Wheeler Pass passed up tonight

My dad and I did not go home via Wheeler Pass tonight, having enjoyed the Nye County Lincoln Day Dinner, but we sure did talk about it.

These beehive-shaped structures are the remains of three charcoal making kilns and one Lime Kiln built for Jonas Osborne in 1877. He had designed and built a big furnace to smelt over 20 tons of silver and lead ore each day in the boomtown of Tecopa, California in January of 1878. Forty-four men attempted to keep the furnace working by cutting and hauling the ore, and feeding and constantly repairing the furnace. It completely failed and was abandoned in the fall of 1878.

As this area of the Spring Mountains had the best and closest source of wood, the kilns were setup here and the charcoal produced was carried by horse drawn wagons about 50 miles to the Tecopa Smelter. Evidence shows only tree limbs were cut in fuel and no extensive tree cutting was done.

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