Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Mud Lake’

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…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, November 1992

By Ann Steiert

Fire District No. 17's 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper (Photo courtesy Bill Kombol)

Fire District No. 17’s 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper (Photo courtesy Bill Kombol)

For the past several months the subject of arson and fires being set has dominated many newscasts. Reading and hearing all these reports has made us think about how fire protection came to be in our town.

When the town was first started there was a great hazard from fires for the homes were all heated by stoves and fireplaces. There was no water system as we know it now. It was quite a while before there were hydrants and trucks. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, February 1985

By Diane Olson

Skaters on Lake 14 – now JONES LAKE, just off the Enumclaw-Black Diamond Road – circa 1915. Pictured are John Bartoluzzi, Leonard Pierotti, Albert (Shorty) Jones, Jack Jones, and Tom Davies. (BDHS Calendar Series, 1983)

Skaters on Lake 14, circa 1915. Pictured are John Bartoluzzi, Leonard Pierotti, Albert (Shorty) Jones, Jack Jones, and Tom Davies. (BDHS Calendar Series, 1983)

“If you think it’s cold now, you should have been here during the winter of …” Stories that begin this way are not tall tales. This is the way winters were according to Carl Steiert, Jim Vernarelli, Francis Marchx, and Jean Marchx Whitehill.

“Lake 14 used to freeze solid,” said Carl Steiert. “They used to even take teams of horses on it. Even Lake Sawyer used to freeze over and that’s quite a good-sized lake. They used to play hockey, too. Of course Mud Lake was the first to freeze because it was shallow.”

Jean Whitehill and Francis Marchx remember how their dad would harvest ice from Mud Lake during the dead of winter. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally presented at the October 24, 2010, general membership meeting

By Clayton H. Mead

Houses from the Lawson Mine were moved to current-day Lawson Street, here shown circa 1950.

Houses from the Lawson Mine were moved to current-day Lawson Street, here shown circa 1950.

Sometime during the summer time of 1937 my dad, Charley Mead, bought house #387 on Lawson Hill from the Pacific Coast Coal Co. for about $300.

The house was like most of the houses on both sides of Lawson Street: Two bedrooms, living room and dining room with a kitchen; and wood or coal burning stoves. Most had a cellar door in the back of them for a fruit cellar. They had running water and electricity, but the bathrooms were out near the back alley, which was for delivery of coal or the woodpile.

Most of the other houses on both sides of the street were empty at the time. The Botts lived on the other side of the street. Dick and Don Martin lived in the house right next to us, which was a much larger home.

The Conrads lived in the last house up the hill on the same side of the road as we lived on. It was just a road at that time. Streets weren’t named until later. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, October 2005

By Mary (Savicke) Keehner

Today Mud Lake is the site of the closed John Henry Mine on the outskirts of town.

Today Mud Lake is the site of the closed John Henry Mine on the outskirts of town.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 27, 1910. I was about 2 when we moved to Black Diamond and lived on Lawson Hill for 23 years. We were the only Lithuanian family in town and were often called the Russians. I attended school in Black Diamond from 1916 through high school in 1928. Mr. Weatherbee was principal through all those years. My first grade teacher was Miss Daisy Haslett.

Although Black Diamond has changed so much and is so different from the beautiful place where I grew up, it is still beautiful. I have so many wonderful memories of my life growing up in Black Diamond on Lawson Hill.

One of my fondest memories is of Mud Lake. This little lake was right along side of our land, it was a beautiful lake surrounded on all sides with trees and shrubs of all kinds. There was only one shore—a small one where one could approach the lake and it was the closest to our land. To get to it one had to cross at the farthest end of our land, which was open to anyone. The other approach was via an old railroad track from downtown. (more…)

Read Full Post »