The Holden Mine site is located in the remote Railroad Creek Valley on the eastern slope of the North Cascades in the Lake Chelan area of Washington State, an area which is frequently referred to as the "Switzerland of America." From discovery to production and beyond, this is the story of a mining camp that would not become a ghost town.

Discovery to Production




Mine Closing

View Photos from Holden

My family moved to Holden in 1937, I attended grade school in the two-room school house, and graduated with an 8th grade class of eight in 1944. The company offered summer employment to all employee's children over age 16, and my job was "slinging hash" in the Mess Hall where meals were served to 150 hungry miners. I moved from Holden a few years before the mine closed, have attended two reunions, and publish an occasional newsletter which is mailed to 400 "Holdenites" and serves to keep a scattered community in touch. Growing up in this unique community, where neighbors were like family, gave me cherished memories.
Thanks to Nigel Adams, Ph.D., who researched and wrote an extensive account of the development of the Holden Mine (The Holden Mine: Discovery to Production 1896-1938) as part of his work toward a doctoral degree in history at the University of Washington. Nigel grew up in Holden and was a major force in organizing "Miner Reunions" after the mine closed. Nigel was working on a second book about the production years at Holden; unfortunately, he died in 1990 before the book was completed.

Patty (Haddon) Tappan