Posts Tagged ‘boarding houses’

Originally published in the Issaquah Press, April 4, 1990

Taken in the 1890s, these photos depict a family separated by tragedy. Theodore Fournier, right, had been married only five months when he was killed in a mine disaster at Newcastle. His wife, Frances Craig Fournier, center, was pregnant at the time. Fournier never saw his only child, Esilda, left. Despite the loss, the family remained united, and all Esilda’s children still live in the Newcastle and Issaquah areas. Photos courtesy of John Swanson.

Perhaps no local family sums up the hardships, the ethnic heritage, and the joys of living in Newcastle the way the Fourniers do. Although not many still carry the family name, the spirit of the Fourniers lives on in many local residents. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, August 1999

By Lynda Maks

My father, Joseph Dal Santo, was born in 1885 in Sehio, Italy, and came to the U.S. around 1911. My mother, Anna Respleux, was born in 1896, in Wilkeson, Washington. They met at a boarding house in Black Diamond, which was run by my mother’s aunt and uncle, Joe and Mary Favro. They were married in August of 1914.

They had 8 children: Jules was born in 1916 in BD, Angeline (1917) in Cle Elum, and Alice (1918) in BD, who passed away with the flu in 1919. They then moved to Renton where they had Lynda (1920), Leo (1922), John (1924), and Joe (1925). They moved back to Black Diamond in 1930 so my dad could work for Pacific Coast Coal Company—you had to live in Black Diamond and live in their houses to work for them. You all know the song, “You Owe Your Soul to the Company Store”—that’s the way it was. My brother Roy was born in 1931. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 18, 1924

July Fourth was a big day for Black Diamond coal and Diamond Briquets at Sedro-Woolley. On that occasion W.E. Ropes of Ropes Transfer carried off first prize in the patriotic parade with the float shown in the above engraving. Mr. Ropes has been operating in Sedro-Woolley for 14 years and he handles Pacific Coast Coal Company coals exclusively.

Some fine specimens of Black Diamond lump coal were arranged along the top of the float just under the slogan, “Heat That’s Cheap,” while along the sides appeared the word “Briquets,” spelled out with genuine Diamond Briquets themselves.

On the same day in Everett the Pacific Coast Coal Company agency there also won first prize with a beautifully decorated float, a reproduction of which appears elsewhere in this issue of the Bulletin. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 7, 1979

(This is the second in a series of feature articles written by students in Tahoma’s Beginning Journalism class. Steve Eichelberger, a senior, lives in Hobart where he became acquainted with Dorothy Iverson. She remembers when her small community housed the largest lumber mill in the Northwest.)

By Steve Eichelberger

Dorothy Iverson and her son, Warren, at their Hobart store. Dorothy remembers Hobart in the days of its lumber mill and the Hobart Bunk-Hotel.

Dorothy Iverson and her son, Warren, at their Hobart store. Dorothy remembers Hobart in the days of its lumber mill and the Hobart Bunk-Hotel.

For many years, Dorothy Iverson was a homemaker.

“Women didn’t work in those days,” she said about her early life in Hobart. Mrs. Iverson was born in Seattle where she lived with her three older brothers and three younger sisters before moving to Hobart while in the seventh grade.

She remains there today where she still helps operate the Hobart store.

Mrs. Iverson attended school in what is now the Hobart Grange and graduated from Tahoma, where she had been editor of the high school newspaper and class valedictorian.

She attended Wilson Business College in Seattle and after graduation was a secretary in Seattle for four years.

She married the late Iver Iverson in 1933 and they set up housekeeping in Hobart. Iver was employed at his father’s grocery store, the “Wood and Iverson Grocery Store,” where he continued to work until it burned in 1939. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS’s The Bugle, November 1996

Dear Bugle and Maple Valley Historical Society:
I might be able to give a little more history of Maple Valley and Hobart. Hobart was where the Sidebothams finally homesteaded or staked their claim to live.

I am not sure who came into the area first, Sidebothams or Peacocks—a few generations passed before it got to me. I would be the last to carry the Sidebotham name until my sons came along. I married Erma Lissman, graduate of Renton High School and a native of Roundup, Montana. We have four grown kids. I moved from Hobart fourteen miles to Kennydale.

Pacific Coast Railroad No. 12 leads eastbound freight at Hobart, ca. 1942.

Pacific Coast Railroad No. 12 leads eastbound freight at Hobart, ca. 1942.

Hobart and Maple Valley were just four miles apart, then (going east) came the town of Taylor. The town of Kerriston was the last little settlement or community in the timber.

Hobart thrived on logging. Wood & Iverson had a sawmill, a company store, and a bunkhouse that housed (board and room) about 100 loggers. There were three rows of company houses for loggers and families to live in. Many people had a little stump ranch with a few livestock, worked at the mill or logging camp, and went to Alaska for the fishing season for salmon. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 17, 1986

By Jim Simon

You load sixteen tons and what do you get,
Another day older and deeper in debt,
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store.

“Sixteen Tons,” by Merle Travis

It has become part of our folklore: the brutal, indentured existence of miners and millworkers eking out a living in sooty company towns. We all know it was a life of oppression.

But don’t tell that to Edna Crews. (more…)

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