Soapy Smith Duck and I, Zeb the Duck, saw beehive coke ovens at Redstone, Colorado.
Coal of premium quality was mined in the mountains at an elevation of 10,000 feet and higher.
Coal was baked in these coke ovens to produce coke, a more efficient fuel.
These coke ovens, a few miles from Aspen, Colorado, were built about 1899 and used for 10 years, until the mines closed. At their peak, the 200 ovens were producing almost 6 million tons a year.
The idle coke ovens donated their support steel during the scrap metal drives of World War II. According to Wikipedia, later hippies who moved into Redstone used the ovens as living space.
By the coke ovens we saw this monument. The first paragraph reads: This monument stands in tribute to the miners of Coal Basin, who confronted adversity and proved themselves resourceful, innovative and intrepid. We honor their achievements and their sacrifices, remembering in particular those brave, good men whose lives were lost in the mines.
The plaque explains Colorado Fuel and Iron Company mined approximately 1 million tons of coal from 1900-1909. Then Mid-Continent Resources, Inc. mined approximately 28 million tons of coal between 1956 and 1991. The premium quality and unique properties of the coal were the inducement to mining under difficult conditions, including the high elevation, steep terrain, heavy snows and avalanching on the surface. The monument consists of mine roof support shields designed to withstand the massive overburden pressures and mine fan pedestals. This monument was placed here with gratitude and respect by the Mid-Continent Companies.
I, Zeb the Duck, did not know about coal in Redstone and I did not know about coke ovens. Perhaps you would enjoy visiting this area also and learn more about the coal mining in Redstone.