The Roslyn - Northwest Black Pioneers is a mostly family 501(c)3 nonprofit

organization endeavoring to educate a diverse population about the rich cultural

heritage of the African American (Black) culture . Our goals are to instill pride in our

African American culture, especially the youth, and to make other cultures aware of

our proud history and important accomplishments.

One means of fulfilling our mission is by entering historical , educational floats in

various parades throughout Washington State. We also have a Black history exhibit

and display which we present in schools , private and government agencies .

Roslyn is located 85 miles east of Seattle over Snoqualmie Pass and is 60 miles

west of Yakima. Around 1000 people live there. Below is some Black history.

Roslyn, c. 1889

The first major migration of Black people into Washington (Territory) was in

August 1888. About 600 Black men from the South, East, Mideast and Midwest

were hired by the Northern Pacific Railway to come to Roslyn to work in their coal

mines to UNKNOWINGLY break a white coal miners' strike . On September 30,

1888, a second trainload of Black men, women and children arrived in Roslyn. On

that train was our grandmother , Harriett Jackson-Taylor with her 2 year old son

Fred. She later met David Clifford Williams and they married. To this union our

mother, Mrs. Ethel Williams-Craven was born in Roslyn in 1906. She married

Samuel L. Craven in 1924 and they had 13 children .

Their 11th child, 3rd son, WILLIAM AMOS CRAVEN, became the FIRST BLACK

MAYOR IN WASHINGTON STATE when he became Mayor of Roslyn in 1975.

He served until 1980. While Mayor, he was instrumental in having the 22 different

nationalities and lodges cemeteries in Roslyn placed on the National Historical

Landmark Register. Black Civil War Veteran Jesse Donaldson is the only Civil

War veteran buried in the "Colored Cemetery", renamed Mt. Olivet.

Samuel Craven and William Amos Craven

Samuel Craven and William Amos Craven, c. 1960.

Many African Americans now living in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Yakima trace

their roots back to Roslyn. Our cousins, the Hart family , trace their roots to Nelson Arthur

Hart who arrived around 1911 and worked in the mine's boiler room, also the Heath

(son-in-law) family; the Donaldsons and Livingstons. The Barnett family—in Central

Seattle there is a park named after Powell Barnett, Jr., who was born in Roslyn.

Federal Judge Jack Tanner has family members who lived in Roslyn. As you can

see, Roslyn played a very important part in Black history here in Washington.

Ethel Cravens-Sweet, President

Roslyn - Northwest Black Pioneers