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Posts Tagged ‘Enumclaw’

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 11, 1924

FOURTH OF JULY celebrations in Black Diamond are always started off with a parade. This picture shows the parade of last year as it left the starting point in front of the hotel for the procession to the Ball Park. The citizens of the camp vie with one another in striving to attain perfection in patriotically decorated floats and cars. This year the usual parade will be a feature of the day.

FOURTH OF JULY celebrations in Black Diamond are always started off with a parade. This picture shows the parade of last year as it left the starting point in front of the hotel for the procession to the Ball Park. The citizens of the camp vie with one another in striving to attain perfection in patriotically decorated floats and cars. This year the usual parade will be a feature of the day.

SUCCESS in the fullest measure rewarded the efforts of Black Diamond in its Independence Day celebration this year. From the start of the parade in the morning until the last strains of the music died away at the grand ball in the evening everything was conducted according to schedule and to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Practically the entire camp took part in the demonstration, assisted by large numbers from Newcastle, Burnett, and the Seattle offices of the company. (more…)

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Originally published in the King County Journal, June 8, 2003

By Mike Archbold, King County Journal reporter

A sign posted on a cliff wall at the entrance to the gorge warns boaters of dangerous rapids ahead.

A sign posted on a cliff wall at the entrance to the gorge warns boaters of dangerous rapids ahead.

The 12-mile-long Green River Gorge is the last river-cut rock canyon in Western Washington, slashing down 300 feet into the Puget Sound’s 50-million-year-old sub-tropical past.

A wild place of natural wonder just east of Black Diamond, the gorge remains isolated, allowing it to survive man’s intrusion.

Coal miners came and went, their passage marked now by a ghost town, pieces of cable, and rock-filled mine entrances. A coal seam, part of a mine abandoned decades ago, still burns today.

Fossils, petrified wood, even a petroglyph are found here by the rafters and kayakers, fishermen, hikers and berry pickers who know the gorge’s beauty.

BLACK DIAMOND—In the depths of the Green River Gorge, a giant black and brown sandstone rock rises at a steep angle like a whale breaching from a white-flecked green sea.

Debondt plays in her kayak, standing it on end in a mild current that wraps around a rock abutment and is out in a swirling calm spot on the river. Kayakers use the calm eddies as a place of rest between rapids. Spots like this, where the current is mild, provide a perfect place for kayakers to freestyle, because the consequences of mistakes are less serious. (Photo: Matt Brashears)

Debondt plays in her kayak, standing it on end in a mild current that wraps around a rock abutment and is out in a swirling calm spot on the river. Kayakers use the calm eddies as a place of rest between rapids. Spots like this, where the current is mild, provide a perfect place for kayakers to freestyle, because the consequences of mistakes are less serious. (Photo: Matt Brashears)

The sandstone glistens with the record of the 50 million-year-old subtropical climate that once covered this land. On its flank, a tiny dipper bird goes about its business, clinging to the vertical face.

Elsewhere in the gorge, rock cliffs give way and spruce and cedar trees mark the steep, forested sides, feathering the rim 150 to 300 feet above the twisting river.

Black bear, deer, elk, cougar and bobcat easily find seclusion here. Kingfishers, mergansers and even an eagle or two commonly ride the narrow airspace.

Always there is the moving water, sometimes roaring as it crashes over rocks, sometimes silently pooling in a rocky grotto or lapping at a small rocky beach.

From the deck of a rubber raft bouncing through the Green River Gorge on a winter day, there is no mistaking that this is a special place—a river-carved canyon wilderness unique in Western Washington. (more…)

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By Regina Marckx Whitehill, 1996

The Deep Lake property was kept in the Nolte family under the care of Minnie Nolte, Bill Nolte's older sister. When she passed away in 1972, it was willed to the State of Washington for a state park. She was always so proud of the beautiful large trees so it was understood that none would be cut. Her other stipulation was that it be named for her father, Nolte State Park.

The Deep Lake property was kept in the Nolte family under the care of Minnie Nolte. When she passed away in 1972, it was willed to the State of Washington for a state park.

Bill Nolte was born May 6, 1890, and passed away May 30, 1930. He is buried in the Nolte plot in Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, Washington.

Bill and Mary Nolte were married December 26, 1917. A priest, Father Mlinoir, who had previously been pastor in Black Diamond and had been transferred to Holy Cross (Rosary) Church in Tacoma, performed the ceremony. Minnie Nolte and Anne Hughes were their witnesses.

Mary was living at home then and teaching in Franklin. Because women could not teach if they were married, they had to keep this a secret and could not live together.

Bill had a dance hall extending over the lake and this was his livelihood. When school was out they rented a house about a mile from Deep Lake in Veazie. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 28, 2009

By Bill Kombol

Miners' picnic, 1933Each summer coal miners and their families would gather at a lake resort for what was affectionately known as the Miners’ Picnic. There would be foot races for kids, sack races, three-legged races, wheel-barrow races, relay races, horseshoe pitching, egg tossing, softball, a tug-of-war with two teams pulling on a rope, pie-eating contests, the Russian-horse, and even a greased pig-chasing contest with liberal prize money for all the winners.

The day would be interspersed with swimming, boating, picnic lunches, music, and dancing.

On Sunday, July 16, 1933, the Morris Bros. Coal Mining Company featuring four generations of the Morris family entertained hundreds of friends at an all day Miners’ Picnic held at Nolte’s Deep Lake Park resort near Cumberland. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 5, 2008

By Bill Kombol

This building was constructed around 1925 by John and Mary Rudge together with a nearby gas station called Jack's Place.

This building was constructed around 1925 by John and Mary Rudge together with a nearby gas station called Jack’s Place.

This 1940 photo shows a resort building located above the Green River Gorge on the east side of the historic, single-lane bridge that now connects the Green River Gorge Road to the Enumclaw-Franklin Road.

This building was constructed around 1925 by John and Mary Rudge together with a nearby gas station called Jack’s Place. In 1921-22, the Rudges had purchased two parcels totaling 13 acres for $1,860. John Rudge was a Welsh coal miner from nearby Cumberland. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Summer 2012

By Bill Kombol

The Hanson family home on Lake Sawyer, built in 1926, remained in the family until 1998. This December 20, 1939, photo is courtesy King County Assessor Property Record Card collection, Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Branch.

The Hanson family home on Lake Sawyer, built in 1926, remained in the family until 1998. This December 20, 1939, photo is courtesy King County Assessor Property Record Card collection, Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Branch.

The first cabin on the lake was built by Carl Magnus Hanson, upon homesteading 160 acres for which a deed was received 7 years later.

The property encompassed an area that now stretches from the boat launch park, west to the Lake Sawyer Road, north to S.E. 288th Street, and then east to the site of the historic Hanson family home on the most prominent peninsula in the northwest quadrant of the lake. (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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