Shot Tower Historical State Park


One of the most unusual historic sites in the state, this 75-foot tower was built around 1807 to facilitate the manufacture of ammunition for early settlers' firearms. It is an intriguing engineering solution to the problem of how to make lead shot perfectly spherical. The lead was carried to the top, melted in a kettle, and then poured through sieves with varying size meshes. The sieved lead fell through the tower and then an additional 75 feet through a shaft dug out beneath the tower. After falling a total of 150 feet, which was the distance believed necessary to create perfect spheres, the lead landed in a large kettle of water.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The lead that was used at this shot tower came from the nearby Austinville Mines.