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Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 25, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

This historic photo shows the crowd waiting at the top of the shaft as the bodies are brought out after the Ravensdale mine explosion November 15, 1915, that killed 31 men. (Renton Historical Society collection).

The Homestead Act of 1863 and the completion of the Northern Pacific Railway from the East Coast in 1882 brought immigrants from Wales, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Austria, and Yugoslavia seeking land of their own. Many of them were miners in the “old country” and worked their way across the U.S., settling in the rich coal area of Ravensdale, just down the road from 4-Corners or Summit as it was formerly named.

Some sources say that Ravensdale was first developed as a lumber mill on the lake and called Sawmill Lake and Sawmill Town circa 1885. Records show that a prospector named William Peak discovered coal in the area around 1890. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, July 10, 2013

By Dennis Box
Editor

After years of planning and hard work the Black Diamond Coal Miners Memorial was unveiled Saturday during the city’s Miners Day celebration.

The honor garden memorial includes a 13-foot bronze statue sculpted by Ellensburg artist Paul Crites and a 28-foot granite wall, engraved with the names of miners who have died in mines throughout Washington state. Engraved bricks are at the base of the statue and wall. Surrounding the memorial and historical museum is a landscaped garden.

According to Black Diamond Historical Society President Keith Watson, the idea for the memorial began years ago, but started in earnest about two years ago when he and former Black Diamond Mayor Howard Botts, and their wives made a trip to Roslyn, Wash. They saw a Roslyn coal miners memorial and that was the inspiration. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 23, 2015

By Kathleen Kear

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) presented long-time Black Diamond resident Gomer Evans with a national Distinguished Citizen Medal.

Making his way to the Black Diamond Library with his daughter Sherrie Evans, who wanted to pick up a library book, Gomer Evans, long-time Black Diamond community member, was quite surprised to see a room full of friends shouting, “Surprise!”—when he entered.

Evans was doubly surprised when he learned during a short ceremony presented by Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) local Chapter Regent Jeannette Carroll, on Saturday, April 25, that he had been chosen for a national Distinguished Citizen Medal from DAR Nominations for the medal begin at the organization’s chapter level and make their way to the national level where they are scrutinized by the DAR National Society in Washington D.C. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 4, 2003

By Kathleen E. Kear

Welsh descendant Joseph J. Thomas, 9, was laid to rest in the Black Diamond Cemetery in 1890 after being killed by a coal train.

Steeped in a rich heritage of life centered on coal mining, Black Diamond, which was the third largest city in the state of Washington at one time, could also boast of the many European immigrants settling in and around the bustling town.

One of the countries represented in the area was Wales. Between 1882 and 1885 a whole town of Welsh families from California moved to Washington bringing with them not only their rich Welsh inheritance, but also the name of their town—Black Diamond (known at times in California during that time period as Nortonville and today as Pittsburgh).

Along with their rich heritage, the families brought with them their mining tools and equipment in addition to their furnishings. Many of these items will be on view at the Black Diamond Museum during their 5th annual Welsh Heritage Day celebration on Saturday, June 7. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, June 3, 2011

Gomer Evans’ Welsh family heritage and the story of a father’s years in the mines

By TJ Martinell

Gomer Evans Sr. left, holding a lunch pail, stands with his arm on the cart outside a mine in the Black Diamond area. The photo is undated. Photo courtesy Sherrie Evans

Walking through the Black Diamond Historical Museum is like strolling through the family room for Gomer Evans, Jr.

A framed picture of his parents’ wedding sits on top of a glass display of family Bibles.

A photograph of his older brother, Dave, hangs on the wall in the main room.

As he flips through a collection of historical pictures, he finds his father, Gomer Evans Sr., sitting among a row of Welsh engineers. (more…)

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Originally published in the Kent News Journal, April 16, 1987

By Bruce Rommel
Staff Reporter

Black Diamond city employee Larry Marks, on ground, Carl Steiert and Ted Barner inspect one of damaged monuments. Staff photo by Bruce Rommel.

Julia Gallagher was only 15 when she died on April 18, 1889. Somebody remembers. They regularly clean the ornate marble marker over her grave at the Black Diamond Cemetery.

Brushed and scrubbed to a dull white, Julia’s monument stood out amidst dozens of aged and graying monuments, making it a tempting target two nights ago.

It was one of nearly 40 historic monuments toppled or broken by vandals in the cemetery, where early residents of the coal-mining community were first laid to rest in wood coffins in the 1880s. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 24, 2009

By Kathleen Kear

Community members and guests filled Black Diamond Community Center where they enjoyed a kickoff event celebrating Black Diamond’s 50th anniversary of being a city. — Photos by Ron Olness.

Quickly running through their regular city council meeting agenda on Thursday, February 19, at the Black Diamond Community Center, Mayor Howard Botts—along with Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Olness and Councilmembers Goeff Bowie, Bill Boston, Leih Mulvihill, and Kristine Hanson—turned his attention to the kickoff event that will begin a year-long celebration of Black Diamond’s 50th anniversary as a city. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 12, 1956

By H.J. Glover

garrett

Music their bond: Mrs. David Garrett Sr., who can’t reach the piano pedals anymore because both her legs have been amputated, sits in wheelchair and plays the piano for her husband, baritone. She has been Black Diamond church organist 54 years and her husband’s accompanist all of their married years. — H.J. Glover photo

ENUMCLAW, Jan. 12 — The curtain went up on this little true life drama about 54 years ago in Black Diamond, a coal mining town seven miles north of Enumclaw on the banks of the Green River.

The eyes of the part-time minister swept slowly over the little group of children and adults gathered in the frontier town’s only church building.

His eyes rested on Lillian Steiert, 12, who was wearing a starched gingham dress, her dark hair braided in tight pigtails.

‘Come up front’

“Lillian,” the minister asked, hopefully, “will you please come up to the front and play the organ for the singing?”

She has been doing it ever since. Well, not exactly, since she lost both her legs during the past 15 months.

When she was 18, she married David Garrett, 22, a Black Diamond grocery store clerk who was a native of Wales and a vocalist. Theirs has been a common and powerful bond: Music.

During her more than half century as organist of the church, Lillian has also been accompanist for her husband, a baritone soloist and member of a well-known mixed quartet familiar to music lovers in the Pacific Northwest. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, September 2007

Photo taken approximately 1935. Standing in front of house (23360 Dorre Don Way) built by Gus and Rachael on property bought from Uncle John. They purchased about 15 acres of the land that was not platted on the east side of the road. From the left, back row: William Bradford, Gus Christy; left in front row: Mary (Daniels) Bradford, Rosalie Christy, William Christy, and Rachael (Bradford) Christy. Photo loaned by Marla Young.

Thanks to Sandy Faul and Marla Young for their responses to the request in the spring Bugle for information on Dorre Don and Orchard Grove.

Marla Young e-mailed, “l saw the article in The Bugle requesting information about Dorre Don and Orchard Grove. My family lived on both the Dorre Don portion of the road and Orchard Grove for many years.

“My Great Uncle John Daniels owned all of the land now known as Orchard Grove and approximately 40 acres on the other side of the railroad. In 1919 he subdivided the land between the road and river into lots and called it Orchard Grove. Apparently, there was a remnant orchard on part of the land when he purchased the property.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 30, 1925

No feature of the First Aid and Mine Rescue Meet held last Saturday at Black Diamond attracted more attention than the exhibition in first aid and resuscitation work put on by the midget teams from Newcastle and Black Diamond. So far as is known, these two teams are the youngest First Aid teams in the world.

Fathers of the boys are miners employed by the Pacific Coast Coal Company, and the interest displayed by the youngsters is indicative of the efforts put forth by everyone to make mining safe. Members of the Newcastle team, in the front row, include Ernie Bahr, Howard Cotterill, Donald Gilbert, Clyde Joughlin, John Young, and Wm. Schuirman.

The Black Diamond boys, in the back row, are Elmon Rouse, John Gallagher, Harold Lloyd, Jr., Benny Hughes, Oliver Rouse, Jimmy Nicholson, and Ellis Ash. Harold Lloyd, Sr., trained the Black Diamond team and Wm. Jones was the instructor for the Newcastle lads. (more…)

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