Mount Hope Historical County Park was once a booming iron mining and processing site that lies within the Highlands Physiographic Province (which is a narrow band of very old, hard, diverse rock containing deposits of various minerals). Three separate veins were previously mined at this Park that contain the remains of the Teabo, Allen, and Richard Mine properties.
Early settlers began mining iron ore at Mount Hope around 1710 and, except for brief periods, the mines were continuously worked for over 250 years. By the 1880s, mine operations began to decrease production levels, due to the rise of mining in the Mid-West, eventually closing during the Depression. Briefly, the mines re-opened due to demand of iron ore for World War 2. The New Leonard complex was constructed in 1942-43 and by 1950, Mount Hope under Shamoon Industries had surpassed all other New Jersey mines in the total production of iron ore. In 1959, the demand for ore fell once again and the mine closed.
Located within the Park is the Mount Hope Miners Church. The church, dedicated in 1868, was built in the Vernacular Italian style and enlarged in the early 20th century. It was constructed by the Mt. Hope Mining Company “for the benefit of any society of Christians that might desire to worship in it.” Originally serving the area’s many Cornish immigrant miners, it closed in 1984 when the congregation dwindled to fewer than 20 families.
The first parcel of land was acquired by the Morris County Park Commission in 1991, with additional acreage added in subsequent years.