Posts Tagged ‘Lake Sammamish’

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 26, 1885

The system of King County—Its cost, mileage, present and future traffic, etc.

The railroad system in King County is one of considerable magnitude now, and of rising importance. It is the largest enterprise in the county, and is doing more to increase and sustain the population than any other. Aside from the value of real estate held by the corporations, they have railroad properties in the county aggregating about $2,000,000. These properties consist of the tracks, wharves, depots, bunkers, shops, rolling stock, etc. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, July 1994

By Barbara Nilson
Based on taped interview by Bill McDermand in November 1993 and interview by Barbara and Edward Nilson in June 1994.

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

But the road to the outfield of the Boston Red Sox in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t easy.

He was born in Taylor in 1912 to Veronica and Michael Lazor (pronounced Lawser in the Valley but known as Laser like the beam in baseball circles) who had immigrated from Czechoslovakia. His folks met in New York in the 1890s and went to Franklin around 1908 for his Dad to work in the mines dumping cars. They then moved to Taylor where the first of four children were born.

The oldest was Mary, born in 1908, then Mike, 1910, and Johnny was next. In 1914 the family moved onto their 20-acre farm in Hobart and the youngest boy, Vincent was born.

His folks paid $10 an acre for the farm, which they sold in 1969 to the Bill McDermand family. It is located on the old road to Taylor (S.E. 208th St.) on the north side. When his folks moved here it had all been logged off, but huge stumps remained. Lazor said it took a box and a half of powder just to blow them open. (more…)

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Originally published in the Issaquah Press, October 18, 1962

high-trestle-near-issaquahIt is often surprising to stand in a familiar spot, looking around as you have many times before, and see things you never knew were there.

This happened to me one evening recently outside the east door of the high school, a place where I’ve stood many times before. There was still some daylight, everyone else was still inside the building, and I had a good chance to observe the whole southeast part of town from the top of “school house hill.” Many interesting things appear from up there which are typically part of Issaquah, and make up its character.

There is the yellow, wooden spire of St. Joseph’s Church, for instance, just visible above the trees. It was built there in 1896 on land donated by Peter McCloskey, and has been in constant use by the town’s Catholic congregation ever since. There were no trees around it then, because all the big timber had been cut off to make room for the vigorous new town and there hadn’t been time to grow new ones.

However, the forest was still thick a few blocks to the east and around the railroad trestle on the N.P. branch line to Snoqualmie. There wasn’t even a road out there in 1900, for the route to the easterly neighbor towns of Fall City and Snoqualmie was by way of Vaughn’s Hill. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 26, 1957

By Lucile McDonald

Washington has plenty of the black mineral but its production has fallen tremendously

A truck loaded coal at the tipple of the Cougar Mountain mine for hauling to the Newcastle storage bunkers. – Photos by Parker McAllister.

Washington’s coal industry is in a state of suspended animation. Once a heavy contributor to the prosperity of the region, it is represented now by only a few scattered operations. Diesel oil, electricity and, lately, natural gas have cut off the markets.

Coal production in the state declined from a peak in 1918 of 4,128,424 tons to an average of 600,000 tons annually.

In King County, which owes its early economic development largely to its bituminous-coal beds, only five mines are active.

Refuse dumps and sealed tunnels south and east of Lake Washington, south of Lake Sammamish and in the Cedar and upper Green River Valleys attest the once-wide extent of mining within a few miles of Seattle. (more…)

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Originally published in Eastsideweek, November 24, 1993

By David B. Buerge

Black lung, long hours, and stinking low pay: While the coal-mining business boomed on the Eastside, the underground life was a bust

Coal Creek Mine

On a mid-August night in 1929, residents of Coal Creek, west of Issaquah, watched a red glow fill the northern sky. As the ruddy light shifted and flared, miners about to go down for the graveyard shift deep in the Primrose Mine wondered aloud if Kirkland might be on fire.

But the lift bringing them back out of the mine at 7:30 that morning was more than a mile away from the entrance they’d used the night before. It was then they realized that the fire was much closer than Kirkland. They had their first look at the smoking timbers of the Pacific Coast Coal Co.’s coal bunkers and washery, which had tumbled in a charred ruin on the railroad tracks to Seattle.

Their hearts sank. (more…)

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