Archive for November 4th, 2011

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, October 2010

By JoAnne Matsumura

Julius Persyn, age 31, was one of sixteen men who perished in the volcanic Lawson Mine explosion on Sunday, November 6, 1910. His remains, along with four others, were not recovered, and are entombed in the depths of the Lawson Hill mine.

That fateful day, his friend asked Julius, a timberman, to take his place for work. Julius, being a man of “charitable character at all times,” agreed to take his friends’ place at the mine.

Julius was born September 3, 1879, in Isenberghe, Belgium, and was the husband of Louise-Julie Fabre, father to son George (born in Black Diamond on August 26, 1910), and stepfather to Hauri.

Julius had been offered to see Monsieur Bonnell for a job and the “drivers house of three rooms” to live in situated between the museum and the Black Diamond Cemetery. “He settled in a remote land and thanks to unceasing labor and a sparing lifestyle, succeeded in making for himself a new family.” The heavens called him soon after on that fateful day of November 6, 1910.

On September 23, 1911, Mrs. Julius Persyn, infant son George. and Julius’ brother, Medard Persyn, boarded the Red Star Line, S.S. Finland, in Seattle, leaving the soil of the United States and sailed back to Europe. The wife of George and their daughter currently reside in France.

Julius and his four fellow workers may be entombed under the hill overlooking the vastness of Black Diamond, but they are not forgotten.

For more about the 1910 Lawson Mine explosion:

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