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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 30, 1925

Josephine Corliss Preston

Josephine Corliss Preston

Following a three-day convention of the County School Superintendents of the state at Olympia, at which were present a number of prominent national and state educational leaders, the delegates have been invited to visit Carbonado Mine as the guests of the Pacific Coast Coal Company.

Mrs. Josephine Corliss Preston, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Mrs. Clare Ketchum Tripp, Director of the Washington Industries Educational Bureau, have arranged for those attending the convention to visit a number of industrial plants in Tacoma on Thursday morning, April 30.

Immediately following lunch, the party will be conducted by auto to Carbonado, via South Prairie and Wilkeson. Details of the program will be found on the last page of the Bulletin. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, April 12, 1914

Rebuilt sawmill costs $200,00

New plant of Pacific States Lumber Company at Selleck, Wash., will begin operations June 1

Rebuilt plant of Pacific States Lumber Company at Selleck, Wash., to be opened June 1.

On the site of its old plant at Selleck, Wash., which was destroyed by fire last January 3, the Pacific States Lumber Company has just completed the building of a new sawmill at a cost of about $200,000. Work now is in progress installing the machinery, and it is expected to have the mill in operation June 1, with the capacity force of 350 men. (more…)

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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 King County Journal Reporter, February 1, 2006

Official says toxic gases and high temperatures are dangerous to recreationists

By Morris Malakoff
Journal Reporter

The main opening of one of the coal mines on Cougar Mountain is fenced off. Some of the abandoned mines are burning and collapsing, creating potential dangers for park visitors who hike off of the main trails.

The main opening of one of the coal mines on Cougar Mountain is fenced off. Some of the abandoned mines are burning and collapsing, creating potential dangers for park visitors who hike off of the main trails.

The Industrial Revolution is colliding with the Information Age in the forests south of Bellevue.

Underground coal mines that operated for a century, from the 1860s through the 1950s, are now abandoned—burning and collapsing—and creating potential hazards for park patrons who venture off the established trails in the four-square-mile Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

“It’s more than just taking a bad fall,” said Ginger Kaldenbach, senior project manager for U.S. Office of Surface Mining, the agency is responsible for monitoring and sealing abandoned mines. “Many of these mines emit toxic gases and if someone fell into one that is burning, the temperatures are hot and they would be severely burned.”

Of particular concern to Kaldenbach are outdoor recreationists engaged in geocaching—a high-tech treasure hunt using a handheld GPS monitor that tracks a location using a satellite network.

“They are looking at their GPS devices and may not see a collapsed mine and fall into it,” Kaldenbach said. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, November 28, 1924

Though this is Black Diamond’s first soccer team, the boys are attracting considerable attention in the Washington State Football Association this season. Next Sunday they meet the Newcastle eleven on the latter’s field in the elimination playoff for the state cup. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 20, 1913

Shift boss and fire boss are victims of mysterious blazes

BLACK DIAMOND, Saturday, Aug. 16. – Two mysterious fires have occurred in the last two days, one of which completely destroyed the home of Hughie Hughes, a shift boss, and the other partially destroying the dwelling of Jack Larson, a fire boss in the mines.

Hughes’ loss is about $1,000 and Larson’s about $500, with no insurance.

For more about the mysterious fires of 1913, go to:

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 18, 1980

An arson fire completely gutted the Four Corners Tavern during early morning hours on June 10.

An arson fire completely gutted the Four Corners Tavern during early morning hours on June 10.

The Four Comers Tavern, 26818 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Road, was totally destroyed in an arson fire last week.

Engine companies from Fire District 43, 37, and 44 responded to the four-alarm fire which began about 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 10. About 50 firemen fought the blaze for nearly an hour and a half before getting it under control. Highway 169 was closed by police until 5:30 in the morning to aid the firefighters.

The King County Fire Investigation Unit has determined that the fire had multiple points of origin and was a definite arson. (more…)

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