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Archive for the ‘Buildings’ Category

Originally published in The Tacoma News Tribune, April 5, 1995

By Lisa Kremer
The News Tribune

Bob Eaton, president of the Black Diamond Historical Society, and his granddaughter Kelley Sauskojus are trying to get a miners’ cabin built in 1910 near Black Diamond designated a local historic landmark. (Peter Haley/The News Tribune.)

In 1910, two Italian men built a tiny house—barely big enough for beds, a stove, and a sink—to live in as they worked in the nearby mines of Black Diamond.

There’s not much to distinguish the house from hundreds of other small miner’s cabins that dotted the hillsides. Except that this house is still there, almost in its original condition.

Bob Eaton, president of the Black Diamond Historical Society, wants to preserve the house and designate it a local historic landmark. That would mean his granddaughter Kelley Sauskojus, who owns the cabin, could apply for state grants to repair and restore it.

But like all other South King County cities, Black Diamond doesn’t have a process to officially designate its local landmarks.

It’s so difficult to designate city landmarks that only two cities in King County—Seattle and Bothell—have done so, said Charlie Sundberg, a preservation planner with the King County Historic Preservation program. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 3, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Kummer coal/clay bunkers (November 13, 1951 #262106-9022) This coal/clay bunker or storage/ processing facility is believed to have been built in 1944 by the Kummer Coal Company and was later operated by the Johnson Coal Company and Palmer Coking Coal Co., Inc. Its capacity was listed as 150 tons. It was originally built as a coal bunker, but later used for clay. The Kummer mine was unique in that both coal and fire clay were mined. Following mining, slabs of mill end wood were laid on the ground and covered first with coal and then with freshly mined clay. The wood/coal base was set on fire and the clay was burned to rid it of carbon contaminants. The resulting clay was sold to Gladding McBean in Renton for the production of bricks. The Kummer clay beds were founded by Jacob Sants on August 15, 1888, and named for George Kummer, ceramist for the Denny Clay Company. This site is located south of the Green River and west of SR-169 on property now owned by Washington State Parks and Recreation in Section 26-21-6. (Note: King County Assessor photo.) From “When Coal Was King,” April 7, 2009, by Bill Kombol.

Though the clay and coal mining town of Kummer no longer exists, motorists traveling out of Black Diamond today may turn right on to S.E. 352th from the Maple Valley highway and cross the Green River on what the locals still refer to as the “Kummer bridge.”

William Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co. explains some of the history, “In addition to their appetite for coal, the growing cities of the Puget Sound also needed deposits of clay, one of the prime ingredients in paving and building bricks. Clay was first discovered in this area near Kummer (an area now occupied by Flaming Geyser State Park) by Jacob Sant in 1888.

The deposit and the town were named for George Kummer, a ceramist and engineer for the Denny Clay Company. In 1905, two local companies joined to form the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company which by 1917 was producing 58 million bricks per year. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, March 30, 1911

Deputy sheriffs forced to beat back ominous mob which surrounds shack used as jail

Dynamiting outrage followed by demonstration in which citizens take part as peace officers

1—The wrecked Christiansen home. 2—Where dynamite was exploded. 3—Interior of home after explosion. 4—Rasmus Christiansen. 5—Deputy Hill, at left, jailing a suspect at Black Diamond.

One hundred and fifty Italians, displaying all the voluble excitability of their race when in a dangerous mood, formed an ominous cordon about the little wooden shack that serves as a jail at Black Diamond yesterday afternoon when deputy sheriffs, after scouring the mining town all day, took into custody seven of their countrymen among whose number the authorities believe will be found one or more responsible for the dynamite outrage perpetrated on the home of Rasmus Christiansen early yesterday morning. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, March 29, 1911

Dynamiters try to kill family, wrecking home

Whole town aroused by loud detonation

Their lives the object of a vengeful attempt to blow them into eternity, Mrs. and Mrs. Rasmus Christiansen, of Black Diamond, early this morning escaped the death planned for them only because the five or more sticks of giant powder planted alongside their home by the unidentified assassin was beneath a section of the house far removed from that where they were sleeping.

Although the partitions of the house were blown out, and it was left an entire wreck, none of the Christiansens was hurt. Their escape was due to the fact they slept in a room that received the least of the shock, and that its force was broken by the springs and mattress of the bed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, March 26, 1987

A marshy area adjacent to a small lake that lies southwest of Black Diamond may be one of the keys to the city’s future, if land developer Steve Graddon’s dream comes true.

Graddon presented his ambitious plan that involves a low-impact housing development and a nature preserve that would be the focus of “scientists from around the world,” to the Black Diamond city council Thursday, March 19.

At the center or the plan is Black Diamond Lake, or Chubb Lake as the old-timers call it. About 35 acres of the lake’s shore is made up of a forested sphagnum moss bog, one of only five known in the state. The bog is considered to be in pristine condition, thus making it more valuable to researchers. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 25, 1998

By Cecilia Nguyen

Officer Jamey Meador was introduced during the March 19 council sessions as the newest member of the Black Diamond Police Department.

Meador is the city’s first full-time female officer. “The goal of our department is to represent the community,” said Rick Luther, police chief.

Officer Meador graduated from Western Washington University with a criminal justice degree and went on to graduate at the top 15% at the police academy. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 25, 1926

When the inventor of the Jones system of lubrication for mine car wheels recently visited Burnett, Master Mechanic A.L. McBlaine was able to show him just how the system worked on the cars used in the haulage. This picture shows McBlaine pointing out the features of the Jones bearing to the inventor. (more…)

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