Nevada History and Photos|
- (1876-1887) (Picture
Ward lies in T14N, R63E, Sections
13 & 14, and 2 miles west of the Cave Valley - Charcoal Ovens
State Historical Site road at a point 7 miles south of its junction
with US 50, 6 and 93; 12 miles south of Ely.
Ward was named
for Thomas F. Ward, who discovered silver, lead, copper, maganese
and antimony in the area in March 1872.
The mining camp of
Ward had two smelters, a twenty stamp mill with three furnaces, a
tramway, two breweries, fraternal orders, stores, saloons, a hook
and ladder company, school, post office, city hall and two
newspapers. One newspaper was called the Ward Reflex. By 1877
the population reached 1,500. The town began to decline in 1880 as
the lead content of the ore decreased.
A fire in 1883 that
started in Roach's blacksmith shop destroyed one-third of the
buildings in Ward, including the school house and city hall. Between
1883 and 1885 many building that were left were moved across the
valley to Taylor. The post office was discontinued in
Short lived mining revivals took place in 1906, the
late 1930"s, and the 1960's. The Silver King Mining Company tried
its luck during the 1970's. More recently, Alta Gold Mining Company
has worked the old area on a small scale.
Little remains of
Ward due to flash floods except for a few foundations, smelter and
mill foundations and a small fenced cemetery
located approximately one mile east of the town.
south of Ward can be found the six unusually well-preserved 30' high
beehive shaped Ward Charcoal Ovens situated in Steptoe Valley. The
Ward Charcoal Ovens were designated as a State Historic Site in
1957. See Historical
Charcoal Ovens - Photos
It is unknown who actually built the
elegant and massive ovens in 1876, but, it is obvious to even an
untrained eye that whomever built them was a master stone
Wood was first hauled by wagons to a platform level
with the windows at the back of the ovens. Then 35 cords of wood was
packed in layers inside each of the ovens and the windows and lower
openings were tightly closed with iron doors. Double doors were on
the bottom openings.
The temperature of the fire was
controlled by careful monitoring and opening and closing the small
vent holes located in the base of the ovens. When the correct amount
of charring of the wood had been reached, the fire was smothered out
by closing all of the openings so no oxygen could continue to fuel
In 1972, a local story relates that Clarence
Moorman said that one of the ovens was whitewashed and made suitable
for a home for a gambler and his prospective bride, Addie Hacker, to
live in after the nuptials were performed. But alas, the two lovers
quarreled and the wedding never took place.