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Posts Tagged ‘Ravensdale’

Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 1, 2011

By TJ Martinell

Black Diamond baseball field, circa 1915.

The Black Diamond baseball field during a game.

Coal mining towns have always been a point of fascination to me.

There were two things which prompted my interest as a kid. The first was when my family took a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. The Calico Mine Ride, a train tour into an animatronic coal mine, had a way sparking the imagination of a precocious 3-year-old whose head was already in the clouds.

The second reason was both historical and personal. My ancestor, John Bush, was one of the first white people born in the Issaquah Valley where there was a very active coal mining industry. When I was around 9 years old, my grandfather gave me a special coin commemorating the formation of the Royal Arch Mason Chapter 39 in Issaquah—dated September 22, 1914, with John Bush’s name engraved on the back.

So, when I first went to Black Diamond in search of a story, I was already interested in what the town had to offer in terms of history. While I was writing articles about Franklin and Welsh heritage, however, I became more interested in their prolific sports history.

At the front desk of the museum is a glass exhibit of their sports legacy; old baseball uniforms, basketball trophies, soccer team portraits, and autographed baseballs. It wasn’t hard for me to perceive the kind of significance sports had there. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 30, 1957

By H.J. Glover

Pedagogue and three generations: Mrs. Lulu Kombol (center), Selleck schoolteacher, talks with Tom Mattioda, who was in her classes years and years ago. At right is Mattioda’s daughter, Mrs. Betty Ljungdahl, also a former student. Children, now in Mrs. Kombol’s classes, are Mrs. Ljungdahl’s. They are (from left) Bruce, six; Eva Louise, seven; and Leon, eight. Mrs. Kombol has taught 52 years. — Photo by H.J. Glover.

SELLECK, June 28.— After 52 years of school teaching on these lush, green slopes of the Cascade mountains, Mrs. Lulu Kombol still is convinced there is no juvenile delinquency.

Oh, there’s delinquency all right, Mrs. Kombol firmly says, but it’s parental delinquency—the lost ends of the human universe weaning their offspring on the milk of failure.

“In this modern age of broken-homes, can-openers, liquor, and blood and thunder movies, children fail to get the idols-and-ideals, which only parents can give,” Mrs. Kombol said. (more…)

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Originally published in the South County Journal, June 28, 2002

Black Diamond resident has fun while he pans for gold in local rivers

By Mary Swift
Journal Reporter

Black Diamond resident Sean Taeschner has been panning for gold for eight years. In 1999, he wrote a field guide, ‘Finding Gold In Washington State,’ and published it as an ‘e-book’ that can be bought on a disk or downloaded from the Internet.

BLACK DIAMOND — Sean Taeschner has mining in his blood.

His grandfather was a miner.

So was his great grandfather.

They mined for coal.

Taeschner?

He goes after gold.

The 32-year-old Black Diamond resident makes his living as a self-employed contractor and substitute teacher for the Kent School District.

But his passion is panning for gold. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 15, 1911

Quarterly apportionment made to various districts of King County

M.E. Durham, deputy county superintendent, yesterday completed the last quarterly apportionment to the various school districts of the county. The total amount distributed was $580,572.55, of which $314,662.19 was from the state fund and $265,909.86 from the county fund. The apportionment was 7.6 cents per day’s attendance and $75 per teacher employed.

Those districts receiving more than $1,200 were: Seattle, $46,394; Renton, $9,160; Kent, $8,327; Auburn, $7,935; Foster, $4,740; Enumclaw, $4,175; Black Diamond, $4,035; Bothell, $3,918; Oak Lake, $3,805; Issaquah, $3,124; Ravensdale, $2,084; Richmond, $1,989; Kennydale, $1,833; Bellevue, $1,779; Kirkland, $1,700; Newcastle, $1,676; Redmond, $1,601; North Bend, $1,518; Des Moines, $1,520; Fall City, $1,337; Pacific, $1,218.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 7, 2005

During the news release of the landmark agreement concerning the Black Diamond Area Open Space Protection Agreement, Black Diamond Mayor Howard Botts celebrated the announcement with King County’s Executive Ron Sims; Council Chair Larry Phillips; Council member Carolyn Edmonds, also chair of the Natural Resources and Utilities Committee; President of the Cascade Land Conservancy Gene Duvenoy; Bob Jirsa, director of Corporate Affairs, Plum Creek Timber; Donna Brathovde, Friends of Rock Creek, and representatives of the Back Country Horsemen, and a number of mountain bikers rallied together by Black Diamond Bike and Backcountry which has helped place Black Diamond on the map of mountain biking destinations. Photo by Kathleen Kear (Voice of the Valley, June 14, 2005).

Conserving 4,500 acres of open space and forests while promoting smart growth within King County’s growing communities are the impetus for a model land deal unveiled this week for the environs of the City of Black Diamond. The deal is being driven with relatively little cash and more land swapping and transfer of rights.

The Black Diamond Open Space Agreement announced this week by King County Executive Ron Sims will protect 1,600 acres of forestland known as Ravensdale Ridge, conserve 15 miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails, trigger federal funds to protect an additional 2,000 acres of forestland, contain growth within the urban area, and complement it with more than 500 acres of open space and parks within the city. (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 Maple Valley Neighbors, May 2020

By JoAnne Matsumura
Maple Valley Historical Society

The following lines were written by Clyde Ferguson, a Navy boy, to his mother, Mrs. W.S. Ferguson. Clyde recently came near to a tragic death when his ship was barely saved from sinking. The crew labored at the pumps for eight days, and were all but exhausted when help finally came. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 23, 1911

Government demonstration coach on way to Sound to pass three days more

Mine rescue car in Black Diamond.

Government Mine Rescue Car No. 5 will arrive in Seattle May 1 and will be at the fire station of the University of Washington for three days, according to an announcement made yesterday by the mine bureau officials in charge of the car.

The car and its crew are now at Bayne. April 28 it will be at Ravensdale, and from there will proceed to Tacoma. Other dates for the car follow:

Renton, May 5; Issaquah, May 6; Newcastle, May 8; Taylor, May 9; Black Diamond and Franklin, May 12 to 14.

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, April 21, 1995

By George Erb
Valley Daily News

Front-end loader, above, shovels dirt and rock into a truck to expose coal. (Valley Daily News photo by Marcus R. Donner.)

BLACK DIAMOND — In the earliest days, miners would tromp out of the tent city that was Black Diamond and go underground to pry coal from the earth with hand tools and explosives.

More than a century later, most work takes place in broad daylight at the John Henry Mine on the outskirts of town. The John Henry is an open pit, and even when the sun sets behind the debris piles, the work goes on under the glare of floodlights mounted on diesel generators.

Today’s miners are more likely to wrestle a steering wheel than swing a pick. For the most part, they are heavy equipment operators who drive oversized bulldozers, trucks, and front-end loaders. (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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