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Archive for March, 2017

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 31, 1976

State Highway Department diagram showing planned improvements at the intersection of State Highway 18 and the Kent-Kangley Road as well as re-routing proposal for traffic on Covington Road.

State Highway Department diagram showing planned improvements at the intersection of State Highway 18 and the Kent-Kangley Road as well as re-routing proposal for traffic on Covington Road.

The State Highway Department plans construction this year of interim improvements to upgrade safety factors at the intersection of State Highways 18 and 516 (Kent-Kangley Road) east of Kent and south of Maple Valley.

A traffic-actuated signal system and the re-routing of traffic on Covington Road are the principal features of the project (see above diagram). (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 30, 1977

By George and Dianne Wilson

The 1947 Ford fire truck in front of the fire station on Baker Street, now Fire Station #99, in 1969. (Photo courtesy of Keith Timm, Sr.)

The 1947 Ford fire truck in front of the fire station on Baker Street, now Fire Station #99, in 1969. (Photo courtesy of Keith Timm, Sr.)

Black Diamond has an all-volunteer fire department. Unfortunately many of us do not fully appreciate what this means or represents in terms of effort. All-volunteer means exactly that. No one is paid, not even the chief. In a fascinating telephone interview with Fire Chief Chuck Capone, we learned this fact and more about the Black Diamond Fire Department.

The city council appoints the chief and assistant fire chief, Capone and Jules Dal Santo, who are aided in turn by Chief Deputy John Bukaskey. The basic equipment and uniforms are provided through the city budget plus some extras which are not essential but are desirable. (more…)

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Editorial comment by Bill Ziegner, publisher the Voice of the Valley, March 30, 1977

Can Maple Valley’s narrow two-lane highways handle the increased traffic that the Brandt development and others will generate? This is the question being asked by Backward Thrust and other local groups as the controversy continues over Water District 108’s plan to cross the Cedar River.

Can Maple Valley’s narrow two-lane highways handle the increased traffic that the Brandt development and others will generate? This is the question being asked by Backward Thrust and other local groups as the controversy continues over Water District 108’s plan to cross the Cedar River.

We agree with a statement made before a hearing of the King County Boundary Review Board by Representative Marion Sherman earlier this month, in which she said…

“I resent and deplore the encouraging of people to live far from their place of work, to use fast-dwindling supplies of gas and oil to commute on over-crowded highways. The only way in or out of Maple Valley is by a two-lane highway. Anyone in government who contributes to this haphazard development should bear the responsibility of explaining why.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 29, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

Pacosco, as it is now called, was formerly Franklin. This district was first opened on the banks of Green River on the McKay Coal Seam about 1885. The railroad was extended from Black Diamond in order to develop this coal area.

Originally, Franklin Mine was opened by a drift driven on the McKay Coal at bunker level above the old railroad grade. Later a water level gangway was driven from the edge of Green River and the coal hoisted up an incline on the surface and dumped over the same tipple as that from the upper level. Later a slope was sunk on another bed which underlies the McKay and all of the coal below the original bunker level was hauled through this opening.

Numerous slopes were sunk at Franklin and also one shaft was developed. Most of the coal was mined from the McKay Bed but some was also mined from two underlying beds, the Number Twelve and the Number Ten. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 29, 1923

Mouth of the drift entrance to the Superior Mine located west of Issaquah near Tibbetts Creek, circa 1911-1912. The mine properties were subsequently purchased by Pacific Coast Coal Co.

Mouth of the drift entrance to the Superior Mine located west of Issaquah near Tibbetts Creek, circa 1911-1912. The mine properties were subsequently purchased by Pacific Coast Coal Co.

Before a special meeting of the Mine Council at Issaquah Wednesday, March 21, announcement was made of the company’s decision to temporarily suspend operations at Issaquah Mine. Plans were also outlined for the keeping intact of the Issaquah organization, so that when the mine reopens later in the summer, practically the entire crew may be available.

Following the council session, the council adjourned to the lobby of the hotel where all employees had been invited to an open meeting, and there the situation was explained to the camp as a whole. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 29, 1923

coal-dealersComing from Medford, Oregon, on the south and from the Canadian line on the north and from Spokane and the towns of the Big Bend and Palouse country to the east, some 150 coal dealers of Oregon and Washington, gathered in Seattle as guests of the Pacific Coast Coal Company last Thursday, visiting the mines at Newcastle, Black Diamond, and Burnett and the Briquet Plant as well. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 1, 2014

By Bill Kombol

This photo by Vic Condiotty shows the explosion seconds after the detonation which shuttered the mine and destroyed the bridge.

This photo by Vic Condiotty shows the explosion seconds after the detonation which shuttered the mine and destroyed the bridge.

On March 27, 1971, the last coal mine on the Green River Gorge was blasted shut with powerful explosives supplied by a division of Rocket Research based in Redmond.

Coal miners, company officials, explosive experts, and the press gathered on the banks of the Green River as 900 pounds of the experimental dynamite, called Astrolite K, was placed inside the mine portal and on the mine bridge across the river.

Coal was first extracted near the Green River in 1885 at the town of Franklin. Mining boomed until the early 1920s, and continued sporadically through the 1960s. The Franklin No. 10 mine was opened by Palmer Coking Coal Company in 1964 and produced over 66,000 tons of coal during its seven years of operation. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maplevalley Messenger, March 23, 1922

Pacific Coast Co. is responsible for further delay in getting bridge built

Pacific Coast Co. logo, ca. 1950

Pacific Coast Co. logo, ca. 1950

A brand new reason for delaying the start of construction work on the proposed overhead bridge across the Milwaukee Railroad at Maplevalley has again held up the contract for the past four weeks.

It has been discovered now that the Pacific Coast Railroad owns a portion of the right-of-way and that the Milwaukee only has an easement through the property. A three-way contract is therefore necessary between the county, the Milwaukee, and the Pacific Coast Company, before work on the bridge can proceed.

This new contract is now in the hands of the Pacific Coast officials awaiting their signature. When signed by them it will be returned to the County Commissioners for their official approval.

It has been learned unofficially by the Messenger that the Milwaukee has issued its appropriation for the work and railroad men have been notified that the bridge is to be put in at once.

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, June 2015

The mystery photo in the last Bugle was Belleman’s station.

The mystery photo in the last Bugle was Belleman’s station.

Gary Habenict nailed it and then added some info we didn’t know.

The picture in the last issue of the Bugle, Belleman’s gas station and café at Four Corners—or back then, Five Corners—1946-1948, maybe.

Mine office across the street. Looking north on Maple Valley Highway, the toll lead, with eight cross arms of copper wire, went from Seattle through Stampede Pass to Yakima. A red flashing stoplight for east-west traffic and a flashing yellow for the main highway, now SR-169.

Belleman sold to Ray Spurgeon who operated the station and café for several years. Now it’s a Shop Fast store with lights and turn lanes everywhere. In 1946 you could come to the corner, stop … maybe, and not encounter another car, depending what time it was.

The snow was very typical for winters back then.

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, March 21, 1926

Leaders and guardians make addresses at meeting aboard Camaraderie and Prof. E.R. Guthrie delivers lecture

Already twice winners of the silver cup offered by the Pacific Coast Coal Company to the team of Camp Fire Girls doing the best first aid mine rescue work, the five Newcastle girls in the photograph are prepared to defend their honors this summer and incidentally clinch permanent possession of the cup by a third annual victory. They are (left to right): Thelma Kelly, Muriel Morgan, Mona Kelly (captain), Helen Richardson, and Louise Martin.

Already twice winners of the silver cup offered by the Pacific Coast Coal Company to the team of Camp Fire Girls doing the best first aid mine rescue work, the five Newcastle girls in the photograph are prepared to defend their honors this summer and incidentally clinch permanent possession of the cup by a third annual victory. They are (left to right): Thelma Kelly, Muriel Morgan, Mona Kelly (captain), Helen Richardson, and Louise Martin.

That a Camp Fire Girl’s duty to her community is to urge her parents and neighbors to register and vote at the regular municipal election, was one of the points brought out at the girls’ session of the Fourth Annual Northwest Conference of Camp Fire Girls held aboard Camaraderie, yesterday. (more…)

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