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Posts Tagged ‘Stampede Pass’

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 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 Voice of the Valley, April 7, 2015

By Bill Kombol

Railroads played a key role in the development of most King County towns, including Ravensdale. The arrival of the nation’s second transcontinental railway, the Northern Pacific (NP) in 1883 dramatically accelerated growth throughout the Washington Territory.

The development of a production-scale coal mine required a rail link to deliver the massive equipment needed to operate the mine and to transport the coal to market.

The extension of the Columbia and Puget Sound (C&PS) railway in 1884 from Renton by Henry Villard’s Oregon Improvement Company enabled the coal mines at Cedar Mountain (1884), Black Diamond (late 1884), Franklin (1885), and Danville (1896) to begin production. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, August 3, 1983

By Herb Belanger
Times suburban bureau

Neely Mansion

Neely Mansion, located on the Auburn-Black Diamond Road, was built in 1894. The building is in the National Register of Historic Places and was the second structure placed on the county register of landmarks.

The future of two structures intimately connected to the development and early settlement in King County may hinge on two separate meetings to be held this month.

The first will be at the Auburn City Hall Monday at 7:30 p.m. when people interested in the fate of the Neely Mansion, tied to the early settlement of the Green River Valley, will meet to see if something can be done about continuing a restoration project which has been halted for lack of funds.

The second meeting will be that of the county’s Landmarks Commission, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. in the eighth-floor conference room of the Alaska Building, Seattle, when a decision will be made on whether the railroad depot in the Cascade Mountain town of Lester should be recognized as a county landmark. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 23, 1953

Troop ferry last heard over Easton

A Seattle-bound nonscheduled C-46 airliner vanished over the Stampede Pass area of the Cascades early today. The plane carried four men.

The two-engine American Air Transport, Inc., plane sent its last message over Easton, on the east slope of the Cascades, at 12:47 o’clock. The pilot reported everything was normal. The plane was due at Boeing Field at 1:05. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 16 and 23, 1977

By Jalo Lahtinen

Self-styled stump jumper Jalo Lahtinen of Hobart, standing here along the modern version of the East Fork of Issaquah Creek, reminisces about Hobart 59 years ago in the following article and offers some reflections on the present as well as sage advice for the future. He calls his piece, “Musings of a not-to-smart stump rancher,” but we’ll leave it to the reader as to whether or not this should be taken literally. — Ed. (Photo by Bob Gerbing.)

Self-styled stump jumper Jalo Lahtinen of Hobart, standing here along the modern version of the east fork of Issaquah Creek, reminisces about Hobart 59 years ago in the following article and offers some reflections on the present as well as sage advice for the future. He calls his piece, “Musings of a not-to-smart stump rancher,” but we’ll leave it to the reader as to whether or not this should be taken literally. — Ed. (Photo by Bob Gerbing.)

When you tell someone you’re from Hobart, “Where is Hobart?” they ask.

It is at the headwaters of Issaquah Creek, the two forks known to us old stump jumpers by the following names—north fork as Holder’s Creek, east fork as Carry’s Creek.

It’s part of Cedar River Valley, nestled in the foothills of the Cascades with an eastern view of the Stampede Pass area and Mount Rainier to the south.

Once a sawmill town and farming area with self-sustaining farms and part-time stump farmers it was a paradise, a boy’s dream. Our mountains—Tiger, Taylor, and Sherwood were covered with the forest primeval, a cathedral of the Gods, an emerald jewel that God dropped in the right location, only a three-to-four mile area.

Near the summit of Sherwood is a beautiful spring two to three feet across, a trickle of the most beautiful blue water you could lay your eyes on running out of it—cold, refreshing, and thirst quenching.

Our streams were full of spawning salmon and land-locked sockeye in the fall, spawning by the hundreds. We called them red fish, cut-throat, and steelhead—no trick to catch a mess at any time. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 19, 1983

By Herb Belanger
Times South bureau

In 1964, people were still waiting for the train in Lester. Now Burlington Northern wants to get rid of the old railroad station deep in the Cascade Mountains.

In 1964, people were still waiting for the train in Lester. Now Burlington Northern wants to get rid of the old railroad station deep in the Cascade Mountains.

Ever had a hankering to own a railroad station? This might be the time to pick one up cheap.

But there’s a slight catch. You’d have to move the two-story building from Lester, the isolated town southwest of Stampede Pass, deep in the Cascade Mountains.

The Lester train depot has got to go. That’s the word from its owner, Burlington Northern.

BN wants to demolish it, sell it or possibly give it away, according to Mike Cook, BN environmental engineer. In any case, the company wants the building off the railroad right-of-way, Cook told members of the King County Landmarks Commission last week. (more…)

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