New Jersey Zinc Corporation [Austinville, VA] Records
Scope and Content
The collection consists of maps, blueprints, and files of the New Jersey Zinc Corporation operations in Austinville, Virgina. Maps in the collection, dating from the 1930s-1960s, describe the geological plans, the Ivanhoe mines, hydrology, ore reserves, and geochemistry of the area, including portions of North Carolina. Eight rolls of blueprints depict equipment and furnace works.
Files include superintendent memos, tenant applications, Ivanhoe property records, employment records and correspondence, senoirity lists, unemployment compensation forms, contracts, deeds, death claims, and company rules and regulations. The collection also has some information on the Ivanhoe Furnace Company (1911-1913).
In addition, there are 31 volumes (1888-1908) of published materials: American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 1880. Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. New York City: The Society.
Please note: The majority of this collection is unprocessed, and the inventory is preliminary only.
- 1850 - 1969
- New Jersey Zinc Company (Organization)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
The lead mines of southwest Virginia were first discovered by Colonel John Chiswell in 1756. Chiswell mined lead ore on the New River in Augusta County (now Wythe County) from 1760 to 1766, and furnished large supplies of lead to Virginia during the French and Indian War. A fort and trading post were sut up at this time near the mines. Chiswell died in 1766, and ownership of the mines was trasnferred to William Byrd. The mines were leased to the state during the Revolutionary War.
In 1789 Moses and Stephen Austin contacted for the lead mines and bought them from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Due to mismanagement, the lead mines reverted back to the state in 1802. In 1806, Thomas Jackson bought the proerty, now in the town of Austinville, in Wythe County, at a public auction in Richmond. He constructed a shot-tower on the New River, which operated from 1812 to 1830 and still stands today.
From 1830 to 1898, the property was mined by Daniel Sheffey and David Pierce or their descendants. From 1838 to the 1850s, the firm was called the Wythe Lead Mines Company. The Union Lead Mine Company, as it was called in 1860, contributed more than 2,000 tons of lead to Confederate troops in the Civil War. After the discovery of zinc in the 1860s, the Union Lead Company formed the Wythe Lead and Zinc Company.
The Wythe Lead and Zinc Company sold all of its ore in 1898 to the Bertha Mineral Company, which operated in Pulaski, six miles northeast of Austinville. In 1902, the New Jersey Zinc Corporation purchased Bertha holdings and the Austinville property.
For more information on the early history of the Austinville lead and zinc mines, see: Austin, Vera Lee. 1977. The Southwest Virginia Lead Works, 1756-1802. Thesis (M.A.)--Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1977.
55 Cubic Feet (58 boxes; 3 oversize folders)
The collection consists of maps, blueprints, and files of the New Jersey Zinc Corporation operations in Austinville, Virgina.
The collection is in its original order.
Please note: All boxes of this collection are in off-site storage and require 1-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.
Source of Acquisition
The New Jersey Zinc Corporation [Austinville, Virginia] Records were donated to Special Collections and University Archives in 1991.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the New Jersey Zinc Corporation [Austinville, Virginia] Records by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The majority of the New Jersey Zinc Corporation [Austinville, Virginia] Records are unprocessed. A preliminary inventory was created in 1991, and the maps and blueprints were added in 2018.
- A Preliminary Inventory of the New Jersey Zinc Corporation [Austinville, Virginia] Records, 1850-1969
- Laura Katz Smith, Archivist, and LM Rozema, Archivist
- 2018 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
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