Long time residents of Black Diamond, Judy and I love our community and the unique natural beauty and colorful history we have here. Join us in learning more about our history, local wildlife, must do hikes, conservation areas to explore and the opportunities and challenges faced by our community. Craig Goodwin

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Bill Kombol

The coal car would have been from the Franklin No. 10 or No. 12 underground coal mine. There were cable suspended wooden tie bridges across the river with the hoist on the west side and the portals on the east side. In order to access the coal seam on the east side of the river, a timber-spanning bridge was built to the Franklin or west side. Al Ballestrasse of Enumclaw hauled in four 110-foot timbers which were put in place with a skyline. Bill Sharp, a mine carpenter from Issaquah built the bridge to the mine. On one occasion, a coal car was pulled too fast over the bridge and fell into the river. The bridge over the river to the No. 10 mine was blown up on March 27, 1971 as 900 pounds of the experimental dynamite, called Astrolite K, was placed inside the mine portal and on the mine bridge across the river. This last coal mine on the Green River Gorge was blasted shut with powerful explosives supplied by a division of Rocket Research based in Redmond. The scene was witnessed by coal miners, company officials, explosive experts, and the press gathered on the banks of the Green River. The event was even filmed by an NBC television crew for national broadcast on their “First Tuesday” news show. Two years later, State Parks made the first of a series of land purchases from Palmer Coking Coal to acquire the Hanging Gardens and Franklin Townsite Heritage and Recreation Areas.

Craig Goodwin

Thanks Bill. Very interesting.

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