A long-abandoned lime kiln, looking very much like a large stone chimney stands along the River Road northwest of Fairbury. For a period of at least 20 years, it was the sight of a lime-burning operation where limestone was heated, or "calcined", until it became lime. There it has stood since the early 1870's.
Lime at that time was used mainly as mortar or plaster. It was sold locally and shipped in barrels to points up and down the St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad, now part of the Union Pacific system. The kiln operator, Woral C. "Limekiln" Smith, used some of his own product in building the stone home a short distance away. Here, he, his wife and two sons lived, and here he died in 1906. The old kiln and home are relics of this once small but useful and thriving pioneer industry. The old kiln and home now belong to the Jefferson County Historical Society, and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The house was restored in 1976 as a Bi-centennial project and contains displays depicting its history.
Hours: Open to the public Sundays 2-4 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Address: Hwy. 136 West to River Road (gravel), North 4 to 4 1/2 miles
Phone: (402) 729-5131
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