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Time Passages ... Getting the 'lead' out of Sturbridge

History, science disagree

The opening to the Sturbridge lead mine, above, is still accessible on the Tantiusques (Tantasqua) Reservation off Leadmine Road. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
August 12, 2009
STURBRIDGE — If you've spent more than just a casual minute in Sturbridge, you've heard of the lead mine: Leadmine Road, Leadmine Pond, Leadmine Mountain.

But where did the term come from? Was there actually a lead mine in Sturbridge? Yes … and no.

The ruminants of what was known as the lead mine can be found just a few yards past the trailhead at the Tantiusques (Tantasqua) Reservation on — of course — Leadmine Road.

The mine that would become the namesake of that whole area never produced a single ounce of lead though. In fact, what was excavated from the ground was plumbago, or graphite, albeit not too much, for more than 200 years.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of comminity news.

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