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Craig Goodwin
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Thanks Bill. My childhood experience of sorting through dirt to find Daffodil bulbs unearthed by a "digger" along a conveyor belt sounds a bit similar. Not a lot of fun but what the heck, it paid for school clothes.
Toggle Commented yesterday on What's a "Tipple"? at Black Diamond NOW
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Thanks John - amazing!
Toggle Commented yesterday on Trestle of the Week at Black Diamond NOW
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If there was a "premier" place to slake your thirst for sweet treats in the early 1900's, it has to be Soda Fountains. They had it all - a fun place to hangout, open to children of all ages, plenty of seating and a wide selection of exotic and tempting beverages. Does anyone remember the G.O. Guy drugstore chain? Photo courtesy Washington State Archives, ph004635, n.d. At one time, G.O. Guy operated 12 drugstores in the Seattle area. It made getting a prescription filled something to look forward to. Entertainment provided by "soda jerks". Photo courtesy Washington State Archives, ph004634,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Black Diamond NOW
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Driving your car in the U.S. and in most countries, you sit and steer on the left side. For motorboats, however, you drive sitting on the right or starboard side. Why the difference? There appear to be two consensus answers: Steering Boards - Steering boards were rudders most commonly attached to the right side of the boat since most people were right handed. This is also where the term starboard and port come from. When pulling into port for docking, a boat was tied up on the opposite (port) side of the boat from where the rudder was attached (starboard... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Every time I think I've seen the tallest and longest logging railroad trestle ever built of wood, I find another one to stretch our imagination. The following photo, likely taken in the early 1900's, shows a trestle built at Robinson's Camp in Clallam County near Port Angeles. Robinson Logging Company operated in the area between 1898 and 1914 and at the time, held the record for longest (804') and highest (204') trestle structure as it crossed Charlie Creek. Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, UW11895, Axtell photographer, n.d. This trestle has two design differences I've not seen or noticed before.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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"I've never seen so many wildflowers in bloom here before!" That's a quote from Mt. Rainier NP ranger volunteers whom we met on the trail earlier this week. Judy and I second their observation, so many flowers now blooming at the same time. Just a few avalanche lilies left, but oodles of glacier lilies, lupine, indian paint brush, penstemon, mountain bog, monkey on a stick and many more. Don't forget to look for marmots munching away on lupine. The vistas are so big, it's hard to capture it all. Photographing flowers in mid day tends to wash out the color... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Most historical photos of donkey engines that helped revolutionize the logging industry show them with their "clothes on" under a roof. We can see the wood burning steam engine, but not the series of wheels and cables that really made them a workhorse in the woods. I recently ran across a couple of photos that show them "naked". Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, IND0235, n.d. Both are mounted on skids that can be drug from logging site to logging site. For me, it's all the cables, gears, drums and pulleys that make them interesting. Photo courtesy University of Washington... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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There can't be a better time to hike to Spray Park than now. Avalanche lilies are in their prime and indian paintbrush just beginning to bloom. This area is among the wilder parts of Mt. Rainier NP. I believe this is the same bear we have seen in prior visits enjoying munching on the wildflowers. He pretty much ignored hikers but keep your distance and carry bear spray. This young buck just ignored me while he continued his grazing on avalanche lilies. Right now, there are quite a few snowmelt fed tarns, most of which dry up by the end... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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During the boom days of coal mining in Black Diamond during the early 1900's, our community was bursting at the seams with young children who needed an education. If ever there was a consensus #1 priority, it was schools and Black Diamond had a big one - two stories and capable of housing 1st thru 12th grades for a town of about 3,000. Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, WAS0917, circa 1909 I'd say students dressed a bit differently for school than our children do today. At the time, Black Diamond was an independent school district #160. By 1921, the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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For those in western Washington who enjoy nature and landscape photography, there are certain cardinal rules for getting the most out your experience. My list includes the following: 1. You're not going to get good photographs unless you get out there. With weather so fickle, this means accepting the fact that the "perfect" sunset or sunrise just isn't going to happen every time out even with the best of planning. You must keep going back again and again and keep the faith, those special times do occur. 2. Apps can be your best friend. Check them often. Following are several... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
Thank you Margaret for sharing!
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As noted in my previous post, Black Diamond's Mine #11 once held the distinction as being the deepest coal mine in America. At 6,200 feet, that's a long way. To put it in perspective, 6,200 feet is over a mile - 1.17 miles to be precise. Considering that the mine had 12 working levels and tunnels going back and forth throughout, the miles of tunneling required may have easily been 10 times the depth or even much more. Pretty amazing. The following 1927 photo shows Mine #11 miners heading to work. I'm speculating that they were going to work because... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Being located in the burbs, Black Diamond is blessed to have such a rich and colorful history that sets us apart from other more recently developed communities surrounding us. Even our city's name makes a statement - coal mining, of course! Thanks largely to the dedicated group of volunteers who formed the Black Diamond Historical Society and museum in 1982, visit town and history comes alive. Remains of the famous Morgan Slope Mine #11 are nowhere to be seen, but an extensive gallery of photos and relics certainly are. Who has not seen this picture and marveled at the shear... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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To be successful in the logging and lumber business in the early 1900's increasingly required significant investment in both logging infrastructure and sawmill equipment. By this time, most of the easy logging around Puget Sound had been done. You now needed to invest in rail lines to access timber at sites further and further into the hinterlands. High lead logging required donkey engines to efficiently sort downed timber and load railcars. Mills increasingly needed to "scale up" and add drying, planing and finishing capacity to remain competitive. The one exception - producing shingles made of red cedar. Unlike the dense... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
According to Logging Terminology, a "jammer" is defined as a light weight, ground lead yarder using tongs and usually mounted on a truck with a spar and boom. Usually relatively inexpensive and equipped with a single drum. It may be used for both yarding and loading
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2017 on Logger Talk at Black Diamond NOW
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Any excuse for a parade. That was life in Black Diamond in the early 1900's. Photo courtesy Black Diamond Historical Society, circa 1925 The above photo of the 4th of July parade in 1925 illustrates how "all out" people in town went with floats, decorated vehicles and wearing their Sunday best to celebrate. We have to wait for Labor Day for a street parade these days but don't forget our two big events this week. Lake Sawyer 4th of July - Nothing beats 4th of July festivities at Lake Sawyer sponsored by the Lake Sawyer Community Club. There is something... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Looking for a tough job? Try being a longshoreman in the late 1800's. If ever there was an export driven economy during this period, it was the pacific northwest. This required loading and unloading ships and railcars often by hand to move goods to market. Regional exports such as coal, lumber and wheat were big and bulky, requiring lots of "manhandling". As a stevedore, this was your job - manhandling the cargo. Following is a photo of the Tacoma Mill Company's portside facilities in 1889. Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, IND0391, circa 1889 Logs were floated to the mill... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Located between Cumberland and Kanaskat, the historic mining town of Bayne offers a powerful symbol of the rise and fall of coal in our region. This photo of the old Carbon Fuel Company office in Bayne paints a clear picture of the industry today. Photo courtesy Washington State Library, circa 1970 Unlike many historic coal towns, the streets of Bayne, however, remain active. Photo courtesy Washington State Library, circa 1970 Powerful images. To learn more about Bayne and it's colorful history, follow this link to Bayne's once vital life is buried in time, published by the Black Diamond Historical Society.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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As previously reported, the Lake Sawyer Sawmill was operated by the Neukirchen brothers during the 1920's and early 1930's, producing up to 75,000 board feet of lumber per day. Douglas fir appears to be the predominant specie milled and perhaps some hemlock, but cedar trees were often left standing in the woods when the area was logged. I recently looked a bit more closely at several old mill photos to see if we could learn more about the product mix produced - all photos courtesy of Peggy Hawkins. Long random lengths to be sure. How was it sold - green,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Ever wonder who Black Diamond voters vote for in Presidential Elections? What do you think are the most common occupations of Black Diamond residents? How many people live in Black Diamond? As a self professed data junky, following are answers to these of other questions about our city that you may find of interest. How many people currently live here? 4,338 in 2014 according to the census bureau. When the city reaches 5,000 residents, the city council will be expanded from the current 5 councilmembers to 7 (the same as neighbors Covington, Maple Valley and Enumclaw). How does our climate... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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If you enjoy adventuring out in the snow while the weather is warm, now is a good time to explore hiking to Louise Lake, Snow Lake and Bench Lake all in the same day. And as a bonus, you can stop by Reflection Lakes too. Despite 90 degree temps on Sunday, I was surprised to find Mt. Rainier NP not overly crowded and many of those that were there appeared to be vacationers from out of state. Their only problem - hiking snow covered trails in tennis shoes and even flip flops. Most trails and lakes in the vicinity of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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When I think of covered bridges, I think of New England where scenic covered wooden bridges remain common even today. How about here in the northwest? Though now scarce, there was a time in our state's history where covered bridges were widely used - like this bridge near where I grew up in Sumner. Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives, circa 1960 - 1970 Though I don't recall seeing this bridge, I expect it was located in the farming valley between Sumner and Orting crossing the Puyallup River. Pretty darn tall and designed for high load rail traffic. Following is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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When hiking in Mt. Rainier NP and the central Cascades, how high up can we go before running into snow? Our hike to Crystal Lakes on Wednesday offers at least one current point of reference. Best estimate - about 5,200 feet. This is up from 3,000 feet just 4 to 5 weeks ago. Here's a photo of Lower Crystal Lake elevation 5,400. A little snow in shaded areas. Upper Crystal Lake at 5,800 feet, however, is still mostly covered and the last 1/2 mile of trail has significant snow, though still navigable in boots. Following is a panorama from the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
Though Judy and I have hiked the 93 mile Wonderland Trail and been to Camp Muir several times, we have yet to make it to the summit of Mt. Rainier. Never say never but I expect we will gain plenty of satisfaction these days from observing the exploits of others, and there are plenty of them. In 2015, the park service reported that 10,025 people attempted to get to the summit, of which less than half or 4,888 actually made it. That's still a lot of people making the climb. Is it safe? There remain plenty of rescues and even... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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As noted in previous posts, Sunday was often picture day at logging camps. Photographers would travel from camp to camp, taking photos in hopes of selling them back to loggers and their families being photographed. When posing, they would go to great lengths to "show off". If prizes were offered for the most spectacular image, the following photo from Washington State Digital Archives would have to be included in the top tier. Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives, circa 1920 The above photo shows the Simpson Logging Company Camp #5 crew and the stump from what is labeled the largest... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW