A Guide to the New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II, 1925-1969 New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II Ms2011-037

A Guide to the New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II, 1925-1969

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2011-037


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2011 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Kimberly Staub, Graduate Assistant Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II, 1925-1969
Physical Characteristics
3.3 cu. ft. 6 boxes
The New Jersey Zinc Corporation Records II contain maps, surveys, memoranda, and reports.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II, Ms2011-037, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to Special Collections in 1999.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the New Jersey Zinc Corporation (Austinville, VA) Records II was completed in March 2011.

Historical Note

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.

Scope and Content

The New Jersey Zinc Corporation Records contain maps, surveys, memoranda, and reports by and about the company. Maps and surveys range from the mines in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and often relate the mineral deposits found there. The collection also houses weekly reports that detail the accomplishments of the week and worker hours. The General Instruction Memorandums show how the New Jersey Zinc Company complied with federal regulation and how the owners in New York shared this information with their supervisors and workers in the mine areas.


The collection in arranged in chronological order, with the exception of two binders of material and oversized maps and surveys, which appear at the end of the collection, each in their own separate boxes.

Related Material

Special Collections contains another collection related to the New Jersey Zinc Corporation. See New Jersey Zinc Corporation [Austinville, Virginia] Records. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database. Ms1991-032.

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • New Jersey Zinc Corporation.
  • Subjects:

  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South

Contents List

Box-folder 1-1
Titanium Bearing Lands Near Elf, NC, 1925
Box-folder 1-2
Articles and Publications, 1926-1965
Box-folder 1-3
Applied Potential Survey, 1949
Box-folder 1-4 to 1-6 (3 folders)
Geology of the Kennesaw Mtn - Sweat Mtn Area of Cobb County, GA, 1951
Box-folder 1-7
Monthly Reports, August-December 1951
Box-folder 1-8
Geologic Maps of Georgia, 1952
Box-folder 1-9
Reconnaissance Geologic Survey of the South Paulding County Area, GA, 1952
Box-folder 2-1
Thin Section List, 1952-55
Box-folder 2-2
Exploration of the Little Bob Mine Area, GA, 1953
Box-folder 2-3
Exploration of the Swift Prospect, GA, 1953
Box-folder 2-4
General Instruction Memorandums, 1953-1958
Box-folder 2-5
Geochemical Prospecting in the Fall Branch Belt of Knox Dolamite, TN, 1953
Box-folder 2-6
Maps of Mineral, VA, with Indexes, 1953-1958
Box-folder 2-7 to 2-8; 3-1 (3 folders)
Weekly Reports, 1953-1955
Box-folder 3-2
Work Progress Summaries, 1953-1955
Box-folder 3-3
Lithium Potential, Kings Mountain Pegmatite Belt, NC, 1954
Box-folder 3-4
Operation of Radioactivity Surveys in NC, 1955
Box-folder 3-5 to 3-6 (2 folders)
Preliminary Report of Metallic Mineral Deposits of Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, NC, 1956
Box-folder 3-7
Inter-office Correspondence and Maps, 1969
Box-folder 3-8
Soil Sample Location Maps, 1969
Box-folder 3-9
Geochemical Sample Record, n.d.
Box-folder 3-10
Geology Lab Notes, n.d.
Box 4
Drilling, 1926-1955
Box 5
Geophysics: Geochemical Prospect, Methods and Equipment, Soils, 1926-1955
Box 6
Oversize Surveys and Maps, 1949-1964