Site History – Before 1965
Following is a summary of the history of the former iron mining area in Ringwood, New Jersey which includes the 500 acres commonly known today as the Ringwood Mines Landfill Site. The descriptions of the periods pre-dating Ford’s ownership of the property are based on historical records pertaining to
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Early History (mid-1700s-1941)
Historical records indicate that Ringwood’s iron mines were opened in the mid-1700s and operated under private ownership until mining ceased in the early 1890s, largely as a result of competition from Midwestern mines located closer to the major steel mills. The principal product of the mines during the years of operation was magnetite ore, which was processed onsite and shipped to local iron foundries. Peters Mine was again worked to a limited extent during the early 1900s, and closed around 1931.
U.S. Government Ownership (1941-1958)
The United States Government, acting through its wartime entity, the Defense Plant Corporation, bought the mines and associated property from various private owners via a series of transactions from 1941 through 1943, with the intention of restarting the mines to support the World War II effort. The federal government refurbished Peters Mine, so that it could be ready for wartime production, if needed. No such need developed, however, and Peters Mine was not returned to production during World War II.
Remnants of a mine structure built by the government in the early 1940s
Pittsburgh Pacific Company Ownership (1958-1965)
Pittsburgh Pacific Company, a Minnesota-based mining company, purchased the mine property and some adjoining land from the United States government at a government auction on July 15, 1958. It is believed that Pittsburgh Pacific Company did not engage in active mining activity in Ringwood.