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Posts Tagged ‘Danville’

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 Voice of the Valley, April 7, 2015

By Bill Kombol

Railroads played a key role in the development of most King County towns, including Ravensdale. The arrival of the nation’s second transcontinental railway, the Northern Pacific (NP) in 1883 dramatically accelerated growth throughout the Washington Territory.

The development of a production-scale coal mine required a rail link to deliver the massive equipment needed to operate the mine and to transport the coal to market.

The extension of the Columbia and Puget Sound (C&PS) railway in 1884 from Renton by Henry Villard’s Oregon Improvement Company enabled the coal mines at Cedar Mountain (1884), Black Diamond (late 1884), Franklin (1885), and Danville (1896) to begin production. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, April 9, 1980

By Louis T. Corsaletti
Times suburban reporter

The dotted line shows the area to be covered by the communities plan.

The dotted line shows the area to be covered by the communities plan.

TAHOMA-RAVEN HEIGHTS — More than 115 years ago the discovery of vast coal deposits drew settlers to the remote Squak Mountain, Issaquah and Newcastle regions. But now the sprawling reserves of undeveloped land are spawning rapid growth in the 150-square mile area from Issaquah south to Black Diamond.

So last August, King County planners assisting a citizens’ committee began the tremendous task of planning for the future of what is called the Tahoma/Raven Heights Communities Plan area—the largest plan undertaken so far.

A recently prepared profile on Tahoma/Raven Heights shows that between 1970 and 1980, the population has grown from about 19,500 to about 26,000. And forecasts indicate a population of almost 40,000 by 1990. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Times, April 2, 1961

(This is the first in a series of articles which will appear from time to time about lost towns of King County.)

By Lucile McDonald

Overlooking the site of the mining community of Cedar Mountain is a window on the south side of the home of Mrs. Edith Cavanaugh. On the table were deeds to the Cavanaugh land, signed by Presidents Grant and Arthur. —Times photo by Roy Scully.

Overlooking the site of the mining community of Cedar Mountain is a window on the south side of the home of Mrs. Edith Cavanaugh. On the table were deeds to the Cavanaugh land, signed by Presidents Grant and Arthur. —Times photo by Roy Scully.

Lost towns of King County rival in mystery the ghost towns of gold-mine country. The thing about them is that most have vanished without a trace—not so much as a weathered heap of timber or a false-front abandoned store to indicate that at this or that road junction stood a community of several hundred persons.

Any map of 50 years ago or more is sprinkled with place names where nothing to indicate a community exists today. Some of them were swallowed by the Cedar River watershed. Others died from natural causes.

Who could find Taylor, Kerriston, Cedar Mountain, Sherwood, Eddyville, and Barneston today? Who would know about Henry’s Switch, Atkinson, Trude, Holmar, Herrick, Danville, and Durham?

Yet, these names remain on the map, monuments to another time, when coal mines and sawmills attracted population to the foothills of the Cascades. (more…)

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Originally published in The Coast, June 1909

Store and residence of W.D. Gibbon, Maple Valley, Washington.

Store and residence of W.D. Gibbon, Maple Valley, Washington.

The building of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad to the Pacific Coast has done more than merely make another means of crossing the American continent; it has opened up a new country in many instances better and larger in opportunities than what now has railroad transportation and has lessened the rates where railroads were already running.

In King County one of the important places upon this road is Maple Valley, where its main line from the east, after crossing the Cascade Mountains, forms a junction with the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, a line which has been in operation between the coal mines of King County at Black Diamond and Seattle for the past quarter century and longer. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 30, 1980

Maple Valley RR station
Maple Valley’s first railroad station, built in 1887 for the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad Company. The Milwaukee Road did not come through Maple Valley until 1907. Hence the station was evidently in a considerable different location than the two which replaced it.

At the time this photograph was taken, the track was narrow gauge, probably three feet between the rails, as compared to the standard gauge of 4 feet, 8 ½ inches in use on American railroads today. The Columbia and Puget Sound was purchased by the Pacific Coast Coal Company about 1897 and renamed the Pacific Coast Railroad.

It remained as such until the Burlington Northern merger in 1970, despite the face that in 1952 the Great Northern purchased the railroad and operated it as a separate company. (Photo courtest Maple Valley Historical Society.)

(Editor’s note: The Milwaukee Railroad ran its last train through Maple Valley on March 15 and a significant historical era ended. In this series of articles, beginning below, Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher, recalls the often turbulent past and, to many valleyites, the sad present.)

By Dave Sprau
Installment I

At 4 p.m., Friday, April 4, 1980, Burlington Northern Agent Ralph Ozura locked the door on the Maple Valley station and went home for the last time.

Unlike other days, no “night man“ showed up to relieve Ralph and keep the station operating on its previous 24-hour, seven-day-per-week basis. An era had ended. (more…)

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