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Posts Tagged ‘Black Diamond Museum’

Originally published in the Enumclaw Eagle, June 21, 1989

Talk of the Town went to Black Diamond this week to ask people just what it is about the town that makes them want to live there. We did manage to find a few residents to query in the tiny metropolis.

Carl Steiert (curator of the Black Diamond Museum): Of course, some of us have lived here all our lives—we didn’t have anything to do with that.

I don’t like big cities. I started working for the BD Stage Co., then became a mechanic. It’s pretty out here and I like the small-town atmosphere. The older folks have passed away and now the younger people are coming in. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 21, 1986

By Herb Belanger

Don Mason, left, Carl Steiert, Ted Barner, and Bob Eaton stroll through what was Franklin. (Richard S. Heyza/Seattle Times.)

Don Mason, left, Carl Steiert, Ted Barner, and Bob Eaton stroll through what was Franklin. (Richard S. Heyza/Seattle Times.)

Tough old coal-mining towns like Black Diamond always have had their share of characters, but the “Flying Frog” is one of Carl Steiert’s favorites.

The “Frog” actually was a Belgian named Emile Raisin who ran a taxi service between Black Diamond, a company town with one bar, and Ravensdale, which had 10 saloons where miners quenched the thirst they developed toiling underground. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 17, 1978

By George and Dianne Wilson

Miss Kimberly Capponi, affectionately known as “Kim,” will be installed as Worthy Advisor, Laurel Assembly of the International Order of Rainbow Girls on Saturday, May 20, at the Masonic Temple in Black Diamond. She will serve for a four-month term. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 20, 1988

By Eulalia Tollefson

A successful community celebration takes months of advance planning, as past Black Diamond Labor Day committees will confirm.

Following their zealous predecessors’ example, Labor Day committee members already are busy developing strategies for another great celebration, this year on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Sept. 3 through 5. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe-News, March 19, 1976

Can you believe this is what our present museum building looked like in 1976 when our original “work parties” began? Left to right: Louis Zumek, Chuck Holtz, Carl Steiert, and Archie Eltz. (BDHS calendar series, 1986)

Can you believe this is what our present museum building looked like in 1976 when our original “work parties” began? Left to right: Louis Zumek, Chuck Holtz, Carl Steiert, and Archie Eltz. (BDHS calendar series, 1986)

Restoration of the circa 1885 train depot on Railroad Avenue in Black Diamond slowed down during cold weather, said Ann Steiert, member of Black Diamond Historical Society.

“Volunteers have been working on shoring up the foundation and as soon as the weather breaks they will finish jacking it up, put in some new timbers, and a concrete footing.

“We have applied for a grant from Washington Historical Society to make the depot into a museum, but the bulk of our working funds have come from the sale of our 13-month historical calendar. We have $1,500 to go toward furnishing and framing the interior.”

Ms. Steiert said the museum depot was most likely the first structure in Black Diamond when the Welsh miners from Nortonville, Calif., came to mine in Black Diamond.

“They probably pitched their tents around the depot before they built cabins,” she said. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 9, 1983

By Val Varney
Times South bureau

Carl and Ann Steiert, officers of the Black Diamond Historical Society, outside the museum in Black Diamond. (Richard S. Heyza/Seattle Times)

Carl and Ann Steiert, officers of the Black Diamond Historical Society, outside the museum in Black Diamond. (Richard S. Heyza/Seattle Times)

Now that there is a place to store all the memorabilia of Black Diamond, members of the Black Diamond Historical Society are busy working on an addition to the former railroad depot, applying for grants and taping the memoirs of the old timers.

“When it’s completed,” said Ann Steiert, society secretary-treasurer, “we hope it can benefit the whole community.”

The museum project began as an offshoot America’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976. Some residents felt it was important to preserve local history. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 30, 1983

By Eric Pryne
Times staff reporter

Coal drew hundreds of immigrants to Black Diamond in the early 1900s—three young Italians, victims of a 1910 mine explosion, are buried in the town cemetery. The mining industry might make a comeback in the area after decades of dormancy. (Barry Wong/Seattle Times)

Coal drew hundreds of immigrants to Black Diamond in the early 1900s—three young Italians, victims of a 1910 mine explosion, are buried in the town cemetery. The mining industry might make a comeback in the area after decades of dormancy. (Barry Wong/Seattle Times)

BLACK DIAMOND — Their addresses may be the same, but they really are two communities—one old, one new—in and around this historic Southeast King County town.

The coal industry built Black Diamond a century ago. It was a bustling mining town with colonies of Welshmen, Italians, Slavs, and Finns—and a population three times larger than today.

But oil replaced coal in most of America’s furnaces, and Black Diamond already had begun fading by the 1930s. Today its best known export is bread from the bakery. The hills around town produce only a pittance of coal.

Even so, the mineral’s imprint on Black Diamond is everywhere. A mountain of slag and a coal car by the highway mark the entrance to town.

A stone in the cemetery tells, in Italian, of three men who died in a 1910 mine explosion. Many of Black Diamond’s homes are old coal-company houses, built before World War I.

And, among Black Diamond’s 1,200 residents, a good number of miners still fondly remember the old days. (more…)

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