The Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society sponsors the Ham and Weeks Mine locality page on mindat.org.
Granite pegmatite. Opened in 1877. Mined for mica, feldspar, and beryl.
The Ham and Weeks Educational and Recreational Area is currently operated by the Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society (MMGS). The site is leased by MMGS, and access is limited to MMGS members. Please download our Membership Application.
Ham and Weeks Mine was first developed by the Mineral Hill Mining Corporation, formed August 7, 1877, by Samuel B. Ames. Shares were sold to buy equipment and mining rights in the area. Originally called the Mica Mine, 2 or 3 acres were worked and the mica was sold for use in stove windows and lamp chimneys. Operations didn't last too long. As the pit depth increased, an underground spring flooded the pit, and pumps couldn't keep up with the flow. The original pit is believed to be south of the present pit. The mine was inactive until 1914 or 1915, when the present pit was opened for mica to be used in gas masks for soldiers in WW I. The mica was taken by horse-drawn carts to East Wakefield and loaded unto trains. The mine was closed after a year or two, then re-opened a third time in the 1930's, when mica was used as electrical insulation in early crystal radio sets; beryl was also reportedly mined for war use.
According to Cameron et. al. (1954): "in the 1920's...feldspar, scrap mica, and beryl were recovered. In the early 1930's, a Mr. Day, Kittery, Maine, operated the quarry for feldspar and scrap mica...In September 1942, J. D. Bardill, District Engineer for the Bureau of Mines, arranged a sampling program under the direction of E. E. Maillot and W. H. Evans. The Bureau of Mines quarried beryl from the north and west sides of the pit, dug 10 small pits and trenches, and drilled 5 horizontal jackhammer holes 12 to 16 feet long in an effort to locate the contacts of the pegmatite. They also pumped out the flooded part of the pit."
This is an aerial photo taken on May 25, 2015 by one of the current trustees of the Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society, Patrick Bigos. This first picture was taken at about 40 feet above ground level at an angle in the lower part of the mine from a radio controlled multi-rotor camera platform. The next photo was from about 80 feet up looking straight down.
The mine has a few feet of water in the center. Some of the recent work on the left side of the mine is evident here.