Saturday, June 20, 2009

Charcoal Kilns

Our third, and final stop, was at the charcoal kilns located at the base of the Lemhi Range.

The kilns were built in 1886 by Warren King of Butte, Montana from clay said to be from deposits along Jump Creek on the east side of the valley (Birch Creek Valley). The kilns made charcoal for the two blast furnaces at the smelter across the valley at Nicholia which processed silver and lead ore from the Viola Mine.

At one time, there were 16 kilns all in a row here, but now there are only four, the others having been raided for building bricks elsewhere. The remaining four are protected by the Targhee National Forest.

Quoted from Roadside History of Idaho by Betty Derig, p. 153:

In its prime, each kiln held thirty to forty cords of wood and produced about 1,500 bushels of charcoal per load. filling one usually required a full day, and it took a week more for the wood to burn and cool. ... It is estimated that they hauled 150,000 cords of wood for the brick kilns and an even greater amount for some forty open-pit kilns. When the kilns were abandoned in 1889, forty acres of cordwood lay stacked and ready to burn.

Forty acres of, that would have been something to see!


Blogger Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

What kind of camper do you have? I thought I saw in other pictures that you have a 5th wheel. We are thinking about getting a camper or trailer and are debating the benefits of each.

Monday, June 22, 2009  
Blogger Earl and Linda said...

The camper is an Eagle Cap made in La Grande, OR. We do have a fifth wheel,'s in storage for the summer.

Monday, June 22, 2009  

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