Nanny's Mountain Colonial Iron Mine - Atlas Obscura

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Colonial Iron Mine

Nanny's Mountain
York, South Carolina

During the American Revolutionary War, iron excavated from this mine was used to make swords, cannons, and more. 


Just southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, the ruins of a colonial open-pit iron ore mine are located on the hillsides of Nanny’s Mountain. The mine was operational from approximately 1760 to 1820. Prior to the Revolutionary War, the iron mine fueled early industry in the area and was used to make pots, kettles, and other household items. During the war, the mine supplied ore for cannonballs, round shot, swords, cannons, and other weaponry.

The area around the mine saw several important Revolutionary War battles, including the pivotal battle of King’s Mountain, where American colonists soundly defeated British forces on October 7, 1780. It’s possible that iron from this mine was used to make necessary supplies for the battle and may have made an important contribution to early American history. After the Revolution, some historians believe that this site was a stop on the Underground Railroad. 

The mine pits can be viewed and explored along the short trail within the Nanny’s Mountain Historic Site Park. Pictures do not do justice to the size or depth of the pits. Keep in mind that these pits can be a safety hazard, so explore carefully. 

Know Before You Go

Nanny's Mountain is also sometimes spelled Nanny Mountain.

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August 9, 2023

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