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Pictured 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
The full image is
The 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.
A History of
To 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.
The 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
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
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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!!!