Old stock certificate from the Alaska Coal Company
issued in 1891. This RARE (only 2 known) historic document was printed by Crocker's Print Company in San Francisco and has an
ornate border around it with the company's name on top center. This item has the signatures of the Company’s President, W.H. Eastland and Secretary, S. M. Eastland. This is the first time we have had this company's certificate for sale on our website.
The Alaska Coal Company, incorporated December 26, 1889, under the laws of California, with a capital stock of $2,000,000, distributed among 89 stockholders in shares of a par value of $10 each. In 1891 the officers were W. H. Eastland, president; J. A. Bradley, vice-president; S. M. Eastland, secretary, and the California Safe Deposit and Trust Company, treasurer.
In 1888, the Alaska Coal Company began what was probably the first coal mining on the north shore of Kachemak Bay. Their operations, it is said, consisted in driving a tunnel on the Bradley seam near Fritz Creek, 6 miles north of Homer. It is not known how much work was done or whether any coal was shipped. The tunnel caved in long ago.
Lieut. K. P. Schwerin, U. S. Navy, on behalf of New York parties, took 200 tons from Kachemak Bay in 1891. This coal was shipped to San Francisco and submitted to a series of tests, the results of which are given on page 71. The results were not sufficiently satisfactory to warrant the development of the field under existing difficulties.
In December, 1894, the North Pacific Mining and Transportation Company began exploration in Eastland Canyon, almost 14 miles northeast of Homer, under the supervision of M. B. Curtis. Three buildings and a short pier were erected at the mouth of the canyon, and a tramway was constructed from the pier to a tunnel driven on a coal seam half a mile up the canyon. The buildings are still standing, but the tramway, which follows the east bank of the creek, is undermined in many places. At least 650 tons of coal were taken out and sent to San Francisco to be tested.
This company and the Alaska Coal Company continued prospecting in Eastland and McNeil canyons from 1894 to 1897. During this time two short tunnels were driven on a 4-foot coal seam 400 yards west of McNeil Canyon and 45 feet above the beach. This is called the Curtis seam. A short wharf and coal bins were built and still remain, though in a dilapidated condition. The horizontal dark bands seen in
"Portlock, Nathaniel, A Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America, London, 1789, pp. 104-110.