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Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, February 23, 2010

By Bill Kombol

‘Welsh’ Bill Morris, Jackie Warren, and Jim Thomas (left to right) are shown here in Palmer, Washington, in the early 1940s. Both coal miners came to the U.S. from Wales in 1927-28 to work at the Durham mine of the Morris Brothers Coal Mining Company. Both were immigrants sponsored by their American relative, George Morris.

George was a Welsh immigrant who came to America in 1880, eventually establishing his family and children as successful coal miners and livery stable owners in the mining town of Wilkeson. George Morris was later part-owner of the Durham coal mine.

Welsh immigration to the U.S. began in earnest in 1850s, with a peak decade during the 1890 when over 100,000 arrived. The 1920s saw continued Welsh immigration as coal mining in Wales fell at the conclusion of World War I. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, June 5, 1977

By Vince O’Keefe

Sam Abbey, 1924

Sam Abbey, 1924

The sepia-tinted photograph was 50 years old but several faces were recognized instantly—Armand Galvagno, Elmer Favro, Joe Hosko, Benny Marino, Johnny Torlai, Jerry Remolif. These were some of the Georgetown Merchants, Seattle Soccer League champions for that particular year.

There were other remembered “mugs” in the yellowed pictures and crumbling clippings—Louie Pennacchi, Jim McMillan, Benny McPhillips, Henry Tessandore, Les Lapsansky, Tom Werner, Howie Baldwin, Chink Woehrie, Tex Michel

That’s the way it was at the first official outing of the Pacific Northwest Soccer Oldtimers Association, held in Black Diamond.

For one day, at least, “The Diamond” was the Cooperstown of soccer. About 140 ex-booters, the youngest in his 50s and the oldest 91, were reunited in the little hill town southeast of Renton.

Main attraction was a collection of old photographs, trophies, and memorabilia, rounded up by Pep Peery, association secretary. By coincidence, a slimmer, black-haired Peery appeared in several of the snapshots.

Mining-community teams dominated the display: Black Diamond, McKay Coal, Ravensdale, Carbonado, Wilkeson. That’s where it all started, the diggers from Wales and England and Italy playing their favorite game in the early part of the century. (more…)

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Cawl: Soul food from Wales

Originally published in the Jan-Feb 2016 issue of NINNAU, The North American Welsh Newspaper

By Janet Watkins Masoner

DENVER — With snow on the ground, and my winter coats at the front of the closet, my thoughts turn to my favorite Welsh comfort food, cawl (cowel). Every family has its own version of this age-old concoction that consists of broth, meat, and vegetables. And every Welshman will tell you their mam’s cawl is the best in the world.

Dating back to the 14th century, cawl is recognized as one of the national dishes of Wales. It originated during the winter months in the southwest of Wales with lamb and leeks as basic ingredients, and then swedes (yellow turnips), carrots, and cabbage. Potatoes didn’t go into the pot until over two hundred years later at the end of the century. (more…)

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Seattle Welsh Presbyterian Church, Corner of 10th and John.

Seattle Welsh Presbyterian Church, Corner of 10th and John.

St. David, Dewi Sant, is the patron saint of Wales. Traditionally March 1st is the day to celebrate St. David and Welsh culture. On this day, Welsh people wear a leek or a yellow daffodil. The leek (cenhinen), daffodil (cenhinen Pedr, “Peter’s leek”), and the red dragon (y ddraig goch) are national symbols of Wales.

Dewi Sant as abbot and bishop was the heart of the Welsh Church in the 6th century. He died on 1st March 589 AD and was buried in St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.

So respected was he that medieval pilgrims believed that two pilgrimages to St. David’s were equal to one pilgrimage to Rome. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, December 12, 2006

By Barbara Nilson

Robert Wingate directed a crew led by Frances Bisson that hewed ties for the “incline” from Carbonado down the side of the canyon at the Carbon River (ca. 1883).

Robert Wingate directed a crew led by Frances Bisson that hewed ties for the “incline” from Carbonado down the side of the canyon at the Carbon River (ca. 1883).

On December 9, 1899, 31 men lost their lives in an explosion at the Carbon Hill No. 7 Mine outside the town of Carbonado; they have been memorialized with a monument built at the cemetery and dedicated in 2002.

From 1899 through 1930, more than 100 men were killed in violent explosions and other disasters in the coal mines of Carbonado, Wilkeson, and Burnett.

The memorial was established by the Wilkeson Eagles Aerie No. 1409; the Carbonado Eagles Aerie merged with Wilkeson in 1924. It consists of a large chunk of Wilkeson sandstone weighing more than 2.5 tons with two plaques, one dedicated to those who lost their lives and the other lists the major mine disasters in the Carbon River coal country.

Chunks of coal surround the memorial that is just a few yards away from many of the graves of the miners in the cemetery established in 1880. (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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 30, 1925

"Pier" Morgan, right of center, was a very good baseball player in addition to being a good miner. This photo graces the cover of Black Diamond: Mining the Memories.

“Pier” Morgan, right of center, was a very good baseball player in addition to being a good miner. This photo graces the cover of Black Diamond: Mining the Memories.

Far off Wales gave birth to M.A. Morgan some 47 years ago, but his parents brought him to the United States when he was barely two years old. As a boy he grew up in the environment of the coal fields around Scranton, Pennsylvania.

This probably accounts for the fact that he was attracted to Newcastle when he came to this section of the country 22 years ago. He later went to Black Diamond where he became a fireboss and then a foreman. For the past six years he has been a superintendent for the Pacific Coast Coal Company, serving in that capacity at Black Diamond, Issaquah, and at Newcastle, where he now resides.

While living at Black Diamond, where there were three men with the good old Welsh name of Morgan Morgan, it came about that the subject of our sketch came to be called “Pierpont” to distinguish him from the others of the same name. Thus it is that he is today popularly known as “Pier.”

On the first day of next October Mr. and Mrs. Morgan will celebrate their twenty-second wedding anniversary. They are the parents of two lovely daughters, Vivian and Muriel. Hospitable and inviting, the Morgan home in Newcastle is the center of many social and community affairs, and the latchstring is always out to every resident of the camp.

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