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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mineral Collecting in Pennsylvania

I spent 10 years living in SW Pennsylvania in the late 80s and 90s. A high school friend and I made several trips to central and eastern PA mineral collecting.

Penn Minerals
is a site a nice list of collecting sites, some of which I visited between 1995-2002. As always, please secure permission before entering private land. Obvserve all state and federal regulations while on state and federal lands. Please be Responsible.

List of locations are be found here: link I am only including locations in this post, I personally visited.

ROSSVILLE ROAD CUT - about 1 mile north of Rossville, which is about 15 miles north of York on Rt. 74 - found in 1974 as part of a road expansion, azurite and malachite coatings on the hornfels have been a favorite to many collectors. To obtain these specimens some heavy hammering is now required as the "excavation" is now about 3 feet back into the road cut. Surprisingly, opal hyalite is found on some the hornfels, only seen under black light appearing as a pale green color. At the southern portion of this road cut micro-sized heulandite, stilbite and chabazite crystals can be found. Visited in 1997-98. Did find malachite coatings.

MUD LAKE/GRUBB LAKE, SILVER SPRINGS, LANCASTER CO. - located between Columbia and Mountville near lronville, an abandoned iron mine is now one of the most popular collecting sites for "iron geodes" or "bombs." Minerals identified from here are goethite, hematite, kaolinite, lepidocrocite, magnetite, pyrolusite and quartz. Grubb Lake can be accessed from Rt. 23 near Silver Springs. Turn south onto Hempfield Road and go around two right-angle turns. Turn right onto small stone driveway leading back to Grubb Lake. Park near fenced-in building. Best collecting is located to the south of the driveway across from the building on the mine dumps. Property is owned by Mountville Borough and permission must be obtained to collect here. Visited in 1997-98. Found Goethite.

VALLEY QUARRY - GETTYSBURG - has been a popular collecting site for years producing various copper minerals and zeolites. Although presently, zeolites have become somewhat rare, a nice suite of copper minerals are being found. Bornite, chalcocite, chrysocolla and a trace of native copper have been seen. Other species include epidote, andradite, chabazite, chalcopyrite, djurleite, stilbite and heulandite. Quarry is open for collecting to groups and clubs by appointment only. Contact the quarry superintendent (717) 334-3165. Quarry is located along Rt. 97, about 0.5 mile west of Rt. 15. Known also as the Teeter quarry. Visited this site numerous times. Found andradite garnets, stilbite, chabazite and heulandite.

MECKLEYS QUARRY - MANDATA, PA - Northumberland Co., - undoubtedly the best location in PA for celestine. Many pieces have removed from here with museum-quality crystals. Collecting for clubs by appointment only. Call Ted Keck 570-758-3340. There is an open house for all collectors the day after Winfield in September.
Visited this site in 1997. It is worth the trip on open house day.

CODORUS STONE CO. QUARRY - Emigsville - about 5 miles north of York - An active quarry working in the oldest carbonate unit in southeastern Pennsylvania, this quarry has produced a nice suite of micro minerals since about 1960. Larger crystals of calcite, fluorite and quartz have been collected. A total of 26 minerals occur here, but the collecting varies based on the workings of the quarry. Nice fluorite crystals were spotted as recent as July, 2000. A large chalcopyrite seam still produces massive specimens. Sphalerite, hematite, goethite, hydrozincite, malachite and pyrite are just some of the species identified. Quarry is located off of Mundis Race Road, about 1 mile northeast of Emigsville. Collecting is permitted on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, escorted by Jeri Jones. Jeri can be reached at JLJ276@aol.com. Visited site in 1998 with Jeri Jones. Found micro chalcopyrite and Sphalerite xls. Worth while site to visit.

CONSTITUTION - Rt. 851 on Maryland Line - in fields in the area are nice rutile crystals, many that are twinned together. Since site is located in cultivated fields, collecting can only be conducted during non-crop times. Rutile, garnet, kyanite, magnetite and gold have been panned from a small stream located on Gross Road. Permission must be granted from the owner. Stopped at this site but weather did not cooperate. Noted that several small streams in the area might be great source for rutile xls washed out of the farmers fields. I want to plan another trip here the potential seems very good.
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