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Betts Manganese Mines (Anson Betts Mine; Plainfield Manganese Mines), Plainfield, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 42° 29' 40'' North , 72° 56' 43'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 42.49444,-72.94528

Hawley "Mineral Belt" stratabound massive sulfides deposit. Located in Plainfield near the Cummington line. It is often erroneously listed as being in either Cummington or West Cummington.

The deposit was said by Emerson (1898) to have been worked extensively in 1848 before being abandoned due to the "California gold excitement." The mine was acquired in 1925 by the metallurgist and inventor, Anson Gardner Betts (b. 1876, Lansingburgh, NY; d. 1976), who operated it under the name Taconic Manganese Mines. The most active mining period was 1939-1942 (Quinn, 1945). His son Anson Ketchum Betts (b. 1924, Kinderhook NY; d. 2013) also worked for the family mining business.

The mine and tailings are now under the ownership of EarthDance. Was quoted in July, 2014 that the new cost of mining there was $20 per person and only one five gallon bucket of material may be removed per trip/day.

Mineral List

51 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

Homerian - Telychian
427.4 - 438.5 Ma
Hawley Formation

Age: Silurian (427.4 - 438.5 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Hawley Formation

Description: Interbedded amphibolite, greenstone, feldspathic schist and granofels. Coarse plagioclase in some amphibolite near top; local coarse hornblende blades or sprays. Sparse coticule (Emerson, 1917, p. 43). As used here the Hawley includes amphibolite, sulfidic rusty schists, abundant coticules, silvery schists, quartzites and quartz conglomerates, and quartz, feldspar, biotite granulites. The quartzites and quartz conglomerates occur at two positions in rocks here assigned to the Hawley. Those occurring near the top have been mapped previously as Russell Mountain Formation or as Shaw Mountain Formation. The Hawley overlies the Ordovician Barnard Gneiss and underlies Silurian and Devonian "calciferous schists" that include the westernmost Goshen Formation in MA and Northfield Formation in southern VT, the central Waits River Formation and the eastern Gile Mountain Formation. Authors believe that the Goshen, Northfield, and Waits River are facies equivalents, while the Gile Mountain is slightly younger. Map symbol indicates that Hawley is Ordovician and Silurian. 40Ar/3Ar hornblende release spectrum date of 433+/-3 Ma obtained by Spear and Harrison (1989) (Trzcienski and others, 1992).

Comments: Part of Rowe-Hawley Zone (Ordovician and Older Rocks). Secondary unit description per MA013.

Lithology: Major:{amphibolite,greenstone,schist}, Minor:{granofels}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Nash, Alanson (1827). Notices of the Lead Mines and Veins of Hampshire County, Massachusetts and of the Geology and Mineralogy of that Region, American Journal of Science and Arts: 7: 250.

Emerson, B. K. (1898). Geology of Old Hampshire County. (USGS Monograph 29).

Perry, Elwyn L. (1934). The Hawley Mineral Belt, Massachusetts, Rocks & Minerals: 9(7): 93-99.

Elwell, Wilbur J. (1936): A Mineralogical Trip Through New England. Rocks and Minerals: 11(3): 36-7.

Quinn, Alonzo W. (1945). Geology of the Plainfield-Hawley area : with special reference to deposits of manganese and iron minerals, USGS Open-File Report 45-28.

Dixon, A. M. (1946): Two Localities near Plainville, Mass. Rocks & Minerals: 21 (11): 754-755.

Mosier, M. (1949). Investigation of Anson Betts manganese mine, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines.

Dunn, Pete J. (1976). On gem rhodonite from Massachusetts, Journal of Gemmology: 15(2): 76-80.

Hickmott, Donald D. (1982). The mineralogy and petrology of the Betts mine area, Plainfield, Massachusetts: Unpublished B. S. thesis: Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, 105 p.

Hickmott, Donald D; Slack, John F; Docka, Janet A. (1983). Mineralogy, Petrology, and Genesis of the Manganese Ores of the Betts Mine, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA in Field Trip Guidebook To Stratabound Sulphide Deposits, Bathurst Area, N.B., Canada, and West-Central New England, U.S.A. Geological Survey of Canada, Miscellaneous Report 36, 1983, p. 65-76.

Kim, Soo Jin (1991). New characterization of takanelite , American Mineralogist: 76: 1426-1430.

Plante, Alan (1992). Western Massachusetts Mineral Localities (Valley Geology Press).

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