Pacific Coast Coal Company’s New Black Diamond mine facilities

This March 19, 1941 image shows the teardown of Pacific Coast Coal Company’s New Black Diamond mine facilities, formerly located on the Maple Valley-Renton Road (aka SR 169) near Mile Post 20.

This mine opened at great expense and to considerable fanfare in 1926, to replace Black Diamond’s Mine #11, which was closing after 31 years of operation. The sign on the left side of the plant reads “Home of the famous Indian Coal,” a reference to the colloquial name by which the New Black Diamond mine was known.

In 1919-20 the Jones Brothers operated a small mine nearby called the “Indian” which became the nickname for the New Black Diamond mine. It operated from 1926 to 1941 producing over 2.4 million tons of coal.

The mine closed permanently on August 15, 1941, four months prior to the U.S. entry in World War II. One of the men in the foreground may be Robert Cruickshank, who supervised dismantling and demolition efforts.

In 1948, King County acquired the property. One large building, which served as the coal company’s administration offices and shops remained on site. For the next four decades that building was used by road crews and known as the King County shops. The site was sold to Goodnight Properties in 1996 and 20 years later that King County shop building was torn down.

The property was then acquired by Lakeside Industries, an asphalt paving company. This photo comes courtesy of JoAnne Matsumura, an Issaquah-based researcher and former archivist at the Black Diamond Historical Museum.