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Fading Away #9480

Coming out of a summer morning fog, these old lime kilns appear like the walls of a medieval castle but are only the ruins of a large industrial lime making site that closed over a hundred years ago. All of the lime produced here was made from limestone harvested in a large underground mine and was taken by rail to be used in making iron and steel in Pittsburgh, Johnstown, and other steel towns. The other main use of lime that continues to this day is in agriculture where it is spread onto fields, and it has many other industrial uses as well. The furnaces were heated with coal, also brought by rail.<br />
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What is seen here is all that remains of 80 foot iron stacks that stood on top of each kiln or furnace which were recycled for their metal during WW2. The broad flat concrete area facing the hearths was once covered with a large roof and a rail siding went along the left for lime loading. Interestingly, the roof was needed because lime heats up when wet and can catch a wooden building or the railroad cars of the time on fire.<br />
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This industrial heritage site is now part of Canoe Creek State Park outside of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. The beautiful park and lake are open to the public year round and the kilns can be reached by a short level hike.