Yellowstone National Park: April 17, 2011
After lunch we park near a small log shed just outside the park. I get to paint a cabin while Dale walks.
Note: The internet is wonderful! After I got home I found a complete edition of “The Official Northern Pacific Railroad Guide,” 1893, published online. These ovens are part of the 36 coke ovens built at Horr, Montana. At that time the town had 300 people and was the end of the line for people traveling to Yellowstone. From there they took a stage to the Mammoth Hotel. Now I just see the old ovens, pastures and sage, and a scattered modern house or two. Perhaps the little shed I painted is the last remaining building from the town of Horr.
I dug deeper to find out about coke ovens. Coal was mined nearby and brought to the ovens. According to Wikipedia: baking coal in an airless furnace drives out volatile parts of coal, leaving behind coke. Coke is used in smelting iron ore and as fuel in stoves and furnaces where a cleaner burning fuel is needed. The coal from this area was as high a quality as that found in Pennsylvania.