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Archive for April, 2017

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 23 and 30, 1975

By Laura Lorenz

Modern-day fireman George Raffle, shown above with the moving stock of the Maple Valley Fire Department (King County District 43), is understandably proud of today’s fire station and its equipment. It all started back in 1950 when three citizens went together to sign a $500 note. (Voice photo by Kevin McLellan)

Modern-day fireman George Raffle, shown above with the moving stock of the Maple Valley Fire Department (King County District 43), is understandably proud of today’s fire station and its equipment. It all started back in 1950 when three citizens went together to sign a $500 note. (Voice photo by Kevin McLellan)

The Maple Valley Fire Department grew from a dream to actuality in the spring of 1950 when a $500 note was signed by Joe Mezzavilla, Bill Mitchell, and Frank Sayers to obtain a 1926 Howard Cooper fire engine truck from the city of Blaine, Washington. The remaining one-half of the truck’s cost was gathered by numerous citizens’ donations. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 30, 1975

By Laura Lorenz

Dynamiting shut the portal of Rogers No. 3 coal mine, closing last underground mine in Washington, Ravensdale, 2:30 p.m., December 17, 1975 Photo by Carl G. Falk, Courtesy Palmer Coking Coal Company

Dynamiting shut the portal of Rogers No. 3 coal mine, closing last underground mine in Washington, Ravensdale, 2:30 p.m., December 17, 1975 Photo by Carl G. Falk, Courtesy Palmer Coking Coal Company

Rogers Number 3, the last of the state’s underground coal mines, will stop mining within the next few weeks. A retirement party of eats and dancing last Saturday marked a reduction of almost half of the twenty-man crew.

Carl Falk, office manager for Palmer Coking Coal Company Inc., claims the Ravensdale mine closure is due to economics. Too few contracts and the expense of complying with present day health and safety regulations for such a small operation tipped the scales. The mine puts out only about 20,000 tons of coal annually.

Falk said the retirement of mining operations was determined some years ago as contracts to state institutions declined. One after another have converted to natural gas, using oil as a standby fuel instead of coal. Only three state institutions contract for coal: Monroe State Reformatory, Shelton Correction Center, and the Orting Old Soldiers Home.

“There will be enough coal mined,” said Falk, “to complete contract commitments. The company will continue to market coal for another heating year.” Coal retails at $30.00 a ton on a U-haul basis. (more…)

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Originally published in the Issaquah Press, April 29, 1970

By Gene Woodwick

Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway’s Engine No. 2, the D.H. Gilman, photographed on Independence Day, 1895.

Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway’s Engine No. 2, the D.H. Gilman, photographed on Independence Day, 1895.

The recent merger of the railroads will soon affect the rail system through the Issaquah and Snoqualmie Valleys.

Eighty-one years ago the big news in both valleys was that the railroads were coming through. Now there would be a way to ship the hops, dairy, and forest products to markets and the area could really be opened for settlement.

In 1885 the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad company was formed by some citizens in Seattle, headed by Daniel Heine Gilman. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 29, 1921

Man using an axe to destroy a vat of alcohol, ca. 1925. (University of Washington Special Collections.)

Man using an axe to destroy a vat of alcohol, ca. 1925. (University of Washington Special Collections.)

Deputy sheriffs this noon raided the farm of Tony Susnar, eight miles from Black Diamond on the old Auburn-Black Diamond road, and found a ten-gallon still in operation.

Susnar was arrested and 100 gallons of mash were seized, together with a quart of moonshine whiskey. The mash was destroyed.

Susnar’s wife ran to an outhouse when the deputies approached the place and kicked over a quantity of completed product. The deputies allowed the still to operate during their search, the quart they held as evidence being distilled while they were there.

Susnar was taken to the county jail and the still and other evidence were locked in his vault by Sheriff Matt Starwich.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 27, 1977

Another boat that will be competing in the Cedar River classic as part of Maple Valley Day, June 4, will be the TRM Wood Products craft shown above. It will be manned by:

  • Jim Thompson: A welder from Hobart, Thompson won a third place in 1973 with Dale Huselton, a third place in 1974 with Bob Morris, and a fifth place in 1975 with Jim Bain. In 1976 he entered the sprint race with Lee Reichert. Thompson’s hobbies are arts and skiing. How does he like boat racing? ”Exciting, competitive. I enjoy it very much. The prize is really at the finish line, just making it down those 11 miles.”
  • Bob Morris: A self-employed resident of Black Diamond, Morris finished third in 1974 with Jim Thompson, second in 1975 with Bill Kombol, and third in 1976 with Bill Kombol. He enjoys baseball, fishing, hunting, and alumni football. “I’ve been living here all my life watching this race and finally got into it and now I really enjoy it,” he says. “It’s a real outstanding sport … bringing the community together.”

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1923

On the front cover of the Pacific Coast Bulletin this week is reproduced a remarkable photograph of a man trip, just as it starts down the slope of Black Diamond Mine with a crew going on the graveyard shift. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 25, 1929

Sixty-six years ago next fall “Ed” Henderson sighted an imaginary line across the foothills of the Cascade Mountains which revealed one of the cornerstones of community and industrial progress in the Pacific Northwest. Engaged in surveying, he became the discoverer of an extensive coal field from the various developments of which millions of tons of coal have been poured into the uses of commerce during the last half-century.

The only commercial coal produced in the Pacific States is mined within a radius of seventy miles from this discovery, and therefore it commands an extensive market. Next to lumber it is the most enriching natural wealth of the region, the annual output being normally about 2,500,000 tons. (more…)

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