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Philadelphia Smelter-Once the Pride of the Idaho Territory
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

There was a time when the Philadelphia Smelter dominated the mouth of Warm Springs Creek, which now serves as the entrance to Warm Springs neighborhoods and the Warm Springs side of Baldy.

The smelter, built in 1881, was the largest mill in the Idaho Territory by the spring of 1883. Powered by water from the Big Wood River, ore was heated there by charcoal that had been created in 20 charcoal kilns. The heat decomposed the ore, leaving desired metals, such as silver, iron and copper.

It may not have been the most pleasant place to be around, as the smelter emitted toxic heavy metal vapors from four stacks.

Join Eye on Sun Valley’s Karen Bossick and Ketchum historian John Lundin as they take you to the site of the smelter.

DID YOU KNOW? There are still some bricks from the smelter kicking around. A total of 200,000 bricks were used to build the second chimney alone in 1883.



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