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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Francis’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2005

By Barbara Nilson

Francis Niemela displays a sketch of the cabin his father Charles built of railroad ties on Lake Francis in 1915.

Francis Niemela displays a sketch of the cabin his father Charles built of railroad ties on Lake Francis in 1915.

Eighty-four years of memories will be on tap, Sunday, Feb. 12, [2006,] at the Grange Hall, when Francis Niemela recalls life with the Finnish community on Lake Francis. His parents, Charles and Katri Niemela, came to Maple Valley and purchased 20 acres at the lake in 1915.

During that time there was a railroad that came around the lake and his Dad picked up railroad ties and built his first house out of them. Later that building was converted to a sauna and also used for smoking salmon and bacon when they constructed a large loghouse in 1918. That home was later purchased by the Dufenhorst family.

The Finns at Lake Francis had little stump ranches and their saunas in place of indoor plumbing. Niemela said the greatest sauna was the Lahtinen’s. It was open house every Saturday night and Mrs. Lahtinen would serve coffee and goodies. “Some of the offspring of those Finns like Walt Sipila and Walt Miller are still here,” he said. (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 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 Maplevalley Messenger, February 8, 1923

Diamond drill to seek a new vein near Maplevalley

Lang and Slater installing outfit on James Maxwell place and hope to have mine producing by fall

mvmessenger_02-08-1923Maplevalley is soon to have a coal mine if the indications turn out as expected. A diamond drill is being installed on James Maxwell’s place and drilling will commence as soon as the weather permits.

Joe Lang, a mining engineer, who recently reopened the old Black River mine, has secured an option on the property. Mr. Slater a well-known geologist, has gone over the ground thoroughly and declares that there is no doubt but that coal exists here in large quantities and that it is easily accessible.

Mining operations will commence as soon as the vein is located and it is hoped that production will start next fall.

As far as can be learned, this is an independent concern and not connected with any of the big coal companies. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 19, 1976

bigfootEditor, the Voice:
When I was associated with the Cedar River Watershed, I covered almost every square foot of it by car, truck, plane, snowshoes, skis, and by foot.

Late one afternoon in early June, I was checking on the snow level in the vicinity of Goat Mountain when I walked into a colony of Sasquatch or the Bigfoot people as they are commonly called.

This was a colony of 31 people. They were very friendly with no spoken language, but they had developed a very refined sign language. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 4, 1960

By Lucile McDonald

Library Guild members gathering records of Cedar River community’s development

Remembrances of early days in Maple Valley were awakened in Mr. and Mrs. George Russell of Puyallup, whose parents were among Maple Valley’s early settlers, as they gazed at a picture of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad station.

Remembrances of early days in Maple Valley were awakened in Mr. and Mrs. George Russell of Puyallup, whose parents were among Maple Valley’s early settlers, as they gazed at a picture of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad station.

Working ahead of changes being wrought by highway construction, two members of the Maple Valley Library Guild are striving to preserve in photographs and written history a record of the development of the community south of Renton.

Old structures have been moved or demolished in the path of State Highway No. 2, Echo Lake branch, which is cutting across the town’s business center and will form a direct connection between Auburn and North Bend.

A request from the King County Library that the Maple Valley branch join in a history-gathering project was especially fortuitous. If any place needed to preserve a memory of its former self, it was the town on Cedar River. (more…)

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