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Black Diamond gears up for Welsh Day

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Black Diamond will celebrate its eighth annual Welsh Heritage Day with festivities planned for noon to 3:30 p.m. June 3.

Guests can meet Welsh descendants, share stories, check out pictures and memorabilia, listen to Welsh music and enjoy Welsh cakes. In addition, Carolyn Bell will be showing and selling handmade Welsh crafts.

A guest speaker, Conrad “Coke” Roberts, will discuss the community's Welsh history.

The event is sponsored by the Black Diamond Historical Society and takes place at the museum, 32627 Railroad Ave.

The Welsh grew to be a force during Black Diamond's early days purely for economic reasons. The nearby hills produced high quality coal and the Welsh had a long history of mining the valuable commodity. Settlers first came in the early 1880s, when the Black Diamond Coal Co. moved from the San Francisco area to this part of the Washington Territory.

Welsh immigrants worked the mines until oil began replacing coal as the dominant energy source, a transition that came in the 1920s. As jobs dried up, Welsh families scattered throughout the region in search of other employment.

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