Ravensdale, Washington

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Ravensdale is a census-designated place (CDP) in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 816 at the 2000 census. It is in the Pacific Standard Time Zone. The elevation is 623 feet (190 m).

Based on per capita income, one of the more reliable measures of affluence, Ravensdale ranks 50th of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.



The Ravensdale Market

Ravensdale was originally called Leary, after the name of Leary Coal Company in turned named for John Leary, a Seattle coal speculator. The later name came from the flocks of ravens that fed on grain spilled from the boxcars on the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks that ran through the town. Underground coal mining commenced around 1899 by the Seattle and San Francisco Railway and Navigation Company, although coal had been mined in nearby Danville and Landsburg a few years earlier. The coal mines were later acquired by Northwest Improvement Company (NWI), a subsidiary of Northern Pacific. In 1907, Ravensdale, Washington was a coal mining town with a population of about 1,000 residents, most of whom worked for the mining company. Ravensdale was officially incorporated on August 15, 1913. On November 16, 1915 at 1:25 p.m. an explosion occurred at the mine killing thirty-one men, one of the worst coal mining accidents in Washington state history. The NWI mine was closed permanently and many of the immigrant miners left town seeking work elsewhere.

Over the decades coal mining continued to fuel Ravensdale's economy as new mines were developed operating on the Danville, Landsburg, and McKay coal seams. The Dale Coal Company became one of the more successful from about 1924-1941, followed by the Continental Coal Company from 1942–1944, the Anderson Coal Company from 1943–1948; and Palmer Coking Coal Company from 1937-1975. On January 29, 1955 four miners were lost in the Landsburg mine when a cave-in filled the mine with water, mud and debris. On December 17, 1975 at 2:30 p.m., the Rogers No. 3 mine was dynamited shut by Palmer Coking Coal Company. This was the last underground coal mine in the state of Washington.

References: Washington Geologic Survey Bulletin No. 3 by George Watkin Evans (1912); Washington State Coal Mine Inspector Reports (1887–1975); Ravensdale Reflections by Barbara Nilson (copyright 2004; Washington State Place Names by James Phillips (1972); Voice of the Valley newspaper (December 16, 2008 page 8); State of Washington Fatal Accident Report for 1955 by C.R. Holmes


Ravensdale is located at 47°21′24″N 121°58′39″W / 47.35667°N 121.9775°W / 47.35667; -121.9775 (47.356665, -121.977612).[3]

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