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Thread: Franklin, Washington

  1. #11
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    Davidw, Great photos! This is inspiring me to make the trip out to Franklin. How many headstones are out there?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBasin View Post
    Davidw, Great photos! This is inspiring me to make the trip out to Franklin. How many headstones are out there?
    I'd say about 10 or 12 at the most. The cemetary is mostly covered in black berries, but there are a few paths through them. Also, there is a log down across the main trail through the cemetary, that you will need to navigate around.
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  3. #13
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    Cool pics Davidw. I can't wait for the snow to be gone to do some ghosttowning here in MI!

  4. #14
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    David, thanks for the reply and info. I will be heading that way soon! I can't wait!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBasin View Post
    David, thanks for the reply and info. I will be heading that way soon! I can't wait!
    Be sure to stop by the museum in Black Diamond, if it's open. They have artifacts from the area. I hear they also lead tours as well.
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  6. #16
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    Default Been there many times

    I've been here many, many times. The town site itself and the graveyard are indeed now owned by Washington State Parks (Hanging Gardens State Park). To get in you will need to walk around the gate just after the bridge on the corner. It is marked all over with "No trespassing" signs on the land, HOWEVER, the ROAD ITSELF is still county owned, and is NOT private property. STAY ON THE ROAD when you go around the gate, and you are perfectly legal. Eventually you will see a yellow? gate that marks the park boundary (the parks have bought a bit more land in front of it, but treat it that way for now).

    Parking is a bit more of an issue. Because of accidents and such forth on the blind corners, the county has posted no parking signs anywhere near the bridge. Most of the other roadside areas close by are private property and not safe to park on/near. The only SAFE place to park that's close is just down the road at an old cemetery. It's on the same side of the bridge as the entrance to Franklin, just up the road past 3 or so homes (on the right side as you head away from the bridge). The cemetery is county owned, so you are safe to park there and walk back down the road. DO NOT park near the actual gate itself. You will almost certainly be ticketed or towed. I've seen several cars parked there ticketed, and 2 towed just in the past 2 years since they made the area a no-parking zone.

    When you get up the main hill you have a few options. Going to the left takes you to the mine shaft, past a short valley with old tracks (the track line is just above the trail, and a caved in mine entrance is located just up the short valley where you see the tracks- VERY muddy), the cemetery, and beyond that to the Black Diamond water bridge, etc if you drop down. If you stay high you will end up on PCCC (Palmer Coking Coal Company) land, marked with signs. If you go right you will see the town area, and eventually hit a private property line. This is also PCCC land. Down the road this way is a tailing pile and a bunch of concrete ruins. If you watch the hill to the left you can see old walls and whatnot. PCCC is not averse to people walking on their land, HOWEVER, you must stop by their office in Black Diamond and fill out a permit. It's basically a legal release, as the land in the area is riddled with mine shafts and other dangers.

    I have yet to explore the old road that leads off to the left just as you start up the hill. I'm assuming it lead to the lower entrances, etc. I'm hoping to get out there someday soon here and look at it closer.

  7. #17
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    Welcome to the forum and thanks for the details on Franklin.
    Sounds like it maybe a "catch 22" situation...you can go to the town but it's best to check in with the PCCC or better yet, the museum which you would have to take the guided tour, they'll show you Franklin, but only certain parts and the rest of it (the good parts of town) are off limits...guess I'll just buy a post card and a souvenir lump of coal after my tour from the museum.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhungry View Post
    I've been here many, many times. The town site itself and the graveyard are indeed now owned by Washington State Parks (Hanging Gardens State Park). To get in you will need to walk around the gate just after the bridge on the corner. It is marked all over with "No trespassing" signs on the land, HOWEVER, the ROAD ITSELF is still county owned, and is NOT private property. STAY ON THE ROAD when you go around the gate, and you are perfectly legal. Eventually you will see a yellow? gate that marks the park boundary (the parks have bought a bit more land in front of it, but treat it that way for now).

    Parking is a bit more of an issue. Because of accidents and such forth on the blind corners, the county has posted no parking signs anywhere near the bridge. Most of the other roadside areas close by are private property and not safe to park on/near. The only SAFE place to park that's close is just down the road at an old cemetery. It's on the same side of the bridge as the entrance to Franklin, just up the road past 3 or so homes (on the right side as you head away from the bridge). The cemetery is county owned, so you are safe to park there and walk back down the road. DO NOT park near the actual gate itself. You will almost certainly be ticketed or towed. I've seen several cars parked there ticketed, and 2 towed just in the past 2 years since they made the area a no-parking zone.

    When you get up the main hill you have a few options. Going to the left takes you to the mine shaft, past a short valley with old tracks (the track line is just above the trail, and a caved in mine entrance is located just up the short valley where you see the tracks- VERY muddy), the cemetery, and beyond that to the Black Diamond water bridge, etc if you drop down. If you stay high you will end up on PCCC (Palmer Coking Coal Company) land, marked with signs. If you go right you will see the town area, and eventually hit a private property line. This is also PCCC land. Down the road this way is a tailing pile and a bunch of concrete ruins. If you watch the hill to the left you can see old walls and whatnot. PCCC is not averse to people walking on their land, HOWEVER, you must stop by their office in Black Diamond and fill out a permit. It's basically a legal release, as the land in the area is riddled with mine shafts and other dangers.

    I have yet to explore the old road that leads off to the left just as you start up the hill. I'm assuming it lead to the lower entrances, etc. I'm hoping to get out there someday soon here and look at it closer.
    Don Mason, a member of the Black Diamond Historical Society and their resident expert on Franklin, told me that the area behind the tracks (which carried a water pipe, according to him) was the rock pit. No mines were located there. I went down the path that goes down the hill toward the river just after Christmas, as I've heard from Bill Kombol, owner of Palmer Coke and Coal, that the Gem Mine was down there (named after the coal seam it was in), and there are lots of remnants of a incline down to the mine, but I wasn't able to find the mine, and I suspect that it was covered over by a landslide.
    Last edited by Davidw; 01-08-2010 at 07:15 PM.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darin View Post
    Welcome to the forum and thanks for the details on Franklin.
    Sounds like it maybe a "catch 22" situation...you can go to the town but it's best to check in with the PCCC or better yet, the museum which you would have to take the guided tour, they'll show you Franklin, but only certain parts and the rest of it (the good parts of town) are off limits...guess I'll just buy a post card and a souvenir lump of coal after my tour from the museum.
    The museum has two tours coming up, one in February, and one in March, according to their website.
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  10. #20
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    Yup! Saw that two days ago on their web site.

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