Ruggles Mine.
Ruggles Mine.

Ruggles Mine (Closed)

Field review by the editors.

Grafton, New Hampshire

The Ruggles Mine burrows its way into Isinglass Mountain near the town of Grafton -- a huge, open pit, honeycombed along its edges with pitch-black side passages, supported by massive columns of pegmatite. It looks unsettlingly like where the lepers were sent in Ben Hur.

This place is smart; up front you're shown a video and a museum, all aglitter with sparkly giant beryls and amethyst supposedly found at the mine. "Oooh," says a teenager to her boyfriend. "That's what I want you to find for me!"

Chipping away for mineral treasure.
Chipping away for mineral treasure.

Next stop is the rental booth, where you can rent a hammer (not included in your admission fee). Of course, if you really want to get back to where the good stuff is, you should also rent the five dollar flashlight, the ten dollar helmet.... Those free gems can get expensive.

Now it's down into the pit with you, you modern-day leper! Start hammering!

Aside from its startling photogenic presence, the one thing you'll remember about this place is the incessant, continuous banging that echoes across the man-made canyon as gem-happy geotourists pound away at everything (even the main support pillars) in their rabid quest for semiprecious gemstones.

It's refreshing in an age of "Take only photos, leave only footprints," to find a place that says, "Go ahead! Destroy our attraction!"

Ruggles Mine

Directions:
From Grafton drive northwest two miles on US Hwy 4. Turn left onto Riddle Hill Rd, drive a mile, then turn right onto Ruggles Mine Rd. Helpful brown signs point the way.
Hours:
Temporarily closed; mine currently for sale.
Status:
Closed

More Quirky Attractions in New Hampshire

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in New Hampshire.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 19, 2018

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

New Hampshire Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Red Hook, New York (Oct 15-21, 2018)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Grafton, New Hampshire

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now