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 Post subject: White Meadow Lake Mine Story
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:53 pm 
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Location: Rockaway, NJ
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What's up folks, first time I'm posting here. Don't know how much you guys know about this mine, but this is what I put together. Let me backtrack on my travels and how I got to this site in the first place.

Moved to White Meadow Lake in 2005. There was a little slump in the driveway but did not think much of it. In summer of 2008 the slump opened up to a coffee can shaped hole. Again did not think much of it, Just pored some rocks in it. A few times it rained, and the hole got bigger. I again did not think much of it and filled it in and went on my way.

In the fall we got a real bad rain storm. I went outside and noticed the hole came back. I read up online that it could be a sinkhole caused by a crack in the bedrock where water erodes the loose soil away. The fix was to make a plug. So off to Home Depot I went. I bought some concrete and some stone. I packed the hole with about eight 60lb bags of stone mixed with concrete. I topped it off with cold patch so water would not have a chance. After a few hours I thought....that is it... game over... let me move on to my next project.

The next day I looked at my work and again the hole came back. I did another Home depot run and gave another healthy dose of concrete & rock and topped it off with cold patch.

I went through the semantics. The oil tank is in the back yard and is above ground. I replaced the original tank so I know there is not an oil tank in the driveway. I located the waste water line; it was not near the driveway. I opened it up and looked inside and there was no dirt so I ruled this out. I then located the water line. It was again not near the hole. My last thought was the old septic tank, my old septic tank I guestimate is in the back yard, because the old septic tank pipe comes in through the basement on the back side of the house pointing towards the back yard and don’t think it would make a letter J all the way around my house to my front yard.

On another unrelated topic, I went up to town hall. I seen an old rusty mine car and looked it over. I'm a fan of old junk and one of my passions is NJ ship wreck diving. I thought... cool, there was like 1 mine in New Jersey Right?!?!? So I did not think much of it and kept walking.

Since then, I have read a bunch of articles about mines and thought you guys put a good amount of time into research so I will share my research.

It clicked in my head that there might be a slight chance of a mine on my property. I called the town, had a local engineer come out and go through the same semantics I went through.... Water... waste...oil tank...etc.. He said that most likely there is construction garbage just buried under my driveway and it is rotting or a tree stump. I asked about a mine, he had this puzzled look on his face and said, "I checked the map, and you are not close". I shook his hand, and I said my thanks.

With my background in shipwreck researching, I did the first thing I knew... go to the library. The librarian was very nice, I asked about the history of white meadow lake and she said there was the Rockaway historical society. The society had a good amount of documents. Great I thought! I want to meet these guys. "well" said the nice woman, "the members are not........*here*......anymore, but we still have all the old documents". Stupid me was like, ok.. well let me know their number. Then I realized... oh... they are no longer with us. The librarian was really nice and said I was welcome to rummage through their drawers and papers.

Ok, I have been here before, a pile of old musty documents... a mystery, what more can a man want. I spent a good amount of time reading about various mines. Mount Hope Mine..wow cool, but not even close. Richard Mine workings... Some really neat photographs...after reading about mine after mine.. Nothing really clicked and thought I was on a goose chase.

Just about ready to get some chow, I see on an old document White Meadow Lake Mine. My eyes jumped out. NO WAY!! This cool, I knew that there was some hubbub about a resident in White Meadow lake (on the other side of the lake) that had issues with a mine, but had no idea the mine I was looking for was simply just named White Meadow lake Mine. I found that ironic (no pun intended).

The meat of my small find:
Book called Geology of the Dover Magnetite district by Sims P.K. 1953 P245-305. The study was 982-G (200) E

http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/usgspubs/b/b982G Found out a few months later, the USGS has these books here.



I did not copy it word for word, but various notes of Mine remediation of the White Meadow lake mine (Included dates & address #'s) 4 of them were at the beginning of Erie Ave, Including a playground that collapsed in the 50's that required a concrete plug to be installed.

A map was included; I have taken a copy and attached it to this post. On the map, it noted North East Openings & South West Openings. One article I found stated that Rockaway put up a fence around the North East Openings and can be seen today.

I took a walk in the woods and found the North East Openings. I'm a virgin mine researcher. The mine openings looked caved in and looked nothing special. If I did not know what I was looking for, they might have just looked like dimples in the earth ~ 7 feet deep and ~9 feet wide. I don't know what I was expecting, but there was no fence as the article stated, and I kept a good distance away.
From this point forward, I just wanted to sleep at night. Do I dig up the driveway? Do I just keep putting rocks on it? Who knows. So I want more.. More knowledgeable people.

I love dogs, and I think the best dog are the ones you get for free. I have a husky/shep mix and when they say they like to run, they LIKE TO RUN. So I run often around the lake with my pal. Armed with my new map (or old) I run around the few areas that are noted to have mine activity. I notice on the top of Erie Ave there is a good amount of work has taken place. Fresh blacktop, spray paint all along the road with interesting markings.. but have no idea what they are. I see behind the fence an old dried up pool. I thought.. this must have been where they capped the shaft during the 50’s the book talked about.
I asked my wife about the pool, drum pool is the name she said. She has no idea, just that one day it closed down. So I’m nosy, I ran into a few neighbors around the pool and I chit chat. “Mine…there wasâ€


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Very interesting story! I grew up in White Meadow Lake, so I know the White Meadow Mine or the Kitchell and Muir mine pretty well actually..

I'm not sure if you are interesting in posting up your street address online (you are welcomed to PM (private message) it to me so that it doesn't appear on the internet), but we had put some pretty good effort into studying the mine. We were also asked to speak on behalf of some of the residents of the town after a recent mine subsidence a few years ago which occurred on a residents properly, where a stope opened up beneath their front porch.

This mine was opened sometime before the 1840's and was operated actively between 1855 and 1868. Sometime around 1873 the mine was reported as closed and there was no documented mining afterwords. The PK Sims and the Abandoned Iron Mines of Rockaway Townships has a pretty good description of the mine. If you want, I can post more up on the history..

You will have to excuse the detail, but I had come up with an overlay of the mine and where the workings probably ran. The original copy of this I lost on my old computer, but I scanned in the printout I made. The quality is poor, but this gives you an idea on where mine ran overlayed on top of a modern aerial view.

Image

The overlay on top of the aerial view is a survey done by Warren Foundry and Pipe corporation in 1938. The survey consisted in what I believe is an accurate assessment of the pits and stopes that were still opened in 1938. This would have been before the pits were filled and the town, roads and houses were built on top. I rescaled the assessment and placed it on top of a modern aerial view using my best estimates based on where known cavins occurred and where locations of current shafts are. It is in no way 100% accurate, but it is more accurate than the known map that you posted above.

There really isn't much documented on how the mine was "closed", but from my experience, it appears the pits and stopes that remained in the 40's and 50's were just probably filled with dirt and rock and then covered up. Any ground movement or giving of the weak walls causes the documented subsidences which have been occurring even as late as last year.

To get an idea on what the mine probably would have looked like before it was filled, please see here:

http://www.ironminers.com/mineforum/vie ... =4921#4921

That mine was known as the Cobb mine and was probably worked very much like the White Meadow mine would have been worked. The bath house in the drum was built directly on tops of one of the vertical shafts and the entire bathroom caved into the mine. There was also a caved in where a stope collapse last year on the bottom of Erie, this is the road work which you observed.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Richie,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. In fact I'm glad you posted on here because my brother (Miner Greg) and I grew up near the White Meadow Mine. Despite having grown up in close proximity, the White Meadow Mine has left much to the imagination. If you follow the workings as indicated on your map, you will quickly realize every portion of the southwest workings has been developed upon. Although the workings are reported to extend atleast 2,200 feet in length, the amount of ore produced was estimated to be only 5,000 tons, which is comparitively small to most of the iron mines in the Highlands.

Because the ore body was quite narrow and the production was small, it is very likely that most of the ore was extracted via open pit workings as digging deep into a thin vein would be cost prohibitive especially when the deposit was so lengthy and available from the surface.

However, this is not to suggest that deep mining did not take place nor that the open cut mining did not create deep enough trenches on the surface to lead to sizable subsidences more than a hundred years later. A number of collapses have occurred over the years and can be traced back to the 1960's. In the 1950's, a known shaft was capped near the drum pool (indicated on your map). A decade later, collapses occurred at 9 and 11 Erie Ave. Atleast three more undocumented collapses occurred along Erie Ave in the 1980's and 1990's as well as a collapse just southwest of the drum. Since the 1990's, collapses have occurred near the clubhouse and under the foundation of a house on North Lake Shore Drive.

How do these collapses occur? Simple. They are filled in with dirt, garbage, and/or waste rock (from the mine) until the ground is level, then they build a nice little home on it. As long as the ground is stable enough (for the time being) to plant a house on it, who will ever know a mine once existed there years later? Over time the new ground settles over the mine workings usually leaving something to the effect of air pockets that work their way up to the surface. Then, perhaps 50 or more years later, the "bubble" reaches the surface, and you are left with a subsidence. If it is a deep shaft that has been
dozed, you are in real trouble if they give way. Shafts are often sunk into the vein at intervals to test the deposit or for hoisting, dewatering or providing airflow and access to deeper workings.

Unfortunately it will be nearly impossible to know where the shafts are along the workings until serious cave ins occur. And since the homes along the southwest workings were built mostly in the 1940's and 1950's, it will be difficult if not impossible to find anyone with knowledge of the landscape.

I was informed of an adit that was blasted shut decades ago in the tract of land enclosed by White Meadow Road, Club House Way, and Upper Mountain Ave. While I have not been able to confirm this, a curious pile of dirt sits against the hill facing northwest just behind the temple. As for the northeast openings, I remember seeing fencing as a kid. Here the mine has also been bulldozed and backhoe tracks are still evident in the tailings today as well as some remnants of the fencing. Also of interest is hoisting cable near a post 1900's demolished structure a bit south of the first opening and in the woods. It seems to suggest that either the Jones and Loughlin Ore Company who tested the deposit in 1938 or Warren Foundry and Pipe Co., who more than likely had sufficient capital to sink a shaft or two, could have also left their marks.

Richie, you might find it very worthwhile to visit the Cobb Mine which was worked along the same general belt of ore a number of miles northeast. Here, the mine is mostly left as it was when it was abandoned and you can get a good picture as to how the White Meadow Mine might have looked. The Cobb Mine is also very narrow but surprisingly deep with some underground workings. You must keep in mind however that the Cobb Mine is considerably larger and was reported to have produced 25,000 tons. Please feel free to get in touch with me by sending a PM on the forum if you would to plan a trip there with us.

As for your situation, I hope things work out for you and the local government is willing to step in to help assess the and remediate the problem. After all, it was the local government who long ago approved building on your property. If they reserve the power to authorize a building permit, then they should hold the responsibility of paying for damage on land they said it was ok to build on.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Quote:
Unfortunately it will be nearly impossible to know where the shafts are along the workings until serious cave ins occur.



I'm not an expert. But why would seismic readings or ground penetrating radar show these types of cavities?

Of course the first reason is $$.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Doug, you bring up an excellent point but as you mentioned, it's all about $$. Also, let's say it was determined that the entire stretch of the southwest workings had cavities, imagine the fright of all the landowners as they witness their property values sink into the void below.

On another note, we have used divining rods to detect shallow disturbances in the land below seemingly with success. I'm sure the effectiveness of this method is debatable but from our experience, is rather convincing. We tried this over an unmarked cemetery in Rockaway and as you proceeded in a straight line, at regular intervals the rods would cross at each suspected burial spot. I've heard of this method being used to find underground streams.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:47 pm 
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Location: Rockaway, NJ
Thank you so much for your information. I'm 72 Erie Ave. By looking at the map, I am no where close to the workings as indicated. I'm almost sure that the bubble in my property must be garbage or an old rotting tree stump. I was just amazed how much material I have been adding.

What got me was the "pilot" holes, if you connect the north east openings with the south west openings and follow the ore line I'm ~500 feet. Who knows :). The USGS said tree roots can go down as deep as 10-15 feet and when I dig it up look for organic material in the dirt. I just wanted to research this a bit before I rent a machine to dig it up and end up on the front page of the daily record. "idiot citizen kills himself with abanonded mine" etc..but I think this is far fetched, but based on the trouble I can get into with previous hobbies, I know how important it is to look before you leap. Thank you so much for sharing your information with me.

After looking at the photos, I kinda understand what you guys are looking at. I want to go check out the North East openings again just for fun. Now that I kinda know what I'm looking at. This time I will take pictures and share. (it is only like a 5 minute walk from my house)

If you do plan a trip to any local workings, let me know, I would be up for learning a bit more from you guys.

Thanks and be safe,
Rich


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:02 pm 
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While your house may be a bit northwest of the line drawn on the map, it unfortunately does not rule out the possibility of a mine. Veins of ore frequently run parallel to other (usually smaller) veins. The White Meadow Mine did in fact have parallel veins 150 feet apart. Also faults are common in our area. Although geologically inactive for the most part, they can displace the ore hundreds of feet or more. In the case of the Sterling Zinc Mine in Ogdensburg, NJ, a fault displaced the orebody to such an extent that even throughout its entire operation, the displaced ore was never found despite numerous attempts to locate it. Another method to detect magnetite underground is via the use of a simple magnetic compass. Large bodies of magnetite will in fact attract a compass and this method was used to locate the potential iron ore throughout the region, in some cases resulting in successful operations.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:15 pm 
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From my understanding, at the beginning of Erie Avenue, after the most recent subsidence in the road near iowa, they may have been performing testing in the street. I remember seeing drill holes going up the bottom of Erie, probably looking for the mine.

As for your location, I think it is safe to say you are pretty far from the main vein worked at the While Meadow Mine. You are not only North West of the vein, you are also on the wrong side of the street of that main worked vein. I also do not believe the vein was worked that far other than the pits that are identified as the "North East Openings". I don't believe that North East Openings connected to the south west workings near the drum. They are probably just isolated workings that were on the same vein. The vein may have pinched between 40 something Erie and the north eastern section. A pinching vein means that the vein was so thin that there either was no ore, or the vein was too thin to mine profitably.

However, as Miner Mike posted, the White Meadow vein had a parallel vein. From the documentation I have seen, there is no evidence that this vein was worked or any ore was mined for profitable resale. Very often in areas where there could be underground iron ore veins, miners or prospectors will sink what is commonly called "test pits" to check the iron vein for thickness and quality of ore. These pits range from a vertical shaft of unknown depth to just a small pit to inspect the iron ore vein. I would imagine that this other vein would have obviously been another target to look for profitable ore. It is possible your property could be located on the other vein and what you found could have been one of these prospects for iron ore.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Thank you very much for the information. It was intresting to learn more. I also have been watching a good sized depression on the street 10 feet by 14 feet about.. and located around 5 anderson ave. It has ben cut square and patched flat. It has been slowly sinking and more cold patch was dumped on it within the past few weeks.

I know not everything is a mine, but will just keep watching it also. I did not find anything in regards to a paralell vein, so thank you for the information.

Anytime you guys plan any local trips let me know I would be intrested to take a few photos and learn more.
regards,
Rich


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:47 pm 
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I would have to get out some of my magnetic maps that I have in the area to locate the other parallel iron ore vein. The second vein, while not documented as being mined, would just be another iron ore vein in the ground of magnetite. Being directly over the vein is of no danger other than being on top of magnetic rock. The first evidence of being on top of a magnetite ore body would be strange results looking at your compass. The orebody will interfere with it. To actually track orebodies, prospectors would use what is called a dipping compass to locate the orebody. You would point the compass north and when the arrow would point to the ground, you have found iron ore. Magnetic tests will certainly locate magnetite orebodies, but they won't locate open mine workings.

Miner Greg


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:30 am 
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I guess this is a chip on my shoulder that came full circle.. The mine is back and she is angry....pictures taken November 1st 2009.

I bumped into a gentleman who lives close to the project when I was taking these. He said a steady stream of concrete trucks have been observed. He also stated that he spoke to a worker on the project and the depth was 50-60 feet. Take with a grain of salt.. not actual measurements...





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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Thanks a lot for posting up the shots and keeping us in the loop!! I was just up there 2 weeks ago and also snapped some shots. Did the mine just recollapse here, or were they digging it opened to fill? The pictures I took are basically the measurements taken based on the drill holes that they have made going up and down the street. This should give you a good picture of what the mine looks like underground before the earth opened or was opened up.

Thanks again for sharing and keeping us informed. Below are some of the shots I took:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:17 am 
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The mine is being filled with low mobility compaction grout, it did not collapse recently. The barricaded areas are a result of the top of the drill holes being washed out during the drilling and casing process by compressed air and water in the mine voids. The 3" diameter test holes (with the numbers) were used to develop the subsurface geometry of the mine to determine bid quantities and proposed grouting hole locations. The lines painted on the pavement represent the center of the top of the mine to the NW, and the bottom of the mine to the SE. The strike is N46E and dips 70 SE. The bottom of the mine varies from 25 to 50 feet below grade so the mine in plan view is narrow due to the steep dip.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:53 am 
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The residents around the area thought the work was 'over' then In your photos you can see fresh cold patch (around drill hole #31). It started during the summer as a small cone shaped dip, then expanded a bit... then broke open with a golf ball sized hole.

Local town truck came and put a few bags of cold patch on it. And then the patch started dipping in again.

few weeks go by and the heavy equipment came and painted up the street and drilled holes (again). After this came a good amount of concrete trucks.

I'm not an expert, but it looks like deja vu and a collapse to me. Or is this just 'topping it off' ?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:44 pm 
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Very interesting.. From the information available from the study done by Warren Foundry and Pipe in the 30ies, I am a little confused on what was filled. From my understanding, I was under the impression that the majority of this mine comprised of a series of open stopes / open trenches. Given that, was the area you recently filled an open stope that was previously filled with Jetty stone before they ran the street, or was the area filled actually underground? (the outcrop was below the surface for example) I'd be curious what you concluded based on your drilling of the site. Thanks for writing..

Miner Greg


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