Initially, everything was run by steam - jackhammers, grinders, and crushers.
Dynamite, picks, and hammers were used to loosen the stone
The stone was sent up tracks in carts with a steam hoist. Later an electric hoist was used
The stone was dumped into the kilns from the V-shaped carts that would tilt. They would run off of a small gage track
The limestone was heated with coke. The grate was called the eye of the kiln and was extremely hot. The fire would be initially started from a wood fire under the grate in the hearth. The fire would travel slowly up through the layered coke and limestone and could be as hot as 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat would change the limestone chemically and allow it to be ground into a powder more easily
The burnt limestone was then allowed to cool and the clumps were transferred into a 2 wheeled cart driven by a horse. When filled, each cart could weigh as much as 1,800 pounds
The limestone was transferred by cart to the top of the kiln again and dumped into the shoot above the hammer mills. The mills would grind the limestone into powder. The noise of the grinder was extremely loud and could be heard for quite a distance
Stone Quarry Ruins
The kilns were
repaired in 1995, at a cost of $300,000. The chimney from the boiler
house, which can be seen on the right of the first picture below, was
taken in 1946.
The remaining limestone base from this chimney
can be seen in the second picture and is still present in the park. It
is part of the self-guided trail of the battery of lime kilns.
The upper red brick portion of the chimney was said to have been
dismantled and used to build a section of the fireplace that is now in
the building designated as the nature center.