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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 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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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, January 22, 1997

By Paul Gottlieb
The Courier-Herald

Questions surrounding construction of a 16-story cell-phone tower in Black Diamond have delayed the application and may lead to a new city ordinance to regulate the structures.

The Black Diamond Town Council on Thursday postponed action until a Feb. 6 public hearing on Sprint Spectrum L.P.’s special-use permit application. Sprint wants to build the Personal Communication Services tower on Lawson Hill on Palmer Coking Coal property, 50 feet away from an existing AT&T tower.

City staff has said the project will not have a probable adverse impact. But over two public hearings Jan. 9 and Thursday, town council members have expressed concerns. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, January 15, 1997

By Paul Gottlieb
The Courier-Herald

Andy Williamson

Smoke will soon course its way under Black Diamond to discover which houses are illegally draining stormwater into the sewer system.

One of those houses could be town councilman Andy Williamson‘s. Like many other Black Diamond residents, he hooked up to the sewer system with the blessing of the town when he received a permit to build his house, he said.

Williamson joined the rest of the city’s lawmakers Thursday in voting unanimously to provide Black Diamond with what town attorney Duncan Wilson called “a process for enforcement” to unhook illegal hookups. It includes a potential $500 fine. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, January 14, 1926

This Link-Belt moveable crane is used at the Briquet Plant not only to load Diamond Briquets from the storage platform into the cars, but also to load coal from the storage piles into cars preparatory to sending it through the plant. (more…)

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