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Mine Hill - 19th Century Iron-Making Complex

   

In 1982 two graduate students, Michael Bell and Diane B. Mayerfeld, from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies published Time and the Land: The Story of Mine Hill.

You can download this interesting book here, in PDF format as follows:
The whole book in one file or in sections:

For a map overview of the location of Mine Hill and details on how to explore it, see #1 on our Preserves map. Nine self-guiding interpretive signs (see below) have been installed at the preserve, and an educational brochure (published 2007) can be downloaded as a PDF (3,825 KB).

Interpretive Signs at Historic Mine Hill Iron-Making Complex

   

Nine self-guiding interpretive signs at the Mine Hill Preserve — a 19th century iron-making complex now on the National Register of Historic Places — have been created. Installed in three groupings near the remnants of the roasting ovens and blast furnace used to process the iron ore, the signs tell the story of the rise and fall of the industrial venture. The signs weave together renderings of what Mine Hill looked like during its heyday from 1865 to 1872; a step-by-step description of how the iron was mined and processed from ore to steel; a detailed explanation of how the blast furnace worked; and a diagram of the labyrinth of tunnels that lie beneath Mine Hill.

   

The signs also explain how granite quarries have prospered at the site for nearly two centuries and how the light gray Roxbury stone was prized for building churches, bridges and fine homes from New York City to New Britain. In addition, the signs paint a vivid picture of Chalybes, the "boom town" at the base of Mine Hill that was once home to more than a dozen buildings, a Shepaug Valley Railroad station and hundreds of immigrant workers. All of the signs are peppered with fascinating facts and "legends."

A visit to Mine Hill offers a glance into our industrial past in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty with four miles of hiking trails at the nature preserve. The blue loop trail begins at the industrial site, climbs up the Donkey Trail past a reservoir, two mine tunnels and a series of grated air shafts, which now serve as entryways to several bat hibernacula. The trail continues past massive granite cliffs, eventually descending back to the Shepaug River valley, past an abandoned quarry and back to the furnace complex.

The Mine Hill Stonewall Stabilization Project has been completed by Thomas Walker Construction, Woodbury and funded by a matching grant from Connecticut’s Historic Restoration Fund, administered by The State Historic Preservation Office, Department of Economic and Community Development.

Further Mine Hill Research & Resources

Research commissioned by the Roxbury Land Trust:

Independent Research:

Private Research, Personal Discussions and Correspondence:

Photos and Slides of Mine Hill:

Other:

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