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Posts Tagged ‘clay mining’

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 Voice of the Valley, March 27, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The families of Hobart pioneers, Rudolph and Julie (Gradishnick) Grady and Olga (Grady) and Rudy Petchnick, will be featured at the Sunday, April 15th reunion at the Hobart Community Church, at 1:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society. (more…)

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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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