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Originally published in the News Mill, Volume 1, No. 3, March 31, 1976

Issaquah Coal Mine TramCan you remember … when Mountain Park was a heavily-forested hillside and the sounds of the coal cars could be heard across the valley as they rumbled to the surface with another load of “black gold”? Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 28, 1948

Jack Sperry snapped this photo in 1949 of his son, also Jack, and neighbor Linda Johnson sitting on KCFD 17’s first fire truck near Lake Sawyer.

Jack Sperry snapped this photo in 1949 of his son, also Jack, and neighbor Linda Johnson sitting on KCFD 17’s first fire truck near Lake Sawyer.

Volunteer firemen of the newly organized department of King County Fire Protection District No. 17 will stage their first annual dance and carnival Friday night. Owners of the Lake Wilderness New Dance Hall have donated use of the hall for the frolic.

Proceeds will be used to purchase a pulmotor and fire hose for the fire department and helmets and other fire-fighting clothing for the firemen. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 25, 1962

By Jack Jarvis

Ubiquitous Gracie Hansen instructs carpenter on ‘Paradise’ building.

Ubiquitous Gracie Hansen instructs carpenter on ‘Paradise’ building.

Writing about Gracie Hansen, whose Paradise International theater restaurant will liven up the nights at the World’s Fair, is a chore only in that anything we write is bound to be pro-Gracie.

We can’t balance with any anti-Gracie comments.

The roly-poly, happy little extrovert who came out of the logging town of Morton and set this town on its ear by getting the go-ahead to stage a Las Vegas night club type show is having the time of her life—and so are those of us fortunate enough to know her. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 22, 1922

Chas. Kirby in fighting togs

Chas. Kirby in fighting togs

One camp or another is always boasting of having the cleverest boxers in the company. Being interested in anything that will promote clean sport—amateur sport, that is—among the men, the Bulletin recently asked for more detailed information, resulting in the following reply from one Charles Kirby, of Burnett:

Editor, Pacific Coast Bulletin:

Have read a lot in the Bulletin about the good men of Black Diamond, but have not given it much thought, as I have been very busy trying to make a kind of a start in Burnett Mine. But as to some data about myself, which you have asked for, here goes:

For six years, until I came to the Pacific Coast Coal Company on October 3, 1921, I was in the U.S. Army. During my service in the army I had the opportunity of going through the pace with Eddie Tate in the Olympic Club, Manila, P.I., and then I got to Siberia where I met some of the boys in the A.E.F. [American Expeditionary Force]. Continue Reading »

Doubtless you have wondered what Geo. Watkin Evans, author of the interesting series of articles on the coal fields of the State of Washington appearing in the Bulletin, looks like. Here he is in his fishing togs. He is the figure on the left, and the pleased expression on his face comes from the fact—solemnly sworn to by Mr. Evans—that the ten fish on the string he is holding were all caught by him on one hook in ten minutes while in Alaska some years ago.

Doubtless you have wondered what Geo. Watkin Evans, author of the interesting series of articles on the coal fields of the State of Washington appearing in the Bulletin, looks like. Here he is in his fishing togs. He is the figure on the left, and the pleased expression on his face comes from the fact—solemnly sworn to by Mr. Evans—that the ten fish on the string he is holding were all caught by him on one hook in ten minutes while in Alaska some years ago.

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 22, 1922

By Geo. Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, Seattle

The famous McKay coal seam, originally opened at Black Diamond, has either been mined, or traced continuously into the Ravensdale district, at which point it was originally mined some years ago.

The Ravensdale mine, originally called the Leary mine, was opened in 1899 by the Seattle and San Francisco Railway & Navigation Company. At a later date the property was purchased by the Northwestern Improvement Company, which is the coal division of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 20, 1997

By Jon Hahn

Ernest “Milt” Swanson didn’t want the Coal Creek area’s past to be forgotten so he converted his 10-by-12-foot hen house into a mini-museum and founded the Newcastle Historical Society.

Ernest “Milt” Swanson didn’t want the Coal Creek area’s past to be forgotten so he converted his 10-by-12-foot hen house into a mini-museum and founded the Newcastle Historical Society.

The name’s “MILT” on the hard hat he wore in the Newcastle coal mine, but his real name’s Ernest Swanson.

He lives in unincorporated King County, within spitting distance of the real Coal Creek. He’s also a stone’s throw from both the new city of Newcastle to the south and a newly annexed part of Bellevue to the north, which some folks still call Newport Hills.

Given all that, he’s got an Issaquah postal address and a Renton telephone prefix. Continue Reading »

Thursday Crew includes from left-rear: Carl Steiert, Frank Guidetti, Louis Zumek, Ted Barner, Robert Eaton, Martin Moore, David Sprau and kneeling, Ray Drury.

Thursday Crew includes from left-rear: Carl Steiert, Frank Guidetti, Louis Zumek, Ted Barner, Robert Eaton, Martin Moore, David Sprau and kneeling, Ray Drury.

Originally published in The Seattle Times, Month/date unknown 1983

By Mary Rothschild

Three passenger trains a day once stopped in Black Diamond, traveling from the foot of Main Street in Seattle in about an hour and a half. Visitors weren’t attracted by the town’s now-famous bakery, it didn’t exist then. Most had business or friends in the busy community, which boasted a population of 3,000 at its zenith.

Some Black Diamond visitors, especially during Prohibition, came for the once-famous moonshine. One wag says bootleg brew was the town’s second-biggest industry, right after coal. But the main line to Black Diamond wasn’t built for passenger traffic. The important cargo was the coal—four trainloads a day traveling down the Pacific Coast Coal Co.-owned tracks to Puget Sound. Continue Reading »

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