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Posts Tagged ‘4 Corners’

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, September 4, 1987

By Debra Nelson

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Coal mining… the words evoke images of dark mine shafts, dynamite, and hardy men, exhausted from the hazards of blasting the mineral from deep within the earth, ravaged by black lung disease.

The old folk song “Sixteen Tons” tells that story—of men who rarely saw the sun and whose blood and sweat made coal the major industry in the Black Diamond region until the 1920s.

But those were the “good old days” of coal mining and, fortunately, the industry has undergone radical changes. For one thing, today’s miners work above ground, in the hot summer sun and the cold winter rain.

This Labor Day weekend, Black Diamond looks back at the old days, remembering those pioneers and miners who settled the town. The festivities include the kind of fun and games many pioneer kids enjoyed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 5, 1978

Only rubble was left in the aftermath of a spectacular fire which destroyed the Four Corners Trading Post last Wednesday. – Courtesy Pony Photo

Only rubble was left in the aftermath of a spectacular fire which destroyed the Four Corners Trading Post last Wednesday. – Courtesy Pony Photo

A well-known landmark on the Kent-Kangley Road near Highway 169 was lost last Wednesday afternoon when the Four Corners Trading Post was destroyed in a spectacular fire.

The owner, Jim Junivicz, was working in a nearby shed when he noticed fire in the back of the main building and called the fire department. When firemen arrived on the scene, the building was fully involved, with flames and smoke shooting more than fifty feet into the air. (more…)

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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 Voice of the Valley, April 19, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This Ravensdale school building was built in 1904, likely incorporating the old school as the front wing.

This Ravensdale school building was built in 1904, likely incorporating the old school as the front wing.

The Ravensdale school district was created in 1892. The first one-room school was constructed in 1893 housing 16 students, but was designed for 36. A local sawmill provided jobs, as school enrollment ebbed and flowed with mill employment. However, the area wasn’t yet known as Ravensdale, it was just called District #109. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 16, 1992

By Barbara Nilson

Valley Daily News graphic by Steve Nolan.

Valley Daily News graphic by Steve Nolan.

“In order to receive enabling legislation for Cedar County,” said David Fields, spokesman, “we had to name an incorporated city as the county seat so we selected Black Diamond.”

The Black Diamond City Council met Sept. 3 to discuss the proposal and voted unanimously that they would be glad to consider the proposition. “Of course,” said Mayor Howard Botts, “it all hinges on whether Cedar County becomes a reality.”

The official view, according to Mayor Botts, is that the city is neutral on the new county, neither opposing it nor promoting it.

“We’re certainly looking at it with interest,” he said. “It would mean a big change in Black Diamond.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 19, 1972

By Laura Lorenz

Close to 300 Maple Valley and Black Diamond citizens met April 13 at the Tahoma Junior High School to discuss this area’s land use zoning problems and to contribute their opinions on how the future updated code should be developed.

The orderly and highly interested gathering came up with the general feeling, “Let’s keep it like it is.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 18, 1973

By Cathy Clouston

The dream-like prices listed outside the abandoned and soon to be demolished 4 Corners 76 station are unlikely to ever come again according to Louie Duett, manager of 4 Corners Exxon. Duett blames the steadily rising cost of living.

The dream-like prices listed outside the abandoned and soon to be demolished 4 Corners 76 station are unlikely to ever come again according to Louie Duett, manager of 4 Corners Exxon. Duett blames the steadily rising cost of living.

The current gas shortage has hit local station dealers hard, leaving some bitter toward their respective oil companies who, they feel, could have given them more warning of their reduced supply.

Stations began receiving notices of cuts in gas allowances this May—“quite a shot out of the blue,” according to Stew Minarsich of Wilderness Chevron, “when only a few weeks before the company had continued to urge promotional items that would increase the sale of gas.”

Wilderness Arco’s notice, received May 14, was retroactive to May 1. Since trucks began delivering gas to stations on the first of the month, it left Manager Fletcher Richardson in a bind for two weeks until his June supplies came in.

One station manager doesn’t believe there is an actual gas shortage. “We have the same facilities for handling gas as last year, the same refineries, the same amount of imported oil, but we do have fewer stations. My company closed 21 stations in Seattle alone last year and opened only four new ones.

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