February 17, 2019 – Tuxedo, NY
Please note: This mine is located on private property and permission should be obtained by the property owner before visiting the site.
For many years, the location of the Harris Mine in Harriman State Park has been shrouded in mystery. The mine openings are less than 100 feet from Arden Valley Road on private land which is closed to the public.
The Harris Mine consists of two large workings: the first is a vertical oval-shaped shaft, nineteen feet by fifteen feet by five feet deep, which is filled with water. A small pile of tailings lies nearby.
The second opening is located fifty-eight feet to the south of the vertical shaft. It is an open cut or trench that is twenty-eight feet long and eight feet wide. At its easterly end, the trench is nine feet deep, filled with water, and extends further and deeper underground. A large pile of mine tailings is present adjacent to the westerly end of the trench.
Several shallow exploratory pits are present in the nearby area, and the trace of an old road extends northerly from the mine openings.
Documentary information regarding the operation of the Harris Mine is extremely sparse. A map on the inside cover of Ransom’s Vanishing Ironworks of the Ramapos shows the location of the mine around 1865. It was most likely opened and operated by the Parrott brothers to supply ore to their furnaces at present-day Arden, New York.
The Parrott brothers owned what is known as the Greenwood group of mines, that were opened and worked from around 1830 to 1880. The ore was smelted at the nearby Greenwood Furnace and the newer Clove Furnace.
Greenwood group of mines:
The West Point Foundry at Cold Spring depended upon pig iron from Clove Furnace for the manufacture of gun barrels. The famous Parrott Gun, was designed by Robert Parrott, was one of the most effective pieces of armament produced for the Union forces during the Civil War.
- Lenik, Edward J.. Iron Mine Trails . New York – New Jersey Trail Conference. Kindle Edition.
- Orange County Historical Society