Felton in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Historic Lime Kilns
During much of the late 1800s Santa Cruz County led the State in the manufacture of lime. It was mainly shipped to San Francisco where it was used to make mortar for brick buildings.
To make lime, chunks of limestone were “cooked” in kilns at about 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. This removed carbon dioxide from the rock, leaving behind calcium oxide or lime. The pieces of lime were then packed in barrels for shipping.
These kilns were built in the mid 1870s by I.X.L. Lime Company and operated on and off until 1919. By then, most of the surrounding redwoods has been cut to fuel the kilns or make barrels.
Location. 37° 3.506′ N, 122° 5.742′ W. Marker is in Felton, California, in Santa Cruz County. Touch for map. This marker is in the Fall Creek unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The lime kilns are located at the junction of South Fork, Cape Horn and Kiln Trails. The trail head parking lot is at approximately 800 Empire Felton Road. The trail to the lime kilns is approximately
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Cremer House (approx. 1.3 miles away); Felton Covered Bridge (approx. 1˝ miles away); Grace Episcopal Church Building (approx. 4.3 miles away); Scott House (approx. 4.3 miles away); The Swamp House (approx. 4.8 miles away); Cowell Lime Works (approx. 6 miles away); Salz Tannery (approx. 6.1 miles away); St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church (approx. 6.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Felton.
Also see . . .
1. Lime Kilns - Santa Cruz Wiki. There are many abandoned lime kilns in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There are remains of old kilns in Fall Creek, Pogonip, and the campus of UCSC. There are also many abandoned quarry sites in proximity to the kilns. (Submitted on August 31, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
2. Lime Kiln Legacies. Lime is generally made by heating limerock (rock made of calcium carbonate, such as limestone or marble) to over 1,640°F. This drives carbon dioxide from the rock, leaving behind lime. Pure lime is white, caustic, lighter in weight than the original rock, and reacts violently with water. It has many uses, but its principal historical use was for making mortar and plaster. When mixed with (Submitted on August 31, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
1. Text of Newspaper Article Displayed on the Historic Lime Kiln Marker - See Photo #3
I.X.L. Lime Company
The production of lime is steadily on the increase in Santa Cruz. It is well known that Santa Cruz lime is in great favor in San Francisco, and that a ready market is found for all that can be burned. A new Company has been organized to burn lime in Santa Cruz. On Monday last, articles of incorporation were filed in the office of the Secretary of State of the “I.X.L. Lime Company of Santa Cruz. Capital $20,000 in share of $10 each.” The principal place of business will be in San Francisco and the Directors are Farmer D. Seelye, Moses Cerf and Ernest Cerf. The Company owns 610 acres of land on Fall Creek, one mile from Felton. Two kilns of one thousand barrels capacity are to be built on the land about a quarter of a mile from Felton. A tramway three-quarters of a mile in length will be constructed to the quarries to bring rock and fire wood to the kilns. The latter adjoins Bennett's Lime Kilns. As soon as the rains begin to fall the work of building the road will commence and by next spring the Company will be burning and shipping lime.
---- Santa Cruz Sentinel
Note. Three rather than two kilns were constructed.
— Submitted September 5, 2012.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 684 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 31, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.