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Sterling Hill Mining Museum

30 Plant Street
Ogdensburg, NJ

Phone: 973-209-7212 Tty:

Step Into Earth Science, Most everything man made has something to do with mining.... 

Statement of Purpose

Preservation of the mining history of the Sterling Hill-Franklin mining district and its minerals. Tours of an actual underground mine. Promoting earth science education.

Former working mine. Educational, scientific study, historical preservation, outreach in education of earth sciences.

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, understanding, and appreciation of the history of mining, mining technology, mineralogy, and geology unique to the State of New Jersey through scientific research and educational programs.  Tours of an actual underground mine. 

View of Museum from Plant Street

Highlights & Collections

Most everything man made has something to do with mining. At the Sterling Hill Mining Museum well show you just how it's done. From drilling and blasting to the processing of the ore. Right here in NJ is one of the worlds richest zinc ore deposits, the area boasts over 350 minerals, about 70 of which fluoresce. That's about 10% of the known minerals in the world right here in NJ. As well as the best fluorescent mineral deposit in the world. Come take a tour of a real underground mine and see for yourself the one and only fluorescent “Rainbow Room” and the world’s largest collection of world wide fluorescent's anywhere on earth. You can collect fluorescent minerals yourself 7 days a week when the museum is open. 

Visitors to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum step back in time as they enter the grounds of this former industrial site. The museum exhibits, offices, and other facilities are housed in the original buildings used by the New Jersey Zinc Company when the mine was operational. Most of the on-site structures date from two major periods of construction, the first from 1914 to about 1930, and the seco nd from 1954 to 1957. Several of these buildings, as well as the underground zinc mine itself, are featured parts of our public tours. Additional buildings, not yet open to the public, are slated to become part of the museum at some time in the future. The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is the only place in New Jersey where members of the public can tour a large underground mine and see for themselves how mining was done at one of the world's most famous mineral localities.The Sterling Hill zinc mine, which closed in 1986 and the site purchased in 1989 by Richard and Robert Hauck. Long interested in the mining industry, the Hauck brothers set out to preserve the legacy of Sterling Hill and make the site accessible to the public as a mining museum. The Sterling Hill Mining Museum opened for tours on August 4, 1990 and is now visited by more than 40,000 people annually.   All this just one hours drive from New York City. Especially suited for classroom visits. Optional student on-site event called the Rock Discovery Center is available. Call for details.

A visit to the Sterling Hill Mine is a minimum two hour visit to the last underground working mine in NJ. This mine along with its sister deposit in Franklin which were zinc mines, ranks as the richest zinc deposits in the world and one of the ten most famous and unique mining districts in the world. The district is home to over 340 different mineral species, about 10% of all known species in the world today. Of these 340+ minerals, 80 are fluorescent under ultraviolet light or "glow in the dark". Tour guides will walk you through the underground mining areas to see the tunnels and shaft where miners once worked. On the tour a visitor will see a vein of the zinc ore under ultraviolet light and see it fluoresce or "glow in the dark" and get a free piece of the ore. This district is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to the 1700's.

All this just one hours drive from New York City. Especially suited for classroom visits. Optional student on-site event called the Rock Discovery Center is available. Call for details.

Interior view of exhibit hall

Many various collections consisting of minerals viewed under visible and ultraviolet light, mining equipment and artifacts and education displays.

View of headframe atop the main shaft

Exhibits & Special Events

Over 40 displays of mining artifacts and minerals are on permanent display in the main exhibit hall.

There are over 100 pieces of mining machinery on exterior display around the museum grounds.

Underground working area seen on tour


View of the Rainbow Room under ultraviolet light



The Museum is open from April 1 to November 30, seven days a week.
Closed for Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving.
Gift shop hours 10 A.M.- 3 P.M.
We are also open, weather permitting, for the weekends in December and the week between Christmas and New Years Day
Open during weekends for the month of March
Tours for the regular season seven days a week are held at 1:00 pm*.
Tours are available for March and December by appointment.
Closed January and February.
*  Tours are available at other times by chance or appointment.

Normal hours of operation are 10:00am to 3:30pm on all days that the museum is open for tours (see calendar). Anyone contemplating a visit to the gift shop outside our normal schedule is advised to call ahead (973-209-7212) to inquire if the shop can be opened that day. Credit cards accepted in the gift shop include Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Currently we are not equipped for credit-card orders over the phone, so all purchases must be made in person. However, we hope soon to have more options available for purchases by phone or mail order. Please watch this site for further developments.

Admission & Directions

Individual & Family Tours
Sterling Hill offers one public tour daily for individuals and families. 
March-1st 1pm public tour weekend only.
April- 1st starts 1pm tour 7 days a week until Oct 31st.
Nov-Dec- are weekend 1pm tours only
Closed Jan-Feb but will possibly open for large groups. Call for info.
Our winter schedule depends in large part on the weather; for our current schedule visit

Tour Costs (as of 2011):

Group Tours are by appointment and start at 10:00 am
Sterling Hill Mining Museum offers educational group tours for school classes, scout groups, summer camps, vacation tour groups, etc.

Located just off Route 517 in Ogdensburg, NJ. Route 517 is connected to Route 15 in Sparta, NJ or to Route 23 in Franklin, NJ

Key Personnel:

Richard Hauck, President

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