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Sandy Hook gold mine (Blackwell's mine), Sandy Hook, Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USAi
Regional Level Types
Sandy Hook gold mine (Blackwell's mine)Mine
Sandy Hook- not defined -
Newtown- not defined -
Fairfield CountyCounty

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
41° 25' 51'' North , 73° 16' 48'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
Locality type:
Köppen climate type:
Nearest Settlements:
Newtown1,967 (2017)2.7km
Heritage Village3,736 (2017)7.0km
Southbury19,836 (2017)7.9km
Bethel9,549 (2017)13.0km
Oxford11,345 (2017)13.6km

Cruson (1991) summarizes the mostly-folklore history of this site, which does include some minor metal sulfide mineralization hosted by quartz in schist:

The first mention of any mining in Newtown occurs in 1764. In that year John Stanley Blackwell of New York leased a tract of land in Sandy Hook on what was then called Mt. Pisgah. From the lease description, which is reprinted in its ponderous entirety in Johnson’s History of Newtown, its location appears to be on the west bank of the Pootatuck River near Black Bridge. Blackwell was given the right to extract, “ore, mines, minerals, and fossil bodies of every sort and kind now discovered or to be discovered,” for a period of 40 years. There is, however, no indication that any active mining was ever carried on there, unless the next reference to Sandy Hook mining, has been confused with this lease right.

The Redding author and historian, Charles Burr Todd, wrote an essay entitled, “Mining in Connecticut,” which was reprinted in his 1906 book, In Olde Connecticut. In it he discusses the various mining activities of southwest Connecticut including a gold mine at Sandy Hook which was supposedly “worked by British soldiers in the Revolution and casks of its ore sent to England for treatment. From one pound of its ore 72 cents in gold and 11 cents of silver were taken, if the assayer is to be believed.” Unfortunately Todd cites no source for this and the fact that he has British soldiers actively and openly working in Fairfield County during the Revolution, apparently unmolested by the local militia or Committee of Safety, gives this quote the strong ring of local folklore. [Newtown was a center of Tory activity during the war, though].

In his report of 1837, Charles Upham Shepard notes that on the bank of the Pootatuck River in Sandy Hook, there was a tunnel dug through a quartz vein. He also noted it was locally referred to as a silver mine and in it he found traces of galena (lead ore with a metallic sheen) and iron pyrite better known as fool’s gold. Is it possible John Blackwell, while working his 40 year lease, managed to burrow into this quartz vein and retrieve some of the silvery lead ore along with the surrounding fool’s gold? It is not too difficult to see the rumor of such a gold and silver strike taking on a life of its own and, with the usual tendency of local folklore, become grafted onto a more romantic tale involving the British army working in this area during a mythological Revolutionary past.

Ryerson (1976) and Hiller and Patzlaff (1973) suggest the area was salted with gold, but do list several metal sulfide minerals.

Coordinates are approximate.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

6 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Ryerson, Kathleen H. (1976): Rock Hound’s Guide to Connecticut. Pequot Press.
Formula: PbS
Reference: Shepard, Charles U. (1837): Report on the Geological Survey of Connecticut. Hamlem, New Haven.
Formula: Fe2O3
Reference: Ryerson, Kathleen H. (1976): Rock Hound’s Guide to Connecticut. Pequot Press.
Formula: (Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Reference: Ryerson, Kathleen H. (1976): Rock Hound’s Guide to Connecticut. Pequot Press.
Formula: FeS2
Reference: Shepard, Charles U. (1837): Report on the Geological Survey of Connecticut. Hamlem, New Haven.
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Ryerson, Kathleen H. (1976): Rock Hound’s Guide to Connecticut. Pequot Press.
Formula: ZnS
Reference: Ryerson, Kathleen H. (1976): Rock Hound’s Guide to Connecticut. Pequot Press.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.

List of minerals for each chemical element

H Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
C CalciteCaCO3
O CalciteCaCO3
O HematiteFe2O3
O Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
O QuartzSiO2
Si QuartzSiO2
S PyriteFeS2
S GalenaPbS
S SphaleriteZnS
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Zn SphaleriteZnS
Pb GalenaPbS


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Shepard, Charles U. (1837): Report on the Geological Survey of Connecticut. Hamlem, New Haven.
Januzzi, Ronald E. (1959): The Minerals of Western Connecticut and Southeastern New York. The Mineralogical Press, Danbury, Connecticut.
Hiller, John and Kurt Patzlaff. (1973), Connecticut Mines and Minerals. Privately Published.
Ryerson, Kathleen, H. (1976): Rock Hound's Guide to Connecticut. Pequot Press.
Cruson, Daniel. (1991), Feldspar Quarries and The Mining History of Newtown. Triassic Valley Bulletin: August/September.

Other Regions, Features and Areas containg this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate

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