||Sumpter Smelter. Powder River in foreground.
Brooks Hawley note: The smelter was Sumpter's proudest hope for increasing the mining productivity, but it was never a success. The mines did not produce enough for it. It was finished in December 1903, but did not do much until September, 1904. It cost $200,000, had a 150 ton furnace. Smokestack 100 feet high, 125 feet above charging floor. It struggled along for about 4 years. The year 1903 was the greatest year of mining activity, and all year the smelter was a building, but even with all the wild promotion of mines, there was no real increase in production, and by the time the smelter was ready to go in 1904, many of the new mines promoted the year before were already in financial difficulties. Ore from the Baisley-Elkhorn mine was the best contributor.
The last attempt to run the smelter was in the 1930s and it burned down then. There was little machinery in it when it burned.
J. A. Gyllenburg made the last attempt to run the smelter in the 1920's and it was going some then, but that was the same as 20 years before, not enough ore came in. It soon shut down and everybody lost money.
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Last modified on: December 09, 2017