A-Z History of Sumner, Washington - Floods and Fires
Provided in part by Daffodil Valley Times and the City of Sumner.
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Fires and Floods
Sumner has seen its share of fire and flood. A simple chronology of the incidents of fire and citizens’ efforts to fight fire, drawn from the Sumner Historical Society’s dateline of events, may say it best:
Tress was fifteen and Madge seventeen at the time of the grade school fire. The oily rags that contributed to the conflagration were in the janitor’s quarters. Kids escaped by sliding down canvas chutes anchored in the schoolhouse windows. Tress remembers they were told to help salvage items from the burning structure. A boy named Harry started throwing wooden desks from the third floor to the ground, where they splintered into smithereens. She wonders why he didn’t try to save things that might have survived the fall like schoolbooks. Madge remembers that one of the downtown fires took the steepled Shipley Building and the horses and mules housed in the livery stables.
Acres of farmland were lost to the 1906 flood that caused the Stuck
River to change its course. Cultural Resources writes:
The water table is very close to the surface of the valley, creating special construction considerations. The first Daffodil Valley Elementary School sank into the water table and was torn down in 1992. Students and teachers still remember wading through wet halls to get to classrooms. When student population growth mandated a new elementary school, Sumner School District chose to rebuild on the safe parts of the old site and keep the old name.
Information on these pages is provided in part by Daffodil Valley Times Staff and The City of Sumner, Wa.
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