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Posts Tagged ‘Lester’

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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Originally published in The Seattle Times, February 16, 1983

By Herb Belanger
Times suburban reporter

An aerial view of the Black Diamond Museum, ca. 2005. The building was constructed in 1885-1886 as a train depot. Next to it is the only jail Black Diamond has ever had. (BDHS calendar series, 2009.)

An aerial view of the Black Diamond Museum, ca. 2005. The building was constructed in 1885-1886 as a train depot. Next to it is the only jail Black Diamond has ever had. (BDHS calendar series, 2009.)

Six buildings of historical value in King County may be in line for a $65,000 grant for restoration work.

The county Landmarks Commission recently made the recommendation; it needs an OK from the County Council.

The money would benefit the old former Snoqualmie Falls Electric Co. substation in Renton, $10,000; Company House 75 also in Renton, $6,500; the Bothell Historical Museum, $2,800; the Black Diamond railroad depot, $6,000; Hotel Skykomish in Skykomish, $25,000, and the Carnegie Library in Auburn, $15,000. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 19, 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.

Ever had a hankering to own a railroad station? This might be the time to pick one up cheap.

But there’s a slight catch. You’d have to move the two-story building from Lester, the isolated town southwest of Stampede Pass, deep in the Cascade Mountains.

The Lester train depot has got to go. That’s the word from its owner, Burlington Northern.

BN wants to demolish it, sell it or possibly give it away, according to Mike Cook, BN environmental engineer. In any case, the company wants the building off the railroad right-of-way, Cook told members of the King County Landmarks Commission last week. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 4, 1984

By Herb Belanger
Times suburban reporter

Issaquah’s train depot was built in 1889, and now holds a museum with exhibits that explore the industrial revolution, travel, communication, and the early economic development of the city.

Issaquah’s train depot was built in 1889, and now holds a museum with exhibits that explore the industrial revolution, travel, communication, and the early economic development of the city.

Railroad depots, important to transportation and commerce in many communities throughout King County for many years, have been given a new role in recent times.

Relegated to obscurity as deteriorating warehouses or unused buildings beside seldom-used railroad tracks, some of them are now gateways into the past.

Depots at Snoqualmie and Black Diamond already have been turned into museums and monuments to community history. Those in Issaquah and Lester could be given the same roles if individuals concerned about preserving them have their way. (more…)

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Republished in the Voice of the Valley, July 17, 1974

Edited by Dorothy Church

From the Maplevalley Messenger, July 14, 1921

Way Back WhenA double defeat at the hands of the Lester and Nagrom teams greeted Maplevalley on their journey into the mountains last Sunday.

Evidently the long train ride, high attitude, and rough grounds were too much of a handicap for the valley boys, and although they put up a good fight against Lester, the final score stood 10-9 against them. Numerous errors, due to the condition of the grounds which had just been cleared of stumps, were largely to blame for their defeat.


The Fourth of July picnic and dance proved a huge success and drew the largest crowd ever gathered together in Maplevalley on any occasion.

The races were interesting and created lots of excitement, the young ladies’ race being won by Miss Holt; the fat ladies’ race by Mrs. Berrisford; the ladies’ race by Mrs. Davies; boys’ race, Johnny Vickery; men’s race, Russell Vickery; girls’ race, Eva Vickery; pie-eating contest, August Hedin; three-legged race, Ethel Maxwell and Elvita Edgman.

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