—From: Manhan Silver Lead Mining Co. Hampshire County, Massachusetts – Geological, Surveys and Reports, March 1863
This valuable mining property is situated in the townships of East Hampton and South Hampton, in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, and embraces an area of about two hundred and sixty acres of arable meadow and woodland.
Through its entire length, which is 4000 feet, runs one of the largest and mos
t productive lead veins ever discovered. This lode is pronounced by geologists to be without a parallel for magnitude and richness. It is fifteen feet wide. There are six openings on the lode. The ore at the surface, as will be seen by reference to the assay in the accompanying report of Dr. Jackson, yields 76 per cent of lead and this lead contains twelve ounces of silver to the ton.
While it is most remarkably productive at the surface a very unusual circumstance, it shows at the same time every indication of “holding down” with increased richness.
As will be seen by the report herein of Mr. Chas. S. Richardson, a mining engineer from Cornwall, England, in whose judgement the utmost confidence is placed, a very large amount of ore, say 231, 237 tons, can be taken from the lode above the adit levels… This ore can be mined at a very small expense; it is in soft decomposed rock, very easy to work, and yields 3 tons per fathom (6 feet). According to the statements of intelligent mining captains, two men, unassisted by machinery, can extract four tons of this ore per week. The cost of mining and preparing this ore will not exceed $10 per ton.
The above figures show that operations of this mine will be richly productive.
There are indication on the property of several parallel lodes of lesser width, besides various cross veins have been discovered. Running parallel with the main lode of lead, its entire length, is a lode of barytes, 4 feet wide, from which the ore can be mined at a very small expense. This ore, as Dr. Jackson states in his report, is valuable and saleable as a good substitute for white lead. Its value now is $30 per ton in the ore.
A considerable quantity of lead ore is now on the property, extracted from several parts of the main lode. A manager’s house in on the estate with orchard and garden, barns, offices and a smith’s shop. Three water privileges that can be rendered available for the use of the mine, belong to this property
A railway to New Haven, is within two and a half miles of the mine, the cost of transporting the ore will therefore be very moderate. The county road to South Hampton passes through the property; the thriving village of Loudville, in which are several factories, adjoins the estate, where accommodations for the miners and workmen can readily be obtained.
It should be here stated that of late years all the lead from the mines at Galena and the West is consumed at St. Louis, Chicago and other Western cities. According to reliable information only 1,000 pigs of lead from the Western mines have been brought to the Boston market the past year. Most of the lead that is now used in the Eastern cities is imported from Europe. The Manhan Silver Lead Co. have, lying between the cities of Boston and New York, within one hundred miles of the sea-coast, one of the richest and largest lead mines ever discovered in any country.
An important chapter of Southampton’s history is the discovery asnd business venture of lead mines in the north part of town. Discovered by Robert Lyman in 1678, the Lead Mines operated in this area until 1865. Over the centuries, mineral resources permitted several other mines, quarries, and brickyards to operate in Town.
The Southampton Conservation Commission has identified several parcels with connections to the lead mines as properties with conservation values and worthy of protection. First is the Old Lead Mine off Lead Mine Road in the western section of Town. This mine offers excellent geological studies and is historically significant because it furnished material for bullets during the American Revolutionary War. Lead Mine Road offers and easy access to an opening in the lead mine located on the west side of the road approximately 2,000 feet south of the Easthampton town line. The mine changed owners several times and in 1865 sold for nearly one million dollars. The mine is located on private propery, and permission to view the site must be granted by the owner.
The second site is at the location of the original Water Tower on High Street. The dirt road to the water tower provides access to an old lead mine. This mine is located in the woods east of the open field by the water tower. Although small, this site offers an opportunity to study local geology. This site also provides to Little Mountain for hikers.
Lastly, Wolf Hill of Manhan and Russellville Roads contains a gigantic leaning rock deposited by a glacier. In addition, an old mine in this area provides a source for geological studies. This site is open to the public for hiking.
Source: Southampton Master Plan, June., 2013
See also History of Lead Poisoning in the World by Dr. Herbert L. Needleman
Return to the Edwards Public Library website.