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Posts Tagged ‘Lawson Hill’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 28, 2015

By Bill Kombol

Photo # PI-24764 comes courtesy of Museum of History & Industry and shows a 1925 Chrysler Phaeton Six at the park’s entrance.

Photo # PI-24764 comes courtesy of Museum of History & Industry and shows a 1925 Chrysler Phaeton Six at the park’s entrance.

In September 1925 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an article about Flaming Geyser Park and its unique gas-bubbling spring. At that time it was a privately-owned facility providing campsites, stoves, restrooms, a swimming pool fed by the Green River, fish hatchery, and round picnic tables cut from six-foot sections of fir trees. (more…)

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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 Seattle Daily Times, November 14, 1910

Entire town of Black Diamond attends funeral of men who lost lives in Lawson slope one week ago

Bodies of fire boss and companion found; identification made with great difficulty—water prevents recovery of five corpses remaining in mine

The Seattle Star reported that 1,500 people turned out for one funeral following the November 6, 1910, Lawson Mine disaster. Last rites were conducted at the St. Barbara Catholic Church. The procession stretched from the church on Lawson Hill to the Black Diamond Cemetery as eight of the miners were buried in one grave.

The Seattle Star reported that 1,500 people turned out for one funeral following the November 6, 1910, Lawson Mine disaster. Last rites were conducted at the St. Barbara Catholic Church. The procession stretched from the church on Lawson Hill to the Black Diamond Cemetery as eight of the miners were buried in one grave.

Eight of the ten bodies of the men who lost their lives on the Lawson slope of the Pacific Coast Coal Company’s mine at Black Diamond, were buried yesterday at the mining town. Eight caskets were lowered into one grave while almost the entire population of the town looked on. The recovery of the other two bodies today will be followed by an early burial because of their condition.

An inquest to determine the responsibility for the explosion which killed fifteen men on Sunday, November 6, will be conducted by Coroner James C. Snyder next Sunday. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 13, 1975

Labor Day 1975Black Diamond is polishing the lamp posts and sweeping its streets this week in preparation for its annual three-day Labor Day celebration.

The town is combining a bicentennial theme with celebration of its 25th year of Labor Day functions. The silver anniversary special begins on Saturday, August 30, with an adult dance at the Eagles Hall.

This Saturday, August 16, and the following Saturday, dances will be held on the street in front of King’s Tavern and a teen dance at the Parish Hall. Proceeds from both functions go to the Labor Day Committee.

Cari Ann Nelson, 14, and Marlene Bergstrom, 15, are in the running for queen of the holiday. The queen is chosen on the amount of Labor Day buttons sold. A drawing will be held with a $100 prize going to the holder of the lucky button.

This year’s Labor Day button, which sells for $1, features the Black Diamond city limits sign superimposed over a view of Mount Rainier. (more…)

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Originaly published in the Voice of the Valley, August 22, 1990

By Heather Larson

1990 - Miner - Pipe & Jug & Coal carSoap box rigs will be racing down Lawson Hill, bands will be marching up the Maple Valley Highway and softballs will be flying this weekend as Black Diamond residents take time out for their annual Labor Day Celebration.

Among the highlights scheduled is the Soap Box Derby which begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Anyone from age eight to 90 can race their rigs down Lawson Hill.

Everyone loves a parade and Black Diamond’s begins at 10 a.m. on Monday. The parade route begins at the senior housing development on SR 169 and runs northbound on the Maple Valley Highway to the ballfield. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Summer 2011

By Lou Draghi

Lou Draghi, Sr., left, and John Maks in one of the three coals mines Draghi operated during the 1950s.

Lou Draghi, Sr., left, and John Maks in one of the three coals mines Draghi operated during the 1950s.

Black Diamond has been noted for over a century for its abundance and quality of coal. Thousands and thousands of tons of coal have been mined in and around Black Diamond, an area rich in coal mining history.

My father, Louis Draghi, Sr., had three coal mines in what is now inside the city limits of Black Diamond. He had more than 42 years of mining experience, 20 of those years operating his own coal mines. Although the mines would be considered small operations—about four men—they proved to be successful and provided excellent income. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Spring 2012

By Ken Jensen

JANUARY 5, 1959, 4:15 A.M.

Jack Sperry snapped this photo in 1949 of his son, also Jack, and neighbor Linda Johnson sitting on KCFD 17’s first fire truck near Lake Sawyer.

Jack Sperry snapped this photo in 1949 of his son, also Jack, and neighbor Linda Johnson sitting on KCFD 17’s first fire truck near Lake Sawyer.

“We almost lost the town that day,” recalled Keith Timm, Sr., a former chief of King County Fire Protection District No. 17, based in Black Diamond. Joe Zumek and BDHS Treasurer Don Malgarini, both former volunteer firemen, nodded in agreement at a recent gathering at the Black Diamond Museum.

All three were on the scene of a massive blaze at the Black Diamond Presbyterian Church on Lawson Street that fateful morning—now more than 50 years ago—that also damaged the town’s library and three nearby homes. The site is now home to the Black Diamond Police Department.

“The wind was blowing 40 miles per hour, it was snowing, and burning shingles were blowing all the way down to Morganville,” said Timm. “It was somethin’ else.” The good news was that no one was injured.

“At about 5 o’clock it looked as if the whole town would go up in smoke,” Chief Thomas Zumek told the Enumclaw Herald at the time. “Snow and wind obscured our vision and made fire-fighting extremely difficult.”  (more…)

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