History on the Cochran ghost town and the beehive coke ovens

When I saw a picture of beehive coke ovens, I became quite astonished . But of course I had to research the history of the Cochran mining camp. This town was pretty small and Was used as a stop for the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix railway. Named after John S.Cochran and settled in 1905. This town consisted with a general store and a boarding house plus the fascinating 5 large beehive coke (fuel) ovens. These ovens were used to turn mesquite wood into fuel for reducing silver and gold. The new fuel was transported across the Gila River to the town., known as Cochran. Beehive coke ovens are also used in iron making. Most households had beehive oven for baking breads, pies (yum!)crackers and other goods. The ovens really became popular between 1870-1905 , making up to 31,000 to produce 18 million tons of coke in Pittsburgh Another very interesting fact about the beehive structures were used in seven cultures. West Asia, Spain, Syria, Cyprus (Greece) and Sardinia and these structures were used as burial grounds, tombs. Unfortunately, the coke ovens in Cochran are on Private property . In order to get to the Cochran ovens, you will need a high clearance vehicle, as the territory is basically off-road and way out in the desert. I, myself am going to attempt to explore the area, at least as close As possible before getting to a No trespassing and or private property sign, or whatever other setbacks are incurred. I also want to state coke ovens are also found in Death Valley, Redstone ,Montana and Coke oven National Monument, Wilkerson coke ovens and near the New River Gorge, West Virginia . Stellar meadows,Brookside, Alabama, Durham-Inkerman. Also want to explain construction of coke ovens .They are a fire brick structure shaped as a dome, normally 13 ft in width and 9 ft in height. The roof has a hole for charging coal or kindling from the top. Coke oven batteries usually have a lot and up to 100’s in a row.

Cochran Rd. Is an unsaved scenic road that takes you to a gate, you have to open and close so cows can’t go in and out!

Right before crossing over a railroad track.
Gila River flowing fast, had to turn around and see what other trails to lead to Coke ovens!

May be a foundation of a building that stood in Cochran mining camp? Possibly The coke ovens were at quite a long distance. I noticed one was missing the top, I’m pretty sure someone or even more have been taking this historic beehive coke oven and keeping it somewhere. Sad! Now I understand why the owner doesn’t want any humans there!

Too far out to reach the coke ovens, but a really fun off-roaring trip! Pictures are found on internet! Sorry, ,just can’t cross that fast flowing Gila River!!!!

Published by Rossi

I am an artist, explorer and writer, I love history and archaeology. I love to research new territories and have a deep passion for ghost towns, and new places! I am also a mother to 2 grown kids!

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