Located at the intersection of NY 3 and County Route 60, Benson Mines in Star Lake New York, produced so much iron ore that in 1958, it became the largest open pit iron ore mine in the world. The plant was so productive that the local railroad built rail lines directly to the plant. Benson mines closed in 1978, costing an estimated 1200 jobs, and has been abandoned ever since.
After traveling along NY Route 3 and passing the abandoned mine, I was determined to have a closer look for myself. I was able to research the history of the mine, and through a series of phone calls, acquire the address of the company that currently owns the rights to the mine. I sent a friendly letter to the president of the corporation, requesting permission to photograph the mine, and offered a reasonable fee for the opportunity to do so.
When I received a response from the company president, I was advised that although they would like to allow me the opportunity to photograph the facility, it was completely unsafe to do so. It was with their sincere apologies but due to structural collapse, hazardous conditions, and unstable floorings, the facility was too hazardous for even company employees to access the property. Therefore, I was encouraged to take all the pictures I wanted to from the fence line, but would not be allowed to cross the fence line for any reason.
The following are the photos I was able to take from the fence line of the facility. While others have illegally taken pictures from within the facility itself, if you choose to take risks to your personal safety, or risk of arrest, if you decide to be one of them, I didn’t send you, and you have been warned.
- Benson Mines (Photo Set on Flickr)
- Newton Falls and Benson Mines (Photo Set on Flickr)
- Benson Mines – Adirondack Forum
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My company specializes in writing, photography, and website design. My father gave me my first camera when I was a small child, and it quickly became my most prized possession. I was also fascinated with exploring places others rarely ever ventured, such as abandoned places, buildings, and railroad cars.
As time went on, I formed a business centered around my passion; living larger-than-life adventures, and sharing the photographic journey on my website.