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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 12, 1986

Black Diamond Store (left) and Saloon.

Black Diamond Store (left) and Saloon.

The Black Diamond city council Thursday unanimously granted a cabaret license to one tavern in the city, and in a split vote denied a license to another tavern.

The action came at the regular council meeting at city hall which was preceded by a public hearing on the licensing.

The council gave Jay Lewis of Black Diamond, who owns the Boots Tavern, a license to operate based on a police department report on the tavern located at 31119 3rd Street.

Councilmen Ben Gingrich and Rich Palmer voted against a license requested by the Black Diamond Saloon, however, located at 32707 Railroad Avenue. The vote was 3-2. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 11, 1925

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. tour.

More than four hundred Seattle women, members of the Parent-Teacher Associations of the city, spent one hour and 25 minutes at the Briquet Plant of the Pacific Coast Coal Company last Monday. They were enroute to the Newcastle Mine, but the special train of six coaches stopped at the Briquet Plant long enough to enable Supt. Geo. N. Calkins and Foreman Clarence Gorst to show them the entire intricate process of manufacturing Diamond Briquets.

After following the raw Black Diamond and South Prairie coal through the plant to where it emerged a perfectly blended fuel in the form of briquets, the party paused by this storage pile of 12,000 tons to have its picture taken. (more…)

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Originally published in the Puget Sound Electric Journal, Month unknown, 1919

By L.R. Grant

Coal Creek Mine bunkers, washers, etc.

What will eventually be one of our most important coal mine contracts was recently signed with the Pacific Coast Coal Company. It provides for all electrical power requirements of the briquetting and coal-crushing plants at Briquetville, near Renton, the mine at Coal Creek, near Newcastle, and the mine at Issaquah. The new contract will supersede the old contract at the briquet plant at once, and later on our existing contract at Issaquah. The rate is our regular rate for coal mines, Schedule C-15, Tariff No. 10.

The briquet plant and the mine at Issaquah have previously been described in the Journal. Coal Creek Mine is about five miles northeast of our Renton substation in a direct line, and about three miles east of Lake Washington, on a branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railway. The town of Newcastle, where most of the miners live, is less than a mile northwest of the mine. This coal field was one of the first to be developed in the State of Washington and has been worked almost continuously since its first opening. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 4, 1925

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today's Gene Coulon Park.

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today’s Gene Coulon Park.

More than million briquets made daily

In 1914 the Briquet Plant was opened and has run continuously since that time. It operates two shifts of eight hours each and produces five hundred tons of briquets a day. That means that more than one and one-half million briquets are made each day.

The briquets are made from a combination of Black Diamond and South Prairie coals. The first of these give it its free burning quality and low ash and the last, a coking coal, gives it its strength and fire holding power. The binder used is a specially prepared form of asphalt from which the stickiness has been removed.

The trip through the plant will be in the direction in which the coal is run, beginning at the point where the raw coal is received and ending at the point where the finished briquet goes into the railroad cars. (more…)

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By Bill Kombol

King County Assessor tax parcel No. 112106-9035

The location of the Black Diamond branch of Mount Rainier Bank [Columbia Bank, 2019] has a short, but interesting history.

The property is located in the south half of Section 11, Township 21 North, Range 6 East, W.M. Like all odd-numbered sections in this area, the property in Section 11 was originally part of a land grant by the United States to the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1873 for construction of a transcontinental railroad. In adjacent even-numbered sections, the Black Diamond Coal Mining Company had begun mining coal after moving their operations north from the Mount Diablo coal fields near Nortonville, California, east of San Francisco. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, May 2000

By Barbara Nilson

Photos by Sherrie Acker

The “action” in the 1920s to 1950s, from Seattle south, was at the lake resorts in the Valley. Memories of those glory days were shared at the March program with Dolores Gaffney and Janet Bertagni talking about Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness resort, and Gloria Foss remembering the family’s resort on Shadow Lake.

Lake Wilderness resorts

Attending the historical society program on resorts were, from left, Janet Bertagni, Dolores Gaffney Judge, and Bernadine Gaffney Gebenini.

Dolores Gaffney, daughter of Tom Gaffney, reported her father and his brother Kain purchased the property on Lake Wilderness in 1926 from Abraham and Sam Cohen. The family moved to the lake and the resort opened in the spring of 1927 as Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness.

At that time there were three small family resorts on the lake. Dieckman with his two sons, Jeff and Don, had just started one, and across the lake was McKinney’s. McKinney’s also had a dance hall that was two stories high that they eventually turned into a skating rink. In April 1939 McKinneys sold their place to Gaffneys.

One of the older buildings was used for a dance hall, said Dolores, and they used kerosene lamps. In 1936 they built a new dance hall after the old one burned down. They had a 30-foot-high diving board as well as cabins, tennis courts, picnic areas, ball fields, and playgrounds.

In 1949 Diekmans and Gaffneys were combined and the Gaffneys decided to build a lodge. The design was developed by Young, Richardson and Carlson and won the grand prize from the Washington Chapter of Architects in 1951 and the top award from the American Institute in New York in 1952. The center column totem pole was carved by the famous Doug McCarter. It is 35 feet tall and weighs ten tons. (more…)

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Originally published in Northwest Nikkei, May 1994

By Ed Suguro

A 1924 photo of the Selleck Japanese community. T.Z.Maekawa is the man in the striped tie with hand in pocket, third row from top; Heiji Sakakibara is the man standing next to him. The Rev. U.G. Murphy is sitting far right third row from bottom. Mr. Abo, the foreman, is sitting in the middle with the baby.

Before World War II there were a number of company sawmill towns like Mukilteo, Snoqualmie, Selleck, Eatonville, National, Onalaska, Walvill, and Longview in which the Issei worked and the Nisei grew up.

Selleck was about 10 miles east of Maple Valley and was recognized by the King County Landmarks Commission as a historical landmark and by the National Register as a historic district. It was a company town in which the Pacific States Lumber Company, one of the largest on the West Coast, employed a number of Issei.

Among those who lived there were T.Z. Maekawa, who worked at the mill, and the Rev. Joseph Sakakibara, who grew up there until high school. (more…)

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