Coleman Coke Ovens - Coleman, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 38.019 W 114° 30.342
11U E 680104 N 5500887
Quick Description: One of the more notable parts of Coleman's heritage, many of the coke ovens built in 1903 survive along the railroad tracks on the south end of town. They provided coke to smelters in Southern BC for many years, the last being shut down in 1952.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 8/8/2015 1:22:07 PM
Waymark Code: WMPCCK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
Views: 1

Long Description:
Coleman Coke Ovens

The coal industry at Coleman in part owed its existence to the demand for coke from the metal smelting plants of southeastern British Columbia. Coke, a product made from coal, is nearly pure carbon and burns at a much higher temperature than normal coal.

The International Coal and Coke Company started the construction of 100 beehive-style coke ovens in 1903 as part of its Coleman mine, surface plant and townsite complex. The ovens were constructed from red brick in a continuous wall, topped with rails for electrically-driven coal cars and surrounded by a cooling wharf. In 1906 an additional 116 coke ovens were constructed, which increased production capacity to 8000 tons of coke per month.

The coke ovens were operated continuously, and provided hot, dirty, but welcome employment for several shifts of men and boys. Cars running overhead emptied coal into the ovens, where it was baked at a very high temperature to drive off impurities such as hydrogen, ammonia, tar and methane. After baking, the coke was cooled with water before being 'pulled' or pitchforked onto the surrounding wharf where it was separated from ash and loaded into rail cars.

The Coleman coke ovens closed in 1918 due to collapsing metal markets. In 1932, 104 ovens were reopened. Most of the coke ovens were permanently closed around 1950, with the last ten closing in 1952.

The heat, noise and dust of the coke ovens formed part of the background fabric of everyday Coleman life. For almost fifty years the bright glow from the ovens lit up the night sky. The ovens are a key component of the Coleman National Historic Site which was designated by the federal government in 2001.
From the plaque at the site

Photo goes Here

Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: Parking available nearby

Placement agency: Crowsnest Heritage

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