It’s not fairly out of the pale and might’t actually be numbered among the many many eccentric museums within the Empire State, however Widow Jane Mine is an underground rock amphitheater that many will discover hauntingly evocative. If wandering by underground tunnels which are gloomy and darkish, a flashlight in hand is one thing one enjoys, Widow Jane Mine greater than matches the invoice. Those that’ve been to Missouri’s Bridal Cave, the place colourful stalactites gleam and glitter by the darkness of subterranean gloom, or Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave Nationwide Park, an underground community of caverns that’s arguably extra huge than anyplace else on the globe, ought to have a faint style of what awaits at Widow Jane Mine.

This text reveals one in every of New York’s best-kept secrets and techniques: The Widow Jane Mine. In fact, it’s not as huge as Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave or as colourful as Missouri’s Bridal Cave, but it surely’s simply as grand. Right here’s why.

Why You Ought to Discover The Widow Jane Mine

It’s a bit hidden and comparatively small, however Widow Jane Mine has all of the gloomy attract that makes caves intriguing locations to discover. Outdoors in its bucolic setting, woodland trails meander by the terrain whereas the air is clear and crisp. The doorway to Widow Jane Mine is pretty spacious and deceptively well-lighted. There’s no indication of the thrilling gloom and the unnerving darkness that await under the floor. However as soon as inside, one is straight away confronted with house after house that the attention can’t scan by. Stopping to prove the flashlight, and instantly, the define of large pillars dramatically emerges to disclose what was as soon as among the many busiest limestone mines within the nation.

Widow Jane Mine
Photograph credit score: Forsaken Fotos on Visualhunt

Widow Jane Mine

If the pillars might communicate, they may inform fascinating tales concerning the celebrity of its merchandise, the laborious, unceasing labor that was employed within the extraction of its as soon as world-famous commodity, and the advanced technological strategies employees used to extract what was as soon as the nation’s highest quality cement. Sadly, or maybe not, the pillars are all quiet and somber, as if mourning the passing of their glory days. However the house is large and spectacular. One can wander about within the darkness for a mile. Possibly extra. The air is perhaps cool; typically chilly, however a colony of bats thrives effectively whatever the gloom; maybe even due to the gloom.

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The Fascinating Historical past of Widow Jane Mine

In 1824, Joseph Aspdin, a bricklayer in Yorkshire, U.Ok., heated a combination of clay and finely floor limestone and, seeing the result, patented it as “Portland Cement.” Inside just a few years, cement had emerged to develop into a sought-after development materials whose demand was at stratospheric ranges. Right now, the Hudson Valley is thought for its charming small towns and scenic hikes. However about two centuries in the past, the Hudson Valley was extensively reputed for its wealthy limestone deposits. And enjoying a central function on this industrial innovation was the laid-back city of Rosendale, the place as much as 16 limestone mines could be established.

Widow Jane Mine'-2
Photograph credit score: Forsaken Fotos on Visualhunt

Widow Jane Mine’-2

The Widow Jane Mine was one amongst these well-known Rosendale sixteen, and Rosendale itself was dwelling to greater than a 3rd of all cement crops in the USA. The cement from its mine, notably that from the Widow Jane Mine, could be utilized in a few of the most iconic buildings in the USA, together with the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Monument, and the wings of the U.S. Capitol. The cement produced from Rosendale was distinctive in a single basic side: It was a pure cement. Because of this, it didn’t include any added components or chemical substances. All one wanted was to crash it, and it could be good to go.

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Widow Jane Mine.-1
Photograph credit score: Forsaken Fotos on

Widow Jane Mine

On the flip of the twentieth century, manufacturing and demand of Rosendale cement had reached hundreds of thousands of barrels, the very best hitherto and the very best ever. Quickly, nonetheless, choice would shift to Portland cement, ostensibly as a result of Portland cement was extra constant and had a a lot shorter drying time. Some additionally argued that Portland cement reached larger energy. Whichever the actual purpose, demand for pure cement would quickly take a nosedive, and the mines, together with the Widow Jane Mine, that had made the city of Rosendale bustle and bloom finally closed.

What To Count on At Widow Jane Mine Right now

The Widow Jane Mine has since been used as a mushroom farm and as a water supply for a vineyard. Right now, it serves as an amphitheater the place artists stage common performances, together with drama, music, and poetry reveals. Why this mine is known as “Widow Jane” stays unsettled. Based on its web site, nonetheless, it refers back to the unhappy widow of A.J. Snyder, who purchased it in 1880.

Guests will get pleasure from different sights within the space, together with a museum and the Snyder Property. Situated half a mile west of the city of Rosendale at 668 RT 213, Widow Jane Mine is a pinch of development historical past in a capsule.

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