Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
|Ward Charcoal Ovens
State Historic Park
|Nevada State Park|
|Elevation||7,054 ft (2,150 m) |
|Area||700.14 acres (283 ha) |
|Management||Nevada Division of State Parks|
|Website: Ward Charcoal Ovens
State Historic Park
Ward Charcoal Ovens
|Location||White Pine County, Nevada|
|Nearest city||Ely, Nevada|
|NRHP Reference #||71000491|
|MARKERS #||184 |
|Added to NRHP||September 28, 1971|
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park is an area designated for historic preservation and public recreation located 20 miles (32 km) south of the town of Ely in White Pine County, Nevada. The 700-acre (280 ha) state park protects beehive-shaped charcoal ovens constructed in the latter half of the 19th century.
The charcoal ovens are associated with the silver mining ghost town of Ward, Nevada, established in 1876. The town at its peak had a population of 1500, two newspapers, a school, fire department, two smelters and a stamp mill. The town declined after 1880, with a fire in 1883 destroying a third of the town. The post office closed in 1888. Mining revived briefly in the 1930s and 1960s. The town has been mostly destroyed by repeated flash flooding in its low-lying site. Only the smelter, mill foundations and a cemetery are left.
The charcoal ovens are two miles to the south of the townsite. Six large ovens remain in excellent repair, 30 feet (9.1 m) high, 27 feet (8.2 m) in diameter, with walls 2 feet (0.61 m) thick at the base. The ovens were in operation from 1876 through 1879. They were built of quartz latite welded tuff by itinerant Italian masons who specialized in the ovens, who were known as carbonari. The charcoal ovens prepared charcoal from locally harvested timber for use in the smelters at Ward, using 30 to 60 bushels of charcoal per ton of ore, for 16,000 bushels a day. The Ward ovens are the best-preserved of their kind in Nevada. They were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
The area was under private ownership and management until 1956, when the Nevada State Park Commission was offered a permit to protect the ovens. Two privately owned parcels were transferred to the Nevada Department of Wildlife in 1968, and in 1969, 160 acres were transferred to the state park system to create a state monument. The area was designated a state park in 1994, when recreational facilities were added to the site.
Activities and amenities
The park offers camping, picnicking, and trails for hiking and mountain biking.
- "Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Inventory of State Lands" (PDF). Nevada Division of State Lands. May 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- "Ward Charcoal Ovens". Nevada’s State Historical Markers. State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- "Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park". Nevada State Parks. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Wieprecht, W.E. (June 2, 1971). "National Register of Historic Place Inventory Nomination: Ward Charcoal Ovens" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
- "History of Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park". Nevada State Parks. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Diane and H.B. Britton (November 1983). "Irondale Iron and Steel Plant" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. National Park Service. p. 75. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
- Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Nevada State Parks
- Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail Map Nevada State Parks
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