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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




EAGLE POINT LIME WORKS

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Lime quarry at Eagle Point. Photo courtesy: Bob Johnsen
1905 Telegraph Herald advertisement
EAGLE POINT LIME WORKS. George FENGLER, who began the limeworks sold a half interest in the company in 1875 to Henry Kriete, formerly the chief engineer and master mechanic of the North Chicago Rolling Mill. (1) By 1889 the proprietors were listed as Fengler & Schwaegler. (2)

The lime works were located below the bluff at EAGLE POINT and had a peak production of 250 barrels daily. Despite the threat of competition, it remained the only company of its kind in Dubuque through 1910. (3) Lime was produced by heating limestone to temperatures up to 1300° C. This heating process, called calcination, resulted in the production of lime, or calcium oxide (CaO), and carbon dioxide (CO2). In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, lime was used mostly in manufacture of mortar, plaster, and whitewash. It also was used for tanning hides, agricultural applications, and sanitation. (4)

Lime kilns like these near Hurstville were once a part of an important industry in eastern Iowa.

Making lime could be as simple as digging a small pit into which fuel (usually wood) and limestone were placed in alternating layers and allowed to burn for several days. Vertical shaft kilns were built of stone, typically in the side of a hill. Alternating layers of limestone and fuel were fed into the top of the kiln; lime was drawn out of the bottom through a draft or draw tunnel, allowing continuous production. Some kilns were fashioned after beehive coke ovens. The company's two kilns burned 200 barrels of limestone every twenty-four hours. (5) The lime produced by the Dubuque plant was advertised as strictly wood-burnt with a hardness that increased with age and a very white color as it dried.

Imp193.jpg
Company letterhead
Key Chain. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

The fact that it was sold in Michigan, where it was used in the iron factories, was said to prove the superiority of the Dubuque product. The company also shipped to southern Minnesota, portions of Wisconsin and Illinois. In addition to lime, the Eagle Point Limeworks carried a full line of fire brick, building brick, plastering hair, cement, and stucco.

The business also produced crushed rock from the stone unsuitable for lime making. The use of an Austin gyrator crusher led to a daily production of 400 yards of crushed rock available in three sizes. A yard of crushed rock sold for sixty cents and was used in the construction of wagon roads, city streets, buildings, and railroad track beds.

In 1910 the company was hired to clean out all the debris that would interfere with the work of constructing the BEE BRANCH sewer from 16th Street. (6)

In 1922 the company provided brick and rock for 150 residences in Dubuque. In addition materials had been used for the two junior high schools, DUBUQUE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, FEDERAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, UNION TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, an addition to Mercy Hospital, and an addition to the LORENZ LAUNDRY. (7)

The rock quarry, later the property of Dubuque Stone Products, eventually became EAGLE POINT FUN LAND. (8)

In 1899 the company was listed as a brick manufacturer.

The 1899-1900 through 1918 Dubuque City Directory listed Lime near Lincoln Avenue as the address.

The 1922 Dubuque Telephone Directory listed 2900 Rhomberg Avenue.


Docking area used by the Eagle Point Lime Works. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Barrels of lime. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Lime quarries at Eagle Point
Advertising deck of cards
Deck of cards
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Ep5.jpg

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Sources:

1. "Eagle Point Lime," The Daily Herald, March 18, 1875, p. 4

2. Advertisement. The Daily Herald, October 1, 1889, p. 1

3. "The Eagle Point Lime Works Does a Large Interstate Business," Telegraph Herald, January 3, 1910 p. 1

4. Iowa Geological Survey, Volume 24, 1913 p. 24. http://books.google.com/books?id=qvnUAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=Tibey+Brothers+%28dubuque%29&source=bl&ots=uOXZIYV1mB&sig=8hx4KbiiIx3LJyZlfL2zzeHyO1w&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v3H4UfbrLqS6yQHkyIDgCQ&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Tibey%20Brothers%20%28dubuque%29&f=false

5. "The Eagle Point Lime Works..."

6. "City Council Proceedings," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, July 13, 1910, p. 8

7. "Two Tons of Dynamite and a Million Dollars," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, January 7, 1923, p. 21

8. "The Eagle Point Lime Works..."