Shelburne Lead Mining Company records, 1846 - 1854Manuscript MS-1269


The Shelburne lead mine was built after Amos Peabody discovered lead ore near the banks of the Great Brook (a small tributary to the Androscoggin River and later renamed Lead Brook) in 1820. However, it took another twenty five years before New York capitalists became interested enough to investigate. A rich deposit of lead was found and the mine opened in the fall of 1846. Two shafts were sunk in the bed of the brook, and a tunnel projected thirty-five feet into the hillside. An engine pumped air into the shaft and water out of it, but the ore was hauled up by horses attached to a whimsey. A large framed building, known as the wash-house, was erected. At the wash-house the ore was crushed, sifted, washed and smelted and the led run into bars about two feet long. In 1849, the mine was abandoned because it was not profitable, but in 1856 it was opened up again and mined until the 1880s.

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