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Posts Tagged ‘mine accidents’

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…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 27, 1926

Miss Velma Hull demonstrates the Simpson Signaling Life Line, invented by Homer Blair and used for the first time at the Mine Rescue and First Aid Meet in Burnett last Saturday. (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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 13, 1926

Scenes in the Garden of Eden could not have been more attractive than are the orchards of Wenatchee and Eastern Washington each spring when the apple trees are in full blossom. Against a background of jagged, snow-capped peaks, and nestled in the soft green of verdant clover and alfalfa, the exquisite beauty of the pale pink and white blossoms is beyond compare.

Until recently the orchardist was helpless against the blighting touch of late spring frosts, but thanks to the introduction of Diamond Briquets he is now able to protect his blossoming trees by heating his orchard. The picture shows a typical scene in the Wenatchee Valley. (Photo copyright by J.D. Wheeler.) (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, May 13, 2011

By Timothy Martinell

An old coal cart sits where the town of Franklin once stood by the Green River. The cart was donated by the Palmer Coking Coal Company. TJ Martinell, The Reporter

I have to admit, when I first went to Black Diamond, I didn’t think I’d be introduced to the mayor of a ghost town.

When I first spoke to Keith Watson, director of the Black Diamond Historical Society, I expressed my interest in Franklin, the nearby ghost town. After discussing how to get there, he looked at me with a subtle grin and asked, “Do you want to meet the mayor?”

At first, I wasn’t sure if he was being funny or not, but then he walked into another room. A few moments later, he reappeared with another man: Don Mason, the “mayor” of Franklin. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, May 6, 1926

Thirteen years ago, in the year 1913, Black Diamond boasted a juvenile First Aid Team of which Al McBlaine, now master mechanic at Burnett, was the coach. The halftone shown herewith was made from a rather faded photograph in the possession of Supt. Paul Gallagher, of Black Diamond. But one member of this team, Paul J. Gallagher, is now in the employ of the company. Edwin Swanson, another member of the team, is a brother of Mrs. Elsie Upton, of the Accounting Department.

These First Aid boys, in Boy Scout uniforms, are still remembered for their participation in the famous Preparedness Day parade in Seattle before this country entered the World War. Those in the picture, from left to right, are; Jack Mitchell, Laurence Plano, Edwin Swanson, Donald Weston, Paul J. Gallagher, and Wm. Morgan. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 3, 1961

By Frank Lynch

Richard H. Parry and son Elvede with account of mine disaster (Post-Intelligencer photo).

Found (and at long, long last)—

A regional folk song and a regional hero.

Richard H. Parry lives at 4429 Rainier Ave. He was born in Wales, and he is a retired coal miner.

Some several weeks ago one of his sons, Arthur, found a Welsh language Bible at Goodwill. He bought same, presented it to his dad, and the elder Parry was delighted with it—and for several reasons.

The Bible is a handsome one—and well-illustrated. It is certainly very old.

There were several bits of Americana hidden in the pages—a Blue Ribbon Army (Temperance) pledge card, some Christmas cards, and scraps of Welsh verse and copy of a song sung over our own land by one W.D. Reese and entitled—

“The disaster at Franklin.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, April 20, 2012

By TJ Martinell

A World War II memorial wall, which uses a cascading granite design. The Black Diamond Historical Society intends to use this design for its miner’s memorial wall.

The Black Diamond Historical Society is working on plans to erect a memorial statue and wall outside of its building.

According to President Keith Watson, the historical society started the project about two months ago after members visited the coal mining town of Roslyn near Cle Elum. (more…)

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Originally published in the Kent News Journal, April 16, 1987

By Bruce Rommel
Staff Reporter

Black Diamond city employee Larry Marks, on ground, Carl Steiert and Ted Barner inspect one of damaged monuments. Staff photo by Bruce Rommel.

Julia Gallagher was only 15 when she died on April 18, 1889. Somebody remembers. They regularly clean the ornate marble marker over her grave at the Black Diamond Cemetery.

Brushed and scrubbed to a dull white, Julia’s monument stood out amidst dozens of aged and graying monuments, making it a tempting target two nights ago.

It was one of nearly 40 historic monuments toppled or broken by vandals in the cemetery, where early residents of the coal-mining community were first laid to rest in wood coffins in the 1880s. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 15, 1926

One of the institutions in Carbonado of which the camp is justly proud is the splendid Union Sunday School which recently passed the 100 mark in its membership. Mrs. J.W.L. Kaufman is the efficient superintendent of the Sunday School. She is assisted by a loyal corps of teachers and officers, all of whom are striving to make the organization even greater and better than it now is.

The Sunday School is undenominational, and it is unique in that all denominations and creeds represented are working in perfect harmony for the upbuilding of the religious and moral life of the community. (more…)

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