Old Chimney at Byard Point

Catherine Marston Wood Collection
Gift of Diana Marston Wood

Based on other photographs in the collection, this appears to be the former site of the Eggemoggin Silver Mining Co. Smelting Works

Maine experienced a mining boom in 1870-1890 and Byard Point, at Eggemoggin Reach, with its deep harbor (which accommodated deep-drafted vessels) and an abundance of pine to fuel the steam boilers for smelting, offered an ideal place for a silver mine. Investors succeeded in completing one of two shafts fifty feet deep and most of a two-story smelting works building before tragedy struck. The Eggemoggin Silver Mine, built at great expense, was struck by lightning just as a depression engulfed the country, and the operation was abandoned. As Evie Barbour’s photograph illustrates, however, the abandoned chimney at Byard Point made an attractive picnic site. The pines provide privacy and the old chimney is a romantic reminder of things past. The two women seem deep in thought, with their eyes focused somewhere, perhaps, beyond what can be seen in the photo.