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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, July 5, 1989

Chuck and Pattie Holtz have lived in Black Diamond most of their lives. They own a half-acre of land on Fifth Avenue and live in an older, remodeled home that used to be the Catholic church’s rectory.

Lately Pattie’s considered moving. She said the neighborhood isn’t what it used to be.

“I feel like I’m living in a mobile home park,” she said. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, July 5, 1988

By Scott Peterson

Peter Johnston puts up a sign for Maple Valley Medical at Four Corners Square near Black Diamond. The Four Corners area may attract Black Diamond businesses wishing to escape business and occupation taxes.

Black Diamond — After 18 years of doing business in Black Diamond, Ken Shigaya closed his pharmacy last year on Third Street. He said he didn’t have a choice.

“It was a matter of survival,” he said.

Shigaya recently moved four miles away into a building in direct competition with a nearby Safeway pharmacy.

Despite the drawbacks, he is happy he moved to Four Corners, a growing business center north of Black Diamond in unincorporated King County, at the intersection of state highways 169 and 516.

“There is potential for growth here,” Shigaya says of Four Corners. “Business is dying on the vine in Black Diamond.”

Shigaya is not the only one to recognize the economic problems facing Black Diamond. Because other businesses are threatening to leave the town of 1,200, city leaders are thinking about cutting business and occupation taxes, starting their own chamber of commerce and forming a central business district. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 3, 2007

By Kathleen Kear

Ivan Gingrich, left, shares a laugh with Bill VanRuff, Bob Schuler, Bill Woodcock, and Jeff Snelling in celebration of the completion of refurbishment of the Black Diamond gymnasium. Gingrich and Schuler, who work for Tahoma School District’s maintenance department, volunteered to refinish the gym floor on their own time. VanRuff, Woodcock, and Snelling are members of Maple Valley Rotary, which donated labor and money to refurbish the gym.

Kids in the City of Black Diamond were so excited about their gym’s reopening, which had been a work in progress since being moved from the Black Diamond Elementary School in 1992, that they hopped on their bikes and made their way to the gym long before the celebration was set to begin on Saturday, June 23. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 30, 1957

By H.J. Glover

Pedagogue and three generations: Mrs. Lulu Kombol (center), Selleck schoolteacher, talks with Tom Mattioda, who was in her classes years and years ago. At right is Mattioda’s daughter, Mrs. Betty Ljungdahl, also a former student. Children, now in Mrs. Kombol’s classes, are Mrs. Ljungdahl’s. They are (from left) Bruce, six; Eva Louise, seven; and Leon, eight. Mrs. Kombol has taught 52 years. — Photo by H.J. Glover.

SELLECK, June 28.— After 52 years of school teaching on these lush, green slopes of the Cascade mountains, Mrs. Lulu Kombol still is convinced there is no juvenile delinquency.

Oh, there’s delinquency all right, Mrs. Kombol firmly says, but it’s parental delinquency—the lost ends of the human universe weaning their offspring on the milk of failure.

“In this modern age of broken-homes, can-openers, liquor, and blood and thunder movies, children fail to get the idols-and-ideals, which only parents can give,” Mrs. Kombol said. (more…)

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By JoAnne Matsumura
Maple Valley Historical Society

The elders stated the “U” must mean a labor union and the “M” surely must mean miners, because it was a mining town and there were miners living all around.

It also could not be Maple Valley, because this June 18, 1915, UMHS commencement program was for Union M High School of Black Diamond, Washington and its four graduates. They were Charles Williams, Florence Harries, Ivy Davies, and Anna Davies.

It would not be until 1926, before Hobart, Maple Valley, and Taylor joined forces and qualified to be Union T High School, which then formed TAylor, HObart, and MAple Valley as Tahoma High School. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 14, 1989

Zach Sullivan and Jennifer Drury earn the Pettersen Award. Photo by Brenda Berube.

Black Diamond Elementary School started off the succession of sixth-grade graduations June 6 with a formal ceremony that included awards and diplomas.

Black Diamond sixth-grade teacher Rich Hubber said the sixth-grade graduation is a spin-off from the old eight-grade graduation, back when graduating from the eighth-grade was as far as most students got.

“It’s part of the tradition of the school,” Hubber said. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 14, 1989

Black Diamond’s Community Center Board voted unanimously Thursday to accept the First National Bank of Enumclaw’s offer of $285,000 for its abandoned bank building in Black Diamond. The center board plans to remodel the building for use as a senior and youth center.

The bank is selling the building for $40,000 less than the appraisal and will not rent space for a banking facility within the structure. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 11, 2003

By Kathleen E. Kear

Left to right: Conrad “Coke” Roberts (Class of ’41) and Joe Zumek (Class of ’43) look forward to meeting up with classmates they have not seen in many years as well as meeting other Black Diamond High School graduates for the first time.

Little did they know that when 36 students entered first grade in September 1931, the graduating class of 1943 would be the last class to graduate from Black Diamond High School. In honor of the Class of 1943 as well as commemorating the closing of the high school, over 70 Black Diamond graduates from its various graduating classes will be gathering once again to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the last class to graduate from Black Diamond High School.

Schoolmates from as far away as Las Vegas, California, Idaho, and Oregon will be making the trip to reminisce of days gone by. Two of those in attendance (both from the class of 1926) will include Ruby (Favro) Keeney, 96, of Enumclaw, and Ernesta (Franchini) Van der Heyden, 96, from a rest home in Lake Forest. (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, June 8, 1993

Gary Platt, who owns the Black Diamond Saloon, shown behind him, calls the planned road to funnel traffic off Washington 169 into downtown Black Diamond a positive step. Opponents of the project worry about increased traffic. (AP Laserphoto)

BLACK DIAMOND (AP) — This community in the shadow of Mount Rainier is at a crossroads, considering a “tourist loop” that would capitalize on its glory days as a booming turn-of-the-century coal town.

But the idea is anathema to some folks who like life just the way it is in this quiet community of 1,400 people just off Washington 169.

Downtown Black Diamond is a small cluster of nearly century-old buildings that hasn’t changed significantly in decades.

Tourists passing through, especially on weekends, may visit the Black Diamond Bakery, whose reputation goes beyond the city limits. And they may stroll down Baker Street and check out the town’s arts and crafts gallery, saloon, museum, and barber shop. (more…)

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Originally published in the News Tribune, June 6, 1997

By Bart Ripp

This restaurant verifies its first name.

It is famous.

Famous Black Diamond Bakery & Restaurant has been famous in the cozy South King County mining town as a bakery since 1902 and as an eating destination since 1983, when Doug Weiding bought the place.

I cannot think of a Western Washington town so synonymous with a place to eat. Say Black Diamond, and you think of dynamite bread. (more…)

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