Iron ore discovery and mining has a long history in New York State. Smock (1889) was the first scientist to report and formulate the first classification of the iron deposits in New York. His classification based on a “geologico- geographical arrangement” included almost all the iron occurrences known at that time and all the major types such as “magnetic iron, hematite, limonite, carbonates”.

During the mining operations in the last century, the iron mines from New York were a source of exquisite mineral specimens. We have to mention here the gem quality chondrodite, titanite, and clinochlore or the spectacular magnetite crystals from Mineville, Essex County. Beck (1842) noted about the O’Neil mine, Orange County that it is “one of the most interesting localities of the crystallized variety of the magnetic iron ore.” The Tilly Foster Mine, Putnam County was the best of the iron mine mineral producers. Here, more than 130 mineral species were found and many mineral pseudomorphs were described (Dana 1874).


Beck, L. C. 1842. Mineralogy of New York. W. and A. White and J. Visscher, Albany, NY
Bridenbaugh, E. S. 1873. On the minerals found at the Tilly Foster iron mines, N. Y. American
 Journal of Science, series 3, 6: 207-13.

Cook, R.B. 2007. Chondrodite, Tilly Foster mine, Brewster area, Putnam County, New York.
Rocks & Minerals 82 (6): 484-88

Dana, E. S. 1874. On serpentine pseudomorphs and other kinds from the Tilly Foster iron mine,
Putnam County, New York. American Journal of Science, ser. 3, 8: 371-81.

Dana, E. S. 1875. On the chondrodite from the Tilly Foster mine, Brewster, New York.
American Journal of Science ser. 3, 10: 89-103.

Dana, E. S. 1876. On the optical character of chondrodite of the Tilly Foster mine. American
Journal of Science ser. 3, 11: 139-40.

Dana, J. D. 1892. A system of mineralogy. 6th edition, New York, Wiley.

Jaffe, H. W., L. M. Hall, and H. T. Jr. Evans. 1992. Wagnerite with isokite from the Benson
Mines, west-central Adirondack Highlands, New York. Mineralogical Magazine 56:

Leonard, B. F. and A. C. Vlisidis. 1961. Vonsenite at the Jayville magnetite deposit, St.
Lawrence County, New York. American Mineralogist  46: 786-811.

M. Lupulescu. 2008. Minerals from the iron deposits of New York State. Rocks & Minerals, V. 83 No 3, p. 248-266.

Nightingale, S. L. 2001. The Tilly Foster iron mine: Southeast, Putnam County, New York.
Matrix 9 (2): 51-77.

Robinson, G. W. and S. C. Chamberlain. 1984. The Sterling mine, Antwerp, New York. The Mineralogical Record 15: 199-216.

Smock, J. C. 1889. First report on the iron mines and iron-ore districts in the State of New York.
New York State Museum Bulletin 7.

Trainer, J. N. 1938. Tilly Foster up-to-date. Rocks & Minerals 13 (10): 291-303.

Trainer, J. N. 1941. The fifth year at Tilly Foster. Rocks & Minerals 16 (4): 122-26.

Trainer, J. N. 1942. Sixth year at Tilly Foster. Rocks & Minerals 17 (1): 8-9




The New York State Geological Survey (NYSGS) is a bureau of
the New York State Museum in the New York State Education Department.