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Old Mine Park

Old Mine Park is often considered just a northern extension of the Pequonnock Valley State Park but Old Mine Park (72.1 acres) is town owned and a separate entity. The Park used to be a tungsten mine and was mined from 1828 to 1920. The picnic pavilion now stands close to where the main ore processing building once stood. Old Mine Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Native Americans originally mined the hill for quartz to make arrow heads for hunting. They named the park Saganawamps which apparently meant "on the side of the hill". The first written mention of minerals at Saganawamps is found in the February 21, 1757 deed giving Howkins Nichols of Stratford a lease for 200 years of 5 acres. Some time around 1818, Ephraim Lane took some samples of rocks he found at Saganawamps to Yale University where it they were identified as tungsten, tellurium, topaz and fluorite. In 1828, Ephraim Lane acquired a lease to 4 acres and later leased the land to Thomas R. Hubbard. The mine has been known as Lane’s Mine and Hubbard Tungsten Mine. It ceased ceasing operations after a suspicious fire in 1916.

Old Mine Park Timeline

See the
Old Mine Park Timeline >

*Tungsten

In 1855, it was discovered that tungsten (also known as wolfram) more than doubled the efficiency of steel armour. Tungsten's hardness and high density was also highly valuable for military applications in penetrating projectiles.

"Adding a small amount of tungsten to steel makes it far harder, far more resistant to stress and heat. It's almost as hard as a diamond and has one of the highest melting points of any mineral” -Dr John Emsley - a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Little Eden

Off the main trail loop to the east, one can find a small circular dam and foundation ruins. This spot was once known as Little Eden.

"The stone and mortar pool is fed by a spring that emanates from under a large tree that the pool is built against. The pool provided water to the home of Hollister Sage which was located at the nearby house foundation ruins. Hollister called his home Little Eden and he ran the nearby lime kiln for his living". - John Lauria, Trumbull Historian

Tungsten Mine   Saganawamps

Tungsten Mine

 

Historical sketch map showing location of mineral pits
(click to enlarge)

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Old Mine Trail Map - ThumbnailTrails

The loop up the large hill takes you past remnants of old mine cuts and shafts (fenced off for safety). The Rail Trail connects to both the Parlor Rock area and the Pequonnock Valley State Park to the south.

A detailed Trail Map can be found here >

Additional Info of Minerals