Redbridge Mine Adventure Part 2 (and the Ellenville Mine Skeleton)

Continued from Part 1 located here:

Bob was very cold at this point but the adrenaline and excitement somehow subdued any longing for warmth. We donned our gear and proceeded to go in, with Bob in the lead. At this point we were extremely excited to find a 150 year old mine still accessible deep in the woods. A tunnel in fact, one drilled by hand and chisel and good old gun powder. The water inside the mine was knee deep, bob proceeded firtst..

Bob Enters the Adit

We had at this point no idea how deep the mine was. The literature never indicated the depth, it could had been 200 feet deep or over 500 feet deep. There are more than a few 500 foot old mine tunnels penetrating the Shawangunks, and the chance of finding this one undisturbed and still accessible in the woods was very fascinating.

Bob proceeded in with me standing outside the entrance. Abouit 175 feet in the mine hooked 90 degrees to the right, it was at that point that Bob stopped abruptly. He yelled back something about a bear, which was one of our fears walking into mines, we didnt know what may be living in there. After a few tense moments he said something to the effect of “No its not a bear, but what is it” and proceeded to go out of view. At this point Bob came back outside and told me about a mass of black that he saw where the mine hooked over to the right. He also kinda looked down and said he didnt know if it was a body! That created a wave of strange emotions I had never had before.

At that point we both decided to go back in again and see this up close for ourselves. If it wasnt a body, it wouldnt be the first found in a mine in the Shawangunks, in the late 1800′s the Ellensville mine was reopened for operations, with a corpse of a local bar patron who dissapeared years before found at the back of the mine (NY Times article attached)Ellenville Mine Skeleton

Red Bridge Mine Tunnel

Me and Bob proceeded to turn the corner and yes indeed there was what looked like a large jacket or sleeping bad on the floor. There also looked to be a bone sticking out of it. We didnt touch it, but looked at it very closely and realized after a good minute, its not a body, someone was actually sleeping in the mine at one time.

At this point we looked around the tiny stope area, tried to find the copper vein, and then headed back out and down the mountain. The ride home was a good thawing out and the memories will always put a smile on my face.  – Dan

Red Bridge Stope with "dead body"

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