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Hurstville Lime Kilns and Interpretive Center

upl_hurstville-centerWith brand new signs and a new interpretive center on the way, Hurstville Lime Kilns and the Hurstville Interpretive Center are on their way to becoming a bigger and better tourist attraction.  Located just 2 miles north of Maquoketa on Highway 61 in Jackson Country, the Kilns are designated as a Point of Interest within the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area.

Built in the 1870’s the four kilns, which replicate huge chimneys, are still visible from Highway 61.  The kilns were used to heat limestone rock into lime mortar.  Masons and plasterers then used the melted limestone for construction uses throughout the Midwest.

Today over 1,000 visitors make their way to what was once an extremely successful business known as Hurstville Lime Works and the town of Hurstville.  Visitors can enjoy a picnic shelter and a walking trail that leads up and behind the four kilns, where they can see the original kilns and actually look inside the fireboxes were workers would send the limestone through to become melted.

On November 14, 2003, Jackson County Conservation Board along with Silos & Smokestacks reveled two brand new signs showing text and pictures to better explain the history of the Lime Kilns.  Silos & Smokestacks helped fund this project through the 2003 grant program.

The Hurstville Interpretive Center, just south of the kilns, is expected to be completed in June 2004 and will display several permanent exhibits.  Some of which include, display cases filled with Hurstville artifacts and information, a model railroad showcasing the town of Hurstville in the late 1800’s, and a diorama that educates visitors of the plants and animals that can be discovered in an Iowa wetland.  Also included with the new center is bird feeding stations and a butterfly garden just outside the building.

Some of the events that are already planned for the new center include a Halloween Hike in October, Cabin Fever activities in the winter and a birdhouse workshop in spring.

For more information about any of the events listed above or general information about the Hurstville Lime Kilns or Interpretive Center, please contact the Jackson County Conservation Board at 563-652-3783.

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