Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Gladding McBean’

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…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 12, 1928

TAYLOR, Wash., Thursday, July 12. — The Gladding-McBean Company team of Taylor evened up its score with the Hobart town team Sunday, winning 8 to 6. It was Hobart’s first defeat, while the Taylor team has been defeated but once also.

The Hobart team will journey to Seattle next Sunday, where it will meet the Wilson & Kreitle nine at the Upper Woodland Park grounds at 2 o’clock.

Sunday’s score:

R H E
Hobart 6 8 2
Taylor 8 7 3

Batteries—Michael and Carey; Ball, Malette, McConnell, and McDonald.

Read Full Post »

Maple Valley Historical Society, March 1987

Here’s where me and the railroad got together.

My brother went up to Maple Valley for some reason or other and saw this gang of railroad men working to save the track that was being washed out. Being nosy, he went up to the foreman and asked if they were hiring anybody and he said yes, and get anyone else you can.

He came home and got me and we started work filling gunny sacks with sand at 4:00 p.m. and didn’t stop til 4:00 p.m. the next day. The rain never let up and gunny sacks got hard to get because everyone else needed them too for the same reason we did. We wound up using sacks that had been filled with rock salt and the salt cut our hands making them very sore. We didn’t have the little bags they use nowadays but the 100-pound size which we about two-thirds filled. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in The Seattle Times, February 16, 1927

Residents of Hobart and Taylor join in dedication of Union High for district

Five hundred residents of Maple Valley, Hobart, and Taylor last night joined in a program dedicating the $65,000 high school building at Maple Valley.

A.S. Burrows of Seattle, King County superintendent of schools, reminded the audience of the development which had taken place in their communities since he first made his way by trails and poor roads to visit schools there. He lauded the people for keeping step with this development by organizing the Tahoma Union High School District and erecting the building. (more…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

Originally published in the Renton News Record, July 17, 1947

On July 7 the Seattle Water Department took possession of the property of the Gladding McBean and Co. at Taylor and there ended some 50 years of the industrial development of the Puget Sound area.

It was interesting to watch the number of people and the kinds of vehicles which have been hauling material from Taylor which the company sold at a bargain price provided the purchaser did the wrecking and hauling.

That material is appearing in the improvement of existing homes or the beginning of construction of new homes. So the Maple Valley community continues to improve and grow.


Some indication of the growth of the community may be gleaned from reliable reports that there are now 70 families with permanent residences on Lake Sawyer with three times that many summer homes.

The Lake Sawyer area now has electric power, rural mail delivery, school buses, and telephone connection through the Black Diamond exchange. Now Lake Sawyer is trying to establish daily to connections to Seattle. The community continues to grow.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »