Quincy smelter dedicated as a historic landmark

Daily Mining Gazette/Kurt Hauglie This is the plaque for the dedication of the former Quincy Smelting Works site as a historic site by ASM International.

RIPLEY — The former Quincy Smelting Works site has been recognized as historic because of its uniqueness. On Friday the site received a dedication as a historic landmark.

Ivor Anderson, trustee of ASM International, made the dedication and presented a brass plaque indicating the site’s designation as a landmark.

Anderson, who is from Hancock, and attended Michigan Technological University and now works for the United States Department of Energy in Ames, Iowa, said ASM International chose the smelter site for landmark designation in 2016.

Anderson said ASM International began as the American Society of Metals. Eventually the organization grew to include other materials than just metals and became ASM International.

ASM International chose the smelter site for historic landmark designation because it is one of the few surviving facilitates which processed native copper into ingots.

“This (dedication) is the result of that,” he said.

The smelter site is owned by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission. Kathleen Harter, KNHP chief of interpretation and education, said there is still enough left of the site to give a visitor a glimpse at what it was like to be employed there.

“All of these remind us of the people who worked here,” she said. “It’s truly a unique place.”

Larry Lankton, KHNP Advisory Commission member and local historian, said as a historian he likes to look at a site while it still contains “stuff” from when that site was operating.

“It’s the stuff that lends authenticity to the site,” he said.

He first visited the smelter site in 1978 before any restoration work was done on it, Lankton said, and it looked like workers just left the site, which closed a few years before.

Wayne Pennington, dean of the Tech College of Engineering, said the university had a connection with the site when the university was called the Michigan School of Mines, and Tech is still involved with the site.

“Thank you for including us at this time,” he said of the landmark dedication.

Anderson said it was important to ASH International to include Tech in the dedication ceremony.

“This means a lot that we have the support of Tech,” he said.