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Turning Back The Pages

Old Bed mine comes alive

An interesting side story to the murders involves the spooky Old Bed mine, a dark and dangerous place. It was just a little over four years after the bodies were found there that the old open pit mine came alive at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday in September 1915. Because no one was around at that time in the morning probably saved a lot of lives as the earth shook and the entire west bank and a portion of the south side, comprising many thousands of tons of rock and dirt slid off into the bottom of the mine.

Through this great tremor, the Port Henry Iron Ore Company’s stone hoisting house on the south side of the mine sagged at least six inches on one end and was on the verge of sinking into the mine. The building used by Witherbee, Sherman & Co. for making concrete blocks had slid within a few feet of the yawning opening and was in danger of destruction. The highway along the south side of the mine was carried away and railway tracks were twisted and moved which would later have to be replaced.

Cracks appeared in the earth near the mine and small slides began to occur. When the big cave-in originally happened the four inmates of the mine hospital, located near the mine, were greatly frightened and were removed to another building, but the hospital did remain standing. All the horses and wagons in the company barn were taken to a place of safety and it was believed that the barn would have to be later moved to secure new site. Another new large crack appeared on the surface and bystanders had no doubt that the worst was yet to come. It is here that the story closes.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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