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Posts Tagged ‘Enumclaw’

The new Black Diamond Elementary School, September 1963

The “new” Black Diamond Elementary School, September 1963

Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, September 5, 1963

Black Diamond students are occupying a brand new elementary school building as they come back and settle down to books after the three months’ summer vacation.

Fred Pettersen, school principal said that he anticipates an enrollment of approximately 220 pupils this year as compared with slightly more than 200 last year.

The new building was begun in July 1962 and was completed in time for occupancy this year. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Herald, August 2, 1929

Pacific States Lumber Co. plant, Selleck, Washington. This elevated view of the large, sprawling facility was taken on October 4, 1926. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Public Library.

Pacific States Lumber Co. plant, Selleck, Washington. This elevated view of the large, sprawling facility was taken on October 4, 1926. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Public Library.

Fire of undetermined origin which threatened for a time to destroy the mill and entire town of Selleck was halted early Monday [July 29] morning after a stubborn fight made by firemen from the surrounding towns. The loss was estimated at approximately $350,000. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-intelligencer, July 3, 1977

By Judi Hunt

Black Diamond BakeryBlack Diamond is a “never on Monday or Tuesday” kind of town. Those are the days that the former mining community’s main attractions—the bakery, cheese and sausage shop, art gallery and potter-in-residence—are closed.

There’s more to Black Diamond than those favorites of out-of-towners, of course. Two of the town’s three taverns seem to do as lively a business at the beginning of the week as at the end.

And so do the drug, liquor and grocery stores in the small shopping center on the Maple Valley Highway which links this sleepy little haven to the rest of south King County.

But what brings the visitors to Black Diamond—southeast of Renton and east of Auburn—is bread.

Not just any kind of bread, but the very special variety that tantalizes all the senses and which apparently can only be made in a wood-fired brick oven like the one at the Black Diamond Bakery. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 14, 1971

By Byron Johnsrud

This is another in the continuing series on communities in and around the Seattle area. Byron Johnsrud and Walt Woodward alternate as authors.

Evan Thomas and his Welsh heirlooms.

Evan Thomas and his Welsh heirlooms.

THE LATE Erie Stanley Gardner might have titled it “The Case of the Lively Ghost Town.”

Certainly any town that boasts only two industries, and one of them a bakery, might be suspected of a galloping case of civic senility.

Not so Black Diamond, the little South King County hamlet that certainly must be one of the few incorporated entities anywhere without a single stop-and-go light to stay the tourist hurrying to scenes of livelier action.

Black Diamond has only one “tourist trap,” the second of the two aforementioned industries. It is known afar and favorably as The Bakery. It has to be listed as an “industry” because it lures in money from the greater “outside.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Thursday, April 1, 1971

An overturned coal car is still in the Green River.

An overturned coal car is still in the Green River.

The “end of an era” exploded along the narrow canyon walls of the Green River Gorge last Saturday when officials of the Explosives Corporation of America silenced once and for always the rumble of ore cars from the Number 10 Franklin coal mine near Black Diamond.

“It’s like watching your life’s work go up in smoke,” commented John Maks of Black Diamond, a miner for the past 43 years. “It’s not so bad for me, I’m ready to give it up, but the younger fellows might find it rough. How many ads do you see for coal miners these days?” Maks said, as he surveyed the aftermath of the blast which closed the mine tunnel the air shaft and sent the 110-foot log bridge which spanned the gorge into the river below. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier, March 31, 1905

Van Buren Madden, who drives the Buckley Bakery wagon, was held up and robbed while returning from Franklin on Wednesday afternoon, by a couple of Negroes.

Bob Hodge was “a monster of man – at least we thought he was,” remembered Carl Steiert in Black Diamond: Mining the Memories. “He was about 6-foot-4 and weighed well over 200 pounds.”

Bob Hodge was “a monster of man – at least we thought he was,” remembered Carl Steiert in Black Diamond: Mining the Memories. “He was about 6-foot-4 and weighed well over 200 pounds.”

Madden had collected quite a sum of money from his customers and started for home. About a mile this side of Franklin two masked men stepped out from the brush at the road-side, and pointing a gun at him, demanded that he get down from the wagon. They then went through his pockets, taking about one hundred dollars and a gold watch.

Madden was then ordered to get into the wagon and drive on without looking back, under penalty of death. While he was being searched the mask slipped from the face of one of the robbers, and Madden recognized him as one whom he had frequently seen about the town during his trips to Franklin.

Madden came on to Enumclaw and phoned for Mr. Theroux, the proprietor of the bakery at Buckley, and together they returned to search for the robbers. Deputy Sheriff Hodge of Black Diamond at once knew who the robbers were from the description and notified the police at Seattle.

Fifteen minutes after word was received, officers arrested Chas. Roberts and Ed. Spencer, who proved to be the men wanted. The watch and over half the money were recovered.

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, March 28, 1963

Cumberland firehouse

The Cumberland firehouse was the former gymnasium.

Cumberland, the unincorporated town eight miles northeast of Enumclaw, hopes to have fire protection in the very near future if current plans are successfully concluded, according to Emmett Gleason, Cumberland businessman and one of a committee of five citizens named to spearhead the movement. For several years, Gleason said, Cumberland has been an “orphan” insofar as its incorporation into a rural fire district has been concerned.

According to the boundary lines of surrounding fire districts, the Enumclaw fire department could only go to a point two miles south of the “orphan,” the Palmer-Selleck fire district equipment was drawn to a halt one and one-half miles north of the town, and the Black Diamond firefighters, as far as legality was concerned, had to come to a grinding stop when they reached a point four miles west of Cumberland. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, March 12, 1953

Standing in front of the Black Diamond fire station is Garrett (left) and Tommy Zumek, Black Diamond fire chief. The people of Black Diamond have expressed their appreciation in receiving the gift of this truck. Garrett has been made an honorary fire chief. (C-H Photo & Engraving)

Standing in front of the Black Diamond fire station is Dwight Garrett (left) and Tommy Zumek, Black Diamond fire chief. (C-H Photo & Engraving)

“Old Soldiers Never Die,” or so the song goes. Well, that almost holds good for old fire trucks, too.

Pictured above is the LaFrance fire truck that served Enumclaw for quite a number of years. A call for bids to sell it brought an offer from Dwight Garrett—who we understand was born in Black Diamond, but now is an Enumclaw businessman.

His offer was accepted and he presented it to the City of Black Diamond.

The people of Black Diamond have expressed their appreciation in receiving the gift of this truck. Garrett has been made an honorary fire chief.

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, November 1992

By Victor Evans

Black Diamond Bakery ovenI was born in Black Diamond in 1916. It’s kind of unusual. I was born in the bakery where my father was a baker. Being a twin, they thought I was rather puny although I weighed five pounds. To keep me warm—there were no incubators available—they laid me down near the baking oven. That old baking oven served as my incubator. I used to crawl around picking up raisins that fell on the floor.

My twin brother Vincent and I were one of the attractions at the bakery. There was another set of twins born in Black Diamond fairly close to when we were born, but they were not identical twins. It used to keep my mother busy keeping us dressed up and all in shape for all the people coming in to see us. She said it was a real headache. We were on display all the time. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, July 4, 1976

By Nancy Gould

Bushes and crocuses gone wild provide nature’s remembrances to those forgotten decades ago in Black Diamond’s cemetery. The town’s historic site is currently the focus of the town council’s attention to determine how best to preserve and maintain it.

Bushes and crocuses gone wild provide nature’s remembrances to those forgotten decades ago in Black Diamond’s cemetery. The town’s historic site is the focus of the town council’s attention to determine how best to preserve and maintain it.

“Pennacchi, Menechini, Daverio,” read some of the Italian names on tombstones in Black Diamond’s 3.4-acre cemetery off Morgan Drive. Purple heather from James Williams’ Welsh homeland nearly covers his 1890 marker.

Patches of graves bear similar dates in the late 1800s and early 1900s when Welsh, Polish, Austrian and other ethnic miners lost their lives in local mining accidents.

One discolored stone’s name and date are indecipherable but the epitaph is clear: “Gone but not forgotten.”

The old cemetery has become the recent focus of attention from town fathers, hoping to uphold the promise behind that inscription. A small group of volunteer caretakers has requested that the town of Black Diamond take over the care and maintenance of the cemetery.

But for three years, said Dan Farr, town attorney, the issue has been under advisement.

“There has been a movement for the town to pick up the cemetery, but we discovered there was an old lien on the property. The Pacific Coast Coal Company’s predecessor left an unpaid mortgage which clouds the title.” (more…)

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