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Posts Tagged ‘strikes’

Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 5, 1923

Black Diamond was saddened the past week by the accidental deaths of two of the men employed in the mine, Frank Eltz, inside laborer, who met his death on Wednesday, June 27, and Joe Spinks, inside laborer, who followed Eltz over the Divide two days later, Friday, June 29.

Eltz was 37 years of age, born in Austria, March 20, 1886. He came to the United States in 1913, and has been with the Pacific Coast Coal Company since August 1921. He was working in the gangway of the 12th level, north, at 5:30 p.m., when a large piece of rock fell from the roof, killing him instantly. (more…)

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Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Winter 2012/2013

By Ken Jensen

Frank Selleck’s home is in the foreground while the Selleck School is in the background. (Photo courtesy of Lloyd Qually.)

Frank Selleck’s home is in the foreground while the Selleck School is in the background. (Photo courtesy of Lloyd Qually.)

September 1, 1923—11:58 A.M. The Great Kanto Earthquake struck Japan, immediately followed by a 40-foot tsunami. And if that wasn’t enough, firestorms roared through what was left of the mostly wooden homes of Yokohama and Tokyo. In all, 140,000 dead; nearly 500,000 homes destroyed. Devastation unseen—that is, until an eerily-similar scene unfolded in Japan in March 2011.

As one of the largest inland mills in the Northwest, the Pacific States Lumber Company in Selleck landed a contract to produce the lumber required to help rebuild the shattered remains of the Japanese capital.

It was the roaring ‘20s and Selleck was booming. The town had two hotels, a hospital, a school, company houses, a dance hall, several saloons, a number of stores, and of course all manner of mill buildings. About 900 folks called Selleck home—600 to 700 working in the mill at its peak. Three shifts produced 150,000 board feet every eight hours.

Each day two passenger and four freight trains served the burgeoning population and the mill.

But prosperity didn’t last. (more…)

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Originally published in the News Journal, December 16, 1976

Confectionery Art Gallery

By Taffy Jacaway

Modern-day plastic surgery can’t hold a candle to the face-lifting that artists Les and Elaine Griffin have given to Black Diamond’s old confectionery building to turn it into a spacious display and sales spot for area artists and craftsmen.

The two-story structure, built in the early 1890s, at the corner of Baker and Railroad streets, is the largest remaining historical building in Black Diamond and boasts a colorful past. (more…)

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Originally published in the Globe News, July 4, 1976

By Bill Smull

Black Diamond youngsters face the future in Morgansville, a part of town which stands as a monument to the tenacity of the 1920s mine workers. Town’s elementary school may merge with Enumclaw; high school students already attend there.

Black Diamond youngsters face the future in Morgansville, a part of town which stands as a monument to the tenacity of the 1920s mine workers. Town’s elementary school may merge with Enumclaw; high school students already attend there.

Black Diamond. Since before the turn of the century the name has stood for a lusty, straightforward, down-to-earth community.

Its heritage is one of taking determined (or stubborn, if you were on the other side) stands on issues and backing up those stands with action, when necessary.

Like the bitter strike against Pacific Coast Coal Co. in early twenties, Black Diamond’s Union Stump stands encased in concrete behind the Morgansville Tavern, a memorial to the stubborn determination of miners who as early as 1907 began meeting on Tim Morgans’ land, just over the company’s property line, to discuss means of obtaining higher wages and better working conditions.

The stump is still there, but the mining business is all but gone; the last vestiges of local coal-mining activity are being phased out. A more vital memorial is Morgansville itself, a collection of tiny frame houses crowded together along narrow lanes, built with union materials and donated time to house miners who were thrown out of company housing during the bitter strike of the twenties. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 14, 1971

By Byron Johnsrud

This is another in the continuing series on communities in and around the Seattle area. Byron Johnsrud and Walt Woodward alternate as authors.

Evan Thomas and his Welsh heirlooms

Evan Thomas and his Welsh heirlooms

THE LATE Erie Stanley Gardner might have titled it “The Case of the Lively Ghost Town.”

Certainly any town that boasts only two industries, and one of them a bakery, might be suspected of a galloping case of civic senility.

Not so Black Diamond, the little South King County hamlet that certainly must be one of the few incorporated entities anywhere without a single stop-and-go light to stay the tourist hurrying to scenes of livelier action.

Black Diamond has only one “tourist trap,” the second of the two aforementioned industries. It is known afar and favorably as The Bakery. It has to be listed as an “industry” because it lures in money from the greater “outside.”

Man cannot live by bread alone but it might be fun to try it on the crunchy homemade loaves turned out by The Bakery in its massive, 68-year-old, wood-fired brick oven which burns 40 cords of wood a year browning those crunchy crusts to a fine turn. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, June 2, 1982

In its early, bustling heydays, a crowd of Black Diamond citizens gathered in front of the railroad depot (the dark building at right) to greet the train.

In its early, bustling heydays, a crowd of Black Diamond citizens gathered in front of the railroad depot (the dark building at right) to greet the train.

By Keith Ervin

Carl Steiert insists he didn’t know why one of his customers wanted him to solder a lid onto a copper wash tub.

Only later, he claims, did he realize the device was to become a still for making moonshine. Prohibition isn’t forgotten in Black Diamond.

In the historical museum that will open Sunday are what Steiert calls a “family size” still and a smaller, more personal size still. Out on the back porch of the railroad depot-turned-museum is a device the local historian calls “a commercial one.” (more…)

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Black Diamond Museum

Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 11, 1991

By Jon Hahn, Seattle P-I columnist

There was a time when everyone out in Black Diamond was known by a nickname.

Those were simpler days, when a Frenchman known as “Flying Frog” transported hard-drinking coal miners and liquor at breakneck speeds in his Model T over the rough roads between Black Diamond and Ravensdale.

Emil “Flying Frog” Raisin is gone now. So is Edward “Catfish” Banchero, and hundreds of others born or raised in and around Black Diamond when coal was king and everyone had a nickname.

As recently as 10 years ago, Black Diamond was a self-contained “town out in the country” where Seattleites drove to buy fresh-baked bread from a little brick oven bakery. The tiny bakery has tripled production and now is attached to a busy delicatessen, and tour buses are fixtures along Railroad Avenue. More businesses are growing on the edges of town, and there’s talk of several subdivisions and hundreds more homes coming. (more…)

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