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Posts Tagged ‘Denny-Renton Clay and Coal Co.’

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 Seattle Daily Times, May 19, 1906

Pacific Coast Co. and Northern Pacific may come under provisions which prohibit carriers operating plants

Shipments outside Washington forbidden by the operators, but Hill line will me most seriously hurt by rule; Piles made fight to help local industries and Portland coal market to suffer if supply must be cut off

If the House agrees to the amendment made by the United States senate, forbidding common carriers from hauling coal mined in their own properties to points outside the state, the Pacific Coast Company and Northern Pacific will be seriously affected.

It was to save the coal properties of these two lines that United States Senator S.H. Piles is understood to have introduced his amendment exempting lines whose principal business is not that of a common carrier.

Just how this would have helped the Northern Pacific is not clear, but it would have been of some advantage to the Pacific Coast Company. That it was lost is believed by railroad men to have been due to the necessity for regulating the anthracite roads. The Pacific Coast Company can probably escape the provisions of the bill, but it will be a more expensive task to market the coal of that corporation. The Northern Pacific is expected to be compelled to limit its market to this state. (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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Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, February 20, 1927

Three towns will be served by splendid structure in Union District on Cedar River

The photograph shows the new $65,000 structure in which a Taylor-Hobart-Maplevalley union high school will open tomorrow, and Earl D. Bonham, superintendent of the district.

The photograph shows the new $65,000 structure in which a Taylor-Hobart-Maplevalley union high school will open tomorrow, and Earl D. Bonham, superintendent of the district.

Like a youngster who appears wearing his first long trousers, the Seattle community shows its rapid growth by definite new things. Just as such a boy surprises you some morning, so do pleasant surprises like the new Union High School at Maplevalley, hit the observer with not unpleasant frequency.

The Tahoma High School opens tomorrow in a $65,000 building a mile east of Maplevalley, and twenty-nine miles from downtown Seattle.

All that region, which is tapped by the Cedar River, along which is a paved road almost to the town of Maplevalley, is on the rise. (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 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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