"Charcoal Industry", Correct Answer to Question 3: Fires Smoldered in Charcoal Hearths for 2 to 3 weeks

Charcoal hearth framework and covered in dirt
Charcoal hearth framework of logs and hearth covered in dirt

NPS Photo

Way to go!

Question 3. How long did the colliers (charcoal makers) let the fires smolder in the charocal hearths?

Answer: The colliers dug out a wide, shallow hole up to 50 feet across and piled up logs which they covered with dirt leaving just a couple of holes so that the fire smoldered and charred the wood. The fires smoldered in the charcoal hearths for 2 to 3 weeks. The men would operate as many as 7 charcoal pits at a time and they checked them every few hours. It was a hot and dirty job.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788


(301) 663-9388

Contact Us