The Dickerson (or Suckasunny) Mine dates back to 1713 when John Reading, a surveyor for Joseph Kirkbride, took up the land as a mining tract. The following year Reading sold it to Kirkbride who later bequeathed the mine to his sons, John, Joseph Jr, and Mahlon. In 1779, Jonathan Dickerson and Minard Lefevre started to purchase interest in the property. By 1805, Dickerson had attained two-thirds ownership. During this time, permission to mine the ore was given exclusively to various owners of forges. After Jonathan's death in 1807, his shares were passed down to his son Mahlon, a soon to be prominent political figure. Three years later, Mahlon purchased Lefevre's interest attaining full ownership.
Under Mahlon Dickerson, the mine was initially worked modestly, employing 8-10 people removing only as much ore as necessary to meet demand, likely 2,000 tons of ore per year. The mine was highly regarded for its superior quality of iron ore.