Trash or Treasure?

“Everything is Broken” An old Bob Dylan Song describes this adventure very well. Or does it? In this case 100 year old broken trash opens a door into everyday life of the past. What was someone’s pile of trash of old is now my pile of treasure!

But first, my apoligies because I have been away too long from sharing my research. My friend Alan B asked me to help find the lost Veazie Washington. This town/logging camp is north of Enumclaw and like Cedar Mountain it’s history has been lost in time. I will be writing several articles about it when we get closer to sorting out what we find.

Today it is all about a trip I took to Coal Creek area as a diversion from Veazie. About a year ago I wrote an article called Coal Creek Hotel Trash. You can read up on what I found via that link.

My goal this week was to get deeper into the creek bed ravine before spring came. Yup looking for broken shit in a creek bed!! Lets get after it….

Behind the old hotel foundation I walked up to the road and looked for the best way down to the creek. My goal was to get down into it as far east as I could and walk west towards the section I had been in last year.

Here is a photo looking back up towards civilization.

Right away I was in the money! Strewn items in a babbling brook. Hunk of something metal-made, white pottery pieces and coal… big ass chunks of coal littered the way.

Big and heavy metal plate was the first thing to catch my eye.

What piece of machinery did this belong to decades ago? How did it get here? Questions racing thru my head.

More Metal stuck in the ground.

Strapping and a chunk of old rocky cement is on the hillside waiting for 100 years to be photographed.

Coal strewn across he creek bank

I find coal on my adventures regularly but this is a HUGE specimen surrounded with more coal. My trekking pole gives one a good idea of it’s size. Then there is the broken glass and pottery everywhere along this creek. As the Hotel broke stuff they just pitched it into the trash pile down into this small gully.

Onward I went dodging trees and stepping from bank to bank to keep my feet dry. More pottery all along the way. Then I come to a place where the creek falls into a 3-4 foot hole. I can see a lot more stuff thru the brier.

The creek hole I whacked my way into.

I climbed down into this hole and my mouth dropped open. It was the heart of the trash pile. There was metal flakes and disintegrated metal along with the pottery and broken glass. The wall of the hole was an eroded cross cut view the trash pile.

Hotel Trash Dump of metal, ceramics and glass… but mostly lots of iron!

I had the feeling of an archeologist who found a new tomb. Here was the prettiest pile of rusting rubbish I could have seen. Below is more of its beauty.

Still photos just don’t do this site justice! So here is a near 360 degree video for your viewing amazement.

In the slide show I have a close up of a piece of pottery that is stuck in the dump wall above the rusting metal. It had the makers mark of Edwin M. Knowles China Co -Vitreous. In my prior article I wrote about how the similar piece I found further downstream was from 1916 from the number on it. In hindsight I could have pulled this piece out and found the number that dates it. If you want to know more about Knowles China Company use my link above. Here is a good photo of how it in situ.

Knowles China Company piece top of dump. Notice how I am standing under a huge brier.

Next item was a small round jar embedded a bit west and on the opposite side of the creek bed from the trash piles wall of rust. In the video above you can see it sticking out of the bank at about 2:30 time. I did go down and pull it out and take some more detailed shots. It was intact to my surprise. Then I put it back in it’s cubbyhole.

In my research I found that external thread finishes and metal screw cap closures like this small bottle came out in the early 1920s. Could not find an example of this exact bottle so I asked my fellow treasure hunter Phil M. He said “1930’s to 1960’s Looks like a honey jar.” Since it is embedded in this trash pile with other items of the 1910s & 1920s it was probably on the earlier side of things. In the end it fit in with the pottery I have dated. Was it a honey pot or a mustard jar we will probably never know.

Right across from this little jar was a big piece of metal plate. You can see it in the photos above and also the close up below.

hunk of metal plate about foot & half square.

This next photo gives you a good view of the area looking west (the direction I am headed).

Looking downstream – little jar and metal plate lower left

Looking back from where I came before moving onward. Gives you a feel for depth of this hole the creek has eaten away from the dump pile.

Moving along we come to this rusty pile. You can actually see it in the westerly direction photo above. It is on the left bank where there is a little ledge. What metal item is deteriorating to create this? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Little pile of rust – Can? or just a metal thingy?

Here the creek bed narrows and one can see more pottery and sheet metal. Trash is just everywhere.

It was at about this point I was trying to juggle myself and find a footing on the side of the creek bed. I failed and my left foot went right into a foot deep hole in the creek. Bingo!! That cold rush got me going & from that time on it didn’t matter if I kept my boots dry. A freeing thing when digging around a streambed.

The photo below is looking back towards where I came from (see the little rust pillar on the bank on the right?) The water is muddy cause that is where my foot got a good dunk.

Once I got around the corner I found the bottom of a blue glass jar. Could be an old canning one but hard to tell from just the bottom. There is also a little rusting metal bowl with two glass items in it. Almost like a prior seeker gathered them up for the next person.

Then I saw a really bright piece of glass that seemed carved. Can you see it glowing on the north bank?

Easier to walk here and I hustled over to check it out. Not only was it a lovely green cut glass piece but it also had that iridescent quality on the edges. Was this Depression or Carnival Glass?

Spent one evening researching this piece of fancy glass. It is probably Carnival Glass due to the luminescent coating. Went thru an online site that had 100s of glass patterns but never could quite match this to one. Then again it is only a small piece which makes it difficult.

Just a bit more downstream there is more glass and pottery pieces. Some sort of metal can/object and those odd holes in the bank. We are starting with the holes which must be some sort of piping from the old hotel or are they cans stuck in the bank?

Glass, bottles, beveled lids, white pottery and some sort of rusted can like thing. This part of the creek had gathered up all this with the usual forest debris of sticks, leaves and branches.

Let us look in detail at two of these items. The half a plate and the old bottle with raised letters on it. They both have a tale to tell.

The plate has the maker mark of:
W.S.G.P.C.
S — V
China

Up at the beginning of my journey along the creek close to the big ass hunk of coal was a broken bowl with this same mark.

That makers mark is for W.S. George Pottery Co. and the S — V stands for Semi-Vitreous. Here is info from WorthPoint:

William Shaw George (March 21, 1865 – April 12, 1925) bought a controlling interest in the East Palestine Pottery Company located in Sebring, Ohio in 1904. He added a new plant and renamed the company the Continental China Company. In 1909, he changed the name to the W. S. George Pottery Company. The company produced semi-porcelain dinnerware, hotel ware, and toilet ware.

In 1901, the company built its Plant #2 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Plant #3 in Kittanning, Pennsylvania followed in 1914. A 1921 fire destroyed Plant #1 in East Palestine, Ohio. The plant was rebuilt in 1924 and known as Plant #4. After W. S. George died in 1925, his family continued to manage the business.

The Derwood and Radisson dinnerware shape lines were introduced in 1910 and continued in production through the 1940s. Lido was introduced in the 1930s. Bolero was produced in the 1940s and 1950s.

When W. S. George Pottery Company filed for bankruptcy in 1955, the Royal China Company bought Plant #4. The remaining W. S. George Pottery Company holdings were liquated between 1959 and 1960.

WorthPoint by Henry Rinker

Moving on to the bottle. It is a brown color with the neck opening broken off. The raised letters spell out The Piso Company. Check out the photos I got:

This is a very interesting find. The Piso Company started out in 1864 in Warren PA. with “Piso’s Cure for Consumption”. This was when Tuberculous was called Consumption and was not really curable. They were doing so well that in 1870 they built a factory on an island in the middle of the Allegheny River.

This original formula was obviously what we call snake oil or tonics. It contained Opium and other Morphine derivatives. Made the poor patient feel good!

Over the years they changed their formula as the laws changed. After they ditched opium they used marijuana derivatives and good old fashion alcohol. Here is a link to a very informative write up on The Piso Company called “Piso’s Trio – One step Ahead of the Law”

As to the bottle – that I in a diamond identified the bottle being made by the Illinois Glass Company. The date would be between 1915 to 1929. This fits in with some of the other items I have found in this creek bed of trash.

In this area I found another piece of interest. Heavy crockery that could be for milk or other things needing to be kept cold. Unfortunately there isn’t enough left to identify the maker or date it.

Now I am at a point where a bamboo bush has grown down the north bank. I climbed around it and here are few photos of how that looked.

Then I saw things I recognized. I had arrived back where I was a year ago. In that article I had used a green bottle as the feature photo. This time I took some more detailed photos of it.

Next are some of the more distinctive items in this area.

Trash or Treasure? Which will it be? I am voting for treasure. So much history to be learned from these broken items.

Shoot me any questions or better yet any information you have to add. This is a never ending deep dig into 100 years of old coal mine history.

Remember Times are a changing. Blink and all will be changed. Literally, a town can disappear! You can find more articles at – Locating Lost Old Coal Mines of King County

10 comments

    • Ahhhh… glad to get you a new one. I am working on a bigger project and will a lot of material to share once I sort it out. Over 50 maps and read three books to gather the basic stuff. White paper from hell to keep track of it all. Hope you enjoyed the dump site at Coal Creek. It was addictive to see what I could find.

  1. This is Lake Desire Dorothy. Thanks for all you share with us. I have a similarly shaped glass bottle that is clear and says “National Remedy Company New York.” I searched National Remedy Company New York and came across an interesting website. The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health Sciences Library Medical Artifacts website has an incredible artifact archive (almost 6,000 items), including the “Piso’s Cure for Consumption” bottle which VCU dates 1864-1868 (see https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/7/accessions/7375).

    • Thanx Dorothy… I will go check this out. Love new sources. Had hoped to go back and search more but got distracted with other things. Fancy that!! Hope you are good. Batgirl

  2. Hi Robin

    I appreciate your fascinating recent post. Thank you for sharing your curiosity and research.

    I looked at the many photos in your latest post and noted that I have a similarly shaped glass bottle that is clear and says “National Remedy Company New York.” I searched National Remedy Company New York and came across an interesting website. The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health Sciences Library Medical Artifacts website has an incredible artifact archive (almost 6,000 items), including the “Piso’s Cure for Consumption” bottle which VCU dates 1864-1868 (see https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/7/accessions/7375).

    FYI Robin, I have copied on this email my neighbor Tammie. You met her when you visited Lake Desire (went to her house to look at her coal mining related artifacts). Tammie, this is the batguurl post I mentioned last time we hiked.

    Dorothy

    • Thanx Ladies!! It was a facinating adventure. The best part was the wall of rust. Never seen anythng like that – felt like I had stumbled across something rare and new!

  3. FYI, I’ve found surviving sections of the original narrow garage trestle over Coal Creek which ran to Lake Washington back in the 1880’s.

    Cheers, Anthony 206-841-6050

    On Tue, Feb 15, 2022 at 4:34 PM Crows of Arroyos wrote:

    > batgurrl posted: ” “Everything is Broken” An old Bob Dylan Song describes > this adventure very well. Or does it? In this case 100 year old broken > trash opens a door into everyday life of the past. What was someone’s pile > of trash of old is now my pile of treasure! But fi” >

  4. What the heck!! That is super cool. Where was that little treasure hiding in the brush?

    I have been down another mystery rabbit hole. The town of Veazie north of Enumclaw. We are looking for it’s first site which was a logging camp along the NPRR. Still looking but we know where it moved to. V2, V3 & V4. It was a moving little thing because of the railroads (two of them) and the changing commodities they sold. Oh Boy!! Such fun

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