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Miner memorial coming together in Black Diamond

The Black Diamond Historical Society is sponsoring the design and construction of a new statue and memorial garden at the Black Diamond Museum.

The memorial will include a 28-foot granite wall that will be engraved with the names of those miners who died in Washington state coal mines and a bronze statue of a coal miner in honor of all those who worked in the mines. The statue is being sculpted by artist Paul Crites.

The historical society president Keith Watson said the project should be finished in time for an unveiling at the Miner’s Day celebration on July 6.

“It’s going to be very exciting,” Watson said.

Between 1885 and 1960 mining was a major source of employment in rural areas like Black Diamond, bringing men and their families from all over the world. According to Watson, at one time over 30 languages were spoken in Black Diamond. During that time period more than 1,100 men died in mining accidents in the state.

The project has been financed through donations and fundraising according to Watson. As part of the honor garden the historical society is selling brick pavers for $100 that can be engraved with a name or other message.

“We’re all-volunteer,” Watson said. “It’s from the heart.”

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