Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Mine #11’

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, June 2020

By Bill Kombol

Frank Manowski operating the drum hoist, January 1973.

There are a number of old coal slag piles in and around Black Diamond and Franklin. Most are covered with trees or blackberries. To the novice they appear to be just another hill. The largest is over a million cubic yards and rises 100-feet above the surrounding landscape. It’s located west of State Route 169 behind Palmer Coking Coal’s mine office.

This is the story of that mountain and the man most instrumental in building it. His name was Frank Manowski. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 6, 2012

By TJ Martinell

Black Diamond miners ride the car down into the mine. The car was lowered by a cable from the surface. The car was designed to stop if the cable was severed to prevent it from crashing.

A typical “day at the office” for the 820 or so men who worked in Mine 11 in Black Diamond at the turn of the century involved darkness, potential disasters and long hours of hard work thousands of feet beneath the surface.

The morning shifts started at 7:30 a.m. Work shifts ranged from eight to 10 hours, six days a week.

As Miners Day—which is set for this weekend—approached Don Mason and Don Malgarini of the Black Diamond Historical Society reflected on what the average day was like for a coal miner.

“There wasn’t a lot of office jobs,” Mason said. “They worked their butts off.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 3, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Kummer coal/clay bunkers (November 13, 1951 #262106-9022) This coal/clay bunker or storage/ processing facility is believed to have been built in 1944 by the Kummer Coal Company and was later operated by the Johnson Coal Company and Palmer Coking Coal Co., Inc. Its capacity was listed as 150 tons. It was originally built as a coal bunker, but later used for clay. The Kummer mine was unique in that both coal and fire clay were mined. Following mining, slabs of mill end wood were laid on the ground and covered first with coal and then with freshly mined clay. The wood/coal base was set on fire and the clay was burned to rid it of carbon contaminants. The resulting clay was sold to Gladding McBean in Renton for the production of bricks. The Kummer clay beds were founded by Jacob Sants on August 15, 1888, and named for George Kummer, ceramist for the Denny Clay Company. This site is located south of the Green River and west of SR-169 on property now owned by Washington State Parks and Recreation in Section 26-21-6. (Note: King County Assessor photo.) From “When Coal Was King,” April 7, 2009, by Bill Kombol.

Though the clay and coal mining town of Kummer no longer exists, motorists traveling out of Black Diamond today may turn right on to S.E. 352th from the Maple Valley highway and cross the Green River on what the locals still refer to as the “Kummer bridge.”

William Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co. explains some of the history, “In addition to their appetite for coal, the growing cities of the Puget Sound also needed deposits of clay, one of the prime ingredients in paving and building bricks. Clay was first discovered in this area near Kummer (an area now occupied by Flaming Geyser State Park) by Jacob Sant in 1888.

The deposit and the town were named for George Kummer, a ceramist and engineer for the Denny Clay Company. In 1905, two local companies joined to form the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company which by 1917 was producing 58 million bricks per year. (more…)

Read Full Post »

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

The former railroad depot, built in 1886, in Black Diamond now houses the Historical Society Museum. Down Railroad Avenue the current book store is visible. It has also been King’s Tavern. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

Featured speaker at the Maple Valley Reunion, Sunday, Feb. 25th, will be Mayor Howard Botts of Black Diamond. The 1 p.m. program at the Grange Hall on Highway 169 at 216th is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society.

Mayor Botts, who was born and raised in Black Diamond, will relate the histories of the two towns and how they have been connected over the years by the highway, the railroad, once upon a time, as well as other similarities. He’ll also discuss, “what is coming down the road; hopefully, new homes and new businesses.”

He said, “It is always interesting to talk about my home town.” Botts has served as mayor for 24 years and before that served several terms on the City Council in the 1960s and then during the 1970s, he was a member of the Planning Community. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in The Seattle Star, October 30, 1906

While famine is threatened in this city coal mine owners are first supplying the wants of San Francisco and Alaska—output also being curtailed

Seattle is threatened by a coal famine. Already prices of coal have been raised so that today Seattle householders are paying from $1 to $2 more per ton than they were two months ago. The excuse given for this raise is that there is today a shortage of coal.

To old customers coal dealers are suggesting that if they would not suffer later in the winter orders for a full season’s supply should be given at once. The Star has endeavored to discover the cause of this shortage and probable famine. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, October 22, 1925

With representatives present from Renton and Seattle, together with mining men from over the state and the official family of the Pacific Coast Coal Company, the New Black Diamond Mine was formally opened last Friday, October 16.

N.D. Moore, vice-president, pulled the switch which set off the final blast breaking down the 9-foot barrier of solid rock separating the two tunnels on which work had progressed for more than a year. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, October 8, 1925

Playing good, consistent ball throughout the entire season, the Black Diamond baseball team ended up with flying colors, the champions of the Pacific Coast Coal League for 1925. Saturday night, October 10, the team will celebrate the close of the season with a banquet at the hotel.

In the picture, left to right, front row—F.C. Bergmann, secretary of the club; Geo. Spencer, Johnny Buck, Pete Gallagher, mascot; Neil Andreson, Mike Naffer, H.J. Babb, manager; back row Geo. Allen, treasurer; Grover Kertis, captain: L. Pierotti, Joe Daley, E. Moon Mullen, S. Paxton, Lou LaFray, Joe Snorski, and Wm. Nicholson, president. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, September 24, 1925

Though these men are not on jury duty no court could find a more impartial nor fair-minded group than the Black Diamond supervisors shown in the accompanying halftone. For confirmation of this statement just ask any miner or workman employed at the mine. The group, from left to right, includes, Jack Emmanuel, Richard Parry, Tom Edwards, E.D. Rockey, and Robt. Cruickshank. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, September 10, 1925

That all men who ride coal trips are not coal miners is proven by this picture. The Bulletin photographer caught this trip just before it started for the twelfth level of Black Diamond Mine, where more than 1,500 feet below sea level, an attempt was made by radio experts to log some of the programs with which the air above the surface is charged. But the mine was too deep for the radio waves.

Cager Victor McDonald and Supt. Paul Gallagher are shown on the rear end, with Manager of Mines D.C. Botting in the car. Joe Bennett and Maj. S.E. Hutton are in the lower car. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 13, 1925

Probably the deepest beneath the earth’s surface at which a radio test was ever made, representatives of the Radio Corporation of America and Sherman, Clay Co., of Seattle, with officials of the Pacific Coast Coal Company, recently attempted to log Seattle broadcasting stations from the 12th level of Black Diamond mine. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »