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Old 01-07-2005, 10:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bolton landing
Posts: 11
Benson Mines

At one point in the seventies, this was the deepest open pit magnetiite mine in the world. Well now it's a massive lake. Anyone in the Star Lake area a former employee? I especially would like to know about the odd the odd locker room setup, with chains and baskets. The site is a mess as it exists.Picture of the operating site would be great. Stories? Even Better.
Larger than life and twice as ugly.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Benson Miles

I recently read "Gem of the Adirondacks: Star Lake, Benson Mines, and the Global Economy" by Russell J. Hall. It's a good, quick read, with lots of history of the area and some good pix.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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I visited the Star Lake operation in the summer of 1957 as a college student working over at the National Lead mine in Tahawus. Recently I came across a few photos I took on that visit and have posted them at
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Location: Tupper Lake
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Worked at Benson mines for several years just before it closed. The baskets were for hanging your street cloths before you changed into whatever you were going to work in. In the pit on the Star Lake end there is a massive building that is covered with water and on a clear calm day one can see it from the air.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:28 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Liverpool NY
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I have always wondered what that group of buildings was. I have been tempted to stop and look around many times but wasn't sure if I should or not. It looks like it would be a cool place to explore with my camera.....
dslocum photography
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
Benson Mines Today

My cousins and I have explored the mines a few years back. The remains were quite fascinating. One of the large buildings seemed to have been severely burned by a fire. There were holes in the roof and a lot of charring. In another building, there was a staircase that lead to somewhere underground. It was pitch black at the bottom of the stairs, so we thought it'd be best to leave that mystery unaolved. In the same building, there was a metal plate on the wall with names and a date (I think it was somewhere around the 1960s) written on it which was really cool. In the rom next to it, there were things hanging down from the ceiling that looked like tubing or pipes. The courtyard, or what appeared to be so, in front of the two buildings, had a number of concrete blocks scattered about with a lot of overgrown vegetation. I hope to revisit the mines in the near future and possibly write an article about the location.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 80
Not specific to this site, but somewhere I've been they had those baskets. Basically they were like lockers - put your stuff in, pull with chain up to the ceiling and then lock the chain. Then no one else could get your stuff, since they couldn't unlock your lock.

I think it was the fact that they took up less room then regular lockers.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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Location: Orwell NY
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You can see the underwater building on Google maps, I think. There is a large rectangle visible underwater in the aerial photo that I assume may be it.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:14 AM   #9
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That building housed a 54" crusher and at the bottom had 2 18" crushers. One could send a rock the size of a small pick up truck in and when it went down it was only about 18". From there the ore was carrier by conveyor to the upper crushers before it went to the wet mills for seperating.
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