category : Historic Sites
The Historic Coke Ovens, otherwise known as charcoal kilns, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places
, were built in 1882 along the Gila River by the Pinal Consolidated Mining Company, and are so inaccessible that their preservation is easily understood.
Five unique structures, built out of stone, are more than 30 feet high and 72 feet in diameter. Cacti grow out of the sides of the rocks, fed by nutrients from the burning process over 100 years ago. The ovens were used to reduce mesquite wood to coke, a hotter burning fuel, for use in smelting gold and silver ore taken from surrounding mines. The abundance of mesquite in this Gila Valley location was exploited by the mining company in an attempt to obtain economic advantage.
From Phoenix take Superstition Freeway (Hwy 60) east approximately 43 miles to Florence Junction. Take Hwy 79 south towards Florence approximately 5 1/2 miles to Cottonwood Canyon Road turn-off.
Come visit us in Florence, Arizona