Tours available at Quincy Smelting Works
The lesser known piece of Quincy Mining Company.
HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Many yoopers are well aware it was rich mining that put the Copper Country on the map.
But that’s just the beginning.
Copper had to be smelted or refined for distribution.
To share that part of Copper Country history the Quincy Mining Company is giving tours of its smelting works.
“You will go into the past,” said Smelter Captain Rita Padron, who leads tours. “You’ll follow me into the same footsteps that men walked in over 120 years ago. We tell a story here about those men. The buildings [aren’t] just empty buildings, it’s not just the architecture, which is important. It’s what’s left inside the buildings.”
Buildings and equipment that cost the mining company about $150,000 at the time, which would be about $3.5 million today.
“The Quincy Mining Company built the smelter as a means of turning their copper ore into ingots, anodes, cakes and bars,” explained Padron.
To get the fancier pieces of copper smelters used four furnaces, each being 75 feet tall to melt it down.
Then, up to five million pounds at a time would be loaded onto ships for distribution.
The Quincy Smelting Works were built in 1898 and refined and shipped copper on the Portage Canal until 1971. Making it a long-lasting 71 years in copper dealing.
“The people who struggled here through harsh climates, and even harsher working conditions,” said Padron. “More importantly about the skilled laborers and the different nationalities that couldn’t speak each other’s languages, but look what they managed to build.”
To book a tour, contact the Quincy Mining Company at its gift shop.
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