History | July 4, 2022 4:09 pm

Historic New Hampshire Mine Faces Uncertain Future

What will become of Ruggles Mine?

Ruggles Mine
Inside the Ruggles Mine.
James St. John, CC BY 2.0

In an article published in 1963, the New York Times reported that New Hampshire’s Ruggles Mine — already 160 years old — would be opening its (metaphorical) doors to tourists. The mine was famed for its deposits of various minerals. A New Hampshire Public Radio report from 2019 noted that visitors were encouraged to seek out “one of the 150 minerals in the mine: quartz, garnet, mica, aquamarine” and take some home.

Now, however, the future of the mine is unclear. Writing for Atlas Obscura, Sarah Durn traced the circumstances that have led to this point, and pondered where the mine might go from here. The uncertainty over its future as a tourist attraction began in 2019, when the mine’s owner — then 91 — sold the space for $500,000 to a company called Exciglow.

As Durn’s article explains, the mine required some renovations, including steps required to keep visitors safe. The mine lay dormant for a while, and was recently listed as being up for auction again due to bankruptcy proceedings — an auction which was later canceled.

It’s still unclear what the fate of the mine will be, though — Exciglow could still reopen it. It could also remain dormant, or the site could have a very different future. For a space with a long and storied history, that ambiguity can be difficult to take in.