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Posts Tagged ‘Kummer’

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 the Voice of the Valley, February 9, 2010

By Kathleen Kear

Bids were opened on December 22, 2009, for a street reconstruction project in the heart of the historical business district on Railroad Ave. that when completed would not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also much safer.

Twenty-three bids were submitted to the City of Black Diamond with J.R. Hayes & Sons of Maple Valley coming in as the low bidders at $676,731.89. Awarding of the contract came during the January 21, 2010 City Council meeting. (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 BDHS newsletter, Summer 2018

By William Kombol

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

“Rusty Rails” photo by Robert Dobson, April 2018

This spring photographer Bob Dobson stumbled upon a short section of railroad hidden amongst a dense forest near Lake Sawyer. He took a photo that inspired a question: “Who laid these rusty rails?”

Little did he know the answer is the story behind the men who founded Black Diamond. (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 Voice of the Valley, January 11, 1978

By George and Dianne Wilson

When we initially talked with outgoing mayor Gomer Evans about this article, we asked that he give thought to three basic questions: “When you took office, what problems did you face?”; “What do you feel you accomplished during your term of office?”; and now, “Where do you go from here?” His description of the accomplishments clearly defines the problems faced. (more…)

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