While many people may consider the mining history of the United States of America to be a thing of the past, the fact is that there is still much mining to be done. While most of the United States of America has been explored and populated above ground already, there are some who believe, in Armageddon, beneath the ground may be the only way to go. While New Jersey may not be promoting Armageddon (directly) the fact is they have two fairly interesting mining museums within a short distance of one another which deserves your attention.
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum: in Ogdensburg New Jersey the Sterling Hill Mining Museum touts themselves as New Jersey’s “only underground mine tour.” The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a national historic site and a not-for-profit foundation. Visitors to Sterling Hill get to go on a one quarter mile tour of an underground tunnel where they can view “spectacular mineral fluorescence display in a natural environment,” as well as learn about metal Mining and the men and machinery that made it all work. Guided tours are offered seven days a week from April through November and are open on the weekends only in March and December. Unfortunately for my wife and I, when we were in Ogdensburg it was February so we were unable to get a full appreciation for the Sterling Hill Mine.
Just a ways up the road was the Franklin Mineral Museum. Franklin New Jersey is heralded as the “florescent mineral capital of the world” and at the Franklin Mineral Museum they display that daily. Franklin Mineral Museum has a mine replica, ore carts, a florescent exhibition, artifacts and fossils, and other exhibits from their local world.
Franklin, New Jersey also has their own mineral named after themselves, Franklin-ite which is unique to the area of Franklin New Jersey. The Franklin Mineral Museum has a primary emphasis on “the history and mineralogy of the Franklin Sterling mineral district where a collection of minerals unlike any other on earth is found.” According to some literature I picked up on Franklin Mineral Museum, while they concur that most of the part of natures worth informing Franklin Sterling minerals has been finished, “the story is far from complete. Discoveries are being made continually with amateurs and professionals working together to write the next chapter in Franklin Sterling mineralogy.”
Again the Franklin Mineral Museum is open daily from April through November so interested individuals can check that out this spring.