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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ducktown in Polk County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Tennessee Overhill Experience

From Furs to Factories

 

—Mining in the Copper Basin —

 
Mining in the Copper Basin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
1. Mining in the Copper Basin Marker
Inscription.
Mining in the Copper Basin
In 1843, a prospector, hoping to find gold south of the Coker Creek mine fields, instead located one of America's richest copper reserves. Over the next century, American and foreign companies chartered more than a dozen copper mines in the Ducktown Basin. The last mines closed in 1987. Today, chemical products are made with imported materials at the former copper company acid and chemical plants.

This site is part of the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Trail and is an official Tennessee 200 Bicentennial Project. Interpretive signs, museums, historic sites and a guidebook tell the story of the Industrial Revolution as it happened in McMinn, Monroe, and Polk Counties. For more information concerning other sites, contact the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association at 423-263-7232.
 
Erected by Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee 200, Inc., East Tennessee Foundation, and the counties of McMinn, Monroe and Polk.
 
Location. 35° 2.132′ N, 84° 22.717′ W. Marker is in Ducktown, Tennessee, in Polk County. Marker can be reached from Burra Burra Street 0.3 miles east of Tennessee Route 68 when traveling east. Touch for map
Marker detail: Ducktown image. Click for full size.
By courtesy of Ducktown Basin Museum
2. Marker detail: Ducktown
Several copper mining companies established villages for workers and their families: the largest were Hiwassee, Isabella, and Copper Hill. Hiwassee (renamed Ducktown), pictured here circa 1950, grew up beside the operations of the Burra Burra copper deposit. Employees of the Ducktown Sulphur, Copper and Iron Company lived in the Isabella community. The company town of Copper Hill adjoined the Tennessee Copper Company facilities.
. Marker is located at the northwest corner of the Ducktown Basin Museum parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 212 Burra Burra Street, Ducktown TN 37326, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hiwassee Mine (approx. ¼ mile away); Discovery of Copper (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Madden Branch Massacre: Anti-Confederate activity in North Georgia (approx. 3.4 miles away in Georgia); Georgia / North Carolina (approx. 11.9 miles away in North Carolina); The Halfway House (approx. 12.1 miles away); Blue Ridge Park (approx. 12.2 miles away in Georgia); William Clayton Fain: Georgia Unionist (approx. 12.2 miles away in Georgia); PFC. Jack Clem Robinson (approx. 12.2 miles away in Georgia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ducktown.
 
Regarding The Tennessee Overhill Experience. Burra Burra Mine Historic District, National Register of Historic Places (1983)
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Tennessee Overhill Experience
 
Also see . . .
1. Burra Burra Copper Company History.
Copper mining began in 1847, and the Hiwassee mine became the first deep mine for copper when it opened in August 1850. By the end of 1853 eleven mines were operating in
Marker detail: Burra Burra Mine Superintendent's Office, circa 1917; (now Ducktown Basin Museum) image. Click for full size.
By courtesy of Ducktown Basin Museum
3. Marker detail: Burra Burra Mine Superintendent's Office, circa 1917; (now Ducktown Basin Museum)
Tennessee. Originally no smelting was done at the mines, and ore was hauled by wagon to Dalton, Georgia, and shipped by rail to northern cities. Successful operations demanded access to railroads, however, and construction of the Copper Road from Ducktown to Cleveland, Tennessee, through the Ocoee River gorge, began in 1851 and was completed two years later. (Submitted on April 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Burra Burra Copper Mine.
The Burra Burra Mine, located in Ducktown, Tennessee, operated from 1899 until 1959. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site includes the Mine Office, Shops, Change House, Hoist House, and Powder House. The Ducktown Basin Museum is located on the grounds of the Burra Burra Mine. (Submitted on April 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Burra Burra Mine.
Named for the famous mine in Australia, the Burra Burra Mine extracted over 15 million tons of copper ore during its 60 years of operation. The Burra Burra Mine was one of a number of mining operations in the Copper Basin from 1850 to 1987 that produced substantial amounts of copper ore that contained sulfur. Trees were cut to smelt the ore and burn off the sulfur. Both the tree-harvesting and the sulfuric acid pollution left more than 32,000 acres of the basin eroded and virtually devoid of life, though the area has begun to recover
Mining in the Copper Basin Marker (<i>wide view; marker visible near right edge</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
4. Mining in the Copper Basin Marker (wide view; marker visible near right edge)
after decades of re-greening efforts. (Submitted on April 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. The Ducktown Basin Museum. is located on the historic mine site, which was the headquarters for Tennessee Copper Company and Cities Service mining operations from 1899 through 1975. The 16 structures remaining on the site include virtually all of the original mine buildings and outbuildings except for the headframe, which was demolished after the closing of the mine in 1958. (Submitted on April 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. EnvironmentIndustry & Commerce
 
Ducktown Basin Museum / Former Burra Burra Mine Superintendent's Office (<i>near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
5. Ducktown Basin Museum / Former Burra Burra Mine Superintendent's Office (near marker)
Burra Burra Copper Mine: Pit House image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
6. Burra Burra Copper Mine: Pit House
Burra Burra Copper Mine: Administration Building image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
7. Burra Burra Copper Mine: Administration Building
Burra Burra Copper Mine: Head Frame Hoist Wheels image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
8. Burra Burra Copper Mine: Head Frame Hoist Wheels
Burra Burra Copper Mine: Copper Ore image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 5, 2011
9. Burra Burra Copper Mine: Copper Ore
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 82 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7, 8, 9. submitted on April 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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