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New Hampshire explores turning Ruggles Mine into state park

July 14, 2018
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FILE - This June 7, 2016 file photo, shows flooded caves at Ruggles Mine in Grafton, N.H. The former mica mine attracted tourists for decades before being closed and put on the market in 2016. Initial discussions have been held between state officials and a preservation group about the future of the mine, which has failed to attract a buyer. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A 215-year-old mineral mine and former commercial tourist attraction could someday belong to all New Hampshire residents if it gets turned into a state park.

Ruggles Mine in Grafton has been closed since 2016, but the state is in the early stages of exploring whether to buy it. The State Park System Advisory Council recently recommended looking into whether doing so would fit with the system’s mission and make financial sense.

The 235-acre (95-hectare) property includes a gift shop, a small museum and an enormous pit with tunnels and caverns that make up the oldest and largest mine of its kind in the United States. It was run as a tourist attraction for five decades before being closed and put up for sale in 2016.

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