
This video shows footage of the No. 9 Mine at Roslyn, Washington, and rope riders at work.
The cover image shows a rope rider who worked in the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI) mines in the early to mid-twentieth century.
Kathryn Liboky talks about her family ancestors (the Pasquens and Segotas) and her parents, Josephine Tomak and Fabian Segota. She talks about life in an immigrant family in Roslyn, Washington, and her father's work in the No. 3 and No. 5 Mine, where he was employed by the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI). She talks about her marriage to George Liboky and his work in mining, farming, and logging. She talks about family and school life on Peoh Point, about the Great Depression and World War II.
Liboky talks about attending Southside School in Roslyn. The cover image shows Southside School as seen when driving into Roslyn. The image may depict a May Day celebration.
Lorraine Livero talks about her parents, Alice Koch and Henry Richard, and their background in farming in the Swauk Creek area of Washington state. She talks about transportation and recreation in the Swauk, and about relocating to Cle Elum, where she lived with her husband, Dr. Livero. She talks about the medical history of Cle Elum and Cle Elum Hospital.
The cover image shows Cle Elum Hospital, circa 1909. The first two-story wooden frame hospital was destroyed by fire in July 1908. The land was donated to the miners and people of Cle Elum by Walter J. Reed. In 1909, a newer, larger brick hospital was rebuilt on the same site by contractors Don Perrow and Orb Barnett. Dr. Stimpson of Roslyn was the chief surgeon who was assisted by Drs. Kiehl and Newgard from Cle Elum and Drs. Phelp and Payne from Roslyn. The nurses' quarters were opened in the building in February of 1909.
Joseph (Joe) Lowatchie
Joseph (Joe) Lowatchie (b. December 15, 1922) describes his Hungarian roots and his parents, Frank/Francisco Lowatchie and Marcella Angyl. He talks about their migration to the United States, circa 1906, his childhood in West Virginia, and his arrival in the Ronald, Washington, area, circa 1947. He talks about his military experiences in World War II, and his marriage to Vera Vlahovich in 1948. He talks about working in the Northwestern Improvement Company No. 3 Mine and Patrick Mine---about mining methods, working conditions, geography, and the effects of mine closure.
The cover image comes from Joe Lowatchie's autobiographical account, A Collection of Writings, published in 2012.
William (Bill) Lumsden
William (Bill) Lumsden talks about his family's arrival in Roslyn, Washington, in 1886-1887. He talks about his father's work as a teamster, his involvement in building Roslyn's streets, and his role in the Knights of Labor. He talks about the bank robbery in Roslyn, 1892, about Ben Snipes, and conflicts with Chinese and Native American residents. He speaks about lodges, baseball, epidemics, skating, law and order, politics, taverns, the Roslyn Foundry, churches, and businesses in Roslyn. He speaks about his career in logging and teamster work, beginning circa 1910. He talks about fishing and the impact of coal mining in the area.
The cover image shows Bill Taylor's home at Casland logging camp, which belonged to the Cascade Logging Company at Lick Creek in the Teanaway in upper Kittitas County, Washington, 1927.
Lee Lund, Verna (Lund) Mattielli, and Bernice (Lund) Haggerty
Three Lund siblings talk about their lives at Fowler Creek and Cle Elum, Washington. Lee Lund (b. April 2, 1912), Verna (Lund) Mattielli (b. August 27, 1910), and Bernice (Lund) Haggerty (b. November 11, 1913) describe their childhood at Fowler Creek. They talk about holidays, logging, farming, and their family dairy business. They talk about changes in technology, communications, and the impact of events like World War II in the area.
The cover image shows a dairy farm at Teanaway in Kittitas County, Washington, circa 1910.
Colleen Major (b. 1926) arrived in Cle Elum, Washington, in 1954 and was hired at Patrick Mine as the secretary for Harry Patrick. She was later promoted to head bookkeeper. Major discusses the marketing of coal, Northwestern Improvement Company finances, and how Harry Patrick faced mining changes from 1954-1966.
The cover image shows coal miners in Roslyn, Washington.
Christina Malano (b. 1911) was born in Roslyn, Washington, moved away when she was six, and moved back to Roslyn when she married in 1935. Both her father and husband, George Malano, worked in the coal mines. Malano discusses family history; Italian gardening, recreation, recipes, music and dance, miners, business operations; Italians in local government; lodges; wine making and beer making.
The cover image shows Christina Malano in 1989.
Doris Maras discusses the immigration of her maternal grandparents, John and Anna Lindberg, and paternal grandparents, Andrew and Brita Jaderlund, from Sweden to Ronald and Roslyn, Washington. Lawrence Jaderlund (b. 1903), Doris’s father, worked in the Northwestern Improvement Company No. 3 Mine and No. 5 Mine. Doris describes her life growing up in a Swedish family in Ronald and discusses how major national events of the twentieth century changed life at home.
The cover image shows Ronald, Washington, circa 1912. The town of Ronald, two miles west of Roslyn, was built on Northwestern Improvement Company land when the No. 3 Mine was opened in the late 1880s. The town was named in honor of Alexander Ronald, Superintendent of the Northwestern Improvement Company mines.
Marion Maras discusses his Croatian and Slovak ancestry and growing up in Ronald, Washington. He discusses his father’s work in the Northwestern Improvement Company No. 3 Mine and Patrick’s Mine and his own work in the Patrick's Mine and the No. 9 Mine. Maras describes the differences between the two mines and the operations and buildings at the No. 9 Mine.
Maras speaks as well about his wife, Doris (Jaderlund) Maras. Her family's history (the Jaderlund family) is included here. Please see the Doris Maras Interview for more information.
Marion Maras participated in World War II as part of the 75th division artillery. The cover image features an article in the Northern Kittitas County Tribune, November 8, 2001, about Maras' involvement in the war.
John Martin discusses his coal mining days, beginning in 1957 in the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI) No. 9 Mine, where he worked as a rope rider---the best paying position with the highest risk. Martin worked in both the No. 9 and No. 10 Mines and discusses day-to-day operations as well as the closing of the No. 9 Mine in 1963.
The cover image shows rope riders who worked in the NWI Company mines.
Ann Marusa (b. Oct. 13, 1914, in Margecany, Czechoslovakia) came to America in 1921 and lived in Roslyn, Washington. She talks about her step-father, Frank Foto, and his work as fire boss and unit foreman in the Northwestern Improvement Company's No. 5 Mine. Marusa talks about her childhood---cultural traditions; holidays; food preparation; schools in Roslyn and Cle Elum; local businesses; and the effects of Prohibition, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and mine closure in the area. She talks about her marriage to Anton Marusa in 1937 and the culture of coal mining families.
The cover image above shows a 3rd- and 4th-grade class photo from Southside School in Roslyn, Washington, 1928. Ann Marusa is not pictured but she completed part of her schooling at Southside and speaks about it in her interview. The children in the photo include: Southside School, 3rd and 4th grades. From the Marusa collection. Left to right: Front row: Andy Barich, Joe Katana, Mary (Foto) Bendzak, Blanche (Bonetto), Maxine (Hendry), Madelina Saivetto, Catherine (Maybo) Ozbolt, Marion Pasquan, Runje, John (Foto) Kauzlarich, Bernadine (Tomich) Ozbolt Second row: Ann (Barich) Wasielewski, Harry Smoyver, Kanyer, Elmer? Dalisky, Joe Pasquan, Lenore (Kauzlarich) Carek, Mike Marusa, Emerick Kauzlarich, Margaret (Vereb), Walmir Segota, Ruth/Ruby? Kanyer, Miss Marge Lumsden Back row: Agnes (Bednar) Ferro, Charlie Butkovich, Louise (Fermond) Krahenbulh, Joe Matanich, ?, Emerick Brozovich, Matt Morris, Katherine (Chulet), ?, Rudy Vrtner, Kloss.
Anton (Tony) Marusa
Anton (Tony) Marusa talks about his Czechoslovakian roots and his life in Roslyn, Washington. He discusses his father’s work in the Northwestern Improvement Company No. 7 and No. 5 Mines, as well as his own work in the No. 5, No. 3, and No. 9 Mines beginning at age 16. He talks about working conditions, wages, health hazards, and technology in the mines. He also talks about recreation, transportation, and communications developments in twentieth-century Roslyn.
Included here, along with the Tony Marusa interview, is home video footage, showing the Marusa family, 1950-1959. The footage shows weddings, skiing, town scenes, logging, parades, holidays, and more.
The cover image above shows Tony Marusa in 1932. He is standing at the back left. Beside him are (left to right) Frank Savisky and Walter Kovasovich. In front is Joby Farrington.
Anthony (Tony) Mattielli
Anthony (Tony) Mattielli discusses growing up in Cle Elum, Washington, including a presidential visit to Cle Elum, nationalities and discrimination, the impact of mining on the local economy, the power of the Northwestern Improvement Company, Prohibition and the Great Depression in Cle Elum.
The cover image shows Cle Elum, circa 1926. The photo was taken near the intersection of Harris Avenue and First Street. Both sides of First Street were lined with vintage 1920s automobiles in this photograph. The Cle Elum State Bank building is on the right at the corner of First and Harris, and the MacMarr Stores and C. J. Breiers Company are on the left. The Schober Building (two stories) is also on the left. Since Highway 10 ran through the middle of Cle Elum, many hotel and restaurant accommodations were provided for travelers.
Verna (Lund) Mattielli
Verna (Lund) Mattielli discusses growing up on a dairy farm in the Nelson Siding area of Washington state. She also recalls logging, saw mills, and trapping in the Cle Elum and Roslyn areas. She discusses life during the Great Depression and the effect it had on her father’s dairy farm.
The cover image shows the railroad depot at Nelson Siding, Washington, circa 1887.
Edward (Ed) McKean
Edward (Ed) McKean discusses his family's history in upper Kittitas County, Washington. He talks about coal mining in the Roslyn/Cle Elum area, logging, hard rock mining, trapping and fur farming, recreation, and local business history.