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Posts Tagged ‘Green River Eagles’

Originally published in the Valley Daily News, September 4, 1987

By Debra Nelson

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Les Van Hoof is one of the new breed of coal miners who operate the levers of heavy equipment rather than picks and shovels. (Staff photo by Gary Kissel.)

Coal mining… the words evoke images of dark mine shafts, dynamite, and hardy men, exhausted from the hazards of blasting the mineral from deep within the earth, ravaged by black lung disease.

The old folk song “Sixteen Tons” tells that story—of men who rarely saw the sun and whose blood and sweat made coal the major industry in the Black Diamond region until the 1920s.

But those were the “good old days” of coal mining and, fortunately, the industry has undergone radical changes. For one thing, today’s miners work above ground, in the hot summer sun and the cold winter rain.

This Labor Day weekend, Black Diamond looks back at the old days, remembering those pioneers and miners who settled the town. The festivities include the kind of fun and games many pioneer kids enjoyed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 1997

By Barbara Nilson

Labor Day Chairperson Lorianne Taff hurls balls at her target, Black Diamond policeman Kevin Esping, in the dunk tank. — By Barbara Nilson.

Labor Day Chairperson Lorianne Taff hurls balls at her target, Black Diamond policeman Kevin Esping, in the dunk tank. — By Barbara Nilson.

Plaques for the winners, ribbon cutting to officially open the new school playground, and community fun topped Black Diamond’s Labor Day celebration, under the direction of Lorianne Taff.

The three-day event honored Black Diamond Fire Chief Rick Mercer as Person of the Year for the numerous hours he devotes to his community including the Labor Day Festival. He was games chairman. Also recognized was Christina McCorkendale who was crowned Queen of the button sales. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 11, 2007

By Kathleen Kear

Labor Day Program 2007

To read the article, “Back at the Stump: A Labor Day Reflection,” about the formation of the Black Diamond coal miners’ union in 1907, click here.

The fun began on Saturday, Sept. 1st, and ran all the way through Labor Day, Sept. 3rd, with each day filled with all sorts of activities the whole family could enjoy.

There was the annual softball game with the fire/police team trying hard to beat the community only to have the community come back and take the win.

There was also the nostalgic sock hop at the newly dedicated Black Diamond gym, Black Diamond Museum tours full of fascinating historical items and information, the dedicating of the city’s first skate park, pancake breakfast, peanut wagon and ice cream, BBQ luncheon, button raffle drawing, watermelon and pie-eating contests, and field games to boot.

The parade was filled with bunches of kids as well as adults on bikes, floats, with their pets, in cars, on tractors, and big rigs. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 18, 1972

By John J. Reddin

A group of Black Diamond old-timers held a “little get-together” in the Black Diamond Eagles’ Hall Saturday for their old buddy, “Catfish.”

To thousands of Seattleites “Catfish” is better known as Ed Banchero, popular owner of E & E Meats, 1007 Olive Way, one of the city’s biggest meat wholesalers and restaurant suppliers as well as shipper of frozen meat to customers throughout Alaska.

But to those who have known Banchero ever since he was born in a log cabin near what is now the center of Black Diamond and later almost drowned in nearby Lake 14, he forever after was known as “Catfish.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 29, 2006

By Kathleen Kear

“Celebrate Black Diamond History” program

“Celebrate Black Diamond History” program

Rich in history, which dates back to 1884 when the California town of Nortonville moved to the Black Diamond area to mine the highest quality coal found on the West Coast, Black Diamond is celebrating that history during its annual Labor Days festivities this coming weekend Saturday, Sept. 2nd through Monday, Sept. 4th.

New to the list of Labor Day events that begin on Saturday, Sept. 2nd is the Puget Sound Blood Drive that will be held in conjunction with the annual Softball Game this year between the Black Diamond Fire Department and the community, which begins at 10 a.m. Rumor has it that the kids have been practicing quite a bit lately and are looking forward to putting the department’s “fire out!” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 23, 1972

Labor Day button 1972The annual Black Diamond Labor Day celebration that for years has drawn crowds of three to five thousand persons is being headed this year by Joe Androsko.

It’s a three-day community affair that everyone in Black Diamond and for miles around jumps into with fervor.

The adults will start the weekend with a dance Saturday, Sept. 2 at 9:30 p.m. in the Black Diamond Eagles Hall. Live music will be offered. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, Month and date unknown, 1996

By Barbara Nilson

Driving the third-place 1926 Model T truck is Eugene Cunningham of Buckley. His friends decked out like the “Oakies,” complete with jugs. – Photos by Barbara Nilson.

Driving the third-place 1926 Model T truck is Eugene Cunningham of Buckley. His friends decked out like the “Oakies,” complete with jugs. – Photos by Barbara Nilson.

For decades the town of Black Diamond has been celebrating Diamond Days on Labor Day weekend as a community “labor of love.” The 1996 three-day event was chaired by Lorianne Taff and a host of volunteers.

Parade chairman Chip Dean welcomed marching units, fire engines, antique autos, big rigs, fun floats, children twirling, biking and flipping and tossing candy.

Winners were announced by the Person of the Year Dave Botts. Botts was scoutmaster for 11 years and was selected for his public service, said Evan Morris. Morris was one of the selection committee along with Ann and Carl Steiert. (more…)

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