Iron Miners
It is currently Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:34 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: oxford new jersey washington mine
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:52 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:20 am
Posts: 5
Do you know anything about Alan wood's washington mine. i can't find anything out about it on here it's the sister mine to scrub oaks. I have been to the sight of it and there is a lot of intersting buildings still standing do you have photos of it in the 1950's / 1960's i heard that it closed in 1964 It is on the washington side of oxford only two miles north of washington does the name have something to do with how close it is to washington i have also heard it had the most advanced technology of any mine during the 50's and 60's it also was as deep as 2'200 feet and there were miles of tunnels and many levels.

 Post subject: Washington Mine
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
Here’s a brief history of the Alan Wood Steel Company’s Washington Mine in Oxford, NJ (some dates are not known, so I apologize if I cannot specify a year when something happened). Also, be prepared to become confused, since the mines kept changing their names and locations (i.e. the positions of their access shafts).

The early history of the mines in Oxford is lost, the first known records dating to the 1850’s, but obviously they were worked well before this period, since a furnace was erected there in 1742. There are three groups of mines in Oxford: those clustered around Mine Hill Road, those along Jonestown Road, and the others in the vicinity of Mount Pisgah Avenue. The Washington Mine and its predecessors are those along Jonestown Road, so I’ll concentrate on these. The vein that these mines were attacking is known as the Harrison Vein, as denoted on the 1867 New Jersey Geological Survey (NJGS) map of “Oxford Furnace Iron-Ore Veins”. The 1888 NJGS map shows that the Harrison Mine was located on the east side of Jonestown Road opposite the more recent cemetery (an aerial image will show two large flooded pits in the woods at this point). This map also shows a second mine, the Clark Mine, located further to the southeast on the same vein. A 1903 Sanborn Insurance map depicts the Harrison Mine in the same location, but it had undergone a name change, and was then called the “Washington Mine”. By 1915, another Sanborn map shows that the Washington Mine was owned by the Empire Steel and Iron Company. Next, Jacob Leonard Replogle, who sought to create his own iron empire, brought the Scrub Oak Mine (the name transformed into the plural form during the 1930’s) in 1916 from the Wharton Steel Company and renamed it the Replogle Mine (it retained this name throughout the Replogle Steel Company’s tenure). In 1925, he purchased the Washington Mine. However, his fortunes changed, and both the Scrub Oak Mine and the Washington Mine were sold to Warren Pipe and Foundry Company, which leased them to Alan Wood Steel in 1929. Alan Wood Steel then bought both of these mines in 1941. Sometime between 1915 and the 1950’s, a change was made, where the Washington Mine was moved from the Harrison Mine shafts to the Clark Mine shafts (this is the site of the Washington Mine that we know today). A partial explanation for this move comes from a corporate promotional publication entitled “The Alan Wood Steel Story”, which dates from the late 1950’s or the early 1960’s. Quoting from this booklet, “The Washington Mine at Oxford, N.J., consists of two ore bodies. Washington No. 1 ore body is an old working, which pinched out at about the 15th level. Near it is located the Washington No. 2 ore body, which is now being worked. It is reached from the 15th level of the old shaft, which has been sunk to a depth of approximately 1500 feet at an angle of 69 degrees.” So “Washington No. 1” is the Clark Mine and “Washington No. 2” is the former Harrison/Washington Mine. The Clark Mine had been exhausted at this point, but they usurped its shaft to reach the lower portion of the Harrison Mine whose shaft had been abandoned. So the site that is now the abandoned Washington Mine is actually the old Clark Mine. The Washington Mine was permanently shut down by Alan Wood Steel in 1964, followed two years later by the Scrub Oaks Mine. Alan Wood Steel, headquartered in Conshohocken, PA, went bankrupt in 1977 and the majority of their records (including everything mining related) went into the dumpster at that time, if not before (the miners with whom I have spoken, mostly alumni of Scrub Oaks, have stated that all of the plans were thrown out when the mines were closed, but a handful of these documents were rescued from the trash by the workers).

Regarding how “advanced” the mines were, the various mines in the area at the time (the Washington Mine, Scrub Oaks, Mount Hope, Richards, and the Zinc mines in Sussex County) were all operating with similar technology and techniques, although the actual form of extraction varied between them depending on local conditions. Mount Hope, Scrub Oaks, and the Washington Mine used “shrinkage stopes” as a method of dividing the ore body into manageable portions. I’ll post something about this technique and how the implementations of this differed between Scrub Oaks and the Washington Mine later this week when I have more time.

Last edited by FerromonteFan on Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:21 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Very good information. We look forward to anything additional you can post on this. Great stuff!

Miner Greg

 Post subject: Alan Wood Steel: Mining Division
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:26 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
The best way to address the differences in mining techniques used at the Scrub Oaks and Washington Mines is to quote the aforementioned Alan Wood Steel publication. Here is the entire text from the "Mining Division" section:


Iron ore is one of the basic raw materials necessary in the manufacture of iron and steel. Alan Wood Steel Company derives nearly 60 per cent of its present ore supply from its own mines at Scrub Oaks, Dover, N.J. and Washington, Oxford, N.J. The mines have been operated by Alan Wood since 1929.

Most iron ore minerals are oxides, such as hematite, limonite, and magnetite. The latter is being mined at Scrub Oaks, considered to be the largest known magnetite iron ore body in the State of New Jersey.

The Scrub Oaks Mine has a 3,200-foot shaft which penetrates the Earth at an angle of 55 degrees and levels extending out at 300-foot intervals. It has already been mined out down to the fifth level and active mining is now taking place on the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th levels. Development work has been started on the 9th and 10th levels.

On each level, a main drift or tunnel is run from the shaft to the ore body, and from this drift, raises or shafts are run to the level above. About 30 feet above the main level there is a sub-level, which is called the grizzly sub. The sub-level, runs along the footwall of the ore, and is kept about 75 feet in advance of the haulage drift. From the grizzly subs, 300-foot-long shrinkage stopes are started with chutes located at 60-foot intervals. The ore body in each stope is undercut with stoper drills and pulled down into the grizzlies.

Development work for shrinkage stoping includes a haulage level, driven into the footwall about 10 feet from the ore, and grizzly raises at 40-foot intervals. Stope preparatory work consists of a sub-level, 30 feet above the haulage level, driven in the ore at the footwall, short crosscuts from sub-level to grizzly chambers cut out over the tops of the chute raises, and, from each grizzly chamber, two draw raises put up to the ore. In beginning a stope, these draw raises are belled out and widened until they meet, and the ore is completely undercut. Then mining progresses by taking down successive slices from the back of the stope, drawing off only sufficient broken ore to leave convenient room for the miners.

The grizzlies, which are level, consist of heavy steel billets, six by eight inches, laid over a raise and firmly locked in place. The bars are spaced 20 inches apart to allow much of the ore to fall through as it comes from the stope. Chunks too large to go through the grizzly are broken up by hammer or blasting by the grizzlymen. The ore slips through the grizzlies into the chutes.

Chutes are of steel-lined timber construction, with undercut arc gates worked by double acting air cylinders. Cars are loaded in a minimum of time, and with little dangers of spills. The chutes are 4-foot, 6-inches wide and about 3-feet, 6-inches high in the clear.

Trolley locomotives haul the ore to the shaft in trains. The ore is crushed before hoisting. At the shaft, the car dumps automatically into pockets above the crushers. The crushers, in turn, discharge into pockets directly over the shaft, from which it is automatically loaded into the skip car and hauled to the surface.

In the mill, the ore is crushed and barren material cobbed out by running the ore over magnetic pulleys. Because the ore contains some martite, which is non-magnetic, a gravity system of concentration is also used. The crushing process is continued until the ore is reduced to fragments of abort one-eighth inch diameter. It is then processed through magnetic separators, jigs, and tables. The waste tailings are conveyed to the sand piles; the concentrates go by conveyor belt into railroad cars, ready for shipment to the Blast Furnace.

A part of the concentrates at Scrub Oaks are processed on tables and a high-grade concentrate is made for special purposes. Some of the high-grade concentrates are dried and shipped to our iron powder plant for further treatment. The remainder of the high-grade concentrate is shipped directly to customers.

The Washington Mine at Oxford, N.J., consists of two ore bodies. Washington No. 1, ore body is an old working, which pinched out at about the 15th level. Near it is located the Washington No. 2 ore body, which is now being worked. It is reached from the 15th level of the old shaft, which has been sunk to a depth of approximately 1,500 feet at an angle of 69 degrees.

A different method of mining is employed here than is used at the Scrub Oaks Mine. The system is called “long hole drilling”. Instead of blasting the ore down from the back of the stopes, holes up to 60 feet long are drilled in a ring pattern, radiating from a tunnel which has been driven above and parallel to the drift level. These rings of drill holes cut off slices of ore 6 feet thick, 30 feet wide, and 60 feet long.

These huge blocks are then broken up and pulled through the grizzlies into chutes below where the ore is loaded into skips and hoisted to an ore pocket on the 15th level. It is dropped into a jaw crusher below this pocket which reduces the ore size to six inches diameter or less.

A conveyor belt then takes the ore to the main shaft of old No. 1 ore body, where it is hoisted in four-ton skips to the mill where all concentration of this relatively high-grade ore is done magnetically. The ore is easily crushed and concentrated, resulting in a simplified and economical operation.

In addition to ore mined, a large tonnage of by-products such as sand, stone and grit for chickens and turkeys are produced and sold by the Sand and Stone Division.

I hope that this sheds some light on the techniques used at these mines. Similar methods were employed at Mount Hope and elsewhere.

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group