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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 10, 1924

Newcastle ‘Babettes’ win over long-tressed rivals

Hundreds of coal miners and their families cheer participants as Bellingham wins event

Mine Rescue Team No. 1, Newcastle. (Top row, left to right): H.R Bates, W.N. Roderick (captain), and A.L. Richards. (Bottom row): Dick Owens and S.A. McNeely.

Mine Rescue Team No. 1, Newcastle. (Top row, left to right): H.R Bates, W.N. Roderick (captain), and A.L. Richards. (Bottom row): Dick Owens and S.A. McNeely.

Bellingham and Newcastle divided first honors in the largest first aid and mine rescue meeting ever staged in the state at Carbonado yesterday when twenty-five teams, representing six coal mining towns, competed in contests held under the auspices of the Western Washington Mine Rescue and First Aid Association.

About a thousand persons, most of them coal miners and members of their families from the competing camps, witnessed the contests and cheered the participants with all the enthusiasm of spectators at a big field and track meet. The meet is an annual affair, staged by the mine operators and coal mine workers.

Bellingham took first prize in the mine rescue contest, in which interest centered not only because an efficient mine rescue team is the pride of every coal camp and its main dependence in case of mine disaster, but also because such contests are spectacular to a degree. Newcastle was second and Carbonado third. Continue Reading »

Originally published in The Seattle Times, August 10, 1983

by Herb Belanger
Times South bureau

In 1964, people were still waiting for the train In Lester. Now Burlington Northern wants to get rid of the old railroad station deep in the Cascade Mountains.

In 1964, people were still waiting for the train in Lester. Now Burlington Northern wants to get rid of the old railroad station deep in the Cascade Mountains.

The Lester depot, the 97-year-old railroad station in the Cascade Mountains, has been sold by the Burlington Northern Railroad to a Woodinville developer, Wayne Farrer Jr., for $1.

The sale was made with the stipulation that the building would be removed from the BN property by Feb. 1. What Farrer intends to do with the building was not indicated and he could not be reached yesterday for comment.

The depot has been a subject of major interest among historically minded people who feel that it should be saved as a memorial of a time when the first railroad line was punched across the Cascade Mountains opening the Puget Sound area to direct communication with the East. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, September 4, 1987

By Debra Nelson

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Coal mining… the words evoke images of dark mine shafts, dynamite, and hardy men, exhausted from the hazards of blasting the mineral from deep within the earth, ravaged by black lung disease.

The old folk song “Sixteen Tons” tells that story—of men who rarely saw the sun and whose blood and sweat made coal the major industry in the Black Diamond region until the 1920s.

But those were the “good old days” of coal mining and, fortunately, the industry has undergone radical changes. For one thing, today’s miners work above ground, in the hot summer sun and the cold winter rain.

This Labor Day weekend, Black Diamond looks back at the old days, remembering those pioneers and miners who settled the town. The festivities include the kind of fun and games many pioneer kids enjoyed. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 9, 1923

If hard work and persistent effort is worth anything at all, the Black Diamond Mine Rescue and First Aid Team, under the leadership of Capt. B.F. Snook, is going to be a real contender for honors at the big inter-camp meet in Newcastle on August 18. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 16, 1987

By Eulalia Tollefson

Bill Petchnick, Jr. was honored by his Black Diamond friends and neighbors, who chose him Black Diamond’s Person of the Year.

Bill Petchnick, Jr. was honored by his Black Diamond friends and neighbors, who chose him Black Diamond’s Person of the Year.

Clowns, cute kiddies, and a carnival atmosphere—all ingredients for a great community celebration—greeted crowds who arrived for one of the best ever Black Diamond Labor Day festivals.

Enjoyment was enhanced by games, good food, and a “hi, neighbor” element, along with balmy, sunny weather.

Highlights of the celebration were the 56-entry parade directed by Charlene Birklid and the presentation of Labor Day dignitaries, with Diane Olson serving as emcee. Continue Reading »

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 6, 1922

Beautiful silver cup which is held by Burnett Mine is object of competition

L.S. Campbell, captain of the Carbonado team, holding the Mine Rescue Cup won by his team in 1922.

L.S. Campbell, captain of the Carbonado team, holding the Mine Rescue Cup won by his team in 1922.

Acting in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Mines and the State Mining Department, coal operators in Western Washington have arranged for a mine rescue and first-aid meet to be held at Burnett on Labor Day, September 4.

State Mine Inspector Abe Morris is chairman of the arrangements committee. John G. Schoning, representative of the Federal Bureau of Mines, is in charge of the program.

The meet, which is perhaps the most important held in years, is intended to include all the important coal operators in Western Washington, and invitations to participate have been sent to the following: Carbon Hill Coal Company, Carbonado; Carbon Coal & Clay Company, Bayne; Wilkeson Coal & Coke Company, Wilkeson; Fairfax Coal Company. Fairfax; Durham Coal Company, Durham; Ozark Coal Company, Cumberland; Bellingham Coal Company, Bellingham; Victory Coal Company, Centralia; Olympic Coal Company, Centralia; Ford Prairie Coal Company, Centralia; Pacific Coast Coal Company, which has mines now operating at Black Diamond, Newcastle, Issaquah, and Burnett. Continue Reading »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 6, 1975

“A family outing close to home” is how Pacific Northwest Bell’s local community relations team describes a Telephone Open House planned for Maple Valley this coming Saturday, August 9.

It will be held at the Maple Valley Central Office, across from the Post Office, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is organized by volunteer members of the Maple Valley-Renton Community Relations Team, who are telephone employees living or working in the area.

Visitors will be able to observe the central office equipment in action. Team members will be on hand to answer questions concerning all displays.

C.R. team chairman Gary Habenicht acknowledges that few people are aware of the existence of a local telephone central office, and that one of the objectives of his team is to improve community relations and develop awareness. Continue Reading »