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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 1, 1931

By Roy G. Crocker, Jr.

Wm. J. “Taft” Evans, mine foreman. It is largely through the efforts of this young man that New Black Diamond mine presents the well-groomed appearance and efficiency mentioned in this article.

Wm. J. “Taft” Evans, mine foreman. It is largely through the efforts of this young man that New Black Diamond mine presents the well-groomed appearance and efficiency mentioned in this article.

A mine that leaves the impression of good organization, good working conditions and cool efficiency is always a delight to the mining engineer. Such a mine is the subject of this paper.

In the New Black Diamond mine in Maple Valley near Renton, Washington, the highest standards of comfort and safety are the rule. Every man in the mine is required to pass a first aid examination. The most important safety precautions are constantly being driven home by means of signs, the loudspeaker at the entrance and employees who are willing to cooperate.

Ventilation is by two Sirocco fans of 100,000 cubic foot and 15,000 cubic foot capacity. There is very little gas in any part which is thick enough to require extensive dilution. A counter level is provided above the haulage for the return air from the breasts. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 21, 1890

By Clara Leavitt

Green River SlopeWe were a party of four—a husband and a brother and sister—who had come from the Atlantic coast to the Sound today with several objects in view. The bit of health, rest from arduous business pursuits, a wish to fill our sketch in with bits of nature’s wild beauties, to pursue our study of human nature as well.

We had been told that a visit to a mining town some thirty miles distant of Seattle might prove of interest to us. We therefore determined to make the trip.

We started away early one morning, however that a heavy fog prevented our getting one more glimpse of the Sound. It had lain so steely bright in the moonbeams on the previous night, for a stealing glance at the city, so lately risen on the shroud of ashes into new life, and seeing with new interests. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 3, 2009

By Kathleen Kear

FORMER MAYOR Gomer Evans (L) and current Mayor Howard Botts will be part of the kick-off festivities for the City of Black Diamond’s 50th anniversary as a city on February 19 at Black Diamond Community Center.

FORMER MAYOR Gomer Evans (L) and current Mayor Howard Botts will be part of the kick-off festivities for the City of Black Diamond’s 50th anniversary as a city on February 19 at Black Diamond Community Center.

Hard to believe that 600 months have fallen away from the calendar since the citizens of Black Diamond voted to incorporate as a city, but as of January 20 they have.

While citizens voted to incorporate as a city on January 20, 1959, it was not until March 3 that the new bustling city held its first city council meeting. At that time, councilmembers consisted of Gertrude Botts, Gomer Evans Jr., Stanley W. Hubber, Ernest Richardson, and Louis Zumek. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, January 1959

Black Diamond, Enumclaw’s next-door neighbor to the north, voted to incorporate as a fourth class town on January 20. At the same election, the voters named seven officials to conduct the town’s business. From left to right are councilwoman Mrs. Gertrude Botts, councilmen Ernest Richardson and Stan W. Hubber, Mayor Lloyd W. Hagen, councilman Gomer Evans Jr., treas. Frank Costi and councilman Louis J. Zumek. The picture was taken at an informal meeting held at the home of Mayor and Mrs. Hagen on Wednesday evening, January 21. —C-H Staff Photo

Black Diamond, Enumclaw’s next-door neighbor to the north, voted to incorporate as a fourth class town on January 20. At the same election, the voters named seven officials to conduct the town’s business. From left to right are councilwoman Mrs. Gertrude Botts, councilmen Ernest Richardson and Stan W. Hubber, Mayor Lloyd W. Hagen, councilman Gomer Evans Jr., treas. Frank Costi and councilman Louis J. Zumek. The picture was taken at an informal meeting held at the home of Mayor and Mrs. Hagen on Wednesday evening, January 21. —C-H Staff Photo

Seven miles northeast of Enumclaw, not far from the north bank of the tortuous Green River, a ghost has yawned and is giving every indication that before long it will throw off its spooky habiliments and take on real flesh and blood.

As the result of a special election on Tuesday, January 20, the Black Diamond settlement, after approximately 75 years’ of existence, became a fourth class incorporated town. At the same election, the voters named a mayor, treasurer, four councilmen and one councilwoman. Continue Reading »

Originally published in The Seattle Times, February 24, 1959

Cracker-barrel confab: Three town officials elected when Black Diamond incorporated as a fourth-class city last Tuesday, held a post-election conference in the town grocery store. From left, Mrs. Gertrude Botts, council member; Frank Costi, city treasurer and ex-officio city clerk, and Gomers Evans, Jr., councilman. Two of Mrs. Botts’ six children, David, 3, and Connie, 5, were in the foreground. The incorporation was a major step in efforts to rejuvenate the town, once a coal-mining center. —Times staff photo by John T. Closs.

Cracker-barrel confab: Three town officials elected when Black Diamond incorporated as a fourth-class city last Tuesday, held a post-election conference in the town grocery store. From left, Mrs. Gertrude Botts, council member; Frank Costi, city treasurer and ex-officio city clerk, and Gomers Evans, Jr., councilman. Two of Mrs. Botts’ six children, David, 3, and Connie, 5, were in the foreground. The incorporation was a major step in efforts to rejuvenate the town, once a coal-mining center.
—Times staff photo by John T. Closs.

By John J. Reddin, Times Staff Reporter

BLACK DIAMOND, Jan. 24 — This once booming coal-mining town, now “just another wide spot in the road,” is being given a taste of “Operation Bootstrap” by a group of spirited residents and merchants.

And, like a sick patient responding to a shot of adrenalin, the sleepy town is feeling the effects of its unexpected awakening.

Black Diamond virtually has stood still since the mid-1920s, when a strike closed several of the larger coal mines. A decrease in the demand for coal also has contributed to the “economic bust.” Continue Reading »

By JoAnne Matsumura

Ernest Moore was born in the coal-mining town of Franklin, Wash. "If there's any other job, you'd be better off taking that other job." (Greg Gilbert / Seattle Times)

Ernest Moore was born in the coal-mining town of Franklin, Wash. “If there’s any other job, you’d be better off taking that other job.” (Greg Gilbert / Seattle Times)

He was an owner of a coal mine, a pump man, and a mule skinner; he was a proficient shoeshine boy and a gracious porter; he picked moss and ferns and cut logs in the woods; and he served on a rescue team at the Gorge and as an Army quartermaster during World War II.

He once took a job in a foundry and another paving asphalt roads; he had two children and was a father figure to 30 more; he was an interesting storyteller—and he even wrote a book about it all.

He was Ernest “Ernie” Roy Moore, Sr., an African-American, third generation coal miner who was born in Franklin, Washington, on May 5, 1912. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, February 14, 1994

Khristina Ford, left, and Monica Moore look down a mine shaft in Franklin Friday as Laurel Zolezzi looks on. (Valley Daily News photos by Duane Hamamura)

Khristina Ford, left, and Monica Moore look down a mine shaft in Franklin Friday as Laurel Zolezzi looks on. (Valley Daily News photos by Duane Hamamura)

By Lyle Price

COVINGTON — Eighth-grader Aaron Moore and some classmates at Cedar Heights Junior High now have a better idea of the excitement felt by history’s explorers.

“We found another mine,” Moore reported as he and other students in teacher Michael Papritz’s class poked through the ghost town of Franklin just east of Black Diamond.

Although Franklin is just a memory and a brush-overgrown ruin lost on a hillside above the Green River, the town is coming alive in the minds and imaginations of the 27-student class. Continue Reading »

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