Mineral

Elbe Post Office – 1956

Elbe post office, 1956
Elbe post office, 1956

The Elbe post office, shown here in 1956, had a long history. The following is taken from Postmarked Washington: Pierce County.

Established: June 4, 1892, Cyrus H. Thompson; Adam Sachs, December 17, 1892; Mrs. Serena B. Sachs (nee Marshall, Mrs. Adam Sachs), July 8, 1898; Adam Sachs, February 2, 1903; Mrs. Serena B. Sachs, March 30, 1921; Mrs. Olma M. Douglas-Aleshire, August 11, 1921; Mrs. Serena B. Sachs, October 1, 1923; Mrs. Bertha M. Whitney (nee Montague, Mrs. Dayton Whitney), March 4, 1924; Mrs. Pearl E. Engel (nee Edwards, Mrs. Levi E. Engel), May 16, 1937; Mrs. M. June Kast (nee Mills, Mrs. Floyd J. Kast(, June 1, 1952; Katherine Wittner, October 12, 1974; Darlene M. Hape, April 26, 1975.

Location: On Milwaukee Railroad 5 miles southeast of Alder, 4 miles north of Mineral, 16 miles north of Morton, 7 miles west of Ashford on Nisqually River (SW Section 21, T15N, R5E).

Adam Sachs' General Store in Elbe
Adam Sachs’ General Store in Elbe

The first mail to Elbe was brought by horseback from the now discontinued Meta post office. There was no road so the carrier just picked his way over the crude trail in what was then a deep forest. When the Meta post office was closed (December 29, 1897) a carrier brought Elbe’s mail from Lakepark. Later a puncheon road was built. Settlers put boxes in places where the carrier could handily reach them from horseback.

The Milwaukee Railroad was built in 1940, as was the road which followed approximately the route of State Highway 5. (The railroad was originally the Tacoma Eastern Railroad). Consequently, until passenger trains ceased to run southward on June 30, 1928, Elbe enjoyed railway mail service. During the railroad construction days in 1898 Elbe had dispatched mail through Mineral on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday after mail had come from Lakepark, unless the Lakepark carrier was later than 9 PM in arriving. It took 1.5 hours to cover the distance of four miles to Mineral. The return trip was made on the same days staring about 5:30 PM. This schedule was modified during the period September 1 to April 30 to service from 11 AM to 12:30 PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Starting on May 1, 1928, a Tacoma-Morton Star Route supplied mail service to Elbe.

Moving First Boiler to Sawmill, early 1900s
Moving First Boiler to Sawmill, early 1900s

Adam Saches had a small log store building in the rear of which the family lived, but as his business increased he built a larger store. That burned in 1914 and was rebuilt. Following that the post office was quartered in still another store before being transferred in April 1949 to a small structure which faced the highway.

Elbe post office advanced to Third Class on July 1, 1949.

Adam Sachs caught “gold fever” and went to Alaska leaving the post office and store to his wife’s care. She had previously taught in the Seattle schools. Mrs. Pearl E. Engle had also taught school in Elbe. Her husband was a blacksmith who built buggiest and stages. Some of his stages operated on mail routes between Spanaway and Longmire. Mrs. Engle had much to do with assembling historical information in a two-volume mimeographed book entitled History of Tacoma Eastern Area (1954). To that publication we are indebted for the biography of Mrs. and Mrs. Sachs.

Tacoma Eastern Locomotive #10
Tacoma Eastern Locomotive #10

Adam Sachs came to Washington in the 1880s form South Dakota and bought a grocery store in Latona, King County. In 1891 he met Serena Marshall, the local schoolteacher, and they were wed and moved to Elbe shortly thereafter. Adam freighted in most of the merchandise needed for their store. He even brought machinery for a sawmill over the Mashell Mountain road and started the first sawmill and logging operation. He had an interest in a Tacoma-Morton bus line. It was while attending a meeting of the bus company’s officials in Tacoma that he dropped ear in March 1920.

On the night of September 13, 1950, Elbe post office was broken into and burglarized. The guilty parties were never apprehended.

Elbe is the German name given by German settlers to honor the Elbe River of their homeland.

Photo courtesy of the Baublits family and taken by Joe Larin.

Click on images to enlarge. 

St. Regis Logging Truck out of Mineral (1949)

St. Regis Truck out of Mineral (1949)
St. Regis Truck out of Mineral (1949)

The logs coming out of Mineral, Wash., in 1949 were giants.

The following information about this photo comes from the Tacoma Public Library:

“An unidentified driver and two St. Regis timber workers sent a load of logs on its way from Camp #2 in Mineral, Washington to the company’s paper mill in Tacoma in August of 1949.

In 1949, St. Regis was making kraft paper in six of their mills; they manufactured about 360,000 tons of kraft paper per year. Tacoma was the newest kraft paper producing mill; paper production began there January 5, 1949. St. Regis purchased a pulp mill in Tacoma in 1930; they spent years modernizing and expanding the company’s facilities. Before 1949 they had only manufactured pulp and multiwall bags at the Tacoma plant.

In 1985 the mill became Simpson Tacoma Kraft Co. when it was purchased by Simpson Paper Co. of San Francisco.”

For more images click HERE.

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Logs Coming out of the Forest near Mineral in 1949 (Camp #2)

Logs out of Camp #2
Logs out of Camp #2

On August 8, 1949, a St. Regis worker appears miniscule next to the huge logs loaded on railroad flatbeds for removal from the forrest. The worker is photographed at Camp #2, located in Mineral, Wash.

This information is posted on the Tacoma Public Library site:

The completion of the kraft paper mill in Tacoma, allowed St. Regis a considerable increase in the paper production industry. View of the St. Regis Paper Company’s crew at Camp #2, located in Mineral, Washington; logs have been loaded onto the train cars, and will be transported out of Mineral Forest.

Logs coming out of Mineral (1949(
Logs coming out of Mineral (1949)

For more images, just click HERE.

Courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.

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The Dr. Bridge Clinics and Hospitals (1910-1930)

Dentist David Cook, third from the right, in front of the Bridge Hospital in Eatonville
Dentist David Cook, third from the right, in front of the Bridge Hospital in Eatonville

This excerpt is taken from a Dr. A. W. Bridge biography, written by Karen Swanson. She collected information about Dr. Bridge from many of the “old timers” of Eatonville, Wash.

Clinics and Hospitals
In National it was called the Bridge Clinic. Dr. Smith would take care of all of the first aid cases he could connected with the mill or anything else. When things came to a point where he couldn’t handle them, he’d send for Dr. Bridge. Especially in hospital cases, since Dr. Bridge handed the contract cases. He had doctors and clinics also in Kapowsin, Mineral, Ashford and Morton. In 1926, he also opened the Bridge Clinic in Tacoma specializing in surgery. Later, he expanded to Seattle and Raymond.
A nurse, Mary Bridge and her son Dr. Bridge in clinic across from High School
A nurse, Mary Bridge and her son Dr. Bridge in clinic across from High School

Then in 1930, he moved his headquarters to Tacoma. He maintained a doctor in Eatonville, but closed the hospital there as the good roads and ambulance services made it practical for the people of his hometown community to use the Bridge Hospital in Tacoma.

Doctors in charge of the Eatonville offices after Dr. Bridge left were in turn: Dr. Wiseman, Dr. I. J. Glovatsky, Dr. G. A. Delaney, (note, names were hard to read and I may not have them entirely correct) and finally Dr. Nevitt who took over the practice when Dr. Bridge died and built a handsome clinic in Eatonville of his own.  The hospital between Raymond and South Bend was called the River View Hospital. There was also a clinic in Selleck. Others were in Bremerton, Rainier, Olympia, Castle Rock and Puyallup. With Dr. Bridge starting all of these clinics, needless to say, Eatonville became kind of a medical center for southern Pierce County. Of course, there was the Eatonville Clinic above the drug store.
A. W. Bridge X-ray facility
A. W. Bridge X-ray facility

Dr. Brdige sent his patients to the Eatonville Hospital, and later when he built the hospital in Tacoma, that’s where they went. Then he had a section in St. Joseph’s Hospital, before he built his own clinic. Then when he wanted to build his own clinic, he had a terrible time trying to raise funds for it. First there would would be one organization that would be a group of Catholics, then there would be another organization interested in St. Joseph’s or Tacoma General Hospital. Finally, one of his best friends, Tom Galbraith gave him a boost. They were going to build the Medical Arts Building in Tacoma and they wanted Dr. Bridge to go in there, but he wanted a certain amount of floor space. For the amount of money he would have to spend, he decided he could build his own building.

Another problem that he ad was that there were lots of people interested in the Medical Arts Building. He did have a hospital between Raymond and South Bend, the Riverview Hospital. He bought it (unclear next three words) after he built the Bridge clinic in Tacoma. Martin Killian could remember taking an old broken (?) down walk-in refrigerator down there and setting it up in the basement. Later, Dr. Bridge moved to Tacoma and had his offices in the Fidelity Building.
The Fidelity Trust Building, located at 949-55 Broadway, was built in 1890 and demolished in 1949.
The Fidelity Trust Building, located at 949-55 Broadway, was built in 1890 and demolished in 1949.

T. C. Van Eaton owned a building on the corner, but for some reason, Dr. Bridge couldn’t buy that. You see, he wanted to be on a street corner because he was very conscious of fire. What he wanted was where there would be a vacant lot on one side and on the other side he would put up a big tin wall in back of the hospital. He put fire-proof doors on the windows on the south side. Again I stress, he was very conscious of fire. Sander Hutchinson was Dr. Bridge’s business manager in the days when he was expanding. He wasn’t a lawyer, but he was described as being a dar good promotor.

Murray Logging & Timber Co., in Mineral Wash.

Murray Logging & Timber Co.
Murray Logging & Timber Co.

You need to zoom in on this shot of Murray Logging & Timber Co., out of Mineral, Wash. Look at the men in the bottom lefthand corner to get feel for how BIG these logs really are.

I believe the pictures was taken in the 1920s, but if someone has more information on it, please let me know.

The Murray family still operates their tree farm (around 65,000 acres) outside town. There is also a Murray Logging Museum in Mineral, Wash. If you get a chance, check it out.

Photo courtesy of  Laurie Anderson Osborn.

Click on image to enlarge.

Shingle Mill in Mineral

Shingle Mill
Shingle Mill

The text that went with this Mineral, Wash., photo read:  M. R. Smith shingle mill after one dry kiln burned. (Looking West).

For those not familiar with kilns, they are a basically an oven used to dry wood. In this case, it looks like they were lucky it didn’t spread.

Courtesy of Mineral Lake, The Gem of the Northwest Facebook page.

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First Mineral Store

First Store in Mineral
First Store in Mineral

The first store in Mineral wasn’t much to look at, but if you lived in Mineral in the early days, it was no doubt your life line. Early stores had little of everything, and in Mineral that would include a mining pan, which is on display out front.

Photo courtesy of the Jonas family and the Mineral Lake website.

Click on image to enlarge.