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Posts Tagged ‘Lester’

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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 2, 1925

Eyes steady in the face of danger
Resourceful, true, a man of soldier-worth
Who braves, for loved ones’ peace and comfort
The dark, deep-delving trenches of the earth. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, September 14, 1899

New steel rails from Lester to the mountains

M. Dempsey, superintendent of construction of this division of the Northern Pacific, in speaking of the physical condition of that road says:

“We have just completed putting in new steel rails from Lester to Palmer and from Easton to the foot of the mountain. We do not anticipate any more trouble in the tunnels. No. 1, just west of Easton will be permanently abandoned, and the work of construction brick arches within the other is being pushed. There are four tunnels which remain to be arched, and the work on all of them will be completed before winter sets in.”

Mr. Dempsey says that the Northern Pacific is being handicapped in construction work along its line on account of the scarcity of railroad laborers, and that some of the work now In hand has been practically suspended until laborers shall have returned from the hop fields.

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, August 17, 1983

By Herb Belanger
Times South bureau

The Northern Pacific train depot at Lester, Washington, as seen around 1910, now demolished. (Wikipedia)

The Northern Pacific train depot at Lester, Washington, as seen around 1910, now demolished. (Wikipedia)

The Lester depot, built in 1886, has been designated as a county landmark by the King County Landmarks Commission, because of its significant association with early-day railroading which gave the Puget Sound area its first direct line across the Cascade Mountains to the East.

The depot—sold by Burlington Northern Railroad last week to a Woodinville developer for $1—joins a growing list of historically important structures which are protected from alterations that would change their character.

In the future, any contemplated changes affecting the depot must meet the approval of the Landmarks Commission. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 2, 1908

By “W.T.P.”

Suppose you were a policeman with a beat of 700 square miles.

Suppose this included sixteen coal mining towns, where the rough element predominated, and fights, murders, and all sorts of crimes succeeded each other so rapidly that you hardly had a breathing space between.

Suppose you were the only officer of the law in all this district, and that your hours were from 8 o’clock every morning, including Sunday, to 8 o’clock the next.

Suppose your duties had thrown you into desperate fights, open revolver battles, chases that lasted for days at a time through the seemingly trackless woods, and that a dozen times you had been within an inch of your life.

If you could meet all these conditions you would be the counterpart of Matt Starwich, deputy sheriff for the district of Ravensdale, and you would be an “every-day hero.” There are few people in the county who have more deeds of heroism to their credit than this same Matt Starwich. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 10, 1979

By George and Dianne Wilson

Bob Kuster, above, is one of six skilled technicians who work very hard to see that the miles of wires and maze of equipment at the central office operate properly for Black Diamond telephone customers. (Voice photo by George Wilson)

Bob Kuster, above, is one of six skilled technicians who work very hard to see that the miles of wires and maze of equipment at the central office operate properly for Black Diamond telephone customers. (Voice photo by George Wilson)

Telephone service may not be as popular a conversational topic as the weather, but when there is a problem with the phone, you can count on hearing about it.

A group of six central office technicians work very hard to see that Black Diamond phone users don’t have trouble. The group serves Black Diamond, Maple Valley, Enumclaw, Buckley, Crystal Mountain, and Lester.

Dave Smith, Erwin Haussler, Frank Wise, George Williams, Owen Bing, and Bob Kuster with Ken Mead, foreman, all do their best to provide good phone service for users in this large area.

Bob Kuster recently took these reporters on a tour of the Pacific Northwest Bell telephone office in Black Diamond, describing the equipment and mechanics involved each time someone picks up their phone. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 26, 1910

Period of greatest danger passed, through spectacular and successful work of fighting forces

Departments conflict on firing great guns

William Entwistle’s force risks death in mad race to Maple Valley with auto load of dynamite

The forest fire story in brief

Two bad fires break out near standing timber reserves, King County. Forest supervisors take 200 men into woods but fail to control conflagrations.

Blaze in young timber near Scenic Hot Springs breaks all bounds and is beyond control. Forest supervisor in charge.

Town of Walsh, on Columbia & Puget Sound, badly scorched, loss including one saloon, two-story dwelling house, barn, and buildings of England’s logging camp.

Dynamite to the amount of 500 pounds taken into Maple Valley district by fire fighters, who prepare to dynamite tops of trees in old timber to stop destructive fires.

Cooler weather makes work of forest fire workers easier, but danger will continue until rains fall.

The town of Bothell, at the head of Lake Washington, which was in danger of destruction yesterday, is reported safe. No buildings were destroyed. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, August 10, 1983

by Herb Belanger
Times South bureau

In 1964, people were still waiting for the train In Lester. Now Burlington Northern wants to get rid of the old railroad station deep in the Cascade Mountains.

In 1964, people were still waiting for the train in Lester. Now Burlington Northern wants to get rid of the old railroad station deep in the Cascade Mountains.

The Lester depot, the 97-year-old railroad station in the Cascade Mountains, has been sold by the Burlington Northern Railroad to a Woodinville developer, Wayne Farrer Jr., for $1.

The sale was made with the stipulation that the building would be removed from the BN property by Feb. 1. What Farrer intends to do with the building was not indicated and he could not be reached yesterday for comment.

The depot has been a subject of major interest among historically minded people who feel that it should be saved as a memorial of a time when the first railroad line was punched across the Cascade Mountains opening the Puget Sound area to direct communication with the East. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, August 3, 1983

By Herb Belanger
Times suburban bureau

Neely Mansion

Neely Mansion, located on the Auburn-Black Diamond Road, was built in 1894. The building is in the National Register of Historic Places and was the second structure placed on the county register of landmarks.

The future of two structures intimately connected to the development and early settlement in King County may hinge on two separate meetings to be held this month.

The first will be at the Auburn City Hall Monday at 7:30 p.m. when people interested in the fate of the Neely Mansion, tied to the early settlement of the Green River Valley, will meet to see if something can be done about continuing a restoration project which has been halted for lack of funds.

The second meeting will be that of the county’s Landmarks Commission, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. in the eighth-floor conference room of the Alaska Building, Seattle, when a decision will be made on whether the railroad depot in the Cascade Mountain town of Lester should be recognized as a county landmark. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, June 29, 1983

By Herb Balanger
Times South bureau

The Lester train depot was 52 years old when this picture was taken in 1940 for the King County tax assessor’s office. It is one of thousands being processed and filed by the Regional State Archives center In Burien. Numbers at the left identify when the picture was taken (June 19, 1940) and the assessor’s file number; numbers at the bottom indicate section, township and page in the assessor’s log book and tax lot number; Depot #9 indicates it is the building number In the group belonging to the railroad.

The Lester train depot was 52 years old when this picture was taken in 1940 for the King County tax assessor’s office. It is one of thousands being processed and filed by the Regional State Archives center in Burien. Numbers at the left identify when the picture was taken (June 19, 1940) and the assessor’s file number; numbers at the bottom indicate section, township and page in the assessor’s log book and tax lot number; Depot #9 indicates it is the building number in the group belonging to the railroad.

A group of volunteers from the Association of King County Historical Organizations has been hard at work since March trying to preserve what Mike Saunders, archivist, considers “the most comprehensive countywide local history photo collection in the state.”

The work, being done at the Regional State Archives in the former Sunset Junior High School in Highline, will probably be completed in September. Saunders said.

The job involves going through 70,000 to 90,000 negatives from the county assessor’s files dating from a Works Progress Administration project of 1936–1940, in which all the real property in the county was inventoried. Additional photos were taken through 1973 updating the changes to the buildings. (more…)

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