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Posts Tagged ‘saloons’

Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 8, 2011

By TJ Martinell

Gomer Evans, Sr. spars with an opponent in a match held at the town’s baseball field. The referee is George Avers, who also played on the Black Diamond baseball team.

At the turn of the century in Black Diamond the sport of boxing was a popular form of entertainment.

As a coal mining town, where all of the men worked long hours performing manual labor, it was capable of producing more than a few big, muscular men who could knock someone out with a single punch.

“We were all tough little buggers,” said Jack Thompson, who grew up on Baker Street.

Carl Steiert said as a boy he’d be shining shoes in the barbershop when boxers would put on their trunks in the back end room and warm up. His recollections were published in the book Black Diamond: Mining the Memories. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, July 6, 2012

By TJ Martinell

Black Diamond miners ride the car down into the mine. The car was lowered by a cable from the surface. The car was designed to stop if the cable was severed to prevent it from crashing.

A typical “day at the office” for the 820 or so men who worked in Mine 11 in Black Diamond at the turn of the century involved darkness, potential disasters and long hours of hard work thousands of feet beneath the surface.

The morning shifts started at 7:30 a.m. Work shifts ranged from eight to 10 hours, six days a week.

As Miners Day—which is set for this weekend—approached Don Mason and Don Malgarini of the Black Diamond Historical Society reflected on what the average day was like for a coal miner.

“There wasn’t a lot of office jobs,” Mason said. “They worked their butts off.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, June 8, 1993

Gary Platt, who owns the Black Diamond Saloon, shown behind him, calls the planned road to funnel traffic off Washington 169 into downtown Black Diamond a positive step. Opponents of the project worry about increased traffic. (AP Laserphoto)

BLACK DIAMOND (AP) — This community in the shadow of Mount Rainier is at a crossroads, considering a “tourist loop” that would capitalize on its glory days as a booming turn-of-the-century coal town.

But the idea is anathema to some folks who like life just the way it is in this quiet community of 1,400 people just off Washington 169.

Downtown Black Diamond is a small cluster of nearly century-old buildings that hasn’t changed significantly in decades.

Tourists passing through, especially on weekends, may visit the Black Diamond Bakery, whose reputation goes beyond the city limits. And they may stroll down Baker Street and check out the town’s arts and crafts gallery, saloon, museum, and barber shop. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, April 21, 1993

By J.C. Long
The Courier-Herald

The aroma of fresh-baked bread wafting from the Black Diamond Bakery has drawn many loaf lovers to the city and its surrounding areas.

Unfortunately, the bakery lies on the west side of town and can’t be seen from Highway 169. In the past, that’s been a problem for first-time visitors, but soon, even the olfactory impaired will have no problem finding the bakery or any other of the city’s landmark businesses. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, February 12, 1987

Black Diamond Store (left) and Saloon.

Black Diamond Store (left) and Saloon.

Three ordinances and a large water bill topped a brief Black Diamond city council meeting February 5.

The water bill in question belongs to William Hutchinson, owner of the Black Diamond Saloon. His one-month water usage totaled 7,245 cubic feet, or more than 54,000 gallons of water.

“I just don’t see how I could have used that much water in a month,” Hutchinson said. “I did have a couple urinals that were running, but I backed them off a bit.”

At the meeting, Hutchinson quipped that the city’s new 500,000 gallon water reservoir be built much larger. “I’m gonna use it all up in about 10 months,” he said, laughing. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, January 23, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The town of Fairfax, declared the “prettiest mining town around,” showing the turn-table at the extreme right above center. Mine buildings are in front and the school is on the left. Carbon River runs through the trees at the top or the photo. (Original copy from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Basselli.) Photo courtesy of Steve Meitzler, Heritage Quest Press, Orting, WA., publisher of the book, Carbon River Coal Country.

Riding the Northern Pacific Railroad to the upper end of the Carbon River Canyon or tooling along to Mount Rainier in a Model T, tourists would pass close to three mining towns: Melmont, Fairfax, and Montezuma.

First, beyond Carbonado, was Melmont, situated between the Carbon River and the NPR line. A bridge spanning the Carbon River ran between the company hotel and the saloon with the depot and school on the hillside above. On the left end of the bridge was the road connecting to Fairfax. This bridge was nearly a little beyond the high bridge which spans the canyon today. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, November 16, 2005

Wally’s World

By Wally DuChateau

Pick and Shovel restaurant and bar in Wilkeson.

Thirty years ago, over drinks with some local friends, I predicted the imminent demise of small-town Enumclaw. There wasn’t anything especially insightful about this prophecy. In fact, most of my friends agreed with me.

At the time, I also suggested that anyone nostalgic for Enumclaw’s vanishing small-town ambiance should migrate to Wilkeson or Carbonado. In general that advice has also proved sound.

Until recently. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, August 31, 1994

Wally’s World by W.J. DuChateau

You may recall the time Evelyn pelted her husband, Joe, with eggs. It happened at one of the Black Diamond’s “egg contests,” in which couples try to softly catch eggs that are lofted back and forth between partners. But toward the end of this particular contest, things disintegrated into a general free-for-all; to paraphrase Ken Kesey’s popular observation, the game turned into a first-class egg-storm. Just ask Joe. (If you’re so inclined, it’s a wonderful way to garner revenge on your spouse.)

Or maybe you recall scrambling about in a pile of straw or shavings, anxiously searching for a few pennies, nickels, or dimes—the exact denomination depending upon the year and inflation rate at the time. But no matter how valuable the coins, you literally beamed with the joy and excitement of finding them.

It was called, perhaps inaccurately, a “penny hunt.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 12, 1986

Black Diamond Store (left) and Saloon.

Black Diamond Store (left) and Saloon.

The Black Diamond city council Thursday unanimously granted a cabaret license to one tavern in the city, and in a split vote denied a license to another tavern.

The action came at the regular council meeting at city hall which was preceded by a public hearing on the licensing.

The council gave Jay Lewis of Black Diamond, who owns the Boots Tavern, a license to operate based on a police department report on the tavern located at 31119 3rd Street.

Councilmen Ben Gingrich and Rich Palmer voted against a license requested by the Black Diamond Saloon, however, located at 32707 Railroad Avenue. The vote was 3-2. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 10, 2002

By Barbara Nilson

Rainbow Sparkles Campfire group of Glacier Park Elementary pause before planting flowers along the driveway at the new Ravensdale post office, April 2. Back row: Lindsay Hanson, Annie Harris, Jenny Harris, Amanda Stam, Brittany Ferguson, and Desiree MacKinnon, assistant; front row: Emily Gillmore, Kaylie Holcomb of Shadow Lake, Samantha MacKinnon, and Elizabeth Burianek. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

Streams of visitors surveyed the spacious new Ravensdale post office, April 2, some bearing gifts to the open house. Maple Woods Polygon donated two 6-foot cedar trees, Maple Valley Campfire troop planted bulbs, and guests contributed plants.

Guests were treated to cake decorated with a picture of the post office by CJs Bakery in Black Diamond. Jim Storer, owner of CJs, donated doughnuts for the occasion. The cake noted that the post office was celebrating 100 years of existence.

Postmaster Jennie Lee Noonan mused that the community has certainly changed from the first of the of 18 postmasters to today. The number of boxes in the new post office has doubled from the 547 when Noonan started in 1995 to 1,098 now.

At the turn of the century, the company town of Ravensdale was the third largest in King County and the nearby community of Georgetown supported 11 saloons and three dance halls, catering to the miners before the disaster of 1915 killed 31 miners. (more…)

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