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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 5, 1911

Giuseppe Piztorasi assessed $100 and $6.50 costs for conducting sporty nuisance at Black Diamond

Deputies on trail of explosion suspects

Racket made by several hundred Italians at Black Diamond at one of their national sports, cheese rolling, led to the arrest early Sunday morning of Giuseppe Piztorasi, who yesterday paid a fine of $100 and $6.50 costs for conducting a nuisance. Piztorasi was fined Monday by Justice of the Peace William W. Davis, and said that he would not pay the fine. But he concluded to do so yesterday morning just as Deputy Sheriff Joseph C. Hill was about to step upon the train with him to come to the county jail.

Hill and Deputy Sheriff Scott Malone have been staying at Black Diamond investigating the explosion of giant powder that wrecked the little home of Rasmus Christiansen, assistant superintendent of the Pacific Coast Coal Company. Blowing the ceiling from over the bed in which Christiansen, his wife, and baby were asleep. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, April 4, 1911

Masons conduct impressive funeral service for Samuel A. Tomes, who lost life in Taylor explosion

Casket draped with floral offerings: Company suspends operations and closes offices for day—business associates attend internment

Attended by friends, business associates, and brother Masons, funeral services for Samuel A. Tomes, superintendent of the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company, who was killed by a blast in mine No. 2 of the workings at Taylor Saturday afternoon, were held in Butterworth’s chapel this afternoon. Internment following in Mount Pleasant cemetery. (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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 1, 1926

Black Diamond has always maintained a reputation for turning out championship teams in baseball, but in the season which just closed, the camp held the distinction of honoring two soccer football teams, both of whom made splendid records.

In the group shown above are gathered the following players: Front row, left to right, “Chick” Thompson, Chas. “Red” Towers, A. Maroni, R. Durnac, John Ogden; second row, Chas. Maroni, Jas. Strang, Vic Roberts; back row, P.J. Gallagher, J.T. Hollow, and “Boots” Pierotti. (more…)

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Originally published in “Now & Then,” The Seattle Times, March 26, 2000

By Paul Dorpat

At the foot of Dearborn Street, the Pacific Coast Company coal wharf extended far into Elliott Bay. Here, freshly painted and nearly new, the wharf is a year or two old. The scene dates from about 1903. (Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

For soaring grandeur, the two towers of Pacific Coast Company’s coal wharf at the foot of Dearborn Street may be compared to the contemporary gantry cranes of the Port of Seattle’s Pier 46 complex. The open skeleton of the old coal towers suggests the stone filigree of a medieval cathedral, and the sublime symmetry strengthens this allusion.

Both the Cottage City and S.S. Garonne, the steamers left and right of the coal towers, had busy careers in Alaska. (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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Originally published in the Puget Sound Business Journal, March 24, 2000

By Brad Broberg
Contributing writer

A California developer is earning cautious kudos from officials in Black Diamond, where the Jenamar Co. wants to build a master-planned community that could double the city’s population over the next 10 years. (more…)

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