in 1871, a small section of Randolph Township was given a name, and an identity. It was born when the booming iron industry in Morris County was the third largest in the nation. Surrounded by several of the larger and most productive mines, in neighboring Chester, Mine Hill, and Port Oram (Wharton) this section of land drew the attention of several prominent local men. Soon, plans for developing a town out of this isolated woodland were formulated; a town christened, appropriately, "Ironia". It would be the "missing link" along the rich vein of ore that ran from the Dickerson Mine south into Chester.
At the time of this conceptualized plan, there were about 50 dwellings in the surrounding area, mostly farmhouses, along with various gristmills, sawmills and distilleries. But there was no "downtown" as had developed in nearby Chester, Dover, or Succasunna. This was a rural area, where neighbors were miles apart, roadways barely passable, and self-sufficiency a requirement.
The potential for prolific and profitable mines within Ironia did exist. In 1828 the first mining operations began in the Comb's Hollow section, and over the next 60 years about 12 mines were worked. None of the mines, however, proved productive enough to warrant railroad extensions, and families, rather than mining companies, operated most of them.
The Randolph Township Historic Geotrail tour project was developed between Randolph Township and The Northern New Jersey Cachers, NNJC.org who have partnered, volunteered their time, expertise and assistance and help develop and implement the Randolph History tour and Geotrail.
The Randolph Geotrail caches are placed with approval by Randolph Township Parks department, any new caches will only be allowed by first obtaining written permission by Randolph Township.
The Northern New Jersey Cachers, NNJC is about promoting a quality caching experience in Northern New Jersey. For information on The Northern New Jersey Cachers group you can visit: www.nnjc.org.