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Posts Tagged ‘clay mining’

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, June 2007

Story and photos by Barbara Nilson

Paul Bartholomew and his daughter, Karen Lindquist, stand in front of the foundation for the press factory that made clay pipe.

The daffodils are blooming in Taylor as they do every spring to welcome back those who have fond memories of living there when it was a booming coal and clay company town. Taylor existed from 1892-1947, when the Seattle Public Utilities formed the Cedar River Watershed and closed the area to the public.

Each April the Utility District and Friends of the Cedar River Watershed offer the walking tour into Taylor for two weekends at a cost of $15. Participants gather at the Cedar River Watershed Visitors/Education Center for a slideshow of early day Taylor, then climb into vans for the 10-mile drive to the site.

The Education Center has interpretive exhibits that show where our water comes from and historical materials about the watershed area. It is an interesting place to browse anytime of the year. I especially like the musical artwork in the rain drum court where drops of water play tunes on the various drums. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, May 7, 1961

By Lucile McDonald

Of all the “lost” towns of King County the mostly thoroughly obliterated probably is Taylor, seven miles east of Maple Valley.

Taylor, once with a population close to 700 persons, was swallowed by the Cedar River watershed. Today a young forest is springing from its streets and gardens, and the sites of the coal bunkers and kilns of its once-prosperous clay industry.

Taylor ceased to exist in 1947. Two years earlier, the Seattle Water Department had obtained a condemnation judgment permitting it to include the town in the watershed. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Star, January 20, 1912

One of the Denny-Renton plants at Renton.

One of the Denny-Renton plants at Renton.

No review of Seattle’s industrial enterprises and activities would be complete without an adequate mention of the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company, one of the largest enterprises of its kind in the world. (more…)

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Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, December 2000

By Barbara Nilson • Photos by Sherrie Acker

Bill and Irene (Maes) Bogh, Tahoma class Taylor class of 1939, at the Taylor program.

Bill and Irene (Maes) Bogh, Tahoma class Taylor class of 1939, at the Taylor program.

Taylor as a company town was discussed at the reunion Oct. 17. Dale Sandhei said he thought they had it better than a lot of people at that time—they had a sewer system, pumped in water, electricity, and the coal was delivered to their homes.

The company was very benevolent; they built a swimming pool and cleaned it out once a year. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 17, 1986

By Jim Simon

You load sixteen tons and what do you get,
Another day older and deeper in debt,
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store.

“Sixteen Tons,” by Merle Travis

It has become part of our folklore: the brutal, indentured existence of miners and millworkers eking out a living in sooty company towns. We all know it was a life of oppression.

But don’t tell that to Edna Crews. (more…)

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Originally published in the Tacoma News Tribune, November 20, 1966

By Rod Cardwell

Picturesque Maple Valley viewed from Echo Lake Cutoff to Snoqualmie Pass Highway; Boeing expansion spells rapid growth for Cedar River area. – Photos by TNT’s Bob Rudsit.

Picturesque Maple Valley viewed from Echo Lake Cutoff to Snoqualmie Pass Highway; Boeing expansion spells rapid growth for Cedar River area. – Photos by TNT’s Bob Rudsit.

MAPLE VALLEY, King County — Born 70 years ago in Italy, an ex-barber named Joe Mezzavilla still makes wine for his own table and is quite particular and uses only the best grapes from California.

And it is obviously a good medicine because he is a fine figure of a man, tall and erect … and with a full head of Latin-dark hair streaked with distinguished gray.

He has no use for most store-bought wines. In the accent of his native Venice, he explains, “I’m a make mine with a no sugar, no fortified stuff.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Valley Daily News, August 26, 1991

By Tina Hilding

Brick works at Denny Renton Clay and Coal Company, 1909. (Photos courtesy Renton Historical Museum.)

Brick works at Denny Renton Clay and Coal Company, 1909. (Photos courtesy Renton Historical Museum.)

RENTON — North America Refractories, hidden away on a small road east of Interstate 405, seems like an ordinary small industry.

The 60-acre property off Houser Way has been for sale for a number of years and is being considered as a site for a county regional justice center.

In its heyday in the early 1900s, the factory, located on the south side of the Cedar River, was the largest paving brick plant in Washington—some say in the United States or in the world. (more…)

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