Friday, April 13, 2007

Vermont A Paradise For Rockhounds

For such a small geographical state, Vermont has a very complex bedrock geology. As such, a very diverse mineral and stone industry arose in Vermont as economic deposits were worked throughout the state. The sheer diversity of resources that have been extracted from within the earth in the Green Mountain state is astounding. The following is the best I can help with affixing a mineral resource to a certain geography. By no means is it all inclusive, but is helpful in finding your own samples.
Serpentine is supposedly a good luck rock. Found in Lowell, and Eden, Vermont, it is a dark green rock, sometimes called green marble or verde antique. It is related to the minerals that are found in asbestos, mined here beneath Belvidere Mountain. There are defunct copper mines in Corinth, Vermont. This was where a majority of the North’s copper came from during the civil war.
There is one farmers field in Barton, Vermont which yields amethyst crystals, but no one knows whose. Barre, Vermont is still known for its thriving granite industry. The Rock of Ages quarry is internationally known. Ludlow, Vermont is home to talc that they use to make Johnson and Johnson baby powder. 80% of J&J talcum powder is from Vermont. Plymouth, Vermont was the scene of a brief gold rush after the one in California. The farmers decided instead of prospecting they could make more money going back to being farmers. This town also has garnets in some bedrock. Garnets form 1600 feet straight down where there is greatly increased heat and pressure.
Proctor, Vermont is known for its white marble, which continues to be extracted today. Fair Haven and Castleton, Vermont have many slate deposits, especially around Lake Bomoseen. Button Bay State Park, in Vergennes, Vermont is famous for its clay concretions called “buttons” and fossils. Charlotte and Shelburne, Vermont have deposits of so-called Zebra Marble. Really a black slatey shale with white veins of calcite, sometimes called picture rocks. This is because of their tendency as the rock is worn over time to reveal “pictures”. All one needs is imagination, and time. Stowe, Vermont has a rock formation ironically called "stowe formation" that has huge inclusions of fools gold (iron pyrite) which is present in a graphitic phyllite. Colchester, Vermont is the home of our only Jasper mine. Red stone with metallic hematite in cracks and fissures throughout.
Milton, Vermont has Dolostone, which was quarried on the right of the last turn before the straightaway to Sandbar State Park. Most of the stone removed was used to fill the causeway between Milton and the Islands. South Hero, Vermont has fossils such as those at Lessors Quarry owned by UVM. Grand Isle, Vermont has an old railroad grade that goes through it where coal can be found where it fell off a rail car. Same for many other locales in Vermont.
Isle La Motte, Vermont is the home of the Fisk Quarry. This is where the black marble in radio city music hall comes from. Swanton, Vermont is home to a particular type of Red Dolostone commonly called red marble. The one and only quarry has been the subject of recent fraud activity.


Lyn said...

Do you know where the Jasper Mine is in Colchester? I would like to see it. I am a middle school rock hound.

Cheryl said...
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Rob Traquair "Mr. T." said...
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s.son said...

I live in Windham county and believe I have found an old mine of some variety on my property. Must date back to the 1800s at least. Does anyone know where to obtain historical records of mining activity in Vermont so I may be able to figure out what's there? Thanks!