Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The oven/kiln near Rusina Road

QUESTION: If you look to your left when heading north on I-25 right near the Pro Rodeo exit, on the side of the hill there is a small round mud structure with an opening - looking kind of like an old clay fire oven. What is it? How old is it? Whose is it? I’ve always wondered and would love to know the answer.
- Diana


ANSWER: It's a good question and we were able to track down this answer for a previous column. Here you go:

It’s a beehive/honeycomb coking oven where ore was cooked when the area was the Pikeview Mine complex from 1897 to 1957. It is one of the last surface remains from this area’s rich mining past. Coking coal was heated at an extremely high temperature and the coke/carbon remaining was pure enough to be used for smelting ore in the production of iron and steel.

Darrell Green says that in the mid-1960s, his parents leased the property, which had a two-story house below the oven. His mother, Bernice Wollen, told family stories about saving numerous animals that had fallen into the oven hole. Green recalls that his now-deceased father could ride his appaloosa horses across the 500 acres all the way to the Flying W Ranch property to the west.

4 Comments:

Blogger otowi said...

Thanks!!!

7:41 PM, January 10, 2006  
Anonymous Mike said...

Hello! Very interesting blog. I'll add it to my bookmarks. Regards,
Mike

4:57 AM, March 18, 2006  
Anonymous Caroline Werle said...

Thanks! I have been wondering about this kiln also. I even walked up there once and looked in and noticed broken beer bottles inside and 100's of cigarette butts. I also have noticed remains of ruins of what used to be the house there. Does anyone have pictures of the area back how it used to look?

11:51 PM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous Caroline Werle said...

Hello again. I also wonder if it would be part of an historical landmark (once it was cleaned up)

12:01 AM, March 27, 2006  

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