Jun 11, 2011

A Trip to the Coke Ovens...

I thought it would be fun to share a bit of
local history with you today :-)

The neighboring town of Wilkeson, WA
is about 10 miles from me.

It was a town built from coal mining...

(click photos to enlarge)

these coke ovens were built in 1885,
 to cook the impurities out of the coal...


first there were 25 ovens
(that is about how many are still left)

in 1902 there was a boom and they built 140 more,
at that time the population of the town of Wilkeson
boomed to 3000...

this was a big boom to the whole South Sound
area where I live.
and the year my house was built...

in 1935 they closed the ovens down
and the current population is only 460...


here is an up view from the inside
 on the beehive shaped oven

(sorry for the blurry photo- with very low light, 
 I should have brought a tripod)


to the right of the sun spot
is the outside view of the top drop hole...

the raw coal was dropped in through the hole
and baked for 2-3 days...

they say the the downtown was lit
as bright as day from the fires...


now the ovens are part of a small park,

home to forget-me-nots...


wildflowers...


tangles of berry vines and saplings...

we will gather blackberries here in August,
for pies and jam....



millipedes have also made it home...


as has this unknown animal,
with it's tiny tracks the size of thumbnails...


BIG Washington slugs....
(they get much bigger :-)


and some much greater animals hiding out in the forest....

I hope you are enjoying your weekend!!

Today I am joining...

Thanks for stopping by....

20 comments:

Gracie's Cottage said...

Ewwwwwww slugs creep me out royally!! But I love the rest of this post and had never heard of coke ovens....very cool!

Jan

JayLeigh said...

Now I want to go visit that park! It sounds so neat! Thank you for sharing about it. What great pictures, even the slug... I will admit that we love our big slugs here. ;) lol

Sarah said...

Bella, this is an interesting post. Thanks for taking us along to this park. ~ Sarah

Pat said...

What an interesting place. Wonderful post!

Alison said...

Cool post! I had no idea there was a history of coal mining in this area.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Hello Bella! Interesting to get a little of your natural history. I can only imagine what's crawling around inside there! But wild berries would be nice!xx

GardenGirl said...

Awww loved this post...been there a bunch! We used to live in Buckley ;)I had my little shop there! Thank you for the sweet re-visit. We used to pick wild blackberries up there too...shhh we don't want everyone to know where the best patches are :) There was always a sweet little lady at the Buckley farmer's market that sold wild blackberry pie from she made from just those berries.
Bless your Sunday,
Deb @ Garden Party

Larry said...

This is very interesting! Larry

The Rosegarden in Malevik said...

Hi Bella
What a interesting place :)
I hope everything is ok
and do not miss

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WELCOME :)
Håkan ( The Roseman)

Snap said...

Wonderful post. I need an adventure like this! :D :D Happy Seasonal Sunday!

laurie said...

beautful photos,, its so nice to see where everone lives,, I've heard of coke ovens but never even saw a photo of them,, thanks for sharing,

The Tablescaper said...

Very interesting post. So hard for a town to survive with such changes in population. Bur really, only 460 people now??? That is amazing. How neat to see nature taking over what was once a place of fire.

Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Marlis said...

So interesting about the coal ovens. Never knew that. Your photos are lovely.. many blessings, marlis

Charlene said...

This was fascinating! Hubby & I hope to take off in our RV to visit your neck of the woods & I would LOVE to show him this. Could you email me with a little more information on how we can find this park? THANKS for sharing. Charlene

Becky said...

Bella, thanks for sharing such an interesting post. I've never seen coal ovens before and now I would love to visit this park in person.

Becky

Pamela Gordon said...

I enjoyed reading about the coke ovens. It's amazing how a town can go up and down in size over the decades. 300 people sounds like a nice small place to live. Very interesting post!

Pat said...

I really enjoyed this post. I knew nothing of coke ovens. Very pretty area too.

Pat

Lavender Cottage said...

Hi Bella
Thanks for sharing this interesting information about coal. At least the wildlife feels right at home around these strange beehive holes.
Judith

NanaDiana said...

Thanks Bella! What a wonderful post...and interesting about the coke mines. I grew up in PA just north of all the mining towns. Are there big slag piles all over there too?

Loved this post- xo Diana

Bohemian said...

I just love it when something beautiful that Man made is reclaimed by the Beauty of Nature... melding the two into one Magical and enchanting landscape such as this!

Dawn... The Bohemian