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Craig Goodwin
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Despite the warm temperatures and a large number of boaters and swimmers this past weekend, I was surprised to see so many raptors still hanging around Lake Sawyer, including both osprey and bald eagles. All I can think of is that the fishing must be very good. If you want to see them, however, you best get up between 5:30 and 7 am as they set out in search of breakfast. First to appear were the osprey. The sequence that follows shows just how deep they will dive in search of fish. This osprey was fully submerged from its dive... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Ever hear of an early northwest mining town that didn't have an establishment catering to men with a thirst? Neither have I and Black Diamond certainly has had it's share over the years. We had saloons before prohibition, places to buy alcohol during prohibition and taverns after alcohol once again became legal. And yes, patrons at one time were nearly all men. Perhaps best known of early pubs was the Krause Saloon. Apparently, there are many a story from the Krause waiting to be told. Prohibition, however, ended the Krause's run. Another public house was Kings Tavern, located next door... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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What do they say - Time Is Money? Amazon, with their prime delivery service, is certainly proving this axiom of business to have real currency today. How about historically? In the early 1900's, the U.S. postal service dominated the delivery business but by the 1920's, competitive enterprises were gaining market share. Apparently, people and businesses needed their information and packages delivered faster and faster, even if this meant paying premium prices. By 1920, Postal Cable Telegraph Company in Tacoma was ready to deliver the goods. Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Library, Marvin D. Boland Collection B-2921, circa 1920 Child labor laws... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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We are blessed to live on Lake Sawyer and I have long promoted the lake as the sunrise capital of western Washington. November thru February can be absolutely stunning, particularly since I can sleep in late and just walk out on our dock to snap a few pictures. As I am now learning, though, most any time of year is great - I just have to get up a little earlier for sunrise (4 am anyone) and position myself facing west at sunset with a view of the mountain in my sights too. Since standing on my paddle board and... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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The Griffin family were not the only ones seeking to exploit the demand for home delivery of wood fuel early in the 20th century. From 1913 - 1935, Rasmus Rasmussen focused his fuelwood delivery business on the west side of Tacoma including Day Island, offering "dependable delivery" as his claim to fame. I'm not sure when Mack trucks first came on the scene but Rasmussen's West End Fuel Company had to be among the first with this new rig. Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Library, Chapin Bowen Collection TPL-5975, circa 1920's Notice anything unique about the Mack truck? It's equipped with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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Spending three days in the Methow Valley and North Cascades, I was surprised to see how many campgrounds still allow campfires despite the apparent high risk of forest fires. Lots of firewood for sale signs along the roads too, apparently catering to campers and cabin owners stocking up for winter use. Stacks and stacks of wood piled up everywhere. It seems that quite a few people still rely on firewood as a primary source of fuel for home heating. Historically, of course, firewood was one THE primary source of fuel for home heating and even the source of riches for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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Celebrating Independence Day has a long history in Black Diamond and though its "face" has changed over the years, the 4th is always a day that our community looks forward to. In the early and mid 1900's, parades were the celebratory choice and time to fix up and decorate our cars and trucks. Photo courtesy Roger Parry and the Black Diamond Historical Society, circa 1918 Great time for advertising locally produced briquets. The kids sure look the part with their faces smudged with coal dust. Pretty fancy car pulling a trailer and outfitted with a cow catcher too. Hmmm Photo... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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While updating water quality trends for Lake Sawyer, I took a quick look at water quality indicators for two other local lakes. Lake 12 and Jones Lake will both be adversely impacted by discharge from the John Henry mine should it restart operations. Both lakes are also currently struggling with water quality challenges. Following are graphs showing trophic state index trend indicators provided by King County for each lake. As a reminder, >50 = eutrophic is good for algae, catfish and cloudy water, <40 = oligotrophic is good for salmon, trout and clear/clean water. Lake 12's numbers are as follows.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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King County recently reported water quality sampling results for Lake Sawyer updated thru May 2018. In a nutshell, there was not significant change. Focusing first on phosphorus concentrations during May, here are my updated graphs. No data was reported at a sampling depth of 15 meters for 2016 or 2018. Not sure why. Secchi disk sampling (a measure of water clarity) also remains in positive territory - five straight years now showing lake water clarity at a depth below the May average going back to the year 2000. Data collected this year was rounded to the nearest whole number. As... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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How many iconic sites in Western Washington can you photograph in 36 hours? With son Craig II in town recently, we decided to give it a go, starting with wildflowers at Mount St. Helens - a first for both of us. What a place this time of year. The Penstemon and Indian Paint Brush are just amazing. Their bright colors in contrast to the nearly desolate landscape near the Johnston Ridge Visitors Center, then directly in the path of massive volumes of volcanic ash as the mountain erupted, makes for a special place. For me, however, photographing wildflowers with the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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While strawberries are still being harvested in the Puyallup Valley, raspberries are now coming on strong. My favorite to pick and eat for sure. I ate so many as a youngster picking with my mother and sister, I'm not sure that growers ever made much money off of me. But, you only got paid for each full flat you picked, so perhaps it all evened out - except for a few rows that had pretty low yields. Following are a few photos of families picking raspberries in the Sumner area during the late 1800's or early 1900's. Photo courtesy Robert... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks Alex. Fun memories.
1 reply
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Have you ever wondered what it looked like when early settlers first began to arrive to stake their claim to land or jobs in mining and logging in the 1860's and 1870's? There were trees and lots of trees! Forests of centuries old Cedar, hemlock and Douglas Fir, 150' tall and taller densely covering the forest floor - not what we see today except at rare locations. Transportation was exceedingly difficult. You had to hack your through and closely follow meandering rivers and streams to get anywhere or follow foot paths established by Indian tribes over many years. Those seeking... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks John
1 reply
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My quest for finding wildflowers in bloom this year has been decidedly disappointing. Except for a road trip to Mount St. Helens, many areas closer to home remain snow covered and those like Suntop, which is snow free, have had few blooms. No worries, Kelly Butte is the place to go. Though shrouded in clouds yesterday, it turned out to be a great day for photographing the colorful big three - bear grass, Indian paint brush and lupine (and Judy too). As I've learned, one of the reasons that bear grass, a member of the corn lily family, can be... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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When I think of landmark civil rights legislation, I think first of the 1960's and enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, for Americans with disabilities, equal rights protection was a long time in coming. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) did not become law until fairly recently - in 1990. To my surprise, however, government sponsored programs promoting the hiring of handicapped workers have a much longer history, dating all the way back to mid 1940's. Perhaps the impetus at the time was filling the shortage of workers in our factories during WWII, but programs initiated then... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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Time now for pick'n strawberries - the sweetest and juiciest around. In the days BW (before warehouses) in the Puyallup, Sumner and Kent Valleys, there were few places in the world that could match the quality and quantity of berries grown here. First up - strawberries and we are now in peak season. Who was willing to do the backbreaking work of picking strawberries back then? Women. Photo courtesy Washington State Historical Society, 1043.42.15064, Asahel Curtis photographer, circa 1910 Apparently there were strict norms regarding attire. A skirt, upon which you placed your knees to prevent causing scrapes and abrasions,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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Which businesses in Black Diamond have been in business the longest? Incorporated in 1933, Palmer Coking Coal has to rank right up there if not at the very top. Maybe #2 and certainly in the top 5, the Lake Sawyer Grocery store began business all the way back in 1946. That's quite a long time for a once gas station/convenience store and now grocery store. The following photo taken in 1958, shows the store right after its first major remodel. Photo courtesy Ted and Debbie Strand, circa 1958 Often times, gas stations like we see above, were primarily focused on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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It's a great time of year. Flowers blooming, sunny skies and wildlife aplenty. For me, this was Osprey week. These amazing birds continued to put on quite a show at Lake Sawyer. With fish making up 90% plus of their diet and youngsters to feed, activity levels were as high as I have seen them all year. So graceful in flight. For shear "lift power", Ospreys rival their oft competitor bald eagles. They also don't just skim the surface when they spot their prey like eagles do, they dive and at times become fully submerged. This big catfish was last... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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One of my projects this summer, when not on the trails, is to go wandering about town with my camera. We have so much wonderful history in Black Diamond, it's fun to see the historic areas as they are today and try to visualize what it was like to live here in earlier times. I probably have more fun stopping and talking with people along the way than anything, but the photography is fun too. Periodically over the summer, I'll post some photos from my wanders comparing community landmarks as they were and are Then and Now - starting today... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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Before roads were paved with asphalt, what "topping" was used to provide a stable driving base? If you answered brick, you win the prize. Seems like a pretty bumpy ride driving over bricks but that was state of the art for road building in the early 1900's. When virtually the entire city of Seattle burned to the ground in 1889, what materials would you use to rebuild? Brick and clay pipe, of course. You can't fight fires without water and you need clay pipe to supply the water. You also need buildings that won't catch fire quite so easily. In... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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With my attention so often focused on Lake Sawyer, it's easy to overlook our other local gems such as Lake 12 located just east of town. Like Lake Sawyer and Lake Wilderness, Lake 12 shared in the boom times for summer resorts during the 1920's. Following is a photo of the beach area full of summer guests enjoying a day at the lake. Photo courtesy Washington State Historical Society, Curtis 49149, Asahel Curtis photographer, circa 1925 There appear to have been quite a few row boats for rent. Photo courtesy Washington State Historical Society, Curtis 48389, Asahel Curtis photographer, circa... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
I am so sorry to hear of your lost camera. Hopefully it turn up one of these days soon.
1 reply
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Ahhh, the days of no electricity, no running water and no indoor plumbing. That was life growing up on a houseboat on Lake Tapps in the late 1940's and early1950's. At the time, Lake Tapps operated only as a reservoir for the Deringer power plant located in the valley below. The lake bed had been logged leaving lots of stumps and floating debris. Who would want to live there? Those days would come but not yet. The only way to get around was by boat or along unpaved logging roads. Following is a photo from my early days showing the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW
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It's fair to say that steamships, railroads, coal mining and the timber industry provided the foundation for building the northwest into the powerhouse economy we have today. The common ingredient during their hay days in the late 19th and early 20th century - they all relied on equipment powered by steam. Where did this equipment come from? Most parts and equipment were supplied by manufacturing companies based in the Midwest. The exception, focused on building anything powered by steam, was Willamette Iron & Steel Works based in Portland Oregon. Open for business all the way back in 1865, Willamette got... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at Black Diamond NOW