Coal Mine Ghost returns; An Asphalt Plant

Note from the author: I wrote this article on April 14, 2022 which is the day we learned that the King County Permitting department approved Lakeside Industries to build an Asphalt Plant on the old site of the New Black Diamond Coal Mine. Today I can’t imagine a coal mine being approved for this site let alone a smelly and potentially polluting asphalt plant. Hence I am writing for the ghosts of the old Coal Mine and their distress at man’s continued folly.


I am the ghost of the New Black Diamond Coal Mine. They called me the princess of all mines. The best of the best with state of the art equipment.

Alas my time came to an ugly end about 20 years later. My parts and pieces split apart. My tunnel forever closed except the ghost of those who died there. My processing plant sold as scrap to only be returned to us in the form of bombs in a world war. My groomed grounds a barren field of lost dreams.

Demo of the Indian Coal Mine Bunker in 1941. View is from the west side looking northeast

Then a century later the living have come to resurrect me. An Asphalt Plant to maintain his roads. Another industry that will be gone in two decades like my first love; Coal.

I will give my best but my ghosts who haunts these grounds will haunt those who strive against the turning tide. My winds of ill will screech down through my closed tunnel and burst thru the walls of rock. They will bring an end to man’s follies as only time and spirits of the land can.

Modern Electric New Black Diamond Coal Mine in late 1920s.

Perhaps it is not too late to put my ghosts of the past to rest. Many are rallying to not build this monstrosity which is repeating the mistakes of my past. I sigh as my ghosts dream but start to awaken. Can we reconcile ourselves that man will do the right thing by honoring the land?

View in 2020 looking Northeast over the ground that used to hold the Indian Coal Mine Bunker.

I cry to all to help me rest in peace and return this land to our mother earth. Only she can bring rest to my sad tunnels and stop these follies that are misreading the changing times.


  1. Hi Robin

    You wrote and powerful and compelling blog about the asphalt factory. Thank you.


  2. I was poking around the old Indian Coal Mine workings a few weeks ago and the big ore bucket is gone! Someone pulled it out with a bulldozer!

    • wow – that is in that west side right? the little road that goes up into the brush? I never made it there dang!! The scrapers are out there. Does Lakeside own that area?

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