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Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, Ely
(3.8/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web)
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic State Park is a Nevada state park in White Pine County, Nevada, United States. Located 20mi south of the town of Ely, it is in the Eastern Nevada Region of Nevada State Parks.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 1876. 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, 30ft high, 27ft in diameter, with walls 2ft thick at the base. The ovens were built in 1876 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.The Ward Charcoal Ovens were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.ActivitiesThe park offers camping, picnicking, and trails for hiking and mountain biking.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Interesting spot not too far up dirt road off main highway, especially as I have had experience of charcoal-making on a small scale with a metal kiln in UK. Info board needs renewing as hard to read. ...  more »
  • Quite complicated to find road as no signs indicated, I find that it's an exaggeration to request payment for access to the site. Strictly, there is no infrastructure for this "fairy".
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  • We enjoyed the charcoal kilns, which are well preserved and clearly explained with the accompanying signage. We have seen similar charcoal kilns at Death Valley National Park, but these are even bette...  more »
Google
  • The ovens are quite interesting to see, especially since you can step inside them. Otherwise, more of a quick stop place, though you can also camp here, and it's a good access point for the surrounding BLM lands.
  • Very cool. Kids will love it. Remote. Very good view.
  • Nice bit of local history. Death Valley ovens similar historical context.
  • Interesting park and very nice views.
  • ok