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Labor Archives of Washington: Employers

LAW contains records from individuals and organizations that document the local, national and international dimensions of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest.

Records & papers from employers

Carbanado, Washington Photograph collection, c.1890-1905

Carbonado is located near the Carbon River in northern Pierce County, Washington, approximately 50 miles southeast of Seattle and 12 miles northwest of Mt. Rainier National Park. Carbonado served as an important coal mining community in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the town operated the largest coal mine in Pierce County. Carbonado was a company town.

 Frederick T. Haley Papers, 1931-2001

Frederick T. Haley was a Tacoma businessman and civic leader. His chief interests in civic life were education, civil rights, and civil liberties. Haley's father, J. Clifford Haley, co-founded Brown & Haley, a candy manufacturing company known for its signature product, Almond Roca, in 1912. Fred Haley earned a B.A. from Dartmouth in 1935 and returned to Tacoma to work as a salesman for Brown & Haley. He also studied business at the University of Washington. During WWII Haley served in the Pacific as a Navy harbor pilot. There he developed both a lifelong love of the Pacific Islands and, in the face of the stark realities of war, a drive to dedicate himself to meaningful and difficult civic causes. After the war, Haley married Dorothy Geyer and had four children. He became chairman and chief executive officer of Brown & Haley after his father’s death in 1954. In the succeeding years, Haley involved himself in a myriad of civic causes. In the 1950s and 1960s his efforts were focused mainly on education and civil rights and liberties. During his tenure on the Tacoma School Board, on which he served two terms as chair, Haley was an outspoken critic of de-facto school segregation and advocated bussing programs as a remedy. He charged that segregated schools hindered the development of all children in a racially diverse society. As a school board member, Haley took another stand on a controversial issue when he spoke out in defense of Jean Schuddakopf, an elementary school counselor who refused to submit to questioning by the House Un-American Activities Committee. He served as president of the Pierce County School Directors’ Association in 1957. Haley continued his work for civil rights as a founding member of the Washington Citizens’ Committee for Civil Rights Legislation. During this time he also served on the Washington State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and on the boards of the Washington State Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington State Board Against Discrimination.

King County Industrial Association records, 1887-1886

Agricultural organization

Farmers' Union records, 1887

Agricultural association

Palmer Coking Coal Company records, circa 1895-2005

Coal mining company operating in the southeastern King County area

Haytian Republic engineer's log, 1890-1892


Frank D. Hobi papers, 1960

Logging industry executive

Dillis Charles Knapp papers, circa 1920-1981

Trade association executive of Seattle, Washington

Merrill and Ring Lumber Company records, 1865-1976

Thomas Merrill, son of a Maine lumbering family, began a series of logging companies in Michigan in the 1860s. In 1886 he joined Clark Ring to form the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company, headquartered in Saginaw. In 1902 the company moved its headquarters from Saginaw to Hoquiam, Washington. The center of Merrill & Ring logging operations was in the rugged territory near the Pysht River, west of Port Angeles, Washington.

Correspondence, legal documents, business records, plats, and other records, including those of affiliated firms, relating to the company's business, legal, and fiscal activities; together with materials concerning its labor and political relations, and dealings with trade associations, state and federal agencies, such as United States Forest Service, and Spruce Production Division of the War Dept., and others.New England Fish Company records, 1902-1983

Fish cannery. NEFCO's West Coast activities spanned Washington, Alaska, and Canada; once the largest producer of salmon products in North America. Collective bargaining partner and employer with the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, Local 37 (Seattle, Wash.); defendent in the landmark anti-discrimination case Domingo v. New England Fish Company, 742 F.2d 520 (1984). The case went on to the Supreme Court as Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642 (1989).

Oregon Improvement Company records, 1880-1935

Business to own and operate coal mines, railroads, and steamship company in Washington and California. Financier Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in 1880 as a central component in his attempt to dominate the economic development of the Pacific Northwest. Villard wanted to link rail, river and ocean transport, and he was interested in developing coal both as fuel and as payload.

Pacific Coast Company Records, 1883-1927

The Pacific Coast Company puchased the property of the Oregon Improvement Company (OIC) on December 1, 1897. The newly-formed Pacific Coast Company absorbed the insolvent OIC, taking control of all its operations. The PCC inherited the Pacific Coast Railway in California, three Washington railroads, the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, and an extensive mining operation in western Washington, the company’s backbone. From the very beginning, the OIC found its mining operations vexing, and the PCC would fall heir to the same difficulties.  The PCC also acquired with the mines a relationship with its mine workers that was tense at best, tumultuous at worst. After 1908, did avoid much of the acrimony and the conflicts which had characterized labor relations under the OIC. The new management, no doubt unwilling to jeopardize its new-found good times with labor dischord, even agreed in 1908 to a contract providing an eight-hour day and a 10¢ per day raise. The relative calm lasted until 1919. The miners, and their union, became increasingly dissatisfied that prices continued to rise, but wages remained frozen under existing contracts. The company, now faced with less economically propitious times, proven intransigent to all demands. With the two sides deadlocked, a bitter series of strikes and lockouts began. In 1921, two state commissions investigated the impasse, and the last one suggested that miners’ accept a 25% to 28% wage reduction, exasperating the situation. The coal company proved the stronger of the two combatants, however, and had broken the union by 1923. The papers also contain extensive interoffice communication. Topics relating to coal operations includes labor reports, information on the briquette plant, financial reports, coal prices, foreign markets and tariffs, mine blueprints and maps, and other general material relating to the mining industry.  Accession 2241-003 contains interoffice correspondence from 1919 and 1922 concerning the acquisition of the Carbonado mine in Pierce County.

Pacific Coast Maritime Industry Board records, 1942-1945

Established to govern longshore labor relations on the Pacific Coast during WWII

Pacific Northwest Loggers Association Records, 1917-1962

The Pacific Northwest Lumber Association was established in 1933. Its activites included promoting the logging industry, engaging in contract arbitation, and gathering and publishing statistics. The predecessor organization was the Loggers Information Association.

Parachute (Ship) records, 1856-1859

A whaling ship

Pope & Talbot records, circa 1849-1975

Records of the lumber company.

Port Blakely Mill Company Records, 1876-1998
Established in 1876 by Renton, Homes & Company of San Francisco to buy timber lands and to conduct lumber operation in Washington. The operation was sold to David Skinner and John W. Eddy in 1903. Milling operations ceased in 1917 when Skinner and Eddy transferred to shipbuilding in Seattle. It became the Eddy Family business in 1924 and was primarily engaged in the sale of stumpage.

Seattle Port Commission records, 1899-1960

Publicly owned governing body for the Seattle waterfront. The Seattle Port Commission was established by King County voters in September 1911 as a publicly owned and controlled governing body for the City's waterfront area. The Commission had the power to authorize and control improvements to Harbor and transportation facilities on the waterfront, to purchase land, to levy property taxes and issue bonds. The first Port Commissioners were Robert Bridges, Hiram Chittenden and Charles Remsberg.

Harold H. Smith papers, 1911-1918

Alaska cannery superintendent

St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company records, 1876-1958

St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company was established in 1888 by Chauncey W. Griggs, Henry Hewitt and associates. Its predecessor companies were Griggs & Johnson, and Griggs & Foster, both of St. Paul, Minnesota. The company's subsidiaries include Cascade Timber Company, Chehalis & Pacific Land Company, Consolidated Lumber Company, Los Angeles; Griggs and Company, grocers, St. Paul Minnesota; Griggs and Foster investment firm, St. Paul; Griggs and Johnson, real estate and loans, St. Paul; Interlaken Water Company, Natches Pass Railway Company, Tacoma; Pacific Meat Company, Tacoma; Puget Sound Dry dock and machinery Company, Riverside Land company, Tacoma; Tacoma Bitouminous Paving Company, Tacoma Land and Improvement Company, Union Stockyards Company, Tacoma; and Wilkerson Coal and Coke company, Pierce County, Washington.

Stimson Mill Company records, 1879-1957

Business records of a major regional lumber milling company.

Lane Summers papers, 1917-1959

Attorney specializing in maritime law. He was associated with the Maritime Law Association of the U.S. and the Republican Party. Attorney for Matson Navigation Company.

Svenska Posten Records 1925-1961, undated

Collection of a Swedish-language newspaper (Svenska Posten means: Swedish Post). Collection includes a list of Industrial Workers of the World members reported as undesirable as employees. Correspondence, clippings, ephemera, photographs, scrapbook of Gerda Risberg.

Albert Tuohy papers

Albert Tuohy managed the Hanford Street Grain Elevator in Seattle during the 1930s and 1940s and had a close working relationship with many longshore workers.

John Work papers, 1823-1862

Company official with Hudson's Bay Company

Washington Mill Company records. 1857-1890

Established 1857 at Seabeck, Washington Territory. Mill destroyed by fire, 1886.