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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 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, 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 Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 25, 1926

When the inventor of the Jones system of lubrication for mine car wheels recently visited Burnett, Master Mechanic A.L. McBlaine was able to show him just how the system worked on the cars used in the haulage. This picture shows McBlaine pointing out the features of the Jones bearing to the inventor. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 18, 1926

Though the men who dig the coal seldom see it after it leaves the mine, they know that the product of their labor will go to warm the homes of many cities and towns. This picture shows one of the Ford delivery trucks of the Pacific Coast Coal Company from which is being delivered a load of Newcastle Lump. This truck is designed for quick and light deliveries and is able to haul its load anywhere that a car can be driven. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, March 11, 1926

Not only does the Black Diamond Band appeal to the ear with its melodies and martial airs, but the boys present a striking appearance in their natty new uniforms as well. This picture is published that those who heard the Black Diamond Band over the radio recently may know that they are an attractively garbed organization. Frank Carroll, director of the band, is a musician of years of experience and organizer of the famed Bellingham Elks’ Band. (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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