Ruggles Mine; A 200 Year Old Marvel
Located in Grafton, New Hampshire, Ruggles Mine offers fun for the entire family. The mountains of New Hampshire offer rich deposits of minerals including Mica, Feldspar, Beryl, Amethyst and more. These minerals have been mined at Ruggles Mine for more than 175 years!
Update: Ruggles Mine is currently non-operational and not open to the public.
Ruggles is no longer in operation and has been turned into an attraction for the public to visit and enjoy. There are a vast amount of tunnels and pits for you to explore, some filled with water. You are also welcome to keep any rocks or minerals you can find on the ground or knock free from the walls.
Ruggles Mine History: Grafton, NH
Many people don’t know, Ruggles Mine was the first mica mine in the USA. It was owned and operated by Sam Ruggles, hence the mine’s name today. Although never a resident of New Hampshire, Ruggles hired workers in Grafton to operate the mine.
Sam Ruggles acquired the land in 1805, but local lore tells us that the mine has actually been in operation since 1803. The mine was passed down from one generation to the next. The Ruggles owned the mine until 1896 when it was abandoned during bankruptcy and litigation by Sam Ruggles’ grandchildren. The mine passed hands several times thereafter.
In 1960 the Wahlstrom family purchased the mine due to its well know reputation for producing bountiful amounts of mica. Much to their despair, however, mica was soon being imported from mines from all over the world. Competition had become fierce and the mine was no longer considered profitable as the supply increased and demand decreased.
In 1963, the Wahlstrom family decided to open the mine to the public as a tourist attraction and it has remained that way since.
Visit Ruggles Mine
From mid-May through mid-October to explore the giant rooms and tunnels with arched ceilings that have been carved out by miners over the past 200 or so years. When you drive up Isinglass mountain to reach the mine, you’ll be greeted with views of the Upper Valley and beyond. After taking in all the breathtaking views, you can walk just a short distance to explore the gift shop and the mine.
Souvenirs for All
Collecting minerals is allowed, so bring a beach pail for the kids! You may be able to find minerals such as beryl, mica, amethyst, rose and smokey quartz, garnet. If you don’t have any luck finding a piece you want to take home, stop by the gift shop for a souvenir!
Note that there is a fee to gain entrance. Click here for current specials.
Off Rt 4 at the Village Green
Grafton, NH 03240