The Eggemoggin Silver Mining Company at Byard’s Point
Circa 1870 to 1890 mining became popular in Maine and many people in Sedgwick invested in the Eggemoggin Silver Mining Company incorporated in June, 1877. The smelting building was located near the shore on Byard’s Point and a shaft that was about 12 by 20 feet wide and 50 feet deep was drilled. Though smelting was scheduled to start, for unknown reasons it did not, and in time the project was abandoned.1
Interestingly, in an undated, but probably circa 1878, issue of the American Railroad Journal is written: “The Eggemoggin Silver Mining Company has leased it mining and smelting works at Sedgwick for a term of 20 years, and the Van Wyck Smelting Company of New York will hereafter take charge of the entire works. This company owns the celebrated Perth Amboy Smelting Works in New Jersey.”2
In an 1880 issue of the Engineering and Mining Journal we find “The Eggemoggin Silver Mining Company is sinking its shaft with 8 men at work. It is prepared to put on a night shift very soon. Preparations are making for opening a mine on the land of Parker Billings.”3 There is no indication that a mine ever commenced on Parker’s land.
It’s unclear what led to the end of the silver mining industry in Sedgwick but it’s safe to say it probably didn’t produce the hoped for results.
The loss of the silver mine building is recorded in Wyer G. Sargent’s Journal on July 17, 1880. Wyer writes, “Last night heavy thunder and vivid lightening about 11 o’clock was fearful. News came to us this morning that the mill at the silver mine was burned last night. Suppose it must have been struck by lightning. Henry (Henry Sargent, Wyer’s son) went over and has just returned saying that nearly everything has been destroyed or badly injured.”
Old silver mine
Silver mine chimney
The chimney of the silver mine was a familiar sight for many years. It is said that the materials in it were later used in the Gay mansion, the huge summer cottage built at the highest point of Byard’s Point. The Gay mansion burned down Oct. 12, 1975, and two Sexton homes were eventually built in the general location of the silver mine.
For safety reasons the shaft of the silver mine was later filled in.4
This certificate for shares in the Carter Silver Mining Company is in the Sargentville Library collection. It is unclear how, or if, it relates to the Eggemoggin Silver mining Company but we assume the share certificates would be similar to this one.
1 Life and Times in a Coastal Village, Sedgwick, Maine 1789-1989, Bicentennial Committee, Sedgwick, ME., page 43.
2 American Railroad Journal, Railroad and Manufacturing Notes, page 13 77.
3The Engineering and Mining Journal, Feb. 14, 1880, page 123
4 Personal communication with Louis R. and Pat Marcou, October, 2015.