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Posts Tagged ‘John Henry Mine’

Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 19, 1982

Comments will be taken until December 24 on the draft environmental-impact statement on rezoning 402 acres in and next to the town of Black Diamond, proposed for a surface coal mine.

The John Henry No.1 Mine would be developed on a 500-acre site over a period of at least 17 years, with the two pits reaching depths of 265 feet. Waste would be stockpiled and returned to the pits, and there are plans for surface reclamation.

The mine is the project of Pacific Coast Coal Co. The site is northeast of the city, between the city’s northwest corner and Lake 12. It includes Mud Lake, the site of one pit, and Ginder Lake, which would not be involved. Plans also call for construction of processing and other facilities at the mine.

Copies of the statement are in Seattle, Black Diamond, Kent, Maple Valley, Muckleshoot and other libraries. Comments should be made to the King County Building and Land Development Division.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 1994

By Heather Larson

Left to right: Jennifer Simmons, Danny Simmons, and Ashley Petersen prepare to enter the parade route in their horse-drawn wagon representing Four Corners Safeway.

Black Diamond celebrated Labor Day weekend with a fever this year. After having last year’s event cancelled for lack of volunteers, no holds were barred. Something for everyone was offered during the 4 days from a fish dinner on Friday night to a bed race on Sunday and a parade down the Maple Valley Highway on Monday.

On Saturday amid torrential downpours the Black Diamond Police challenged the Black Diamond Fire Department to a softball game. Since the police, who chose to be called the DARE Devils, didn’t have the manpower to field a team, other police officers who live in Black Diamond were asked to help out. So King County, Bellevue, and Seattle Police Departments were also represented on the team.

According to Black Diamond officer Glenn Dickson, the highlight of the game was the 8-foot mud pit behind first base.

It was really wet and muddy, but a good time was had by all, said Dickson.

The DARE Devils beat the Hosers 13 to 9 at the first annual baseball game. (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 Enumclaw Courier-Herald, October 26, 1988

By Brenda Berube
The Courier-Herald

After months of debate, Black Diamond City Council members denied developer Steve Metcalf a rezone on just under one acre of land near the John Henry No. 1 mine, where Metcalf was planning to build multifamily housing units. (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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Originally published in the Enumclaw Eagle, August 31, 1988

Annual picnic source of stories of coal, men

By Gordon Koestler

Retired miners John Streepy (left) and George Savicke shared a tale or two. (Eagle photo by Gordon Koestler.)

Retired miners John Streepy (left) and George Savicke shared a tale or two. (Eagle photo by Gordon Koestler.)

Deep within the spine of the Cascade Mountains, on either side of the summit, lie still-large coal reserves. Over the past 100 or so years, men like John Costanich, John Streepy, and George Savicke, supported by women like Mary Mihelich, have pulled the black diamonds out of mines near places like Wilkeson, Palmer, Roslyn, Carbonado, Cle Elum and, yes, Black Diamond.

Saturday, such men and women met to celebrate and remember that lifestyle at the annual Miners’ Picnic, conducted at a private park at the base of the Green River Gorge. Such luminaries as former U.S. Sen. Slade Gordon, now campaigning to return to the Senate, and Renton area state Rep. Mike Patrick thought enough of the Miners’ Picnic to attend the afternoon gathering, and King County Executive Tim Hill, 8th District Congressman Rod Chandler, and 31st District Rep. Ernie Crane were scheduled to put in appearances as well. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, June 1, 1983

The King County Housing Authority tract in the center of this 1946 photo has disappeared and the configurations of many streets have since changed. But Black Diamond remains a rural town surrounded by wooded terrain which attracts many people as a place to live.

The King County Housing Authority tract in the center of this 1946 photo has disappeared and the configurations of many streets have since changed. But Black Diamond remains a rural town surrounded by wooded terrain which attracts many people as a place to live.

By Herb Belanger

“This city has to have businesses, industry or something,” says Black Diamond’s Vivian Bainton. “We can’t have just residences.”

That’s why she and members of the city’s small business community and owners of commercial property were scheduled to meet today on “what they have in mind and where they want to go,” she said. (more…)

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