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Home North Carolina Ashe County City of Jefferson Historical Markers Ore Knob Mine

Ore Knob Mine

NC-88 at Little Peak Road, Jefferson, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 23' 34.8468", -81° 19' 37.9812"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Copper mine operated one mile north in the 1870s & 1880s. Site of Ore Knob, boom mining town, chartered 1875."
     During the 1850s, a vein of copper ore was discovered two miles from the New River in southeastern Ashe County. A group of investors from Meigs County, Tennessee, developed the Ore Knob Mine, which commenced production in February 1855. Due to the high costs of transporting the copper over sixty-three miles of mountainous terrain to the nearest railroad, the mine closed during the summer of 1856 and remained closed until after the Civil War.

     The Ore Knob Mine resumed production in July 1873 under the control of Clayton & Company of Baltimore. At that time it employed 150 workers. By 1875 Ore Knob, located halfway between present day Laurel Springs and West Jefferson, was the largest settlement in Ashe County and it was incorporated by the state legislature. By 1878 the mine employed over 700 men. Because of the drop of copper prices, the mine ceased production in1883. From that point on occasion mining took place at the site. The mine closed permanently in 1962. In 1972, five Ashe County businessmen purchased the property for around $240,000.

W.C. Kerr, Report of the Geological Survey of North Carolina (1875)
Martin Crawford, Ashe County’s Civil War (2001)
William S. Powell, North Carolina Gazetteer (1968)
“A Million Dollars Worth of Copper Waiting to be Picked Up,” The State (July 1934)
Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy
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North Carolina Civil War Historical Markers.

Ore Knob Mine Historical Marker Location Map, Jefferson, North Carolina