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Posts Tagged ‘Welsh’

Originally published in the Globe-News, March 19, 1976

Can you believe this is what our present museum building looked like in 1976 when our original “work parties” began? Left to right: Louis Zumek, Chuck Holtz, Carl Steiert, and Archie Eltz. (BDHS calendar series, 1986)

Can you believe this is what our present museum building looked like in 1976 when our original “work parties” began? Left to right: Louis Zumek, Chuck Holtz, Carl Steiert, and Archie Eltz. (BDHS calendar series, 1986)

Restoration of the circa 1885 train depot on Railroad Avenue in Black Diamond slowed down during cold weather, said Ann Steiert, member of Black Diamond Historical Society.

“Volunteers have been working on shoring up the foundation and as soon as the weather breaks they will finish jacking it up, put in some new timbers, and a concrete footing.

“We have applied for a grant from Washington Historical Society to make the depot into a museum, but the bulk of our working funds have come from the sale of our 13-month historical calendar. We have $1,500 to go toward furnishing and framing the interior.”

Ms. Steiert said the museum depot was most likely the first structure in Black Diamond when the Welsh miners from Nortonville, Calif., came to mine in Black Diamond.

“They probably pitched their tents around the depot before they built cabins,” she said. (more…)

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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, 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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Extracted from Carbonado: The History of a Coal Mining Town in the Foothills of Mount Rainier, 1880-1937, by John Hamilton Streepy, May 1999

Row of tombstones from the December 9, 1899 catastrophe at Carbonado.

Row of tombstones from the December 9, 1899 catastrophe at Carbonado.

Rees Jones, the fireboss, declared mine number seven clear of gas on 9 December 1899, and allowed the morning shift to enter the mine to begin their workday. With his pipe and tobacco firmly in his pocket, Ben Zedler and seventy-two others started their long march into the depths of the earth to mine coal on the shift from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.1 (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, November 21, 2001

By Barbara Nilson

The former home of Luigi and Aurora Pagani at the foot of Merino Street in Black Diamond is being considered as a Historical Landmark by the King County Landmarks and Heritage commission; hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m., at the Black Diamond Community Center. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

The former home of Luigi and Aurora Pagani at the foot of Merino Street in Black Diamond is being considered as a Historical Landmark by the King County Landmarks and Heritage commission; hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m., at the Black Diamond Community Center. — Photo by Barbara Nilson.

An important hearing to support the establishment of two historical landmarks in the area, the former TaHoMa High School on S.E. 216th Street and the Pagani miner’s home in Black Diamond on Merino Street, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Black Diamond Community Center, 31605 – 3rd Ave., by the King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, November 10, 1910

One of the rescuers, Vitalis Marckx—fourth from the left—was supposed to work that fateful Sunday.

One of the rescuers at the Lawson Mine, Vitalis Marckx—fourth from the left—was supposed to work that fateful Sunday on November 6, 1910.

It usually requires a tragedy to bring the majority to a realization of the seriousness of any trivial affair—to a proper appreciation of the monotonous services which are daily rendered by brave and faithful servants of our everyday system of life.

Such a tragedy as that which occurred at Black Diamond on Sunday morning has, we trust, brought such a realization of the bravery and devotion of the men who go down into the earth day by day to mine the coal which warms our bodies, cooks our food, supplies our light, and speeds us on our way homeward.

In these days most of these men are foreigners—members of an alien race—but that does not diminish their due of praise or their credit in the way of our gratitude.

The open mouth of a coal mine has swallowed up many a young and promising life. Even if the youthful miner be spared a violent death in some such explosion as that which occurred in the Lawson mine on Sunday morning, the chances are that he will succumb in the end to “miners’ consumption,” pneumonia, or the terrors of the dark, underground chambers in which he works. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 26, 1893

Thomas Griffiths, a Welshman, who has been working for Thomas Price on a ranch on the Cedar River, was cut in two by a coal train near Eddyville station on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, between 12 and 1 o’clock yesterday morning. (more…)

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