Posts Tagged ‘World War I’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, March 2007

Howard Botts

Howard Botts

Black Diamond is my favorite subject since I’ve lived there all my life. I think these two towns, Maple Valley and Black Diamond, have some things in common; a couple of them are Highway 169 and railroads.

People in Seattle heard that the Northern Pacific was coming to this area and going to Tacoma.

They felt if they couldn’t have that they were going to build their own railroad from Seattle to Walla Walla over the pass. So they started in 1873, got as far as Renton in 1876; then extended it to Newcastle. In 1880 Henry Villard, of the Northern Pacific, bought it from the Black Diamond Coal Company and renamed it the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad. (more…)


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With smiles and shouts and laughter in which tears were very close to the surface, Seattle greeted 23 native sons and 178 Washington state dough-boys, comprising the Hoboken Casuals Company #144, at King Street Station that included Private Thomas Campbell of Hobart, Company K. 40th Engineers.

The Great Northern train which was taking the trainload of men to Camp Lewis, where they will be demobilized, only stopped in Seattle for ten minutes!

Seattle gave these men the most individual greeting that has been extended to any of the returning heroes. The men were immediately surrounded with a family group who loaded them with packages which looked like candy to while away the time between Seattle and Camp Lewis, and who ecstatically hugged anyone they could touch.

Many a soldier suffered a good-natured buffeting of a mother, wife, and sister all trying to say “hello” at once. Groups of friends besieged the men and gave them a Valentine greeting they will not soon forget.

More than four coaches of dough-boys were greeted by the Red Cross canteen workers with baskets of apples and cigarettes. One carload of men tumbled off to pose with the commanding officer of the company to a motion picture cameraman.

Welcome home Private Campbell!

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By By JoAnne Matsumura and Cary Collins

One hundred years ago—at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918—World War I came to a close. There were cheers and tears, singing and dancing, hugging and kissing. Spirits ran high. The men and boys would soon be coming home to their families, wives, and sweethearts. The planning began.

From small towns to the big cities, Americans welcomed and greeted their heroes with bands playing. The doughboys arrived by boat, train, bus, and some lucky enough to catch a ride with their fellows heading in the same direction. There were parades, community gatherings, speeches of appreciation, and presentations of honor. Who could forget the long awaited taste of mom’s apple pie? (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, September 9, 1914

Pete Frederickson, Black Diamond butcher, won the prize for the most handsomely decorated auto.

Pete Frederickson, Black Diamond butcher, won the prize for the most handsomely decorated auto.

That the team entered by the local miners’ union was victorious in the mine rescue and first aid meet held in Black Diamond on Labor Day, defeating the fire bosses’ team organized by the mine operators, is the report to Seattle by William Short, state district secretary of the United Mine Workers, who served as master of ceremonies at Black Diamond’s celebration of the holiday. (more…)

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Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, May 14, 1918

Throughout the nation the call is resounding, “Lay in your next winter’s coal NOW.”

That is the urgent appeal of the United States Fuel Administration, and it applies with as much force in the State of Washington as in any other state in the Union, so officials of the administration point out it is a patriotic duty as well as a measure of preparedness to see that the fuel bin is filled up quickly, for the nation is facing such problems as never confronted her before in the mining and distribution of coal.

Industries, especially those engaged in war work, have first call on the coal production, and they are going at fever heat, with an acceleration that means a continual increase in coal consumption.

To move crops and war materials next fall and winter will require the entire car capacity of all the railroads. This means that the cars must get in their work now in hauling the coal you will need next winter. Nor does a car shortage condition impend only in the Eastern states. (more…)

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Originally published in the Washington State Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Columbia, Spring 1994

By John Hanscom

Drawing of Franklin, circa 1887.

Bird’s-eye-view map of Franklin Mine and its environs, c. 1890. (Courtesy of Don Mason and the Black Diamond Historical Society.)

Henry Villard launched the Oregon Improvement Company in October 1880 as part of his grand scheme to dominate the development of the Pacific Northwest. By 1883 he had tied the area to the national economy with the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Expansive development of the Pacific Northwest seemed assured.

To fuel Villard’s steamships and locomotives, a dependable coal supply was a high priority. By February 1881 the Oregon Improvement Company had acquired the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, including the Newcastle Mine east of Lake Washington, at a cost of one million dollars. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad (renamed the Columbia and Puget Sound) was also purchased for over half a million dollars to transport coal from mine to Seattle bunkers. Villard hired John L. Howard under a five-year contract at $10,000 per year as general manager of the coal business. (more…)

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