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Cottonwood Charcoal Kilns..June 1873 Colonel Sherman Stevens built a sawmill and flume on the cottonwood creek high in the Sierras directly west of this spot. The flume connected with the Los Angeles bullion road. Lumber was used for timbering in mines and buildings, and turned into charcoal in these kilns to the Cerro Gordo Mine where all available wood had been used up. Inyo County, CA.