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Posts Tagged ‘locomotives’

Maple Valley Historical Society, March 1987

Here’s where me and the railroad got together.

My brother went up to Maple Valley for some reason or other and saw this gang of railroad men working to save the track that was being washed out. Being nosy, he went up to the foreman and asked if they were hiring anybody and he said yes, and get anyone else you can.

He came home and got me and we started work filling gunny sacks with sand at 4:00 p.m. and didn’t stop til 4:00 p.m. the next day. The rain never let up and gunny sacks got hard to get because everyone else needed them too for the same reason we did. We wound up using sacks that had been filled with rock salt and the salt cut our hands making them very sore. We didn’t have the little bags they use nowadays but the 100-pound size which we about two-thirds filled. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 23, 1894

Engineers at work and narrow gauge to be widened very soon

A party of engineers under A.A. Booth is in the field revising the line for the extension of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad to a connection with the Northern Pacific near Palmer, which is known as the Palmer Cut-Off, and it is understood that, while no official information on the subject can be obtained, the construction of the road will soon begin and be very soon followed by the widening of the Columbia & Puget Sound to standard gauge.

It is understood that this step has been hastened by the traffic connection between the Northern Pacific and the Burlington, the latter road wishing to save mileage and time in running trains to and from Seattle, its chosen Pacific Coast terminus, by avoiding the roundabout trap by way of Meeker. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 12, 1888

A community where constables and officers of the law are not needed—Remarkable progress and substantial prosperity

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Probably the majority of the readers of the Post-Intelligencer have never inspected a coal mine or visited a town where coal mining was the exclusive industry. They have, therefore, necessarily but an imperfect knowledge of a large and very excellent class of the working population of this territory, and especially of King County.

A representative of this paper visited Franklin, in this county, a day or two ago and made some observations which may be of general interest. (more…)

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Originally published in the Railway & Marine News, January 1916

The opening of the first coal mine on the far western slope of the United States, and the building of Seattle’s first railway

By I.W. Rodgers, of the Pacific Coast Coal Company
All photos courtesy Vivian Carkeek

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Seattle Coal & Transportation Company’s coal bunkers, at the foot of Pike Street. Note the wilderness north of Pike. These bunkers were built in 1872, and much to the surprise of Seattle, collapsed into the bay one Sunday morning in the late ‘70s. The vessel loading coal is one of the early side-wheelers.

Now that the oldest coal mine on the Pacific slope of the United States has just celebrated its half-century of useful service to the people of the Northwest it is interesting to turn the pages of pioneer history back to the early days and review the conditions amid which one of the state of Washington’s great industries of today had its beginnings. As a sequel to the opening of that first mine Washington has become one of the important coal producing states.

Newcastle is a famous name in the coal mining world, so it is fitting that this first mine in Washington should have been so named, and for fifty years Newcastle coal has been a standard for domestic use upon the Pacific Coast. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, July 4, 1976

Story by Bill Smull
Photos by Smull, Larry Abele

Arrow-straight Burlington Northern rails streak toward Stampede Pass tunnel.

Arrow-straight Burlington Northern rails streak toward Stampede Pass tunnel.

Call it Palmer if you like—the post office has that name on its sign, and everyone will know that you’re most likely talking about the informal collection of buildings nestled between the north bank of the Green River and the Burlington Northern sidings. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Summer 2011

By Ken Jensen

Black Diamond Mayor Rebecca Olness cuts the ribbon dedicating the museum’s locomotive. (Photos: Bob Dobson)

Black Diamond Mayor Rebecca Olness cuts the ribbon dedicating the museum’s locomotive.
(Photos: Bob Dobson)

The dedication of the museum’s locomotive—named the “Black Diamond History Express” by school kids—was one of the top draws of this year’s Miners’ Day celebration.

The locomotive has been a dream of museum board members for years.

“We’re thrilled to see the engine here at the old depot,” said one of the celebrants just before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I think it will be a big draw for the area and support our vision of retaining our town’s historic past.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May/June 1916

Charles Phelps beside his historic charge, the Hyak.

Charles Phelps beside his historic charge, the Hyak.

Taking care of the passenger equipment of the Pacific Coast Railroad is the daily task now assigned to Charles Phelps. Perhaps this faithful veteran of the service will not be recognized hiding behind such a formidable name as “Charles.” He is known throughout the service by the simple, easy handle of “Charlie.”

Charlie bears the proud distinction of having entered the service in 1877, when he became a brakeman on the old Seattle & Walla Walla Railway. By easy stages he was promoted to the throttle seat of the locomotive known as the Hyak. (more…)

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