Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority gives inside look into Carp River Kiln reconstruction

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Carp River Kiln collapsed in 2016. As a part of iron ore history, fundraising was put together by the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority to rebuild it across the street from where it once stood.

“Kilns were built to burn wood to make it into charcoal and the charcoal went into a blast furnace,” said Carol Fulscher, Administrator, Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority. “The blast furnace melted the ore and made pig iron. So it’s a big part of our early mining story. There are no kilns left in the Marquette range that are fully intact and we think by putting it on the trail and having it here for people who are coming by on the trail it will make them stop and learn more about our history here on the Marquette iron range.”

Fulscher gave Local 3 an inside look as crews were working on the kiln that they hope to have rebuilt by the end of the month.

“I would say it’s about 2/3 done right now,” said Fulscher. “And then the spring we’ll be doing more work on the landscaping outside.”

The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority says this work which includes taking all of the old stones from the previous kiln and rebuilding it from the ground up is the biggest project they’ve ever done.

“We’ve raised over $100,000,” said Fulscher. “History means a lot to the people of this area especially our iron mining history that really shaped what we look like so we’re very happy to be part of this.”

Once fully finished around the end of June or beginning of July, it will be known as the Carp River Kiln Plaza.

“It’s an interpretive spot where you come in, you can get up close to it, touch it,” said Fulscher. “You won’t be able to go inside of it but you’ll be able to look inside and then we’ll have interpretive signage that really tells you more about the story of what we burned wood into charcoal.”

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