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Posts Tagged ‘Sugarloaf Mountain’

Originally published in the MVHS’s The Bugle, November 1997

By Eva Litras

Dale Coal Company in Ravensdale, a typical small mine of this area early in the century. Photo supplied by Maple Valley Historical Society Museum.

Dale Coal Company in Ravensdale, a typical small mine of this area early in the century. Photo supplied by Maple Valley Historical Society Museum.

This is a story about the Elkcoal Mine—located off the Kangley-Kanasket Road. We moved there in 1929 and lived in a small house on Sugarloaf Mountain. (more…)

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Originally published in the Tacoma News Tribune, November 15, 1964

By Rod Cardwell

Down the Road a PieceIt was called “Lavender Town,” a Japanese settlement near the great lumber mill that flourished in Selleck … east out of Kent in the King County uplands that swing gradually into the Cascade Range.

And the women would appear outside among the flowers in their colorful kimonos, many in shades of purple … and the children came home from the English-speaking school to receive instruction in Japanese.

Today, Lavender Town, where the men went forth to labor for the Pacific States Lumber Co., is only a memory. … The mill, after fires and labor strife, ceased to operate just before World War II. … And with Pearl Harbor came the removal of the Japanese to camps far inland. Later, although peace prevailed and a mood of hate and suspicion had vanished, most of them never returned. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, July 4, 1976

By Bill Smull

Torn photograph shows train, workers at old Durham Mine

Torn photograph shows train, workers at old Durham Mine

Steve Gustin sort of gets a kick out of people asking him where he’s from.

“I always say, ‘Elkcoal.’ And they always ask, ‘Where’s that?’ And I tell them, ‘Right across the road from Durham.’”

The confusion of those unfortunate newcomers who run into Steve Gustin can be excused; there are not a few long-time King County residents who aren’t even aware of the existence of Elkcoal, much less the long-abandoned mining community of Durham which once perched precariously on a hillside a few hundred yards from the ancient filling station and grocery owned by Steve and his wife, Vernalee.

The Elk and Durham mines both are long abandoned, leaving a few piles of rotting planks and beams and a huge pile of brush-choked slag as their only visible memorials. Most of the people—and even some of the houses—have scattered throughout the county. But even though all traces of mining activity have disappeared beneath second-growth forest, some old miners remain to remember the years of sweat and toil—and occasional terror—beneath the Cascade foothills. (more…)

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