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Posts Tagged ‘Black Diamond Coal Co.’

Originally published in the Voice of Valley, May 16, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

In 1920 Fred Habenicht, holding a hand saw, supervised the unloading of the new hydraulic mine motor vehicle or pulling loaded mine cars from water level tunnel to the Continental Coal Co. bunker (in the background). It replaced mules in the mine. Miners are: 18-year-old Vern Habenicht; Bob Kingen Sr., Frenchy Ferdinand Maigre; Evor Morgan, holding the chain; and onlooker Bill Baldwin. (Photo—Habenicht collection from Ravensdale Reflections book)

Before the turn of the 20th century, coal seams ran from the shores of Lake Washington to the foot of the Cascade mountains leading to the establishment of towns at the mine sites, some of which are still in existence, i.e., Renton, Black Diamond, Cumberland, Issaquah, Wilkeson, and Ravensdale. Some linger in memory only, i.e., Franklin, Elk, Bayne, Durham, Danville, Eddyville, Taylor, and Landsburg.

From the year 1888 through 1967, there were an amazing 232 coal seams being tapped in King County and operated by 157 different companies. (more…)

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Originally published in the Lake Sawyer Community Club newsletter, Winter 2019

By Bill Kombol

Jim Hawk at his Lake Sawyer home, March 25, 2017. Photo by Bill Kombol.

He’s lived on Lake Sawyer for nearly two-thirds of his life. That’s a long time for a 93-year-old who built his lake home in 1961. His name is Jim Hawk and he’s arguably done more to craft the Lake Sawyer we know today than any other person.

Jim Hawk was born in Seattle on April 27, 1926. His father, Ray Hawk, was of Dutch descent but left his Pennsylvania home at age 13. His mother, Mary Romano, was the daughter of Italian immigrants. His grandfather, Sam Romano, was blinded by a dynamite blast at age 18, returning to Italy where doctors restored his sight. Sam came back to Seattle and started a family-owned construction company, Romano Engineering, which developed the Riverton quarry and built highways, bridges, dams, and other projects. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 31, 1884

Editor, Post-Intelligencer:

Your correspondent was yesterday placed under great obligations to Mr. J.L. Howard, general superintendent of the Oregon Improvement Company, by reason of an invitation, obtained through the kindness of Mayor Leary, to accompany himself, Mr. Leary and Mr. A.A. Denny over the new line of railroad stretching from our city toward the Green River coal fields, and known in common parlance as the Cedar River Extension. Mr. Denny was, to the regret of all, unable to attend.

The party was under the thoughtful care of Mr. T.J. Milner, the genial assistant superintendent of the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 1994

By Heather Larson

Left to right: Jennifer Simmons, Danny Simmons, and Ashley Petersen prepare to enter the parade route in their horse-drawn wagon representing Four Corners Safeway.

Black Diamond celebrated Labor Day weekend with a fever this year. After having last year’s event cancelled for lack of volunteers, no holds were barred. Something for everyone was offered during the 4 days from a fish dinner on Friday night to a bed race on Sunday and a parade down the Maple Valley Highway on Monday.

On Saturday amid torrential downpours the Black Diamond Police challenged the Black Diamond Fire Department to a softball game. Since the police, who chose to be called the DARE Devils, didn’t have the manpower to field a team, other police officers who live in Black Diamond were asked to help out. So King County, Bellevue, and Seattle Police Departments were also represented on the team.

According to Black Diamond officer Glenn Dickson, the highlight of the game was the 8-foot mud pit behind first base.

It was really wet and muddy, but a good time was had by all, said Dickson.

The DARE Devils beat the Hosers 13 to 9 at the first annual baseball game. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Daily Post-Intelligencer, June 26, 1884

The idea of subsidizing the Columbia & Puget Sound Company to enable it to complete its road up Cedar River was a good one, but not so good as another that has since been put forth. The new idea is to loan the company the needed money, and it was proposed by Mr. Howard, the company’s representative. The terms upon which the money is to be loaned will strike the reader as most fair, and will be found reported in full in the following. (more…)

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By Bill Kombol

King County Assessor tax parcel No. 112106-9035

The location of the Black Diamond branch of Mount Rainier Bank [Columbia Bank, 2019] has a short, but interesting history.

The property is located in the south half of Section 11, Township 21 North, Range 6 East, W.M. Like all odd-numbered sections in this area, the property in Section 11 was originally part of a land grant by the United States to the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1873 for construction of a transcontinental railroad. In adjacent even-numbered sections, the Black Diamond Coal Mining Company had begun mining coal after moving their operations north from the Mount Diablo coal fields near Nortonville, California, east of San Francisco. (more…)

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Originally published in the King County Journal, June 2001

Workers harvesting leeks at the Mosby Brothers Farm near Black Diamond on a sunny winter day.

Workers harvesting leeks at the Mosby Brothers Farm near Black Diamond on a sunny winter day.

Black Diamond is a small town located 35 miles southeast of Seattle, east of Auburn, and south of Maple Valley. It was established more than 100 years ago when a wealth of coal was discovered. The town’s name came from the Black Diamond Coal Company of California, which began mining in the area in the 1880s. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 23, 1900

Entombed in a deadly pocket

T.A. Davis, one of the oldest coal miners on the coast, caught in the rush of burning fluid and held to his death—comrades work to find his body—two workmen were badly injured

One man is entombed in a pocket of terrible coal gas and doubtless dead and two are seriously burned as a result of an explosion in one of the Black Diamond mines at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning.

The man believed to be dead is T.A. Davis, one of the oldest employees of the company.

The injured are Maurice Roccia and a miner named Kline. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 23, 1900

Morris Roscia, a coal miner formerly employed by the Black Diamond Coal Mining Company, has commenced an action against the company in the federal court to recover heavy damages for alleged personal injuries.

The plaintiff alleges that on February 21, 1900, he was working for the defendant at a point several hundred feet under the surface, and that there was danger from coal gas. He claims that this fact was well known to the defendant, but that it permitted an open lamp to be brought into the workings, which caused an explosion.

He states that he was blown with great force against a wall of the workings, had both ears blown off, and was seriously injured about the head, so that he will be a cripple for life, and unable to work at his trade. He asks damages in the sum of $15,249.20.

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 22, 1900

John Leski, a Hungarian, who was, last week, detected in an attempt to dispose of a large amount of copper and brass originally composing a part of a steam exhaust pipe, was given a preliminary hearing before Judge Cann yesterday and bound over for trial to the superior court under $1,000 bonds.

Superintendent Morgan Morgans yesterday positively identified the metal as having been stolen from a warehouse of the Black Diamond Coal Company at Black Diamond several months ago. (more…)

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