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Archive for October, 2011

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, December 25, 1924

A most unique and economic way of advertising Diamond Briquets was recently tried by the Porter Transfer & Fuel Co. of Snohomish, Washington. This concern is operated by Mr. James A. Porter.

Mr. Porter secured a very large pumpkin which he placed in his office window. A big printed placard drew the attention of the passers-by which stated that the person guessing nearest the correct number of seeds in the pumpkin would be given one ton of Diamond Briquets gratis. To the next nearest correct number would be given a half ton of briquets, and to the ten next nearest guesses would be given one sack of briquets each. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier, September 30, 1910

St. Barbara dedicationOn Sunday, Oct. 23d. will be dedicated the new church edifice at Black Diamond, called St. Barbara. The ceremony will be performed by Rev. Bishop Edward J. O’Dea, of the diocese of Seattle, and will take place at 10 o’clock, a.m. The event will be of great interest to the people of Black Diamond, and to those of the Catholic faith throughout the surrounding territory. The weather being favorable, there will doubtless be the greatest gathering ever witnessed at Black Diamond. After the ceremony dinner will be served by the Ladies Aid Society, to which everybody will be welcome.

The new church, with which there is no fault found yet so far as construction is concerned, is almost exclusively the work of Enumclaw firms. Ival Parks is the contractor, the lumber was furnished by the White River Lumber Co., and Alex Gillessen did the painting. He has painted some very fine pieces for the interior decoration, which may be seen at his shop at the corner of Wells Street and Initial Avenue. Everything included, the cost of the new edifice will be a little over $2,200.

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, April 2002

By Gordon and Conrad “Coke” Roberts

[As we looked back on our “growing up” in Black Diamond, here are our thoughts about the people and events who we felt had an effect on our lives.]

People Who Made A Difference

Louis Carnino, janitor at the grade school from 1933 to 1952. Always friendly and interested in people, it is said that in the early days he would visit the local hospital and soothe uneasy patients by singing to them (BDHS calendar series, 1988).

Louis Carnino, janitor at the grade school from 1933 to 1952. Always friendly and interested in people, it is said that in the early days he would visit the local hospital and soothe uneasy patients by singing to them (BDHS calendar series, 1988).

First in our thoughts was Mr. Babb, who worked for the Pacific Coast Coal Company as the town maintenance manager. He was a real organizer who was friendly and caring with a special interest in helping kids. He had an enthusiasm that was contagious. Obviously the school system and its teachers were along with our parents, a strong guiding force in our young lives. We remember very well Mr. Nelson, who was the superintendent. He set the tone not only for the kids but also his staff of teachers. He was always firm but fair. After leaving our school District in 1942, he went on to become superintendent of the Mount Vernon School system.

Mr. Hogle was vice principal from 1938-1939 and Mr. Watson took over as vice principal in 1940-1941. Both men taught science and math plus being our basketball and baseball coach. Mr. Watson, who was son of the President of Seattle Pacific College, went from Black Diamond to the University of California at Berkley to become a professor of Nuclear Science. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, October 2001

By Gordon and Conrad “Coke” Roberts

[We were two young fellows happy to be a part of Black Diamond’s history and would like to share out thoughts and happiness of the times with you and the town!]

The show hall is on the right, the pool hall on the left, and the depot/museum is at the far left, circa 1900.

The show hall is on the right, the pool hall is on the left, and the depot/museum is at the far left, circa 1900.

What a great, little happy town to grow up in! It had everything: good schools, theatre, entertainment, great friends, churches, lodges, gardening, community affairs, and a rich tradition in sporting events. You can believe the Victor G. Roberts family participated in all of it.

In reading Black Diamond: Mining the Memories, I missed any recall of what it was like to live on state highway 169, which was the main thoroughfare through Black Diamond, as it wound from Renton, Maple Valley, Henry’s Switch, and on through Green River Gorge or over the new bridge to Enumclaw. We lived on this main drag, just north of the ball park, with such neighbors as the Fowlers, Merryfields, Tonkins, McDowells, Rhodes, and McTurks.

In my youth my real heroes were my teachers, such as Miss McNamara, Miss Helen Hathaway, Mr. Gildo Rey, Mr. Edson, and of course Mr. J.W. Norman. Above all though stood a very special one, who was the energetic, leader of our community, Mr. Henry Babb. It seemed to the kids he ran the whole town and was special in providing we kids with theatre, movies, sports, education … YES, everything we wanted. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, July 2008

By Louis Draghi

The “castle,” a name we kids gave to the large concrete formation that housed the hoist and machinery for Mine #14.

I’m always anxious when I receive the latest publication of the historical society newsletter and can read about people and events of my hometown. I want to thank other dedicated members for their hard work.

When I read about Dr. Botts and your request for stories, I began to reminisce about my experiences concerning him through the years.

The first event happened when I was 5 years old. I had just picked up one of those orange and black caterpillars and began tossing it in the air and catching it. Once I missed … the beast landed on my left eye and left some of its tiny hairs in my eye. The pain was intense and rubbing my eye made it worse. I was playing near the “castle,” a name we kids gave to the large concrete formation that housed the hoist and machinery to the #14 mine near my home. I knew I needed help and didn’t dawdle, but trotted over to Dr. Botts’ office. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, November 1994

By Ann Steiert

1936 Black Diamond School Band

Black Diamond Youth Band 1936. Henry Babb is at the far right; director Frank Carroll is on the left.

Henry Babb: For many years he was town maintenance man for the Pacific Coast Coal Company in Black Diamond. He was both loved and feared by many of the citizens. He was very strict and would really shout when anyone disobeyed his orders. He was the husband of Esther Vernarelli Babb.

Harry McDowell: He was the manager of the company store. He was very much interested in all the town. He helped many people when times were tough. He lived in the yellow house on the right on 169 as you go north.

Frank Carroll: He was the town’s band leader. He was a good musician and really inspired his players. They went to many state tournaments and won prizes. (more…)

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