Series to ask what-if with historical events in Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond
By TJ MARTINELL
Covington Reporter Reporter
October 4, 2012 · Updated 10:29 AM
As a self-described bibliophile, I have several bookshelves overflowing with hundreds of books. And then some.
Some of my favorites I keep by my nightstand as twilight (no, not that kind) reading when I can’t seem to fall asleep.
One of them is Christer Jorgesen’s Great Battles: Decisive Conflicts that have Shaped History. From the Battle of Marathon to the Tet Offensive, the book covers important military events.
What I love most about the book is that Jorgesen not only explains what happened, but he puts the battle in proper context by explaining its full impact, both societal and political, on the countries involved. He also dares to explore, when appropriate, the hypothetical. What if the Anglo-Saxons had triumphed against the Normans led by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings? What if the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day had been a total disaster?
It’s always fun to speculate about the what-ifs of life when it comes to history, because as anyone who has studied it knows, it can be extremely arbitrary. Even the most outrageous of possibilities become reasonable within the realm of the hypothetical.
Ultimately, however, I think it is the most intriguing and fascinating manner in which to understand the important of an event.
Although Maple Valley and Covington are relative young cities, having both incorporated on the same day in 1997, they are still full of historical anecdotes, some of them seemingly trivial but still influential.
For example, the area known as Maple Valley was originally called Vine Maple Valley, after three men exploring it voted 2-1 in favor of the name over Maple Ridge. The name was then shortened later when the Post Office came in.
There were also major historical events in the area, such as coal company lockouts and mine explosions, that impacted the growth and development in these cities. Some of them led to the creation of a new part of town. Others resulted in the total disincorporation of a town. Some of the time, events were themselves the consequences of events on a national, even global scale.
While these events may have not affected the region immediately, they would have an influence decades later, and in some ways might have completely changed what these cities would have otherwise looked like.
I will write a series that will examine three historical events in Covington, Maple Valley and Black Diamond. This will include more recent events from the 21st century, as well as events that took place nearly a century ago. For each event, I will look at what happened, as well as the circumstances leading up to it. Additionally, I will investigate the impacts it had, both direct and indirect based on historical records and interviews, as well as discussions with historical societies and residents who lived in the area during the events and witnessed first-hand the effects.
And then I’m going to have a little fun and speculate on what might have happened had those events turned out differently, or not occurred at all. Needless to say, this won’t be a definite statement on the matter. The reason it’s called a what-if, not a what-would-have-been, is because it allows us to be imaginative without being confined by a need for caution.
My hope is that it will give you all a greater understanding of each city’s history and how peoples’ actions in the past can have an impact, for better or worse, on the future.
Contact Covington Reporter Reporter TJ Martinell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.