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Posts Tagged ‘Welsh’

Originally published in Y Ddolen Mai/Mehefin, May/June 2007

By JoAnne Matsumura

The Black Diamond Historical Society has recently photographed the grave markers in the Black Diamond Cemetery, which is now over 125 years old. The oldest grave marker found is dated 1880 of one Rachel Williams. The cemetery is listed on the Washington Heritage Register, The National Register of Historic Places, and the City of Black Diamond Landmarks Register.

This photographic preservation project has captured a moment in time, to be preserved in perpetuity. The wood markers in those early days have long ago given way to the Pacific Northwest’s inclement weather, and those made of the early stone have deteriorated as well. Now, preserved in form that marker can be viewed for that moment in time, for we know that as time marches on so does the evolving deterioration. This project was partially funded by 4Culture, King County Lodging Tax.

The rich Welsh heritage of this once thriving company coal town is well represented by the names on the grave markers. There may be many more of Welsh decent at rest in the cemetery that we may never know, due to the lack of a marker, a name on a marker, or other reason. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, March 17, 1929

George Watkin Evans is asked to solve problems of anthracite diggings for Pennsylvania firm

George Watkin Evans, Seattle mining engineer, chosen to make survey of Pennsylvania anthracite fields.

George Watkin Evans, Seattle mining engineer, chosen to make survey of Pennsylvania anthracite fields.

Industrial wise men of the East have reached into Seattle to capitalize the wealth of experience acquired by a grimy Welsh lad since he began at the age of 11 oiling coal cars in mines at Franklin.

The lad, now the eminent George Watkin Evans, consulting coal mining engineer, who can boast a number of college degrees and recognized mining achievements, has been selected to make a detailed study of the underground operations of the numerous anthracite mines of Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, the largest anthracite coal company in the world.

Is recognition of Northwest

He was selected by A.J. Maloney, new president of the reorganized company, to devise better ways of mining. The face that a Seattle man was chosen when ordinarily the anthracite fields of Pennsylvania have supplied such talent is regarded by coal mining experts as recognition of the Pacific Northwest and tribute to Mr. Evans. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, February 19, 1925

Tramways and aerial cables are common sights around metal mines, but it’s uncommon to find a coal mine with its entrance 450 feet below the level of the surrounding country. The above view shows the “incline” at Carbonado, a 35-degree pitch, down which all supplies and the daily shifts are lowered and raised.

Carbonado Comments

Carbonado victor in soccer battle

Battling the valiant Newcastle soccer eleven, the Carbonado squad last Sunday put up such a fight that the score ended 4 to 0, with the Carbon lads on the long end. Carbonado played a fast game.

Newcastle put up a fair defense, but with a number of new men, and also handicapped by a recent period of idleness, the Coal Creek team could make little headway against the strong Carbon defense. (more…)

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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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