Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ward Charcoal Ovens

When Dave first started his job outside of Ely, I drove out there on my days off. I decided to take the whole day to drive out there, then we drove back the next day after he got off work. I'll post a few pictures of the drive soon, but the 2nd day I was there, I went to a couple state parks nearby in the morning.

Ward Charcoal Ovens was the first park I went to. It's a state historic park like Fort Churchill. It also has a campground and hiking trails.

The ovens were used to produce charcoal. Nearby trees were cut down and stacked inside. They were then lit on fire and slits in the walls (visible near the bottom) were used to control the heat and speed of burning. They didn't want the wood to burn too fast, because then it would produce ash instead of charcoal. These ovens were used from 1876 through 1879 and use stopped when the available timber ran out. After they were no longer used to produce charcoal, they served as shelter for prospecters and eventually outlaws like Butch Cassidy.

A really good friend of Dave's, Allen Wooldridge, is the ranger at Ward Charcoal and Cave Lake State Parks. They are so close together, the same supervisors and rangers patrol both parks. Allen lives at Ward Charcoal. These are his chickens!

Allen also "bribes" local ducks to live at his pond so they clean out the algae. He has some pretty good-sized fish in there too. I wish I'd had my camera, instead of my cell phone for pictures because that area is beautiful! I don't have any pictures yet of Cave Lake but I definitely want to go back.

No comments: