Winding up the tree lined mountain road which is ten miles north of the Rainier National Forest entrance on Hwy. 165, is the beautifully situated town of Carbonado, Washington. Once a booming coal mining town which was founded in 1880, our town grew in population to over one thousand people by 1900.
Today Carbonado is a small bedroom community of approximately six hundred people. Carbonado is rich in history through the lives of family members who echo the steps of their forefathers who lived here, raised their families in and about these same streets and who mined the hills of Carbonado. One is amazed that once there were stores, a hospital, a dance hall, and a hotel that supported the day in and day out existence of a hard working, deep loving people who worked out their living by laboring far down into the earth in coal- tunnels that yet remain under our present town.
In 1889, many of our Carbonado men, young and old, were killed in
a mine explosion leaving families without father or brother, husband and child. Only 2% of the coal in this area was claimed during the
eighty years of coal mining in Carbonado. The coal was used to drive pig iron mills in Tacoma. During the 1930's, oil became more of an energy resource and the use of coal began to diminish. In 1974, mining regulations required phone lines to be installed and because of the costs involved, the mines were closed.
Though Carbonado is a small community, within its borders is the Carbonado Historical School (founded: 1878) for grades Kindergarten-8th grade, a post office, community church, town hall, cemetery, and an active volunteer Fire Department.