Reverend J.M. Trunk - Washington 1912
Copyright © 1996, 1997, Slovenian Genealogy Society International, all rights reseved
These Rev. J. M. Trunk texts were published originally in 1912. Part 8, History of Slovene Communities, contains significant genealogical information about Slovenian immigrants, the places they lived, the organizations they formed, and the churches they attended.
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Black Diamond. There is a large coal mine here. The community is situated amidst large forests. There are about 150 Slovenes who came here form the Valley of the Rivers of Savinja and Sava, more accurately from the village of Loka near Zidani Most. I. Porenta is a tailor, but more of them work in the mines. There are two lodges here. The Lodge of Mary the Star #32 JSKJ and "The Mountaineer" Lodge ##57 SNPJ.
Up until 1910 the Rev. A. Mlinar would come here from Enumclaw and say Mass in a hall, then the Slovenes built their church which was dedicated to St. Barbara and blessed on 222 October 1910.
Camas. This community can be considered a romantic one. Not far away there are nice farms. In the paperworks under the ownership of the Columbia Paper Company, many Slovenes work. They live in peace and contentment. (John Brezar)
Cle Elum. The city has a population of 2,749 and is very neat and friendly. There are about 80 Slovenes. Many own their homes or lots and work in the coal mines.
Cumberland-Issaquah. Not far away there are coal mines, but due to the poor conditions most of the Slovenes who used to work here have left the community.
Enumclaw. There are no permanent Slovene residents here, but there is a Slovene parish for the Slovene immigrants who have settled down in the neighborhood. The priest was Rev. A. Mlinar who left on 2 June 1911, followed by Rev. J. Tscholl, a German, who spoke Slovene well. He died in October 1912.
Franklin. In the community there is a Polish church of the Holy Rosary. There are some Slovenes here who work in the mines.
Krain. This is the largest Slovene farming community in the State of Washington. Mat. Malneric is considered the first Slovene farmer in the community and came here in 1888. He was pioneering and helped others to settle down. He was soon followed by J. Pasic, F. Podbregar, J. Stander, J. Malneric, F. Pogoorelc and others. All are proud owners of nice farms. M. Malneric is an owner of a store and saw mill. There are about 25 Slovene families here.
At the time when the community had a rather steady population, the authorities asked M. Malneric to choose the name for the new community. He could have given the community his family name, but he chose the name of his native land, Krain. Everybody should be proud of a man like him. In 1900, the Slovenes built the pretty church of The Holy Family. Next to the church there is a public school. Services are offered by the priest from Enumclaw. There is a KSKJ Lodge #32 of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
Ravensdale. In the coal mine many Slovenes are employed. There is the Lodge #72 JSKJ of St. Barbara with 30 members.
Ridgefield. Around 1880 the first Slovene immigrants came here from the Upper Carniola (Gorenjska). In 1905, there were five families and some single men. They operate nice farms and worship in a church together with the Irish and German parishioners.
Renton. It is a friendly, little town some 20 miles away from Seattle. There are about 60 Slovenes who work in the mine. They are proud of their homes, which are surrounded by well-kept gardens, situated on a friendly hill above the town. M. Potrbina is a storekeeper.
Roslyn. I received the report and on the envelope there was a note: From a Freethinker, R. O. Box 905. I cane to learn that the first Slovene immigrants came here some 15 years ago. L. Notar was among the first ones. They came from Canriola (Kranjska), and work in the coal mine. I asked the reporter the question: "Can an individual succeed?" and received the following answer: "On arriving here we started to think and act free, that is why we excelled, but we are truly humanitarians, progressive and Socialists. Our motto is 'Progress and liberty'."
There are 10 families and about 30 single men. Some of them are homeowners. Anton Janacek is a tavernkeeper. Many go to the Irish church but the majority do not attend religious services. The church life is favorable for a priest as long as he is supported by someone. There are many fraternal organizations. The Lodge #39 of St. Barbara JSKJ has 132 male members and 46 female members. There is a reading room in the community.
Taylor. The village is situated admist beautiful forests. Some 40 Slovenes work in the coal mines.
Valley. In 1888 the first Slovene immigrants came here from the Upper Carniola region (Gorenjska). Among them were B. Somsa, V. Jansa, M. Jakelj and U. Sokolic. From the report submitted by J. Strajan, I learned that there are 22 Slovene families and 10 single men here. They own farms, but there are some single men who do not own property and as employed as farm hands. In 1905 the Slovenes built their church at a cost of $2,000. Their priest is Rev. F. Fuisi, but there are no Slovene services. The children attend public school. There are no Slovene fraternal organizations.
Wenatchee. Mr. G. Lasic reported that the first Slovene immigrants came here 15 years ago. Among them were thee three brother Dadoski, A. Palkonic, J. Skalopija and J. Hlebec. At the present time there are 14 Slovene families and 10 single men, all but five have their own farms which they farm. They also have nice orchards and vineyards. The first settlers made nice money and their properties have been appraised from $25,000 to $75,000. I was told that the best fruit is grown here.