Wildrose Charcoal Kilns (California)

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Inyo County, California (Death Valley National Park)

Kilns at this site: (11). As of 2015, all ten kilns were still fully standing. An 11th smaller kiln is collapsed.

According to the National Park Service, these kilns were built in 1877. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, they were built in 1879. Most of the places where I have read history about them, backs up the 1877 date. They were built for the Modoc Mine Smelter. George Hearst became a stake holder in that operation in 1876. Hearst became famous for his character in the HBO series Deadwood. Hearst was a legendary mining baron. At different periods, he had holdings in places like Deadwood, S.D., Virginia City, NV and Mexico. Regardless of the year they were built, they were only used for a few years. They were said to have been designed by Swiss engineers, with the laborers tending to them being Chinese. Everything that I have read about them, claims that there are ten kilns at this location. All ten were there when we went. We also found what appeared to be the collapsed remains of a smaller kiln sitting back behind the line of ten. There are a couple photos of it down below. We also found what appeared to be two cold storage rooms carved out into the hillside. I also apologize for the photographic quality. We got there as the shadows were hitting the canyon and I couldn't get any light.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: 2015. I hate to admit this, but we took my buddy's Prius. I know! Anyway, that Prius was able to make it up the canyon.