Quincy Smelter, Hancock Michigan
The Quincy smelter was built in 1898 by the Quincy Mining Company to convert ore from the nearby Quincy Mine into pure copper. The Quincy Smelter received crushed ore from the Quincy Stamp Mill which in turn received raw ore from the Quincy Mine. There had been several large copper smelters in the Keweenaw Peninsula while the region's copper mines were active (1850s - 1970s). The Quincy Smelter is the only one, at this point, that has not been entirely demolished. The Quincy Smelter is owned by Franklin Township which is adjacent to and immediately East of Hancock. The smelter ceased operations in 1972 and sat empty and deteriorating until efforts to preserve it began in the late 1990s. Efforts to preserve the smelter slowly gathered steam and have recently begun bearing fruit. When I visited in 2010 the site had been fenced and secured but little had been done to stabilize the buildings. Recently the National Park Service has been providing funds and staff to stabilize the structures. Plans are being made to turn the smelter into a key part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. As of this writing the smelter is not open to visitors. The smelter however can been seen from the Hancock-Lake Linden trail and from the other side of the Keweenaw waterway in Houghton. The Quincy Smelter preservation project is one of the more exciting current, early-stage, industrial preservation projects in the U.S. In general the preservation community in the Keweenaw Peninsula has been very active and successful over the years.