Klamath County Museum’s Photo of the Week for Oct. 6, 2019, shows the Consumers Heating Co. plant at the corner of Klamath Avenue and Fourth Street, across from the courthouse block.
The company burned sawdust to generate steam for heating of commercial and government buildings in the downtown area. The plant’s two tall smokestacks and a large pile of sawdust were familiar with downtown landmarks for many years.
Occasionally the plant’s presence in the downtown area caused considerable annoyance. Sometimes sawdust would be picked up by strong winds, then fall on nearby buildings and streets, settling in drifts along sidewalks and curbs. In winter months, soot from the smokestacks would create what came to be known as “black snow” in the downtown area.
G.C. Lorenz built the steam plant in 1919 and operated it as Klamath Heating Co. for many years. The plant faced closure in 1946 until a group of local investors raised funds to acquire the plant and continue operations under the name Consumers Heating Co. The company sold the plant to Modoc Lumber Co. in 1970, and it was torn down when the lumber company ceased operations in the 1990s.
This aerial photo appeared in the 1953 Klamath Union High School yearbook.
Information provided from the Klamath County Museum.