History of the Denny Hill Demolition Co.
1897 - 1934: The Early Years

The Denny Hill Demolition Co. was founded in 1897 by co-founders Christopher Blankley and Kurt Giessel to begin demolition of Seattle's Denny Hill. The earliest attemps were following a plan devised by Chief Engineer Don Coats Jr. to hollow out the core of the hill by tunneling in from all four sides using hand tools and 400 Irish immigrants. This however met with disasterous failure in 1899 when a massive cave-in killed all but 3 of the workers. Amung the survivors was Denny Hill's intern, Brian O'Bannon.

A Second attempt on the hill began in the spring of 1914 shortly after Don Coats was released from prision. This time he decided to try a method he had read about durring his unfortunate incarseration. The plan called for the use of large steam shovels to remove the dirt from the hill starting from the top, load it into trucks and dump it on Orting some 40 miles south. Once again the demolition attempts came to a hault just a few months after beginning due to pressure from the citizens of Orting and a couple of unfortunate driving incidents with the dump trucks involving the intern Brian O'Bannon.

In 1915, Kurt had gone off to join in the Great War and Chris had gone to work for the infamous Eli Gang smuggling beer across the Puyallup/Sumner border. Here he met up with Mark Mahaffie. Mark had shown Chris his designs for a large beer gun capable of firing a constant stream of beer from the heart of downtown Sumner to 9th and Stewart in Puyallup some 5 miles away. They two of them got approval to build the Sudsocannon from the boss, Rocky Eli, and went to work. The first prototype met with limited sucess. It had plenty of power but was quite inaccurate. Within 6 months Chris and Mark had a Sudsocannon that could fire beer at 4000 gallons/minute over 7 miles and be accurate to within 100 yards.

Kurt returned home from the battlefields of Europe in 1919 ashamed and embarassed by the defeat of the Germans but was eager to go back to work here in the U.S. He and Chris once again set out to finish the demolition of Denny Hill. They went to work with Don to try to devise a new method of knocking down the hill. They had several ideas including nuclear weapons and photon torpedos but most were not feesable due to the fact that the technology had yet to be invented. It was Brian the intern that suggested using Mark's Sudsocannon after he was playing with it and blew himself clear to Ballard. The idea was overlooked for obvious reasons but was finnaly approved when Don suggested using water instead of beer. The Sudsocannon was renamed the Hydrocannon and the design was pattented. The Denny Hill Demolition Co. finaly leveled the last of the hill in late 1934.

In a recent article in forbes about the two self made billionaires the question of how two guys in their late twenties could have formed a company over 100 years ago was answered. "They are very clever."

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