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Posts Tagged ‘Issaquah’

Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 1, 2011

By TJ Martinell

Black Diamond baseball field, circa 1915.

The Black Diamond baseball field during a game.

Coal mining towns have always been a point of fascination to me.

There were two things which prompted my interest as a kid. The first was when my family took a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. The Calico Mine Ride, a train tour into an animatronic coal mine, had a way sparking the imagination of a precocious 3-year-old whose head was already in the clouds.

The second reason was both historical and personal. My ancestor, John Bush, was one of the first white people born in the Issaquah Valley where there was a very active coal mining industry. When I was around 9 years old, my grandfather gave me a special coin commemorating the formation of the Royal Arch Mason Chapter 39 in Issaquah—dated September 22, 1914, with John Bush’s name engraved on the back.

So, when I first went to Black Diamond in search of a story, I was already interested in what the town had to offer in terms of history. While I was writing articles about Franklin and Welsh heritage, however, I became more interested in their prolific sports history.

At the front desk of the museum is a glass exhibit of their sports legacy; old baseball uniforms, basketball trophies, soccer team portraits, and autographed baseballs. It wasn’t hard for me to perceive the kind of significance sports had there. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 15, 1911

Quarterly apportionment made to various districts of King County

M.E. Durham, deputy county superintendent, yesterday completed the last quarterly apportionment to the various school districts of the county. The total amount distributed was $580,572.55, of which $314,662.19 was from the state fund and $265,909.86 from the county fund. The apportionment was 7.6 cents per day’s attendance and $75 per teacher employed.

Those districts receiving more than $1,200 were: Seattle, $46,394; Renton, $9,160; Kent, $8,327; Auburn, $7,935; Foster, $4,740; Enumclaw, $4,175; Black Diamond, $4,035; Bothell, $3,918; Oak Lake, $3,805; Issaquah, $3,124; Ravensdale, $2,084; Richmond, $1,989; Kennydale, $1,833; Bellevue, $1,779; Kirkland, $1,700; Newcastle, $1,676; Redmond, $1,601; North Bend, $1,518; Des Moines, $1,520; Fall City, $1,337; Pacific, $1,218.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, May 24, 1997

Saint Barbara Catholic Church built in 1911 will be used for Daily Chapel.

St. Barbara Catholic Church, located at 6th and Baker, in Black Diamond, was formally dedicated this past weekend, May 24-25, by Archbishop Thomas Murphy and Father Chuck Palluck. The new church has been anxiously awaited by its 750+ family parish. The new church is four times the size of the original church and seats 500.

A bit of history from the historical section of Enumclaw Courier-Herald, the old church built in 1911 cost $2,200 to build and furnish. The new church which is a 15,000 square foot 2-level building, cost $2.2 million to build and furnish.

Many members will miss the old church and always remember the stories held inside the walls and hearts of the people. It will be used as a daily chapel, for weekday mass and other services. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of Valley, May 16, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

In 1920 Fred Habenicht, holding a hand saw, supervised the unloading of the new hydraulic mine motor vehicle or pulling loaded mine cars from water level tunnel to the Continental Coal Co. bunker (in the background). It replaced mules in the mine. Miners are: 18-year-old Vern Habenicht; Bob Kingen Sr., Frenchy Ferdinand Maigre; Evor Morgan, holding the chain; and onlooker Bill Baldwin. (Photo—Habenicht collection from Ravensdale Reflections book)

Before the turn of the 20th century, coal seams ran from the shores of Lake Washington to the foot of the Cascade mountains leading to the establishment of towns at the mine sites, some of which are still in existence, i.e., Renton, Black Diamond, Cumberland, Issaquah, Wilkeson, and Ravensdale. Some linger in memory only, i.e., Franklin, Elk, Bayne, Durham, Danville, Eddyville, Taylor, and Landsburg.

From the year 1888 through 1967, there were an amazing 232 coal seams being tapped in King County and operated by 157 different companies. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 23, 1911

Government demonstration coach on way to Sound to pass three days more

Mine rescue car in Black Diamond.

Government Mine Rescue Car No. 5 will arrive in Seattle May 1 and will be at the fire station of the University of Washington for three days, according to an announcement made yesterday by the mine bureau officials in charge of the car.

The car and its crew are now at Bayne. April 28 it will be at Ravensdale, and from there will proceed to Tacoma. Other dates for the car follow:

Renton, May 5; Issaquah, May 6; Newcastle, May 8; Taylor, May 9; Black Diamond and Franklin, May 12 to 14.

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Originally published in the Journal-American, April 9, 1990

By Leslee Jaquette
Journal Eastside Bureau

Douglas C. Samuels (left), one of the owners of Pacific States Marketing Co. and president of Pacific States Mortgage Co., Robert Olsson, the other owner of Pacific States Marketing Co. and vice president, Pacific States Mortgage Corp.; and Jack L. McIntosh, president of M&H Development, examining map of the Black Diamond area where M&H plans to develop a “Bridle Trails” theme estate. Photo by Leslee Jaquette.

BELLEVUE — M&H Development Co., Inc. of Bellevue has acquired a 410-acre, $2.8 million tract adjacent to Black Diamond which will be developed into a “Bridle Trails” theme estate.

Jack L. McIntosh, president, says up to 82, five-acre tracts will be developed on the plateau parcel which fronts Black Diamond Lake and stretches to the north edge of the Flaming Geysers State Park. The developer foresees $500,000 to $1 million homes will be built on $150,000 lots available through both builder and public sale. (more…)

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Originally published in the Issaquah Press, April 4, 1990

Taken in the 1890s, these photos depict a family separated by tragedy. Theodore Fournier, right, had been married only five months when he was killed in a mine disaster at Newcastle. His wife, Frances Craig Fournier, center, was pregnant at the time. Fournier never saw his only child, Esilda, left. Despite the loss, the family remained united, and all Esilda’s children still live in the Newcastle and Issaquah areas. Photos courtesy of John Swanson.

Perhaps no local family sums up the hardships, the ethnic heritage, and the joys of living in Newcastle the way the Fourniers do. Although not many still carry the family name, the spirit of the Fourniers lives on in many local residents. (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 Times, March 7, 1984

Coal mining plan faces opposition

By Louis T. Corsaletti
Times suburban reporter

Bill Kombol, manager of Palmer Coking Coal Co. in Black Diamond, stands amid a stand of Douglas fir trees on reclaimed land that was part of the McKay Surface Mine in 1974-1976. The pit mine was dug as deep as 40 feet in some places to reach coal. Richard S. Hevza/Seattle Times

Douglas firs ranging from a foot to 10 feet high grow branchtip to branchtip along two narrow strips of generally clear land near Black Diamond.

A few short years ago these same corridors, hewn out of second- and third-growth forest, were sliced open to extract black diamonds—coal. The open ugly sores were the Palmer Coking Coal Company’s McKay and Gem Surface Mines. (more…)

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Originally published in The Issaquah Press, January 28, 2009

This was likely taken in the 1910s. It came from a book of photos of all of Pacific Coast Co. properties, including this mine property held by its subsidiary, Pacific Coast Coal Co. (Issaquah History Museums)

Coal mining led to Issaquah’s transformation from farming community to bustling town.

The industry brought hundreds of workers to Issaquah; the growth continued as businessmen established banks, shops, and other services. Issaquah miners were all ages and came from all across the world, drawn to the area by the promise of employment—at wages higher than that of East Coast miners.

In 1900, just over 60 percent of Issaquah’s workforce was employed in coal mines. About half of these men lived with their families, often in housing rented to them by the mining company. Others were single or separated from their family and lived as boarders in one of Issaquah’s many hotels. (more…)

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