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Archive for January 30th, 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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