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Coke Oven Park

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2010

Location: Pierce County

The coke ovens are the only evidence left to tell Pierce County’s coal industry story of the boom time in “uptown” Wilkeson. Production began in 1885 when the Tacoma Coal & Coke Co. built the first 25 beehive coke ovens at Wilkeson and peaked in 1916 when it reached a maximum of 125,872 tons with shipments to ports as far as San Francisco and Alaska. After production terminated in 1937 following years of steady declines, mine shafts were sealed, and other buildings were removed. Listed in the local, state and national registers, the remaining coke ovens are threatened with lack of protection from vandalism, neglect and vegetation overgrowth.