Louise mine, Niedersteinebach
The "Queen of the Iron Stone Pits"
in the Westerwaldkreis
Pit Louise in 1890.
In the foreground: Barbaraschacht and loading facility. The Gerlach shaft can be seen in the background.
All b / w pictures from the picture archive: Jürgen Kalscheid, Willroth
The mine was first mentioned in 1771 when it was bought by Chur-Trier .
The Trier tunnel was excavated and the first colliery was built. Planning began in 1825 and construction of the Alvensleben tunnel in Burglahr began in 1836. With an annual advance of 41 m, construction lasted until 1864, then it reached the ore of the pit. The tunnel , which was driven 1546 m long with a gradient of 15 mm / m, was restored in 1987 and released as a visitor tunnel.
The mine changed hands several times, in 1803 it came to the Nassau-Weilburg house , from 1815 it belonged to the state of Prussia and it was during this period that it was given its name; it was named after Queen Louise of Prussia . In 1829 the workforce of the mine joined the “Siegen'sche District Knappschaftskasse”. In 1832 a new colliery was built at the mouth of the tunnel, and in 1834 an ore wash.
Shaft I was built in 1852, it had a clear width of 2.2 × 2.2 and a depth of 197 m. Krupp bought the pit in 1865. Shaft II or "Barbaraschacht" was sunk in 1875.
It had a cross-section of 2.2 × 4.4 m and a depth of 503 m. In 1877 a steam pump was installed. The shaft was put into operation in 1883.
In 1883 the company administration had a narrow-gauge railway , the "Krupp'sche Bahn", built in the direction of the Seifen train station. In 1889 a machine house was built on the “Barbaraschacht” and a steam reel was installed. An evangelical school was built in 1890 for the children of the evangelical mine officials.
In order to be able to transport the ores from the nearby Georg mine with the narrow-gauge railway for further processing, a cable car to the Georg mine was built in 1898–99.
In 1902, houses for Steiger and Obersteiger were built near the pit. On February 1, 1930, operations on the mine ceased. First brown stone was mined on the "Horhausen Gangzug", and with increasing depth also Spateisenstein. 400 members of the workforce extracted a total of 3.2 million t of iron ore.
The mine around 1902.
Photo taken in 1902. The workforce at the Louise mine.
The "Krupp'sche Bahn": The iron ore from the Louise mine was transported to Seifen station for further transport.
The "Krupp'sche Schule": This is where the children of the evangelical mine officials went to school.
"Not for school, but for life" was the motto!
A school class of the "Krupp School":
Course map of the Louise pit from 1910.
Seigerriss of the Louise pit. Made by Peter Penkert, Fröndenberg.
The Alvensleben tunnel: It had the function of removing the pit water from the entire mine complex and supplying it with fresh air. After more than 29 years of construction, the tunnel reached the ore vein in 1864, after a length of 1546 m. Today the tunnel serves as a visitor mine. Albert Schäfer from Willroth leads the mine tour.
Inside the tunnel: On the first meters of the tunnel, you can clearly see the scratches from flails and iron. From today's perspective, it is very difficult to understand how the miners worked under the conditions back then. At that time, the driving distance per day and shift was a maximum of 1 cm! The first drill holes for inserting explosive cartridges can be seen after 380 m.
The first laughter plaque was added in 1839 after about 32 laughter. 1 laugh means about 1.80 m long and was a mining unit. The laughing table consisted of a light Eifel tuff and was made in stone carving.
Magnificent red-brown manganese deposits grew on the tunnel walls over time. The rainwater that seeped through the mountains contained iron and manganese. This created these extraordinary structures. In principle it is nothing more than rust mud.
In some places where the mountains contained copper, such green and blue deposits could be deposited. From a chemical point of view, these are copper sulfates.
Mineralogical treasures from the Louise mine
Meter-large drusen in the Brauneisenstein ...
Text: by Norbert Stötzel, Siegen.
"The brown iron stone is always fissured and also contains a large number of drusen of various sizes distributed throughout its mass; their diameters vary from a few inches to 10 to 15 feet," HILT (1865) described the in the oxidation zone of the Louise pit conditions encountered.
The brown iron stone was often closely fused with quartz. The cavities in it were always lined with brown or black "glass heads" (goethite and manganese ores such as "psilomelan"), which formed the "most beautiful stalactites and stalagmites" (HILT lc). From a mineralogical point of view, the particularly beautiful "glass head" formations of the Goethite are interesting. And the older collections contain many variants of the brown iron stone: all kinds of cone, columnar, humpback and kidney-shaped aggregates. The lepidocrocite also formed extremely splendid steps, once in the form of almost perfectly spherical, reddish brown structures grown on brown iron stone with quartz and goethite and accompanied by "hydrohematite"; and on the other hand beautifully crystallized as "ruby glimmer". Together with the limonite, magnificent manganese minerals such as pyrolusite, manganite, "wad" or "psilomelan" were repeatedly found in the Louise mine: "Manganese ores are found quite frequently in the whole mass of brown iron stone, especially in the gland areas, both shell-like accompanying the walls, as well as stalactite, "wrote HILT (lc). Every now and then stalactic formations of "brown glass heads" occurred, which were completely covered with small, shiny "hydrohematite" spheres. Of course, the rhodochrosite from the Louise pit must also be presented here, which sits in particularly beautiful scalenohedral crystals in the drusen of the brown iron stone or which formed on a manganese-containing matrix. The few, but very high quality rhodochrosite from the Louise pit need not fear comparison with other Siegerland finds.
At the Gabeler Kopf, where the mighty ore vein of the Louise pit once emerged, you can still see the many pings in the forest today. This site has been sought out by mineral collectors for decades.
In the search for a beautiful glass head and lepidocrocite, each stone was turned over 2 times, as you can see very well here in the photo.
Bluish tarnished glass head. Step size: 10 x 6 cm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt, Drolshagen.
Psilomelan on limonite. Step size: 13 x 9 cm. Collection: Josef Dreier, Herdorf.
Rhodochrosite on limonite. Step size: 10 x 8 cm. Collection: Stefan Hucko, Wilnsdorf.
Psilomelan on a glass bowl. Step size: 14 x 12 cm. Collection: Josef Dreier, Herdorf.
Psilomelan. Step size: 12 x 7 cm. Collection: Josef Dreier, Herdorf.
Pyrolusite. Image width: 7 mm. Collection: Josef Dreier, Herdorf.
Rhodochrosite scalenohedron on limonite. Image width: 6.5 mm. Collection: Stefan Hucko, Wilnsdorf.
Rhodochrosite scalenohedron on limonite. Image width: 5.8 mm. Collection: Stefan Hucko, Wilnsdorf.
Red-brown lepidocrocite on limonite. Image width: 6 mm. Collection: Josef Dreier, Herdorf.
Copper on rhodochrosite. Small black knobs of an unknown manganese mineral sit on the copper sheet. Image width: 6 mm. Collection: Stefan Hucko, Wilnsdorf.
Limonite in the form of a "spider web". Image width: 3.6 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt, Drolshagen.
Hydrohematite. Image width: 4 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt, Drolshagen.
Hydrohematite. Image width: 3.8 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt, Drolshagen.
Hydrohematite. Image width: 1 mm. Collection: Matthias Reinhardt, Drolshagen.
Red-brown goethite stems. Image width: 10 mm. Collection: Dr. Eckhard Scholl, Kreuztal.
Mineral finds from the area of the passage means "Nöchelchen".
an important new find from the Louise mine
Text: by Markus Henrich, Kirchen.
During construction work in the area of the sports field in Güllesheim in the spring of 2012, very interesting finds of the classic phosphate and arsenate paragenesis from the duct "Nöchelchen" of the Louise pit came to light. In addition to small crystals of beudantite and carminite, the surprising discovery of the rare phosphate pattersonite, which was first described in 2005, was successful. The Louise pit is not only the second site in the world for this mineral, the steps are also among the best examples of this type.