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Parker Mine (Parker shaft), Franklin Mine, Franklin, Franklin Mining District, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA
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Parker Mine, Franklin Mine, Franklin, Franklin Mining District, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA

Photo: 2013, JGW
Latitude: 41°7'13"N
Longitude: 74°34'58"W
This locality file is a work in progress.

The Parker shaft workings were the first major improvements to the mining operations at Franklin after the consolidation of all holdings under the New Jersey Zinc Co. about 1898. The shaft was to the full depth of the orebody, to its East, and on its northern end. This shaft was a vertical opening, thus, as it went deeper it came closer to the orebody, which dipped easterly. The Parker shaft workings on the lower levels entered the ore body in a mineralogically restricted area not previously worked by the many prior openings, resulting in the discovery of remarkable mineralization in the new stopes.

The Parker shaft is famous for that suite of exotic mineral species encountered for the first time, including a suite of lead silicates. These same species were encountered again when the pillars were later taken under the operation of the Franklin Mine ("great" Franklin mine). The Parker shaft output also included many of the already well-known species and common ore minerals obtained for decades from pre-existing openings into the ore body, all of which are listed under their respective workings and the "great" Franklin Mine. Many of the new Pb-bearing species were first encountered about 1897 and began receiving attention in 1899 by Penfield and Warren at Yale University. Hancockite, originally a stand-alone species, but now recognized as a red manganian variety of epidote-Pb, was among the first of the new Pb species named.

The Parker shaft complex soon became inadequate to handle the mine's output and the construction of a new mill and shaft complex was started to the West, on Main Street, Franklin proper. The new larger mill was fed with ore from the Parker shaft by means of a rail haulage link until the new larger Palmer shaft was completed. Once that occurred, the Parker workings were abandoned.

The rail haulage link approached the new mill on a wooden trestle which was filled in with waste rock from the various operations of the New Jersey Zinc Co. in Franklin. This site was later "discovered" in the early 1980's and was termed the "Franklin millsite" dump. The site was excavated by collectors and Parker shaft material, and material from throughout the mine workings, was again entering collectors' hands.

The Parker shaft itself was capped and the dump was leveled for the construction of the Franklin firehouse on Buckwheat Road, long after the Franklin Mine ceased operation. Material from the Parker shaft was also used as fill in nearby swampy areas, along the current state route 23 highway, under nearby structures, and in Schuster Park.

Mineral List

var: Botryolite
var: Hancockite (TL)
Esperite (TL)
Larsenite (TL)
Margarosanite (TL)
Nasonite (TL)
Roeblingite (TL)

24 entries listed. 22 valid minerals. 5 type localities (valid minerals). 1 type locality (other).

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Palache, C. (1935): The Minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, Sussex County, New Jersey, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 180, 135pp., with map (reprinted in 1937, 1961 and 1974) (out of print): 26, 70, 81, 93, 113.

Dunn, P.J. (1995): Franklin and Sterling Hill New Jersey: the world's most magnificent mineral deposits, Part 3: 368, 381-382, 419.

Dunn, P.J. (1995): Franklin and Sterling Hill New Jersey: the world's most magnificent mineral deposits, Part 4: 499-500, 503, 522.

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