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Jugtown Mountain Preserve
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Welcome to Jugtown Mountain Preserve. This 237 acre nature preserve is located on the peak of the Musconetcong Mountain near West Portal. It can trace its name to the rock ledges where moonshiners hid their jugs to avoid government authorities during the Prohibition. However, the history of the preserve is in mining. Of the 41 known mines in the county, the Swayze Mine, which was located within the preserve, was one of the top three producers of magnetite ore. The West End Iron Company opened the Swayze Mine in 1868 and it closed in 1889. At its peak it produced 16,000 tons of ore annually. The deepest shaft had a depth of 75 feet and was reached by a tramway. The mine was briefly reopened for four years in 1939 by West Portal Mines, Inc. They excavated an estimated 250,000 tons of ore.

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes and Janine Ngai