The Snyder Estate began in the early 1800s as a family farm. With the local discovery of natural cement, the site experienced substantial industrial growth until the 1970s. In 1992 the Snyder Estate Natural Cement Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Widow Jane Mine
This large limestone mine is within the 32-square-mile seam of limestone between High Falls and Kingston (NY), where it was often said that just as much went on underground as above ground. Adaptive uses of the mines have included:
- Mushroom cultivation (for Campbell’s Soup!)
- Trout farming
- Water supply
- Corporate fallout shelters (an underground city complete with street lamps!)
- Vital records storage
Today the Widow Jane Mine provides an exciting venue for historic interpretation and special events. Many musicians have performed and recorded here, taking advantage of its unique acoustics.
The mine was featured in 2004 on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered”.
Century House Historical Society Museum
The museum showcases cement industry artifacts and photographs from the Rosendale Natural Cement District. Rosendale Natural Cement was used in the building of the most enduring landmarks of the nation. The Brooklyn Bridge, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the wings of the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Monument, Grand Central Terminal, the Croton Aqueduct and dams, the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels, the New York State Thruway, and thousands of public works projects all got their start underground in the cement mines of Rosendale.
The Museum exhibits and the Snyder Carriage and Sleigh Collection offer visitors an opportunity to learn about the vivid history of the Cement Region and the times and personalities of this great industry. In 1891 almost half of the cement in America was manufactured in the Rosendale Cement Region. Millions of barrels of this product made their way to market taking advantage of the transportation links provided by the Delaware & Hudson Canal and the Wallkill Valley Railroad. Materials from the archives have been used in publications including Listen to the Whistle and From the Coalfields to the Hudson.