“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ely in White Pine County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Ward Charcoal Ovens

Ward Charcoal Ovens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2009
1. Ward Charcoal Ovens Marker
Inscription. Willow creek, a year round stream located 1/4 mile to the north, was a major stopover for freighters on the Toano to Pioche route between 1870 and 1876. "Bullwhackers" (common term for freighters) would turn out their "Sleepers" (tired oxen) in this area and pick up rested ones to complete the journey.

In March of 1872, while searching for sleepers, John Henry and William Ballinger discovered silver ore in nearby Ward Gulch. By 1876 several claims were staked and the town of Ward grew to a population of 1,500 and had two roasting furnaces to process ore.

These 6 ovens were built in the mid 1870's to make charcoal to fuel Wards roasting furnaces.

The overs were constructed by Italian masons and are larger and of finer construction than most ovens found in Nevada.

They measure 30 feet in height, 27 feet in diameter at the base and hold approximately 35 cords of wood. Each cord of wood produced 30 bushels of charcoal which was then hauled to the roasting furnaces at Ward.

As railroads penetrated the west, charcoal was replaced by coke made from coal and the charcoal making industry faded away. These ovens remain as a unique and silent reminder of Nevada's mining history.

Please help us preserve these historical ovens by respecting them and not climbing on them. Most
Ward Charcoal Ovens image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2009
2. Ward Charcoal Ovens
Marker is on the fence to the right of the last oven
of the damage you see has occurred in the past 20 years by climbing on them. Thank you for visiting and supporting Nevada State Parks.
Erected by Nevada State Parks.
Location. 39° 2.222′ N, 114° 50.863′ W. Marker is near Ely, Nevada, in White Pine County. Marker can be reached from Cave Valley Road (County Route 45) one mile south of County Road 16. Touch for map. Marker is best accessed from US 50/93/6 via White Pine County Road 16. Turn west onto County Road 16, and at intersection with Cave Valley Rd / County Road 45, turn left (south) for approximately one mile. Do not take the main driveway into Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park Road. Further south there is a driveway signed to the "ovens". Turn right and approx. 1/2 mile down the driveway is a graveled parking lot for the Ward Charcoal Ovens. Marker is in this post office area: Ely NV 89315, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Making Charcoal (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Ward Charcoal Ovens (about 500 feet away); The Ward Cemetery (approx. 2.7 miles away); Ward Mining District
Charcoal Oven image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2009
3. Charcoal Oven
(approx. 6.2 miles away); Taylor (approx. 6.2 miles away); Settlement of Lund (approx. 15.1 miles away).
Also see . . .  Ward Charcoal Ovens. The Nevada State Parks web page detailing the history of the ovens and providing a photographic slide show. (Submitted on September 21, 2013.) 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
Inner Wall and Ceiling of Charcoal Oven image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2009
4. Inner Wall and Ceiling of Charcoal Oven
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 21, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 293 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 21, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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