We took a break from working on the Money Pit and traveled a loop from Hiwasse, AR towards Durham, NC then up to Paw Paw, MI, through Chicago and back to Hiwasse. Along the way we stopped at the Burra Burra Mine site in Ducktown, TN and looked out over the Copper Basin.
The mining and smelting operations polluted the area so much that the state of Georgia and local landowners sued the Tennessee Copper Company in 1904! “In 1906 in Georgia vs. Tennessee Copper Company, the Supreme Court heard Georgia’s claim that TCC was taking away its sovereign rights of control over its land and air. Georgia was seeking an injunction preventing TCC from using the open roast heap method. The Court found for Georgia but did not issue the injunction because by then TCC had begun construction of an acid reclamation plant near Copperhill. Eventually, sulfuric acid replaced copper as the company’s major product. Within two decades of the ruling the first efforts would be made to reclaim the barren landscape. Those efforts would continue into the 1990’s.”