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Archive for the ‘Mining’ Category

Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, July 10, 2013

By Dennis Box
Editor

After years of planning and hard work the Black Diamond Coal Miners Memorial was unveiled Saturday during the city’s Miners Day celebration.

The honor garden memorial includes a 13-foot bronze statue sculpted by Ellensburg artist Paul Crites and a 28-foot granite wall, engraved with the names of miners who have died in mines throughout Washington state. Engraved bricks are at the base of the statue and wall. Surrounding the memorial and historical museum is a landscaped garden.

According to Black Diamond Historical Society President Keith Watson, the idea for the memorial began years ago, but started in earnest about two years ago when he and former Black Diamond Mayor Howard Botts, and their wives made a trip to Roslyn, Wash. They saw a Roslyn coal miners memorial and that was the inspiration. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 8, 2011

By TJ Martinell

Gomer Evans, Sr. spars with an opponent in a match held at the town’s baseball field. The referee is George Avers, who also played on the Black Diamond baseball team.

At the turn of the century in Black Diamond the sport of boxing was a popular form of entertainment.

As a coal mining town, where all of the men worked long hours performing manual labor, it was capable of producing more than a few big, muscular men who could knock someone out with a single punch.

“We were all tough little buggers,” said Jack Thompson, who grew up on Baker Street.

Carl Steiert said as a boy he’d be shining shoes in the barbershop when boxers would put on their trunks in the back end room and warm up. His recollections were published in the book Black Diamond: Mining the Memories. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 6, 2012

By TJ Martinell

Black Diamond miners ride the car down into the mine. The car was lowered by a cable from the surface. The car was designed to stop if the cable was severed to prevent it from crashing.

A typical “day at the office” for the 820 or so men who worked in Mine 11 in Black Diamond at the turn of the century involved darkness, potential disasters and long hours of hard work thousands of feet beneath the surface.

The morning shifts started at 7:30 a.m. Work shifts ranged from eight to 10 hours, six days a week.

As Miners Day—which is set for this weekend—approached Don Mason and Don Malgarini of the Black Diamond Historical Society reflected on what the average day was like for a coal miner.

“There wasn’t a lot of office jobs,” Mason said. “They worked their butts off.” (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 Maple Valley Reporter, July 1, 2011

By TJ Martinell

Black Diamond baseball field, circa 1915.

The Black Diamond baseball field during a game.

Coal mining towns have always been a point of fascination to me.

There were two things which prompted my interest as a kid. The first was when my family took a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. The Calico Mine Ride, a train tour into an animatronic coal mine, had a way sparking the imagination of a precocious 3-year-old whose head was already in the clouds.

The second reason was both historical and personal. My ancestor, John Bush, was one of the first white people born in the Issaquah Valley where there was a very active coal mining industry. When I was around 9 years old, my grandfather gave me a special coin commemorating the formation of the Royal Arch Mason Chapter 39 in Issaquah—dated September 22, 1914, with John Bush’s name engraved on the back.

So, when I first went to Black Diamond in search of a story, I was already interested in what the town had to offer in terms of history. While I was writing articles about Franklin and Welsh heritage, however, I became more interested in their prolific sports history.

At the front desk of the museum is a glass exhibit of their sports legacy; old baseball uniforms, basketball trophies, soccer team portraits, and autographed baseballs. It wasn’t hard for me to perceive the kind of significance sports had there. (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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Originally published in the South County Journal, June 28, 2002

Black Diamond resident has fun while he pans for gold in local rivers

By Mary Swift
Journal Reporter

Black Diamond resident Sean Taeschner has been panning for gold for eight years. In 1999, he wrote a field guide, ‘Finding Gold In Washington State,’ and published it as an ‘e-book’ that can be bought on a disk or downloaded from the Internet.

BLACK DIAMOND — Sean Taeschner has mining in his blood.

His grandfather was a miner.

So was his great grandfather.

They mined for coal.

Taeschner?

He goes after gold.

The 32-year-old Black Diamond resident makes his living as a self-employed contractor and substitute teacher for the Kent School District.

But his passion is panning for gold. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 27, 1913

Official severs relations with Washington to accept important position with government

State coal mining inspector D.C. Botting to accept a more lucrative opening in the government service, has severed his connection as chief of the state coal mining inspection department, effective July 5. After that date he will accompany the government naval expedition to the Matanuska coal fields, where he will have charge as superintendent of the practical mining operations in the field.

Mr. Botting is the second Seattle man to be chosen for an important position in the party, George Watkin Evans, a coal expert of this city having previously been selected to accompany the party. Evans has already made one trip to the fields this summer. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 27, 1906

Georgetown controversy likely to be renewed with Columbia & Puget Sound takes advantage of franchise

Roads insist upon overhead crossing to do away with danger of injury through collision with trains

The controversy between the Northern Pacific and the town of Georgetown may be repeated when the Columbia & Puget Sound attempts to double-track its line between Seattle and Black River Junction. The Columbia & Puget Sound must lay a second track across Rainier Avenue and has a franchise, granted by the county commissioners prior to the incorporation of Georgetown, authorizing the work.

As soon as the Pacific Coast Company, which owns the Columbia & Puget Sound, completes estimates of cost, the coal road will begin laying tracks. The system will act under its franchise rights, but there may follow protests from Georgetown. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 26, 1985

By Eulalia Tollefson

Map-gazing may not be a popular sport but it can reveal the darndest things, as Chris Ellingson of Black Diamond discovered recently.

While looking at a map of Alberta, Canada, Ellingson chanced upon a town named, coincidently, Black Diamond.

Imbued with a natural curiosity, Ellingson determined to learn something about the Canadian town that bears the name of her city. Because she is a firefighter in the Black Diamond—Washington, that is—Fire Department, and knowing nowhere else to begin, Ellingson called the Black Diamond, Alberta—fire department and exchanged pleasantries with Fire Chief Tom Gillis. (more…)

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