Remnants of one of four lime kilns in Hurstville. (c) J.S. Reinitz

Remnants of one of four lime kilns in Hurstville. (c) J.S. Reinitz

 

While traveling last week, I took a quick break to stretch my legs at the Lime Kilns in Hurstville.

The kilns were built in the 1870s to process limestone from nearby quarries into limes mortar to be used as building material. Chiseled limestone was loaded at the top where 900-degree fires reduced it to powder. The powder collected at the base, where it was loaded into barrels and mixed with sand and water.

The kilns went cold in the 1920s when cement began to replace lime mortar.

Today, the towering remnants of four kilns sit against a cliff next to a highway just a few short miles from the Mississippi River, and the site is on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s a short trail that leads to the top of the cliff where the ruins of a wooden buildings sit.

A visitors center is down the road.

 

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