Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
 

Sterling Hill Mining Museum: Mine Tour

I recently made a trip to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. The museum is on the grounds of a former mine, the Sterling Hill Mine, which was one of the largest producers of zinc in the United States. This productive underground mine was closed in 1986 and converted into a museum, with an underground tour in the former mine tunnels.

The Sterling Hill Mine is located in the Franklin Marble, a Precambrian deposit of white and weathered brown Calcite crystals in Northwestern New Jersey. The Sterling Hill Mine, together with the nearby and geologically similar Franklin Mine, has produced more mineral species than almost any other mine in the world. Franklin and Sterling Hill are also collectively known as the "Fluorescent Capital of the World," due to their abundance of fluorescent mineral specimens.

The museum tour starts in the Concession Building where tickets are purchased, inside the gift shop. A guide then leads the group to the Exhibit Hall, which contains many relics from the old mine as well as interesting mineral samples. The Exhibit Hall also contains an outstanding worldwide collection of fine minerals.

The tour continues in the old mine tunnels, where one visits the Lamp Room, Shaft Station, Ore Pass, the Rainbow Tunnel, a loading bin and ore car, and one can see a blasting demonstration. The tour ends after exploring the Geotech Center, which contains many more local and fluorescent minerals on display.

This first post will document the mine tour, and our next post will document individual mineral images from the museum.

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum Exhibit Hall
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum Exhibit Hall

Entering The Tunnel Adit of the Sterling Hill Mine
Entering The Tunnel Adit of the Sterling Hill Mine

Inside the Lamp Room
Inside the Lamp Room

Main Tunnel Adit
Main Tunnel Adit

The Mine Shaft Station
The Mine Shaft Station

The New Tunnel
The "New Tunnel"

The Rainbow Room Aglow with Fluorescent Minerals
The Rainbow Room Aglow with Fluorescent Minerals

Fluorescent Minerals in the Rainbow Room
Fluorescent Minerals in the Rainbow Room

Blasting Demonstration in the Mine
Blasting Demonstration in the Mine

Slusher and Ore Chute Area
Slusher and Ore Chute Area

>Mining Equipment Demonstration in the Mine Tunnel
Mining Equipment Demonstration in the Mine Tunnel

Ore Car in the Landmesser Tunnel
Ore Car in the Landmesser Tunnel

Sterling Hill Mining Museum: Museum Minerals

Our next post on the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, New Jersey, focuses on the minerals and displays of the museum. The highlight of the museum is the mine tour and preservation of the historic zinc mine for public view and exploring. The museum also has many mineral specimens and mining artifacts. These include historical artifacts related to the days of active mining, regional artifacts, and general mining and mineral artifacts of interest. 


However, the most significant part of the museum collection is their exceptional worldwide collection and important collection of local Franklin and Sterling Hill minerals. This post features the regional minerals of the collection.


Large Boulder with Vein of Zinc Ore
Large Boulder with Vein of Zinc Ore

Various Minerals from the Sterling Hill Mine
Various Minerals from the Sterling Hill Mine

Polished Ore of Franklinite, Willemite, and Calcite
Polished Ore of Franklinite, Willemite, and Calcite

Fluorescent Minerals from Sterling Hill
Fluorescent Minerals from Sterling Hill

Hemimorphite Crystals from the Passaic Pit in Sterling Hill
Hemimorphite Crystals from the Passaic Pit in Sterling Hill

Ore Car in the Landmesser Tunnel
Stalactites and Stalagmites from Old Workings at the Sterling Hill Mine

Rhodonite Crystals from the Franklin Mine
Rhodonite Crystals from the Franklin Mine

Rare Green Willemite Gemmy Crystals
Rare Green Willemite Gemmy Crystals

Blocky Willemite Crystals from the Franklin Mine
Blocky Willemite Crystals from the Franklin Mine

Minerals from the Paul Chortney Collection
Minerals from the Paul Chortney Collection

Large, Well-Formed Andradite Garnet from Sterling Hill
Large, Well-Formed Andradite Garnet from Sterling Hill

Franklinite with Zincite in Calcite from the Franklin Mine
Franklinite with Zincite in Calcite from the Franklin Mine

Rhodonite Crystals from the Franklin Mine
Rhodonite Crystals from the Franklin Mine

Green Microcline var. Amazonite from the Franklin Mine
Green Microcline var. Amazonite from the Franklin Mine

The World's Best Allactite Specimen, from the Franklin Mine
The World's Best Allactite Specimen, from the Franklin Mine

Fluorescent Franklin District Minerals: Willemite (Green) and Calcite (Red)
Fluorescent Franklin District Minerals: Willemite (Green) and Calcite (Red)

One of the Additional Fluorescent Displays, in the Geotec Center
One of the Additional Fluorescent Displays, in the Geotec Center