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 Post subject: Narrow-Gauge Rail at Patterson Mine?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:40 pm 
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Inspired by Edward J. Lenik's book "Iron Mine Trails," a friend and I have begun our explorations of New Jersey's iron mines. On Friday we located and explored the Winston and Patterson mine complexes, both near Long Pond Ironworks in West Milford Township.

We were not able to find the piece of narrow-gauge rail that's supposed to be located at the Patterson mine. It is supposedly 2-1/4" high x 1" wide x 20' long and, according to the sketch, located along the west side of a tailing pile just west of the old wagon road leading to the Ironworks.

According to the book, two sections of rail were found at Patterson in 1988 but only one was taken to the Ironworks museum. The other was still at the mine complex as of the latest revision of this book (1999). Has anyone visited this mine recently? Can someone tell me if the rail is still in place, and if so, where?

Thank you! I'm very impressed by your website and look forward to learning more about the mines.

~Zhanna


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 Post subject: cash?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:17 am
Posts: 89
Location: Olyphant, PA
hey arent you the famed geo-cache girl?
:)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
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Location: Winnemucca, NV
Hi Zhanna and welcome to IronMiners. Unfortunately its possible someone snatched the rail at Patterson Mine. The good thing is that the two rails were documented in the first place before anyone disturbed it, helping to piece together a part of the puzzle. Some metal was actually scrapped from abandoned mines for WWII. This includes mines in Mine Hill, NJ (courtesy of FerromonteFan) and the Roxbury Mine (courtesy of Miner CTMike) in Roxbury, CT. An entire railroad stood intact leading to the Roxbury adits before this time. It certainly raises the question of just how many sites were disturbed for the sake of salvaging the iron. Certainly no one documented this.

The Allen Mine had a narrow gauge railroad leading right to the portal until the lot was taken up by a new house only 5 years ago. The adit has ore cars locked forever inside.

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 Post subject: Re: cash?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:56 pm 
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chrismecca wrote:
hey arent you the famed geo-cache girl?
:)


Yep ... you caught me! 8) ("Famed" might be a bit strong, but I'll take what I can get!)

Nice to see you here. Do you do much mine exploring in NEPA?

~Zhanna


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 Post subject: bit
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:47 am 
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Location: Olyphant, PA
indeed a bit... lately time constraint has put me more at a research perspective then exploration though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:17 am 
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Miner Mike, thanks for the welcome and all the information. I find this fascinating. Sad to say I wouldn't be too surprised if the rail had been taken in the last few years, but I suppose that's one of the risks of leaving these sites "natural" and encouraging the public to visit. Personally I wouldn't want it any other way. I certainly understand the desire for preservation, but I also think the most authentic experience is to be found only when you can explore and interact with these historic sites against their natural backdrop. I also find it refreshing that I'm expected to take responsibility for my own personal safety and that these sites haven't been filled in, blocked off, whatever, for the sake of "family-friendliness".

Of course, the possibility exists that the rail is still there and just well hidden, or perhaps we were looking in the wrong spot!

~Zhanna


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:38 am 
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Location: NYC
How did they remove the other rail? Based on those dimensions, this is probably 15 lb. rail (rail weight is quoted per yard), so that's 100 lbs. and 20 ft. long. Even with an ATV or snowmobile, that's not exactly trivial to haul away. Vandals are unlikely to have moved it very far...unfortunately, they might have dumped it down one of the shafts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:43 am 
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ChrisH wrote:
Even with an ATV or snowmobile, that's not exactly trivial to haul away.


My thoughts exactly, which is why I still have some hope that it's there. Just seems strange that we could have missed it.

ChrisH wrote:
Vandals are unlikely to have moved it very far...unfortunately, they might have dumped it down one of the shafts.


:cry:

I'm hoping that if it is gone, it's in a collection somewhere, maybe with the other rail at the Long Pond museum.

~Zhanna


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Yeah, that rail is very heavy. Usually people don't take away large rail like that because it is just too heavy. People may take small pieces like a couple of feet long as that is easier to carry. I always wonder what is left of this stuff that could be sitting in someone's basement somewhere. People will always collect what that find, its sometimes too bad it doesn't get left for other people to see as it was part of the archaeology. But when it is left, someone else will take it. So you can't win...


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 Post subject: Could it have been buried in the surrounding dirt?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:35 am 
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I recovered about forty feet of iron rails from the Ferromonte Railroad when they were exposed during excavation work undertaken to build a house on the right-of-way, so it is possible that the rail for which you are looking may have been covered by mud during a rainy season or layers of leaves that have since disintegrated and turned to soil. Next time you visit the site, you could bring a metal detector with you to search for the potentially hidden rail, although you would need the type of detector which has a sensitivity adjustment, otherwise the ore present in the rocks will interfere with its proper operation.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrow-Gauge Rail at Patterson Mine?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:05 pm
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Location: Berkeley Heights
Just a public service announcement. This mine (Patterson) was on my to do list for several years. When I showed up today at the trailhead, a sign advised that the bridge over the Wanaque River is out. So much for getting to the mine.

Since I was in the area, I tried the direction in Lenik's book to the Snyder and Hewitt Mines. Unofrtunately, since the book's publication, the trails at Ringwood Manor have been reblazed and the directions are no longer accurate. So I tried the Hickory Mountain Mine. Found the right trail but after a grind uphill, there was nothing ressembling a mine. So, 0 for three today.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrow-Gauge Rail at Patterson Mine?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:16 pm 
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Location: Winnemucca, NV
Hope you find better luck next time. I haven't been on these trails since they last restarted the cleanup at Peters Mine. Do you know by chance if the narrow gauge railbed from Peters to Hope Mine is still accessible?

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 Post subject: Re: Narrow-Gauge Rail at Patterson Mine?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:05 pm
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Location: Berkeley Heights
As I understand it, Mike, there is no "legal" access to the area between Peters and Hope. If the rr. runs with Hasenclever Iron Trail, that's closed also.

I really want to visit the Hope and look for ghost miners so the closure, well meaning as it is, is irritating.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrow-Gauge Rail at Patterson Mine?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:52 am 
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Location: Winnemucca, NV
Unfortunately after reading this article, http://www.northjersey.com/news/EPA_to_ ... tions.html , I'm not confident the area will ever be open again to hikers in our lifetime. Now they are contemplating just capping the contamination in place. This, in light of the fact that the toxic waste is near a major water supply for 2.5 New Jerseyans! I hope for the sake of the directly affected Ramapo residents and anyone else potentially affected, they do the right thing and make their best effort to undo the damage.

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"If you thought old, abandoned mines were only in the west, then you haven't been to IronMiners.com!"


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