WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
LEEDS CREEK KILN
Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah
LOCATIONIn Leeds Creek Canyon, Dixie National Forest
2.6 miles northwest (325°) from Silver Reef, Utah
3.7 miles northwest (330°) from Leeds, Utah
37° 17' 2.04" North Latitude, 113° 23' 39.32" West Longitude
37.283899° North Latitude, 113.394253° West Longitude
4,638 feet (1,413 meters) MSL
The kiln at Leeds Creek is located at the Children's Forest in the Dixie National Forest.
To get there from I-15, take southbound Exit 23 (Leeds/Silver Reef) and then turn right/west onto Silver Reef Road;
or from northbound I-15 take Exit 22 and follow State Route 228 (Main St. through Leeds) for 1.7 miles, and turn left/west onto Silver Reef Road.
After 0.7 miles the road name changes to Oak Grove Road. It crosses a creek and turns to gravel at 1.5 miles. At mile 2.1 bear right staying on Oak Grove Road, and at mile 4.2 park at the Children's Forest parking lot.
Follow the gravel footpath northeast to the kiln.
For a map, click here.
DESCRIPTIONBuilt of sandstone blocks and mud mortar, the beehive-shaped oven measures 20 feet in diameter at its base and stands 25 feet high.
The Roman arch entryway was sealed with a metal door and the upper entry on the opposite side was used to fill the kiln with wood. Small openings around the base of the kiln were used to regulate air circulation to the fire.
There are foundations of another kiln nearby, however it was never constructed.
HISTORYThe Leeds Creek Kiln was designed and built around 1885 by Italian stone masons and silver miners according to local legend. The Roman arch-style entryway and the kiln's location west of Italian Wash, give credence to the legend.
The kiln supported the mining operations for the Silver Reef Mining Area. The kiln was used to make charcoal from the surrounding oak and juniper forest. Loggers worked the nearby slopes of the Pine Valley Mountains to provide pinyon pine and scrub oak to fill the kiln. The wood was set on fire and allowed to smolder until the logs became charcoal. Teamsters would then unload the charcoal logs through the main entryway onto wagons and haul the logs to the smelter at Silver Reef. The charcoal kept the smelter at a constant temperature for removing the silver from sandstone.
Families from Leeds helped restore the kiln in the 1990s.
Leed Creek Kiln
Leed Creek Kiln
REFERENCESLeeds Creek Kiln Interpretive Sign
Dixie National Forest Visitor Guide