Barkhamsted in Litchfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village Charcoal Kilns
A Connecticut State Archaeological Preserve
northwestern Connecticut in the nineteenth century.
Before Pennsylvania coal became readily available, the
iron forges in Litchfield County were reliant upon locally
produced charcoal as their primary fuel. The low rise
in front of you is one of the four charcoal kilns seen at the
Lighthouse Village. Look closely and you will observe a
circular trench or “gutter” that encompasses the mound.
This trench serves as a fire break.
Cordwood was stacked into a mound. Then, in a slow
and controlled burn, the moisture was released from the
wood, leaving a much lighter and more valuable, higher
Charcoal production was a difficult, dirty, and dangerous
pursuit. The kiln had to be tended to by the “collier”
whose job it was to maintain the slow burn, and, at all
costs, to prevent the valuable wood from being lost in
an uncontrolled blaze. Lighthouse residents may have
served as the colliers for these kilns.
If you look carefully around the kiln, you should be able
to find three more encircled mounds. These are the remnants
of the long-forgotten charcoal industry in northwestern Connecticut.
Location. 41° 56.589′ N, 73° 0.383′ W. Marker is in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, in Litchfield County. Marker can be reached from East River Road 1.7 miles south of Connecticut Route 20. Touch for map. The marker is located on the Lighthouse Trail, 0.28 miles from the trail-head. The trail starts at the Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village Marker found 1.7 miles south from state route 20 on East River Road. Marker is in this post office area: Barkhamsted CT 06063, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village Stone Quarry (within shouting distance of this marker); Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village Grind Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village Cellar Holes (within shouting distance of this marker); Barkhamsted Lighthouse Village (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Peoples State Forest (about 300 feet away); Camp White (approx. 0.3 miles away); Henry Robinson Buck (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Barkhamsted.
Also see . . .
1. charcoal making. (Submitted on January 3, 2018, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut.)
2. Barkhamsted Lighthouse. (Submitted on January 3, 2018, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut.)
3. Barkhamsted Historical Society. (Submitted on January 3, 2018, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 3, 2018, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 3, 2018, by Alan M. Perrie of Unionville, Connecticut. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.