Remembering Mineral’s mining history – by Toby Cox (The Central Virginian – May 12, 2021)

The names of places often hint at their history. Virginia and Louisa County were both named after members of England’s royal family, recalling the United States’ pre-revolutionary times. The name of the Town of Mineral also recalls its distinctive history, as a mining hub.

Mineral was originally called Tolersville, named after William F. Toler who owned a tavern where the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department is currently situated. The town was renamed Mineral in 1902 when the mining boom in Central Virginia was at its height.

Mineral is located on the gold-pyrite belt that runs from Stafford County southwest through Culpeper, Orange, Spotsylvania, Fauquier, and Louisa counties.

Gold, iron, copper, and pyrite were the main minerals mined in the area throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lead and zinc were also mined, but to a lesser extent.

Gold may have been discovered in Mineral in the early 1830s; by the middle of the decade, nearly every property owner along Contrary Creek, north of the present-day town, was prospecting their land for gold or other minerals.

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