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Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

Originally published in the South County Journal, April 25, 2002

Concrete block now encases meeting spot of coal miners’ union

By Mike Archbold
Journal Reporter

Paul Botts, left, 87, one of the last underground miners from Black Diamond, and Don Mason, president of the Black Diamond Historical Society, stand at the Union Stump. Now enclosed in concrete, the old fir stump was used in 1907 in Black Diamond to rally miners and start a union. (Gary Kissel/JournaI)

BLACK DIAMOND — Paul Botts remembers seeing the Union Stump as a youngster.

Now 87, he is among the last of the underground coal miners still living in the area. And Botts still is a member of United Mine Workers Local 6481.

“Dues are $6 a month. And I still get benefits,” Botts said last week, leaning against the large, square block of concrete encasing the old fir stump—where union history was made nearly a century ago, debates were argued, rallies were held, and strikes were called.

Like mining itself, Local 6481 left Black Diamond years ago. Now the local is located in Ogden, Utah, Botts said. (more…)

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Originally published in the Maple Valley Reporter, April 20, 2012

By TJ Martinell

A World War II memorial wall, which uses a cascading granite design. The Black Diamond Historical Society intends to use this design for its miner’s memorial wall.

The Black Diamond Historical Society is working on plans to erect a memorial statue and wall outside of its building.

According to President Keith Watson, the historical society started the project about two months ago after members visited the coal mining town of Roslyn near Cle Elum. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 27, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The families of Hobart pioneers, Rudolph and Julie (Gradishnick) Grady and Olga (Grady) and Rudy Petchnick, will be featured at the Sunday, April 15th reunion at the Hobart Community Church, at 1:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 10, 2015

By Kathleen Kear

Black Diamond resident Joe Androsko (right) took former Fire Chief Keith Timm (left) for a joy ride down memory lane in the Black Diamond Fire Department’s first fire engine—a 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper (rededicated in July 2014 during Miners Day)—to Black Diamond’s fire station. Photo by Kevin Esping.

What could be more fun than warm sunny weather in January? How about a ride in one of Black Diamond’s first fire engines, a 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper, with former Black Diamond Fire Chief Keith B. Timm?

Several weeks ago, Joe Androsko, Black Diamond resident and project manager of the 1947 Ford Howard-Cooper fire engine restoration project, went to pick up former Black Diamond Fire Chief Keith Timm and thereafter went for a joy ride down memory lane in the engine. Although Timm served as a Black Diamond firefighter from 1948-1976 before the engine came to town, he remembered fires being fought with a hose cart that had to be pulled around from one fire to another. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 1, 1991

Rural stronghold faces onslaught of new building

By John H. Stevens
Times South bureau

Some Black Diamond residents wonder if development is compatible with the area’s coal mining operations. Chien-Chi Chang/Seattle Times

BLACK DIAMOND—This sleepy little town in the Cascade foothills is about to have a population explosion, and Robert Murphy knows why.

Murphy, a Seattle homebuilder, has come all the way out here to put up six houses in the middle of town because the lots are cheap, and the Black Diamond government receptive.

“It doesn’t take any time at all to get a permit here,” Murphy says. “It’s one of the last receptive areas to growth in King County—a little oasis.” (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, September 2007

Bud and Ora Mable (Babe) relax in the living room of their remodeled cabin they purchased in Orchard Grove 61 years ago. Photo by Barbara Nilson.

In 1946 Babe Bodvin was traveling down Dorre Don Way visiting a friend of her mother’s when she spotted a two-room cabin for sale. It was owned by a doctor who had built it in 1936. She went home to Seattle to ask her husband, Bud, if they could buy it at $850 for an acre of ground and the cabin. He said yes and 61 years later they’re still there.

They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in April. Bud said they were married in her folk’s home right where the Space Needle is today. Her folks, Charles and Capitoly Werl, later moved to Hobart in the 1940s.

Bud said, “All there was to the cabin was a kitchen and the room that is now their living room, nothing else; no ceilings, no running water, an outhouse, we used the fireplace for heat.” (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, September 2005

By Barbara Nilson

In February of 1952 this group posed outside the Maple Valley Tavern in front of Bea and Bill Smith's logging truck. They are: Pat Iverson, Harold Heflinger, Darlene Thompson, Bea and Bill Smith, Marie Loveck, and George Hale. — Photo from Christine (Paris) Norheim to Sherrie Acker.

In February of 1952 this group posed outside the Maple Valley Tavern in front of Bea and Bill Smith’s logging truck. They are: Pat Iverson, Harold Heflinger, Darlene Thompson, Bea and Bill Smith, Marie Loveck, and George Hale. — Photo from Christine (Paris) Norheim to Sherrie Acker.

Recently Christine (Paris) Norheim of Enumclaw was cleaning out her house preparing to move when she came across a small book of prints labeled, “These photos were taken in Feb. of 1952 in front of the Maple Valley Tavern.” She called Sherrie Acker, the niece of the owner of the tavern, Claude Bowman, and presented her with them. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, August 31, 1994

Wally’s World by W.J. DuChateau

You may recall the time Evelyn pelted her husband, Joe, with eggs. It happened at one of the Black Diamond’s “egg contests,” in which couples try to softly catch eggs that are lofted back and forth between partners. But toward the end of this particular contest, things disintegrated into a general free-for-all; to paraphrase Ken Kesey’s popular observation, the game turned into a first-class egg-storm. Just ask Joe. (If you’re so inclined, it’s a wonderful way to garner revenge on your spouse.)

Or maybe you recall scrambling about in a pile of straw or shavings, anxiously searching for a few pennies, nickels, or dimes—the exact denomination depending upon the year and inflation rate at the time. But no matter how valuable the coins, you literally beamed with the joy and excitement of finding them.

It was called, perhaps inaccurately, a “penny hunt.” (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, May 2000

By Barbara Nilson

Photos by Sherrie Acker

The “action” in the 1920s to 1950s, from Seattle south, was at the lake resorts in the Valley. Memories of those glory days were shared at the March program with Dolores Gaffney and Janet Bertagni talking about Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness resort, and Gloria Foss remembering the family’s resort on Shadow Lake.

Lake Wilderness resorts

Attending the historical society program on resorts were, from left, Janet Bertagni, Dolores Gaffney Judge, and Bernadine Gaffney Gebenini.

Dolores Gaffney, daughter of Tom Gaffney, reported her father and his brother Kain purchased the property on Lake Wilderness in 1926 from Abraham and Sam Cohen. The family moved to the lake and the resort opened in the spring of 1927 as Gaffney’s Lake Wilderness.

At that time there were three small family resorts on the lake. Dieckman with his two sons, Jeff and Don, had just started one, and across the lake was McKinney’s. McKinney’s also had a dance hall that was two stories high that they eventually turned into a skating rink. In April 1939 McKinneys sold their place to Gaffneys.

One of the older buildings was used for a dance hall, said Dolores, and they used kerosene lamps. In 1936 they built a new dance hall after the old one burned down. They had a 30-foot-high diving board as well as cabins, tennis courts, picnic areas, ball fields, and playgrounds.

In 1949 Diekmans and Gaffneys were combined and the Gaffneys decided to build a lodge. The design was developed by Young, Richardson and Carlson and won the grand prize from the Washington Chapter of Architects in 1951 and the top award from the American Institute in New York in 1952. The center column totem pole was carved by the famous Doug McCarter. It is 35 feet tall and weighs ten tons. (more…)

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