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Posts Tagged ‘Cascade Mountains’

Originally published in the Voice of Valley, May 16, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

In 1920 Fred Habenicht, holding a hand saw, supervised the unloading of the new hydraulic mine motor vehicle or pulling loaded mine cars from water level tunnel to the Continental Coal Co. bunker (in the background). It replaced mules in the mine. Miners are: 18-year-old Vern Habenicht; Bob Kingen Sr., Frenchy Ferdinand Maigre; Evor Morgan, holding the chain; and onlooker Bill Baldwin. (Photo—Habenicht collection from Ravensdale Reflections book)

Before the turn of the 20th century, coal seams ran from the shores of Lake Washington to the foot of the Cascade mountains leading to the establishment of towns at the mine sites, some of which are still in existence, i.e., Renton, Black Diamond, Cumberland, Issaquah, Wilkeson, and Ravensdale. Some linger in memory only, i.e., Franklin, Elk, Bayne, Durham, Danville, Eddyville, Taylor, and Landsburg.

From the year 1888 through 1967, there were an amazing 232 coal seams being tapped in King County and operated by 157 different companies. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 1, 1991

Rural stronghold faces onslaught of new building

By John H. Stevens
Times South bureau

Some Black Diamond residents wonder if development is compatible with the area’s coal mining operations. Chien-Chi Chang/Seattle Times

BLACK DIAMOND—This sleepy little town in the Cascade foothills is about to have a population explosion, and Robert Murphy knows why.

Murphy, a Seattle homebuilder, has come all the way out here to put up six houses in the middle of town because the lots are cheap, and the Black Diamond government receptive.

“It doesn’t take any time at all to get a permit here,” Murphy says. “It’s one of the last receptive areas to growth in King County—a little oasis.” (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, February 27, 1991

Open-pit excavations may take county refuse

By Charles Aweeka
Times South bureau

Trucks at the Pacific Coast Coal Co. wait to haul fine coal to Ravensdale where it will be loaded onto railroad cars and shipped to various locations locally and abroad. (Chien-Chi Chang/Seattle Times)

BLACK DIAMOND — One hundred and fifty feet below the earth’s surface, the coal in John Henry No. 1 Mine crunched beneath our mud-caked boots and shimmered in the sunshine.

“The blacker and shinier it is, the better it is,” said Mark Abernathy, business manager for the Pacific Coast Coal Co., which started the open-pit coal mine in 1986.

We were standing on what Abernathy calls a humpback because it resembles the back of a whale but what actually was the base of a 50-foot-wide seam of coal.

The mine may take on a new purpose soon.

Once the excavation reaches a depth of 250 feet, the Pacific Coast Coal Co. and John Henry Reclamation Inc. have proposed to use the pit as a landfill for King County construction, demolition and land-clearing debris.

The mining will go on simultaneously in another area of the pit, say the owners. (more…)

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Originally published in the News Journal, January 23, 1980

Story and photos by Bruce Rommel

Black Diamond sits nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades.

Once hundreds of men worked the strip mines, producing coal, the “black diamond” which powered the railroads, fueled industry, and heated our homes.

Walking the quiet streets of Black Diamond today, one finds only the reminders of those days when this community was a booming company town.

Nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades, Black Diamond and nearby Franklin once boasted a population of more than 5,000. All that remains of Franklin today are a few house foundations scattered along hillsides. And in 1979 Black Diamond is a town with about 1,100 residents, about 50 less citizens than a decade ago. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, January 10, 1906

Information secured by Milwaukee railroad from engineering crews now indicates that route is best

Surveyors kept in the mountains and are continuing investigations of all possible means of reaching coast

Heavy snows retarding final examination and definite announcement cannot be made until all reports are in

The Milwaukee railroad will use, according to indications, Snoqualmie Pass in crossing the Cascade Mountains, entering Seattle by way of the Cedar River Valley. If this route is finally accepted by the Milwaukee the new transcontinental line will parallel the Columbia & Puget Sound from Maple Valley into Seattle. (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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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, November 13, 1996

By Casey Olson
The Courier-Herald

No video tape in the world could hold the rich history of the Black Diamond community.

There is just too much of it.

But give Bob Eaton and Micki Ryan a lot of credit. The pair is undertaking the mission impossible and attempting to put together the first-ever video history of the history-rich town.

They’ve found the task fascinating and time consuming.

The coal mining industry brought immigrants from all around the world to the tiny hamlet nestled in the Cascade foothills during the late 1800s and early 1900s, turning the quiet community into a bustling city. Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Germans, Hungarians, and Irish were blended together every day, a clash of cultures that helped form the modern day community of Black Diamond. (more…)

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