Uprooted Magnolia

Charcoal Kilns and a Ghost Town

Posted in Photography by leahyetter on July 31, 2014

This stop was not on the official list for my State Parks adventure. I have read about these kilns and quickly realized that Piedmont was only 10 miles south of I-80 . So, I made a detour in-between parks and traveled down a long gravel road to check it out.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

These kilns are the remnants of a charcoal- making industry in Southwest Wyoming. They were built in 1869 by Moses Byrne to supply charcoal to pioneer iron smelters in the Utah Valley.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They were built out of sandstone and limestone- all local material- and are about 30ft in circumference and about 30ft high. Each kiln has a large doorway and a window placed high on the backside for loading cord-wood. Vent holes are around the bottom so that charcoal makers could adjust airflow. Once workers filled the kilns with logs, metal coverings were mortared in place over the doorway and window to seal before firing.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The making of charcoal stopped in the early 1900’s when the Union Pacific rail line was rerouted north of Piedmont. This left Byrne with no economical means of transporting his product to market. Therefore, the town died leaving a ghost town just up the road from the kilns.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

 ©Leah Yetter Photographer

These structures are obviously unsafe so I kept my distance as best as I could. But I did take a quick peek inside. 🙂

10 Responses

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  1. Mike said, on July 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Very nice!


  2. IdealisticRebel said, on July 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Very interesting. Nice job and the photographs are stellar. Hugs, Barbara


  3. shantishabda said, on July 31, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    From time to time I would like to live in one of those.


  4. The Road to Joy said, on July 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Moses had wonderful architectural skills to build such sturdy bee-hive looking structures! Aren’t you glad you went off the beaten path to find them?


  5. shahini sengupta said, on July 31, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    beautiful picture I must say 🙂


  6. thebikinggardener said, on August 1, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Those are wonderfully evocative images. There is something fascinating about ghost towns – trying to imagine the communities that once thrived there.


  7. Merilee said, on August 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Love these images. Especially the last one!


  8. kenkrakow said, on August 1, 2014 at 9:50 am

    And you’re getting paid to do this. 😉


  9. shedgepeth said, on August 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    How cool! Love the black and white.


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