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Posts Tagged ‘Black Diamond Historical Society’

Originally published in The Tacoma News Tribune, April 5, 1995

By Lisa Kremer
The News Tribune

Bob Eaton, president of the Black Diamond Historical Society, and his granddaughter Kelley Sauskojus are trying to get a miners’ cabin built in 1910 near Black Diamond designated a local historic landmark. (Peter Haley/The News Tribune.)

In 1910, two Italian men built a tiny house—barely big enough for beds, a stove, and a sink—to live in as they worked in the nearby mines of Black Diamond.

There’s not much to distinguish the house from hundreds of other small miner’s cabins that dotted the hillsides. Except that this house is still there, almost in its original condition.

Bob Eaton, president of the Black Diamond Historical Society, wants to preserve the house and designate it a local historic landmark. That would mean his granddaughter Kelley Sauskojus, who owns the cabin, could apply for state grants to repair and restore it.

But like all other South King County cities, Black Diamond doesn’t have a process to officially designate its local landmarks.

It’s so difficult to designate city landmarks that only two cities in King County—Seattle and Bothell—have done so, said Charlie Sundberg, a preservation planner with the King County Historic Preservation program. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 10, 2015

By Kathleen Kear

Black Diamond resident Joe Androsko (right) took former Fire Chief Keith Timm (left) for a joy ride down memory lane in the Black Diamond Fire Department’s first fire engine—a 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper (rededicated in July 2014 during Miners Day)—to Black Diamond’s fire station. Photo by Kevin Esping.

What could be more fun than warm sunny weather in January? How about a ride in one of Black Diamond’s first fire engines, a 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper, with former Black Diamond Fire Chief Keith B. Timm?

Several weeks ago, Joe Androsko, Black Diamond resident and project manager of the 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper fire engine restoration project, went to pick up former Black Diamond Fire Chief Keith Timm and thereafter went for a joy ride down memory lane in the engine. Although Timm served as a Black Diamond firefighter from 1948-1976 before the engine came to town, he remembered fires being fought with a hose cart that had to be pulled around from one fire to another. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 20, 2007

The former railroad depot, built in 1886, in Black Diamond now houses the Historical Society Museum. Down Railroad Avenue the current book store is visible. It has also been King’s Tavern. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

Featured speaker at the Maple Valley Reunion, Sunday, Feb. 25th, will be Mayor Howard Botts of Black Diamond. The 1 p.m. program at the Grange Hall on Highway 169 at 216th is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

Mayor Botts, who was born and raised in Black Diamond, will relate the histories of the two towns and how they have been connected over the years by the highway, the railroad, once upon a time, as well as other similarities. He’ll also discuss, “what is coming down the road; hopefully, new homes and new businesses.”

He said, “It is always interesting to talk about my home town.” Botts has served as mayor for 24 years and before that served several terms on the City Council in the 1960s and then during the 1970s, he was a member of the Planning Community. (more…)

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Originally published in the News Journal, January 23, 1980

Story and photos by Bruce Rommel

Black Diamond sits nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades.

Once hundreds of men worked the strip mines, producing coal, the “black diamond” which powered the railroads, fueled industry, and heated our homes.

Walking the quiet streets of Black Diamond today, one finds only the reminders of those days when this community was a booming company town.

Nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades, Black Diamond and nearby Franklin once boasted a population of more than 5,000. All that remains of Franklin today are a few house foundations scattered along hillsides. And in 1979 Black Diamond is a town with about 1,100 residents, about 50 less citizens than a decade ago. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 28, 2005

By Kathleen E. Kear

Miners at the Ravensdale Northwestern Improvement Co., Mine, circa 1912. The man seated on the ground is Leander Thibaut who perished with thirty other men in the November 15, 1915 Ravensdale Mine accident. Photo courtesy of Black Diamond Historical Society

Preparations for the 2nd Annual Black Diamond Miners Days are well underway for the weekend of Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10.

Hosting the event once again is the Black Diamond Merchant Partnership. The event began during the summer of 2004 as a way to encourage community members and guests to come and get to know the various businesses within the City of Black Diamond. The event also grew out of an appreciation of the miners and their families who helped establish Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in Y Ddolen Mai/Mehefin, May/June 2007

By JoAnne Matsumura

The Black Diamond Historical Society has recently photographed the grave markers in the Black Diamond Cemetery, which is now over 125 years old. The oldest grave marker found is dated 1880 of one Rachel Williams. The cemetery is listed on the Washington Heritage Register, The National Register of Historic Places, and the City of Black Diamond Landmarks Register.

This photographic preservation project has captured a moment in time, to be preserved in perpetuity. The wood markers in those early days have long ago given way to the Pacific Northwest’s inclement weather, and those made of the early stone have deteriorated as well. Now, preserved in form that marker can be viewed for that moment in time, for we know that as time marches on so does the evolving deterioration. This project was partially funded by 4Culture, King County Lodging Tax.

The rich Welsh heritage of this once thriving company coal town is well represented by the names on the grave markers. There may be many more of Welsh decent at rest in the cemetery that we may never know, due to the lack of a marker, a name on a marker, or other reason. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 29, 2015

By Bill Kombol

This photo of the 1926–27 Black Diamond soccer team comes courtesy of Jerry and Lynda English.

This photo of the 1926–27 Black Diamond soccer team comes courtesy of Jerry and Lynda English.

The Black Diamond Miners, as they were called, were in the first division of Northwest Soccer League playing teams such as Todd Shipbuilders and others sponsored by local companies and communities. (more…)

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