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Posts Tagged ‘World War I’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 6, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The original depot at Kanaskat built in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1943. — From the Museum of History and Industry and loaned by Ruth Eckes.

The old railroad towns of Palmer and Kanaskat once thrived across the Green River from each other, Palmer on the north and Kanaskat on the south; eight miles southeast of Enumclaw. Somewhere along the line the two lost their identities. Apparently, the post office located in Palmer burned and the authorities moved it to Kanaskat but left the name of Palmer. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Neighbors, February 2020

By JoAnne Matsumura, Maple Valley Historical Society

This special valentine was not your usual cutout style or a postcard of the day. It wasn’t cupids with angel wings bringing bouquets of flowers, nor those little candy hearts with fun and silly messages.

To Mr. and Mrs. Lapinski, the valentine from Uncle Sam that week regarding their son Ben, who was somewhere in France, was a heartfelt welcome greeting.

So grateful and thankful were they that the “Letter from France” was published in the Enumclaw Courier newspaper on February 14, 1919, as follows. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Bugle, December 2015

By D’Ann Tedford

Built in 1891 on Renton-Maple Valley road, the restored W.D. Gibbon General Merchandise store and post office is now located on Witte Road. It is open to the public on the 1st Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. See also http://www.maplevalleyhistorical.com.

Visiting history at Maple Valley Historical Society’s site on Witte Road, one sees the name “Gibbon” prominently displayed on the 124-year-old restored building, “W.D. Gibbon General Merchandise.” In its years, the store also served as Maple Valley’s post office and it held a barbershop, remnants of which are visible during tours.

Gibbon had studied to be an educator but acquired the store that had been built in 1891 on Renton-Maple Valley road. His wife Lizzie had attended Washington Territorial University (now U of W) and became the first school-teacher in Black Diamond, seven miles south of the general store. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, November 22, 1925

Prosperous town on Naches Pass Highway surrounded by rich agricultural, timber, and mineral lands, is boasting of rapid development

New mill of the White River Lumber Company on the White River, three miles from Enumclaw.

One of the earliest settlements in that part of the state and the only place of that name in the United States, Enumclaw, forty miles southeast of Seattle, is one of the biggest little towns in the West.

Early history and distinctive name, however, are not Enumclaw’s only claims for attention. Thought its early growth was slow, Enumclaw today is counted one of the most prosperous towns in the Puget Sound region. Rich agricultural land, timber, and mineral surround it. It is on the Naches Pass highway, the most direct route between Seattle and the west entrance to Mount Rainier Nation Park. It is the gateway to unlimited scenic attractions, fishing, and hunting grounds. Backup up against the Cascade foothills, Enumclaw is within two hours’ drive of perpetual snow on one side and the waters of Puget Sound on the other. (more…)

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Originally published in the Puget Sound Electric Journal, Month unknown, 1919

By L.R. Grant

Coal Creek Mine bunkers, washers, etc.

What will eventually be one of our most important coal mine contracts was recently signed with the Pacific Coast Coal Company. It provides for all electrical power requirements of the briquetting and coal-crushing plants at Briquetville, near Renton, the mine at Coal Creek, near Newcastle, and the mine at Issaquah. The new contract will supersede the old contract at the briquet plant at once, and later on our existing contract at Issaquah. The rate is our regular rate for coal mines, Schedule C-15, Tariff No. 10.

The briquet plant and the mine at Issaquah have previously been described in the Journal. Coal Creek Mine is about five miles northeast of our Renton substation in a direct line, and about three miles east of Lake Washington, on a branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railway. The town of Newcastle, where most of the miners live, is less than a mile northwest of the mine. This coal field was one of the first to be developed in the State of Washington and has been worked almost continuously since its first opening. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 4, 1925

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today's Gene Coulon Park.

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today’s Gene Coulon Park.

More than million briquets made daily

In 1914 the Briquet Plant was opened and has run continuously since that time. It operates two shifts of eight hours each and produces five hundred tons of briquets a day. That means that more than one and one-half million briquets are made each day.

The briquets are made from a combination of Black Diamond and South Prairie coals. The first of these give it its free burning quality and low ash and the last, a coking coal, gives it its strength and fire holding power. The binder used is a specially prepared form of asphalt from which the stickiness has been removed.

The trip through the plant will be in the direction in which the coal is run, beginning at the point where the raw coal is received and ending at the point where the finished briquet goes into the railroad cars. (more…)

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