Tahawus: The Town Forgotten by Time

Updated on April 13, 2018
Elijah DeVivo profile image

Elijah is a best-selling author and columnist for an award-winning blog.

Entering Tahawus. All photos are mine.
Entering Tahawus. All photos are mine.

History of Tahawus

On the outskirts of the sleepy town of Newcomb in Upstate New York lies what is left of the once-promising mining town of Tahawus. Now all that remains is an eerie ghost town. You’d think that only the wild west would have such a sight, but this little-known ghost town is only a couple hours from New York’s capital.

You'd imagine that a town with a population of zero would either have something seriously wrong with it or it’d just be out in the middle of nowhere. Tahawus is both. The land was “discovered” in 1826 when Archibald McIntyre and David Henderson were led there by a native American from the St. Francis tribe.

Discovery of Iron Ore

It didn’t take long for people to discover that iron ore was found on the land. The town of McIntyre was formed soon after and operated successfully from 1827 all the way up until 1857. At that time, between 12 and 14 tons of iron were extracted from the earth every single day. About 400 men worked in the mines, and the iron from McIntyre (often called Adirondac) was considered the best iron in the country at the time. The national average for iron was about twenty dollars a ton, but iron from Adirondac was over double that amount (ranging from forty dollars to forty-five dollars).

In 1854, the Saratoga Railway Company constructed tracks leading to the mining town and these tracks, although not in use, are still there today. I visited the mining town on a road trip in order to research for this article and saw the tracks. Oddly enough, at the time I had no idea that the tracks I was looking at were the originals from 1854.

Tahawus Is Abandoned (Time and Again)

The mountains were not only long and treacherous to get around, but the weather of upstate New York proved detrimental to business. It was nearly impossible to ship and receive shipments to conduct business. They also found titanium dioxide amongst the iron ore and it became too difficult to extract the iron. In 1857 the town was abandoned.

Thirty years after the abandonment of Tahawus, it was turned into an area for fishing and hunting called the Tahawus Club. However, the Tahawus Club did not last long either.

Fast forwarding to nearly one-hundred years later, Tahawus was once again revisited. It was the midst of World War II and titanium was desperately needed. In an ironic twist of events, the titanium that seemed useless to miners in the 1800’s became worthwhile. They resumed mining for titanium in the 1940’s.

Nearly fifty years passed, and forty million tons of titanium was extracted. In 1989 all operations halted, and NL Industries left all mining equipment at the site.

What Remains of Tahawus

To this day numerous buildings and mining shafts remain. The original blast furnace that cost nearly forty-five thousand dollars still stands. The town is completely abandoned but offers a fascinating, yet eerie experience.

My Roadtrip to Tahawus

My sister, my best friend, and I decided to drive out to Tahawus on our college spring break. I went for the sake of research in order to write this article. I find it fascinating to visit abandoned history.

Driving to Tahawus

The road to Tahawus was not only very treacherous but it had numerous twists and turns that would definitely be problematic in the dead of winter. It is no surprise that shipments were nearly impossible to be received especially in the 1800’s when technology was pretty much nonexistent. Along the way, there were virtually no cars no people and it wasn’t surprising: we were in the middle of nowhere. It is also nearly impossible to locate the actual ghost town and abandoned mining shafts. Google maps took us on a wild goose chase of directions and after nearly three hours of driving, we reached our destination.

Eerie Feelings in Tahawus

The mining shafts and ruins of most of Tahawus lie between two lakes, at least I thought they were two lakes. In fact, they were really the mine pits, abandoned for so long they’d become filled with water. The water is estimated at about a thousand feet, it is no surprise they looked like two colossal lakes. There wasn’t too much exploration that occurred on our road trip because there was an eerie feel to the town. It was almost uncomfortable at times and we really wanted to see it, acknowledge that we’ve been to Tahawus and then drive out as fast as possible.

Tahawus is settled in the middle of nowhere. To the east is the tallest mountain in New York state and all around is nothing but trees and lots of wildlife. It's hard to imagine that the ghost town was once a thriving mining town pushing out tons of iron and titanium every day. But now all that’s left is an empty ghost town, abandoned and spooky.

© 2018 Elijah DeVivo

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "now all that’s left is an empty ghost town, abandoned and spooky." Haha, this is what You don't do to me: say things like that because now I wanna go.

      Are there houses, previous establishments of sorts? Or, is this just mainly like a mining site? Are there multiple roads, or just the one that You show in the photographs? Thank You for the photographs too, the road looks pretty beaten up.

      I generally like abandoned places. There is a particular feel about places that are desolate but have a rich history behind. Sometimes one gets interesting experiences in places like that.

      Thanks for the article and for doing your investigation. Good luck on your next adventures! : )

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)