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Originally published in the Maple Valley Bugle, December 2015

By D’Ann Tedford

Built in 1891 on Renton-Maple Valley road, the restored W.D. Gibbon General Merchandise store and post office is now located on Witte Road. It is open to the public on the 1st Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. See also http://www.maplevalleyhistorical.com.

Visiting history at Maple Valley Historical Society’s site on Witte Road, one sees the name “Gibbon” prominently displayed on the 124-year-old restored building, “W.D. Gibbon General Merchandise.” In its years, the store also served as Maple Valley’s post office and it held a barbershop, remnants of which are visible during tours.

Gibbon had studied to be an educator but acquired the store that had been built in 1891 on Renton-Maple Valley road. His wife Lizzie had attended Washington Territorial University (now U of W) and became the first school-teacher in Black Diamond, seven miles south of the general store. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 10, 1925

Richard Goodhead, mine foreman at Burnett, has been a miner in this state almost as long as coal has been dug here. He has been with the Pacific Coast Coal Company at Burnett since the mine reopened several years ago, and prior to that time was at Franklin and Hyde mines.

Loyal to the company, and loyal to the men under him, he has built up the reputation of being a “Square-Shooter,” and a practical mining man. Proof of the esteem in which he is held is shown by the fact that his friends all call him “Dick.” (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, December 9, 1906

Never before in the history of Seattle, since it became a municipality, has there been such a dearth of fuel as prevails at this date.

And this statement is true, even though the State of Washington has today more standing timber, more cut lumber, and more wood ready for fuel than any other state in the union.

The coal scarcity is getting to be almost startling. The half dozen companies handling coal in Seattle are becoming dependent upon the output of a single mine—that of the Black Diamond—and a few carloads, or their equivalent, received from British Columbia. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 3, 1925

I’m a coal miner for the same reason that you’re in business. To make a living.

Work in a coal mine is preferable to a job out-of-doors. Neither heat nor cold affect me, and the hazard is less than in railroading or window-washing.

I want my family to live in an American community, where American ideals prevail; where modern schools, churches, and a wholesome community spirit are present.

I want to work where there is not constant friction between employer and employee; where I can get fair play and a square deal.

In the coal mines, the state has one of its greatest natural resources. I want to help develop this industry; that commerce and manufacturing may prosper, and to keep this state free of a foreign fuel dependence.

Work in the coal mines of Washington gives me an opportunity to contribute to the upbuilding of the Pacific Northwest. I spend my money here for food, for clothes, automobiles and radios. You buy the coal which I mine and I’ll continue to add to your wealth as you promote my prosperity.

R.J. Miller
Newcastle coal miner

Washington coal mines expend more than twenty million dollars annually for payrolls and supplies! (more…)

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By JoAnne Matsumura

The Legion Hall, left—later the Roxy Theatre—is now the Chalet. The Liberty Theatre, right, was torn down in 1952. The Enumclaw Police Department anchors the corner today.

Enumclaw in the 1950s was bustling with new growth—businesses were upgrading storefronts and buildings and contractors were building new houses in new developments. In fact, residents were encouraged to invite newcomers, and to fix up, clean up, and beautify Enumclaw from top to bottom.

It happened at the Roxy in the 1950s

Do you remember?

  • The annual John Deere Day show.
  • When Technicolor movies were introduced in 1952.
  • Francis the Talking Mule, starring Donald O’Conner.
  • Has Anybody Seen My Gal? about the “Turbulent Twenties.”
  • Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Jumping Jacks.
  • Spencer Tracy and Gene Tierney in Plymouth Adventure.
  • “Family Night” for $1, regardless of the size of your family.
  • The new wide-screen Cinemascope, installed in 1954.

And the community responded with its well-known community spirit.

The growth spurred a varied entertainment scene throughout the city. The local newspaper covered the features at the theatres, the performers scheduled to entertain at school and church events, invitations to club events, and a host of other exciting activities for young and old alike.

Entertainment, by definition, is an activity that amuses one and thus entertains us with enjoyment, leisure, relaxation, recreation, and diversion from our daily routine. To entertain also entertains us as we entertain others. Amusements can range from a friendly card game to an elegant evening out with your “sweetie.”

But the local theatre was the place to be. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 26, 1925

Pause a moment today to give thanks. Though joyous and festive the day, it is not enough to merely BE thankful, but he who fully appreciates the significance of the event will from a devout heart GIVE thanks.

This expression should not be simply for the abundance of material goods which a bountiful Providence has vouchsafed us, but we should rather thank God for the heritage of a great nation and the opportunities of the present. Give thanks for the Fate which made it possible for you to live in America; give thanks for what the future holds. Then, with a thankful heart, live up to the highest ideals of the nation. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, November 22, 1925

Prosperous town on Naches Pass Highway surrounded by rich agricultural, timber, and mineral lands, is boasting of rapid development

New mill of the White River Lumber Company on the White River, three miles from Enumclaw.

One of the earliest settlements in that part of the state and the only place of that name in the United States, Enumclaw, forty miles southeast of Seattle, is one of the biggest little towns in the West.

Early history and distinctive name, however, are not Enumclaw’s only claims for attention. Thought its early growth was slow, Enumclaw today is counted one of the most prosperous towns in the Puget Sound region. Rich agricultural land, timber, and mineral surround it. It is on the Naches Pass highway, the most direct route between Seattle and the west entrance to Mount Rainier Nation Park. It is the gateway to unlimited scenic attractions, fishing, and hunting grounds. Backup up against the Cascade foothills, Enumclaw is within two hours’ drive of perpetual snow on one side and the waters of Puget Sound on the other. (more…)

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