Iron Miners
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 Post subject: Ferro Monte Railroad Tour - April 1st, Rain Date April 8th
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
I plan to give my annual tour of the Ferro Monte Railroad (a.k.a. the Ferromonte Railroad) in Mine Hill, N.J. on Sunday, April First, starting at 10:00 A.M., with April Eighth being the alternate date in case it rains.

The complete tour is about six miles in total, and usually takes about five to six hours, depending on the number of questions that the participants have and the degree of interest they exhibit at each site along the route.

Also, please note that the iron mines that we will see are all flooded or subsided, so no one will be able to enter them (I don't want anyone to get their hopes up only to be disappointed later). These mines include:

The Dickerson Mine at the site of the former village of Ferro Monte (owned by the Dickerson and Canfield Families, it was one of the largest mines in the state, shipping more than one million tons of ore over a period of two hundred years);

The Black Hills Mine (not served by the Ferro Monte Railroad directly, but it's in the vicinity, and it may have some "senior housing" units built on top of it in a few years, so it should be visited while it still exists---parts have already been backfilled by the developer);

The Canfield Mine and the West Canfield Mine, which tapped two parallel ore veins;

and the Lower Baker Mine (also known as the "Swamp Baker Mine").

The rail line served several other mines, including the Byram Mine, but these are now unfortunately located under a housing development.

I'll have a number of my guidebooks printed for those who would be interested in purchasing one. The guidebooks, which are sixty pages in length, contain a history of the rail line and a segment on iron-ore mining in the Nineteenth Century, along with period photographs, maps, and aerial images of the route. These booklets are produced at the cost of printing and are $6.00 a piece.

If you are interested in joining the hike and/or purchasing the guidebook, please contact me via E-Mail,

FerromonteFan@yahoo.com ,

as soon as possible. Due to space constraints and practical considerations, I need to limit the number of participants to around fifteen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 19
Location: Hopatcong, NJ
FerromonteFan,

How did the tour go this year? Were you ever able to dig up any more information on the stone ruins we saw on the far side of the power line ROW last year? The ones we thought might have been the scale's built by Singer? Have you found any more artifacts since last year?

Thanks,
Mike D.

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 Post subject: Railroad Scales
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
The stone foundations we found last year correspond to the scales as originally constructed by the Ferro Monte Railroad in 1869, which are denoted on the map from the 1887 Robinson Atlas by a black square labeled “RR Scales” that is actually the position of the scale house, a little shack that was used as an office by the scale tender. The Singer Sewing Machine Company, which re-opened the Dickerson Mine through the “Singer Shaft” in 1905, transported 8,000 tons of ore annually to the Stanhope Furnace (a.k.a. the Musconetcong Iron Works) until they abandoned the mine in January of 1907 due to the poor quality of the ore encountered in the new shoot. Singer never used the Ferro Monte Railroad to ship its ore; instead, they employed oxen-drawn wagons to make the long trip, much to the disappointment of the Ferro Monte’s Board of Directors.

We found some additional artifacts on the tour, but the ticks were jumping all over us at the site of the scales, which were concealed by more overgrowth this time, so we didn’t find much there, but just east of the scales, we discovered a buried metal plate with bolts running through it down into the ground. The space beneath the plate seemed to be hollow, so further careful investigation will be required.

Additionally, we discovered another gauge bar along the standard-gauge extension. I also realized that the tailing piles along the route where one first encounters the flooded right-of-way are probably from the Dickerson Shaft, having been dumped there after being brought through the adit that passed under Canfield Avenue.


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