The Betts Manganese Mine located in Plainfield near the Cummington line. Going here requires a permit, so we did just that and let the owners know the Hilltown Hikers were coming for a Sunday afternoon, we brought Debbie to do a story for the Country Journal too. The deposit was worked extensively in 1848 before being abandoned due to the “California gold excitement.” The mine was acquired in 1925 by the metallurgist and inventor, Anson Gardner Betts, who operated it under the name Taconic Manganese Mines. The most active mining period was 1939-1942. His son Anson Ketchum Betts also worked for the family mining business.

The mine and tailings are now under the ownership of Earth Dance. One five gallon bucket of material may be removed per trip/day. I was lucky enough to find one piece of Manganese, because mining is definitely not easy!

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