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  The Pass   |   The Kilns  

These unique kilns were used to supply charcoal to the smelters near Dillon. Each kiln would hold 37 yards of timbers and yield 1.500 units of combustible fuel. The smell of smoke still exists in these relics even after 60 years.

These beehive-shaped brick ovens or "kilns" made charcoal from 1881 to 1900. The charcoal fired 3 smelter furnaces at Glendale, holding 35 cords of precisely stacked wood cut high in the mountains. The four men loading or "charging" a kiln used the ground-level "charging door" until they couldn't reach the top of the stack, then they finished the job using the upper door at the rear. The wood was then burned slowly for two weeks.

At that point, the kilns were opened and cooled and usually yielded 1,750 bushels of charcoal – enough to fire a single smelter for 42 hours. By 1901, the silver and lead produced from Hecla Mining district totaled $22,000,000.



Canyon Creek Guest Ranch ~ Melrose, MT 59743
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