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Archive for January, 2020

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 30, 2007

By Kathleen Kear

Getting ready to celebrate her 100th birthday is Ruby Favro Androsko Keeney (left). Also pictured with Keeney is son, Joe Androsko (center), and husband, Lee (right).

Looking forward to celebrating her first century of life, former Black Diamond resident Ruby Favro Androsko Keeney has plenty of tales to share about growing up in Black Diamond.

Born on February 4, 1907, to father, Joe Favro (a Black Diamond coal miner), and mother, Mary (a stay-at-home mom), Keeney grew up to become one of thirteen Black Diamond High School graduates in the class of 1926. Soon after graduation, she went to work at the Black Diamond Bakery. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 30, 2007

By Kathleen Kear

Rising once again to the occasion of causing residents living around the lake concern, Horseshoe Lake, located just off the Auburn/Black Diamond Rd. outside Black Diamond, has also once again caused concern of Black Diamond residents living around Lake Sawyer.

The rising problem was brought to the attention of the City of Black Diamond staff, who have been hard at work since receiving the information three weeks ago, looking up old documents dating back to the 1990s. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 30, 1991

By Jackie Zils

Black Diamond’s elementary school may be regarded as a “little brother” in its school system (Enumclaw), but it more than holds its own with larger schools. — VOICE photo.

Being a small school brings big returns to Black Diamond Elementary.

Often regarded as a sort of “little brother” to the rest of the Enumclaw School District, Black Diamond may be reaping the most benefits.

Students have more access to computers and library resources than their counterparts in the rest of the district. Curriculum materials aren’t spread as thin among the teaching staff. Administrative and support staff have fewer people to deal with because of Black Diamond’s smaller population. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, January 28, 1994

Around the Valley by Mary Swift

The yeast he could do—Doug Weiding never figured on becoming a baker

Doug Weiding in a ‘special’ booth at the Black Diamond Bakery. Valley Daily News photo by Garry Kissel.

Weiding, a former food broker salesman, was actually in the market for a tavern.

Then the tavern deal fell through and the opportunity to buy the historic Black Diamond Bakery rose before him, an opportunity as delicious as sweet dough in a warm oven.

The year was 1985.

Weiding tied on an apron and became baker. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 28, 1926

New Black Diamond Mine was visited by the representatives of the Sales Department as a part of the two-day program last week. In the mine the salesmen saw visual evidence of the company’s confidence in the future of the coal industry. The picture of the group was taken at the face of the gangway after they had walked in from the main entrance. (more…)

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Originally published in The Issaquah Press, January 28, 2009

This was likely taken in the 1910s. It came from a book of photos of all of Pacific Coast Co. properties, including this mine property held by its subsidiary, Pacific Coast Coal Co. (Issaquah History Museums)

Coal mining led to Issaquah’s transformation from farming community to bustling town.

The industry brought hundreds of workers to Issaquah; the growth continued as businessmen established banks, shops, and other services. Issaquah miners were all ages and came from all across the world, drawn to the area by the promise of employment—at wages higher than that of East Coast miners.

In 1900, just over 60 percent of Issaquah’s workforce was employed in coal mines. About half of these men lived with their families, often in housing rented to them by the mining company. Others were single or separated from their family and lived as boarders in one of Issaquah’s many hotels. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, January 25, 1989

The First National Bank of Enumclaw is considering selling its Black Diamond branch building to the Black Diamond Community Center Board for a community center.

Dorothy Botts, secretary and treasurer for the 11-member community center board formed in 1979 by the city council, announced the proposition at the Black Diamond City Council’s regular meeting Thursday night.

“We’re really excited,” Botts said. “I talked to some of the seniors and they’re excited too.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, January 25, 1989

Fire Chief John Bukoskey provided the Black Diamond City Council with a blueprint peek at Fire District 17’s planned support fire station in the Lake Sawyer area at its regular council meeting Thursday.

The 3,700-square-foot support station, which will be built with a $500,000 bond issue voters approved in September, is scheduled for ground breaking in February and completion sometime in the fall.

The 22-man joint volunteer fire department—Black Diamond and King County District 17—covers an 18-square-mile radius and responds to the Black Diamond, Green River Gorge, Flaming Geyser, and Lake Sawyer areas. The planned low-maintenance, brick building will provide facilities for firefighters the current small station in Black Diamond cannot supply, like a classroom, kitchen, hose tower, and living space for a resident firefighter. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 23, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The town of Fairfax, declared the “prettiest mining town around,” showing the turn-table at the extreme right above center. Mine buildings are in front and the school is on the left. Carbon River runs through the trees at the top or the photo. (Original copy from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Basselli.) Photo courtesy of Steve Meitzler, Heritage Quest Press, Orting, WA., publisher of the book, Carbon River Coal Country.

Riding the Northern Pacific Railroad to the upper end of the Carbon River Canyon or tooling along to Mount Rainier in a Model T, tourists would pass close to three mining towns: Melmont, Fairfax, and Montezuma.

First, beyond Carbonado, was Melmont, situated between the Carbon River and the NPR line. A bridge spanning the Carbon River ran between the company hotel and the saloon with the depot and school on the hillside above. On the left end of the bridge was the road connecting to Fairfax. This bridge was nearly a little beyond the high bridge which spans the canyon today. (more…)

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Originally published in the News Journal, January 23, 1980

Story and photos by Bruce Rommel

Black Diamond sits nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades.

Once hundreds of men worked the strip mines, producing coal, the “black diamond” which powered the railroads, fueled industry, and heated our homes.

Walking the quiet streets of Black Diamond today, one finds only the reminders of those days when this community was a booming company town.

Nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades, Black Diamond and nearby Franklin once boasted a population of more than 5,000. All that remains of Franklin today are a few house foundations scattered along hillsides. And in 1979 Black Diamond is a town with about 1,100 residents, about 50 less citizens than a decade ago. (more…)

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