We love creepy places. Abandoned buildings, dark and scary forests, caves, and disused mines. If you like creepy places, too, plus a local history lesson, get yourself up to Rosendale and explore the Widow Jane mine.
The first time we experienced the mine was in 2005 when it served as a venue for an experimental music concert. In fact, the mine has been used for a variety of artistic endeavors, including an album recorded by upstate musician- extraordinaires Tony Levin, Steve Gorn, and Jerry Merrota, fittingly entitled Tales from the Widow Jane Mine. But back in the day, the Widow Jane Mine, known in mining lingo as a “room and pillar” mine, served as one of the finest sources of natural cement in the country. That same cement harvested from the Widow Jane was used in base of the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, Grand Central Station, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The mine is located right next to the Snyder Estate Museum. The Snyder family owned the land upon which the mine sits and kept their cement business alive until 1970. Now, the Synder Estate and the museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public every Sunday afternoon, 1-4pm, May through October. The estate also includes the Andrew J. Snyder House, which a very cool Second Empire Victorian.
For more information on the mine and the Snyder Estate, visit the Century House Historical Society Website. If you visit the Widow Jane, be prepared for a lot of ground water flooding, and bring a flashlight so you can get a closer look at all of the creepy, dark, dank, and irresistible nooks and crannies.