Mount Hope Historical Park
Teabo Road, Rockaway Township, NJ
I-80 west to Exit 35B and turn right onto Mt. Hope Avenue. Drive 0.5 mile and turn left onto Richard Mine Road; drive 0.7 mile and make a right turn onto Coburn Road (the road names changes to Teabo Road); drive 0.7 mile to the park entrance on the left.
Iron was Morris County's other major contribution to the American Revolution, and an important part of the history of Rockaway Township.
From the Park Commission trail guide... "Remains of mines representative of the county's earliest commercial iron mining are in the northeastern section of the park. 20th century iron mining remains are located in the southwestern section. In between is over 200 years of iron mining history."
There were three big veins or ore, known as the Brennan, Mount Pleasant, and Richard veins. Each mine was owned by one or more mining companies. The mines were eventually consolidated.
John Jacob Faesch of Switzerland contributed greatly to the building of the iron works at Charlottesburg, Ringwood, and Long Pond. He became one of the most prominent men of Morristown.
1772 -- John Jacob Faesch erects the Mt. Hope Furnace.
1773 -- Faesch leases the land from Colonel Jacob Ford, Jr. of Pequannock for 42 years.
1774 -- partner David Wrisberg (one of the former Hasenclever superintendents with the London Company) dies.
1776 -- in answer to John Jacob Faesch of Mt. Hope and Charles Hoff, Jr., superintendent of Hibernia Furnace, the NJ Legislature adopts a resolution exempting 50 men at Mt. Hope and 20 men at Hibernia from the draft.
Revolutionary War -- the furnace produces shot, shells and cannon for the Continental Army.
1777 -- Faesch secures 30 Hessian prisoners of war to be used as wood choppers and furnace men.
1787 -- a delegate from Morris County to the State Convention of 1787 which ratified the Federal Constitution.
1793 -- Judge Gabriel Ford, who had obtained title to the Mt. Hope furnace, conveyed the tract to John J. Faesch; this terminated the leases of 1773.
1799 -- Faesch dies. At the time of his death he owned:
1) Mount Hope Furnace and Middle Forge tracts (7,600 acres)
2) Boonton Forge
3) The Jackson or Jacobs Mine
4) Long Pond Mine
5) a share of the Morris Academy
6) several lots.
1809 -- the Mt. Hope Furnace and Middle Forge sold to Moses Phillips, Jr. of Orange County, NY. His sons, Henry W. and Lewis, managed the operations.
1813 -- Mt. Hope Furnace offered for rent.
1814 -- Eliphalet Sturtevant, Abraham Kinney and Robert McQueen leased the works. They began making pig iron.
Kinney and McQueen withdraw and Colonel Thomas Muir buys an interest.
1816 -- furnace operated by Sturtevant, Muir & Co.
1825 -- furnace abandoned.
1978 -- mining finally ceases.
Information from: Charles S. Boyer. 1931. Early Forges and Furnaces in New Jersey. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Trail guides are usually available at the parking lot. (Look for the words "trail guide".) About three miles of trails lead to the historic sites -- most are subsidence pits (large holes in the ground), which is what often happens to abandoned mine shafts. Subsidence pits can be dangerous, and you should stay on the marked trails. You may find pieces of magnetite iron ore on the trails; look for small black stones with somewhat rectangular shapes that feel heavier than normal rocks.
Four trails go through the former mining operations.
The Red Trail (1.5 miles), beginning at the parking area, goes by the Allen and Teabo operations.
The Orange Trails can be used as an add-on to the Red Trail; it goes 1.2 miles from the end of the Red Trail to the Richard and Allen mines.
The Blue trail (short trail) goes to the Old Teabo mine.
The White trail (short trail) goes to the Brennan mine.
BY DAN GOLDFISCHER
Special to the Daily Record
ROCKAWAY TWP. Morris County's newest park, opened in early June, commemorates one of the county's historical industries, iron mining.
As you enter the peaceful woods it is hard to imagine this hilly area stripped of many of its trees and busy with all the activities that it took to dig iron out of the earth in those days. But then you notice the evidence piles of rocks too organized to have been placed that way by nature, the pits (sinkholes), some small, some huge, indicating some sort of underground activity, and finally, a number of old stone and brick foundations, all that remain of the buildings that once were plentiful here.
And the rocks along the trail are indicative of the mineral below as well many are a shiny black or red, and a number contain large deposits of quartz, often present when deposits of iron or other carbon minerals are near.
Before beginning the hike, pick up a copy of the park brochure entitled "Trail Guide to Mt. Hope History" which details some of the numbered sights along the way. These should be available at the bulletin board near the parking lot.
Start the walk by climbing from the parking lot to the power line. Turn right on the white trail, and right again on the blue trail. The blue trail is a very steep climb along the power line. Continue to the triple blaze indicating the end of the blue trail and the park boundary.
Ahead of you is the New Leonard Mining Complex, a 1940s mining and ore processing complex, and today's Mount Hope Rock Quarry, the possible future site of a hydroelectric power plant. Turn around to head back steeply down the blue trail. Enjoy excellent views to the left of the hills near Dover and straight ahead of the hills to the west of Picatinny Arsenal.
Turn left at the white trail to return to overlook above the parking lot, under the power line. Make a right turn on the red trail. As you enter the woods you will immediately notice the piles of rock that came from the mines.
The red trail makes a 90-degree left turn and you will pass the sites of the old Teabo and Allen mines, passing pits big enough to swallow several buildings. The fencing surrounding one of the pits was made from hoisting cable found at the head of a mineshaft.
It is very important to stick to the marked trails, as there are mine shafts here! Follow the red trail downhill at the fork, and continue downhill on the orange trail. The orange trail makes a right-left jog at the power line and proceeds all the way down to near Richard Mine Road and the site of the old Richard Mine. You will see a number of old building foundations here, and walk along the right-of-way of the old Mount Hope Mineral Railroad.
After you pass the last ruin, which has piles of bricks that might have been from chimneys, the orange trail climbs steeply into the woods. After several turns (follow the blazes), the trail settles down into a pleasant, flat woods ramble. Continue to the junction of the red trail (just after you start seeing mine pits again), and turn left.
A sign points you toward the parking lot when you meet the main red trail. Follow the red blazes through a 90-degree turn to the right, out to the power line, and then take the path back down to the parking lot.
DAN GOLDFISCHER of Succasunna is the author of several bicycle guidebooks, including "Ride Guide/North Jersey" and "Ride Guide/Central Jersey."
Terrain: Some steep climbs, especially at the beginning on the blue trail.
Footwear: Hiking boots would be more comfortable for the steep climbs that occur at times on this walk.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/12/2005
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce) planted
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel ) 10/30/01
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Kalmia polifolia (pale laurel) *
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/12/2005
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix sp. (willow)?
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high bush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (low bush or hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier) lots and lots
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 10/10/01
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 10/30/01
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snake root)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Iris sp. (iris)
Lespedeza hirta (hairy bushclover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solidago caesia (blue stem goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago nemoralis (downy goldenrod)
Spirodela or Lemna (duckweed)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Rushes and Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Eriophorum (sheathed cottongrass) *
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium (ground pine)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
* source: Morris County Planning Board. 2000. A Natural Resource Management Guide for the County of Morris. This site is a glacial kettlehole bog, surrounded by a mixed hardwood/conifer swamp. It contains an example of a state imperiled wetland natural community and a state endangered plant species. Mount Hope glacial bog.