Posts Tagged ‘Maple Valley Historical Society’

Family recalls his career and life on the farm

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, June 2005

Story by Barbara Nilson
Photos by Sherrie Acker and Nilson

Warren Iverson greets Johnny Lazor’s children: Barbara Donckers, David Lazor, and Raymond Lazor at the dedication of the “Johnny Lazor Hobart Ball Field.” — Photo by Barbara Nilson

The Hobart ball field now bears the name “Johnny Lazor Hobart Ball Field.” A crowd of nearly 100 arrived on Saturday, May 14, to hear Warren Iverson recognize the people who were responsible for the restoration and renaming of the field.

A new flag pole was donated by Terry Seaman, a huge sign graces the back stop, and a plaque honoring Lazor’s baseball career has been placed on a stone at the entrance to the field.

On Sunday more than 150 people were on hand at the Hobart Community Church to hear the three Lazor children, David, Raymond, and Barbara, recall their Dad and life on the farm on SE 208th Street. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of Valley, May 16, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

In 1920 Fred Habenicht, holding a hand saw, supervised the unloading of the new hydraulic mine motor vehicle or pulling loaded mine cars from water level tunnel to the Continental Coal Co. bunker (in the background). It replaced mules in the mine. Miners are: 18-year-old Vern Habenicht; Bob Kingen Sr., Frenchy Ferdinand Maigre; Evor Morgan, holding the chain; and onlooker Bill Baldwin. (Photo—Habenicht collection from Ravensdale Reflections book)

Before the turn of the 20th century, coal seams ran from the shores of Lake Washington to the foot of the Cascade mountains leading to the establishment of towns at the mine sites, some of which are still in existence, i.e., Renton, Black Diamond, Cumberland, Issaquah, Wilkeson, and Ravensdale. Some linger in memory only, i.e., Franklin, Elk, Bayne, Durham, Danville, Eddyville, Taylor, and Landsburg.

From the year 1888 through 1967, there were an amazing 232 coal seams being tapped in King County and operated by 157 different companies. (more…)

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Originally published in North Maple Valley Living, April 2020

By JoAnne Matsumura
Maple Valley Historical Society

Hello readers, how is your spelling and penmanship these days? It’s contest time. Oh, that’s right, you’ve got a computer that checks spelling and offers cursive-styled words. Your computer spell check may not always be right. Well, in the 1920s, school students had a spell check system, too. It was called The Teacher! (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Bugle, May 1997

By Carl Heflinger

Wood and Iverson Mill workers group portrait, Hobart, between 1915 and 1931.

Reading the article in the Maple Valley Bugle by George Sidebotham about the history of Hobart and vicinity reminded me of Henry Sidebotham. I worked with Henry at Wood & Iverson planer mill in 1928. The planer mill planed and finished lumber after it had been sawed into suitable dimensions and kiln dried.

My job was to off-bear the boards as they came out of the planer. I gave one board to Henry and the next board to Stanley Savage. Each of these men had a trim saw. They trimmed the boards and graded them, putting each piece on a table in piles according to their lengths. As I remember, there was only one grade and that was No. 1 clear. (more…)

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Originally published in Maple Valley Neighbors, May 2020

By JoAnne Matsumura
Maple Valley Historical Society

The following lines were written by Clyde Ferguson, a Navy boy, to his mother, Mrs. W.S. Ferguson. Clyde recently came near to a tragic death when his ship was barely saved from sinking. The crew labored at the pumps for eight days, and were all but exhausted when help finally came. (more…)

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Originally published in North Maple Valley Living, March 2020

By JoAnne Matsumura
Maple Valley Historical Society

Tinkering with wiring and electricity, Chester Gibbon had some experience before he installed a Delco home-lighting system by wiring the store, house, and barn buildings with “chums” as they built a neighborhood telegraph line and practiced Morse Code in 1917.

When school was out in June of 1918, Chester joined the Army Signal Corps, serving in France. The Army was primarily using field telephones with wires and switchboards, as seen in the image with Chester, second from the right in the back row. Chester is the one standing in another field image. He was quite proficient in using it. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 3, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Kummer coal/clay bunkers (November 13, 1951 #262106-9022) This coal/clay bunker or storage/ processing facility is believed to have been built in 1944 by the Kummer Coal Company and was later operated by the Johnson Coal Company and Palmer Coking Coal Co., Inc. Its capacity was listed as 150 tons. It was originally built as a coal bunker, but later used for clay. The Kummer mine was unique in that both coal and fire clay were mined. Following mining, slabs of mill end wood were laid on the ground and covered first with coal and then with freshly mined clay. The wood/coal base was set on fire and the clay was burned to rid it of carbon contaminants. The resulting clay was sold to Gladding McBean in Renton for the production of bricks. The Kummer clay beds were founded by Jacob Sants on August 15, 1888, and named for George Kummer, ceramist for the Denny Clay Company. This site is located south of the Green River and west of SR-169 on property now owned by Washington State Parks and Recreation in Section 26-21-6. (Note: King County Assessor photo.) From “When Coal Was King,” April 7, 2009, by Bill Kombol.

Though the clay and coal mining town of Kummer no longer exists, motorists traveling out of Black Diamond today may turn right on to S.E. 352th from the Maple Valley highway and cross the Green River on what the locals still refer to as the “Kummer bridge.”

William Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co. explains some of the history, “In addition to their appetite for coal, the growing cities of the Puget Sound also needed deposits of clay, one of the prime ingredients in paving and building bricks. Clay was first discovered in this area near Kummer (an area now occupied by Flaming Geyser State Park) by Jacob Sant in 1888.

The deposit and the town were named for George Kummer, a ceramist and engineer for the Denny Clay Company. In 1905, two local companies joined to form the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company which by 1917 was producing 58 million bricks per year. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 27, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The families of Hobart pioneers, Rudolph and Julie (Gradishnick) Grady and Olga (Grady) and Rudy Petchnick, will be featured at the Sunday, April 15th reunion at the Hobart Community Church, at 1:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 20, 2007

The former railroad depot, built in 1886, in Black Diamond now houses the Historical Society Museum. Down Railroad Avenue the current book store is visible. It has also been King’s Tavern. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

Featured speaker at the Maple Valley Reunion, Sunday, Feb. 25th, will be Mayor Howard Botts of Black Diamond. The 1 p.m. program at the Grange Hall on Highway 169 at 216th is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

Mayor Botts, who was born and raised in Black Diamond, will relate the histories of the two towns and how they have been connected over the years by the highway, the railroad, once upon a time, as well as other similarities. He’ll also discuss, “what is coming down the road; hopefully, new homes and new businesses.”

He said, “It is always interesting to talk about my home town.” Botts has served as mayor for 24 years and before that served several terms on the City Council in the 1960s and then during the 1970s, he was a member of the Planning Community. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Neighbors, February 2020

By JoAnne Matsumura, Maple Valley Historical Society

This special valentine was not your usual cutout style or a postcard of the day. It wasn’t cupids with angel wings bringing bouquets of flowers, nor those little candy hearts with fun and silly messages.

To Mr. and Mrs. Lapinski, the valentine from Uncle Sam that week regarding their son Ben, who was somewhere in France, was a heartfelt welcome greeting.

So grateful and thankful were they that the “Letter from France” was published in the Enumclaw Courier newspaper on February 14, 1919, as follows. (more…)

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