Hurstville Lime Kilns
Located 2 miles north of Maquoketa on U.S. Highway 61 are lime kilns built in
the 1870's in what was once called the town of Hurstville. The limestone kilns
heated limestone rock mined from nearby quarries to form lime mortar used in
building construction. This production of lime from native stone became one
of Iowa's most important early industries. A large community effort and
volunteer labor have gone into restoration of the four lime kilns.
Size: 4 acres
Historic Site: picnicking
Photos courtesy of Burnell Smith
Hurstville Lime Kiln Reconstruction
For nearly five decades the kilns sat silent. Brush grew up around them as the two middle ones began to crumble. Then in 1977
Paul Sagers, an Indian artifacts expert, tried to get the kilns designated as a national historic site. Although his efforts were
unsuccessful others joined in with a fund drive to match a $5,000 donation by Maquoketa businessman Ed Kirchhoff.
The Hurstville Land and Development company consisting of Bill & Frances Lamb, Clifton & Marshalline Lamborn, Bob & Ann
Osterhaus, Chuck & Mona Reichling, David & Karen Schoenthaler, and Bob & Mim Stockham donated the 3 acre kiln site to the
Jackson County Historical Society. With $10,000 in hand the Jackson County Historical Society hired a retired mason, Myron
Rockwell, to tuckpoint and restore the north and south kilns. The project was started on November 11, 1981 and completed on
June 14, 1985.
Continued efforts culminated in a community development block grant that supplied $51,620 in funds coupled with donated
labor that resulted in the restoration of the two middle kilns and adjoining walls by Fred Felton Masonry. Nearly 4,000 hours of
citizen labor were donated, according to Bob Sheets project coordinator. While work proceeded on the kilns many people
worked behind the scenes including: Patrick Costello, the Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce, "Doc" Dalchow, Lynn
Schnoor, Maquoketa FFA and the Jackson County Historical Society.
The unique mule runs and cooling sheds have not been reconstructed because of cost and maintenance. The historic site is
owned by the Jackson County Historical Society and is managed by the Jackson County Conservation Board.
The last time all four kilns produced lime together was in 1921, with the last one fired in 1930.