It's great to see Black Diamond now consistently ranked as one of the safest places to live in all of King County. But where do you think we would rank in the early 1900's? Probably not so high. More like the wild west, actually. A little grand larceny, safe blowing, notorious taverns and bootlegging would probably drop us down the list a ways - like near the bottom. After all, Black Diamond was a mining town, not so isolated as were logging camps and had a significant population of over 3,000 people. Add in a demographic profile heavy to young unmarried men and the County Sheriff found himself making plenty of visits here. And so did charlatans like State Bank of Black Diamond owner Thomas Fournier who sold stock in the bank, encouraged miners to deposit their earnings to keep their money safe and then absconded with it.
Photo courtesy of Roger Parry
Or, if grand larceny wasn't in your play book, you could always blow a safe. Plenty of dynamite around in a mining community. Even the Post Office was fair game. For more about blowing the Post Office safe in 1902, follow this Black Diamond History link to Safe Blown Open.
Or, you could join Black Mary in the fine art of bootlegging.
Photo courtesy Black Diamond Historical Museum
She certainly looks like an honest upstanding citizen and nice lady too. More trips by the Sherriff to Black Diamond.
And then there were Buckley and Enumclaw. More about law and order in these two local communities in a later post.