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Posts Tagged ‘Kanaskat-Palmer State Park’

Originally published in the South County Journal, June 28, 2002

Black Diamond resident has fun while he pans for gold in local rivers

By Mary Swift
Journal Reporter

Black Diamond resident Sean Taeschner has been panning for gold for eight years. In 1999, he wrote a field guide, ‘Finding Gold In Washington State,’ and published it as an ‘e-book’ that can be bought on a disk or downloaded from the Internet.

BLACK DIAMOND — Sean Taeschner has mining in his blood.

His grandfather was a miner.

So was his great grandfather.

They mined for coal.

Taeschner?

He goes after gold.

The 32-year-old Black Diamond resident makes his living as a self-employed contractor and substitute teacher for the Kent School District.

But his passion is panning for gold. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 6, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The original depot at Kanaskat built in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1943. — From the Museum of History and Industry and loaned by Ruth Eckes.

The old railroad towns of Palmer and Kanaskat once thrived across the Green River from each other, Palmer on the north and Kanaskat on the south; eight miles southeast of Enumclaw. Somewhere along the line the two lost their identities. Apparently, the post office located in Palmer burned and the authorities moved it to Kanaskat but left the name of Palmer. (more…)

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Originally published in the King County Journal, June 2001

Workers harvesting leeks at the Mosby Brothers Farm near Black Diamond on a sunny winter day.

Workers harvesting leeks at the Mosby Brothers Farm near Black Diamond on a sunny winter day.

Black Diamond is a small town located 35 miles southeast of Seattle, east of Auburn, and south of Maple Valley. It was established more than 100 years ago when a wealth of coal was discovered. The town’s name came from the Black Diamond Coal Company of California, which began mining in the area in the 1880s. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 8, 2014

By Bill Kombol

The Green River Gorge is gorgeous to behold and a beautiful oasis on idyllic summer days. This June 1977 photo was taken by Vic Condiotty.

The Green River Gorge is gorgeous to behold and a beautiful oasis on idyllic summer days. This June 1977 photo was taken by Vic Condiotty.

The single-lane bridge over the Green River Gorge is a vista to behold as you cross 150 feet above the river; and even more remarkable when looking up. The bridge was built in 1915 to replace earlier wooden crossings that served the nearby coal mining town of Franklin founded in 1885 by the Oregon Improvement Company. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, May 22, 1991

Many kayakers put in at the Green River Gorge and finish at the geyser.

Many kayakers put in at the Green River Gorge and finish at the geyser.

From the grassy fields of Flaming Geyser State Park near Auburn to the wild whitewater of Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, the Green River offers visitors to the Plateau a variety of activities, including fishing, swimming, rafting, or picnicking. (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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Originally published in The News Tribune, April 7, 1988

By Jonathan Feste

Carter stands in front of his 100-year-old resort, which may be about to grow.

Carter stands in front of his 100-year-old resort, which may be about to grow.

Seattlites and Tacomans for the last 100 years have escaped to the Green River Gorge east of Auburn to experience solitude, broken only by the echo of falling water.

One of the many destinations near the gorge is the Green River Gorge resort, where each week Jim and Linda Carter, who have welcomed guests to the old recreation area for the last 11 years, regularly get cabin requests even though they have no cabins. The Carters only have a campground, snack bar, and trail system that winds down into the gorge.

But that may change before long. (more…)

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This 1908 photo is from Central Washington University’s Brooks Library Digital Collection, http://digital.lib.cwu.edu/.

Green River Hot Springs

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, January 2010

By Ken Jensen

Being a relative newcomer to Black Diamond and a self-proclaimed history buff, I’m constantly peppering Archivist JoAnne Matsumura, President Keith Watson, and others with questions about the area’s history: Where was Mine No. 7? How did trains turn around in Franklin? Where was the town of McKay? Some of my queries can be resolved simply by checking out an old publication; others by checking in with an old-timer. Some take a little more digging.

Matsumura suggested such a challenge. A little-known town—a town a bit outside the usual Black Diamond Historical Society purview—but one of great interest to Matsumura (she collects postcards from the once remarkable hotel) and Vice President Don Malgarini (he spent summers there whiling away his childhood): Green River Hot Springs.

(more…)

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