A Short History of the Ely mine, page 2




       To make the last payment, Barnard loaned the company $10,000.00.  The profit that last quarter was $340.64  (30).  During this time, however, nineteen thousand thirty shares, purchased at a few cents per share, sold for $50,000.00.  The dividends stopped in December 1863, and “unpleasant inquiries” began. (31)  Thomas Pollard was scapegoated for the company’s woes (32).   “The Red Dust of Vershire” states, somewhat mysteriously, “The mine was at its peak in 1864...”(33).  In January 1865, at the Eagle Hotel in West Fairlee, all of the officers were replaced and Smith Ely, a retired furniture manufacturer from New Jersey took control (34).  According to his nephew, Smith Ely had come to the mine to examine its financial status (he had first appeared as a stockholder in 1863), and had been treated “with a degree of insolence which aroused his most bitter resentment”.  Upon his return to New York, he proceeded to purchase a controlling interest in the mine, and as his first official act as president of the corporation, summarily dismissed the man who had affronted him (35).  Mr. Roswell Farnham was employed as counsel for the company from 1865 until, according to an article written in 1896,  “the winding up of its business” (36) except, presumably, during his term as Governor.  Mr. Henry Barnard, the displaced president, brought suit for lost salary and other losses and had the property attached.  He took possession and work stopped (37).  It took Smith Ely four months to find parties willing to receipt the property and acceptable to Mr. William T. George, who apparently was unwilling to release the property to anyone not from the area.  Pollard was rehired as mining engineer; he immediately redirected Glanville’s shaft and cut through the west foot wall (38), or floor (39) in four places, striking a rich vein in each place in January 1865.  That month, one hundred four tons were produced; by 1880, it would be one hundred tons per day (40).
By 1867, smelting furnaces had been built under the direction of William H. Long (41), and four hundred tons of ore had been mined with the labors of one hundred thirty-two workers. In 1869, a dividend of $100,000.000 was declared. That year, mine superintendent Capt. Pollard was replaced by Captain Pascoe, the boss of the underground crew. There is a description of a visit to the bottom of the mine with Pascoe in Child, p. 20. William Long enlisted the assistance of his brother Daniel and they enlarged the smelters and erected new furnaces, improving the purity of the matte copper produced under Pollard from thirty to forty per cent to about ninety-five per cent. (42) Between 1879 to 1882, production at the Ely mine reached its peak:

1870............ 943,465 lbs. of metallic Cu

1876.............1,646,850 lbs. of metallic Cu

1880............ 3,186,175 lbs. of metallic Cu (Child, p. 25, Weed, p. 194)

1890.............7,500,000 lbs. of metallic Cu (Jacob, p. , Weed, p. 194, Peters, p.68)

1918................350,000 lbs. of metallic Cu (Peters, p. 68) (43)

           Beginning in 1870, production figures were in pounds of metallic copper (Cu); interest waned in copperas, and smelting operations were restarted at the site. Two dividends were declared of $30,000.00 each. (44)  Copperas had been used extensively in dyeing, and found use in medicine, agriculture and as a disinfectant. (45) Other materials in the ore made it desirable to burn with purer grades of ore which required for a "flux" to make the slag run off clean from the ore when melted .(46)  At one point this lower grade ore commanded a higher price than the ore it was used to reduce.    [continue...]
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