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Posts Tagged ‘Rattlesnake Lake’

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 Voice of the Valley, April 18, 1979

By Teresa Hensley

Circled above is the low area in the right abutment of the masonry dam.

Circled above is the low area in the right abutment of the masonry dam.

“There is no imminent danger, and people should not be alarmed,” said Colonel John A. Poteat, the Army Corps Seattle District Engineer, in a press release last week from Seattle City Light about the masonry dam above the Cedar River.

In an earlier press conference it was revealed that the dam could prove unsafe in the event of a major flood.

Conditions which could trigger such an emergency—described as “a flood on top of a flood” by Joe Recchi, acting superintendent of City Light—have never been approached in the 75 years of the project. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Times, November 10, 1963

By Lucile McDonald

When this photograph was taken, water behind the masonry dam was at a low level. Line, about midway up, indicates high water level of the reservoir.

When this photograph was taken, water behind the masonry dam was at a low level. Line, about midway up, indicates high water level of the reservoir.

One of the curiosities uncovered during freeway construction was a tar-coated 40-inch steel pipe laid down the west side of Capital Hill. Two sections were dug out and discarded for scrap, the rest was plugged with cement and left buried in the slope.

Workmen who witnessed removal of this obstacle to the path of progress may not have known they were viewing the penstock which fed Cedar River water into the first electric power plant on Lake Union. The public has forgotten thoroughly the function of a small structure hemmed in by the King County Welfare Department’s medical service office and the City Light’s stand-by steam plant at Eastlake Avenue and Nelson Place.

The building is completely empty except for a table and chairs in a room used as a voting precinct once or twice a year. If you go around in back, you can see where Lake Union once lapped at the base of the rear wall and a tail race poured out water from the Volunteer Park reservoir after its force had driven the Pelton bucket wheel of the old electric generator inside the little building.

The pipes carried the reservoir overflow down the hill, one being the penstock and the other a drain, still in use, that had been relocated at a lower level.

Through these pipes, Cedar River water mingled with Lake Union and flowed out into Salmon Bay before there was a ship canal.

The Cedar has been much manipulated by man. Its water flows into hundreds of thousands of homes and the current it generates partially lights them. It supplies most of the make-up water needed to operate the ship canal’s Chittenden Locks. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Daily Times, December 23, 1918

Lumbering community desolated

Cottages of working men carried away by rush of pent up water at North Bend – Stream rises with amazing rapidity when old timbered structure gives way

“The arrow on the map shows where the big eruption took place at midnight, December 23, 1918, hurling a million and a half yards of rocks, earth, and gravel for miles around, opening up a creek, now called ‘Christmas Creek,’ which flowed on to Boxley Creek, causing it to rise and to add flood damage to the inhabitants of Edgewick. The town was completely destroyed. The map gives a graphic picture of the entire district showing where Edgewick was formerly located and Rattlesnake Lake in which the town of Cedar Falls was formerly thriving. It shows the location of the new masonry dam and the old temporary or crib dam, Mount Washington, the north bank, and the rock ribbed mountain on the south of west, all of which were intended for the walls of the great natural reservoir, provided the north bank had not been porous.” – The Seattle Daily Times, July 26, 1921

“The arrow on the map shows where the big eruption took place at midnight, December 23, 1918, hurling a million and a half yards of rocks, earth, and gravel for miles around, opening up a creek, now called ‘Christmas Creek,’ which flowed on to Boxley Creek, causing it to rise and to add flood damage to the inhabitants of Edgewick. The town was completely destroyed. The map gives a graphic picture of the entire district showing where Edgewick was formerly located and Rattlesnake Lake in which the town of Cedar Falls was formerly thriving. It shows the location of the new masonry dam and the old temporary or crib dam, Mount Washington, the north bank, and the rock ribbed mountain on the south of west, all of which were intended for the walls of the great natural reservoir, provided the north bank had not been porous.” – The Seattle Daily Times, July 26, 1921

Houses were toppled over, a shingle mill swept away, a lumber mill flooded and a section of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad’s main line washed out this morning when the McCann Shingle Company’s dam near Edgewick gave way as the result of pressure of water caused by leakage from the city’s Cedar River dam. (more…)

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