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Posts Tagged ‘Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad’

Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 2, 1908

By “W.T.P.”

Suppose you were a policeman with a beat of 700 square miles.

Suppose this included sixteen coal mining towns, where the rough element predominated, and fights, murders, and all sorts of crimes succeeded each other so rapidly that you hardly had a breathing space between.

Suppose you were the only officer of the law in all this district, and that your hours were from 8 o’clock every morning, including Sunday, to 8 o’clock the next.

Suppose your duties had thrown you into desperate fights, open revolver battles, chases that lasted for days at a time through the seemingly trackless woods, and that a dozen times you had been within an inch of your life.

If you could meet all these conditions you would be the counterpart of Matt Starwich, deputy sheriff for the district of Ravensdale, and you would be an “every-day hero.” There are few people in the county who have more deeds of heroism to their credit than this same Matt Starwich. (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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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, Summer 2018

By William Kombol

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

This spring photographer Bob Dobson stumbled upon a short section of railroad hidden amongst a dense forest near Lake Sawyer. He took a photo that inspired a question: “Who laid these rusty rails?”

Little did he know the answer is the story behind the men who founded Black Diamond. (more…)

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Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, June 12, 1960

Jack Hayes, 90 years old Tuesday, recalls early-day logging and mining at Renton

By Morda Slauson

John E. (Jack) Hayes, long-time resident of Renton, sat beside a view window in his present home in West Seattle as he read a book of King County history, telling of pioneer days he remembers. — Times photo by Roy Scully.

John E. (Jack) Hayes, long-time resident of Renton, sat beside a view window in his present home in West Seattle as he read a book of King County history, telling of pioneer days he remembers. — Times photo by Roy Scully.

A man who has been a Washingtonian since 1872 will celebrate his 90th birthday anniversary Tuesday.

He is John E. Hayes, 1734 Alki Av., known affectionatly as “Jack” to hundreds of South King County residents. Until recently, he resided at Renton, his home most of the years since 1880.

Hayes remembers old-time hay and potato fields where the big, new shopping center was built in the past year at the foot of Earlington Hill.

As a boy, he greased skids for the first logging at the Highlands, east of Renton. Now, modern machinery is tearing up the hillside to extend a state highway.

As a man he owned a homestead at Buffalo Station, on Rainier Avenue, which was taken by the government in the Second World War for expansion of Renton Airport.

On a recent trip around Renton, Hayes surveyed the shopping center and remembered when he went “hitching” in the hay fields, belonging to Erasmus Smithers, who with J.P. Morris and C.B. Shattuck, plotted the town of Renton in 1878. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, May 27, 1906

Neither the Northern Pacific nor the Pacific Coast Co. can own them in this state after the year 1908

Two come within jurisdiction of Interstate Commerce Commission, and are subject to new rate bill; only way they can avoid a violation of law is by disposing of their properties to constituent companies

By W.W. Jermane

Members of the House and Senate, who have studied the working of the Elkins amendment to the rate bill, forbidding railroads from owning coal mines, say under its provisions neither the Pacific Coast Company nor the Northern Pacific Company can continue to own coal mines in the State of Washington after 1908.

The question as to whether the Pacific Coast Company and the Northern Pacific could continue to operate their coal properties was suggested by The Times a week ago. At that time Vice President J.C. Ford of the Pacific Coast Company thought his line was exempt. Mr. Ford is now in his way East to consult President H.W. Cannon, and the coal question may form a topic of conversation. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 18, 1899

The little town of Maple Valley on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad has developed a new industry. It is that of “whiskey peddling.” The people of Maple Valley say that a man named Paul Bassen has been traveling round in that neighborhood with a valet full of whiskey flasks, peddling the fiery liquid out to customers the same way the ordinary peddler sells needles and thread. (more…)

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