When a local talks about Black Diamond, another local’s first response is, “Did you go to the Black Diamond Bakery?” That’s because the bakery not only sells very tasty bread that is fresh baked in their 107-year-old brick oven, but also has a fine restaurant, coffee shop, a Northwest shop, a gift shop and is a popular gathering place.
First opened in 1902, the Black Diamond Bakery answered the needs of the coal miners in town. A guy named Willard Hadley built and ran the bakery for years. He installed the special oven that is heated by a wood fire that makes the bread taste so good. Only five bakings can be done a day, which yields 500 loaves, so you don’t want to come at the end of the day hoping to buy some bread. It will be all gone. The frosted whole wheat apple cinnamon rolls are a family favorite and I highly recommend them.
If you want to enjoy your bread as part of a meal, you won’t regret it. Whether you opt for French toast or an omelette with toast, or one of those meatloaf sandwiches you’ll have trouble getting your mouth around, it’s all good. The restaurant also serves dinner, which I’m sure is wonderful, but I’ve not had the chance to try it myself.
After loosening your pants you might want to take in some off the other offerings near the bakery. One of my favorite haunts is the Black Diamond Museum, which is open on Thursdays from 9 a.m.-4p.m., Saturdays and Sundays (winter) from 12 p.m.-3p.m. From the train caboose to the jail to the “Danger” sign in sixteen languages, lots of history can be explored both inside and outside the building. Chances are whoever mans the desk when you visit will be glad to tell you some delightful stories.
Pick up “A Tour Guide to Historic Black Diamond Washington” at the Bakery and treat yourself to a driving tour stopping at points of interest like St. Barbara’s Catholic Church which cost $2227 to build in 1911 or the Mine #14 Hoist Foundation, believed to be the only artifact left from the Black Diamond Coal Company that is still in place.