Latitude / Longitude:
42°41′52″N 72°52′13″W / 42.69778°N 72.87028°W / 42.69778
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Davis, Massachusetts is the abandoned location of the Davis Pyrite Mine. located in the town of Rowe, Massachusetts. Once the largest iron pyrite-mine in Massachusetts, Davis grew to be a decent sized mining village at the beginnings of the Second Industrial Revolution (1870–1915). But, in 1911, a non-fatal collapse of the mine due to “poor mining practices” ended the nearly 30-year run.
By 1937, the mining camp had faded, and all that remained were a blacksmith shop and about 150 cellar holes.
Little remains of the camp today. The area has several cellar holes of defunct houses, and second-growth forest has staked its claim to much of the land along these unpaved backroads. However, the Davis Mine is a major study area as there are ecological concerns due to a pollution plume exuding from the old workings down into Davis Mine Creek. When the mine collapsed, groundwater seeped into the old workings, and now flows out and downhill into the creek. The University of Massachusetts Amherst has used this as a study site. The remains of the Davis Mine are on private property (it is posted), so access is not available. Other abandoned mines of the Davis Mine period in the Charlemont area within the Hawley “Mineral Belt” stratabound massive sulfide deposit are the Hawks or Mt. Peak Mine and the Mary Louise or Davenport Mine.
It was in the wooded hills between the two towns that an iron pyrite outcrop was discovered and a mine developed by H.J. Davis around 1882. The eastern section of Rowe, called Davis, became the center of activity because of the profitable operation of Davis Sulfur Ore Mine for twenty-nine years. The Davis Mine supplied a major economic boost to both Rowe and Charlemont.