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Mineral Town

Mineral Town Hall is located at 102 East 1st Street, Mineral, VA 23117; phone: 540-894-5100.

Beginnings [1]

Mineral, Virginia is a small town in the Virginia piedmont whose history is inextricably linked with the mining that occurred in the surrounding countryside. Mineral is located in Louisa County about six miles east of the town of Louisa, the county seat. Named for the deposits of various minerals found in the area, the town of Mineral owes its existence to those mines. The town's heyday was in the late nineteenth century and at the turn of the twentieth century when it was something of a mining boomtown. Although gold and iron mining in the area occurred as early as the 1830s, newer technology spurred a pyrite-mining boom in the 1880s. At the height of mining in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, there were 900-1200 miners in the immediate area and Mineral served as the economic, trade, transportation, and social centers for the mines and their workers. Most miners lived at the mines, but services such as stores, hotels, churches, a school, and social organizations were located in Mineral.

Mineral developed according to a plan drawn in 1890 by Walter Bishop, an engineer, who was one of a group of investors who saw a future in having a town located near the mines. The plan was an ambitious one. Bishop laid out 151 blocks and the investors envisioned as many as 1,500 houses being erected each year. Unfortunately, this grand plan did not materialize. Mineral developed much more slowly and never achieved the growth projected by the initial inventors. Many of Mineral's buildings, however, date to this period. Substantial turn-of-the-century homes line the main street in Mineral while somewhat smaller homes are located on the side streets. The commercial area developed at the north end of the town where the railroad depot was located. Mineral weathered the loss of the mining industry by serving local agriculture and timber interests, and more recently, the growing residential areas around Lake Anna.

  1. Ashley Neville and Sarah Clarke, Ashley Neville, LLC, Mineral Historic District, Mineral, Virginia, nomination document, 2004, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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