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Posts Tagged ‘Walsh Lake’

Maple Valley Historical Society, March 1987

Here’s where me and the railroad got together.

My brother went up to Maple Valley for some reason or other and saw this gang of railroad men working to save the track that was being washed out. Being nosy, he went up to the foreman and asked if they were hiring anybody and he said yes, and get anyone else you can.

He came home and got me and we started work filling gunny sacks with sand at 4:00 p.m. and didn’t stop til 4:00 p.m. the next day. The rain never let up and gunny sacks got hard to get because everyone else needed them too for the same reason we did. We wound up using sacks that had been filled with rock salt and the salt cut our hands making them very sore. We didn’t have the little bags they use nowadays but the 100-pound size which we about two-thirds filled. (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, August 26, 1910

Period of greatest danger passed, through spectacular and successful work of fighting forces

Departments conflict on firing great guns

William Entwistle’s force risks death in mad race to Maple Valley with auto load of dynamite

The forest fire story in brief

Two bad fires break out near standing timber reserves, King County. Forest supervisors take 200 men into woods but fail to control conflagrations.

Blaze in young timber near Scenic Hot Springs breaks all bounds and is beyond control. Forest supervisor in charge.

Town of Walsh, on Columbia & Puget Sound, badly scorched, loss including one saloon, two-story dwelling house, barn, and buildings of England’s logging camp.

Dynamite to the amount of 500 pounds taken into Maple Valley district by fire fighters, who prepare to dynamite tops of trees in old timber to stop destructive fires.

Cooler weather makes work of forest fire workers easier, but danger will continue until rains fall.

The town of Bothell, at the head of Lake Washington, which was in danger of destruction yesterday, is reported safe. No buildings were destroyed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 22, 1978

By Ruby Ziegner

Anna Gruenes Conover looks back over 83 eventful years in the Hobart-Sherwood-Taylor areas.

Anna Gruenes Conover looks back over 83 eventful years in the Hobart-Sherwood-Taylor areas.

When Anna Gruenes Conover celebrated her birthday on January 30, she could trace her 83 years of memories back through the history of this entire area from Hobart to the beginnings of Sherwood and Taylor, once-lively places which have long disappeared from current maps.

She was born in 1895 in Sherwood, east of Hobart and northwest of what was just becoming the town of Taylor at the time. Her father, Franz Gruenes had arrived in 1886. As a European immigrant en-route from Minnesota to Oregon, he met a couple of men who urged him to stop off in Seattle. One of them was coming out to claim a homestead on which he had filed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 21, 1980

A minor disaster on the old Pacific Coast Railroad line between Maple Valley and Taylor. A carload of lumber derailed while approaching a trestle between Sherwood and Walsh Lake stations, dumping its load over the bank next to the trestle and pulling at least one more car into the fracas. The derailed cars can be seen wedged between the edge of the trestle and the lumber lying against the bank. Such incidents were rather commonplace events in old-time railroading, and the somewhat rickety Taylor branch of the Pacific Coast RR was no exception. (Photo courtesy Maple Valley Historical Society)

A minor disaster on the old Pacific Coast Railroad line between Maple Valley and Taylor. A carload of lumber derailed while approaching a trestle between Sherwood and Walsh Lake stations, dumping its load over the bank next to the trestle and pulling at least one more car into the fracas. The derailed cars can be seen wedged between the edge of the trestle and the lumber lying against the bank. Such incidents were rather commonplace events in old-time railroading, and the somewhat rickety Taylor branch of the Pacific Coast RR was no exception. (Photo courtesy Maple Valley Historical Society)

(Editor’s note: The days of the ‘‘Iron Horse” are apparently over for Maple Valley as the railroad line here has nearly fallen into disuse. Following is the concluding article in a three-part series, tracing the history of the once well-known Maple Valley depot.)

By Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher
Installment III

One day early in the ‘40s after operations had ceased on the Taylor branch, Ralph Ozura was on duty at the station.

“Conductor Ward Burt on a Milwaukee train called me from Cedar Falls and said he was coming to Maple Valley to take siding for the passenger train,” Ralph recalls.

“I told him his train was too long to fit in our siding and not to come here, but he did anyway and backed his train up the Taylor branch. It indeed was too long for our siding.

“Now, Mr. Burt was a Milwaukee employee and had no business using the Taylor branch as it was intended only for the use of Pacific Coast trains, and therein lies the story here. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 14, 1980

The second Maple Valley depot of the Pacific Coast Railroad. It boasted living quarters upstairs for its employees and their families.

The second Maple Valley depot of the Pacific Coast Railroad. It boasted living quarters upstairs for its employees and their families. (Note curtains in upper windows.) The sign on the express cart reads, “Wells Fargo & Co. Express,” while an enameled sign on the right front or the building advises that this was a “Western Union Telegraph and Cable Office.” A farmer’s milk can sits upon the cart, presumably waiting for the next train to take it to a dairy.

In 1952 after the Great Northern Railway purchased the Pacific Coast, this depot was razed to make way for the present structure in nearly the same location. For our readers who are railroad buffs, the train order signal in front of the building was a two-stage device, the upper arms governing trains from or enroute Cle Elum on Milwaukee tracks, and the lower arm (at about roof level) governing trains enroute Franklin or Black Diamond. (Photo courtesy Jim Bain)

(Editor’s note: The Milwaukee Railroad ran its last train through Maple Valley on March 15 and a significant historical era ended. In the second installment of his series, Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher, recalls the often turbulent past of the Maple Valley depot.)

By Dave Sprau
Installment II

When the Milwaukee stopped running, the dispatchers at Maple Valley had outlived their usefulness.

“There isn’t anything difficult about supervising the movement of one train a day” (a Burlington Northern local), said afternoon dispatcher A.J. McFarland. “When the Milwaukee was running we had many trains to look after and some duties and responsibilities. I hate to say it, but that’s all over now.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 30, 1980

Maple Valley RR station
Maple Valley’s first railroad station, built in 1887 for the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad Company. The Milwaukee Road did not come through Maple Valley until 1907. Hence the station was evidently in a considerable different location than the two which replaced it.

At the time this photograph was taken, the track was narrow gauge, probably three feet between the rails, as compared to the standard gauge of 4 feet, 8 ½ inches in use on American railroads today. The Columbia and Puget Sound was purchased by the Pacific Coast Coal Company about 1897 and renamed the Pacific Coast Railroad.

It remained as such until the Burlington Northern merger in 1970, despite the face that in 1952 the Great Northern purchased the railroad and operated it as a separate company. (Photo courtest Maple Valley Historical Society.)

(Editor’s note: The Milwaukee Railroad ran its last train through Maple Valley on March 15 and a significant historical era ended. In this series of articles, beginning below, Dave Sprau, Burlington Northern train dispatcher, recalls the often turbulent past and, to many valleyites, the sad present.)

By Dave Sprau
Installment I

At 4 p.m., Friday, April 4, 1980, Burlington Northern Agent Ralph Ozura locked the door on the Maple Valley station and went home for the last time.

Unlike other days, no “night man“ showed up to relieve Ralph and keep the station operating on its previous 24-hour, seven-day-per-week basis. An era had ended. (more…)

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