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Archive for August 19th, 2018

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 1988

By Heather Larson

Black Diamond’s “Person of the Year,” honored at the town’s annual Labor Day weekend celebration, was Lois Zumek, shown above. — Voice photo by Terry McLellan.

Black Diamond’s “Person of the Year,” honored at the town’s annual Labor Day weekend celebration, was Lois Zumek, shown above. — Voice photo by Terry McLellan.

Black Diamond’s annual September celebration commemorates days past when the coal mining industry reigned. The culmination of the festivities is on Labor Day with a parade, pancake breakfast, games, and a greased pole climb.

The Laurel Assembly No. 144 of Rainbow Girls in conjunction with the Black Diamond Masons served breakfast to 142 adults and 10 children on Monday. The meal consisted of ham, pancakes, scrambled eggs, juice, and coffee.

Honored in the nearly one-hour parade down the Maple Valley Highway were Lois Zumek, person of the year; Jim and Connie Leider; King and Queen; and Paul and Gertie Botts, prince and princess. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, August 31, 1988

You can listen to a bit of Black Diamond history at noon on Labor Day when Dan Palmer sings “Black Diamond Mines” at the ballpark.

The song, which the Black Diamond folk singer wrote in 1982 for the town’s centennial celebration, has five verses that tell of the early mining days in the area.

It talks of Morgan Morgans, who was the mining superintendent, 80-year-old old-time miner Dooda Vernarelli, the mining whistles, and the veins of deep, black coal.

“It’s one of my best tunes as far as audience response and recognition,” Palmer said.

Vernarelli was Palmer’s neighbor. Palmer said he and Vernarelli were talking about the song one day and Vernarelli said Palmer had to mention the mining whistles in the song. (more…)

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