Charcoal Making on Maryland Heights

Charcoal Making on Maryland Heights (HM2RS)

Location: Knoxville, MD 21758 Washington County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 20.079', W 77° 43.448'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 176 views
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Inscription
The charcoal industry required wood; Maryland Heights offered plenty. From 1810 to 1848 the Antietam Iron Works, 7 miles to the north, cut trees on the mountain to make charcoal to fuel its furnace and forges. The burning charcoal helped produce refined iron, from which the Antietam Iron Works made nails and other tools.

Just above you are the remains of a typical charcoal hearth, one of 57 recorded on the 783 acres of Maryland Heights. Colliers, the skilled men who made the charcoal, formed a hearth by clearing a level oblong platform on the mountain slope. Over a ten-day burning period, a hearth transformed 50 cords of wood into 1750 bushels of charcoal.

Crude sled and wagon roads formed the arteries of the charcoal industry. After cutting a woodlot, laborers dragged timber downhill along a sled road to a hearth, where the colliers made the charcoal. Then via wagon roads, teamsters hauled the charcoal off the mountain to the ironworks. Over time, about 23 miles of road covered these Heights. Many were later improved by Civil War soldiers. Some you hike today.

Building a Charcoal Pit
The collier first built a triangular chimney in the center of the hearth and filled it with wood chips and other flammable material. Next he stacked 30 to 50 cords of wood tightly around the chimney. Leaves and a layer of dirt and charcoal dust completed the pit. The chimney was lit from the top and covered.

Tending the Charring
A burning hearth produced tremendous smoke. It needed constant care to prevent fire from burning through the outer layer. If too much air entered the stack, an open flame reduced the wood to useless ash. The demands of charring required a collier to live in a make-shift hut near the hearth during the burning period.

Acres to Burn
· An iron works factor owned vast acres of hardwood forest which supplied charcoal to fuel their furnaces.
· One cord of wood is 128 cubic feet.
· Thirty cords equals one acre.
· A charcoal hearth burned two acres.
· A furnace burned up 276 acres annually.
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Details
HM NumberHM2RS
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 2:04am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 265210 N 4357453
Decimal Degrees39.33465000, -77.72413333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 20.079', W 77° 43.448'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 20' 4.74" N, 77° 43' 26.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 925 Hoffmaster Rd, Knoxville MD 21758, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. This marker needs at least one picture.
  2. Is this marker part of a series?
  3. What historical period does the marker represent?
  4. What historical place does the marker represent?
  5. What type of marker is it?
  6. What class is the marker?
  7. What style is the marker?
  8. Does the marker have a number?
  9. What year was the marker erected?
  10. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?