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Posts Tagged ‘Palmer Coking Coal Co.’

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 Enumclaw Courier-Herald, October 26, 1988

By Brenda Berube
The Courier-Herald

After months of debate, Black Diamond City Council members denied developer Steve Metcalf a rezone on just under one acre of land near the John Henry No. 1 mine, where Metcalf was planning to build multifamily housing units. (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 Seattle Times, June 26, 1966

The mountain of coal outside the Rogers No. 3 shaft of the Palmer Coking Coal Co. operation near Black Diamond shows the extent of coal-mining activity that is still being carried on in King County.

The mountain of coal outside the Rogers No. 3 shaft of the Palmer Coking Coal Co. operation near Black Diamond shows the extent of coal-mining activity that is still being carried on in King County.

At one time, coal mining was a big operation in the Puget Sound area. Before the turn of the century, the black gold was being dug from foothill sites such as Carbonado and Black Diamond, Newcastle and Franklin, Renton and Ravensdale, Coal Creek and Issaquah. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 28, 1976

Coal is moving once again through the streets of Black Diamond, Friday, April 15. Four trucks from Moulden & Sons of Enumclaw, began bringing coal into the Palmer Coking Coal Company’s washing plant at the north end of town.

Each truck has a capacity of 12 tons and each truck makes up to 14 round trips a day so by our calculations that amounts to 672 tons per day! According to Wendell, one of the drivers, they will be hauling five days a week, at least until September. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 22, 1978

This big “mountain” behind the Hi-Lo shopping area in Black Diamond is a rock dump from coal mining operations of material “unusable at the present time,” Palmer Coal Company officials say. Any coal bed will consist of the coal plus layers of clay or high ash carbonaceous material which will have to be discarded to achieve a certain standard of quality for the salable product, and that is what this pile is. The pile grew between 1945 and two or three years ago. Other methods of discarding material are now being used. —Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

This big “mountain” behind the Hi-Lo shopping area in Black Diamond is a rock dump from coal mining operations of material “unusable at the present time,” Palmer Coal Company officials say. Any coal bed will consist of the coal plus layers of clay or high ash carbonaceous material which will have to be discarded to achieve a certain standard of quality for the salable product, and that is what this pile is. The pile grew between 1945 and two or three years ago. Other methods of discarding material are now being used. —Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

“Don’t buy your miner’s lamp yet!” Hugh McIntosh, public information manager for Seattle City Light, cautioned the Voice last week.

He referred to recently published reports regarding the possibility of reopening mining operations in the Green River coal fields, including the old mining towns of Black Diamond, Morganville, and Franklin. (more…)

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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…)

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