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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, July 10, 2013

By Dennis Box
Editor

After years of planning and hard work the Black Diamond Coal Miners Memorial was unveiled Saturday during the city’s Miners Day celebration.

The honor garden memorial includes a 13-foot bronze statue sculpted by Ellensburg artist Paul Crites and a 28-foot granite wall, engraved with the names of miners who have died in mines throughout Washington state. Engraved bricks are at the base of the statue and wall. Surrounding the memorial and historical museum is a landscaped garden.

According to Black Diamond Historical Society President Keith Watson, the idea for the memorial began years ago, but started in earnest about two years ago when he and former Black Diamond Mayor Howard Botts, and their wives made a trip to Roslyn, Wash. They saw a Roslyn coal miners memorial and that was the inspiration. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 8, 2011

By TJ Martinell

Gomer Evans, Sr. spars with an opponent in a match held at the town’s baseball field. The referee is George Avers, who also played on the Black Diamond baseball team.

At the turn of the century in Black Diamond the sport of boxing was a popular form of entertainment.

As a coal mining town, where all of the men worked long hours performing manual labor, it was capable of producing more than a few big, muscular men who could knock someone out with a single punch.

“We were all tough little buggers,” said Jack Thompson, who grew up on Baker Street.

Carl Steiert said as a boy he’d be shining shoes in the barbershop when boxers would put on their trunks in the back end room and warm up. His recollections were published in the book Black Diamond: Mining the Memories. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, July 6, 1911

Deputy Sheriff Luther Mills, who was one of 200 people sickened by lemonade that they drank at a dance at Black Diamond on Fourth of July night, returned to Seattle today with graphic details of the wholesale poisoning.

The two doctors, in Black Diamond, according to Mills, worked all night and the hotels and many of the houses were filled with the stricken.

“J. Pierpont” Morgan, vendor of lemonade and such, had cut a lot of lemons and thrown them into a galvanized tub in the morning. The acid worked on the zinc, and the resulting poison sank to the bottom of the tub. In the evening he gave the lemons left in the bottom of the tub to the baseball team to use at their dance. Water was poured in on top of the lemons and the misery began.

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Originally published in the News Journal, May 29, 1998

Building survey finds rich history lurking in old structures

By Mike Archbold
Journal Reporter

Mike and Linda Deicher stand on the porch of one of Black Diamond’s refurbished historic buildings. The couple own the structure, which most recently housed an antique shop but was built as a post office in 1893 and was home to Koerner’s Drug & Confectionery store in the 1920s. (Joe Brockert/Journal)

BLACK DIAMOND — History spoke to Michael and Linda Deicher when they first saw the two-story building on Railroad Avenue in Black Diamond’s Old Town.

They liked the prominent false front facade of a turn-of-the-century commercial building and the covered porch that wrapped around two sides. Linda Deicher’s favorite architectural detail was the front wall of beveled glass windows that captures the light and frames a spectacular view of Mount Rainier. (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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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 1, 1926

Black Diamond has always maintained a reputation for turning out championship teams in baseball, but in the season which just closed, the camp held the distinction of honoring two soccer football teams, both of whom made splendid records.

In the group shown above are gathered the following players: Front row, left to right, “Chick” Thompson, Chas. “Red” Towers, A. Maroni, R. Durnac, John Ogden; second row, Chas. Maroni, Jas. Strang, Vic Roberts; back row, P.J. Gallagher, J.T. Hollow, and “Boots” Pierotti. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, February 21, 1920

Maple Valley had some real excitement yesterday and was all agog today.

E. Clark is justice of the peace down at Maple Valley and besides that is proprietor of the hotel, grocery store, and the pool room.

Armed with certain and specific search warrants, Deputy Sheriffs Julius Von Gerst, William Downey, and Raymond E. Murphy went to Maple Valley yesterday.

The folk of the community gazed in open-mouthed awe. Gee, what’s going to happen?

You could have knocked them over with a straw when the deputies entered the home of Justice of the Peace Clark.

And when the deputies emerged with a cache of moonshine, five gallons of corn whiskey, and a small quantity of wine and beer, you could have made the community folk believe the world was coming to an end.

Justice of the Peace Clark was brought to Seattle and arraigned before Justice of Peace Otis W. Brinker. He pleaded guilty to possessing liquor.

“But I had it for a long time. I never sold any,” he explained.

Justice Brinker imposed a fine of $100. Justice Clark paid the same and returned to Maple Valley.

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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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