IndustryQuincy Smelting Works

Parting Shots (p2)

Continuing our final look at some of the various odds and ends scattered about the Quincy Smelting Works we take a walk around the exterior of the facility, and find a few buildings we had missed previously. First on that list is the pump house building, which sits attached to the back side of the Cupola building. Just like the Cupola building this guy is dressed in sandstone as well and features the same arched doorways and window treatments. From this angle, however, it appears as if the building was given a small addition to the south – as evident by the appearance of large quoin blocks within the center of its facade. That set of double doors also looks to be a more recent addition.

Feeding that pump house with water was a pipe which I believe entered the adjacent canal here, though I can’t be sure. Whatever it was for, this concrete walled and steel covered trench sits right behind the Assay office.

Speaking of the Assay office we found this pile of bricks sitting down next to its chimney. An old familiar face makes an appearance here – the Brush brick. We find these guys everywhere.

Attached to the outside of the Briquetting and Reverberatory furnace buildings are these elevated pipe races, which appear to be coming out of the pump house. I assume these delivered compressed air (which was also furnished by the pump house) to the furnaces for use in the rabbling process.

Though the massive coal shed and loading machinery is no longer present at the site, you can still make out a great deal of coal pieces scattered about in its place. Here’s just a sampling of what can be found at the west end of the complex.

Besides the coal itself, there’s also a scattering of these iron pieces – all that remains of the massive coal shed that once stood here. The iron superstructure was no doubt cut down and sold for scrap as some point. The cut simply cut the beams off here at ground level.

On the east end of the facility stands this small barn like building, a structure that’s marked on Sanborn maps as an ice house. What purpose ice served at a smelter is beyond me, but here it is.

At the opposite end of the complex is another barn like structure. This one was actually a barn, I would assume used to house a few horses or other beasts of burden used throughout the facility in its early years.

Another look at the barn, this time looking up at its hay loft complete with some tackle.

The Quincy Smelter is private property and is open to the public only during special Quincy Smelter Association’s tours and events.

To learn more about the smelter be sure to visit the Quincy Smelter Blog for their own virtual tour of the site.

To view more photos from the Quincy Smelter – including some awesome wide angle imagery – be sure to check out the Quincy Smelter Gallery at David Clark Photography!

And of course, if you have any photos of your own to contribute to the discussion, make sure to post them over at the Copper Country forum’s Quincy Smelter Thread.

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  1. Hi Mike, Thanks for the awesome posts on the smelter, no doubt I’ll be taking a tour next time around. I’ll be signing off till after Christmas, so I wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I really enjoy this site, it’s like I’ve made new friends who have the same passion as I do of discovering the history of the old days in the Keweenaw.

    I’ll be putting together my list of a couple of must find adventures for next year, Phoenix mills will definitely be one of them. So I’ll probably have some questions to bug you with. Merry Christmas and take care.

  2. I’ve enjoyed the series too. I’m amazed at how much is still intact.
    Mike, can you let us know when the Quincy Smelter will be open for tours? I’m due for a visit to my beloved Copper Country as soon as the mosquitos hatch and am already planning my trip.

    Happy Holidays to all!

  3. Timbers, Jim, thank you both for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the last month of smelter posts. As far as your future questions are concerned Jim – I’m looking forward to it and will be glad to help.

    And Timbers I’ll be sure to let you know through my news page when those future tours come up.

    Happy holidays to everyone out there as well!

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