Due to something I noticed when visiting the old "stone house" to the west of the Cochran town site, I suspected a bit more research might be worthwhile. This is some of what I have found......
"Skellig Michael, only 44 acres (17 hectares) in area, is dominated by two crags, one of 712 feet (218 metres) and another of 597 feet (183 metres). On top of the latter, reached via steep, winding stairways cut from the rock, there is an artificial platform with a cluster of six circular drystone huts (clochans), two boat- shaped oratories, some stone crosses, and a cemetery – all that remains of a monastery established, possibly by St. Fionán, sometime in the sixth century A.D. and called “the most westerly of Christ’s fortresses in the Western world.” …"
http://omniumsanctorumhiberniae.blogspo ... -huts.html
http://limewindow.wordpress.com/2012/02 ... one-cells/
http://nbba.files.wordpress.com/2011/06 ... .jpg?w=640
"Photo (1875) of a cell of an ancient Irish Monastery - Scielg Michil (early 500s). Gibbon hates monks and monasteries - mostly for their violence, ignorance, and hypocrisy. The Irish (although on the receiving end of Gibbons scorn again) were the exception. Theirs was a culture devoted to poverty, hardship, and scholarship. In the 700s, for a century or so, the Irish were the light of Europe and the best scholars/schools of the continent. Charlemagne booted up his Renaissance on the shoulders of hard-working, Irish intellectuals - Look at this cell! hardly the acme of sybaritic luxury"
"Reading up on the history of the Coke Ovens, there are two conflicting stories: One is that the Pinal Consolidated Mining Company built them in 1882 to turn mesquite into charcoal, which was used to smelt ore from silver mines in the nearby ghost town of Cochran. Charcoal burns hotter than the wood from which it was derived from. The other story is from William Fred Jenkins, who homesteaded the banks of the Gila and actually lived in one of the kilns. According to Mr. Jenkins, the structures were not kilns, but smelters built by Scottish miners in the 1850s. Either way, the structures, made of native stone cut into blocks and held together by decomposed granite are an impressive 30 feet high and 72 feet in circumference and stand out from the surrounding area with the Gila river below and the cliffs of North Butte rising behind them."