The image shows parts of the ASARCO plant, probably in the 1950s. In 1887, the Kansas City Consolidated Smelting and Refining Company (later the American Smelting and Refining Company, or ASARCO) copper and lead smelter was constructed a few miles west of downtown El Paso. The facility was a custom smelter that processed several different metals from ore that came from diverse sites. Although lead and zinc were extracted at the site, copper was the main product in the later years of operation. In 1945 the El Paso Herald-Post called attention to the poverty in Smeltertown, which was the village where the workers and their families, mostly Mexican, lived. In the early 1970s the site became the center of an environmental controversy. It was found out that many of the residents suffered from lead poisoning due to the huge amount of lead emission. In 1975 an injunction ordered ASARCO to modernize and make environmental improvements, which were not done due to the high costs. Against their wishes the residents were forced to move; their former homes were razed, leaving only the abandoned school and church buildings to mark the site of El Paso's first major industrial community.
CommentsAdd a comment
Report this entry
More from the same community-collection
ASARCO - 1950
Photograph: American Smelting and Refining Company - El Paso ...
Marriage License Luis Flores and Maria de la Luz Marquez
Marriage license from my grandparents wedding on March 31, 1940.
Asarco - El Paso, Texas - 1960's
This is a picture of ASARCO men that worked there and some lived ...
El Paso Rio Grande Railroad Bridge becomes the history of ...