History of area mining industries topic of Historical Society talk

Posted 10/23/20

The Springfield Township Historical Society will present a program, “The Mining Industries of Southern Montgomery County”, on Thursday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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History of area mining industries topic of Historical Society talk

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The Springfield Township Historical Society will present a program, “The Mining Industries of Southern Montgomery County”, on Thursday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Guest speaker Ronald A. Sloto, a research professor of earth and space sciences, West Chester University and author of several books, including the 2019 self-published book, The Mines and Minerals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Sloto worked for 41 years for the U.S. Geological Survey before he began research at West Chester University.

In his books, which also include The Mines and Minerals of Berks County and The Mines and Minerals of Chester County, Sloto put together his interest in mineralogy, history and geology in one place. While working on the books, he was able to explore some mines and quarries, while others are gone. According to Sloto, the quarries are being filled in and built on. Corson's Quarry in Plymouth Meeting still operates one while another has been built on and another is being filled in to be built on. Montgomery County once produced sandstone, building stone, marble and iron. Quarries in Springfield Township included a stone quarry with iron ore deposits at the northwest corner of Walnut Ave. and Oreland Mill Road in Oreland, where Sandy Run Park is now located.

In the 1950s, crushed limestone, riprap, road material and  railroad ballast were produced by the quarry. It flooded during a spring snowstorm that knocked out power, shut down pumps and submerged the quarry. It was purchased by the U.S. Navy in the early 1960s for underwater sonar testing and the site was known as the U.S. Navy Deep Water Facility. Springfield Township accepted ownership of the site from the United States Department of the Interior in 1999 and opened the 14-acre Sandy Run Park.      

This program was originally scheduled for March but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pre-registration is required so that the Zoom link can be sent to interested guests. Deadline to register is Wednesday, November 4. To sign up, please send your name and email address to Katie Worrall, secretary, Springfield Township Historical Society board of directors, at  worrallkatie@aol.com.

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