The historic landscape on Quincy Hill was restored last month in a collaborative effort between the National Park Service at Keweenaw National Historical Park and the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO).
The telecommunications tower site had been leased by UPPCO since 1951, originally from the Quincy Mining Company. The NPS has owned the historic site since December 2000.
Acknowledging that UPPCO’s critical service to the western Upper Peninsula was dependent on this important communications link, the NPS worked cooperatively with the public utility company to ensure its continued use until other technology could make it possible to relocate the service.
UPPCO notified the NPS in 2011 of its intent to abandon the tower site. The two entities worked together to ensure restoration of the site to its historic conditions, paying particular attention to the preservation of the geologic outcrop upon which the tower itself stood. Following careful planning between managers at UPPCO, the NPS, and Julio Contracting of Ripley, the stage was set to drop the tower and remove all equipment at the site related to its operation.
Following a fully anticipated wind delay, the removal operation began early on the morning of October 3rd. After removal of utility services and careful setup to ensure minimal damage to the historic resources on the site, the demolition and cleanup went quick and smooth. Both the NPS and UPPCO commended Julio’s workers for executing the project in a skillfully efficient and professional manner.
“It was a pleasure to work with the Park Service,” said Jay Ringler, UPPCO’s customer service manager. “It was a good cooperative effort all around.”
Superintendent Mike Pflaum added: “UPPCO’s restoration of the historic Quincy Hill landscape is another great example of the work that can be accomplished with Partners in Preservation.”
The Quincy Hill site now provides a more authentic experience as well as a higher level of safety for visitors to the Quincy Mining Company Dryhouse Ruins. For more information about Keweenaw NHP visit www.nps.gov/kewe or “like” the park on Facebook.