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Craig Goodwin
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Several years ago I posted an article titled Coal, Clay, Cinnabar or Timber - Who Really Was King in the late 1800's? The answer of course was none of them - hops were king at the time. Even today, hops remain big business in Washington State with 75% of the hops grown in the U.S. grown in the Yakima Valley. Though Germany is typically #1 in the world, the U.S. comes in a close second. If you have ever seen them, hop kilns are unique and what we see in the Yakima Valley today pretty much resemble the same structures... Continue reading
Posted 14 hours ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Hot springs are a fairly common phenomenon in Washington State and were particularly popular as a resort/spa destination in the early to mid 1900's. Known for the miraculous curing powers of their mineral water, they sure made you feel good. Soaking in nice warm water will do that for you. The Green River Hot Springs near the ghost town of Lester was one the biggest and best in it's day. But we don't have geysers here. What's the difference? They both have geothermally heated water bubbling up to the surface. The difference, of course, is water under pressure. Our local... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks Roger. No worries.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Fox Jump at Black Diamond NOW
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To my knowledge, there was no mill in Ravensdale at this time. The closest mill would likely have been in the Hobart area or perhaps further north in Issaquah.
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Chlorophyll-a is the third water quality indicator used by King County when calculating an overall water quality index known as the Trophic State Index. In earlier posts, I focused on Phosphorus and Secchi Disk Clarity and will pull all three together for an overall Trophic State Index once we have August data available. Chlorophyll-a concentration measures the abundance of phytoplankton. The higher the chlorophyll-a, the higher the algae growth we typically see. All algae use it in order to complete the photosynthetic pathway by which they store energy. Following are 2001 - 2017 sampling results for Lake Sawyer first taken... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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When I think of Ravensdale history, my mind obviously goes first to coal and coal miners (see Bustling Ravensdale Circa 1914 and Ravensdale Circa 1910's). Logging and the McDougal & Biladeau Logging Company, however, also played an important, though short, role in the town's history. Judging by the size of McDougal & Biladeau's logging operation, it was quite significant for its time, logging both section's 18 and 19. I expect that the mines represented a ready market for much of their logged timber. They operated two complete logging camps. Following are a couple of photos of Camp 1. Photo courtesy... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Yep, foxes really do jump when they hunt. Following is a sequence of photos that track a fox as it successfully lands dinner. Had I not seen it, I would not have believed it. Ouch, looks like he would smash his nose. Got it, some kind of rodent with a rat like tail. Here's a close up. Such beautiful animals. 3 days in Yellowstone averaging maybe 4 hours per night sleep. So much to see and so much to be in awe of. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Why did so many early logging trucks have no doors? Built in air conditioning? Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, PIC1622, Lee Pickett photographer, circa 1931 As we can see in the above photo taken near the Miller River in King County, transporting huge logs on undersized rigs could be dangerous. Roads had many twists and turns and were not always in the best of condition even with planks laid in sections like we see above. The weight of a single log could easily cause failure in even the best maintained brakes when going steeply down hill, and you never... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Black Diamond NOW
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Until 1916, the Black River linked Lake Washington with the Duwamish River, and the water was deep enough for steamboats to travel between towns on the lake and Puget Sound. After the lake was lowered in 1916, during construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the Black River dried up and gradually disappeared. This photo shows the Black River as it looked around 1898-1900. Photo courtesy Museum of History & Industry, 1988.33.286, Anders Wilse photographer, circa 1899 What was once the streambed of the Black River is currently the site of the Renton Wastewater Treatment Plant and its point of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Yep, this is not a typo. Black Diamond established the first community library in our area all the way back in 1917. Ever resourceful, city fathers carved out available space in a local hotel for the library's first reading room. Enumclaw followed suit in 1922 but it was not until 1947 before Maple Valley added a library and 1988 before Covington had it's own library. Providing a quality education for our children and space for building "community" have long been high priorities here. A few more key dates: 1943 - The Black Diamond library was closed and what is now... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Labor Day weekend - time for Judy and granddaughter Noel to go toe to toe in their own unique fishing derby. It's been a while since their last contest, but time to get out the hooks and dig for worms. Here's a photo of Noel at about age 2 with her first catch. Here she is again now at age 17. They sure grow up. To all of our surprise, the fish were really biting. Nothing big. Just sunfish. They sure like worms. In less than an hour, Noel had landed (and released) 14 while Judy still managed to bring... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Back to school time and its been interesting observing families as they stock up on today's "ten essentials" in preparation. Certainly a big change from when Judy and I went to school and light years from early Black Diamond days. What was needed by school children early in the 20th century? In large part, student needs were dictated by the "media" teachers worked with including chalk boards, paper and bound books. Pencils and chalk would do the trick and maybe a few crayons for fun. Books were generally supplied by the school and fiercely guarded like they were the crown... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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For Lake Sawyer water quality, phosphorus represents too much of a good thing. Just as phosphorus in our lawn fertilizer serves to stimulate plant growth, it has the same effect in the lake stimulating algae and other plant growth. The more plant growth we have, the less light, the less oxygen and the accumulation of even more oxygen depleting waste along the lake bottom. The following graphic serves to illustrate. This process eventually leads to lake eutrophication, otherwise known as a dead lake. Obviously, this is not what we want for Lake Sawyer. To measure the state of lake water... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks David. It does look similar to a railroad station, but not here. This was a very fancy estate home that is now on it's last legs. Had to be one of the bigger mansions around. The second photo shown was located within about 50 feet and may have been used to house farm workers. No railroad in sight.
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Judging from the number of RV's we see when crossing Snoqualmie Pass, the RV business must be booming. Boomer retirements are certainly a factor but younger families too are enjoying camping out in comfort. When did RV's first become popular? Photo courtesy Museum of History & Industry, 1983.10.PA22.19, Webster & Stevens photographers, circa 1922 As more and more people bought automobiles, car camping became the rage as a great way to enjoy the scenic beauty of Mt. Rainier National Park in comfort. You could even rent car tents from the park or bring your own. No need for roughing it.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Tis the season for harvesting hops and though the Puyallup Valley is no long Hop King of the World as it was in the late 1800's, I recall seeing a farm near the historic town of Alderton (between Sumner and Orting) that appeared to be growing these tiny "strobiles" used in brewing beer. Could they still be growing hops in Alderton? No, it must have been a senior moment for my memory but I took a short drive to Alderton anyway to see what's happening with agriculture just a few miles from where I grew up. My first impression is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks Bill!
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What natural resource industry that began operations in Western Washington in the late 1800's is even bigger and employs more people today than ever? Not coal, not timber, not fisheries. What industry employs more people in Black Diamond and immediate vicinity than any other? Still need hints? Following is a photo of one of these businesses in the Puget Sound region taken in 1889. Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, BOY78, William Boyd photographer, circa 1889 It's a rock quarry, of course, and the aggregates industry is big business today - rock, stone, sand, gravel, concrete. All you have to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Every May and August, a team of volunteers for King County conducts testing of lake water clarity. In simple terms, they lower a "flashy" disk into the water and measure at what depth they can no long see the disk. Technically, it's called a Secchi disk. The deeper the better, meaning the lake is that much clearer. A murky lake without much transparency of light at shallow depths would typically be more "eutrophic" with lower dissolved oxygen and algae blooms more common - and less hospitable for fish. We obviously don't want that. Walking out on our dock this past... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
Good questions. The White River once flowed north through Kent joining with the Green River to eventually merge into the Duwamish. Flooding and man made changes to the White River caused the White river to divert south into the Stuck. See my earlier posts about the White River - a river that nobody wanted.
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2017 on Economic Hinterlands Circa 1880 at Black Diamond NOW
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Thanks for your question. I am certainly no expert but I'm not sure about any correlation between the fading of both logging and coal, except perhaps the great depression. Coal continued on for some time in Black Diamond, Ravensdale and Cedar Mountain area. The Selleck sawmill closed more as a result of shutting down logging in the Cedar River watershed to protect City of Seattle water supplies. Forests were logged out in time while plenty of coal remained to be mined, though the economics may not have penciled out.
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Once easily available timber was harvested around Puget Sound waters, it meant building a railroad and moving inland. What did these logging and milling operations look like before steam donkeys arrived? Following is an early photo from Boyd and Braas of the Hunt & Patten sawmill and logging camp. Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, BOY25, William Boyd photographer, circa 1889 Teams of oxen to drag logs to the camp and a horse perhaps to help move logs and lumber around at the mill. It appears that we have a cookhouse and air conditioned sawmill. No sign of a mill... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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In my earlier post Backpacking to Mystic Lake - Part 1, I focused on how best to obtain a wilderness permit for overnight camping and what it's like to be on the trail in the wee hours of the morning. But since most "normal" people don't want to hit the trail at 4 am wearing a head lamp and lugging a tripod, I thought I would back up a bit. Park Service staff describes the hike from Sunrise to Mystic Lake as 21.8 miles round trip. The trail from Sunrise to Mystic has an elevation gain of 1,900 feet while... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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Want to backpack to one or more of the wilderness camps along the Wonderland Trail? Good luck, but there is a way for us "locals". Popularity of the Wonderland is so great that some stop-over sites like Indian Bar and Summerland have been fully booked for months. But, there is a way. It pays to have patience and live close by. My quest this summer has been to hike to little photographed Mystic Lake and stay one night before returning the next day. Here's what I learned as I attempted to get there: 1. You can try to make reservations... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW
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I recently had occasion to pull together some photos of Lake Sawyer wildlife for use as potential signage at Lake Sawyer park. We are so blessed with the variety we have in our watershed calling the lake home for at least for part of the year. Top of the food chain? I would nominate the otter family. Here's a couple of my favorite otter pics in and out of water. I regularly post photos of our bald eagle family who nests 5 or 6 months of the year in the park. Here's one I haven't posted for a while showing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Black Diamond NOW