Two women stand in the ruins of a chimney, the remains of a lead smelter, or "furnace". After the lead bearing ore was mined, it was washed, then brought to a smelter to be refined. The ore was heated to melt the lead and the molten lead ran into clay molds where it resolidified. This "pig lead" was then shipped to other areas of the country and used to manufacture a variety of goods, including lead shot. The early smelters were log furnaces that depended on a large supply of wood to keep the fires burning. At the height of the mining boom, there were many log furnaces throughout Iowa county. Source: A History of Mining in Iowa County by Stanley T. Holland.
Mining; Lead mining;
Mineral Point Historical Society
Glass Plate Negative Collection
Copyright and Use Statement
Copyright to this resource is held by the Mineral Point Historical Society and is provided here for educational purposes only. Commercial use or distribution of the image or content is not permitted without prior permission of the Mineral Point Historical Society. Please contact the Mineral Point Historical Society at MPHS@mineralpointhistory.org for permission to use the digital image or content.