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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Panamint Springs in Inyo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Charcoal Kilns

 
 
Replacement Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 2017
1. Replacement Marker
Inscription.
Editor's Note:
The original marker has been replaced.


Replacement Marker:
Built in 1877, these kilns produced charcoal for the Modock Mine smelter about 20 miles to the west. Workers filled the stone kilns with piñon pine logs (relatively abundant in this area) and fired them. The burning, which reduced the wood to charcoal, took six to eight days. Cooling took another five days. Wagons then hauled the charcoal to the furnace smelter, where it was burned to extract the lead for the Modock Consolidated Mining Company, owned by George Hearst, father of newspaperman William Randolph Hearst. The kilns closed after only three years, but they still smell of creosote inside. Because of their brief life and remote location, these may be the best preserved examples of charcoal kilns in the west.

Original Marker:
Designed by Swiss Engineers and built by Chinese laborers in 1879, these kilns produced charcoal for the Modock Mine smelter, about 30 miles west of here. The kilns closed after only three years of use. Because of their brief life and remote location, these may be the best-preserved examples of charcoal kilns in the west.

Workers filled the air-tight kilns with Pinyon logs (relatively abundant in the area) and fired them. The burning, which reduced the wood to
Original Charcoal Kilns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Trev Meed, circa 2015
2. Original Charcoal Kilns Marker
Photo Captions:
Upper Left:

The stumps of trees cut to fuel the kilns more than a century ago can still be seen on nearby mountainsides.

Lower Left:
The kilns stand twenty-five feet high and are thirty feet in diameter; each could hold more than four cords of wood. the process of turning Pinyon logs into charcoal took up to two weeks.

Upper Right:
A Navajo restoration team stabilized the kilns in 1971. The Civilian Conservation Corps performed similar work on the kilns in the 1930's.
charcoal, took 6 to 8 days. Cooling took another 5 days. Wagons then hauled the charcoal to the Modock Mine Smelter, where it was used to extract silver and lead from the rich ore from Modock's mines.
 
Erected by U.S. Department of the Interior- National Park Service- Death Valley National Park.
 
Location. 36° 14.809′ N, 117° 4.575′ W. Marker is near Panamint Springs, California, in Inyo County. Marker is on Charcoal Kiln Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker is located on Charcoal Kiln Road, which is a dirt road leading into Wildrose Canyon. Marker is in this post office area: Lone Pine CA 93545, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Skidoo Pipeline (approx. 3.2 miles away); Ballarat (approx. 16.1 miles away).
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural Resources
 
Wildrose Canyon Charcoal Kilns image. Click for full size.
By Trev Meed, circa 2015
3. Wildrose Canyon Charcoal Kilns
Wildrose Canyon Charcoal Kilns image. Click for full size.
By Trev Meed, circa 2015
4. Wildrose Canyon Charcoal Kilns
Charcoal Kilns and Marker image. Click for full size.
2016
5. Charcoal Kilns and Marker
The marker can be seen near the center of the parking lot.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 12, 2015, by Trev Meed of Round Mountain, Nevada. This page has been viewed 208 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 23, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   2, 3, 4. submitted on October 12, 2015, by Trev Meed of Round Mountain, Nevada.   5. submitted on April 4, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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