For those of you who don’t access F’..book, here are photos shared by a Club Member of the Ride she led to Walker, AZ.
The Poland-Walker tunnel in its day, was a masterpiece of technology. When being constructed two teams began on each side of the mountain and met in the middle at completion. This tunnel was used to transport gold and silver from the Walker area to the train track in Poland. Mules hauled wagon loads 24 hours a day.
Today the tunnel is flooded and the entrance is caved in.
The Coke Oven (Walker charcoal kiln)
The Walker Charcoal Kiln is a structure in the Prescott National Forest near the ghost town of Walker, Arizona. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A sign posted near the kiln reads, “This kiln was constructed around 1880 by Jake and Joe Carmichael to convert oak wood into charcoal for use at nearby smelters. The surrounding forest was cut so heavily for charcoal and mine props in the late 1800s that it is just now becoming productive again.”
Here’s an Article By William Ascarza Special to the Arizona Daily Star, Jan 13, 2019 Updated Jan 11, 2020.
A mining relic, now a monument to the spirit of silver reduction in the historic Walker Mining District near Prescott, is the Walker CharcoalKiln.
Erected by Jake and Joe Carmichael around 1880, its purpose was to aid in local smelting operations by supplying charcoal, a needed ingredient due to its ability to generate excessive heat essential to the improvement of silver ore.
Composed of loose granite blocks and standing 25 feet high, the kiln’s tightly constructed design was to exclude unwanted air. Gamble oak, a hardwood, was cut locally and vertically stacked inside the kiln from an entrance at the base and afterward from a hole in the top rear, accessible by a rise.
A fire was lit from the inside, and the entrance and rear opening were sealed, with a limited amount of air channeled through small openings to keep the wood smoldering .
Inside temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius were necessary to carbonize the dry wood and convert it to charcoal. The resulting product could be as much as 40 bushels of charcoal per cord of wood.
The charcoal was taken to local smelters, including one at Howells, 4 miles east of Prescott and less than a mile from Walker.
The two-stack smelter was erected along Lynx Creek on what became known as Smelter Hill. The smelter produced $173,825 worth of lead and silver during its short duration in 1882. Scant remains exist today, other than several smelter foundations.
Mining in the area dates back to Capt. Joseph R. Walker, namesake of the famed Walker Expedition that discovered placer gold along Lynx Creek, a gold-bearing stream, in 1863 and the resulting town that boasted up to 3,000 people at its height.
Lynx Creek was christened after a miners’ unfortunate run-in with a lynx along the creek.
The country rock in the vicinity includes brown Precambrian schist overlain with light-gray Tertiary granite with abundant quartz outcroppings.
Numerous lode gold deposits of limited profitability abounded in the area worked by arrastres, or mills. Difficult topography made the transportation of ore challenging, while lack of water hindered processing: Eight tons of water to one ton of ore were needed for processing.
The Panic of 1893, a severe economic depression in the United States, led to the repeal of the Sherman Silver Act, which in turn negatively impacted silver mining in the West. Silver prices dropped from 83 cents per ounce to 62 cents per ounce within a several-day period, coupled with bank closures and a decline in the real estate market across the county.
The town of Walker also experienced a decline, though a post office at Walker operated between 1879 and 1940.
Total gold production of the mines and placers in the Walker Mining District was estimated around $1.5 million, over half of which was produced before 1900. In today’s market, that figure would be about $45 million.
Since 1976, the kiln has been on the National Register of Historic Places. It is accessible off a quarter-mile trail near the junction of Walker Road and Big Bug Mesa Road in the Prescott National Forest.
Summer homes and recreational activity abound in the area, which once served as a mining center that helped establish Prescott.
The 55-acre Lynx Lake was created after a dam was constructed in the mid-20th century in Lynx Creek by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The lake is popular for boating and fishing and is stocked with rainbow trout and large-mouth bass. It also serves as a destination for recreational gold-panning.
William Ascarza is an archivist, historian and author of seven books available for purchase online and at select bookstores. These include his latest, “In Search of Fortunes: A Look at the History of Arizona Mining,” available through M.T. Publishing Co. His other books are “Chiricahua Mountains: History and Nature,” “Southeastern Arizona Mining Towns,” “Zenith on the Horizon: An Encyclopedic Look at the Tucson Mountains from A to Z,” “Tucson Mountains,” “Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum” with Peggy Larson and “Sentinel to the North: Exploring the Tortolita Mountains.” Email William Ascarza for a signed copy of his publications at [email protected]
The following photos below are courtesy of: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/walker-charcoal-kiln–2/photos
Our First Meeting for 2021 (Post-Pandemic)
After a long hiatus due to the Pandemic, we held our first General Meeting for 2021 on 24 June. We had about 25 members and guests in attendance.
Our guest speaker was Matt Eberhart of the AZ Game and Fish Dept. and the State Off-Highway Vehicle Coordinator at Arizona State Parks based in
Red Devil Restaurant served Pizzas, Wings, and Salad. The food was delicious and excellent.
Fall Fling 2019 @ Forrest Lakes, AZ
The Arizona ATV Riders held their FALL FLING last October 10-13th, 2019. This was our semi-annual event for club members.
We had Planned rides, Corn hole tournament, Raffles, dinner, and campfire after dinner, and just sitting around and visiting.
For Friday, @ 5:30pm we served a Hot dog Dinner, with condiments, potato salad, baked beans and a dessert.
SATURDAY DINNER was held on October 12th, 5:00 p.m. Catered by THE WILD BUNCH. Menu was: Steak & Chicken, Salad,
Baked Potato, & Honey butter biscuits, and Peach Cobbler.
We had a large area for your RV or tent. Dry camping. We had a porta potty (j-john) onsite too.
Dennis P and Tom M were our Ride Coordinators.
Spring Fling 2019 @ Vulture Mine Airstrip, Wickenburg, AZ
7 March 2019
Just a few photos I took of our campgrounds this friday, 8 March 2019. Most of our club members were out on a ride, except Jamie and Linda,
who were tending our Welcome Tent. The weather was perfect. Sunny and cool, with a slight breeze to keep things comfortable.
The first two photos are what you’ll see as you approach the Vulture Mine Airstrip from the main road, and because of the recent rains,
dust was minimal as you drove in. The other photos are of the campers that joined our Fling, and the last two photos, provided by Pat R.
is sunset at the campgrounds and a photo of a rare cactus. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.
8 March 2019
Today, we were treated to an Air Show when two airplanes landed on the runway next to our campsites.
Photos courtesy of Jamie W.
9 March 2019 – Various structures leading to the CookHouse, where we held our Saturday Dinner.
Observations of the Vulture Mine Spring Fling
March 7th through the 9th 2019
An illness prevented me from attending the event until early afternoon on Saturday. Upon entering the airstrip
Parking area this observer was treated to the sight of camper after camper, ATV after ATV, with many still returning from rides. It was intuitively obvious that we had a great turnout for our annual Spring Fling. After greetings were Exchanged, I was informed that we could gather at the Vulture Mine eating shelter as early as 3:00PM.
Members and guests were filling seats as we all awaited the arrival of The Wild Bunch, for we all knew that some good groceries were about to be served up. Soon, ATV’s began to encircle the shelter as member after member Jockeyed for a place at the tables, which were nearly filled to capacity prior to the time they rang the dinner bell.
The weekends rides were announced along with ride leaders and the winners of the scavenger hunt, who were awarded their prize. Our hosts lit two kerosene heaters to help ward off the cooling night air.
Soon, we were served up generous helpings of brisket, pulled pork, and chicken, along with salad, baked beans, Honey glazed bread, and a baked potato. As always, Bob and Jerry Lynn of the WildBunch Catering prepared a sumptuous feast for all of us. It was delicious and plentiful! Everyone loved their dinner and polished off everything on their plates!
Desserts soon followed with pie, brownies, and treats of all manner. It was announced that Bob White was celebrating a birthday, (his twenty ninth of course,) and box after box of cupcakes appeared. Of course, a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday was sung to him by all attending.
Following supper, the drawing for prizes took place with ATV goodies of every description going on the block. The 50-50 drawing was won by ”ME.” By that I mean not by me. That’s how Linda J. filled out her 50-50 ticket. Ya had to be there.
Vulture Mine personnel invited us to return any time, and camping folks headed toward the bonfire. Hopefully, next year I will make the rides and feel a lot better. Not sure as to how to define the illness, but I can say for sure, that I am not pregnant.
Peter B. , Club President
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.