Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  7 (1883–84), 869–82.

From the Fraser to the Columbia  [2/2]

Ernest Ingersoll


Essay, Travelogue, Serial

Relevant illustrations:

eng [11]


Geology, Stratigraphy, Mining, Race, Railways, Industry

    Observes that, apart from logging, the principal industry of the Pacific Northwest region is mining 'lignite' coal, and notes that 'Five strata have been discovered, the two now being penetrated having a thickness of ten and a half and six feet respectively, throughout which there is only one thin streak of impurity' (874). Describes how in the processing of mined coal it is 'necessary [...] to pick over the main body of the coal in order to reject slaty fragments. For this duty Chinese are employed, their ability to stand all day bending over a sliding stream of coal and rapidly pick out the waste being far superior to that of any white man, who grows lame and impatient at such confining and pernickety work' (875). Concludes that the future prosperity of the towns in the region 'depend upon the fixture of that mysterious, speculator-plaguing will-o'-the-wisp "the terminus" of the North Pacific Railroad', which is presently located at New Tacoma but seems likely to be moved to either Seattle or Port Townsend (882).

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