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Posts Tagged ‘Italians’

Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, November 13, 1996

By Casey Olson
The Courier-Herald

No video tape in the world could hold the rich history of the Black Diamond community.

There is just too much of it.

But give Bob Eaton and Micki Ryan a lot of credit. The pair is undertaking the mission impossible and attempting to put together the first-ever video history of the history-rich town.

They’ve found the task fascinating and time consuming.

The coal mining industry brought immigrants from all around the world to the tiny hamlet nestled in the Cascade foothills during the late 1800s and early 1900s, turning the quiet community into a bustling city. Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Germans, Hungarians, and Irish were blended together every day, a clash of cultures that helped form the modern day community of Black Diamond. (more…)

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

Lewis Mascher draws $100 in Justice Court for sending threatening letters to Badachs

BLACK DIAMOND, Saturday, July 15 — Lewis Mascher, an Italian, yesterday was fined $100 and costs by Justice Davis for sending blackmailing letters to the Badach family in this city.

This is the first conviction in Black Diamond for a series of threatening letters that have been mailed to a number of persons here, but evidence brought out at the hearing of Mascher may result in bringing others to justice.

Deputy Sheriff Matt Starwich did the detective work that brought Mascher to justice. Starwich obtained letters written to other persons by Mascher and the signature on these and the blackmailing missives sent to the Badach family is identical.

Starwich is said to be hot on the trail of other blackmailers.

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 7, 1961

By Lucile McDonald

Of all the “lost” towns of King County the mostly thoroughly obliterated probably is Taylor, seven miles east of Maple Valley.

Taylor, once with a population close to 700 persons, was swallowed by the Cedar River watershed. Today a young forest is springing from its streets and gardens, and the sites of the coal bunkers and kilns of its once-prosperous clay industry.

Taylor ceased to exist in 1947. Two years earlier, the Seattle Water Department had obtained a condemnation judgment permitting it to include the town in the watershed. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, December 27, 1906

Takes two deputy sheriffs and six citizens to quell a disturbance at Bruce, near Black Diamond

Too much holiday liquor the cause. Officials are roughly handled until they get reinforcements, when belligerents submit quietly enough

The town of Bruce was located at the end of the Bruce Branch of the Columbia & Puget Sound RR. The branch paralleled the Green River Gorge Road and ended just south of Lake Twelve.

It took Deputy Sheriff Bob Hodge and a posse of seven men to suppress a riot at Bruce, three miles from Black Diamond, Tuesday night, in which a band of Italians were the participants. Too much Christmas liquid cheer was the inciting cause of the row. Three of the ring leaders, Marona Gibatta, Tony Biozo, and Valantini Areo, will celebrate New Year’s Day in the county jail. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, August 1999

By Lynda Maks

My father, Joseph Dal Santo, was born in 1885 in Sehio, Italy, and came to the U.S. around 1911. My mother, Anna Respleux, was born in 1896, in Wilkeson, Washington. They met at a boarding house in Black Diamond, which was run by my mother’s aunt and uncle, Joe and Mary Favro. They were married in August of 1914.

They had 8 children: Jules was born in 1916 in BD, Angeline (1917) in Cle Elum, and Alice (1918) in BD, who passed away with the flu in 1919. They then moved to Renton where they had Lynda (1920), Leo (1922), John (1924), and Joe (1925). They moved back to Black Diamond in 1930 so my dad could work for Pacific Coast Coal Company—you had to live in Black Diamond and live in their houses to work for them. You all know the song, “You Owe Your Soul to the Company Store”—that’s the way it was. My brother Roy was born in 1931. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, June 6, 1924

Pacific Coast coal was used to bunker the vessels of three foreign flags within the past week. First to call was the Nazareno, an Italian freighter under charter to the Bunge Western Grain Corporation. She is shown above to the left just as the big craft was being brought alongside the bunkers for loading. Her destination after leaving Seattle was Europe, though at this writing she is ashore in the Columbia River.

The center picture shows the Wilhelm Hemsoth, a German ship, taking Black Diamond and South Prairie bunker coal. She sails this week for Australia.

At the right the graceful lines of the British freighter, Dramatist, show up to good advantage as she pulls out for Glasgow. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, January 30, 1983

By Eric Pryne
Times staff reporter

Coal drew hundreds of immigrants to Black Diamond in the early 1900s—three young Italians, victims of a 1910 mine explosion, are buried in the town cemetery. The mining industry might make a comeback in the area after decades of dormancy. (Barry Wong/Seattle Times)

Coal drew hundreds of immigrants to Black Diamond in the early 1900s—three young Italians, victims of a 1910 mine explosion, are buried in the town cemetery. The mining industry might make a comeback in the area after decades of dormancy. (Barry Wong/Seattle Times)

BLACK DIAMOND — Their addresses may be the same, but they really are two communities—one old, one new—in and around this historic Southeast King County town.

The coal industry built Black Diamond a century ago. It was a bustling mining town with colonies of Welshmen, Italians, Slavs, and Finns—and a population three times larger than today.

But oil replaced coal in most of America’s furnaces, and Black Diamond already had begun fading by the 1930s. Today its best known export is bread from the bakery. The hills around town produce only a pittance of coal.

Even so, the mineral’s imprint on Black Diamond is everywhere. A mountain of slag and a coal car by the highway mark the entrance to town.

A stone in the cemetery tells, in Italian, of three men who died in a 1910 mine explosion. Many of Black Diamond’s homes are old coal-company houses, built before World War I.

And, among Black Diamond’s 1,200 residents, a good number of miners still fondly remember the old days. (more…)

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