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Posts Tagged ‘Raging River’

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, July 1994

By Barbara Nilson
Based on taped interview by Bill McDermand in November 1993 and interview by Barbara and Edward Nilson in June 1994.

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

But the road to the outfield of the Boston Red Sox in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t easy.

He was born in Taylor in 1912 to Veronica and Michael Lazor (pronounced Lawser in the Valley but known as Laser like the beam in baseball circles) who had immigrated from Czechoslovakia. His folks met in New York in the 1890s and went to Franklin around 1908 for his Dad to work in the mines dumping cars. They then moved to Taylor where the first of four children were born.

The oldest was Mary, born in 1908, then Mike, 1910, and Johnny was next. In 1914 the family moved onto their 20-acre farm in Hobart and the youngest boy, Vincent was born.

His folks paid $10 an acre for the farm, which they sold in 1969 to the Bill McDermand family. It is located on the old road to Taylor (S.E. 208th St.) on the north side. When his folks moved here it had all been logged off, but huge stumps remained. Lazor said it took a box and a half of powder just to blow them open. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 28, 1921

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

The purpose of this preliminary sketch is to give the readers of the Bulletin a general view of the coal fields of the state, this to be followed by more detailed articles covering each of the counties in which coal occurs in commercial quantities.

Near the northern boundary line of the state, on the northwest slope of Mt. Baker, there is a small area containing anthracite and anthracitic coal. So far no commercial mines have been developed within this field.

Westward and near the shore of Bellingham Bay, is an area containing a coal bed that is being developed by the Bellingham Mines Company. It is not known at present what the full extent of this area is, but it is probable that additional discoveries will be made in Whatcom County. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 22, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

George Watkin Evans (1876-1951), 1924 Courtesy Seattle and Environs

George Watkin Evans, 1924

Prior to 1887 there was a great deal of excitement because of the alleged high grade coal beds discovered in the Raging River district, which lies southeasterly from Issaquah at distances varying from three to ten miles.

Raging River is a tributary of the Snoqualmie River and flows in a northerly direction through the center of the northeasterly portion of the King County coal fields.

The district as a whole is made up largely of steep-sided hills and rugged mountains and is a difficult and expensive field in which to prospect. The hills and mountains at the head of and on each side of Raging River contain scores of coal outcrops in many instances far up on the side of the mountains. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 25, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922The articles written thus far describing the coal fields of the State of Washington have dealt with fields which, with the exception of the Bellingham coal mines in Whatcom County, do not contain coal mines of very great commercial importance.

King County, next in order of discussion, is one of the three important bituminous coal areas of the state, the other two being Pierce and Kittitas counties. King County contains coal areas of such importance that it will be advisable to divide them under subdivisions, as follows:

Newcastle–Issaquah–Grand Ridge area; Cedar River area; Raging River–Upper Cedar River area; Ravensdale–Black Diamond area; Pacosco–Hyde area; Kummer–Krain area; National–Navy area; Bayne–Pocahontas area; Durham–Kangley area.

By subdividing the field into the above groups, the geological structure of the fields and the types of coal contained in them can be handled to best advantage. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 12, 1921

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922Before proceeding with the details of the several coal fields in the state, describing their geology and also the coal mines operating within these fields, it will be well to explain, briefly, some of the important terms to be used in this series of papers, so we will have a standard to work by.

It is the intention of the writer to make these articles as non-technical and simple as possible, but in dealing with a subject of this nature, certain technical terms must necessarily be used. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 2, 1992

By Barbara Nilson

MARY SANDHEI, who celebrated her 85th birthday, August 13, with a trip into her former homesite at Taylor, recalls those early days looking at her photo albums. (Photo by Barbara Nilson)

MARY SANDHEI, who celebrated her 85th birthday, August 13, with a trip into her former homesite at Taylor, recalls those early days looking at her photo albums. (Photo by Barbara Nilson)

Mary Sandhei, former owner of Sandhei’s Cafe in Maple Valley in the ‘50s, celebrated her 85th birthday, Aug. 13, with a family reunion and a nostalgic trip to Taylor, her former home.

Her oldest daughter, Alene O’Brien, hosted the reunion of 70 family members at her home on Mercer Island.

“If everyone could have come there would have been 100 relatives,” Sandhei reported. Besides Alene, she has a daughter, Mary Anne, in Napa, Calif.; and son, Dale, who lives in the home they moved from Taylor to Maple Valley; 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and two more on the way.

Mary married Albert Sandhei in June 1928, and moved to Kerriston a year later to live in a tent in the woods on the Raging River while her husband and brother, Jack, trapped for furs in the winter and worked in the shingle mill. (Albert’s trapping knapsack and photos are on display at the Maple Valley Historical Society.) (more…)

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By Irving Petite

Originally published in The News Mill [Issaquah], September 22, 1976

Before Bill McCauley and I bought land on Tiger Mountain in 1941, we had explored Western Washington’s unimproved land-for-sale from Darrington, north, to Randle, south, and from Twin Lakes in the Cascade Mountains to Shine, across Hood Canal from Seabeck on the Olympic Peninsula.

In the process, 35 years ago, we surveyed acreage for sale at Kerriston. Weekends (days when Bill was not doing jackhammer work at Mud Mountain Dam and I was not attending the university) during the summer and fall of 1940, we sometimes drove Bill’s 1936 Nash to logged-off land a timber company’s map showed to be for sale at Kerriston. It was reached by going south to Renton (the first floating bridge was not complete), southeast to Hobart, then east into the Cascade foothills.

A few miles east of Hobart the road V’d. Straight ahead, on the crest of Taylor Mountain, stood the town of Taylor with is Gladding McBean kilns for the firing of bricks and tile. (In later years, fire bricks for our own hearths were to come from Taylor … and giant tiles for our chimney flues.) When we drove up there once in 1940, a cow with a bell was ringleading several other cows down the main street.

Now there is a gate across that road’s mouth and Taylor (whose kiln stacks—once air hazards—have been removed) is in Cedar River Watershed.

But a gravel road still leads right. In 1940 and for years following it was purely a one-way road between the fences and “no trespassing” signs of Cedar River Watershed. Where, at the far end it opened into the land for sale, we found it to be jumbled hillsides folding into ravines and pothole-like depressions on both sides of a disused logging grade. (more…)

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