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Archive for April 30th, 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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