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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, February 1980

C&PS Engine 18 photographed in Black Diamond before 1916. Type: 4-4-0; Builder, Alco-Brooks; Const. No. 48295; Date built, July 1910; Drivers 62; Cyls 18x24; Total Wt. 110,000.

C&PS Engine 18 photographed in Black Diamond before 1916. Type: 4-4-0; Builder, Alco-Brooks; Const. No. 48295; Date built, July 1910; Drivers 62; Cyls 18×24; Total Wt. 110,000.

The Black Diamond Company wanted a railroad completed as quickly as possible because the Mt. Diablo coal field was declining fast. Surveying began under the Oregon Improvement Company in April 1882 for a Columbia and Puget Sound Cedar River extension. Continue Reading »

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, December 12, 1895

Since the bodies of the four miners, who lost their lives in the mine fire at Franklin October 17 last, have been recovered, the strain on the nerves of the workmen of the mine has been relieved and the miners have now but one object in view—the reopening of the mine.

It is believed that coal will be coming up the main slope by January 10. Continue Reading »

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, December 11, 1895

Entombed three months: The four men who went down in the coal mine during a slope fire—work of rescue has been progressing for about a month

B.F. Bush, general superintendent of the Oregon Improvement Company, received word today from Franklin that the bodies of the four miners who lost their lives in the mine fire of October 17 last had been recovered. The bodies were almost incinerated, but were identified by articles and particles of clothing found on the bodies. Continue Reading »

Extracted from Carbonado: The History of a Coal Mining Town in the Foothills of Mount Rainier, 1880-1937, by John Hamilton Streepy, May 1999

Row of tombstones from the December 9, 1899 catastrophe at Carbonado.

Row of tombstones from the December 9, 1899 catastrophe at Carbonado.

Rees Jones, the fireboss, declared mine number seven clear of gas on 9 December 1899, and allowed the morning shift to enter the mine to begin their workday. With his pipe and tobacco firmly in his pocket, Ben Zedler and seventy-two others started their long march into the depths of the earth to mine coal on the shift from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.1 Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 7, 1895

No trace of the dead bodies. Coal will be shipped from No. 7 this month—Railroad Avenue death-trap closed

The main slope of the Oregon Improvement Company’s mine at Franklin, which has been closed since the recent disaster, has been opened to the sixth level, and before the end of the present month will be again in condition for the taking out of coal. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, December 7, 1977

Diggin’ around Black Diamond last week produced a potpourri of news items.

The Chick Thompsons donated a 35-foot noble fir, which has stood in their front yard for at least 15 years, to Valley General Hospital for Christmas. When it goes up in the main lobby of the hospital it will stand 20 feet tall.

The noble tree was removed by Clark Williams, Jerry Olander, and Bob Hall, who work in the hospital maintenance department under Director Virgil Virden. It will be sprayed with a flame-retardant material and then be decorated by the Renton Lady Lions. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, December 7, 1977

Cedar River turned big, brown, and ugly again on December 2nd and 3rd this year on the exact anniversary of the 1975 major flood. Continue Reading »