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Posts Tagged ‘Issaquah’

Originally published in the Issaquah Press, April 4, 1990

Taken in the 1890s, these photos depict a family separated by tragedy. Theodore Fournier, right, had been married only five months when he was killed in a mine disaster at Newcastle. His wife, Frances Craig Fournier, center, was pregnant at the time. Fournier never saw his only child, Esilda, left. Despite the loss, the family remained united, and all Esilda’s children still live in the Newcastle and Issaquah areas. Photos courtesy of John Swanson.

Perhaps no local family sums up the hardships, the ethnic heritage, and the joys of living in Newcastle the way the Fourniers do. Although not many still carry the family name, the spirit of the Fourniers lives on in many local residents. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 7, 1984

Coal mining plan faces opposition

By Louis T. Corsaletti
Times suburban reporter

Bill Kombol, manager of Palmer Coking Coal Co. in Black Diamond, stands amid a stand of Douglas fir trees on reclaimed land that was part of the McKay Surface Mine in 1974-1976. The pit mine was dug as deep as 40 feet in some places to reach coal. Richard S. Hevza/Seattle Times

Douglas firs ranging from a foot to 10 feet high grow branchtip to branchtip along two narrow strips of generally clear land near Black Diamond.

A few short years ago these same corridors, hewn out of second- and third-growth forest, were sliced open to extract black diamonds—coal. The open ugly sores were the Palmer Coking Coal Company’s McKay and Gem Surface Mines. (more…)

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Originally published in The Issaquah Press, January 28, 2009

This was likely taken in the 1910s. It came from a book of photos of all of Pacific Coast Co. properties, including this mine property held by its subsidiary, Pacific Coast Coal Co. (Issaquah History Museums)

Coal mining led to Issaquah’s transformation from farming community to bustling town.

The industry brought hundreds of workers to Issaquah; the growth continued as businessmen established banks, shops, and other services. Issaquah miners were all ages and came from all across the world, drawn to the area by the promise of employment—at wages higher than that of East Coast miners.

In 1900, just over 60 percent of Issaquah’s workforce was employed in coal mines. About half of these men lived with their families, often in housing rented to them by the mining company. Others were single or separated from their family and lived as boarders in one of Issaquah’s many hotels. (more…)

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Originally published in The News Tribune, January 16, 1995

Assessed property value climbing in remote areas

By Kevin Ebi
The News Tribune

Randy Hopper was transferred to his firm’s Tukwila office from San Diego, but he and his family have chosen to live in an Enumclaw subdivision to get away from the problems of city living. (Peter Haley/The News Tribune)

Last year, Randy Hopper received more than a promotion.

He got a new quality of life.

The promotion took his family from the bright lights of San Diego to the rural life of Enumclaw.

Hopper, who didn’t want his job or employer revealed, is part of a trend being seen in Enumclaw and other rural cities in the county. It’s a trend of growth.

Even though the King County real estate boom ended in 1990, areas such as Black Diamond, Carnation, Duvall, Enumclaw, and North Bend continue to grow in value. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 7, 1926

If at first you don’t succeed, there’s a reason. Find it before you try again. — The Prism (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 17, 1925

This isn’t a Santa Claus scene, though C.O. Hilen, manager of the Keithly Wood & Coal Co., the Pacific Coast Coal Company’s Everett branch, will probably expect old Kris Kringle to put in an appearance at the right time.

Mr. Hilen installed the fireplace in his office several months ago and the Camp Fire Girls of Everett participated in the ceremony of starting the first fire, the fuel for which was Diamond Briquets, of course. (more…)

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