Abandoned 1800’s Vermont Copper Mine

Abandoned 1800’s Vermont Copper Mine

The mine opened in 1854. With the Civil War brought the rise of price in copper. 64 year old Smith Ely, heir to the New Jersey Leather manufacturing company was elected president of the Vermont Copper Mining Co. Ely poured his fortune into the mining operations. By 1880 they employed almost 800 people and had built the village of Copperfield below the mine. The village population at its height reached 1,875 people and it included a Catholic church, Methodist church, School house, Meeting hall, Company store, barber shop and even a Women’s Hat Shop. Smith Ely now an old man, brought his grandson in to run operations. Ely Ely-Goddard came from a wealthy family and showed it off with his ornate uniforms and fancy parties. By 1883 the company was in financial trouble and unable to make payroll due to falling copper prices. The workers who saw Ely Goddard’s wealthy lifestyle, found it hard to believe the company was unable to pay back wages. The mine started to cut employees and continued to withhold pay into 1883. By July of that year the 300 workers still employed by the mine demanded their back wages paid by Sunday or else. They threatened to ransack the town and dynamite company property. With demands not met the workers emptied the company store and held the company hostage. On the morning of July 7th 1883, 200 militia members under orders by the governor entered the town that morning prepared for bloodshed. They met no resistance in the town. 12 men were arrested as leaders of the strike. With order restored the company was back to business. The Company filed bankruptcy 5 years later. In 1907 almost all of the 150 buildings on the property were auctioned off and removed from the Site. Even Ely Goddard’s Mansion named Elysium sold for a mere $150.00. Today the site is barely recognizable after 114 years of mother nature reclaiming what was hers to begin with.

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  1. Kathy Scallan on May 16, 2023 at 7:24 am

    I’m a ew subscriber to your channel. You’ll found some nice bottles. I look forward to seeing more videos. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Rebel Dipper on May 16, 2023 at 7:24 am

    Hey man!!! i live right in bradford down the road and ive legit been looking for the main shaft for years if youd be willin to help me just shoot me an email or somethin dude i saw that ending and lost it lol awesome video!

  3. Ted Rice on May 16, 2023 at 7:30 am

    The place has grown in so much I could barely recognize it. My great-grandparents moved there from New Jersey about 1900/1901. George Westinghouse bought the place in 1899 and Ivor Monger, my great-grandfather, worked in the smelter for him. My grandmother used to stop by there once every summer and sometimes we rode with them. Appalachian Sulphides owned it back when I was young and she and the caretaker knew each other, so he let us in with the proviso we not go in the mines. Never waded around looking at the cellar holes, so that was new to me. She had lived up on the hillside to the west of the mine – there was another road running across that. In later years Copperfield was owned by some British company and used by a bear hunting club. We used to hear bears off in the woods and see sign – I think they used the mines to hibernate. My brother and I used to walk up inside the smokestack that had been built up the mountain from the smelter to get rid of the fumes. The last time I stopped in there, many years ago now, the caretaker’s house was gone though his wife’s flowerpots made of tires were still there along the road – she used to have some pretty flowers, I remember. The mine entrances I knew about had all been bulldozed in. The slope entrance you showed must be higher up the mountain – never came across that. The water filled drift I think I know, but it has caved in considerably and the huge stone wall it used to emerge from has been removed. We used to stand in front of it and cool off in the breeze if the day was hot. The mine was originally pumped by running rail cars in to the bottom and letting them fill with water, then hauling them out and dumping them. I am pretty sure that was where they ran in and out. I do have a drawing of the mine from the 1850’s, but it expanded considerable after that.

  4. Silver Bull30 on May 16, 2023 at 7:39 am

    😀Just found your channel browsing ( awesome stuff you have,) I make coin and silver videos (detecting coming soon)…I love coins, &detecting,I am getting more into metal detecting, I love history, coins, getting dirty so its up my alley. I collect a little bit of everything. Im very close to a milestone and gaw stream would love to have you on my friends, love this community! Happy holidays!

  5. Ted Rice on May 16, 2023 at 7:50 am

    The price of copper had a great deal to do with how Copperfield prospered or failed. Copper prices fell between 1882 and 1887, leading to the famous miner’s strike of 1883. In 1887 Pierre Secretan of France, backed by a syndicate of French banks, set out to corner the copper market and got control of over 80% of the world’s copper. Prices soared. 1888 is when Copperfield installed their dam and powerhouse, becoming the first electrified village in Vermont. The smelter was also upgraded to the latest technology. But by Feb. 1889 the market had been flooded by reserves that had been held back when the price was low and Secretan failed. In early March the secretary of one of the largest banks blew his brains out and copper prices collapsed overnight. That finished off Copperfield. It sat unused and the mine gradually filled with water. In 1899 John D. Rockefeller decide he could succeed where Secretan had failed and set out on the same course. During the 1888 fiasco George Westinghouse, who needed huge quantities of copper, had bought two copper mines in Arizona to insure his company had copper, but when Secretan failed he just let them sit. When John D. got going George panicked, but having seen the Ely Mine for sale in a New York paper, he came up and looked it over and bought it. The sale wasn’t signed and completed until early 1900, but George had an engineering firm give him an estimate on 3 ways to dewater the mine (available online). One was the railcar method I mentioned before, the other was electric pumps, and the third was steam pumps. Which he chose is uncertain, but it did cost him far more in time and money than he expected. He is also reported to have surveyed out two roads, which didn’t make much sense to me, what he needed was a railroad. And that turned out to be the case. He planned to build a whole new railroad to White River Junction. That never happened. Thirdly the smelter, though new in 1888, was now obsolete technology, so he contracted with a Colorado firm to replace all of that, and also reportedly asked Nikola Tesla to research ways to reduce the cost of refining the ore. I believe the smelter began operation in early 1901. George went head to head with the Vershire assessors multiple times over the taxes on the place and on his improvements, the ore turned out to be less than he had assumed, and the costs more. By mid 1903 Rockefeller’s attempt to corner copper had gone the way of Secretan’s and copper prices fell. Westinghouse began to close the place down. My great-grandfather had moved to Utah by 1905. The crash of 1907, the worst in US history to that time, forced George to sell so much of his stock to keep the company afloat that he lost control and was sent on "vacation". Copperfield was auctioned off in 1907, on condition everything be removed – likely George’s last strike at the tax assessors by wiping the entire village off the tax rolls! George Westinghouse later returned to the company and successfully developed his Arizona mines, buying a smelter there. Copperfield later was used in WW1 and WW2, but mostly ore from the dumps was processed – I don’t believe the mine was ever reopened after 1903.

  6. D.S Magnet Fishing on May 16, 2023 at 7:52 am

    awesome place,, all that history,, just there

  7. Sheryl Schonberg on May 16, 2023 at 8:02 am

    This was really well made. Sometimes they had a head house on top of a vertical shaft which held a frame and a hoist to carry things up and down the shaft. Now all that is left is a cellar hole with rubble etc covering over the shaft and all hidden under leaves.

  8. Harold Vaillancourt on May 16, 2023 at 8:12 am

    This video is/was personally hard too Watch atleast for me giving the location and a life changing event that personally happened too me in July 2008 while just out hiking in that area… either way though thank you for the video it’s as close as I can physically bring myself too get too anything "adventure" wise into that area other than the old dam/water fall across the street…

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