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Posts Tagged ‘depots’

Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, April 5, 1995

What the hell has happened to Black Diamond’s business district?

Last Saturday afternoon, my mother asked me to stop by the bakery for a loaf of date-nut bread but, owing to the new buildings and the crowd of big-city retirees and Yuppies, I could hardly find the place.

The two blocks of South Railroad Avenue were so congested with traffic and pedestrians it was difficult to find a parking place.

Of course, the Black Diamond bakery has attracted tourists ever since it opened early in the century, but there’s never been so many Seattle and Bellevue folks seeking a little country serenity—a goal that quickly evaporates in such a crowd. (more…)

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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 6, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The original depot at Kanaskat built in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1943. — From the Museum of History and Industry and loaned by Ruth Eckes.

The old railroad towns of Palmer and Kanaskat once thrived across the Green River from each other, Palmer on the north and Kanaskat on the south; eight miles southeast of Enumclaw. Somewhere along the line the two lost their identities. Apparently, the post office located in Palmer burned and the authorities moved it to Kanaskat but left the name of Palmer. (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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 4, 1926

Every day from 450 to 500 tons of Diamond Briquets are loaded into railroad cars for shipment to almost every point where fuel is used between Canada and Mexico on the Pacific Coast. This scene shows how the briquets are lowered from the cooling conveyor into the cars. Thousands of tons of Diamond Briquets will soon be distributed throughout the orchards of Eastern Washington, where they will be burned to protect the fruit blossoms from the ravages of frost this spring. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 23, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The town of Fairfax, declared the “prettiest mining town around,” showing the turn-table at the extreme right above center. Mine buildings are in front and the school is on the left. Carbon River runs through the trees at the top or the photo. (Original copy from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Basselli.) Photo courtesy of Steve Meitzler, Heritage Quest Press, Orting, WA., publisher of the book, Carbon River Coal Country.

Riding the Northern Pacific Railroad to the upper end of the Carbon River Canyon or tooling along to Mount Rainier in a Model T, tourists would pass close to three mining towns: Melmont, Fairfax, and Montezuma.

First, beyond Carbonado, was Melmont, situated between the Carbon River and the NPR line. A bridge spanning the Carbon River ran between the company hotel and the saloon with the depot and school on the hillside above. On the left end of the bridge was the road connecting to Fairfax. This bridge was nearly a little beyond the high bridge which spans the canyon today. (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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