NAME: Hibernia
COUNTY: Morris
CLIMATE: Temperate
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Late fall, early winter
COMMENTS: Actual town has some residents and a business or two, but the mine workings have been left to nature.
REMAINS: Sealed mine tunnel, ruins of mine buildings and shafts
Hibernia was once the site of iron mining operations. Deposits of rich magnetite ore were worked at this locality since the time of the revolution. In the nineteenth century, just before the civil war, miners tunneled deep into the massive vein of ore extracting thousands of tons per year of the black metal. This deposit was worked, on and off, well into the twentieth century when it was shut down. The mine consisted of a sloping tunnel which penetrated the hillside for over 2000 feet, along with 12 vertical shafts on the mountain above which intersected with the tunnel below. The deepest of these shafts, No. 12, was nearly 3000 feet deep! These shafts, for safety concerns, were filled in in the 70's, but much remains of the giant industry that once reigned in these parts. The tunnel itself can still be visited. It is sealed off with a grate to allow bats to enter, and provides a constant blast of cool air in the summer months. There are also ruins of miner housing, hoists, furnaces and misc.. buildings. Several old road beds and a railroad bed, (the tracks are gone) criss-cross the expanse of wooded, mountainous terrain. The mine can be reached by following Hibernia Ave. north from route 80. After passing through a deep mountain pass, you will see a white gravel parking area on your right in between Main Rd. and sunny side court. Park here and follow the Bat Hibernaculum trail to the mine. Feel free to enjoy nature and the rich history around you, but please be respectful, this wonderful piece of our industrial heritage cannot be replaced. Submitted by: Frank Meloi and Kelly Estler