Fired Up for History

New Texas historical marker identifies pottery kiln site at Luminant’s Kosse Mine


Standing near the Kimik Kiln site at Luminant’s Kosse Mine, David Sherman, Blanton & Associates senior archaeologist, points toward more pottery artifacts.

Standing near the Kimik Kiln site at Luminant’s Kosse Mine, David Sherman, Blanton & Associates senior archaeologist, points toward more pottery artifacts.

Through Luminant’s commitment to preserving Texas’ rich history and sponsoring archaeological investigations, a piece of Limestone County’s past – a long forgotten pottery kiln – is now unearthed and seared into history. The site was recently designated by the Texas Historical Commission with an official Texas Historical Marker.

“During the permitting process and before mining began at Kosse Mine, we worked with a team of archaeologists to diligently survey the area for historical significance,” said Scott Mills, Luminant environmental manager. “Surprisingly, they found hundreds of pottery pieces and discovered an abandoned kiln site.”

With their interest ignited, archaeologists pieced together the clues and determined the “groundhog” style kiln was built by German immigrant Lee Kimik in the 1870s.

Kimik sold his ceramics at a nearby town known as Headsville, located on Kosse Mine property, where archaeologists also discovered a gristmill and cotton gin. Headsville thrived in the late 19th century until the local railroad bypassed the community. The site was all but forgotten until Luminant’s environmental team and archaeologists recognized the historical significance of the area.

Limestone County leaders, Luminant employees and archaeologists recently unveiled a Texas Historical Marker, which recognizes the late 19th century Kimik Kiln site found on Kosse Mine property.

Limestone County leaders, Luminant employees and archaeologists recently unveiled a Texas Historical Marker, which recognizes the late 19th century Kimik Kiln site found on Kosse Mine property.

Their work led to Luminant and the archaeology team receiving the Texas Historical Commission Award of Merit in 2011 and represents the company’s commitment to protecting the state’s cultural resources, according to Meg Cruse, Blanton & Associates senior archaeologist and project manager.

“I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years and Luminant’s been by far the best client that we’ve worked with [and] also the best steward of protecting cultural resources,” Cruse said. Everyone in the company really does understand that it’s important to help preserve [these items] and to give back to the community, so that they can understand where they came from and why they’re here.”

Further solidifying the significance of the site, Limestone County leaders, employees and archaeologists recently unveiled the site’s Texas Historical Marker during a dedication ceremony.

Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen expressed his gratitude to Luminant following the event. “They [Luminant] support a lot of causes in the community and supporting our history is one of those that’s important to our citizens. It’s important because that history is lost if it’s not preserved now,” Judge Burkeen said. “Luminant recognizes that and they work with our historical commission and have done a great job helping to preserve the history for this area and for Texas.”

The marker is located adjacent to Kosse Mine near Highway 7 and will help ensure the site is never forgotten again.

“As a company, we’ve operated in Texas for more than 130 years and preserving our state’s cultural resources is very important to us,” said Brett Wilson, Kosse Mine senior director. “The artifacts we find provide a window to the past and through designations like a historical marker, their stories can be told for generations to come.”

To date, more than more than 1,200 archaeological sites have been recorded, and tens of thousands of artifacts have been recovered across Luminant property.

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