The Quincy Smelter is the only remaining copper smelter in the Lake Superior Region. 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.
From 1898 to 1967 the Quincy Mining Company Smelter at Ripley processed copper, first from its mines and then later from its reclamation plant. The smelter complex is built on the stamp sand of the Pewabic mines’ mill. It continued to melt scrap copper until 1971.
Among the buildings remaining on the site are the three-story blast furnace, built in 1898, with additions in 1904 and again in 1910. The sandstone faced mineral warehouse built in 1904 is reached by a 460-foot trestle. The site also includes three rectangular warehouses, a concrete block briquetting plant built in 1906, a powerhouse, a casting house, carpenter and cooper shop for making barrels, as well as a machine shop, and laboratory.