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Tilly Foster Mine exploration in 2016
Posted by Dan Wright
on 9/1/2016, 7:18 pm
Hello Divers: While not in NJ, this abandoned/flooded mine is in Brewster, NY. For those who don't know, we have been exploring this largely unknown (since it's closing in 1897) iron ore mine for three seasons. As a team, several tunnel systems have been located, mapped and permanent fixed lines run. Wreckage from at least 30 vehicles dumped in since the 1920's have been located, the last one being in 1990. We have located, with the help of local historians and geologist, critical information on the layout of the open pit. The last piece of the puzzle we thought were the two support arches, which reinforced the western footwall to the eastern sheer wall. On 8/17/2014, I located one by accident (as I didn't know what it was at the time) at 324'. Armed with the new intel from Roger Erikson and Reggie White, the team investigated further with subsequent dives. In the past month, four 300'+ dives in a row (once a week) have been done by yours truly. Bob Thomas has done three, and Sandra Clopp and John Eells both have done one each, in search of the arches. The suspected northern arch now has a fixed down line attached, and on Sunday August 28th, Bob Thomas and I spotted what we believe is another support arch, but in a position we didn't expect. A few minutes later, we came across a deep shaft as well, while we traveled southward. John Eells and I had pinged a mark of 360'-370', on two occasions in the early days, using a bottom finder while in a Zodiac. I believe this deep shaft spotted on Sunday and video taped, is that very shaft. We know from historic documents, that the bottom of the open pit terminated at 325' fresh water, but the miners had at least one shaft that went down 500'. This may be it, and while it looks very tight, it may be large enough to squeeze a diver into. Bob Thomas and I did, by his computer, 33 minutes bottom time at 324' max, and a TRT for 4 hours, in 42 degree fahrenheit water, to discover these landmarks. Link attached here is of that one dive, but in other videos on YouTube, one can see all of the discoveries we have made this year, and the past. I hope this is of some interest, in spite of not being a shipwreck.
Link: Tilly Foster Mine shaft to 360'
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