This complex of buildings on the shore of Portage Lake north of Hancock in the Keweenaw Peninsula is the Quincy Smelter. You can also see the ruins of the old smelter across the lake from Houghton. Built by the Quincy Mining Company, the smelter used heat and chemical processes to turn copper ore into ingots. The ingots were then sold and shipped to factories where they were turned into products such as copper wire or tubing. The Quincy Smelter is the only copper smelter remaining in the Lake Superior Region.
Part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, the site is not open to the public at this time. The Quincy Smelter site is owned by Franklin Township and is undergoing treatment to remove hazardous materials. Future considerations for the site include stabilizing the structures and possibly adapting some parts into a visitor center. I hope I get the chance to tour the site someday if they open it up to the public, it looks like an interesting place to explore.
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