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Originally published in the Globe News, May 27, 1976

Black Diamond cemetery

Black Diamond attorney Phillip Biege announced that the historic mining cemetery in Black Diamond will shortly belong to the town of Black Diamond.

“I got a quit claim deed from Palmer Coking Coal Company which is the successor of Pacific Coast Coal Company, the last owners to be recorded on the title report,” said Biege.

Although Evan and Jack Morris, two of the managing partners of Palmer Coking Coal have previously denied any ownership, Carl Falk, another partner, said the company signed the quit claim to “erase any question of our interest or our predecessor’s interest.” Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 21, 1980

A minor disaster on the old Pacific Coast Railroad line between Maple Valley and Taylor. A carload of lumber derailed while approaching a trestle between Sherwood and Walsh Lake stations, dumping its load over the bank next to the trestle and pulling at least one more car into the fracas. The derailed cars can be seen wedged between the edge of the trestle and the lumber lying against the bank. Such incidents were rather commonplace events in old-time railroading, and the somewhat rickety Taylor branch of the Pacific Coast RR was no exception. (Photo courtesy Maple Valley Historical Society)

A minor disaster on the old Pacific Coast Railroad line between Maple Valley and Taylor. A carload of lumber derailed while approaching a trestle between Sherwood and Walsh Lake stations, dumping its load over the bank next to the trestle and pulling at least one more car into the fracas. The derailed cars can be seen wedged between the edge of the trestle and the lumber lying against the bank. Such incidents were rather commonplace events in old-time railroading, and the somewhat rickety Taylor branch of the Pacific Coast RR was no exception. (Photo courtesy Maple Valley Historical Society)

(Editor’s note: The days of the ‘‘Iron Horse” are apparently over for Maple Valley as the railroad line here has nearly fallen into disuse. Following is the concluding article in a three-part series, tracing the history of the once well-known Maple Valley depot.)

By Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher
Installment III

One day early in the ‘40s after operations had ceased on the Taylor branch, Ralph Ozura was on duty at the station.

“Conductor Ward Burt on a Milwaukee train called me from Cedar Falls and said he was coming to Maple Valley to take siding for the passenger train,” Ralph recalls.

“I told him his train was too long to fit in our siding and not to come here, but he did anyway and backed his train up the Taylor branch. It indeed was too long for our siding.

“Now, Mr. Burt was a Milwaukee employee and had no business using the Taylor branch as it was intended only for the use of Pacific Coast trains, and therein lies the story here. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, ca. 1989

A week of pumping by King County has drawn Horseshoe Lake back from foundations, and the sandbag walls put up to protect them. (Photo by Marcus R. Donner)

A week of pumping by King County has drawn Horseshoe Lake back from foundations, and the sandbag walls put up to protect them. (Photo by Marcus R. Donner)

By Danny Westneat

BLACK DIAMOND — Here are the four leading contenders for why tiny Horseshoe Lake more than doubled in size this winter and spring, flooding ten homes:

  • A clay or silt liner placed on the lake bottom several times during the last 10 years prevented water from draining, sort of like a bathtub with the drain plugged;
  • Warm temperatures caused melting of the Carbon Glacier near Mount Rainier, which may feed the lake via a mysterious underground passage;
  • Unusually wet weather in the last two years has raised the water table, causing high volumes of water to seep into the lake from stmounding soil;
  • Angry nature gods decided to punish South King County residents again for trying to live right next to a body of water.

Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 14, 1980

The second Maple Valley depot of the Pacific Coast Railroad. It boasted living quarters upstairs for its employees and their families.

The second Maple Valley depot of the Pacific Coast Railroad. It boasted living quarters upstairs for its employees and their families. (Note curtains in upper windows.) The sign on the express cart reads, “Wells Fargo & Co. Express,” while an enameled sign on the right front or the building advises that this was a “Western Union Telegraph and Cable Office.” A farmer’s milk can sits upon the cart, presumably waiting for the next train to take it to a dairy.

In 1952 after the Great Northern Railway purchased the Pacific Coast, this depot was razed to make way for the present structure in nearly the same location. For our readers who are railroad buffs, the train order signal in front of the building was a two-stage device, the upper arms governing trains from or enroute Cle Elum on Milwaukee tracks, and the lower arm (at about roof level) governing trains enroute Franklin or Black Diamond. (Photo courtesy Jim Bain)

(Editor’s note: The Milwaukee Railroad ran its last train through Maple Valley on March 15 and a significant historical era ended. In the second installment of his series, Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher, recalls the often turbulent past of the Maple Valley depot.)

By Dave Sprau
Installment II

When the Milwaukee stopped running, the dispatchers at Maple Valley had outlived their usefulness.

“There isn’t anything difficult about supervising the movement of one train a day” (a Burlington Northern local), said afternoon dispatcher A.J. McFarland. “When the Milwaukee was running we had many trains to look after and some duties and responsibilities. I hate to say it, but that’s all over now.” Continue Reading »

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, February 1992

Franklin coal mines

Franklin coal mines

In the fall of 1890, a bitter strike was going on in the Franklin mines. The company officials decided to allow a man named T.B. Corey, who was the mine superintendent of the Franklin mines, to recruit strikebreakers from the East. The following is the handbill that was being distributed amongst the out-of-work miners. They were mostly black: Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 17, 2002

By Barbara Nilson

Iver Iverson, Sr. purchased William Wood’s interest in this Red and White Market in 1940 and ran the store and post office with his son, Iver Iverson, Jr. The original Wood and Iverson company store burned in 1935 leaving the feed building pictured here that was used as the grocery store and post office, until it, too, burned in 1943. It was rebuilt in 1946 by Iverson, Jr. The history of the post office will be presented April 28. (Photo from Washington State Archives)

Iver Iverson, Sr. purchased William Wood’s interest in this Red and White Market in 1940 and ran the store and post office with his son, Iver Iverson, Jr. The original Wood and Iverson company store burned in 1935 leaving the feed building pictured here that was used as the grocery store and post office, until it, too, burned in 1943. It was rebuilt in 1946 by Iverson, Jr. The history of the post office will be presented April 28. (Photo from Washington State Archives)

Hobart residents, past and present, will meet Sunday, April 28, 1:30 p.m., at the Hobart Community Church for their annual reunion, sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society. Presenting the program on the history of the Hobart post office will be Warren Iverson and his mother, Dorothy.

The Iverson family has the longest involvement in the Hobart post office, because their husband and father, Iver Christian Iverson, Jr. accepted the position of acting postmaster in 1932. He became postmaster in 1933 and remained until he was forced to retire by mandatory age of 70 in 1972. He died in 1973. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 9, 1972

To the casual passer-by, Iverson’s Food Mart above (plus U.S. post office, gas, and feed) is Hobart itself, but there’s a bit more to it. This greater Maple Valley community has an interesting history dating back to at least 1878. (Staff photos by Lowell Lorenz)

To the casual passer-by, Iverson’s Food Mart above (plus U.S. post office, gas, and feed) is Hobart itself, but there’s a bit more to it. This greater Maple Valley community has an interesting history dating back to at least 1878. (Staff photos by Lowell Lorenz)

By Laura Lorenz

The pastoral community of Hobart has become a suburban bedroom community. It is no longer the hustling, self-contained community it enjoyed some 35 years ago.

Land claims were first filed in 1878 for the area around the present Maple Valley-Hobart cemetery and eastward.

Such names as Sidebottom, McCoy, Clifford, Russell, Peacock, and Dawson are either present in family membership or remembered by old-timers. Continue Reading »

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