Thursday, May 30, 2013


People have been working copper for 8,000 years.  Smelting came along after another 3000 to 4000 years.  Imagine our ancestors standing around a smelting site as if it were a campfire and breathing in all those fumes.  During the first few thousand years, smelting production was usually in the hundreds of pounds or less a year at individual sites from present day Turkey to the Caspian Sea.  Take a look at this link at how our ancestors would have smelted copper:

Fast forward to 19th Century Britain...

Cornwall was a major copper producer into the mid-nineteenth century when their mines started running out.  What's important at this time for the UP copper producers is Cornish smelters were state of the art.   When the smelters shed jobs, the Cornish smelter workers as well as their mining brethen came to the US and put their skills to use, developing the US copper smelting industry.  By coincidence, copper mining started in the UP just as the British copper industry petered out.  Their misfortune, our good fortune!

And economic development, 1898 style, led to...

When the Quincy Mining Co. decided to build a smelter in 1898, it was able to take advantage of all the technological advances of the past century, thanks in part to the advances in smelter technology brought over from Cornwall.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Soon Finn Fest starts in Hancock. They'll be clocking into the Fest on June 19th and heading out on Sunday. The Quincy Smelter is a hop, skip and a jump from downtown Hancock. 

Why not join us on Saturday.

The Quincy Smelter Association is hosting its first tour on June 22nd between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM at the Quincy Smelter. We're a right turn on M-26 and about quarter mile up the road on the right. Every hour, starting at 10:00 AM, we'll be offering a guided tour of the entire smelter. The last tour begins at 2:00 PM. Our entrance fee is $5.00 a person, children under 10 free and a discount for AAA members.

The Quincy Smelter is the only historical copper smelter in America. Come see how your ancestors made the UP famous for its copper. Many of the buildings are intact and we have a lot of the original machinery. You'll be able to see how power was generated, coal and ore brought in, how it was moved to the furnaces, what it took to melt the ore and turn it into copper, how it was stored and shipped and much, much more.

See you there!

Sunday, May 12, 2013



Our first tour of 2013 is June 22, 2013.  Tours will start on the hour at 10:00 AM with the last tour starting at 2:00 PM.

We look forward to showing you the buildings and machinery that were used to produce pure copper at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Quincy Smelter is the only intact historical copper smelter in the country. Its a rare opportunity to see a part of America's industrial heritage.

The Quincy Smelter Association can provide tours to groups or organizations depending on the availability of volunteer staff.

Contact Information:
Horst Schmidt

The Quincy Smelter Association is a private, non-profit volunteer organization.  The fees we charge for tours are used to pay operating expenses . The Quincy Smelter is owned by Franklin Township. The Town Board has authorized the Association to run the tour operation.