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Laurel Hill (Snake Hill; Penitentiary Quarry), Secaucus, Hudson Co., New Jersey, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 40° 45' 35'' North , 74° 5' 5'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 40.76, -74.085

A 61 meter (203 feet) high outcrop of a pipe-like diabase intrusive, which is a vertical element of the underlying Palisades Sill. Mineralized shales and sandstones, intruded by the diabase, are visible in the north and southwest sections of the property. Minerals were found in veins in both the diabase and metamorphosed sediments. Quarrying took place from the late 1800s to the 1950s, when a section of the land was utilized as a prison (Penitentiary Quarry). In 1962 Hudson County finished closing their facilities on the site, which included the county prison and the insane asylum. The County entered into a 20 year contract with Callahan Industries to level much of the hill. In the 1960's and 70's Gallo Asphalt had 4 asphalt plants, side by side, adjacent to the quarry and supplied paving materials throughout the surrounding urban region. Production ended on schedule in 1982.

In the early 2000s, further blasting occurred along the New Jersey Turnpike. Most of the original 184 acre parcel is currently being utilized as a county park. (This site is also known as "Snake Hill.)".

Mineral List

51 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Manchester, J.G. (1931) The Minerals of New York City and Its Environs. New York Mineralogical Club Bulletin, 3: 58-9.

Puffer, J. & Peters, J. (1974), Economic Geology. Magnetite Veins in Diabase of Laurel Hill, New Jersey, 69: 1294-1299.

Facciolla, N. (1981), Minerals of Laurel Hill, Secaucus, New Jersey.

Peacor, D.R. & Dunn, P.J. (1982), American Mineralogist, 67: 1039-1042.

Tschernich, R. (1992) Zeolites of the World: 66.

Cummings, Warren L. (2007), Geologist, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Trenton, NJ, personal communication to Mindat staff.

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