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Mining:  Excelsior Furance, Ishpeming, MI

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  • Built by the Lake Superior Iron Mining Company, this furnace was fueled by peat which was mined at the east end of Teal Lake.  This concept came from England.  The peat bed was described as "inexhaustible".  Peat was cut, ground, mixed, and dried for 2-3 weeks.  25 tons of peat per day were burned.  Peat was also sold for domestic use in homes.  The Excelsior Furnace was built in 1872 and designed to use peat for fuel.  The furnace was located on South Pine Street, on the side of the hill to the north (approximately 700 S. Pine St.).  It was noted that South Pine Street is two parallel roads, with the railroad formally running between them.  C&NW put in two different rails, one to bring in the ore and the other to carry out ingots to steel mills.  The furance continued to operate off and on by different owners and lease operators.  By 1880 the Furnace was known as the "old peat" furnace and was now running on coal and charcoal.  It appears to have last operated in the summer of 1900.  In 1905 it was torn down.  [EHMT]

 

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Dale J. Berry, all rights reserved.