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Posts Tagged ‘Palmer Coking Coal Co.’

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 20, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

Pacific Coast Coal Co. morning shift poses sitting on electric engines and empty coal cars outside the boarding house in Rainbow Town. The coal bunkers are in the background with the small hose-coal bunker to the right of the rear of the line of coal cars. A track straightener is in the foreground. — 1909 Asahel Curtis photo, courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, and Bill Kombol, Palmer Coking Coal Co.

Milt Swanson is a historical treasure. He is a walking, talking encyclopedia with fascinating tales of his home town Newcastle/Coal Creek. He’s lived on the same piece of property for 84 years in a company house, on top of a mine shaft and next to the former company hotel and saloon. Across the street was Finn Town and the up the hill was Red Town.

He said when he was a kid, his pals and him named the various areas of the mining camp. The houses on the hill were red, so that was “Red Town”; closer to him the houses were white so naturally that was “White Town” and the area with all different colors was “Rainbow Village.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, March 15, 2006

By Shawn Skager
The Courier-Herald

The population of Black Diamond has seen little population growth the past five years. According to census statistics, the count has remained at a little more than 3,900 people since 2000, with minor variations.

That could change soon, with the purchase of 320 acres in the southeast corner of the city by Yarrow Bay Development Company.

According to Brian Ross, managing partner for Yarrow Bay, the company has reached an agreement with the Palmer Coking Coal Company to purchase the land, known as Lawson Hill. The details are expected to be finalized this summer. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 14, 1984

By Eulalia Tollefson

Hundreds of area citizens, in an eleventh hour move, rallied around Pacific Coast Coal Company last week in support of the proposed John Henry No. 1 mine.

The John Henry is a surface mining proposal that would allow for removal of about 1,100 tons of coal from the earth daily on 516 acres of Pacific Coast owned land in south King County.

It is bounded on the southeast by the Green River Gorge Road and by 270th Ave. S.E. on the east side. About 100 acres lie within incorporated Black Diamond city limits. The remainder is in adjacent King County. (more…)

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Originally published in the King County Journal, March 12, 2006

Kirkland-based developer buying 320 acres, but few details released about plan

By Bruce Rommel
Journal Reporter

BLACK DIAMOND — Hundreds of homes could be sprouting on Lawson Hill within a few years.

A Kirkland-based development company has reached agreement with Palmer Coking Coal and other property owners to purchase about 320 acres for a planned residential community.

Few details have been released by the company, Yarrow Bay Development, which is involved with other large residential projects in King County. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, March 7, 1984

Coal mining plan faces opposition

By Louis T. Corsaletti
Times suburban reporter

Bill Kombol, manager of Palmer Coking Coal Co. in Black Diamond, stands amid a stand of Douglas fir trees on reclaimed land that was part of the McKay Surface Mine in 1974-1976. The pit mine was dug as deep as 40 feet in some places to reach coal. Richard S. Hevza/Seattle Times

Douglas firs ranging from a foot to 10 feet high grow branchtip to branchtip along two narrow strips of generally clear land near Black Diamond.

A few short years ago these same corridors, hewn out of second- and third-growth forest, were sliced open to extract black diamonds—coal. The open ugly sores were the Palmer Coking Coal Company’s McKay and Gem Surface Mines. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 6, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The original depot at Kanaskat built in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1943. — From the Museum of History and Industry and loaned by Ruth Eckes.

The old railroad towns of Palmer and Kanaskat once thrived across the Green River from each other, Palmer on the north and Kanaskat on the south; eight miles southeast of Enumclaw. Somewhere along the line the two lost their identities. Apparently, the post office located in Palmer burned and the authorities moved it to Kanaskat but left the name of Palmer. (more…)

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