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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 3, 1986

The original location of Frank’s Meat Market was on Railroad Avenue, about where The Smokehouse & More is now. To the right of this 1940 photo is the Pacific Coast Coal Co. store. To the left is the Black Diamond Bakery. The building, built in 1918, was torn down in 1955.

The original location of Frank’s Meat Market was on Railroad Avenue, about where The Smokehouse & More is now. To the right of this 1940 photo is the Pacific Coast Coal Co. store. To the left is the Black Diamond Bakery. The building, built in 1918, was torn down in 1955.

By John Owen

The testimonials that have been extended over the years on behalf of The Intermediate Eater have certainly been appreciated. Matter of fact, a few of them have been reprinted on the back covers of cookbooks published under this byline. Continue Reading »

Our Evan

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, November 1990

By Ann Steiert

Evan MorrisDuring the lifetime of most of us we are privileged to become acquainted and work with special people. This has happened to all of us who know and love Evan Morris [1922-2006]. He has been a mover and shaker on almost all projects that have taken place in Black Diamond for many years. The whole historical movement has benefited from his interest and help.

Evan was born into the Jack Morris family on January 27, 1922, at the Enumclaw Hospital. He attended the Selleck grade school and graduated from Enumclaw High School in 1939. He attended Washington State College.

When World War II began, he joined the Navy in 1943 and served as a pilot.

He has a brother, Jack [1918-2007], and two sisters, Pauline Kombol [1927-2011] and Betty Falk [1920-2006]. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, October 23, 1994

By Nathalie Overland

Voters in new city will pick name, with a look back at historic roots

Pam Lee, elected to the city council in the new city, has a number of historic buildings from historic Newcastle on her land. (Valley Daily News photo by Matt Hagen.)

Pam Lee, elected to the city council in the new city, has a number of historic buildings from historic Newcastle on her land. (Valley Daily News photo by Matt Hagen.)

A walk around Pam Lee’s historic “Newcastle” home is like treading on history.

A century-old house stands as silent testimony to a time when men were proud to burrow out coal—the black gold—from the bowels of the earth.

Across the street is the final resting place of a collapsed tipple, a monstrous wooden structure that once served as a terminal to unload and clean coal.

Down another path is the gaping mouth of a mine shaft. Rendered off limits by a massive grate, the shaft now serves as a backup water supply for neighbors.

“We’ve tried to keep this valley intact so that its integrity is protected,” said Pam Lee. Continue Reading »

Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 15, 1989

By Florence K. Lentz
Special to the Times

Pacific Coast Company House No. 75, now at 7210 138th Ave. S.E., is the last remaining example of Newcastle miners’ housing.

Pacific Coast Company House No. 75, now at 7210 138th Ave. S.E., is the last remaining example of Newcastle miners’ housing.

During the heyday of the old mining town of Newcastle, a reporter darkly described the village as “straggling in and out of great dumps of clay and waste that extend like black spurs from the foot of the mountain, the cottages being grouped upon the rocky, stump-infested, forest-bound hillside, without an attempt at order or comeliness.”

Not a very pretty sight, and yet, the export of hundreds of thousands of tons of coal from towns such as Newcastle formed the very backbone of King County’s developing economy in the first quarter-century of statehood.

Pacific Coast Company House No. 75, now at 7210 138th Ave. S.E., dates back to the 1870s and is the last remaining example of miners’ housing in Newcastle. Continue Reading »

Originally published in The Seattle Times, June 1, 1983

The King County Housing Authority tract in the center of this 1946 photo has disappeared and the configurations of many streets have since changed. But Black Diamond remains a rural town surrounded by wooded terrain which attracts many people as a place to live.

The King County Housing Authority tract in the center of this 1946 photo has disappeared and the configurations of many streets have since changed. But Black Diamond remains a rural town surrounded by wooded terrain which attracts many people as a place to live.

By Herb Belanger

“This city has to have businesses, industry or something,” says Black Diamond’s Vivian Bainton. “We can’t have just residences.”

That’s why she and members of the city’s small business community and owners of commercial property were scheduled to meet today on “what they have in mind and where they want to go,” she said. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Record Record-Chronicle, September 1, 1980

Gala celebration and dedication of the Union Stump, the site where years earlier, in May 1907, the Black Diamond miners organized and formed a new local of the United Mine Workers Union. (This photo is from the BDHS Calendar Series, 1978.)

The residents of Black Diamond will gather again today, as they have for decades, to watch a parade, eat hot dogs, enjoy soft drinks and beer, and visit with friends. It is a workingman’s celebration, a Labor Day tradition started when the city was a coal mining company town.

It is perhaps ironic that this Labor Day tradition continues in a community where a prolonged strike broke the miners union in the early 1920s and signaled the beginning of a decline in the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest. Continue Reading »

BDHS Member Brian Mead peeks through the fender well of the historical society’s Labor Day “float.” (Photo: Robert Dobson)

BDHS Member Brian Mead peeks through the fender well of the historical society’s Labor Day “float.” (Photo: Robert Dobson)

Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Fall 2012

By Ken Jensen

AS I WAS LEAVING THE BALL PARK for the last time on Labor Day, I had the chance to briefly chat with a neighbor. “Best turn out in years,” she said. It didn’t hurt that we had three days of near-perfect weather. Not a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the high 70s, low 80s.

The Eagles’ Car Show on Railroad Avenue is a popular draw and seems to be getting bigger with each passing year. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event. (Photo: Ken Jensen)

The Eagles’ Car Show on Railroad Avenue is a popular draw and seems to be getting bigger with each passing year. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event. (Photo: Ken Jensen)

Were there 2,000 people at the three-day event? Three thousand? Who knows. But 3,000 was the estimate of Jules Dal Santo 50 years ago—to the day—for the then two-day event in 1962. The Seattle P-I reported on September 3, 1962, that Black Diamond “was jumping with activity today—literally. A frog jumping contest, the crowning of a new queen, and a baseball game were all part of today’s events in the Black Diamond Labor Day Festival.”

History repeating itself … a recurring theme of Labor Days. Continue Reading »

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