Preserving Franklin-Sterling Hill
Although the mines have closed, efforts to preserve this unique site
for research and education continue.
In the 1960s, the Franklin Mineral Society and the Kiwanis Club started
what would later become the Franklin Mineral Museum, to preserve the mineral
and geological history of Franklin.
In 1971, the museum received a New Jersey Senate Citation for being an
important educational and cultural resource within New Jersey and was
certified by the state as a Historic Site.
The museum features a comprehensive display of approximately 300 species
of minerals from the Franklin-Ogdensburg area and features the world's
largest display of fluorescent minerals. Other exhibits showcase thousands
The Jensen Wing of the museum features the Wilfred Welsh natural history
collections of fossils, Native American relics, and a variety of rocks
and minerals. Visitors can also explore the Mine Replica, constructed
with timber, rails, ore carts, drilling equipment, ore chutes, etc., actually
used in the zinc mines at Mine Hill (Franklin).
The Buckwheat Dump, next to the museum, contains mine tailings that can
be scoured by amateur geologists for mineral specimens.
The museum also has a complete reference library and conducts research
and assessment for collectors, educators and mineralogists.
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum was established in 1989 and has become
a National Historic Site and a non-profit foundation. The museum is also
a Mines, Metal and Men Site.
The museum features over 30 acres of indoor, outdoor and underground
exhibits and historical buildings. Visitors can tour one-fifth of a mile
of underground tunnels, viewing a spectacular fluorescent display in a
natural environment, and learning about mining and the machinery, and
the men who made it all work. A 5,000 square foot exhibit hall showcases
mining artifacts, minerals and much more.
The Mine Run Dump, adjacent to the concession building, provides an opportunity
for collectors to find and purchase up to 10 pounds of material.