Cottonwood Charcoal Kilns

Cottonwood Charcoal Kilns

The old Cottonwood Charcoal Kilns near Olancha, CA. Lumber was sent from the Eastern Sierra down flumes to the kilns, where it was turned into charcoal, and shipped on barges across the once bustling Owens Lake, where the charcoal was used to smelt the metals from the Cerro Gordo mine. The amount of small adobe bricks is amazing to see after all these years. There are only two left, and the have been fenced off due to vandalism. Photo taken Fall, 2006
on Jul 28, 2007 3:00 am
Image ID: 317048


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dmiki - Jul 28, 2007 3:37 am - Voted 10/10

was this the original build

or are the vertical lines on the surface due to erosion?


butitsadryheat - Jul 28, 2007 5:23 am - Hasn't voted

Re: was this the original build

I believe the vertical lines are from water/rainfall erosion.

el guano

el guano - Jun 7, 2009 4:00 am - Voted 10/10


So how old are they?


butitsadryheat - Jun 8, 2009 5:31 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: cool

About 135 years old or so....


COTTONWOOD CHARCOAL KILNS - In June 1873, on Cottonwood Creek directly west of this spot, Colonel Sherman Stevens built a sawmill and a flume that connected with the Los Angeles bullion road. The lumber was used for timbering in the mine and for buildings - the wood turned into charcoal in the kilns was hauled to Steven's Wharf on Owens Lake, where it was put on the steamer The Bessie Brady, and hauled across the lake. From there wagons took it up to Cerro Gordo Mine. Since all the wood available around the Cerro Gordo had been burned, this charcoal was necessary to continue production.

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