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Ruggles Mine Cited as Landmark to Save

  • Joseph Su and his daughter Anwen, of Nashua, N.H., look around Ruggles Mine in Grafton, N.H., on June 15, 2016. They had come to the mine not knowing it was closed. A real estate agent overseeing the mine property was there when they arrived so they were able to see the site. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News file photograph

Published: 10/16/2018 3:58:33 PM
Modified: 10/16/2018 11:49:34 PM

Grafton — The Ruggles Mine off Route 4 has gotten a symbolic boost.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance on Tuesday listed the 236-acre mine on its 2018 “Seven to Save” list, which highlights endangered historic landscapes and important buildings across the state.

The Grafton property, discovered by Sam Ruggles in 1803, was mined for minerals such as mica and feldspar for 160 years, then turned into a tourist attraction in the 1960s.

It includes sweeping views of central New Hampshire and the opportunity to walk into mine tunnels.

The mine closed in 2016, when owner Geraldine Searles, then 90, put it up for sale.

The property, which includes a 2,400-square-foot building, housed a museum and gift shop, and now is listed at $900,000.

A petition was started earlier this year to turn it into a state park.

Also included on the “Seven to Save” list this year is a home on the common at Haverhill Corner; the 250-acre Laconia State School campus; the dam to a water-power system at Canterbury Shaker Village; a large exhibition barn at the Rochester Fairgrounds; an Italianate parsonage in Lee; and a “Prairie-style” residence built for the director of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Manchester.

The list was announced on Tuesday at an event in Washington, N.H., celebrating the successful rehabilitation of that town’s 1787 Meetinghouse, which was on the 2014 Seven to Save list.

“These places make our state distinctive and help connect us to our rich and complex history,” Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, said in a news release. “Here are seven great opportunities to transform threatened resources into vibrant assets once again that help meet community and economic goals.”

Since the Preservation Alliance “Seven to Save” listing was launched in 2006, more than 50 percent of the landmarks cited have received new investment.

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