Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wigwam Burner


I photographed this wigwam burner at a sawmill in Ashland, Oregon, in the late 1960's. It's gone now, as are most of these symbols of a time when sawdust and other wood waste had no use, and few people were affected by the smoke from their incineration.

I found this map of all the sawmills in Ashland.  As I recall, the one I photographed was near downtown, which is probably the reason it caught my eye--I knew it was history.  My guess is it was either the Workman or Lithia mill.

This may have been the one I photographed.

Thankfully, there a many pictures of wigwam (or behive) burners.

Here's a nice shiny new one.

I remember seeing them in operation on my travels.  Never at night, though.

It was only a matter of time before the cities grew and the smoke became intolerable.

Now they're relics and oddities in the landscape.

There was a wigwam burner in my town--that's it behind the smoke in this photo from the 1940's.

The mill is long gone, and the site has become a park.  Here are two pictures taken of informational signs at various places within the park. 

A recent photograph of  the mill site and the wigmam burner foundation. 

Looking towards Ruston Way (during a Fourth of July fair), the channels through which the ashes were removed at high tide are visible.

The Tilted Cone, which houses the glass Hot Shop at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, was inspired by the iconic shape of the wigwam burner.

Someone saw in wigwam burners what I saw.

I didn't know how to draw when wigwam burners populated the landscape, but I've since sketched the tilted cone.