Camp Pahaquarra History
The Quest for Copper

Kraft, Herbert C. 1996
The Dutch, the Indians, and the Quest for Copper:
Pahaquarry and the Old Mine Road

Seton Hall University Museum
South Orange, NJ
ISBN: 0-935137-02-5

Herbert C. Kraft documented legends and facts in his book on Pahaquarry and the Old Mine Road. This is an excellent book and well worth reading. He noted:

  • Repeated assertions that Dutch miners were actively engaged in copper mining at Pahaquarry in the 1650s are based on misinterpretations. Even though, to this day, "naturalists associated with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area delight in recounting the story of the legendary mid-seventeenth-century Dutch miners who burdensomely extracted copper from the Pahaquarry mine shafts, and then laboriously cut a 104-mile-long road through Indian-infested virgin wilderness in order to transport the ore-laden rock to waiting Dutch ships." There are indications of the possible existence of a mine at Pahaquarry as early as 1740
  • John Reading, Jr. (Governor of NJ, 1757-1758) began prospecting for ore in 1753 on a tract of land on the northeastern side of Mine Brook
  • In 1848, the Pahaquarry Mining Company was incorporated
  • In 1861, renewed interest in developing the mine began but the quality of ore was so poor that the mine was again closed in 1862
  • In 1901, more ore was extracted but the copper-bearing rock did not measure up to expectations
  • In 1902, the Montgomery Gold Leaf Mining Company purchased 1,568.5 acres of the Pahaquarry tract. This company constructed impressive new buildings in a cleared area at the mouth of Mine Brook. Despite these efforts, the copper continued to be of low grade.
  • In 1904, the Gold Leave Mining Company was reorganized under the name: Pahaquarry Copper Company and new state-of-the-art machinery was brought to the tract. This included a double track tramway, storage bins and crushing equipment.

Map of Pahaquarry mine area during period of last mining activity

mining facilities
Mining facilities at the Pahaquarry tract (circa 1910

  • By 1913, the company went bankrupt and was ordered to sell the property to the Delaware Valley Exploration Company
  • On May 20, 1925, the Pahaquarry Mine property was sold to the Trenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The machinery, including boilers, gas-powered dynamos, crushers, crushers, mining machinery, ore cars and tracks, was sold to a Newark scrap dealer.>

Larry Gering
Camp Pahaquarra 1969-1971
Sanhican Lodge Chief 1974
PhD in Forest Biometrics 1985

Camp Pahaquarra History