The first discovery of lead was by James Morgan, during construction of the first grist mill at Mill Grove. This was followed by an expansion by the Wetherill family who sought lead to use in the manufacture of paint.
Even further expansion occurred in the 19th century when copper was discovered. The mining operations eventually grew to include two companies: the Perkiomen Mining Association and Ecton Consolidated Mining Co., and would employ close to 300 miners whose shacks dotted the land on both sides of Egypt road, extending up to the town of Shannonville
In 1851 these two operations were consolidated into one – the Perkiomen Consolidated Mining Co. Production was extensive with shafts sunk on both sides of Egypt Road to depths of over 400 feet with a few horizontal shafts connecting some of these vertical shafts and many others driven horizontally for distances of 20-100 feet, tapping into veins of recoverable lead and copper.
Long before the bat gates were installed on the Mine Run openings, some of us used to make our way through these narrow, low-ceilinged shafts, wading in the cold spring water to more spacious areas inside. The springs ran steadily, and a dripping could be heard from water leaking down through the soil and rock from overhead.
As I remember one such trip, we all met around dusk and entered the shaft, leaving one of our friends outside. After a distance of 100 feet or so, with the ceiling at some points only 3-4 feet high (the ceiling having settled over the years), the narrow tunnel of one shaft opened into a much larger, two-level room with pieces of wood and beams, mostly rotted, but which would have made nice souvenirs. Shortly beyond this, our trip ended where the ceiling had caved in completely blocking any further progress. It was a great adventure for a bunch of kids and hard to imagine that this was all that remained of such an extensive business enterprise.