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Posts Tagged ‘Palmer’

Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 2, 1908

By “W.T.P.”

Suppose you were a policeman with a beat of 700 square miles.

Suppose this included sixteen coal mining towns, where the rough element predominated, and fights, murders, and all sorts of crimes succeeded each other so rapidly that you hardly had a breathing space between.

Suppose you were the only officer of the law in all this district, and that your hours were from 8 o’clock every morning, including Sunday, to 8 o’clock the next.

Suppose your duties had thrown you into desperate fights, open revolver battles, chases that lasted for days at a time through the seemingly trackless woods, and that a dozen times you had been within an inch of your life.

If you could meet all these conditions you would be the counterpart of Matt Starwich, deputy sheriff for the district of Ravensdale, and you would be an “every-day hero.” There are few people in the county who have more deeds of heroism to their credit than this same Matt Starwich. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, July 29, 1987

Horseshoe pitching is more than just a picnic folly for the Heines

Elwood and Ken are teammates on the Green River Tavern team.

Elwood and Ken are teammates on the Green River Tavern team.

Meet Elwood and Kenneth Heine, the “shoes brothers.”

The Heines pitch horseshoes with passion and precision. They’ve flung the weighty good-luck pieces with South King County’s best for more than a decade. In the horseshoe pits, the Heines make their own luck.

For Elwood and Ken, horseshoe pitching is more than a picnic folly. It’s an art, a rhythmic exercise with a rustic beat—the thud of the shoe in the sand, its clink against the metal stake. Nearly every other horseshoe they loft snuggles perfectly around its target.

Close does count in horseshoes—a point is awarded if the shoe is within six inches of the stake—but for the Heines, only a “ringer” will do. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 17, 1891

J.C. Dillon crushed to death by a railroad train in a peculiar manner

Palmer, May 16 (Special) — While J.C. Dillon was at work on the track at Palmer station Friday morning the overland train came along unexpectedly.

He jumped out of the way and struck against a tripod which had been left close to the track with point toward it, so that there was only just room for cars to pass. He was crushed to death between the cars and tripod, the pulley block being jammed into his back.


Palmer was originally a telegraph station on the Northern Pacific Railway opened during the construction of the railway’s line across Stampede Pass circa 1886.

Between 1899 and 1900 the Northern Pacific built a cut-off from Palmer Junction (just east of Palmer), crossing the Green River to Kanaskat, and thence westward to Ravensdale, Covington, and finally Auburn.

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Originally published in the Washington State Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Columbia, Spring 1994

By John Hanscom

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Bird’s-eye-view map of Franklin Mine and its environs, c. 1890. (Courtesy of Don Mason and the Black Diamond Historical Society.)

Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in October 1880 as part of his grand scheme to dominate the development of the Pacific Northwest. By 1883 he had tied the area to the national economy with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Expansive development of the Pacific Northwest seemed assured.

To fuel Villard’s steamships and locomotives, a dependable coal supply was a high priority. By February 1881 the Oregon Improvement Company had acquired the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, including the Newcastle Mine east of Lake Washington, at a cost of one million dollars. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad (renamed the Columbia and Puget Sound) was also purchased for over half a million dollars to transport coal from mine to Seattle bunkers. Villard hired John L. Howard under a five-year contract at $10,000 per year as general manager of the coal business. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 23, 2010

By Bill Kombol

‘Welsh’ Bill Morris, Jackie Warren, and Jim Thomas (left to right) are shown here in Palmer, Washington, in the early 1940s. Both coal miners came to the U.S. from Wales in 1927-28 to work at the Durham mine of the Morris Brothers Coal Mining Company. Both were immigrants sponsored by their American relative, George Morris.

George was a Welsh immigrant who came to America in 1880, eventually establishing his family and children as successful coal miners and livery stable owners in the mining town of Wilkeson. George Morris was later part-owner of the Durham coal mine.

Welsh immigration to the U.S. began in earnest in 1850s, with a peak decade during the 1890 when over 100,000 arrived. The 1920s saw continued Welsh immigration as coal mining in Wales fell at the conclusion of World War I. (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 Voice of the Valley, November 15, 1978

The not-so-sleepy villages of Kangley, Palmer, Ravensdale, and Selleck are in the news again—rocking boats their residents think should be rocked.

Restrictions by the County Health Department on Selleck’s water system made headlines a few weeks ago.

Now the controversy centers on what homeowners in these areas consider to be inadequate county police protection. (more…)

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