LS02292_000
Ely Mines and Village at Copperfield

Title:
Ely Mines and Village at Copperfield
Town:
Vershire
County:
Orange
State:
Vermont
Date:
1880?
Description:
Back of card reads, "Ely Mines and Village at Copperfield, VT., 2 or so miles northwest of West Fairlee. There were said to have been three churches. Miss Emma Coombs had an Aunt who taught school there. There were said to have been about 100 pupils in the school and two teachers. The house with the pavilion and cupolas is now on the east shore of Lake Fairlee. Other houses appearing in the picture were moved to other locations." This photo captures a mining village in the foreground with the mining operation on the bare slopes in the background. The foreground shows a grassy, rocky slope with many tree stumps. At the bottom of the slope there is a stream bed lined with rocks and rock walls. Many houses are clustered around a dirt road. Another string of houses lead towards the mine itself in the distance. At the end of these houses you can just make out a couple large conical tailings piles. 2 of 3 in a panorama (see also LS02291 and LS02293). 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.
Filename:
LS02292_000.jpg
Size:
2026 x 1930 pixels; 2386303 bytes
Original Filename:
MillsMining29.JPG
Keywords:
Buildings; Business; Mining; Open_fields; Quarries; Earth Materials; Boulders; Buildings; Chimneys; Culture; Dwellings; Earth Materials; Earthwork; Geology; Hills; Human Activity; Human Constructs; Landforms; Landscapes; Mines and mineral resources; Nature; Ore deposits; Rivers; Roads; Roads,Earth; Rock excavation; Rocks; Rural; Sediments (Geology); Stumpwood; Village communities; Wooden-frame buildings; Work;
Source:
Vermont Historical Society
Submitted By:
Jens Hilke
Submitted On:
2004-04-22
Original Media:
Photograph
Times viewed:
2051
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