Wyoming January 30, 2019
The Story Behind These Strange Ruins Hiding Off A Wyoming Highway Is Fascinating
Wyoming’s highways are full of exits that make for fascinating detours, and Exit 24 off I-80 is no exception. Any time I see a historic marker sign, I try to see what’s hiding out, because you never really know what it could be. One great example is the odd charcoal kilns near the old ghost town of Piedmont, not far from Evanston. This Uinta County site is holding on to show those who make the trek just what commerce looked like here 150 years ago.
Just ten miles south of Evanston, the ghost town of Piedmont is home to a strange set of ruins.
The town was once a bustling railway stop, with Piedmont acting as a terminal for engines. There was a roundhouse, telegraph office, and several bustling businesses.
Now, there's little left of Piedmont, but history buffs make the drive to see the crumbling charcoal kilns.
Piedmont and nearby Hillard were ideal towns for producing important charcoal, and these kilns were built in 1869. The proximity to both the railroad and the Uinta Mountains made for a ready supply and easy shipment of product.
The kilns are now crumbling, over a hundred years later, but once upon a time, they were busy all day long.
Wood-burning fires were lit in the kilns, and then they were sealed up. Several days later, the kilns could be opened up and the fire was allowed to die. The remaining smoldered wood was then shipped to Fort Bridger and to the Salt Lake Valley.
At its peak, the Piedmont Charcoal Kilns and other area kilns produced over 100,000 bushels each month.
Charcoal prices skyrocketed, and then like so many other resources, plummeted, leaving Piedmont no chance but to shut down the operation.
Today, you can visit the Piedmont Charcoal Kiln Historic Site, as it was added to the National Register in 1971. The State of Wyoming has been restoring the crumbling kilns, and each visit helps you look back in time to the old railroad days of the Cowboy State.
Find the ghost town of Piedmont and the kilns off of Exit 24 on I-80.
Click here for an exact location.
If tracking down Wyoming historic sites is your hobby,
You’ll Love Driving Through This Eerie Wyoming County Full Of Ghost Towns