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Ripley Smelter (Quincy Mining Company)

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Quincy Mining Company
1898, 1904, James Cooper. Royce Rd., off MI 26
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

The Quincy Mining Company smelter is the only nearly complete historic copper smelter site in the world with in situ reverberatory furnaces and related equipment, offices, support buildings, and still occupied homes of smelter workers.

Coursed-cut reddish-brown sandstone furnace buildings, one with a frame addition (1904); a sandstone mineral warehouse; gable-roofed frame warehouses; smaller warehouses; and miscellaneous shop buildings survive as part of the smelter complex. Here, until 1969, furnaces smelted copper ore and produced refined copper ingots, cakes, wire bars, anodes, and other products. Copper ore was shipped from mines and also from a reclamation plant at Mason, four miles to the east, which processed ore that had been reclaimed by dredge from stamp sands deposited in Torch Lake. Refined copper was loaded onto ships from a wharf at the smelter. Testing and cleanup of heavy metal and asbestos to Environmental Protection Agency standards initiated in 2008 may remediate the site for interpretation, but funding is needed.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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