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Craig Goodwin
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What source of renewable energy generates enough power each day to support up to 600 homes in the Enumclaw Plateau? Corn? Nope, this happens to be a view looking southeast from the parking lot at Rainier Biogas. Lots of corn growing on the plateau right now, but not for renewable energy. Instead, the corn is for food to feed dairy cows, whose waste serves to fuel the digester here, producing "natural" gas. The $2 million facility is a partnership between 3 or more plateau dairy farmers and Farm Northwest Power from Skagit County and began operations here in 2012. Cow... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Over the last several years, I have regularly posted historical and current water quality data sample results for Lake Sawyer. Thanks to the King County Lake Stewardship program and local lake steward Ken Docktor, we are able to see and track water quality trends for the lake. King County also prepares an annual Download 2020-Sawyer-2019-Lake-Stewardship-Monitoring-Report (1) that helps us understand what all this data mean. However good and helpful this data may be, we also need to understand the quality of water that enters the lake from primary sources. This means Ravensdale Creek (officially called Covington Creek) and Rock Creek.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Looking for a short hike with awesome views of Mt. Rainier and exercise too? Head up to Mt Rainier NP and take the 1.2 mile trail up to the saddle at Pinnacle Peak. The trailhead is located directly across the road from Reflection Lakes. Spectacular and unique views of the mountain await. Here's a view from the saddle. I purposely have hikers in the photo to provide perspective. Pretty neat, huh! Although the trail is well maintained and navigable for most hikers, it is steep - climbing 1,100 feet over a mile. If you look closely at the image that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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So far, so good. Current lake water levels are -3.6" below the weir which compares with the average over the last ten years at this time of -5.9". Any rain we can get this time of year is most helpful. If you are interested in keeping current with lake levels and other related Lake Sawyer weather information, be sure to add the Lake Sawyer Weather web site to to your list of favorites. Maintained by Bob and Janie Edelman at dock 30, you'll find a wealth of useful information, both current and historical. Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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King County recently posted Lake Sawyer water quality test results for samples taken in June earlier this year. Like always, I would caution that we are looking for trends and cannot reach conclusions based on any sample above or below the "norm". Measuring lake water temperature is a good example where we can clearly see a trend - the lake is clearly getting warmer. As we would expect, water temperatures in May/June are lower than they are August, but the trend is up over this ten year period, particularly near the surface. Since warmer water has less oxygen carrying capacity... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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As you may recall, the city of Kent at one time promoted itself as the "Lettuce Capital of the World". No small bragging rights claimed by these folks back in the day. But their claims to agricultural braggadocio didn't end with lettuce. Have you ever see the cabbage also grown in the White River Valley? Image courtesy University of Washington Libraries, SOC8387, William Martin photographer, circa 1908 Growing cabbage may have been an even bigger truck farming business in the valley - though I must admit to a degree of skepticism when I look a the above postcard. Could cabbage... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks for sharing Ty!
1 reply
Hi Kathryn. I looked through the info that I have regarding the Poor Farm and could find nothing. Good luck in your search.
1 reply
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Judging by all the fishermen now on the lake, trolling or casting as the sun rises and sets each day, fishing must be good this year? As soon as the state lifted COVID-19 related fishing restrictions in early May, it seems we could have used a full time parking and boat launch attendant at times just to direct traffic at the boat launch. After being cooped up, people apparently just needed to "get out there" - and hopefully catch some fish too. From those people I talk too as they go by our dock, it's probably a combination of both... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Not only was logging dangerous in the early days, particularly the 1920's boom times, it was also not pretty. Image courtesy University of Washington Libraries, CKK0274, Clark Kinsey photographer, circa 1926 The above photo shows a logging camp located on Tiger Mountain during the 1920's. Once it was clear cut, time to move on to another site. The environmental regulations that followed were "clearly" merited. Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Each year, I have to do at least one post on the varying moods of Icy Creek in the Green River Gorge. It's typically very lush even in the middle of summer, but this year, it's really green and the creek is flowing strong. Because of it's location on the shaded east side of the river. there are plenty of areas that get very little sun year round. We should call it Fernville. Even foxgloves eke out an existence in areas that seldom see sun. The Green River continues to flow at relatively high levels given all the snow melt.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks Phil, now it seem I see them all the time. Two of them today.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2020 on Muskrats at Lake Sawyer? at Black Diamond NOW
1 reply
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As noted in my previous post Visiting Local History , our region in the early 1900's had built nearly 500 beehive ovens used for refining locally mined coal into high quality coking coal used in local metallurgical applications such as copper smelting and fueling blast furnaces in the production of steel. Why coking coal? It's virtually 100% carbon, with impurities removed, and can be used as fuel to heat ovens to very high temperatures - in the1600 to 2500 F range. But then I read that to produce coking coal, beehive ovens must be heated to over 1,100 degrees F... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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What's your favorite insect? For me, it has to be bumble bees. Large, cute and fuzzy when compared to honey bees, they don't produce much honey but are important pollinators. And they don't sting me either, like their much more aggressive cousin the yellow jacket - who make me swell up like a basketball when stung. Here's one of the cuties that doesn't seem to mind having it's picture taken. Note the red tongue protruding forward in the following photo. Like other bees, they thrive on the nectar of flowers, rich in sugar, that provides the energy they need to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Celebrating the 4th of July has a long history in our community. It's not clear that we had fireworks displays "back in the day" (I doubt it), but it's clear we had parades - any excuse for a parade. Image courtesy Black Diamond Historical Society and Roger Perry, circa 1925 Pretty fancy decorations and a great time for promoting locally made coal Briquets for heating your home. Image courtesy Washington State Historical Society and Roger Perry, circa 1918 Apparently parades were quite popular at the time. Image courtesy Washington State Historical Society and Roger Perry, n.d. Labor Day is now... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Where can you go this summer to get a good taste of local history? Given the complications created by the current Coronavirus Pandemic, it's not an easy question to answer. A visit to the Black Diamond History Museum would normally top our list, but this and other good choices are likely off-limits or significantly curtailed for some time. Taking visitors on a hike to the ghost town of Fairfax might work but this is not for everyone, particularly young children and seniors who would likely not enjoy hiking through the mud, climbing over downed trees and getting stung by nettles.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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As many of you know, dealing with a "Flu" pandemic is not new here in Washington State. The Spanish Influenza found it's way home with our soldiers at the end of WWI in 1918, creating many of the same crises that our communities face today. The Office of the Washington Secretary of State maintains a blog that is rich in our state's history called From Our Corner. Their recent post "Exploring the 1918 Influenza Pandemic" is an interesting read. a As today, face masks became an important part of community and individual defense. Local businesses chipped in to help. Communities... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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What U.S. government institution, short of Congress or the Executive Branch, has it's history dating all the way back to the Constitutional Convention of 1789? The U.S. Postal Service, of course. Based on the policy then established, Congress passed the Post Office Act of 1792, establishing the position of Postmaster General, setting initial postal rates and outlining postal rules and regulations. By 1851, post offices had expanded from 75 up to 18,000 - one post office for every 1,250 people. You had to pay for your mail and pick it up back then, but post offices became a core community... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
Cool!
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2020 on Muskrats at Lake Sawyer? at Black Diamond NOW
1 reply
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We have long known that Lake Sawyer and environs are home to both river otters and beavers. But muskrats? Apparently so. Though I have seen them before swimming under and around our dock, I always mistook them for beavers. But if you look carefully at their tails, which are much more like a rat's tail, long and roundish, then it's a Muskrat. In other words, a big rat that swims. On a clear day with bright sun (too much for good photos), I was able to capture a few shiny images while one frolicked around our dock. Look how long... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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Good news, I think. According to recent documents submitted to the City of Black Diamond, Pacific Coast Coal Company (PCCC) is planning to proceed ahead with reclamation of the two large spoil piles at the mine that are located within Black Diamond city limits. Specifically, the notification states: To proceed with reclamation, PCCC must obtain a clearing and grading permit from the city. The following map shows the location of spoil piles 3N and 3S (shown n red at the bottom left of the map). A condition of the permit as submitted by PCCC requires that the city affirm acceptance... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
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One more post about Manley-Moore Lumber Co., this one focused on families. Always searching for low cost labor, mill owners around the northwest actively recruited immigrants. For more, see my earlier post Washington State Immigration 1880 - 1940. Manley-Moore employees included both a significant Japanese workforce (housed in a separate enclave like at other lumber companies) and 9 Russian families as well. Following is a photo of the Japanese contingent, which was quite large for the time. Image courtesy University of Washington Libraries, CKK0355, Clark Kinsey photographer, circa 1927 Japanese native foods were imported to town and prepared by worker... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW
Thanks!
1 reply
Thanks!
1 reply
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The Manley-Moore Lumber Co. sawmill was unusual in many ways. Located along the Carbon River, it was located 1,600 feet above sea level along a narrow stretch of river frontage with its timber supply growing on steep slopes at even higher elevations. Not the ideal place to locate a sawmill, one would think, unless timber supply came at bargain prices. One of the bigger challenges of locating a sawmill along a narrow strip of riverside land was the logistics of moving material around. Most large sawmills of the time used rail and/or large carts towed by large Speeders. Most mill... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2020 at Black Diamond NOW