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
Entering The Tunnel Adit of the Sterling Hill Mine
Inside the Lamp Room
Main Tunnel Adit
The Mine Shaft Station
The "New Tunnel"
The Rainbow Room Aglow with Fluorescent Minerals
Fluorescent Minerals in the Rainbow Room
Blasting Demonstration in the Mine
Slusher and Ore Chute Area
Mining Equipment Demonstration in the Mine Tunnel
Ore Car in the Landmesser Tunnel