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Posts Tagged ‘Black Diamond Coal Company’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, March 2007

Howard Botts

Howard Botts

Black Diamond is my favorite subject since I’ve lived there all my life. I think these two towns, Maple Valley and Black Diamond, have some things in common; a couple of them are Highway 169 and railroads.

People in Seattle heard that the Northern Pacific was coming to this area and going to Tacoma.

They felt if they couldn’t have that they were going to build their own railroad from Seattle to Walla Walla over the pass. So they started in 1873, got as far as Renton in 1876; then extended it to Newcastle. In 1880 Henry Villard, of the Northern Pacific, bought it from the Black Diamond Coal Company and renamed it the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 13, 1904

General Manager Ford ends negotiations in southern city

J.C. Ford

J.C. Ford

Rich coal deposits on C. & P. S. Ry. transferred for $1,000,000

SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, May 13 — J.C. Ford, general manager of the Pacific Coast Company, has been in this city for some days negotiating with President H.H. Taylor for the purchase of the Black Diamond coal mines on Puget Sound.

This afternoon at the office of the Black Diamond Company a representative of The Times was told that the deal had been closed. The price named was $1,000,000. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 11, 1888

Action of the miners without serious cause, and they are expected to resume work today

Knights of Labor seal

Knights of Labor seal

Three hundred fifty men are idle at Black Diamond, a strike having been ordered at that place by the local Assembly of the Knights of Labor. The trouble, as near as can be learned, is due to alleged injustice against one man. According to one of the miners who came to town yesterday morning, the circumstances were about as follows:

A miner named Finnegan came to Black Diamond some weeks ago and applied for work. The mine being supplied, Finnegan was put to work on the outside and allowed laborers’ wages, $2.50 per day. Afterwards he asked to be put into the mine, and he was put at rock work on Section Twelve. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 1, 1904

Deal the largest ever consummated in the State of Washington

Million dollars to be paid by purchasers for the fuel fields

The Black Diamond coal mines are to be sold to the Pacific Coast Company, $1,000,000 being paid for the properties. Negotiations for the acquirement of the coal lands and workings, which have been in progress for nearly four months, are practically completed and the formal transfer will be made within a few days.

This is the largest deal ever made in this state involving coal lands, and will give the Pacific Coast Company a total production of 2,500 tons daily. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, August 1987

Black Diamond-area mines

Click to enlarge the map.

When the coal explorers came to the Green River coal fields in 1880, they had no way of knowing actually how great the extent of the coal was. People ask many questions about the mines: Where were they? How long did they last? Is there more coal left? Were there disasters? How much coal was mined?

The Green River coal fields covered some 80 square miles. It is estimated that between 40 and 50 million tons of coal was mined. Constant reading and research has brought many things to light but much is still to be learned. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-intelligencer, June 29, 1992

When the Black Diamond Coal Co. built this town in the 1880s and began mining the bituminous wealth below, Seattle was four hours away by train, and there wasn’t much in between.

Today, most of that area has been developed into suburban South King County. The meandering railroad is gone, replaced by an often-crowded highway network.

This historic community of 1,500 people, with many of its original mining company homes still intact, is now flanked by modern housing subdivisions. Mayor Howard Botts notes with a grin that the city is about to get its first espresso outlet.

Urban pressures in one form or another are being felt by the county’s rural cities from Duvall to Black Diamond and Enumclaw. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 2, 1982

In its early, bustling heydays, a crowd of Black Diamond citizens gathered in front of the railroad depot (the dark building at right) to greet the train.

In its early, bustling heydays, a crowd of Black Diamond citizens gathered in front of the railroad depot (the dark building at right) to greet the train.

By Keith Ervin

Carl Steiert insists he didn’t know why one of his customers wanted him to solder a lid onto a copper wash tub.

Only later, he claims, did he realize the device was to become a still for making moonshine. Prohibition isn’t forgotten in Black Diamond.

In the historical museum that will open Sunday are what Steiert calls a “family size” still and a smaller, more personal size still. Out on the back porch of the railroad depot-turned-museum is a device the local historian calls “a commercial one.” (more…)

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