Snake Hill (known officially as Laurel Hill and sometimes called Fraternity Rock) is an igneous rock intrusion jutting some 150 feet (46 m) up from the floor of the Meadowlands in southern Secaucus, New Jersey, USA. It was largely obliterated by quarrying in the 1960s that reduced its height by one-quarter and its base area by four fifths. The diabase rock was used as building material in growing areas like Jersey City. The graffiti-covered remains of Snake Hill are a familiar landmark to travelers on the New Jersey Turnpike's Eastern Spur, which skirts its southern edge. The large protruding rock along the Hackensack River bank is the highest point on Laurel Hill.
Laurel Hill was formed by volcanic action over 150 million years ago. Much later, colonists kept away from the peculiar sloped hill because of the many large black snakes found there and coined the nickname “Snake Hill.”
Laurel Hill County Park
In the early first decade of the 21st century, further blasting occurred along the New Jersey Turnpike. Most of the original 184-acre (0.745 km2) parcel is currently being utilized as Laurel Hill County Park, which includes a portion of Hackensack RiverWalk.
Laurel Hill Park is home to the Hackensack Riverkeeper's Field Office and Paddling Center, which is open weekends from April through October and weekdays by appointment. Hackensack Riverkeeper also conducts many of its Eco-Cruises from this park. There is a narrow Ridge Trail along the top of the hill.
Field Station: Dinosaurs
Field Station: Dinosaurs is an educational exhibit featuring more than 30 life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs utilizing the terrain to reflect the pre-historic era scheduled to open in May 2012. New Jersey's official state dinosaur, named in 1991, is the Hadrosaurus, discovered at the Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site in 1838. 
From 1855 to 1962 there were Hudson County penal and charitable institutions on Snake Hill. The Almshouse, Penitentiary, Quarry and Hospital for the Insane, Contagious Diseases Hospital, and Tuberculosis Sanatorium, were all grouped on the north side of Snake Hill. Hundreds of people lived at Snake Hill at any given time. The Hudson County Burial Grounds is a Potter's Field associated with the numerous institutions, which had long been forgotten. They were unearthed during the addition to the New Jersey Turnpike for access to Secaucus Junction at exit 15X. When the graves were discovered, they were tested and found to have come from the facilities.
The rock is a 61 meter (203 ft) high pipe-like diabase intrusive, which is believed to be an offshoot of the nearby Palisades Sill. Mineralized shales and sandstones, intruded by the diabase, are visible in the north and southwest sections of the property. Minerals were found in veins in both the diabase and metamorphosed sediments. Quarrying took place from the late 19th century to the 1950s, when a section of the land was utilized as a prison Penetentiary Quarry. In 1962 Hudson County finished closing their facilities on the site, which included the county prison and the insane asylum. The County entered into a 20 year contract with Callanan Industries to level much of the hill. In the 1960s and 70's Gallo Asphalt had 4 asphalt plants, side by side, adjacent to the quarry and supplied paving materials throughout the surrounding urban region. Production ended on schedule in 1982. Ref:Refs.:
Snake Hill has had a modest, if largely anonymous, impact on the popular consciousness. A New York advertising executive, passing the hill on a train, is said to have drawn from it the inspiration for the Prudential "Rock of Gibraltar" logo in the 1890s. Its rugged landscapes also feature prominently in artist Robert Smithson's 1968 work Untitled (6 Stops on a Section).
The mineral Petersite was discovered at Snake Hill in June 1981 by Nicholas Facciolla, who took it to the Paterson Museum. In 1982 the mineral was recognized as a new discovery and named for Thomas A. Peters (1947-) and Joseph Peters (1951-), curators of minerals at the Paterson, New Jersey, museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, respectively.
The hill and the area between Snake Hill and the Hackensack River today comprise Laurel Hill County Park.
The rock most often referred to as Laurel or Snake Hill (Slangenbergh in Dutch) has also been called Fraternity Rock (because of the greek letters painted on it presumably by local college fraternities), Long Neck (because it is a volcanic neck), Graffiti Rock and Mt. Pinhorne (after plantation owner William Pinhorne) by a 17th-century owner.
The name changed from Snake Hill to Laurel Hill in 1926, when Hudson County freeholder Katherine Whelan Brown said that it was the "crowning Laurel of Hudson County" because of its prominence in the low lying meadowlands.
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