A September field trip to several of our favorite sites in St. Lawrence County has become a WCGMC tradition the past several years and 2017 was no exception. We collected at Benson Mines, Rose Road, Powers Farm and other sites along the way. But this year we also returned to a site we had not visited in several years. We sought tourmaline and tremolite at Bush Farm on Welch Road in Gouverneur.
In the July issue of WCGMC News, one of the club’s long time members offers his memories of a favorite site and a favorite mineral. Ken Rowe, and his wife Rocky, have been club members for over 30 years.
This is a brief reminiscence about my collecting at the Gouverneur Talc Mine and the Zinc Corporation of America Mine in Balmat, New York in the late 1980’s. We began about 1980, when my wife and I were fairly new members of the WCGM Club. We were guided by Jim and Marion Wheaton, the founding members of WCGMC. At that time the Balmat site was an underground mine for zinc.
Just before our visit to the Gouverneur Talc Mine a cave-in had led to a partial collapse to highway 812 and repairs to the road required just about all the available tailings to fill in the damage to the road. Upon arrival at the mine we were very disappointed because we were expecting some good specimens of hexagonite. All we found were a few forgotten boulders around the perimeter of the site, so we (about 10-12 persons) made the best of it. Can you imagine all the hexagonite buried now beneath the road! Continue reading Balmat Hexagonite
Occupying an east-west ridge just south and parallel to Selleck Road in West Pierrepont this location has been collected for decades. The main part of the ridge is on state land and accessible without much walking, thereby adding to the popularity of the site. Tremolite is everywhere, tourmaline (v. uvite) is much more localized along the ridge. Both the light green tremolite and the uvite is typically etched and non-gemmy, however isolated pockets of very gemmy material has been found.
A friendly local mineral collector shared a new site with Dick and Jeanne Phillips and Fred Haynes during the St. Lawrence County show in Madrid, NY in August. Apparently, Wildwood Road east of Colton, NY was not draining well and the county decided to level the ground on both sides of the road to improve runoff. In doing so they exposed bright white marble outcrops that were cut by zones of orange calcite, light green serpentinite and green tremolite. And right on the road !