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Posts Tagged ‘bridges’

Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, February 18, 1998

Pending rate increase would provide funds for much-needed improvements, say city officials

By Paul Schmidt
The Courier-Herald

Dan DalSanto scans the surrounding landscape after returning from a trip across the Green River over a suspension bridge that carries Black Diamond’s water supply. (Photo by Paul Schmidt)

For years Black Diamond officials have postponed most major improvements to the city’s water system, firm in their hope they would eventually tap into a new, high-capacity, Tacoma-owned water line.

Money spent for a larger reservoir and related components would be redundant, especially with the long-planned Pipeline 5 in the future, its route designed to cut through the middle of town.

So went the thinking, says Public Works Director Dan DalSanto.

Pipeline 5’s future is now in some doubt with the endangered species listing of Puget Sound Chinook salmon. But having waited all these years for the pipeline to arrive, Black Diamond finds itself with a water system fast needing improvements and expanded capacity. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 23, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The town of Fairfax, declared the “prettiest mining town around,” showing the turn-table at the extreme right above center. Mine buildings are in front and the school is on the left. Carbon River runs through the trees at the top or the photo. (Original copy from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Basselli.) Photo courtesy of Steve Meitzler, Heritage Quest Press, Orting, WA., publisher of the book, Carbon River Coal Country.

Riding the Northern Pacific Railroad to the upper end of the Carbon River Canyon or tooling along to Mount Rainier in a Model T, tourists would pass close to three mining towns: Melmont, Fairfax, and Montezuma.

First, beyond Carbonado, was Melmont, situated between the Carbon River and the NPR line. A bridge spanning the Carbon River ran between the company hotel and the saloon with the depot and school on the hillside above. On the left end of the bridge was the road connecting to Fairfax. This bridge was nearly a little beyond the high bridge which spans the canyon today. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 9, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The remodeled company store for the Pacific Coast Coal Co. built around 1890 in Burnett now houses the "Pinch Plum" gift shop.

The remodeled company store for the Pacific Coast Coal Co. built around 1890 in Burnett now houses the “Pinch Plum” gift shop. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

In 1891 the former mining town of Burnett, located about two and a half miles from Wilkeson and 6 miles from Enumclaw, estimated its population at 400 people. Today possibly less than 100 people live in the 32 homes with water hookups. Some of the homes are still the miner’s cottages from the turn of the century when it was an important coal-mining center.

It was situated on the Burnett branch of the Northern Pacific railroad and was sustained by the mines of Pacific Coast Coal Co. that employed around 300 men. There were several business places in upper Burnett, including the company store, which has been remodeled into The Pinch Plum gift shop by Jay and Dailene Argo. Argo, who bought the building in 1977, said he tried to keep the building as authentic as possible. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, September 20, 1908

Track-laying rushed in five different places on Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul in Pacific Northwest

New towns spring up along route

Rich agricultural and fruit districts heretofore remote from traffic opened up to development

1—Columbia River bridge, under construction. 2—Steamboat St. Paul, used in construction of Columbia River bridge. 3—Completed piers of Columbia River bridge. 4—Water wheel furnishing power for sluicing, Snoqualmie Valley. 5—Scene in the timber, Snoqualmie Valley. 6—Flume carrying water to wheel to furnish power for sluicing, Snoqualmie Valley.

1—Columbia River bridge, under construction. 2—Steamboat St. Paul, used in construction of Columbia River bridge. 3—Completed piers of Columbia River bridge. 4—Water wheel furnishing power for sluicing, Snoqualmie Valley. 5—Scene in the timber, Snoqualmie Valley. 6—Flume carrying water to wheel to furnish power for sluicing, Snoqualmie Valley.

Records for fast work in the construction of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway in the Pacific Northwestern states, when the line is finished next year, may, and doubtless will, be found to establish a new mark in the “winning of the West,” to use the phrase employed as the title of one of his most interesting works, by the President of the United States.

A summary of present day conditions on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul may be gained from the following. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, July 28, 1907

(1) Steam shovel making cut at junction of new road with Columbia & Puget Sound line at Maple Valley. (2) Another view of same. This stream will be bridged by a 200-foot steel span. (3) Another view of tunnel, showing northwest end. (4) Piledriver constructing temporary trestle-work in Cedar River bed, two miles from Maple Valley. (5) A cut from which 16,000 cubic yards of earth have been removed. (6) Southeast end of the tunnel, six miles from Maple Valley.

(1) Steam shovel making cut at junction of new road with Columbia & Puget Sound line at Maple Valley. (2) Another view of same. This stream will be bridged by a 200-foot steel span. (3) Another view of tunnel, showing northwest end. (4) Pile driver constructing temporary trestle-work in Cedar River bed, two miles from Maple Valley. (5) A cut from which 16,000 cubic yards of earth have been removed. (6) Southeast end of the tunnel, six miles from Maple Valley.

When one of the greatest common carriers of the country announced its determination to extend its line to the Pacific Coast, with Seattle as its terminal, excitement waxed for the customary nine days and then waned. During that time the land through which it was foreordained the road must pass advanced enormously in value, changed hands countless times, and finally became stably established in price on the market.

The advent of the great road was more or less a matter of futurity, the public was too busily occupied with the immediate present to concern itself with the future and the activities of the road were forgotten. But while the public has neglected to take cognizance of its operations, they have nevertheless been productive of results.

Armies of workmen are scattered along its roadbed for hundreds of miles, its construction work has now been extended to practically the outskirts of the city and it be only a matter of a few months before the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul again commands the attention of the public by sending its first train over the completed road to Seattle.

At Maple Valley, twenty-two miles from Seattle, the construction work has been going on rapidly. The railroad’s efforts are centered on the seven miles intervening between the intake of the Cedar River water system and Maple Valley. Beyond the intake the operations are confined almost entirely to clearing the right of way to North Bend, where the road is also engaged in construction work on a large scale. (more…)

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Maple Valley Historical Society, March 1987

Here’s where me and the railroad got together.

My brother went up to Maple Valley for some reason or other and saw this gang of railroad men working to save the track that was being washed out. Being nosy, he went up to the foreman and asked if they were hiring anybody and he said yes, and get anyone else you can.

He came home and got me and we started work filling gunny sacks with sand at 4:00 p.m. and didn’t stop til 4:00 p.m. the next day. The rain never let up and gunny sacks got hard to get because everyone else needed them too for the same reason we did. We wound up using sacks that had been filled with rock salt and the salt cut our hands making them very sore. We didn’t have the little bags they use nowadays but the 100-pound size which we about two-thirds filled. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, March 31, 1908

Fifteen minutes before a train loaded with 200 passengers would have been on it, the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad bridge across the Cedar River beyond Maple Valley, fell under the burden of a coal train and plunged six cars of coal instead of the cars of human beings into the river.

Had the coal train succeeded in getting across, there is no doubt that the passenger train would have plunged into the river, still swollen by recent floods and no one knows how many lives would have been lost. (more…)

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