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Route 66 is actually former "U.S. Highway 66"

Historic Route 66 > description > Kansas > Eagle Picher Plant
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Eagle Picher Plant

See the westbound or the eastbound Route 66 descriptions.

Built in1916?
StatusClosed
Closed in1970?
Visitors welcomeunknown
GPS37.086337,-94.628291
LocationGalena
CountyCherokee
StateKansas

The former smelter plant is on the north side, across of the railroad on the pre 1940s alignment of Route 66 is the Eagle Picher plant. The area you're in is a former mining area and it's known as "Hell's half acre" due to the damage caused by that mining activity. You will see throughout your journey in the region piles of debris known as "chat".

This was one of the largest smelters in the US. The plant produced white lead and silver from ore mined in the area.

Galena is not just the name of the town, it's also the name of the mineral mined here (Lead Sulfide). In Crystalline form this one a natural occurring semiconductor used in point contact diodes in so called crystal radios.