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Wandering WY: Piedmont Charcoal Kilns

When thinking of industrial buildings or skylines, Wyoming probably doesn't come to mind but back in the late 1860s to early 1870s Charcoal Kilns supplied around 100,000 bushels of charcoal per month to the Salt Lake Valley and nearby Fort Bridger.

Now three lonely beehive-shaped structures stand along a lonely dirt county road that once was the Union Pacific Railroad grade.

Pictures do not do this site justice! The kilns look much smaller than they really are in pictures but it shouldn't surprise anyone that these structures are massive. To produce charcoal they would be filled with around 30 cords of wood harvested from the Uinta Mountains. Then the kiln would be sealed and the fire set. For days the wood would smolder until the drafts too were sealed and the charcoal could be packaged for shipping.

I wasn't kidding about that dirt road either, you do have about a 10 minute or so drive away from the interstate to get to this historic site, but the road is well cared for. I loved this part of Southwest Wyoming because it gives you the impression of what every Western movie pictures the Wild West to have been and then suddenly you see these unusual buildings rising out of the earth like something one would find in Europe!

What is an unexpected place to visit near you? Have you ever heard of a charcoal kiln? What do you think future archaeologists will think when they find the Piedmont Kilns?

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!


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