The production of charcoal began in the forests surrounding the furnace. The first step occurred when woodcutters felled the trees that would be used to make charcoal. Because each ton of iron produced required six cords of wood, the forests surrounding many iron furnaces were soon depleted.
After the wood was cut and stacked, colliers cleared and leveled an area thirty-five to forty feet in diameter. Lengths of wood were stacked in the clearing around a centrally located stake, The entire pile of wood was then covered with a layer of soil and leaves (Illustration 1), the mound ignited, and allowed to burn for about twelve days. During the burning, a collier constantly attended the fire, opening or closing vents in the earthen cover to control the process. When the smoke turned blue, it was a signal that the process was complete (Illustration 2). Then, the vents were sealed, and the charcoal was allowed to cool.
After the charcoal had cooled and the soil covering was removed, the charcoal was loaded on wagons and carried to the furnace (Illustration 3). There, it was piled in the stockyard for a period of time until it
Unlike iron ore and limestone that were weighed in pounds on the company scales, charcoal was measured by volume. In this case, in bushels. All wagons
hauling charcoal were made with the same dimensions. All had the same capacity. They stopped at the company store to be inspected for the amount of
charcoal they carried. The distance, from the top of the wagon bed rails down to the top of the charcoal, was measured. Each inch equaled a certain number
of bushels that was subtracted from the wagon's total capacity.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Appalachian Iron Furnaces series list.
Location. 39° 3.367′ N, 82° 27.383′ W. Marker is in Buckeye Furnace, Ohio, in Jackson County. Marker is on Buckeye Park Road (County Road 167) 0.2 miles north of Buckeye Road (County Road 165), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 Buckeye Park Rd, Wellston OH 45692, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Limestone (a few steps from this marker); Raw Materials (within shouting distance of this marker); Stock Shed (within
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 10, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 10, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.