Collecting localities visited on previous Club trips
Hickory Hill, near Fonda, New York, is a well-known locality where Herkimer diamonds may be collected. The Hickory Hill locality is open to collectors only during the Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day holiday weekends. Most of the collecting is either by exposing vugs and seams in exposed bedrock, requiring hammers, chisels, and pry bars, or in pits and along the ground at the base of outcrops, where shovels, trowels, and other garden-type digging tools, as well as screens, will be most useful.
Bush Farm, located southwest of Richville, New York, has produced terminated cinnamon brown fluor-uvite crystals from small workings for many years. Some of the fluor-uvite is associated with terminated white tremolite. Fluorapatite, white diopside, and calcite are also found. This site is open to collectors for a fee. Shovels, trowels, and other garden-type digging tools, as well as screens, will be most useful when working the old dumps. Additional areas of mineralization occur throughout the farm and require heavier equipment such as sledge hammers, chisels, and wedges to effectively explore them.
Rose Road, located south of East Pitcairn, New York, is best known for its terminated crystals of green diopside, albite, titanite, blue fluorapatite, and wollastonite, as well as more massive bluish-green calcite. More newly discovered workings contain terminated crystals of purple diopside, meionite, albite, and fluorapatite, some of which fluoresce under longwave and shortwave ultraviolet light. This site is open to collectors for a fee. Shovels, trowels, and other garden-type digging tools, as well as screens, will be most useful when digging through the dumps, while sledge hammers, chisels, and wedges will be needed to work ledges.
Folsom Gulch, located in Center Ossipee, New Hampshire, has produced smoky quartz and amethyst scepters, microcline, albite, fluorite, beryl, topaz, bertrandite micros, siderite, and goethite from pockets in the Conway granite. This site is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owner. Terrain is steep in places, making collecting at the best areas challenging. Sledge hammers, chisels, and wedges are necessary to open up pockets in ledges. Garden trowels and screens are useful when sifting through weathered granite on the ground.
Palermo Mine, located near North Groton, New Hampshire, is a world-renowned locality for rare phosphate minerals, many collectable only as micromounts. This old pegmatite locality, once one of the largest mica producers in the United States, contains nearly 150 different mineral species. Crystals of green beryl and quartz exceeding 12 inches in length have been found occasionally. This mine is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owners. Since much of the collecting is in pits and on dumps, shovels, trowels, and other garden-type digging tools, as well as screens, will be most useful. Collecting into bedrock underground requires hammers, chisels, and pry bars.
Barrus Farm, located in Goshen, Massachusetts, is a historic pegmatite collecting site that has recently been reopened to collectors following a three-year study and reworking of the area by a small team of mineral collectors. Clevelandite, tourmaline (elbaite, indicolite, and schorl), yellow muscovite, and quartz are abundant, with lesser spodumene, goshenite, pink muscovite, and morganite. This site is open to collectors only through prearranged club trips and not to individual collectors. Sledge hammers, smaller rock hammers, chisels, and wedges are necessary to break larger boulders, but tailings piles and soil are best explored with garden trowels and screens.
Hatch Quarry, located in Panton, Vermont, is well-known for producing the fossiliferous limestone decorative stone known as Panton stone. Ordovician brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, crinoid stems, gastropods, and rare trilobites have been found by collectors both in the main pit and along the higher ground north and south of the pit. Extraction of fossils from the hard limestone can be challenging. Collecting generally requires hammers, chisels, and pry bars. Collectors are urged to stay away from the precarious slopes at the top of the quarry. This active quarry is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owner.
Sharon concretion site is located near Sharon, Vermont and is a productive "family-friendly" collecting site. Individual gray to brown siltstone concretions ranging in size from the diameter of a penny to that of a golf ball are commonly found at the base of the steep slope excavated in this sand pit and in the terrace of fine sand that extends away from the slope. Larger concretions up to a foot long with an appearance of a lattice or Swiss cheese are less commonly found farther up the slope. Extended periods of rain expose new concretions and carry them down the slope. Simple digging tools, such as a garden trowel and small rake, are all that are needed; in fact, many concretions may be found just by picking them out of the sand with one's fingers. The concretions tend to scratch rather easily, so prized specimens are best wrapped before placing them in a bucket for transport. Collectors should wear rubber boots or sturdy shoes that they are willing to get muddy and wet, although sneakers might suffice during visits after extended dry periods.
Soter's gold panning site is located in Ludlow, Vermont and is a great spot for both beginning and seasoned panners. The site is open to collectors only with the prior permission of the owners. Collectors should bring a gold pan, one or two 5-gallon buckets to transport material to be panned, a shovel, and a small bottle (or 35-mm film canister) to hold the gold. The most efficient way to search for gold is to shovel gravel from an old dry stream bed into a bucket and transport it about 100 yards to an active stream. Collectors should wear waders, rubber boots, or sturdy shoes that they are willing to get wet, and long pants as a barrier against ticks and mosquitoes.