Sterling Hill Mine Museum

of ore car in mine adit
The full image is 16k.

indent spacerPictured above, is an entrance adit into the Sterling Hill Mine/Museum. The museum is located in Ogdenburg, NJ, in Sussex County. An adit is a horizontal tunnel that leads to the shaft that actually goes down to the working levels - or, stopes - of the mine. This adit took the miners to a chamber where their oxygen breathers were stored, where they got their work orders for the day. Past that a ways was the chamber where the shaft for both the miners' hoist cabin and the ore hoists to the surface at the top of the hillside is located. The bigger image gives you some more detail, and the feeling of being in that space.

image of mineshaft chamber
The full image is 17k.

indent spacerThe mine has filled with water - as quarries also will. So the part of the mine that has been converted to a museum is in the hollside above the water table. My brother, and a helper, as drilled a 100 foot long tunnel that curves down 30 feet to the next level, so that the tour of the facility is now circular. This was accomplished with a charitable grant.

images of rock drills

A History of Drills

indent spacerTo your left is a chamber where the history of drills used in the mine are on display. The size of the drills has shrunk by one/half, and the weight is also only one/half as much. These things are still hefty to work with, I will wager.
image of oreloader

Loading the Ore

indent spacerThe worker at the right is lifting a door on the wooden bin that contains ore coming down from the level above. It is spring-loaded so that it shuts when necessary. By the way, the mannikins used in the mine are equally male and female...

image of ore in blacklite
In the Rainbow Room

indent spacerThere's a black lite in the chamber known as the Rainbow Room. Folks on the tour are shown how the ore body extrudes through the white marble bedrock of the hillside. Then the Incandescent lighting is turned off as the ore Flouresces in the "Black-lite", and sure enough it comes out in the familiar green and orange of a zillion black-lite posters...The marble of this deposit has too course a crystal structure to be used as finish or sculpting marble, by the way, but it will make you think you are inside the "Pieta" to be in these tunnels.

Franklin Mining Museum

of zinc ore
The full image is 31k.

indent spacerHere's some zinc ore outside the Franklin Mining Museum, with a statue representing the thousands of miners who worked - and died - in the zinc mines of New Jersey. In the Sterling Hill Mine, after my brother John was made mine safety officer, the fatality rate dropped below one a year! Hooray for you, brother John, caution first!!!

rainbow rays emanate from the 
word home