Widow Jane Mine


Useful Information

Location: Century House Historical District, 668 NY-213 Rosendale, New York.
(41.8416, -74.0988)
Open: All year daily 10-16.
Mine closed during winter while frozen.
[2021]
Fee: free, donations welcome.
[2021]
Classification: ExplainLimestone Quarries and Mines
Light: bring torch
Dimension:
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Dietrich Werner, Kurtis C. Burmeister (2007): An Overview of the History and Economic Geology of the Natural Cement Industry at Rosendale, Ulster County, New York, Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 4, No. 6 Paper ID JAI100672 (June 2007). researchgate
Harold Rollin Wanless (1921): Final Report on the Geology of the Rosendale Cement District, Princeton University, 1921. Google Books
Address: Widow Jane Mine, Century House Historical District, 668 NY-213, P.O. Box 150, Rosendale, New York 12472-0150, Tel: +1-845-658-9900. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1825 discovery of huge deposits of dolomite limestone.
1970 mine closed.

Geology

The Rosendale region of southeastern New York State is known as the source of natural cement. Rosendales reputation stems from the unique composition of the clay-rich layers of dolostone in the Upper Silurian Rondout Formation, from which it was manufactured.

Description

Widow Jane Mine is an abandoned limestone mine, the limestone was used for cement production. The mine was closed in 1970, and since then used as a mushroom farm, trout nursery, supplier of whisky water, performance venue, and a recording studio. The mine was named after Jane LeFever (LeFevre) Snyder (26-NOV-1820 - 15-APR-1904). Her husband James Snyder died in 1852 at the age of 33 and she was 52 years a widow. She was the sister in law of Andrew J. Snyder I who ran the Synder & Sons Cement company on the estate.

Despite the locally used term "natural cement", cement is obviously not natural. It is created from limestone by burning the limestone in kilns, cracking, and grinding. In the early times this process was very labor-intensive. The dolostone was mined underground in the traditional room-and-pillar technique, by mining the dolostone in parallel passages in two directions. As a result a regular pattern of pillars remained, which support the roof of the mine. The dolostones in the Rosendale region from strongly deformed stratas, which resulted in rather strangely formed mines, some of them are real engineering marvels. The superior quality of Rosendale cement is a result of the chemical properties of the limestone, which is dolomitised, contains a certain amount of clay, but is otherwise very pure.