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Posts Tagged ‘Palmer Coking Coal Co.’

Originally published in The Seattle Times, July 5, 1988

By Scott Peterson

Peter Johnston puts up a sign for Maple Valley Medical at Four Corners Square near Black Diamond. The Four Corners area may attract Black Diamond businesses wishing to escape business and occupation taxes.

Black Diamond — After 18 years of doing business in Black Diamond, Ken Shigaya closed his pharmacy last year on Third Street. He said he didn’t have a choice.

“It was a matter of survival,” he said.

Shigaya recently moved four miles away into a building in direct competition with a nearby Safeway pharmacy.

Despite the drawbacks, he is happy he moved to Four Corners, a growing business center north of Black Diamond in unincorporated King County, at the intersection of state highways 169 and 516.

“There is potential for growth here,” Shigaya says of Four Corners. “Business is dying on the vine in Black Diamond.”

Shigaya is not the only one to recognize the economic problems facing Black Diamond. Because other businesses are threatening to leave the town of 1,200, city leaders are thinking about cutting business and occupation taxes, starting their own chamber of commerce and forming a central business district. (more…)

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

By Kathleen Kear

Ivan Gingrich, left, shares a laugh with Bill VanRuff, Bob Schuler, Bill Woodcock, and Jeff Snelling in celebration of the completion of refurbishment of the Black Diamond gymnasium. Gingrich and Schuler, who work for Tahoma School District’s maintenance department, volunteered to refinish the gym floor on their own time. VanRuff, Woodcock, and Snelling are members of Maple Valley Rotary, which donated labor and money to refurbish the gym.

Kids in the City of Black Diamond were so excited about their gym’s reopening, which had been a work in progress since being moved from the Black Diamond Elementary School in 1992, that they hopped on their bikes and made their way to the gym long before the celebration was set to begin on Saturday, June 23. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 2, 2003

By Kathleen E. Kear

Could this Black Diamond field become the site for a new King County Library?

Several months ago, the Black Diamond City Council held a public hearing on a request for a conditional site use permit for the King County Library System.

At that time, the library district was developing plans for a new library with parking and landscape improvements on a site on Jones Lake Road. Black Diamond City Council granted the request with special conditions. However, KCLS withdrew the application after citizens expressed concern about the site. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, July 2, 1997

By Paul Gottlieb
The Courier-Herald

Black Diamond playground took new shape last week as new playground equipment was installed. (Photo by Paul Gottlieb)

Like weekend warriors, a squad of 20 to 30 Black Diamond residents armed with rakes and shovels descend upon the town’s elementary school playground every Saturday to upgrade the only play area for children—and adults—for miles around.

By July 12, the volunteers and the heavy equipment operators they trail expect to complete a project that will double the size of the existing playground by expanding it into a field owned by Enumclaw School District. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 26, 1985

By Eulalia Tollefson

Map-gazing may not be a popular sport but it can reveal the darndest things, as Chris Ellingson of Black Diamond discovered recently.

While looking at a map of Alberta, Canada, Ellingson chanced upon a town named, coincidently, Black Diamond.

Imbued with a natural curiosity, Ellingson determined to learn something about the Canadian town that bears the name of her city. Because she is a firefighter in the Black Diamond—Washington, that is—Fire Department, and knowing nowhere else to begin, Ellingson called the Black Diamond, Alberta—fire department and exchanged pleasantries with Fire Chief Tom Gillis. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 14, 1989

Black Diamond’s Community Center Board voted unanimously Thursday to accept the First National Bank of Enumclaw’s offer of $285,000 for its abandoned bank building in Black Diamond. The center board plans to remodel the building for use as a senior and youth center.

The bank is selling the building for $40,000 less than the appraisal and will not rent space for a banking facility within the structure. (more…)

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Originally published in the South County Journal, June 4, 2002

King County considers purchasing Black Diamond property at four times its assessed value

By Mike Archbold
Journal Reporter

A public notice marks property off Jones Lake Road in Black Diamond where the King County Library System hopes to build a 5,200-square-foot library. (Matt Brashears/Journal)

BLACK DIAMOND — The King County Library System is prepared to pay more than four times the assessed value for a piece of view property for a new Black Diamond library.

It is assessed by the King County Assessor at $91,000 for 2002. The sale price, however, is $400,000 and the King County Libraries System is willing to pay the price. (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 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 Seattle Times, May 6, 1989

By Keith Ervin
Times South bureau

Black Diamond’s attempt to annex 790 acres of commercial timberland has received a boost from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

After reviewing the terms under which the federal government financed an $8 million sewer pipeline, EPA has concluded that the sewer line may be used to serve the annexation area. (more…)

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