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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, June 3, 2011

Gomer Evans’ Welsh family heritage and the story of a father’s years in the mines

By TJ Martinell

Gomer Evans Sr. left, holding a lunch pail, stands with his arm on the cart outside a mine in the Black Diamond area. The photo is undated. Photo courtesy Sherrie Evans

Walking through the Black Diamond Historical Museum is like strolling through the family room for Gomer Evans, Jr.

A framed picture of his parents’ wedding sits on top of a glass display of family Bibles.

A photograph of his older brother, Dave, hangs on the wall in the main room.

As he flips through a collection of historical pictures, he finds his father, Gomer Evans Sr., sitting among a row of Welsh engineers. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 27, 1926

Miss Velma Hull demonstrates the Simpson Signaling Life Line, invented by Homer Blair and used for the first time at the Mine Rescue and First Aid Meet in Burnett last Saturday. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 20, 1926

One of Black Diamond’s finest assets is its splendid high school with the fine student body pictured in the group shown above. In athletics, dramatics, and all school activities, there is a wonderful school spirit which largely accounts for the creditable showing made by Black Diamond High.

In addition, the high school is interested in First Aid training and has two teams which will compete in the annual Mine Rescue and First Aid Meet at Burnett next Saturday. Prof. Albert Weatherbee is the principal of the school. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 13, 1926

Scenes in the Garden of Eden could not have been more attractive than are the orchards of Wenatchee and Eastern Washington each spring when the apple trees are in full blossom. Against a background of jagged, snow-capped peaks, and nestled in the soft green of verdant clover and alfalfa, the exquisite beauty of the pale pink and white blossoms is beyond compare.

Until recently the orchardist was helpless against the blighting touch of late spring frosts, but thanks to the introduction of Diamond Briquets he is now able to protect his blossoming trees by heating his orchard. The picture shows a typical scene in the Wenatchee Valley. (Photo copyright by J.D. Wheeler.) (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, May 13, 2011

By Timothy Martinell

An old coal cart sits where the town of Franklin once stood by the Green River. The cart was donated by the Palmer Coking Coal Company. TJ Martinell, The Reporter

I have to admit, when I first went to Black Diamond, I didn’t think I’d be introduced to the mayor of a ghost town.

When I first spoke to Keith Watson, director of the Black Diamond Historical Society, I expressed my interest in Franklin, the nearby ghost town. After discussing how to get there, he looked at me with a subtle grin and asked, “Do you want to meet the mayor?”

At first, I wasn’t sure if he was being funny or not, but then he walked into another room. A few moments later, he reappeared with another man: Don Mason, the “mayor” of Franklin. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 6, 1926

Thirteen years ago, in the year 1913, Black Diamond boasted a juvenile First Aid Team of which Al McBlaine, now master mechanic at Burnett, was the coach. The halftone shown herewith was made from a rather faded photograph in the possession of Supt. Paul Gallagher, of Black Diamond. But one member of this team, Paul J. Gallagher, is now in the employ of the company. Edwin Swanson, another member of the team, is a brother of Mrs. Elsie Upton, of the Accounting Department.

These First Aid boys, in Boy Scout uniforms, are still remembered for their participation in the famous Preparedness Day parade in Seattle before this country entered the World War. Those in the picture, from left to right, are; Jack Mitchell, Laurence Plano, Edwin Swanson, Donald Weston, Paul J. Gallagher, and Wm. Morgan. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 3, 1961

By Frank Lynch

Richard H. Parry and son Elvede with account of mine disaster (Post-Intelligencer photo).

Found (and at long, long last)—

A regional folk song and a regional hero.

Richard H. Parry lives at 4429 Rainier Ave. He was born in Wales, and he is a retired coal miner.

Some several weeks ago one of his sons, Arthur, found a Welsh language Bible at Goodwill. He bought same, presented it to his dad, and the elder Parry was delighted with it—and for several reasons.

The Bible is a handsome one—and well-illustrated. It is certainly very old.

There were several bits of Americana hidden in the pages—a Blue Ribbon Army (Temperance) pledge card, some Christmas cards, and scraps of Welsh verse and copy of a song sung over our own land by one W.D. Reese and entitled—

“The disaster at Franklin.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 29, 1926

Expressing their genuine pleasure at the recent return home of N.D. Moore, vice-president of the Pacific Coast Coal Company, the Black Diamond Band last Saturday evening serenaded Mr. and Mrs. Moore at their home, 618 Fullerton Street, Seattle. The affair was a complete surprise to Mr. Moore, who knew nothing whatever about it until the music started. After a short concert on the lawn the boys were invited in and served with refreshments. Accompanying the band were Supt. Paul Gallagher, A.W. Gray, and Geo. Upton.

Those in the band included Bandmaster Frank Carroll, Earl Manchester, Ray Rosso, Wm. Tretheway, H. Parkinson, VanManchester, Ed Lockridge, Thos. Hughes, G. Lile, F. Heister, Jim Boyd, H. Saarella, B.M. McVicar, Ed. Crossman, Al Winckworth, Fred Carroll, B. McDonald, Theo. Rouse, and Tony Schultz. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 22, 1926

In a previous issue of the Bulletin there appeared a picture of Black Diamond’s first division soccer team. In recognition of the fine showing made during the last season by the camp’s second division team, known as the Black Diamond Briquets, we herewith present the picture of the booters whose record speaks for itself.

From left to right, front, Chas. Thompson, Art Fowler, Vic White, John Thompson, H. “Shorty” Ogden; second row, Joe Fowler, Vic Roberts, Chas. L. Gallagher; back row, H.J. Wingfield, linesman, Chas. Maroni, H.L. Berry, “Boots” Pierotti, and F.A. Strange. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 15, 1926

One of the institutions in Carbonado of which the camp is justly proud is the splendid Union Sunday School which recently passed the 100 mark in its membership. Mrs. J.W.L. Kaufman is the efficient superintendent of the Sunday School. She is assisted by a loyal corps of teachers and officers, all of whom are striving to make the organization even greater and better than it now is.

The Sunday School is undenominational, and it is unique in that all denominations and creeds represented are working in perfect harmony for the upbuilding of the religious and moral life of the community. (more…)

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