Utah January 08, 2018
Most People Don’t Know About These Strange Ruins Hiding In Utah
If you’ve ever visited the ghost town of Frisco, you’ve likely seen the ruins of old charcoal ovens that date back to the late 1800s. These odd, dome-shaped ovens might be strange-looking, but they have a fascinating history.
The ghost town of Frisco is located in Beaver County, about 14 miles west of Milford. It sits in the shadow of the San Francisco Mountains, which is how it got its name.
Frisco got its start in 1875, when silver was found in the area and the Horn Silver Mine opened.
The town was officially founded in 1879, and by 1885, it was a bustling community with 6,000 residents. The Horn Silver Mine was the most productive silver mine in the world at the time, and it produced over $20 million of precious metals. Eight other mines sprung up around Frisco, and combined with the Horn Silver Mine, they pulled over $60 million in gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc from the earth.
During Frisco's heyday, the Frisco Mining and Smelting Company built a smelter in the town to extract the various metals from the ore being mined. The company also built five charcoal ovens to supply its smelter.
Each oven cost between $500-$1,000 each to build.
The dome-shaped ovens varied in size, measuring between 16 and 32 feet.
Each oven had an opening large enough for a man to fit through, and vent holes were placed at the top and around the sides. Cords of firewood were stacked inside, then burned for several days to create charcoal. The charcoal, which burns much hotter than wood, was then used for the smelting process.
After the Horn Silver Mine collapsed in 1885, Frisco began to decline, and other nearby mines began closing, one by one. By 1910, the town had fewer than 500 residents, and it was declared abandoned in 1929.
While some of the charcoal ovens in Frisco have started to collapse, others are in excellent condition.
The ovens were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and you can see them today if you visit Frisco.
You can reach Frisco by taking SR-21 (The Ely Highway) from Milford.
If you visit, please remember to leave this town as you find it. Take only photos, and please don't disturb the ruins here so that those who visit after you can also enjoy this bit of Utah history.
Frisco is a fascinating ghost town that some say is haunted.
Check out this interesting story.