Shot Tower

Shot Tower (HMTAY)

Location: Dubuque, IA 52001 Dubuque County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 29.967', W 90° 39.193'

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The Shot Tower was constructed in 1856 to manufacture lead shot ammunition. Molten lead was poured from the top of the tower and passed through a series of sieves to form the shot into its proper size. The shot then landed in a tank of cold water at the bottom of the tower.

In the 1850s, lead from Dubuque was shipped to St. Louis shotmakers who produced most of the lead shot in the Midwest. George W. Rogers and Company built and operated the Dubuque Shot Tower in an attempt to break the St. Louis monopoly. The St. Louis company then cut its prices below production costs, destroying the Dubuque Shot Tower's business after only 3 years.

Local banker J.K. Graves purchased all local shares at a low price in 1861. With the Civil War underway, Graves threatened to resume shot production at the Shot Tower, but the St. Louis company purchased the tower and abandoned it. Graves continued to produce shot for the Union Army by dropping the lead down a deep mine shaft.

The Shot Tower stood deserted from 1911 to 1959 when the Dubuque County Historical Society initially restored the stone and brick structure. It is one of only a few remaining historic shot towers in the United States and the only one west of the Mississippi River.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 4:54am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 692832 N 4707900
Decimal Degrees42.49945000, -90.65321667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 29.967', W 90° 39.193'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 29' 58.02" N, 90° 39' 11.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)563
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2515 Mississippi Riverwalk, Dubuque IA 52001, US
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