Monadnock Moments No. 50: Granite State Gold and Silver Mining Company
The town of Surry was once the scene of a substantial gold and silver mining operation. Surry Mountain was long thought to be the site of rich ore deposits, but it was not until 1879 that a company was incorporated for the purpose of mining in the area.
The Granite State Gold and Silver Mining Company was formed on September 15, 1879 with Mahlon Milleson as superintendent. The company’s headquarters were located on Milk Street in Boston and most of the officers were from that city. Prior to the formation of the company, Mr. Milleson, a mining engineer from Nevada, had been called in to give his opinion of the project. He was surprised to find ore that assayed at $190 per ton. Five hundred pounds of ore was taken to the Boston office to display as encouragement to potential stockholders.
The company leased 175 acres on Surry Mountain and a road was constructed up to the mining site. A mill, manager’s office and house, and large boarding house for the workers were constructed. Full time excavation began amidst great enthusiasm in 1880.
A second shaft was soon begun and more buildings constructed on the Gilsum side of the mountain. Ten or twelve men were employed for two or three years, but in the end, the enterprise proved unprofitable. The mining rights were sold at auction in February of 1887 to pay back taxes, thus ending the experiment of the Granite State Gold and Silver Mining Company.