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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Flint Collecting at Nethers Farm, Muskingum County, Ohio

The flint at the Nethers Farm is part of the  Vanport flint formation that is  Pennsylvanian in age and covers a ridge tops in an  area of about 6 square miles. The flint deposit ranges 1-12 feet thick. Flint Ridge flint is noted for its array of colors and suitability for lapidary and flint knapping. This flint was used various prehistoric peoples the Midwest.  Artifacts from this flint has been found across US from east coast to Missouri and north into Michigan.


Chert, flint and chalcedony are microcrystalline varieties of quartz. Chalcedony is the general term applied to fibrous varieties whereas flint and chert are granular varieties. Flint and chert resemble each other and there is no sharp distinction between them. However, dark, siliceous nodules, usually found in chalk, are called flint; whereas lighter colored bedded deposits are called chert. All three varieties of microcrystalline quartz exist on Flint Ridge.


The Nethers Farm is located at 3680 Flint Ridge Road, north of Hopewell, Ohio.





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Nethers Farm is located near the center of the flint deposit.  This site has long been open to "modern" rockhounds. For a mere $5.00 collecting fee, you can take home all the rock you can carry for only 50 cents per pound. All one needs to do to collect there is show up on any given day - advanced notice or a reservation is not necessary. The side porch is left open and the directions on how and where to collect and pay your fees are left hanging next to the inside door above a large scale.


When you're done collecting, you must visit the side porch to weigh your rocks, calculate your total fee ($5 plus 50-cents per pound of rock). The money is to be put in a furnished envelope and slipped under the inside door. If nobody is around to collect your fee, this works on the honor system, so be please be honorable should you decide to visit the Nethers Farm.


The two-track dirt road leading to the collecting area is directly across the street from the farm.


PLEASE NOTE: this post does not imply permission to collect flint at the Nethers Farm.  Please inquire before collecting!  This is rare that a collecting site has remained open to the public all these years. 


Two very good articles on the Vanport Flint at the Nethers Farm are:


Nethers Farm, Flint Ridge Rockhounding Muskingum County, Ohio 
September 27, 2010 by Mike Streeter (mcstreeter@charter.net)


Flint Ridge by James St. John,  OSU-Newark Geology




Photos from http://mcrocks.com/ftr10-1/StreeterSeptember2010.html

 Photos from http://www1.newark.ohio-state.edu/Professional/OSU/Faculty/jstjohn/Flint-Ridge/Flint-Ridge.htm






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