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Markhamville Mines Transcript


In the 1860s George Matthew found pyrolusite and manganite near Sussex. The manganese ore is found in limestone deposited in the Windsor Sea.  The discovery led to a successful mining operation, exporting 55,000 tons of ore used in the production of glass, varnish, cement and steel. Markhamville takes its name from Alfred Markham, manager of the manganese mines.  Imagine working underground in the late 1800s. Newspaper stories provide a glimpse of mining operations.

Saint John Daily News. January 8, 1868. EXPLOSION IN A MINE.

 We understand that a rather serious accident occurred at the Manganese Mines.  Five men were working at the time of the accident in one of the pits two hundred and fifty feet below the surface of the earth. One of the miners was engaged in charging a hole, which had just been drilled for a blast. Mr. Markham stood alongside this man. Just as the miner had got the charge home, the gun-cotton exploded. For some little time after the explosion the men were oblivious to everything; but regaining consciousness they moved as fast as they could in the darkness in which they were enshrouded towards the mouth of the level. Mr. Markham, who was uninjured, managed on getting out to procure lights, and returning met the two miners.

Daily Telegraph. August 31, 1886. Manganese Mining.

One cannot walk a hundred feet in any direction without stumbling over a trial pit or a huge cutting from which manganese in large or small quantities has not been taken. It is never found in regular veins but generally pockets. Therefore, a large amount of prospecting has to be done each year in the search for new pockets. Sometimes a pocket is supposed to be exhausted when another blast reveals a ton or more of first quality ore, which, when ready for the market, is as nearly valuable as silver.