Aegis breaks ground on region’s only Chinese-focused retirement community in nearby Newcastle

July 30, 2015

NEW — 9:15 p.m. July 30, 2015

History is one of Newcastle’s greatest assets.

The Eastside suburb’s story dates back more than 150 years, when it was the second largest town in King County. During that time, coal was king, and Newcastle had plenty of it.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri, Aegis Living founder Dwayne Clark, former Gov. Gary Locke and King County Executive Dow Constantine break ground on Aegis Gardens, the region's first senior living community built for Chinese-American retirees.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Newcastle Mayor Steve Buri, Aegis Living founder Dwayne Clark, former Gov. Gary Locke and King County Executive Dow Constantine break ground on Aegis Gardens, the region’s first senior living community built for Chinese-American retirees.

That history was at the forefront of attendees’ minds July 30, when nearly 300 people gathered in Newcastle to celebrate the groundbreaking of a unique Aegis Living retirement community. Read more

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Magazine names Issaquah a top town for families

July 29, 2015

NEW — 11:33 a.m. July 29, 2015

Issaquah has been named one of the Best Towns for Families in 2015 by “Family Circle” magazine.

To compile the list, the magazine’s team of editors worked with Onboard Informatics, a New York City research firm that provides real estate, demographic and other data, to select 4,500 cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 100,000. From that, about 1,400 localities having a high concentration of households with median incomes between $60,000 and $110,000 were selected.

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Explore Issaquah’s dark, dangerous mining past on history museums’ hike

June 13, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. June 13, 2015

Issaquah History Museums explores a dark and dangerous mining past on a “Grand Ridge Mine History Hike” June 20.

The Issaquah History Museums will give 20 people the chance to explore the daily commute of miners who worked in Issaquah’s longest-lasting coal mining operation as early as 1888.

The 3-mile adventure from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 20 will be well worth the wear on sturdy walking shoes.

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Popular Olde Town Mine Hike returns March 28

March 25, 2015

The Issaquah History Museums is kicking off a new season of history hikes with its popular Olde Town Mine Hike on March 28.

Downtown Issaquah was once the site of massive coal-mining operations, and March is the ideal time to explore the historic sites. Docent Doug Bristol will lead a two-hour tour of the sites while treating participants to stories about a mining era that continues to shape downtown Issaquah.

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History finds a new home — Newcastle’s past comes to life in new museum exhibit

December 3, 2014

The first thing visitors see upon walking into the Renton History Museum’s Newcastle exhibit is, appropriately, a tribute to a man that means so much to the city’s history.

By Greg Farrar Rich Crispo, Newcastle council member, stands next to a display case with Milt Swanson’s coal miner helmet and an information poster honoring the late 95-year-old Newcastle native’s contributions to preserving the city’s history. The Renton History Museum’s Newcastle retrospective exhibit is on display until Feb. 7.

By Greg Farrar
Rich Crispo, Newcastle council member, stands next to a display case with Milt Swanson’s coal miner helmet and an information poster honoring the late 95-year-old Newcastle native’s contributions to preserving the city’s history. The Renton History Museum’s Newcastle retrospective exhibit is on display until Feb. 7.

Milt Swanson’s mining helmet emblazoned with his name along the side greets museumgoers while sitting in a clear display case.

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Issaquah’s unique heritage is on display for History Month

May 6, 2014

“Every community has its own weird, wild and wonderful stories, and Issaquah is no exception,” according to Erica Maniez, director of Issaquah History Museums.

This is the fourth year the museums will spotlight Issaquah’s unique heritage throughout the month of May for Local History Month.

The organization operates two museums people can visit, Gilman Town Hall, 165 S.E. Andrews St., and the Depot Museum, 78 First Ave. N.E.

Town Hall has exhibits on display that show the history of the town; the Depot Museum highlights the role the railroad played in the town’s development.

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Join ‘The Residue of History: Olde Town Mine History Walk’ on March 29

March 25, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. March 25, 2014

Join Issaquah History Museums history hike leaders at the depot museum March 29 to explore the mining history that continues to shape downtown Issaquah.

Get a new perspective on Issaquah’s Olde Town neighborhood through historic photos, maps and observation of the changing landscape.

The first in a series of three mining history-themed interpretive walks will showcase the mine areas on the edge of downtown Issaquah.

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Espionage and coal: Mining Issaquah’s World War I history

March 18, 2014

It was July 29, 1914. Austria launched a bomb attack on Serbia, and Russia commenced mobilization for an attack on Austria. The German “Count” Gustav Konstantin Alvo von Alvensleben was in Germany, where the government was about to declare war on France and Russia.

On that same day, in the small town of Issaquah, Dave and Ann Morgan welcomed their first child, Ivor, into the world. He was born in coal company housing owned by von Alvensleben.

File This is most likely an occasion described in a Seattle Times article from July 19, 1013, which read in part, ‘Two hundred fuel dealers and their wives... were the guests of the Issaquah & Superior Coal Mining Company at its mines in Issaquah... The trip was made in a special train of three cars that left King Street Station at 9:30.’ The article describes the procession from the Issaquah Depot to the mine offices, where Issaquah Mayor P.J. Smith gave a rousing speech. The coal company’s sales manager, J. F. Grant, replied with the interesting (if not true) fact that Issaquah meant ‘beautiful maiden,’ whereupon he welcomed Blodwyn Watkins, ‘the pretty daughter of Superintendent J. R. Watkins, dressed in Indian costume, who emerged from a stand erected for the purpose.’

File
This is most likely an occasion described in a Seattle Times article from July 19, 1013, which read in part, ‘Two hundred fuel dealers and their wives… were the guests of the Issaquah & Superior Coal Mining Company at its mines in Issaquah… The trip was made in a special train of three cars that left King Street Station at 9:30.’ The article describes the procession from the Issaquah Depot to the mine offices, where Issaquah Mayor P.J. Smith gave a rousing speech. The coal company’s sales manager, J. F. Grant, replied with the interesting (if not true) fact that Issaquah meant ‘beautiful maiden,’ whereupon he welcomed Blodwyn Watkins, ‘the pretty daughter of Superintendent J. R. Watkins, dressed in Indian costume, who emerged from a stand erected for the purpose.’

While von Alvensleben made plans to return to North America, Dave Morgan tended donkeys for von Alvensleben’s Issaquah and Superior Coal Mine on the west side of town. The donkeys hauled carts of coal from the dark, dusty, noisy and wet depths of the mines to the surface, where the coal was crushed, sorted and cleaned in preparation for shipment.

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New art installation recalls Cougar Mountain’s coal mining past

March 11, 2014

By Kate Smigiel  Artist Hans Baumann spreads bio-carbon, a black charcoal often used as a fertilizer for agricultural crops and ornamental plants such as orchids, as part of a large-scale art installation on Cougar Mountain.

By Kate Smigiel
Artist Hans Baumann spreads bio-carbon, a black charcoal often used as a fertilizer for agricultural crops and ornamental plants such as orchids, as part of a large-scale art installation on Cougar Mountain.

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is now home to a unique land-art installation that pays tribute to the area’s coal mining past.

The project, entitled “Black Forest (29,930,000 tons),” is spread across the forest floor in the form of nearly 50,000 pounds of biochar, environmentally friendly charcoal that appears similar to the coal that was once mined from the mountain.

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