Friday, September 18, 2009

Black Diamond

After our walk along the Cedar River trail yesterday, we followed the river through Maple Valley to the old coal mining town of Black Diamond. Black Diamond was established by 1885 as a company town of the Black Diamond Coal Company of California. Through several owners, coal was mined here until the decline in demand after WWI. Some historic buildings still remain, and the area is riddled with old mine shafts. The only building still serving it's original purpose is the Black Diamond Bakery. The center structure still houses the old brick oven which is still in use. A restaurant has been added, as well as some gift shops. And it was our destination for lunch.
Breakfast, for which they are famous, is served until 2:00. Tom ordered a sausage scramble.
I wanted something lighter, so I ordered half a sandwich and a cup of soup. You see, I was saving room for dessert. I did share with Tom.
On a clear day there is a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier from the restaurant, but the clouds were playing peek-a-boo this day.
After a leisurely lunch, we wandered next door to this book shop.
The interior was very charming, and the browsing was great.
And, yes, we did - buy more books.
Farther down the street was the Fire department and the city jail.
The old train depot is now a museum. I wanted to know where the coal mines were so we went in to ask. The volunteer at the desk pointed down to the floor, and said "Under here"! He showed us on a map that the whole town is undermined with tunnels and shafts.
We spent some time enjoying the museum displays.
They have done a good job of collecting items for display that reflect life as it was during the mining days.
And yes, they did use canaries in the mines.
These old ringer washing machines reminded me of one my own mother used when I was a little girl. For the first five or six years of my life we did not have indoor plumbing in our little house in Oregon's Willamette Valley. How far we've come in my own lifetime!
This chain saw display also reminded me of my father, who used a big old yellow Mcculloch chain saw when he worked as a logger in the forests of the Cascade foothills around Molalla, Oregon.
A car load of "black diamonds".
As our day was winding down, we made one more stop, at the Smoke House.
The owner showed us his smoker full of pepperoni.
And, yes, we did - buy some smoked salmon. Come to think of it, now would be a good time to go try some!


  1. Very interesting place. I'd like to see it sometime.

  2. Why would canaries be necessary in a mine?

  3. You find so many interesting places to visit. Again, wonderful pictures.

  4. I went there last year and posted some very similar shots! It's such a fun, historical place and the food at the Black Diamond Bakery and Deli is fantastic! Really fun to revisit it through your shots, Linda! Fun post!

    Have a great weekend!


  5. simply beautifully captured shots....lovely!

  6. It was so much fun to see everything in this town BUT for some reason the photo of the chocolate dessert keeps coming back to me. It was scrumptious, right?

  7. I believe the canaries were taken into the mines to help detect low levels of oyxgen. What a fantastic trip back in time in the musuems. What a fun way to spend a day.

  8. I've never been to Black Diamond and had no idea it was set up so nice. Thanks for the interesting tour. Will put this on my must do list. MB

  9. This is a wonderful post and very interesting to read. I enjoyed your memories and these photos of yesteryear. What a great place to visit. Thank you very much for stopping by my blog too. Have a great Sunday.

  10. I love breakfast at any time of the day! that looks delicious

    and the book store is wonderful

  11. Great guided tour! And I think breakfast should always be an option! Along with dessert! haha.

  12. What about the bread from the Black Diamond Bakery that we grew up with? Did they have some of that and did you take some home?

  13. Very nice, Linda.
    I posted pictures of our activities from the last couple of days on my blg. Check it out.

  14. Thank for the journey. I too remember those ringer washers. My grandmothers both used them and my mother in her early married years. My sisters arm was caught in one when we were small and chipped her elbow before they got it out. It was electric. I will never forget that scream.

  15. I am surprised my nose never led me to that bakery! Now I have to go!!!

  16. Oh, this brings back so many memories. My family used to have a summer home at Mt. Rainier. We used to drive through Black Diamond and always stopped at the bakery.


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