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Posts Tagged ‘Maple Valley Historical Society’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, June 2007

Story and photos by Barbara Nilson

Paul Bartholomew and his daughter, Karen Lindquist, stand in front of the foundation for the press factory that made clay pipe.

The daffodils are blooming in Taylor as they do every spring to welcome back those who have fond memories of living there when it was a booming coal and clay company town. Taylor existed from 1892-1947, when the Seattle Public Utilities formed the Cedar River Watershed and closed the area to the public.

Each April the Utility District and Friends of the Cedar River Watershed offer the walking tour into Taylor for two weekends at a cost of $15. Participants gather at the Cedar River Watershed Visitors/Education Center for a slideshow of early day Taylor, then climb into vans for the 10-mile drive to the site.

The Education Center has interpretive exhibits that show where our water comes from and historical materials about the watershed area. It is an interesting place to browse anytime of the year. I especially like the musical artwork in the rain drum court where drops of water play tunes on the various drums. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, May 2000

By Barbara Nilson

Photos by Sherrie Acker

The “action” in the 1920s to 1950s, from Seattle south, was at the lake resorts in the Valley. Memories of those glory days were shared at the March program with Dolores Gaffney and Janet Bertagni talking about Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness resort, and Gloria Foss remembering the family’s resort on Shadow Lake.

Lake Wilderness resorts

Attending the historical society program on resorts were, from left, Janet Bertagni, Dolores Gaffney Judge, and Bernadine Gaffney Gebenini.

Dolores Gaffney, daughter of Tom Gaffney, reported her father and his brother Kain purchased the property on Lake Wilderness in 1926 from Abraham and Sam Cohen. The family moved to the lake and the resort opened in the spring of 1927 as Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness.

At that time there were three small family resorts on the lake. Dieckman with his two sons, Jeff and Don, had just started one, and across the lake was McKinney’s. McKinney’s also had a dance hall that was two stories high that they eventually turned into a skating rink. In April 1939 McKinneys sold their place to Gaffneys.

One of the older buildings was used for a dance hall, said Dolores, and they used kerosene lamps. In 1936 they built a new dance hall after the old one burned down. They had a 30-foot-high diving board as well as cabins, tennis courts, picnic areas, ball fields, and playgrounds.

In 1949 Diekmans and Gaffneys were combined and the Gaffneys decided to build a lodge. The design was developed by Young, Richardson and Carlson and won the grand prize from the Washington Chapter of Architects in 1951 and the top award from the American Institute in New York in 1952. The center column totem pole was carved by the famous Doug McCarter. It is 35 feet tall and weighs ten tons. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, May 1997

By Colin McDonald

In January and February of 1938, Bill Iverson and I were hired by the Baldridge Logging Co. to fire their donkey which was located near the top of Taylor Mountain.

I told this to a person who didn’t know anything about logging. I said, “We had to get up early to steam up the donkey before the crew arrived.” He replied, “What did you do? Run him around in a corral?” He thought we were using a four-legged donkey. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, April 1992

Dan Palmer and his pup, Pal, will entertain April 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Maple Valley Community Center. (Photo by B. Nilson)

Dan Palmer and his pup, Pal, will entertain April 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Maple Valley Community Center. (Photo by B. Nilson)

The historical society is sponsoring an evening performance by a Black Diamond folk singer and musician, Dan Palmer, April 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Maple Valley Community Center.

This will be in lieu of the regular afternoon meeting the third Monday of April. “If it is successful, we’ll schedule more evening meetings as requested by some of our members,” said Barbara Nilson, president.

Palmer composes songs about the Northwest including “Washington Territory,” “Mount St. Helens,” and “Wagon Train” that he completed just days before he joined the wagon train that crossed the state for the Centennial in 1989.

His song “Black Diamond Mines” was written for that town’s 100th birthday celebration in 1986. The ballad is about Dooda Vernarelli, his neighbor, who told him about the significance of the whistles blowing in the mines.

There will also be sing-a-longs to popular old-time tunes, he said.

Admission to pay for the entertainment is $3 for the general public; $2 for historical society members; and $1 for children under 12.

Coffee and cookies will be provided by the historical society.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 10, 2002

By Barbara Nilson

Rainbow Sparkles Campfire group of Glacier Park Elementary pause before planting flowers along the driveway at the new Ravensdale post office, April 2. Back row: Lindsay Hanson, Annie Harris, Jenny Harris, Amanda Stam, Brittany Ferguson, and Desiree MacKinnon, assistant; front row: Emily Gillmore, Kaylie Holcomb of Shadow Lake, Samantha MacKinnon, and Elizabeth Burianek. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

Streams of visitors surveyed the spacious new Ravensdale post office, April 2, some bearing gifts to the open house. Maple Woods Polygon donated two 6-foot cedar trees, Maple Valley Campfire troop planted bulbs, and guests contributed plants.

Guests were treated to cake decorated with a picture of the post office by CJs Bakery in Black Diamond. Jim Storer, owner of CJs, donated doughnuts for the occasion. The cake noted that the post office was celebrating 100 years of existence.

Postmaster Jennie Lee Noonan mused that the community has certainly changed from the first of the of 18 postmasters to today. The number of boxes in the new post office has doubled from the 547 when Noonan started in 1995 to 1,098 now.

At the turn of the century, the company town of Ravensdale was the third largest in King County and the nearby community of Georgetown supported 11 saloons and three dance halls, catering to the miners before the disaster of 1915 killed 31 miners. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, March 2007

Howard Botts

Howard Botts

Black Diamond is my favorite subject since I’ve lived there all my life. I think these two towns, Maple Valley and Black Diamond, have some things in common; a couple of them are Highway 169 and railroads.

People in Seattle heard that the Northern Pacific was coming to this area and going to Tacoma.

They felt if they couldn’t have that they were going to build their own railroad from Seattle to Walla Walla over the pass. So they started in 1873, got as far as Renton in 1876; then extended it to Newcastle. In 1880 Henry Villard, of the Northern Pacific, bought it from the Black Diamond Coal Company and renamed it the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, February 1999

Photographed on their home place in Hobart are Valentine Kochevar (in hat) and his children: Antonia, Mary, Eddie, Joey, Anne, and Christine. Another child, Aloysius (Louie) died in 1928.

Photographed on their home place in Hobart are Valentine Kochevar (in hat) and his children: Antonia, Mary, Eddie, Joey, Anne, and Christine. Another child, Aloysius (Louie) died in 1928.

The latest publication by the Maple Valley Historical Society is the “Kochevar Family Recipes and Remembrances.” The 104-page cookbook contains old family recipes and history of the immigrant Kochevar family as well as an ancestor chart.

Father Valentine, who was born on Valentine’s Day 1874, in Austria (Slovenia) in what is now Yugoslavia, came to the United States in 1903. He worked in Black Diamond, logged in Enumclaw, then went to Ravensdale and Taylor, before settling in Hobart. He married Antonia Zagridisnik, also an immigrant, and they raised seven children.

All of the children, except Joe and Louie, are still living. Annie makes her home on the original farm purchased by her father in 1913. The other children were Mary, Antonia, Christine, and Edward, the only child born in Hobart. The rest were born in Taylor. (more…)

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