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Posts Tagged ‘Nortonville’

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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By Bill Kombol

King County Assessor tax parcel No. 112106-9035

The location of the Black Diamond branch of Mount Rainier Bank [Columbia Bank, 2019] has a short, but interesting history.

The property is located in the south half of Section 11, Township 21 North, Range 6 East, W.M. Like all odd-numbered sections in this area, the property in Section 11 was originally part of a land grant by the United States to the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1873 for construction of a transcontinental railroad. In adjacent even-numbered sections, the Black Diamond Coal Mining Company had begun mining coal after moving their operations north from the Mount Diablo coal fields near Nortonville, California, east of San Francisco. (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 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 23, 1900

Entombed in a deadly pocket

T.A. Davis, one of the oldest coal miners on the coast, caught in the rush of burning fluid and held to his death—comrades work to find his body—two workmen were badly injured

One man is entombed in a pocket of terrible coal gas and doubtless dead and two are seriously burned as a result of an explosion in one of the Black Diamond mines at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning.

The man believed to be dead is T.A. Davis, one of the oldest employees of the company.

The injured are Maurice Roccia and a miner named Kline. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, Summer 2018

By William Kombol

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

This spring photographer Bob Dobson stumbled upon a short section of railroad hidden amongst a dense forest near Lake Sawyer. He took a photo that inspired a question: “Who laid these rusty rails?”

Little did he know the answer is the story behind the men who founded Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe-News, March 19, 1976

Can you believe this is what our present museum building looked like in 1976 when our original “work parties” began? Left to right: Louis Zumek, Chuck Holtz, Carl Steiert, and Archie Eltz. (BDHS calendar series, 1986)

Can you believe this is what our present museum building looked like in 1976 when our original “work parties” began? Left to right: Louis Zumek, Chuck Holtz, Carl Steiert, and Archie Eltz. (BDHS calendar series, 1986)

Restoration of the circa 1885 train depot on Railroad Avenue in Black Diamond slowed down during cold weather, said Ann Steiert, member of Black Diamond Historical Society.

“Volunteers have been working on shoring up the foundation and as soon as the weather breaks they will finish jacking it up, put in some new timbers, and a concrete footing.

“We have applied for a grant from Washington Historical Society to make the depot into a museum, but the bulk of our working funds have come from the sale of our 13-month historical calendar. We have $1,500 to go toward furnishing and framing the interior.”

Ms. Steiert said the museum depot was most likely the first structure in Black Diamond when the Welsh miners from Nortonville, Calif., came to mine in Black Diamond.

“They probably pitched their tents around the depot before they built cabins,” she said. (more…)

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Originally published in the BDHS newsletter, February 1980

C&PS Engine 18 photographed in Black Diamond before 1916. Type: 4-4-0; Builder, Alco-Brooks; Const. No. 48295; Date built, July 1910; Drivers 62; Cyls 18x24; Total Wt. 110,000.

C&PS Engine 18 photographed in Black Diamond before 1916. Type: 4-4-0; Builder, Alco-Brooks; Const. No. 48295; Date built, July 1910; Drivers 62; Cyls 18×24; Total Wt. 110,000.

The Black Diamond Company wanted a railroad completed as quickly as possible because the Mt. Diablo coal field was declining fast. Surveying began under the Oregon Improvement Company in April 1882 for a Columbia and Puget Sound Cedar River extension. (more…)

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