Hibernia mines

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The Hibernia mines are a series of iron mines in and around Rockaway Township, in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, that were worked from pre-Revolutionary times until 1916. An exploratory shaft was drilled in the 1950s but was not worked, and the shafts and adit were partly or totally sealed in 1972 and 1989.

After its closure, the mine became the largest bat hibernaculum in New Jersey, with as many 30,000 bats each winter.[1] In 2010, less than 10% that number was found in the mine following an outbreak of white nose syndrome.[2]


The Hibernia mines are upon one vein, extending at least 2 miles (3.2 km) in length. Where it cropped out of the south side of the hill at Hibernia it was operated by Samuel Ford, Stirling and those who preceded them, and adjoining to the northeast the "Ford mine" was operated, as we have seen, by Jacob Ford and his lessees and grantees. But those operations were small compared with the mining of the last thirty years. Taking them in order, the mine to the southwest is the Beach mine, owned by the New Jersey Iron Mining Company, formerly by Conrad Poppenhusen, who purchased of Dr. C. Beach. It was first opened about the close of the war, and is now being operated by the Andover Iron Company. Next to this is the "Theo. Wood mine," the oldest opening of them all, and covering the vein on the side and foot of the Hibernia hill. It formerly belonged to the two sons of Benjamin Beach, Chilion and Samuel Searing Beach. The share of Chilion was bought by his son Columbus, and Thomas Willis, of Powerville, purchased the other half. Dr. Beach and Willis sold the mine, January 11, 1853, to Theodore Wood for $14,000, which was supposed to be an excellent sale; but in 1865 it was sold to Conrad Poppenhusen for five times that amount. It belongs now to the New Jersey Iron Mining Company, which leases it to the Andover Iron Company. With the other mines owned or leased by the latter company it is under the management of Richard George. Next in order is the Old Ford mine, now owned by the Glendon Iron Company. This company, being the lessee of the mines beyond, has not driven its Ford mine so rapidly as those leased by the company, holding it in reserve. Next to this mine are the Crane mine, belonging to the estate of Mrs. Eliza A. Crane, one of the daughters of Colonel William Scott, and the De Camp mine, belonging to the heirs of Mrs. Augusta DeCamp, wife of Edward DeCamp and another one of the daughters of Colonel Scott. Both of these mines and the Upper Wood mine are and have been for many years leased and operated by the Glendon Iron Company, whose general superintendent and manager is George Richards, of Dover. The Upper Wood mine, so called from having once been owned by Theodore T. Wood, and to distinguish it from the one under the hill, formerly belonged to Elijah D. Scott, a son of Colonel William Scott. Beyond the Upper Wood mine is the Willis mine, which was once the property of Araminta Scott, another of the daughters of Colonel Scott. It is now operated by the Bethlehem Iron Company and belongs, as does also the Upper Wood mine, to the New Jersey Iron Mining Company.

An underground railroad has been constructed from the foot of the hill northeast upon or in the vein through the bowels of the mountain, which brings the product of all the upper mines to the terminus of the Hibernia Mine Railroad, on which all the ore of the Hibernia mines goes to market. The tonnage of this road, almost entirely made up of the product of these mines, was 99,123 tons in 1879.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dutko, Rick (Fall 1994), "Conservationists tried to protect the bats at this important New Jersey site many years ago; this summer they finally succeeded...", BATS magazine, 12 (3): 3–5, retrieved April 10, 2010 
  2. ^ "Fungus kills 90 percent of N.J. bat population, scientists say", The Star-Ledger, April 3, 2010, retrieved April 10, 2010 
  3. ^ 'Munsell's History of Morris County, New Jersey (1882) p. 65.
  • History of Morris County, New Jersey with Illustrations, and Biographical Sketches of the Pioneers, 1739-1882 p. 65. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co. 1882. 

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Coordinates: 40°57′24″N 74°29′53″W / 40.95676°N 74.49793°W / 40.95676; -74.49793