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Posts Tagged ‘Maple Valley Historical Society’

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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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2009

Editor’s note: Years ago, while sitting in Bill and Mildred Harshfield’s home on Dorre Don, sipping coffee, munching on her homemade cookies and discussing baseball, I often admired the photo on the kitchen wall of the Section House that used to be in the middle of “old” Maple Valley. It was the Harshfield’s home for 33 years before it was torn down and they moved next to the railroad tracks on the Cedar River. I mentioned the desire to have a copy of that photo to their son, Frank Harshfield, at the picnic in August and soon there appeared three copies in my mailbox. Two will be recorded at the Third Floor Museum. Thank you, Frank.

Editor’s note: Years ago, while sitting in Bill and Mildred Harshfield’s home on Dorre Don, sipping coffee, munching on her homemade cookies and discussing baseball, I often admired the photo on the kitchen wall of the Section House that used to be in the middle of “old” Maple Valley. It was the Harshfield’s home for 33 years before it was torn down and they moved next to the railroad tracks on the Cedar River. I mentioned the desire to have a copy of that photo to their son, Frank Harshfield, at the picnic in August and soon there appeared three copies in my mailbox. Two will be recorded at the Third Floor Museum. Thank you, Frank.

In the booklet, “Maple Valley Family Recollections III,” 1987, Bill Harshfield recalls “Railroading Days in Maple Valley.” Excerpts from that essay describe the section house. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2005

By Barbara Nilson

Francis Niemela displays a sketch of the cabin his father Charles built of railroad ties on Lake Francis in 1915.

Francis Niemela displays a sketch of the cabin his father Charles built of railroad ties on Lake Francis in 1915.

Eighty-four years of memories will be on tap, Sunday, Feb. 12, [2006,] at the Grange Hall, when Francis Niemela recalls life with the Finnish community on Lake Francis. His parents, Charles and Katri Niemela, came to Maple Valley and purchased 20 acres at the lake in 1915.

During that time there was a railroad that came around the lake and his Dad picked up railroad ties and built his first house out of them. Later that building was converted to a sauna and also used for smoking salmon and bacon when they constructed a large loghouse in 1918. That home was later purchased by the Dufenhorst family.

The Finns at Lake Francis had little stump ranches and their saunas in place of indoor plumbing. Niemela said the greatest sauna was the Lahtinen’s. It was open house every Saturday night and Mrs. Lahtinen would serve coffee and goodies. “Some of the offspring of those Finns like Walt Sipila and Walt Miller are still here,” he said. (more…)

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