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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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EAGLE POINT LIME WORKS

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Company letterhead


EAGLE POINT LIME WORKS. Started by 1886-87 by George FENGLER, the lime works were located below the bluff at EAGLE POINT and had a peak production of 250 barrels daily. 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 construction for making mortar, plaster, and whitewash. It also was used for tanning hides, agricultural applications, and sanitation.

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. Sold throughout the Midwest, 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.
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. In addition to lime, the Eagle Point Limeworks carried a full line of fire brick, building brick, plastering hair, cement, and stucco. The rock quarry, later the property of Dubuque Stone Products, eventually became Eagle Point Fun Land.


The 1911-12 and 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