New Hampshire is in the early stages of assessing the feasibility of turning a 215-year-old mineral mine in Grafton into a state park.
After miners stopped digging for mica and other minerals, Ruggles Mine became a popular tourist attraction. Photojournalist Cheryl Senter says she has fond memories of visiting the mine and seeing its glittering walls as a child.
"It sparked imagination and appreciation of nature and that there are things beneath the earth that are beautiful and matter," Senter says.
Senter has gotten hundreds of signatures on a petition to make the mine the Granite State's next state park.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has also taken notice of the 235-acre property and offered proposals to State Park administrators.
“If we're broadening our scope of what is historic and what is considered to be historic, and how humans have impacted the landscape, this mine actually fits in pretty well,” says N.H. Preservation Alliance’s Andrew Cushing.
A spokesperson with the state says financial feasibility and consistency with the department's mission still need to be determined.