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Posts Tagged ‘Rock Creek’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, October 3, 1979

By Dianne Wilson

Quiet elegance, country charm, and comfortable atmosphere can all be used to describe The Dinner House, Black Diamond’s answer to the restaurant needs of the area. For the first time diners can enjoy a good meal in pleasant surroundings without driving a distance.

Last week my son Eric and I responded to the claim of “only the best.” Former patrons of Morganville Tavern would not recognize the place. Walls and ceilings are a warm, deep rose-red. Antique lovers will appreciate the authentic tables and chairs, interspersed with quality pieces including a lonely old sideboard and a china closet with beveled glass, as well as old-style bric-a-brac. (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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Originally published in the Seattle Times, November 10, 1963

By Lucile McDonald

When this photograph was taken, water behind the masonry dam was at a low level. Line, about midway up, indicates high water level of the reservoir.

When this photograph was taken, water behind the masonry dam was at a low level. Line, about midway up, indicates high water level of the reservoir.

One of the curiosities uncovered during freeway construction was a tar-coated 40-inch steel pipe laid down the west side of Capital Hill. Two sections were dug out and discarded for scrap, the rest was plugged with cement and left buried in the slope.

Workmen who witnessed removal of this obstacle to the path of progress may not have known they were viewing the penstock which fed Cedar River water into the first electric power plant on Lake Union. The public has forgotten thoroughly the function of a small structure hemmed in by the King County Welfare Department’s medical service office and the City Light’s stand-by steam plant at Eastlake Avenue and Nelson Place.

The building is completely empty except for a table and chairs in a room used as a voting precinct once or twice a year. If you go around in back, you can see where Lake Union once lapped at the base of the rear wall and a tail race poured out water from the Volunteer Park reservoir after its force had driven the Pelton bucket wheel of the old electric generator inside the little building.

The pipes carried the reservoir overflow down the hill, one being the penstock and the other a drain, still in use, that had been relocated at a lower level.

Through these pipes, Cedar River water mingled with Lake Union and flowed out into Salmon Bay before there was a ship canal.

The Cedar has been much manipulated by man. Its water flows into hundreds of thousands of homes and the current it generates partially lights them. It supplies most of the make-up water needed to operate the ship canal’s Chittenden Locks. (more…)

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