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Originally published in the MVHS’s The Bugle, November 1997

By Eva Litras

Dale Coal Company in Ravensdale, a typical small mine of this area early in the century. Photo supplied by Maple Valley Historical Society Museum.

Dale Coal Company in Ravensdale, a typical small mine of this area early in the century. Photo supplied by Maple Valley Historical Society Museum.

This is a story about the Elkcoal Mine—located off the Kangley-Kanasket Road. We moved there in 1929 and lived in a small house on Sugarloaf Mountain. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, July 16, 1961

By Lucile McDonald

This huge sawmill was the center of the Wood & Iverson operations in Hobart from 1913 to 1941. The mill pond was in the foreground. The site now is an area of swampy ground which will be crossed by a new road.

This huge sawmill was the center of the Wood & Iverson operations in Hobart from 1913 to 1941. The mill pond was in the foreground. The site now is an area of swampy ground which will be crossed by a new road.

Memories are becoming more dear to the pioneers of this area as progress changes the very face of the land.

For instance, where the new Primary State Highway No. 2, Echo Lake Branch, now under construction, will cross a stretch of swampy ground on a viaduct near Hobart, east of Maple Valley, a large mill once made the countryside echo with the sound of saws and the blast of its whistle summoning men to work.

The highway climbs along Holder Creek Canyon through vestiges of a forest that fed its logs to the Wood & Iverson mill from 1913 to 1941. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Times, December 17, 1967

By Marty Loken

Moss-roofed company houses are about all that remain of Bayne, a South King County coal-mining center that surged with activity 50 years ago. Hundreds of persons once lived in Bayne's small, look-alike dwellings, which are near collapse after years of neglect.

Moss-roofed company houses are about all that remain of Bayne, a South King County coal-mining center that surged with activity 50 years ago. Hundreds of persons once lived in Bayne’s small, look-alike dwellings, which are near collapse after years of neglect.

The stark skeleton of Bayne, a former coal-mining boom town, almost disappears during the spring and summer months, when alders, cottonwoods, and blackberry vines hide it amid their foliage.

Bayne, 15 miles east of Auburn, became a near ghost town 15 years ago when Jim Bolde, an almost legendary figure in this South King County mining area, reluctantly abandoned his Carbon Fuel Co. operation.

NOW, YEAR BY YEAR, Bayne is being swallowed by nature—inhabited only by Bolde’s widow, Rose, and a few “gyppo” loggers who rent the company town’s unpainted, three-­room houses.

The story of Bayne’s rise and fall is a reflection of Washington’s coal industry, which peaked out in 1918 and has slipped into economic obscurity. (more…)

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