Where should I start? The 10 day August trip to Thunder Bay and back again was a blast. We all returned with enough minerals and memories to last through the winter (or at least until our trip to the Adirondacks in September!).
But first and foremost: Just as the 1959 stamp Issue in the header was a joint issue of the USA and Canada, this trip was a two country trip with WCGMC and the Niagara Peninsula Geological Society (NPGS) of St. Catharine’s, Ontario. Those of us from WCGMC thank NPGS for allowing us to join them, and in particular to their field trip leader Ashley Pollock, who planned the itinerary and set up the many visits requiring permission and outside leadership.
After 3 nights in Cobalt (see August WCGMC newsletter), we headed to Eganville in search of more collecting adventure.
Although the primary objective of our trek back to the Grenville Province was minerals, our first stop was at a limestone quarry where large cephalopods and coral could be found. The Haley Quarry, 8 miles southeast of Eganville, exposes the Lindsey and Verulam Formations of the Upper Ordovician Ottawa Group which are known for their large cephalopods, some of which are exposed in nearby Bonnecherre caves.
During the third week in July, seven WCGMC members spent 7 days and 6 nights collecting in Ontario. The first three days in Cobalt, Ontario are summarized here. Part 2, three days near Eganville, will be reviewed in a subsequent entry. Modified from August, 2015 WCGMC newsletter article.
From its discovery in 1903 until around 1920, Cobalt, Ontario was a hotbed of silver mining and the center of Ontario’s economic mining industry as over 10,000 inhabitants opened more than 100 mines in search of silver. Over 100 years later, and for 2 days in July, 2015, seven eager rockhounds from WCGMC followed in the old timers footsteps.
A typical scene from Cobalt: Remains from the Crown Reserve Mine in the foreground, and mine dumps from the Kerr Lake Mine across the lake.
Article I wrote for WCGMC News in Oct., 2014
Four of us (Linda Schmidtgall, Bill Chapman, Ken St. John, Fred Haynes) decided one summer trip to eastern Ontario was simply not enough and we returned for 4 days in early September. The highlight was a return to the Miller Property in Eganville, but we managed to squeeze three other sites into the trip, including a pair of lesser known sites in the Bancroft Chamber of Commerce 2013 collecting book.
We started with a visit to the well known Beryl Pit in Quadeville. Fred had visited with the Rochester Club in July and since that time the owners (Dave and Renee Paterson) had excavated a significant amount of material in the floor of the pegmatite quarry and piled it outside the quarry. This made for easy pickings for beryl, quartz, tourmaline (var. schorl), cleavlandite, albite, perthite, fluorite, and euxenite. We later learned that we may have taken more than our limit on that last one. Keep reading to learn why!
Article I wrote for August, 2014 WCGMC News
Amphiboles, Apatites, and a Whole Lot More
Wonderful weather and a glorious suite of minerals greeted the eleven WCGMC members who spent 5 days and 4 July nights camping and collecting in the Bancroft, Ontario area.
The group did not let moss grown under their collecting feet. After setting up camp on Monday afternoon, it was off to the Graphite Road outcrop north of town for tremolite and biotite and our first set of mosquito bites. As a small and readily accessible roadcut listed in the 2013 Bancroft Chamber of Commerce collecting site book, this site is heavily visited, but we still found it worthy of an hour or two of dedicated digging and collecting and quite a few pounds of tremolite and biotite went back to the campsite for cleaning and packing. Back at the campsite we enjoyed Eva Jane’s chicken casserole and dreamed of the huge apatites and titanites to come.
A small, but hardy group of five Rochester Academy of Science mineral enthusiasts spent their Memorial Day weekend collecting minerals and mosquito bites in the Bancroft District of Ontario, the self-proclaimed mineral capital of Canada. Dick and Jeanne Phillips, Mario and Debbie Errico, and me made the 5 hour trip around Lake Ontario to Wilberforce and Bancroft for a whirlwind 3 days of rockhounding in the famous district. Dick led the group to 8 separate sites, including a night dig with black lights at the CN rock pile right in Bancroft.