Tar Kiln Locations?

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Al, the same exact thing happened to me this spring, up off 539 and north of route 70. I went 1/4 mile out of my way to see what it was, and it too was laurel. I wonder if the laurel has a way of putting down roots that somehow drive outward into the sand all around it, hence causing the sand to pile up due to resistance by the surrounding sand (if the way I portray it makes sense).

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I thought maybe the waxiness of the leaves was fooling the LIDAR into mistaking it for solid ground but yes I have been "gotten" several times by kiln sized patches of the stuff.
 

manumuskin

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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
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Looks like one at first glance but if you scrutinize the left side it's bent in on itself,not quite round. It's definitely man made,I don't think it's Laurel but it may be a hole.Heck your there,go check it out!
It’s been on my list of places to check out. Finding time seems to be a bit of a challenge but I’m sure we will make it out over the holidays
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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It’s been on my list of places to check out. Finding time seems to be a bit of a challenge but I’m sure we will make it out over the holidays
Looks to be on a long slope up to that old road. Be interesting to see what you find. I think either a big patch of mountain laurel, or a big pine or other large tree.
 
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smoke_jumper

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Looks to be on a long slope up to that old road. Be interesting to see what you find. I think either a big patch of mountain laurel, or a big pine or other large tree.
Well, Cole and I decided to do a quick trip. We didn’t stay out that long since there were clubs driving nearby. It’s definitely man made and not laurel or trees. It’s nearly a complete circle built up with a hole in the center. There’s a break in the berm on the southern side which leads to another hole. The holes were very soft and filled with decomposing leaves. I dug down about 8 inches or so and the soil was very black with pieces of charcoal. The west side next to it is almost clear of vegetation.
6317855C-5383-4C51-B136-2ACC9CA04F5E.jpeg

Standing in the clearing just west of it it’s hard to see in the pic but there is a burm the hole and the oak tree is on the burm on the other side of the center hole.
8523B52F-46D8-4C0B-9C33-E36032BD6096.jpeg

Here I’m standing in the center and Cole is in the hole on the other side of the berm. To the right side of the pic (Cole’s left) is the break in the berm which connects the two holes.
828CD6A4-5BC4-4B5F-B86D-E16C9141AB48.jpeg

And about 8 inches down I hit charcoal.
 
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manumuskin

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yes tar kiln and if you dig down through the charcoal which should be about a foot thick you will come upon a clay layer.I have found different kilns with different color clay beds,pink,white and grey so far.I have never dug through the clay to see how thick they lay that layer?
 

manumuskin

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the ones down here usually don't have a visible hole in the center.Mostly a donut ring about 2 ft high surrounding a level or very slightly depressed spot but the trench and bucket hole outside the ring at end of trench are dead giveaways.
 
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smoke_jumper

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the ones down here usually don't have a visible hole in the center.Mostly a donut ring about 2 ft high surrounding a level or very slightly depressed spot but the trench and bucket hole outside the ring at end of trench are dead giveaways.
The bucket hole was deeper then the hole in the center. Both were filled with decomposing leaves and very soft to walk on. It’s in a very accessible location. It’s less then 100 yards from the paved road and the woods there is open with little underbrush.
 
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smoke_jumper

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the ones down here usually don't have a visible hole in the center.Mostly a donut ring about 2 ft high surrounding a level or very slightly depressed spot but the trench and bucket hole outside the ring at end of trench are dead giveaways.
There is a few mounds not far from there. I stumbled along this one years ago. From what I remember it was just a perfectly round mound with no depression in the middle. There may have been a depression for a bucket hole next to it but I don’t remember since I wasn’t looking for one then. But it was raised about a foot or two. https://boydsmaps.com/#17.59/39.755971/-74.777612/mbx3dmidatl/1.66/0.00
 
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manumuskin

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There is a few mounds not far from there. I stumbled along this one years ago. From what I remember it was just a perfectly round mound with no depression in the middle. There may have been a depression for a bucket hole next to it but I don’t remember since I wasn’t looking for one then. But it was raised about a foot or two. https://boydsmaps.com/#17.59/39.755971/-74.777612/mbx3dmidatl/1.66/0.00 That doesn't look like a kiln to me.I of course may be mistaken but it looks like a bowl turned upside down more then a donut.
 
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manumuskin

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The bucket hole was deeper then the hole in the center. Both were filled with decomposing leaves and very soft to walk on. It’s in a very accessible location. It’s less then 100 yards from the paved road and the woods there is open with little underbrush.
Many kilns are near roads and if at first they don't appear to be near a road check the old maps or look at the ground nearby carefully and you will probably find evidence of a road nearby.I doubt that tar was light enough to lug around in a bucket.They had to be able to get horses and a wagon to it.
 
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smoke_jumper

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That’s actually a good description. From what I remember it was just a perfectly round mound. The interesting part is I found that one but with LiDAR there looks to be another a little farther south. I assumed then it had something to do with the cranberry operations there.
 
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manumuskin

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That’s actually a good description. From what I remember it was just a perfectly round mound. The interesting part is I found that one but with LiDAR there looks to be another a little farther south. I assumed then it had something to do with the cranberry operations there.
Many kilns are on the edges of swamps.They would build it on a hillside to help with the flow and put the barrel hole on the down hill side.Also I assume they would dig their clay for the kiln out of the swamp since many swamps have a clay layer under the muck.One kiln I found was near a spring of sorts.It was water seeping down the hillside from near the kiln and the water had exposed a clay layer that was I"m sure the source of the kilns clay.There was a small swamp about fifty yards away.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
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Atco, NJ
Thats Classic kiln. Donut with a trench through it.I even think i see the barrel hole.and as you notice the trech faces the swamp.using gravity and topography to work for em.
If you go back and look at the other location, it also uses the topography to help. The barrel hole is on the lower side with the higher ground to the north. Also the one I explored seemed to have a trench on the outside of the berm leading up to the barrel hole.
 
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