Black Diamond Hardware
Black Diamond Hardware was established in 1948 by brothers Clifton and Gordon Bray. It was originally comprised of just one building but was later expanded, to include furniture and sporting goods. It was operated by Cliff until 1964 when he sold the business to Bill and Helen Stuart, who operated and maintained it for the following twelve years. In 1976 it passed to Mike and Phyllis Zuk, who were responsible for the addition of a second-floor apartment over the store. Fred and Glenny Hodgkin held the property from 1987 through to 1994.
In 1994 the building was purchased by Lloyd and Edna Spicer. It served for a time as the Diamond Valley Business and Copy Center, before finally closing its doors in 2005.
Next door to Black Diamond Hardware was the Black Diamond Toy and Novelty Shoppe, which later became a saddelry shop and remained so until 2007, when it was demolished, along with Diamond Valley Hardware, to make way for the new Black Diamond Pharmasave.
Spicer’s Apothecary, or Pharmasave 364, was built on the lot and opened its doors for business in Dec. of 2007. It is owned and operated by Jason Spicer and his wife, Deirdre. Jason Spicer is the son of Lloyd and Edna, the last owners of the Black Diamond Hardware.
What’s In a Name – Black Diamond
The history of Black Diamond (as well as that of nearby Turner Valley) has its beginnings in the discovery of oil and coal found in the area in the late 1800s. Its initial population was comprised of miners and oilfield workers and their families, and by 1929 the population had surpassed one-thousand people. Beginning as little more than a shantytown, all of the buildings were humble, either quickly assembled or moved in from other locations to accommodate the rapidly growing population. On June 3, 1929, the first meeting of the Village of Black Diamond Council was convened.
Black Diamond remained largely a coal and oil town until 1947, and the light from the numerous oil-derricks could be seen from as far away as Calgary. When, in 1949 the activity in the petroleum industry shifted northwards to Leduc, Black Diamond was one of the few to survive the change in industry, while many neighboring settlements did not. This becomes an even more remarkable feat when considering the severe, wind-driven fire that ravaged much of the south side of Centre Avenue in that same year. No one was killed, and many of the destroyed buildings were quickly replaced by moving in existing structure from other, nearby communities.
In 1956 the Villiage of Black Diamond was incorporated as the Town of Black Diamond.
Traveling around the town today, much of the original architecture can still be seen, including the Black Diamond Hotel, Pop’s Barbershop, Marv’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop (originally a theatre relocated here from Royalties and used as a community hall) and Bluerock Gallery (formerly Woo’s general store). The Town of Black Diamond takes pride in these old structures, and many host plaques detailing their history.
Also of significance, the black diamond sculpture and refurbished coal car, found in front of the Town Hall on Centre Ave, and a large preserved coal sample from the original coal deposit of the Black Diamond Mine, located in the Pharmasave building (the former location of Black Diamond Hardware)