Schuyler Copper Mine

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Schuyler Copper Mine
Schuyler Copper Mine is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Schuyler Copper Mine
Schuyler Copper Mine
Location North Arlington, Bergen County
State New Jersey
Country United States
Coordinates 40°46′43″N 74°7′39″W / 40.77861°N 74.12750°W / 40.77861; -74.12750Coordinates: 40°46′43″N 74°7′39″W / 40.77861°N 74.12750°W / 40.77861; -74.12750
Products Copper, minor amounts of Gold and Silver
Opened 1715 (1715)
Active 1715–1773, 1793–1901 (sporadic)
Closed 1901

The Schuyler Copper Mine is an abandoned, historic copper mine located in what is now North Arlington in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. Operations began in 1715, making it the earliest copper mine in New Jersey and one of the oldest in the United States.[1][2][3] In 1755, it was the site of the first use of a steam engine assembled in America.[4][5][6] Later, starting in 1794, the first steam engine was manufactured in the United States near here.[7][8] Shortly before and after, but not during, the revolutionary war, the mine was a major copper producer.[9] Even though nothing remains of the mining operations above ground, the collapse of the underground shafts and tunnels caused damage as recently as 1989.[10][11]

The mine was also known as the Arlington, Belleville, or Victoria copper mine.[12]


Around 1710, Arent Schuyler purchased a large tract of land in New Barbadoes Neck.[13] A few years later, around 1712–1713, a significant deposit of copper ore was discovered on the property.[14][15]

At Arent Schuyler's death, his three sons, Adonijah, John, and Peter, inherited his lands, with John managing the mine.[13]

In 1748, flooding in the mine led John Schuyler to order a Newcomen steam engine and pumping equipment from Jonathan Hornblower of Cornwall, England.[4] [16] The equipment arrived in 1753 and was installed by Jonathan's brother Josiah Hornblower. It started operations in 1755 to pump water out of the mine.[4][6] This Hornblower engine was then used in one of the oldest and deepest, more than 100 feet (30 m), mine shafts in America. It was later called the Victoria shaft and eventually reached a depth of 347 feet (106 m).[4][9]

In 1773, after the engine house burned for the third time, mining ceased and it remained idle during the revolutionary war.[17]

After the war was over, mining could resume, but the mines needed to be cleared of water. Instead of buying steam engines from England, the owners set up a foundry and machine shop in nearby Belleville. Here, starting in 1794, the first steam engine was manufactured in the United States.[7][8]


The earliest production record is a shipment of 110 casks of copper ore sent to Holland in April, 1721. It had to be exported since the colonists were not allowed to refine any native ore. The yield of ore during the 1720s was about 100 short tons (91,000 kg).[18]

Minor amounts of gold and silver were also produced from the copper ore.[19][20]


The mine is located in the shales and sandstones of the Passaic Formation where a Triassic diabase sill has intruded.[21] The primary copper minerals found here were the grayish chalcocite and the bright blue-green chrysocolla.[22] In addition, lesser amounts of malachite, azurite, cuprite, and native copper were present.[22]


  1. ^ Lewis 1907, p. 140
  2. ^ "North Arlington Public Library: Schuyler Chronology". 
  3. ^ Müller 2010, p. 8
  4. ^ a b c d Woodward 1944, pp. 49–50
  5. ^ Leinhard, John H. (1988–1997). "The First American Steam Engine". 
  6. ^ a b Nelson 1883, pp. 16–18
  7. ^ a b Woodward 1944, p. 52
  8. ^ a b Nelson 1883, pp. 51–52
  9. ^ a b Lewis 1907, p. 141
  10. ^ "Jersey Mine Cave-Ins Raise Questions of Financial Risk". The New York Times. December 6, 1989. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  11. ^ Muessig 2008, pp. 2–3
  12. ^ Woodward 1944, p. 39
  13. ^ a b "Manuscript group 651: Schuyler Family". New Jersey Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  14. ^ Woodward 1944, p. 43
  15. ^ Krasner, Barbara; The Kearny Museum (2000). Images of America: Kearny. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 9–12. ISBN 978-0-7385-0403-2. 
  16. ^ "Manuscript Group 1508, Stoudinger-Alofsen-Fulton Drawings". New Jersey Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  17. ^ Woodward 1944, p. 51
  18. ^ Woodward 1944, pp. 45–46
  19. ^ Woodward 1944, pp. 52–53
  20. ^ Pallis 2011, pp. 4–6
  21. ^ Woodward 1944, p. 60
  22. ^ a b Woodward 1944, p. 64


Further reading[edit]

  • Mickulas, Peter (2004). "Schuyler Mine". In Lurie, Maxine N.; Mappen, Marc. Encyclopedia of New Jersey. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-3325-2. 
  • Puffer, John H.; Graham, Geoffrey E. (October 7–8, 2005). "Genetic Classification of Mesozoic Copper Deposits of New Jersey using Contemporary USGS and CGS Criteria". Newark Basin – View from the 21st Century, Field Guide and Proceedings, 22nd Annual Meeting. Geological Association of New Jersey. pp. 13–38. 

External links[edit]