Make Historic Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH The 94th New Hampshire State Park

Make Historic Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH The 94th New Hampshire State Park

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cheryl senter started this petition to New Hampshire State House and

Please visit our Facebook Page   Friends of Ruggles Mine    to see the visual wonders this location has to offer as well as news articles about the mine and the initiative to make it a State Park

The NH Preservation Alliance has added Ruggles Mine to their Seven To Save list. 

Here is the speech resident Deb Clough, librarian and positive force in the town, gave at the event

“Ruggles Mine is a 215-year-old historic treasure nestled atop Isinglass Mountain in Grafton, NH.

The Mine which has breathtaking panoramic views and is the oldest, largest mine of its kind - Is Up For Sale - $900,000.  

Ruggles Mine should belong to the people of this progressive state, not in private hands.

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has toured Ruggles Mine. A specialist will be sent later this fall to look for evidence of the endangered Brown and Northern Long Eared bats.

Founded in 1803, Ruggles Mine is the oldest mica, feldspar and beryl mine in North America. Specimens from the mine can be found in national institutions like the Smithsonian and Boston Museum of Science.

When the mine closed in the 1950’s it was purchased and reopened as a tourist attraction. For over 50 years Ruggles Mine was advertised as “The Mine in the Sky” and welcomed visitors from all over the country and world.

Today Grafton with a population of just over 1,300 has a 12 percent poverty rate. A recent and substantial rise in property taxes has brought the progress of the town to a standstill. Reopening Ruggles Mine as a State Park would revitalize the towns economy and bring people together with a positive and apolitical cause.

The 236 acre mine contains top tier forestland, highly ranked wildlife habitat and sits within the Quabbin to Cardigan conservation initiative.

I see Ruggles Mine as not only a visually stimulating attraction but also an inspiring learning nature center. A place where children can discover what lies beneath their feet and be shown how important it is to be stewards of our forests, the wildlife and environment.

Ruggles Mine belongs to the people of this state, more importantly the children and future generations.”

 Andrew Cushing
NH Preservation Alliance

“Founded in 1803, Ruggles Mine is purportedly the oldest mica, feldspar, and beryl mine in North America. Specimens from the mine can be found in national institutions like the Smithsonian and Boston Museum of Science. When the mine closed in the late 1950s, the property was purchased and re-opened as a tourist attraction, which brought thousands of families to this “mine in the sky.” The mine attraction was closed in 2015 and put on the market in 2016.

The mine and its 236 acres includes panoramic views north toward Mt. Cardigan and the White Mountains, contains top tier forestland and highly ranked wildlife habitat, and sits within the Quabbin to Cardigan conservation initiative, a collaborative, landscape-scale effort to conserve the Monadnock Highlands of north-central Massachusetts and western New Hampshire. The mine’s natural and historic assets make it a strong candidate for the state’s newest park, a use that the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is investigating.

Its addition as a State Park would bring tourists back to Grafton, conserve a key parcel of land, preserve a cultural landscape, and offer unique programming opportunities.”

Cheryl Senter freelance photojournalist creator of the petition to make Ruggles Mine a NH State Park

“So they were coming up the driveway to the beach. Phyllis pushing a baby carriage and Zander pedaling his bike all happy and shiny faced. He hopped of his bike and said excitedly Cheryl Cheryl Cheryl I’m going on a field trip to VINS in May! He was so excited.
I thought wow that’s like 6 months away and in Vermont!
I knew at that moment seeing his smiling face that this is what I want to hear all NH school children tell their friends and parents with excitement, We’re going on a field trip to Ruggles Mine State Park!

I see the Mine as not only a visually stimulating attraction but also a learning nature center much like VINS. A place where children can discover what lays beneath the grouand be shown how important it is to be caretakers of our forests and the wildlife and environment.

The stunning view from up on the mine which is nestled in Isinglass mountain will show them just how vast and beautiful their state is. My hope is that NH youth who visit the mine will take pride in having such a gem in their state and be inspired to make positive productive change in how they treat their environment passing along that spirit to others.”

Make Historic Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH The 94th New Hampshire State Park. 

I grew up in Massachusetts suburb outside of Boston .

As a child, my parents took my siblings and I to Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH every summer.

The visuals and possibilities of finding treasure always made it a magical learning experience.

My imagination would explode in a million directions as I explored the large caves, picked up huge sheets of mica and used my tiny hammer to chip off pieces of what I thought for sure were precious gems.  

Completely captivated for hours out in the fresh air, I learned as I played about geology and how wondrous the nature is. 

The only way my parents could lure me to leave was the promise if looking at the large display of semi precious minerals at Ruggles gift shop.  

Sitting on the tailgate of my dads Chevy pickup in the Mine’s gravel parking lot we would enjoy the panoramic views of dense green forested rolling hills while picnicking on ham and cheese sandwiches, chips and ice-cold homemade root beer.  

I would always have wonderfully amazing dreams after our trip to Ruggles Mine.  And all summer I would marvel looking at my sheets of mica and hunt for special stones wherever I went.

To this day I am a rock hound thanks to our summer trips to Ruggles Mine.  

In my mid twenties I met the man of my dreams who had grown up in and still lived in the city of Boston.  

We quickly discovered that we shared the same fond childhood memory.  My now husband of over thirty years used to go with his family to Ruggles Mine in Grafton every summer to get out of the city and enjoy nature.  

My husband talked of the same childhood wonderment.  Of exploring the caves and hunting for treasure. And they too would  picnic in the parking lot after. Only my husbands family would dine on freshly picked local corn that they would cook right next to their car on a camping stove.  

People from all over the world have come to visit Ruggles Mine.

Many like my husband and I were repeat visitors.

In 2012 gave Ruggles Mine a five-star review. 68 people took the time to rate share their positive stories.

Below are a few reviews.  if you want to skip, the gist of the feedback is great place for children and rock hounds. 


- Junior Geoligists at Play - “We went for the first time yesterday and had a fun and amazing time. It is a huge place filled with lots of incredible tunnels to explore and rocks and samples to collect. What a truly wonderful place to take your budding geologists of all ages. I was somewhat skeptical based on some others peoples reviews, but decided that if you are not into gathering rocks, then this is NOT the place for you. Skip it because those people's reviews are unfair and misleading to others who truly want a fun place that kids and adults alike will enjoy. Bring your backpacks empty so you can fill them with samples, as we did, and as questions of the staff. They are here to help! And all the staff was most friendly and not unkind as some people posted. Go, have fun, and just be a kid again!”

- Rock Hounding - “The mine is as much or as little work as you what to do! I should bring a pad to knee down on or sit on, a bucket to wash stones, short handle tools, and canvas bags. You need a hammer, pick, three prong hoe, and/or folding shovel/pick. We should have spent more time in the cavels. The mine was worked to get minerals out. The unwanted materials were piled and left. You need to go through the piled material to find the good stuff. In the cave the piles a at least 20 ft deep. We went down a couple of feet is a small area. We found a wide selection of materials to add to my collection.”

- Great activity for anyone that loves rocks and minerals! - “I have 2 boys ages 9 and 10, and when they heard about this place, they were so excited! Many caves and such we have been at in the past, have those little gem "mining" areas where you get a bag of rocks and its kind of lame. I never let them waste their money on it. Here, at Ruggles Mine, you can really mine for rocks and minerals! It is in the backwoods of Grafton, NH (and I have seen other people review this and say it is so far off route and hard to find. But there are many signs and it was not hard to find at all.)

Upon arriving, you pay an admission fee - it is on the more expensive side, but you can take home as many rocks and minerals that you mine as you want! We filled an entire shopping bag full. The hammers they rent are only $3 a piece, so that really isn't too bad, considering if you purchased a mining hammer like that, they would be upwards of $40 or more.

The experience itself was awesome! They have a little museum and display on the different minerals you can find specifically there in their caves. Then, after you have looked all of that over, you walk down the path and through a tunnel, and voila! You feel like you are on the set of an Indiana Jones movie, and have just walked into another world. There are cool caves, and rocks and you totally feel like you are out on a treasure hunt.

We spent about 2 hours doing actual mining, although I am sure you could spend all day if you were hard core. The great thing was that one of the employees was down helping everyone identify the different minerals they were looking for, and how to find them. This was a huge help. It was great to know exactly what to look for.

We were very pleased with our experience - it's not something you do every day!”

- very unique - 
This was a great place to take my children to actually hit the rocks and collect mica... wonderful family thing. but remember to wear your good sneakers!!!!! lots of walking though caves and mines and become a little miner


Grafton, incorporated in 1778, is next to the town of Orange where one of the main trails to Mount Cardigan State Park can be accessed. 

It is a common occurrence at Cardigan State Park to meet visitors who have traveled from all corners of the world to make the breathtaking hike.

Spectacular Grafton Pond and Grafton Pond Reservation is a huge draw for locals and tourists alike. 

Grafton is also less than a half hour away from  renowned Dartmouth College.

Famous alumni from that college include: Daniel Webster, Robert Frost, Meryl Streep, James Nachway, C. Everett Coop, Mr. Rogers, Nelson Rockefeller, and Dr. Seuss to name a few. 

Lake Sunapee, home to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is about a half hour away as well as Newfound Lake, which is part of the Lakes Region. 

My parents, now both deceased, loved the tiny town of Grafton so much that in 1962 they bought an old 1740 farm house no running water or electricity on Razor Hill road.

We spent our summers there.

My parents eventually retired there.

Right out of college my brother moved to Grafton and started his own business. 

My husband and I bought land in Grafton to camp out on and eventually saved up enough to buy a tiny camp.  I’m sitting in that very camp right now as I write this plea.

Please help make Ruggles Mine a State Park. 

A 200 year-old historic New Hampshire treasure Ruggles Mine the oldest and largest mine of it’s kind in the United States has been put up for sale again, with a dramatic price drop. 

The original price for the mine was 2 million now it’s down to $900,000 

Grafton, New Hampshire with a population 1,340 is struggling economically. The property tax rate rose dramatically in Grafton from just over $20 on the thousand to almost $28 in four-years.  The median household income being about $50,000, roughly 12 percent of the towns residents live below poverty level. Grafton like all New Hampshire towns lives in the shadow of the opioid crisis. The town operates with one law enforcement officer and a volunteer fire department. 


Making Ruggles Mine a State Park would save the historic landmark from private ownership, protect Isinglass Mountain green space and via collaborative commitment between town and State create a tourism fueled economic boost. 

Please help and sign 


0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!