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Archive for August, 2017

Originally published in the Enumclaw Eagle, August 31, 1988

Annual picnic source of stories of coal, men

By Gordon Koestler

Retired miners John Streepy (left) and George Savicke shared a tale or two. (Eagle photo by Gordon Koestler.)

Retired miners John Streepy (left) and George Savicke shared a tale or two. (Eagle photo by Gordon Koestler.)

Deep within the spine of the Cascade Mountains, on either side of the summit, lie still-large coal reserves. Over the past 100 or so years, men like John Costanich, John Streepy, and George Savicke, supported by women like Mary Mihelich, have pulled the black diamonds out of mines near places like Wilkeson, Palmer, Roslyn, Carbonado, Cle Elum and, yes, Black Diamond.

Saturday, such men and women met to celebrate and remember that lifestyle at the annual Miners’ Picnic, conducted at a private park at the base of the Green River Gorge. Such luminaries as former U.S. Sen. Slade Gordon, now campaigning to return to the Senate, and Renton area state Rep. Mike Patrick thought enough of the Miners’ Picnic to attend the afternoon gathering, and King County Executive Tim Hill, 8th District Congressman Rod Chandler, and 31st District Rep. Ernie Crane were scheduled to put in appearances as well. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 30, 1923

United States Bureau conducts annual tournament in Salt Lake City

By Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY, Thursday, Aug. 30. — Announcement of awards in the contests of more than five hundred miners for honors in the work of rescue and first aid treatment of fellow workers under conditions approximating those of a mine disaster last night brought to a close the seventh annual international first aid and mine rescue meet, conducted here under the auspices of the United States Bureau of Mines.

First honors in the meet were captured by an Illinois team representing the United Mine Workers of America from Benton, Ill. This aggregation won the international mine rescue championship, the international combination first aid and mine rescue contest, and the state championship of Illinois in mine rescue work.

Highest award in the international first aid contest was made to the Anaconda Copper Company team from Great Falls, Mont.

Third award in the international first aid and mine rescue contest was won by the team representing the Pacific Coast Coal Company of Black Diamond, Wash. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 30, 1923

When Dr. Edward T. Devine, member of the United States Coal Commission, visited the coal mining districts of the West last week, he spent one day on a tour of the mines in King and Pierce counties.

In the group above he is shown at Burnett with a number of Pacific Coast Coal Company employees, who, with Vice President N.D. Moore and Manager of Mines D.C. Botting, accompanied him on his visit to Newcastle, Black Diamond, and Burnett, as well as to Carbonado and Wilkeson. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 28, 1983

By John Owen

They stood around in a wide circle, nudging the ball casually with their feet. Then it rolled toward Charley Minaglia, he executed a nifty two-step, and the ball exploded off the ground and slammed against a picnic table 20 yards away.

“Goal!” Pep Peery proclaimed and Charley Minaglia chuckled. “I guess that’s not too bad for an old guy 78 years old.”

The disclosure didn’t raise any eyebrows at the annual Soccer Oldtimers Picnic at Flaming Geyser Park. Minutes before, Chick Thompson had recited the names of every player on the 1929 Black Diamond team.

“But they’re all gone,” Chick said. “Rufe Weston and I are the only ones left and Rufe is 82.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 28, 1888

Black Diamond, Aug. 25 – Everything is running smoothly, as usual. Shafts 14, 12, and 2 are running at their fullest capacity. Everybody is busy, and of course, happy.

School opened on Monday morning with an enrollment of 126 pupils, with more to come. If the present prosperity continues more school room will be needed shortly. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 27, 1961

By Lucile McDonald

Coal industry surges are an old thing to the town of Ravensdale. One such surge, in the late 1920s, brought reconstruction and modernization of the town, as shown above in a photo taken by Asahel Curtis.

Coal industry surges are an old thing to the town of Ravensdale. One such surge, in the late 1920s, brought reconstruction and modernization of the town, as shown above in a photo taken by Asahel Curtis.

“We’ve lived in coal revivals since 1915. We have spurts and then, they fall off,” observed John Markus, Sr., proprietor of Ravensdale’s principal place of business, a grocery on the Kent-Kangley Road.

The little community with the euphonious name in South King County’s coal belt is about to have another “spurt,” however. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 27, 1915

A first aid and mine rescue contest, in which teams will be entered representing at least three of the large coal mining companies of Western Washington, is to be a feature of the Labor Day celebration at Black Diamond, next month.

Employees of the Pacific Coast Coal Company, the Northwestern Improvement Company, and the Carbon Hill Coal Company make up the three teams entered, and Black Diamond, Newcastle, and Carbonado will be the towns represented. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, August 26, 1991

By Tina Hilding

Brick works at Denny Renton Clay and Coal Company, 1909. (Photos courtesy Renton Historical Museum.)

Brick works at Denny Renton Clay and Coal Company, 1909. (Photos courtesy Renton Historical Museum.)

RENTON — North America Refractories, hidden away on a small road east of Interstate 405, seems like an ordinary small industry.

The 60-acre property off Houser Way has been for sale for a number of years and is being considered as a site for a county regional justice center.

In its heyday in the early 1900s, the factory, located on the south side of the Cedar River, was the largest paving brick plant in Washington—some say in the United States or in the world. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 26, 1910

Period of greatest danger passed, through spectacular and successful work of fighting forces

Departments conflict on firing great guns

William Entwistle’s force risks death in mad race to Maple Valley with auto load of dynamite

The forest fire story in brief

Two bad fires break out near standing timber reserves, King County. Forest supervisors take 200 men into woods but fail to control conflagrations.

Blaze in young timber near Scenic Hot Springs breaks all bounds and is beyond control. Forest supervisor in charge.

Town of Walsh, on Columbia & Puget Sound, badly scorched, loss including one saloon, two-story dwelling house, barn, and buildings of England’s logging camp.

Dynamite to the amount of 500 pounds taken into Maple Valley district by fire fighters, who prepare to dynamite tops of trees in old timber to stop destructive fires.

Cooler weather makes work of forest fire workers easier, but danger will continue until rains fall.

The town of Bothell, at the head of Lake Washington, which was in danger of destruction yesterday, is reported safe. No buildings were destroyed. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, September 10, 1967

By Nick Dimartino

Mrs. Muriel Wing on the telephone

Mrs. Muriel Wing on the telephone

“Every year they choose someone who’s done something nice for the community and the kids, and this year the darn nuts figured it was me.”

So said Mrs. Muriel Wing, Black Diamond’s Woman of the Year and the second woman so honored. Usually Black Diamond names a Man of the Year.

Mrs. Wing, named on Labor Day as recipient of the plaque, said yesterday the award was a complete surprise.

“I wasn’t even listening to the speech,” she said. “I don’t even know what they said about me.”

Mrs. Wing is the mother-adviser of the Black Diamond Rainbow girls, who have sent nearly 2,500 books to the hospital ship Repose in Vietnam waters.

She has played piano and organ for both churches in Black Diamond for local christenings, marriages, funerals, and other ceremonies. (more…)

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