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Ely Copper Mine

Ely Copper Mine
The historic image gives a view of the town from a nearby hill. Smoke or dust rises from the mining area with several industrial buildings on the left side of the photograph. There is also a church, houses, storage sheds, and a possible hotel in the community. Most of the landscape around town has been cleared, but there are some forests on top of hills in the background of the image. Esther Munroe Swift writes on 2005-1-25: Copperfield was actually in the town of Vershire. The post office there was established at the Ely copper mines in 1827 and closed in 1883. Very early in Vermont's history copper had been found in Vershire & mined on a small scale. During the Civil War copper was much needed. In 1865 Smith Ely of New York City gained controlling interest in the mines. By 1880 the mines produced over 3 million tons of copper & 2,000 men worked the mines. So the town decided to change its name from Vershire to Ely. But by 1882 the mines were in serious financial difficulty & the town went back to being Vershire. The price of copper dropped & in 1883 the mines closed. Smith had no money to pay the miners who then rioted and what is known as the Ely War began. Ultimately, the state militia was sent to Vershire; miners were arrested; peace was restored and so ended the Ely War. The mines never re-opened as did the ones in Strafford in both world wars. N.B. Considerable confusion comes about because in 1927 the town of Fairlee adopted the Ely name for what had originally been called South Fairlee. That office is still in existence.
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912ELY 1888.JPG
Earth Materials; Boulders; Buildings; Business; Chimneys; Church buildings; Clearcutting; Conifers; Culture; Deciduous; Dwellings; Earth Materials; Earthwork; Excavation; Forests and Plants; Geology; Hills; Historic mines; Human Activity; Human Constructs; Industrial buildings; Landforms; Living Things; Logging; Mines and mineral resources; Mountains; Nature; Ore deposits; Outbuildings; Pebbles; Roads; Roads,Earth; Season; Sediments (Geology); Stone walls and Fences; Streets; Summer; Time; Trees; Wooden fences; Work; Houses; Open_fields
Special Collections, Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont
Submitted By:
Jens Hilke
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Landscape Change Menu New Breed Marketing New Breed Marketing University of Vermont University of Vermont The National Endowment for the Humanities National Science Foundation Linthilac Foundation