AKA: Kerry Lumber Company, Broad Street Mill, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - industrial buildings - factories

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1899-1900, demolished 1901

2 stories

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1 Broad Street
Waterfront, Seattle, WA 98121

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The Kerry Lumber Company Mill #2 was situated on the waterfront between Clay and Broad Streets.

Building History

Albert Sperry Kerry, Sr. (1866-1939), founded the Kerry Lumber Company with his brother James and George Bradley in 10/1896. They established their first lumber production facility at that time. Three years later, fresh from traveling to the Yukon along with thousands of other gold prospectors, A.S. Kerry served as the President and Manager of the Kerry Lumber Company when it opened its new mill at the foot of Broad Street (later renamed Clay Street) in 01/1900. The firm maintained an office in Room C of the Bailey Building at the same time. (See Phil Dougherty, "Kerry, Albert Sperry [1866-1939],"article written 11/29/2008; accessed 01/23/2014.)

Building Notes

Built on pilings sunk into Elliott Bay, the Kerry Mill #2 was located on the waterfront at the foot of Broad Street, the approximate present location of Pier 70. It had a post and beam structural system supporting a succession of roof trusses, and was walled on the west side and open on the east, south and north, so the array of timber structural members was revealed on three sides. Railroad tracks entered the mill on the south side, bringing logs from Kerry's timber lands in the Tukwila area.

On 02/03/1900, the Seattle Daily Timesdescribed the rapidity with which the new lumber mill was completed and its basic dimensions and features: "The alacrity with which this institution was rushed to completion and got down to the business of turning out the manufactured product while surprising in itself, is characteristic of Manager A.S. Kerry's manner of doing business. The first piling for the mill was driven in October last, and on December 20 the mill was finished to its present stage and cutting lumber. Before the mill is fully completed an additional engine must be put in place, which work is under way. There will also be dry kilms, a planing mill and factory built in connection with te sawmill as soons as men and money can rush them to a finish. At present the capacity is but 50,000 feet daily; with the additional side in operation 90,000 will be a days run. The mill is a double affair, i.e., the same as two single sawmills, side by side, under one roof. The mill proper is 256 feet in length by 56 feet in breadth, with two stories, the upper story for the manufacture of lumber and the lower story occupied by planing machines and a lath mill. The boiler room is a separate building, to the west of the mill, with concrete foundation, corrugated iron sides, and gravel roof. A prominent feature at the Kerry Lumber Company's new sawmill is the large Berlin timber planer that will, at one and the same time, dress all four sides of a timber 20x30 inches in size. This planer is made by the Berlin Machine Works, Beloit, Wis. Its weight is 25,000 pounds. It will occupy a place on the upper floor of the main mill. The piling under the mill is protected by the 'Perfection' process, a home enterprise."

As this article noted, the mill's new waterfront location made it easy to transport lumber by sea or rail: "Besides the mill property the company also owns the tugboat Lady Lake and a number of large scows. When in full operation the company will employ about 100 men. The mill is so located as regards railroad trackage that it has access, free of switching charges, to all the railroads entering the city. This is a great advantage and one of the features of Seattle's railway facilities, for a manufactory located anywhere along the water front is accessible alike to all the great railway systems. Separate from the mill land across the railway tracks, on the east side of Railroad Avenue, is the company's office, a neat building, 18 x 28 feet. The downtown office is in the Bailey Building. When the plant is fully completed there will be an overhead transfer, from the mill across and over the railroad tracks to carry the output in the dry kilns and planers, which are to be located about 250 feet east of the sawmill, on the opposite side of Railroad Avenue. The lumber will be carried across on conveyors. There will also be a broad and substantial wharf built, extending 200 feet out into deep water to the west of the mill, so that the largest vessels can load or discharge alongside. A. T. Kerry, president of the mill company, has been in the lumber business in Seattle for thirteen years. Previous to the destruction of the Kerry Lumber Company's mill on the tide flats in 1897, they had branch yards in Juneau, Skagway, Douglass Island and Rossland, D.C." (See Seattle Manufactories: The New Kerry Mill Will Give Employment to Many Men," Seattle Daily Times, 02/03/1900, p. 8.)


This mill burned down in 1901.

PCAD id: 18998