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Archive for September, 2015

Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Summer 2012

By Ken Jensen

This photo, taken in 1948, courtesy of Jack Sperry, shows his father, also Jack, driving a Zipper speedboat on Lake Sawyer.

This photo, taken in 1948, courtesy of Jack Sperry, shows his father, also Jack, driving a Zipper speedboat on Lake Sawyer.

Have you ever sat through one of those vacation slide shows with a friend or relative? You know what I’m talking about … the lights are down low and you’re desperately trying to keep your eyes open while feigning interest at the same time.

Well, this was not one of those times.

Keith Watson, Bob Dobson, and I were captivated when we met Jack Sperry at the museum to see his family’s photos of Lake Sawyer.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to view the evolution of the lake from logging camp to rustic resort cabins to an upscale bedroom community. And it didn’t hurt that Jack’s parents were pretty handy with a camera. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 23, 1981

By Diane Olson

Shown above is the old Black Diamond City Jail, built in 1910. The Black Diamond Historical Society recently restored it. – VOICE photo by Diane Olson.

Shown above is the old Black Diamond City Jail, built in 1910. The Black Diamond Historical Society recently restored it. – VOICE photo by Diane Olson.

Black Diamond’s jail house is open! It even has an inmate. In fact the inmate has resided there for nearly two weeks now, and hasn’t even had a hearing, according to Carl Steiert, chairman of the Black Diamond Historical Society.

“The dummy” was created by Ann Steiert as a finishing touch to the historical society’s restoration of the old city jail.

The project began in 1979, when Steiert and others contacted Mrs. Harp, who owned the property where the jail had been siting for at least 40 years and arranged to purchase it for $150. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Spring 2011

By Craig Goodwin

Lake Sawyer log dump, 1928. Courtesy of University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, C. Kinsey No. 1684

Lake Sawyer log dump, 1928. Courtesy of University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, C. Kinsey No. 1684

While coal was king in Black Diamond’s early days, logging and sawmilling also played significant roles in the local economy. The Pacific Coast Coal Company built a mill in the 1920s, likely used for making mine timbers.

The largest operation here, however, was the Lake Sawyer Lumber Company owned by the Neukirchen brothers. It consisted of a sawmill facility located on the northeast corner of the lake and a log dump along the southwest shore near where the Sunrise Resort is currently located. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 14, 1994

By Bill Wallace

This home is one of 15 company houses of the former Pacific States Lumber Co. that comprise the Selleck historical district.

This home is one of 15 company houses of the former Pacific States Lumber Co. that comprise the Selleck historical district.

How about doubling your rent this month—just by paying the same old rent to two different landlords, a new one and the old one?

That’s what some residents of the town of Selleck are faced with. Rob Schaefer and several other investors have owned the town of Selleck, east of Ravensdale, for some decades. Now Norm Fishler has laid claim to the 50 to 60 acres there along with the two or three dozen homes on the land. (more…)

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Originally published in the Auburn Globe-Reporter, July 10, 1925

geyser-sign

City and nearby resorts get fine publicity

Big advertising sign on west highway

This is the immense signboard erected by the Auburn Commercial club on the west highway a quarter mile north of Gallagher’s corner. A second similar sign is now under construction south of this corner. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, October 2007

By Frank Hammock

The first Union Stump encasement 1921-1922. (Photograph courtesy: Black Diamond Historical Society #2005.018, Gattavara Collection.)

The first Union Stump encasement 1921-1922. (Photograph courtesy: Black Diamond Historical Society #2005.018, Gattavara Collection.)

Back at the stump … the miners discussed the bad working conditions in the mines.

Back at the stump … the miners demanded an eight-hour work day.

Back at the stump … the miners fought for higher pay.

Yes, back at the stump … a 100-year journey began for Black Diamond’s United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local Union 6481. Out of necessity, and part of a nationwide movement, a new era of change grew from the spark of diversity and struggle, and the voices who gave it life.

Springing up all over the nation in those early years of the 20th century, the echoes that started from a whisper, joined to a crescendo like the waters of many rivers that merge into the sea. And, on May 15, 1907, Local Union 6481 first formed and became a gallant part of that blended energy of transformation.

Ever since Congress voted it into a federal holiday in 1894, Labor Day has been a celebration of struggle, work, change, and prosperity. Yet, all throughout history, workers have been waging a war for the betterment of labor and the conditions of life that support it. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 2, 1992

While driving through Black Diamond, take the time to notice the new face that the Black Diamond Community Center is now sporting. Thanks to the efforts of the Maple Valley Rotary Club, which supplied the paint and labor led by Rotarians Kevin Esping and Mario Scorci, another community project is completed. Dorothy Botts, center director, is very excited over the new look and sends out a big thank-you to Maple Valley Rotary.

While driving through Black Diamond, take the time to notice the new face that the Black Diamond Community Center is now sporting. Thanks to the efforts of the Maple Valley Rotary Club, which supplied the paint and labor led by Rotarians Kevin Esping and Mario Scorci, another community project is completed. Dorothy Botts, center director, is very excited over the new look and sends out a big thank-you to Maple Valley Rotary.

The Black Diamond Community Center had been painted recently, but the color turned out to be an overpowering pink.

After hearing many complaints, Mario Scorci, Black Diamond city councilman, mentioned the problem at a meeting of the Maple Valley Rotary Club. (more…)

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