Archive for June, 2010

“A Song of Pay Day” was written by H. M. McDowell, the Pacific Coast Coal Company’s store manager at Black Diamond, reported the Pacific Coast Bulletin in December 1921. It was subsequently published in The Anode, a publication of the Anaconda Copper Mining Co.

By H. M. McDowell

Happy Father's Day

Did you know: Father's Day was the creation of Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane in 1909? The first observance was June 19, 1910.

We sing about our holidays, they bring us rest and pleasure: and well they merit of our praise, their good we cannot measure. And yet, I knew a better day and fain would sing about it—it’s that on which we get our pay, we cannot live without it.

When dad wakes up on pay day morn, the wife is bright and cheery; instead of blasting him with scorn, she coyly calls him “dearie.” This day of days his nibs is king, and Caesar in the makin’, for ere the shades of night he’ll bring unto his roost the bacon. And so the household stands about and shows him much attention. Today he is the grand old scout; the cause I need not mention. And when in regal state he eats his stack of hots or waffle, some smiling lips his vision meets; they kid him something awful.

And mother, as she stands in wait to meet his lordship’s wishes, avers her need of clothes is great, the silky kind that swishes. And Willie climbs upon his knee and dad he gently heckles; he’s also in the plot, you see, to get his hard-earned shekels. And Sue, she runs to get his coat; his ribs she gently tickles. She’s picked him for the role of goat; tonight she’ll get some nickels. And as he journeys off to work, this even-tempered plodder, the grocer gent doth smile and smirk, from whom he buys his fodder. And dad comes through with all the stuff, he’s not a whit a slacker. He’s lucky if he saves enough to keep him in tobacccer.

So while they’re naming holidays, to laud the noted hero, and close the banks to honor jays from Hiram back to Nero, I think myself its time we had a sort of festice Mayday on which we aught to honor Dad, the Star of Hope on Pay Day!

Note: Be sure to check out the history of Father’s Day and Sonora Louise Smart Dodd at Historylink.org.

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Flying the flag

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, April 2009

By JoAnne Matsumura

43-star U.S. flag

On June 14, 1777, The Stars and Stripes became the U.S. flag and people across the country have celebrated Flag Day on June 14 ever since in many different ways.

In 1818, lawmakers agreed to keep the stripes at 13 and began to change the number of stars. By 1912, there were 48 states and President William Taft ordered that the stars should be in rows.

President Grover Cleveland selected the anniversary of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1889, to sign the act creating the State of Washington. His proclamation of admission was not issued until November 11, 1889, by U.S. President Benjamin Harrison signing the bill admitting Washington to become the 42nd state of the United States of America under the 43-star U.S. flag, along with North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, and Montana.

State of Washington flag

Shortly after 1893, it was recommended that the day be known as Flag Day, and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercise with each child being given a small flag.

President Woodrow Wilson officially established by Proclamation on May 30, 1916, Flag Day to be June 14. However, it was not until August 3, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.

City of Black Diamond flag

Black Diamond flag

In 1923, Washington State issued “The Seal of the State of Washington 1889” on a flag of green color.

And in 2009, the City fathers of Black Diamond authorized the “City of Black Diamond” logo be placed to an official flag for the City of Black Diamond, now celebrating its 50th anniversary of incorporation.

About the Museum’s Flag Pole

Museum's flag pole

Museum’s flag pole

Evan Morris donated the pipe and Bill Petchnick did the welding and fashioned the emblem on the top. The “Thursday Gang” dug the hole and poured the cement, donated by Flintstones’ Sand and Gravel. The main mast, embedded in cement, is supported by pieces of channel iron donated by Ed Bowen. The rope is from Bill Petchnick; the bronze pulley, from Jim Vernarelli; and the bronze clips, from Karl Sebastiam. Others who were involved were Carl Steiert, Ted Barner, Martin Moore, Frank Guidetti, and Bob Eaton.

Source: BDHS newsletter, November 1982

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, January and April 2006

By Frank Hammock

The best of friends: Dr. Ulman and Mr. Kranc

The best of friends: Dr. Ulman and Mr. Kranc

Have you ever taken a two-hour trip into the past to a forgotten era of time? A trip like this is a lot like visiting a grandparent, or a childhood friend who gladly shares the warmth of memories and fun. I had the pleasurable experience to do just that when I recently paid a visit to two long time Enumclaw residents, Dr. John Ulman and Mr. George Kranc, who shared with me their stories of the past that owe some of their humble beginnings to the early days of Black Diamond not long after the turn of the 20th century.

The interview took place in Dr. Ulman’s quiet and well-manicured residence only two blocks from his childhood home in the heart of Enumclaw. Outside, trees stood in somber silence sporting beautifully colored red, yellow, and brown leaves, and rain fell steadily in the gray daylight hours of an autumn afternoon in November. A light wind rustled up the fallen leaves as the conversations began in the dining area with occasional laughter breaking out of the stories from a lifetime of golden memories that flowed like honey from the vine.


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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, “When Coal Was King,” June 1, 2010

By Bill Kombol

David Morris immigrated from Wales in 1848 to work in the U.S. coal mines.

Between 1840 and 1900, approximately 100,000 immigrants from Wales came to the U.S. Many came as coal miners. In the 1850s a traveler in Wales remarked that every coal miner with whom he spoke had a “father, brother, son, uncle, nephew, cousin, or friend in America and had been cogitating about going himself.” David Morris is a common story for a Welsh immigrant.

Born in 1830 at Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire Wales, Morris was orphaned at age 15 and in 1848 immigrated to western Pennsylvania to work in the coal mines. There he met his future wife, Mary Harris, another Welsh orphan who came with her adopted family in 1844. David and Mary were married in Hickory Corner, PA in 1854 and moved to eastern Ohio with Mary’s family, the Lewis Browns. More children were born, and from there David Morris bought land near Givin to work in the southern Iowa coal mines. In the late 1850s, Morris and three friends outfitted a two-wheeled cart which they pushed all the way to California, where he spent 18 months.

In 1878, Morris made his way to Buckley, Washington, where he bought land. With his sons, Joshua and David S., he worked in the Renton coal mines. Mary and all ten children eventually relocated to Washington and became coal miners or merchants based in Buckley.

This Saturday, June 5, the Black Diamond Museum will celebrate Welsh Heritage Day with a program beginning at 1 p.m. The Museum is located at 32627 Railroad Avenue in Black Diamond’s Old Town district which features the Black Diamond Bakery, Baker Street Books, Black Diamond Pizza & Deli, and the Smokehouse & More.

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