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Archive for January, 2017

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 25, 2014

By Bill Kombol

This remarkable photo shows an excavated coal seam in the Franklin Hill area east of Black Diamond during the late 1940s.

This remarkable photo shows an excavated coal seam in the Franklin Hill area east of Black Diamond during the late 1940s.

Franklin was a coal mining town founded in 1885 near the Green River Gorge. Mining progressed rapidly following extension of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad through Maple Valley, past Black Diamond, and to this remote town site.

Underground mining continued on a large scale until depressed coal prices at the end of World War I caused the last significant mine in Franklin to shut down. Most residents left though a few remained behind by farming or traveling to jobs elsewhere. During World War II the Franklin No. 7 mine reopened, but closed right after the war.

Using surplus heavy equipment from the war, a new breed of miners began surface coal extraction as shown in this photo, the Franklin #12, better known as the Fulton seam, was mined from the surface over 100 feet deep. The two cables near the top of the photo were used to operate a drag line which pulled loose coal from where the lone miner is standing below.

The Fulton seam, like most in the series of seventeen Franklin coal seams, dipped at a significant angle which complicated mining efforts.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 30, 1974

State Rep. Kent Pullen (R-47th Dist.) has introduced a bill which would subject the creation of Cascade County to a vote of the people. His proposal, House Bill 1425, calls for a vote to be taken during the November 1975 general election to decide the issue of whether a new county should be carved out of rural east King County. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, January 27, 1918

Report on flood damage made to King County commissioners by Engineer Humes

It will cost $60,000 to repair damage done to the bridges of King County by the recent two floods, County Engineer Samuel J. Humes yesterday advised the Board of County Commissioners. He said a survey of all the damaged bridges have been completed and that in his estimate of the restoration cost he included 73 feet of trestle to be built as an emergency measure to replace the stretch of the Renton-Maple Valley road washed out by the Cedar River. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 27, 1957

By Lucile McDonald

An almost forgotten structure on the White River is shown in part in the Page 1 color illustration of today’s Magazine Section. It is a drift barrier of concrete piers and cables, built some 40 years ago in an effort to prevent driftwood jams and control floods. The barrier is in the Muckleshoot Reservation, southeast of Auburn. It is reached by way of a road between Newaukum and the Academy District.

An almost forgotten structure on the White River is shown in part in the Page 1 color illustration of today’s Magazine Section. It is a drift barrier of concrete piers and cables, built some 40 years ago in an effort to prevent driftwood jams and control floods. The barrier is in the Muckleshoot Reservation, southeast of Auburn. It is reached by way of a road between Newaukum and the Academy District.

Washington has a river which nobody wanted … the White.

Today the White River’s waters pour into Puget Sound through a channel 20 miles shorter than the one it followed for untold centuries.

Until 1906 the stream flowed northward into the Green River, thence to the Duwamish and the “salt chuck.” Today it empties into the Puyallup, at Sumner, by way of the Stuck—a river which, technically speaking, has disappeared, although its name still is used by Auburn residents and appears on a state-highway bridge.

All of these rivers were once parts of the same great basin, its fingers extending into the mountain valleys. The land, built up by glacial action, eroded easily and the stream channels, made when the area was emerging from the sea, were unstable and sinuous. In flood seasons they sprawled out of banks.

The White River, with its deep mountain canyon and drift jams, was especially menacing and farmers had no love for it. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 28, 2014

By Bill Kombol

Mine No. 7 opened in 1893 and produced coal until 1907. It was later reopened during World War II, closing for good in 1946.

Mine No. 7 opened in 1893 and produced coal until 1907. It was later reopened during World War II, closing for good in 1946.

This impressive photo shows Franklin mine No. 7 on February 19, 1902. The mine was located on the north slope of Franklin Hill, about one mile from the main town of Franklin.

It was served by the Bruce Branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, which paralleled the Green River Gorge Road and ended just south of Lake Twelve.

The mine opened in 1893. It was sunk 3,185 feet along a slope with a 30° pitch, with coal extracted from eight underground levels. It reached a depth of 1,046 feet, or about 150 feet below sea level.

The mine produced coal until 1907 when it was shut down and the rails taken up. During the early years of World War II, the mine was re-opened by Pacific Coast Coal Co. and later operated by the Strain Coal Co. The mine was permanently closed by Pacific Coast Coal on August 1, 1946.

This Curtis and Romans photo, number 1050, comes courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 26, 1977

Maple Valley’s historic community hall (above) could receive a face lifting in the near future if present plans being worked out by a Community Club Task Force and officers of the Greater Maple Valley Community Center bear fruit.

Maple Valley’s historic community hall (above) could receive a face lifting in the near future if present plans being worked out by a Community Club Task Force and officers of the Greater Maple Valley Community Center bear fruit.

The perennial question of where to build a community center in Maple Valley has returned to plague everyone concerned now that the main problem of funding has apparently been solved. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maplevalley Messenger, January 25, 1923

Sylvia G. Webb appointed to postmastership here—office now being rushed to completion

The Maple Valley Historical Society’s W.D. Gibbon store and post office museum, 22024 SE 248th St, Maple Valley.

The Maple Valley Historical Society’s W.D. Gibbon store and post office museum, 22024 SE 248th St, Maple Valley.

Mrs. Sylvia G. Webb, who was recently appointed postmistress at Maplevalley, will take office about February 1, or as soon as the new post office is ready.

W.D. Gibbon resigned the postmastership last June after thirty-one years in the postal service, in order to devote more time to his business.

Call for civil service examinations tailed to meet with any response, with the result that the department was forced to make an appointment.

The new post office will be located next to Gibbon’s store and is now being rushed to completion. W.A. Burtenshaw is doing the general carpenter work.

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