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Dates in copper mining history

1838 - Removal of Cherokee Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi.

1839 - First land purchases in the Ducktown area by white settlers. Polk County organized.

1843 - Copper discovered at Ducktown.

1847 - 90 casks of ore carried by muleback to railroad at Dalton, Georgia. Iron forge built near mouth of Potato Creek, but operations ceased because copper in the ore hampered manufacture of iron.

1848 - Culchote, first Basin post office created.

1850 - First copper mine, The Hiwassee, opened at Ducktown

1853 - Wagon road completed through Ocoee River gorge to Cleveland, Tennessee, a rail station 30 miles nearer than Dalton.

1854 - Fannin County, Georgia formed.

1860 - Consolidation of many mining properties by J.E. Raht, a young German mining engineer. He was the dominant figure in the Basin's copper industry.

1861 - Civil Was first stimulated, then threatened the new industry employing about 1,000 men and boys. First copper rolling mill at Cleveland completed. Scarcity of trees becomes noticeable. Cordwood was the only fuel available, and open roasting and open grazing also destroyed vegetation.

1863 - Federal occupation of Cleveland. Copper rolling mill burned; Ducktown mining halted; population leaving Basin. Guerrillas active.

1865 - End of Civil War. Mining operations resumed.

1872 - First Basin use of new machine - the diamond drill, and new explosive - dynamite.

1876 - Because of timber scarcity, cordwood is cut in Fannin County and floated down Toccoa River to Basin.

1878 - Mining and smelting stopped primarily because of transportation problems. Approximately 50 square miles of Basin had been stripped of trees for fuel.

1890 - Railroad between Marietta, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee completed. New mining and smelting activities began. (The rail line between Etowah, TN and Copperhill included the 8,000-foot Hiwassee Loop at Bald Mountain, which crosses over itself).

1899 - Burra Burra shaft sank. Grading for company railroad began at Copperhill.

1901 - First pig copper produced at Tennessee Copper Company.

1904 - Pyritic process for copper smelting accomplished at Isabella furnaces, ending the open roasting of ores.

1907 - Tennessee Copper Company began production of sulfuric acid by using sulfur gases from copper furnaces.

1922 - All-milling program began with operation of London Flotation Plant to produce copper concentrate. Production of copper sulfate began.

1927 - Zinc concentrate produced at London mill.

1930s - Efforts were initiated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and state agencies to revegetate the 23,000 acres of drastically eroded land that had been denuded by ore roasting fumes.

1939 - Tennessee Copper Company (TCC) began extensive tree plantings in cooperation with the TVA.

1940 - Reverberatory furnace operation began.

1941 - TVA established a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Basin to enhance tree-planting efforts.

1942 - Large contact sulfuric acid plant built.

1946 - Retirement of last old-time blast furnace delayed by World War II; first diesel locomotive bought.

1949 - Production of liquid sulfur dioxide began in new plant.

1953 - Facilities for milling, metal production and acid output were expanded.

1959 - Burra Burra Mine closed after continuous operation for more than 50 years, and extraction of 15,636,000 tons of ore. Production of Ferri-Floc transferred to Copperhill.

1960 - Connection of drift from Boyd Mine and Cherokee shaft, providing access to newest ore body - Cherokee Mine.

1961 - Fluid-solids roaster, for treatment of copper concentrate, added at smelter.

1964 - Chamber acid plant closed. Its replacement, No. 4 contact, started producing sulferic acid.

1975 - London Wastewater Treatment Plant approved.

1976 - Mine water was treated at London Mill Treatment Plant.

1984 - Tree-planting is continued with aerial seeding in an effort to halt sediment flow that is filling Ocoee reservoirs.

1985 - Mining phase-out announced.

1987 - Mining operations discontinued July 31. Sulfur replaced ore as raw material for acid production.

1992 - New sulfur burner was installed to replace roaster and smelter.

1995 - Environmental study was begun to identify problems caused by mining and smelting operations.

1998 - Glenn Springs Holdings constructed artificial wetlands as a way of treating polluted runoff water.

2000 - Acid production ended at the TCC plant site.

2001 - A landmark agreement was reached between the Environmental Protection Agency, State of Tennessee, and Glenn Springs Holdings to clean up environmental damage and restore stream quality.

2001 - Last train hauling acid produced by the TCC plant left Copperhill in March.

2002 - Treatment of Davis Mill Creek by GSHI.

2005 - Treatment of North Potato Creek by GSHI.



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