Posts Tagged ‘Great Depression’

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 Voice of the Valley, September 4, 2002

By Barbara Nilson

The Tahoma baseball team of 1940 was largely made up of Ravensdale residents. They are: (front row) Gino Tedesco, Frank Primozich, Bob Lang, Gene Collins, Wally Habenicht, unknown, and Larry Krall; (second row) Otto Moore, coach; Frank Pooleskie and Louie Wallace; (back row) Frank Pichinini, Walt Olsen, Charles Fore, Kal Tantari, Bill Sweeney, Ed Kuhuski, and Tommy Lee — Photo compliments of the Maple Valley Historical Society

Memories will be flying fast and furious, Sunday, Sept. 15, as folks gather for the annual Ravensdale Reunion, 1 p.m., at the Maple Valley Community Center, corner of Witte Road S.E. and S.E. 248th St. The reunion is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

No program is planned for the afternoon, just a chance to get-together over a cup of coffee and visit, share introductions and a tale or two over the open mic. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2007

Collected by Barbara Nilson

Christmas lists for Santa were very different 70-80 years ago. They were more wish list that never came because the Depression was rampant and an orange in one’s stocking was a wonderful, glorious discovery on Christmas morn.

The Christmas that June (Corkins) Kuhuski most remembered was in 1930. She was 10 years old and scanned the Sears Wish book and found this wonderful “Patty” doll. She said she knew it would be her last doll because she was getting older. She showed the picture to her mother who responded, “That is too expensive, better pick another one.”It was all of $2.00.

So June picked a less expensive one but really had her heart set on “Patty.” (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2006

By Wayne D. Greenleaf

My parents, Glen and Vera Greenleaf, moved to Maple Valley in August of 1937. I was 9 years old, my brother Kenneth was 11½. We were born in Centralia during the Great Depression. My Dad was a plasterer and bricklayer—no jobs in Centralia. My grandfather on my mother’s side and three of his children had bought land east of Fiddler’s Comer. He talked my folks into coming up and looking.

We bought 40 acres from Weyerhaeuser, northeast of Fiddler’s Corner, 1½ miles back in the woods. $600 total, no interest and $15 a month; if you couldn’t make the $15 month, they let it go. I think at one time we were over two years behind. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Spring 2013

By Ken Jensen

A business sign means more than just hanging out the proverbial “shingle.” There’s always a story.

Case in point. On the cover we find the KoernersJohn and Walt—posing in front of their drug store in 1925. One of the signs on the building is for United Cigar Stores Co.

Turns out that cigar franchise was a real boon for the Koerners—and for Black Diamond, too—as John Koerner reported in the September 1922 Pacific Coast Bulletin. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, Summer 2016

By William Kombol

Kuzaro home, November 18, 1939

Kuzaro home, November 18, 1939

There are a number of resources available to learn about the history of your home or lot. One of the best resources is the Puget Sound Regional Archives (PSRA), located on the campus of Bellevue College near Eastgate.

PSRA’s collection includes property record cards kept between 1937 and 1972. This is the best source of historic photographs for homes and commercial buildings. These old photos were taken by the King County Assessor with the tax parcel, date of the photo, and other notations written on the photo, from which excellent quality prints can be made. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 17, 1986

By Jim Simon

You load sixteen tons and what do you get,
Another day older and deeper in debt,
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store.

“Sixteen Tons,” by Merle Travis

It has become part of our folklore: the brutal, indentured existence of miners and millworkers eking out a living in sooty company towns. We all know it was a life of oppression.

But don’t tell that to Edna Crews. (more…)

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