HAWLEY (AP) -- A historic beehive-shaped charcoal kiln in a Franklin County state forest has suffered thousands of dollars' worth of damage at the hands of vandals.

The kiln in the Kenneth Dubuque Memorial Forest in Hawley was built in 1870 and is the oldest known flagstone charcoal kiln in New England. It is 25 feet in diameter and 25 feet high, and was designed to hold 35 cords of wood back in the days when wood was "baked" into charcoal for use in blacksmith forges or to heat buildings.

Police tell The Recorder of Greenfield ( http://bit.ly/1j1CysW ) that last weekend a 3- to 4-foot diameter hole was knocked out of the wall.

The kiln is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The state spent $16,000 to repair the kiln two years ago.

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Information from: The Recorder, http://www.recorder.com