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Norfh Carolina State Library 



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Assistant Geologist. 

M. I. & J. C. Stewart, Public Printers. 







Letter of Transmittal 5 

Brief Description of the Mineral 6 

Historical Sketch and Nomenclature 6 

Crystallography 10 

Morphological 10 

Physical 12 

Optical 13 

Chemical Composition '. 14 

Composition and analyses 14 

Method of analysis 21 

Chemical and blowpipe reactions 22 

Micro-chemical reactions 23 

Spectroscopic tests 23 

Chemical molecular constitution 24 

Artificial production 25 

Geological and Geographical Occurrence. 25 

Accessory minerals , 30 

Economical Use 30 

Methods of Extraction and Concentration 31 

Output and Value of Monazite in the United States 35 

Bibliography 38 

Index 44 


Plate I. Prospecting for and mining monazite sand Frontispiece 

" II. Map, showing workable monazite area in the Carolinas... 28 
" III. Washing stream gravel for monazite, Lattimore mine, 

Cleveland county, N. C 30 

" IV. Mining and washing gravel beds for monazite, Lattimore 

mine, Cleveland county, N. C 33 

V. Mining and washing hillside soil for monazite, Pheifer 

mine, Cleveland county, N. C 34 



Raleigh, N. C, June 1st, 1895. 

To His Excellency, Hon. Elias Carr, 

Governor of Worth Carolina. 
Sir : — I have the honor to submit for publication as Bulletin 9 
of the Geological Survey, a preliminary report on Monazite and 
Monazite Deposits in North Carolina, by Mr. Henry B. C. Nitze. 
The publication of this bulletin will serve as an answer to the 
many enquiries received by the Survey for information on this 


Yours obediently, 

J. A. Holmes, 

State Geologist. 


By H. B. C. JSIitze. 


Monazite is essentially an anhydrous phosphate of the rare 
earths cerium, lanthanum, and didymium ( Ce, La, Di ), P0 4 . It 
also contains, almost invariably, small percentages of thoria (Th0 2 ) 
and silicic acid ( Si0 2 ), which may be present in combination as 
thorite or orangite ( ThSiOJ, or the thoria may exist as the phos- 
phate, either in combination with the cerium, etc., or as an isomor- 
phous mixture. Other occasional accessory constituents are the 
yttrium and erbium earths, zirconia, alumina, magnesia, lime, iron 
oxides ( Fe 2 3 and FeO ), manganous oxide, tin and lead oxides, 
fluorine, titanic acid, and water, usually in fractional percentages. 

It is a subtranslucent to subtransparent mineral, light yellow, 
reddish yellow, brownish, or greenish in color, and has a resinous 
luster. It is brittle with conchoidal to uneven fracture. Its hard- 
ness is from 5 to 5.5, and its specific gravity from 4.9 to 5.3. It 
crystallizes in the monoclinic system. 


The following names have been applied to the mineral by inde- 
pendent discoverers and workers : Turnerite, monazite, mengite, 
edwardsite, eremite, cryptolite, monazitoid, phosphocerite, urdite, 
and kararfveite. It was not long, however, before the identity of 
these newly described mineral species was recognized, and at the 
present time the general name in use is monazite. 

The name "turnerite " was given in 1823 by A. Levy 1 in honor 
of the English chemist, E. II. Turner, in whose collection the first 
specimens were found. The locality of these was Dauphiny. They 
had been classed as sphene, on account of their color, accompani- 

!The Annals of Philosophy, London, 1823, vol. 5, p. 841. 


ment ( adularia and lamellary crichtonite ), and the locality ; but 
Levy found their hardness to be less than that of sphene, and a 
good cleavage in one direction. He gives as the primary crystal- 
lographic form an oblique rhombic prism with differment dimen- 
sions from that of sphene. G. vom Rath 1 has also called attention 
to the fact that titanite ( sphene ) may be confounded with tunerite 
from general resemblance. In the fifth edition of his Mineralogy 
(American edition, Boston, 1844) Phillips says that monazite is 
occasionally known among mineralogists under the name of " pic- 
tite," which is one of the early names for titanite, with which it 
was doubtless confounded. 

The date 1823, then, may be taken as that of the earliest recog- 
nition of a new mineral species which was later shown to be iden- 
tical with monazite. Thus, in 1866, J. D. Dana 2 demonstrated 
the identity between turnerite and monazite by similarity of crys- 
tal form and physical properties. No chemical examination of 
turnerite had yet been made at that time. In 1870 this was sub- 
stantiated by G. vom Rath, 3 and although he recognized the priority 
of Levy's name, turnerite, he did not feel justified in abandoning 
the name monazite, inasmuch as the latter belonged to a chemi- 
cally as well as a crystallographically known mineral, while the 
composition of turnerite was not yet so well known. In 1873 Des 
Cloizeaux, 4 by the orientation of the optical axes, and Pisani, 4 by 
the chemical determination of P 2 5 and Ce 2 3 , concluded that 
monazite and turnerite were the same species. In 1876 Trechmann 5 
showed that the optical properties of turnerite and monazite were 
the same. In 1826 Menge discovered some crystals in the Ilmen 
mountains, near Miask, Siberia, which he held for a variety of 
zircon. Fiedler 6 gives the more exact locality of these specimens 
as being not in the Ilmen mountains proper, but in their southern 
extension, in the so-called Tscheremtchanka. The first scientific 
description of these was given by Breithaupt 7 in 1829. He gave it 
the name, "monazite" ( monazit, monacite), from the Greek ? 

iPoggendorff, Annalen, 1864, vol. 122, p. 407. 
2 Am. Jour. Sci. vol. 42, 1866, p. 420. 

spoggendorff, Annalen, Erg.- Ed. 5, 1871: p. 413; Sitzungsber. Bayer. Akad. Wiss., 1S70, 
vol. 2, p. 271. 
^Zeitscher. Deutscher. geol. Gesell., Berlin, vol. 25, 1873, p. 568. 
5 Xeues Jahrbuch, 1876, p. 593. 
epoggendorff, Annalen, 1832, vol. 25, p. 332. 
7 Schweigger-Seidel, Journal der Chenrie u. Physik, 1829, vol. 55, part 3, p. 301 


meaning " to be solitary." In 1831 H. J. Brooke 1 , in describing 
specimens from Menge's locality in the Urals, gave the name men- 
gite, in honor of the discoverer. 

Prof. C. U. Shepard 2 in 1837 gave a description of " edwardsite," 
a new mineral from Norwich, Connecticut, which he named in 
honor of the governor of the State. Later in the year 3 he 
described another new mineral from Watertown, Connecticut, 
under the name of " eremite," after the Greek, meaning " soli- 
tude," but he did not then recognize its identity with edwardsite. 
Prof. J. D. Dana published in 1838 his crystallographic measure- 
ments of eremite, which agree with those of monazite. 4 In 1840 
Gustav Rose 5 proved the identity, crystallographically and physi- 
cally, of edwardsite and monazite. And in the second edition of 
his Mineralogy (1814) Shepard places both edwardsite and eremite 
under the head of monazite. 

In 1842 Rose 6 gave a detailed description of the Russian mona- 

Woehler, 7 in 1846, discovered some small needle-like crystals 
invisibly included in the apatite of Arendal, Norway. They were 
of a pale-yellow color, specific gravity approximately 4.6, and, accord- 
ing to analysis, were composed of phosphate of cerium, but contained 
no thoria, and in this he distinguished the mineral from monazite, 
calling it "cryptolite," from the Greek, meaning "concealed." 
Although the forms of these crystals are different in appearance 
from that of ordinary monazite, Mallard, 8 in 1887, by careful gonio- 
metric measurements, established the identity of the two minerals. 

Hermann, 9 in 1847, applied the name "monazitoid" to certain 
brown colored bent and broken crystals, of the specific gravity 5.28, 
from Lake Ilmen, near Miask, which contain less phosphoric acid 
(only 18.7) than monazite, besides some tantalic acid (3.75 to 6.27 
per cent). Kokscharow 10 believed that monazitoid was simply impure 

iPoggendorff, Annalen, 1831, vol. 23, p. 362; Philos. Mag. and Annals, vol. 10, p. 187. 

2 Am. Jour. Sci. (1), 1837, vol. 32, p. 162; Poggendorfl, Annalen, 1838, vol. 43, p. 148. 

3 Am. Jour. Sci. (1), 1837, vol. 32, p. 341. 

4 Am. Jour. Sci. (1), vol. 33, 1838. p. 70. 

5 Poggendorff, Annalen, 1840, vol. 49, p. 223. 

6 Reise nach dem Ural und Altai, voJ. 2, p. 87 and 482, Berlin, 1812. 

^Poggendorff, Annalen, 1846, vol. 67, p. 424. 

8 Bull. Soc. Min., 1887, vol. 10, p. 236. 

9 Jour. prakt. Chemie, vol. 40, 1847, p. 21; Annuaire de Chemie, 1848, pp. 14'i. 

10 Materialien zur Mineralogie Russlands, vol. 4, 1862, pp. 7-34. 



monazite, the tantalic acid haying been derived from columbite and 
samarskite, with which the crystals are intergrown. 

Blomstrand 1 analyzed specimens from probably the same locality 
as Hermann's monazitoid, but found no tantalic acid. 

In 1850 Watts 2 described a new mineral occurring in the cobalt 
ore of Johannisberg, Sweden, which he showed to be a phosphate 
of cerium (including lanthanum and didymium). He proposed the 
name "phospho-cerite." Its physical and chemical characters iden- 
tify it beyond doubt with monazite. 

Forbes and Dahll, 3 in 1855, described a mineral occurring in the 
granite of Urda, near Notero, Norway, under the name of "urdite," 
which E. Zschau 4 determined to be monazite. 

F. Radominski, 5 in 1874, found a mineral inclosed in albite at 
Kararfvet, near Falun, Sweden, which resembled monazite, but on 
analysis was found to contain a notable quantity of fluorine (4.35 
per cent), and for that reason he proposed to class it as a separate 
species under the name "kararfveite." Blomstrand 6 made an analy- 
sis of specimens from the same locality, and found only 0.33 per 
cent, fluorine. He concluded that it was but an impure form of 



The primary form of monazite and its equivalents, turnerite, 
edwardsite, and mengite, was early stated to be the oblique rhom- 
bic prism of the monoclinic system. The crystallographic studies 
of the mineral by Koksharow, Des Cloizeaux, Websky, Dana, Tom 
Rath, and others have shown the occurrence of the following forms: 

^eitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 20, 1892, p. 367, Lunds Universitets Arskrift, 1888 (24). 
2 Quart. Jour. Chem. Soc. London, 1850, vol. 2, p. 131. 

Xyt Mag. Naturvidenskaberne, vol. 8, 1855, p. 227; Am. Jour. Sci., vol. 22, 1856, p. 262 
4 Allg. deutsche naturh. Zeitung, Dresden, 1857, p. 208; Am. Jour. Sci„ II, vol. 25, 1858 p 410 
5 Compt. Rend., 1874, vol. 78, p. 764. 

,; Zeitsch. fur Kryst. vol. 19, 1891, p. 109; Geol. Foreningens Forhandl. Stockholm, 1889. vol 
2, p. 174. 



Observed forms of monazite. 







+ Poo 

+ P 



_ Po^ 

— P 



— 7Pco 






+ Pa 





+2P 3 
— 2P 3 

Of these, the more common forms are the ortho- and clino-pina- 
coids and domes, the unit prism, and the unit pyramids. The basal 
pinacoid is rare, having been observed only on crystals from the 
Urals 1 and from Alexander County, N. C. 2 

Among the rarer forms are: — |P~ol> found by Trechmann on tur- 
nerite from the Einnenthal, Switzerland; — TP^o and — ^P, found 
by Miers in Cornwall; and i-P^oo, on crystals from Nil St. Yincent, 
Belgium, and western Siberia. 

The usual crystal habit is tabular, parallel to 00 P~ob; also short 
columnar, and sometimes elongated parallel to 00 P. Cryptolite 
occurs always in very small crystals, elongated parallel to x> P. 
The crystals are usually well developed and free from distortion. 
They vary in size from the microscopic needles of cryptolite, w r hich 
have a thickness of .004 to .016 mm. (0.00015 to 0.00062 inch), to 
the abnormally large monazite crystals that have been found in 
Amelia County, Va., 5 inches in length. The more general varia- 
tion lies between one twentieth and 1 inch. Irregular masses of 
monazite, devoid of crystal planes, as large as 15 to 20 pounds, have 
been found in Amelia County, Ya., and in rounded masses up to 
12| pounds at the Yilleneuve mica mine in Ottawa County, Quebec. 

Twins are not common. The twinning plane is parallel to 00 P ^5; 
als.o to oP (Zirkel, Yol. I, p. 432.) Twins are sometimes cruci- 

1 N. von Koksharow, Materialien zur Mineralogie Russlands, vol. 4, 1862, pp. 7-34. 
2 G. von Rath, Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 13, 1888, p. 596. 



The axial ratio has been determined on specimens from different 
localities, as follows: 

Axial ratios of monazite from various localities. 








o / 

103 46 




103 46 




103 28 




103 26^ 




103 40 




103 37 




103 42 



Watertown, Conn, (eremite) J. D. Dana. 

Ural Mountains, Sanarka Koksharow. 

Laacher See (turnerite) Vom Rath. 

Hiddenite mine, N. C. Do. 

Milhollands Mill, N. C E. S. Dana. 

Schiittenhofen, Bohemia j Scharizer. 

Nil St. Vincent Franck. 

Some of the principal angular measurements are: 
Angular measurements of monazite. 



ooPoo A oP 



O / •/ 

o • // 

O / '/ 

O ' s/ 

o • s, 

43 25 

76 14 

39 20 

43 18 30 

37 11 

76 14 

59 37 

39 03 

43 12 30 

37 12 30 

76 32 

59 42 30 

39 20 30 

43 17 10 

37 07 40 

76 20 

59 40 

39 12 30 

43 25 

37 03 

76 23 

59 36 

39 20 





Ural Mountains, 

Laacher See (tur- 

Milhollands Mill, 
N. C 

Schiitten h o f e n , 

J. D. Dana. 

Vom Rath. 
E. S. Dana. 



The cleavage is most perfectly developed parallel to the basal 
pinacoid (oP.); it is also distinct as a rule parallel to oo P^o ; some- 
times parallel to ooPoo , imperfect; parallel to — Poo (noticed by 
Vom Path on turnerite from Laacher See 1 ). Parting is sometimes 
developed parallel to oP and oo P. It is brittle with a conchoidal 
to uneven fracture. The hardness is 5 to 5.5. The specific gravity 
varies from 4.64 to 5.3. The luster is resinous to waxy. The crystal 
faces are splendent in fresh, pnre specimens; dull in weathered, im- 
pure specimens. The color is honey yellow, yellowish brown, amber 
brown, reddish brown, brown or greenish yellow. Derby 2 describes 
specimens of lusterless, whitish grains in muscovite granite of Sao 
Paulo, Brazil, which he proved to be cerium phosphate. 

iPoggendorff, Annalen, 1871, Erg.-Bd. 5, p. 413; Sitzungsber. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. 1870, vol- 
2, p. 271. 
2 Am. Jour. Sci. (3), vol. 37, 1889, pp. 109-114. 



The monazitoid of Hermann is of a dark-brown color, due to 
impurities. In weathered specimens of impure monazite the sur- 
face is rough, dull, and sometimes covered with a light-brown earthy 

The purest specimens of mon azite are transparent, becoming trans- 
lucent and even totally opaque in the impure varieties. 

It is frequently difficult to distinguish monazite, in fine grains, 
from certain other minerals by the uninitiated eye. Some varieties 
of yellowish-brown quartz are quite easily confounded with mona- 
zite; so also, at times, sphene, zircon, epidote, corundum, etc. For 
the benefit of the unscientific prospector it may be stated that the 
chief macroscopic distinctions are those of color, hardness, and speci- 
fic gravity. The color is usually yellowish, inclined to reddish, 
brownish, or more rarely greenish tints. The fresh unaltered grains 
are transparent or translucent. The larger crystals are frequently 
dull in luster and opaque. 

The hardness is from 5 to 5.5, between that of apatite and ortho- 
clase (feldspar). Thus it can be scratched by a fragment of ordi- 
nary feldspar, (hardness 6) or quartz (hardness 7). The hardness of 
sphene is 5 to 5.5, of zircon T.5, of epidote 6 to 7, of corundum 9. 
The specific gravity of monazite is 4.64 to 5.3; that of quartz is only 
2.6, of sphene 3.5, of zircon 4.7, of epidote 3.25 to 3.5, of corundum 
3.95 to 4.10. 


Thin sections, by transmitted light, are colorless to yellowish. 
Pleochroism is generally scarcely noticeable. Absorption b > C = a. 
The plane of the optic axes is perpendicular to the plane of sym- 
metry qo P"oo. The positive acute bisectrix lies in the obtuse angle 
/?; hence sections parallel to oP show the full interference figure. 
Optical measurements of monazite. 


c Ac=l 

3 00 
3 46 
5 54 


(Turnerite) Tavetsch, Switzerland 

Arendai, Norway 

Norwich, Connecticut 

Schiittenhofen, Bohemia 

Measured by 



Des Cloizeaux. 





The opitcal angle is small; various measurements give: 
Optical measurements of monazite. 

2 E(red) 




2 V (yel- 


Localities, etc. 

o / 

29 04 

o / 

o / 

28 48 
31 43 \ 

o / 

o / 


P> v 

Norwich, Conn., Des Cloi- 
Sibera, Des Cloizeaux. 

31 08i 

25 22 

24 56 

28 25 

12 44 
14 29 

Schuttenhof en, Bohemia, 

Pisek, Bohemia, Vrba. 

29 07 

14 50 

34 12 


Turnerite, Tavetsch, 


The dispersion is weak and horizontal. The single refraction ii 
high; double refraction considerable. 

Optical measurements. 






(3 — a 

Localities, etc. 




Schiittenhofen, Bohe- 






mia, Scharizer. 
Arendal, ISTorway, E. 



The earlier discoverers had very little knowledge of the true 
chemical composition of monazite. Breithaupt, 1 in 1829, concluded 
from the high specific gravity of the Siberian monazite that it was 
a metallic oxide or acid in combination with some of the earths. 
Shepard 2 stated in 1835 that monazite was inferred to consist of 
the oxide of uranium with some one or more of the earths (accord- 
ing to blowpipe tests of Breithaupt). At the same time turnerite, 
according to blowpipe experiments of Mr. Children, was supposed 
to contain chiefly A1 2 3 , CaO, MgO, and a little iron, with traces 
of Si0 2 . In 1837 Shepard published an analysis of his edwardsite (see 
table, anal. No. 29, p. 19), in which he first pointed out the existence 
of cerium. He deduced the relationship P 2 5 : CeO=l: 1 J, making 

^chweigger— Seidel, vol. 55, 1829. 

-Treatise on Mineralogy, 1st edition; vol. 2, 1835. 


the mineral a basic sesqui-phosphate of cerium protoxide. He also 
found 7.77 per cent Zr0 2 , but it is doubtful whether this is an origi- 
nal constituent; more probably it may be referred to the presence 
of the mineral zircon as an impurity in the sample, which is an 
almost constant accompaniment of monazite. He found further, 
A1 2 3 , Si0 2 , FeO, MgO, and a trace of glucina. 

Kersten, 1 in 1839, analyzed the specimens from the Ural Moun- 
tains, previously determined by Breithaupt to be a combination of 
uranium oxide with some of the earths, but found no trace of uran- 
ium. He did find it to be essentially a phosphate of cerium and 
lanthanum oxides, and was the first to show the presence of La 2 3 , 
Th0 2 , Sn0 2 , MnO, CaO, and traces of Ti0 2 , and K 2 0. (See table, 
anal. No. 20, p. 18.) 

In 1846 Woehler 2 published an analysis of cryptolite from Aren- 
dal, Norway, determining it to be a phosphate of cerium oxide. 
(See table, anal. No. 21, p. 18.) He could find neither Zr0 2 nor Th0 2 , 
from which he concluded that the absence of Th0 2 distinguished 
cryptolite from monazite and ed ward site. 

In 1847 Hermann 3 came to the conclusion that monazite was the 
neutral phosphate of cerium, in which a large part of the cerium 
was replaced by lanthanum and a small part by CaO, MgO, and 
MnO in the varieties of lighter specific gravity, while the heavier 
varieties (sp. gr. 5.281) contained less P 2 5 , and a large part of the 
stannic acid was replaced by tantalic acid (Ta 2 5 ). (See table, 
anal. No. 17, p. 1 8.) This variety he called monazitoid, which occurs 
at Lake Ilmen, near Miask, Siberia. It is of a dark-brown color as dis- 
tinguished from the lighter color of monazite. At first Hermann 
denied the presence of thoria in monazite and monazitoid, but later 
he found as high as 32.44 per cent Th0 2 in a specimen 5 . (See table, 
anal. No. 19, p. 1 8.) Monazite and monazitoid, he says, have the same 
form, and are therefore heteromeric, having different composition. 
Like all heteromeric minerals they show a tendency to mix, and thus 
give a series with slight difference in specific gravity. Koksharow 4 
believed that monazitoid was simply an impure variety of monazite, 

iPoggendorff, Annalen, vol. 47, 1839, p. 385. 

2 Poggendorff, Annalen, vol. 67, 1846, p. 424. 

3 Jour. prakt. Chemie, vol. 40. 1847, p. 21. 

4 Materialien zur Mineralojiie Russlauds, vol. 4, 1892, pp. 7-34. 

5 It is highly probable that the greater part of this w as lanthanum. 



where the tantalic acid was derived from columbite and samarskite, 
in which the crystals of monazitoid were intergrown, and this 
appears most probable. Blomstrand 1 , in his analysis of specimens 
from the Ilmen Mountains (same locality as Hermann's monazitoid), 
found 16.64 per cent Th0 2 , but no tantalic acid. (See table, anal. 
No. 15, p. 18.) 

In 1850 Watts 2 published an analysis of his phosphocerite, which 
he determined to be a phosphate of cerium protoxide, including 
lanthanum and didymium. 

Websky, 3 in 1865, in making blowpipe tests on monazite from 
the Riesengebirge, found cerium, phosphoric acid, and titanic iron; 
the latter, however, must have been an impurity in the powder, 
probably from the ilmenite, which is mentioned as occurring as an 
associated mineral in this locality. 

Radominsky's variety of monazite, kararfveite, from Sweden, was 
found by him to contaiu 4.33 per cent fluorine 4 . (See table, anal. No. 
16, p. 18.) Blomstrand's analysis of a specimen from the same local- 
ity showed only 0.33 per cent fluorine. (See table, anal. No. 11, 
p. IT,) and he concluded that the so-called kararfveite was simply an 
impure variety of monazite. 

Scharizer 5 first pointed out, in 1887, the presence of an element 
of the erbium group in the monazite from Schiittenhofen, Bohemia. 
His determination was made on a thin section by means of a spec- 
troscopic attachment to the microscope. 

Genth, 6 in 1889, published an analysis of monazite from the Yille- 
neuve mica mine in Canada, in which he determined 4.76 per cent 
of (Y, Er) 2 3 . (See table, analysis No. 37, p 20.) 

Blomstrand, 7 in 1889, also showed the presence of yttrium in the 
monazite from southern Norway; and he first pointed out here the 
presence of lead oxide. 

Below is given a table containing a number of analyses of mona- 
zite from various localities, with references: 

iZeltschr. fur Kryst., vol. 20, 1892, p. 367. 
2 Quart. Jour. Chem. Soc. London, vol. 2, U-50, p. 131. 
-Zeitsehr, Deutsch geol. Gesell., Berlin, vol. 17, 18<>5, p. 567. 
*Compte Rendu, vol. 78, 1874, p 764. 
5 Zeitschr. liir Krvst, vol. 12, 1887. p. 255. 

GAm. Jour. Sci., vol. 38, 188'.*, p. 203; Zeitschr, fur Kryst., vol. 19. 1891, p. 88. 
7 Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 15, 1889, p. 99; Geol. FSreningens, Forhandl., Stockholm, vol. 9, 
1887, p. 160. 











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Below are given the thoria contents of a number of samples 
from North Carolina, which were analyzed for the writer by Dr. 
Charles Baskerville, assistant chemist of the North Carolina geo- 
logical survey. These analyses are not made on the pure mineral, 
but on the commercial monazite sand, which contains up to about 
67 per cent, monazite, the remainder being quartz, garnet, zircon, 
and other accessory minerals. 

Thoria contents of North Carolina monazite sand. 
[Per cent.] 










Th0 2 










Th0 2 . 









5.19 5.87 







1.93 3.40 

1. Bennett's Mill, Silver Creek, Burke Coun- 


2. Northeast side Brindle Ridge, Burke 


3. White Bank gold mine, Burke County. 

4. Ball's Creek, at Morganton road cross- 

ing, Burke County. 

5. Bailey's Creek, 3 miles southwest of Glen 

Alpine Station, Burke County. 

6. Linebacher place, Silver Creek, Burke 


7. Mac Lewrath place, Silver Creek, Burke 


8. East fork of Satterfield Creek, Burke 


9. Mac Lewrath Branch, McDowell County. 

10. Bracket- town, South Muddy Creek, Mc- 

Dowell County. 

11. Long Branch, McDowell County. 

12. Alexander Branch, McDowell County. 

13. Daniel Peeler's farm near Bellwood, 

Cleveland County. 

14. Proctor's farm, near Bellwood, Cleve- 

land County. 

15. Wade McCurd's farm, Carpenter's Knob, 

Cleveland County. 

16. Tailings from No. 15. 
Henrietta, Rutherford County. 

18. Fallston, Cleveland County. 


The method of analysis employed by Dr. Baskerville is given 
below in his own words 1 . He claims only " approximate results, 
and absolute accuracy cannot be vouched for." It is substantially 
the same as Prof. S. L. Penfleld's method 2 with a few modifica- 

The pulverized sand, 2 grams, is weighed into a small flask 
holding about 100 c. c; 10 c. c. H 2 S0 4 (1 :1) are added, and the 
whole cooked on a sand bath with frequent agitation, until the 

r From a letter to the writer, March, 1895. 
2 Am. Jour. Sci. (3), vol. 24, 1882, p. 253. 



acid becomes concentrated and fumes arise. A small funnel is 
used in the neck of the flask to prevent loss by spitting and bub- 
bling. It is allowed to cool, and if not completely decomposed, a 
fresh amount of H 2 S0 4 is added, and the previous operation 
repeated. Add a little water, keeping the temperature down as 
well as possible. The insoluble silicates are removed by filtering 
and washing with cold water. The clear filtrate is diluted to 400 
or 500 c. c, and an excess of oxalic acid added, whereby the 
oxalates of the cerium metals and thorium are precipitated. 
This is done in the hot solution, allowing the same to boil a few 
moments after adding the oxalic acid. It is then allowed to 
remain in the cold for twelve hours, when it is filtered and washed 
with cold water. 

The precipitated oxalates are ignited by heating slightly above 
faint redness. After all the carbon is burned off, the contents of 
the crucible are turned into a platinum or porcelain dish, washing 
the crucible with H 2 S0 4 (1 :1). On heating, the oxides are usu- 
ally dissolved completely; the excess of H 2 S0 4 is gotten rid of by 
gentle heat. To accomplish this, the disk is placed on a triangle 
inside of an iron dish to which the lamp flame is applied. The 
sulphates, which are almost invariably colored red, yellow or 
orange, are dissolved in water. The whole mass is usually com- 
pletely soluble in about 15 c. c. H 2 0, but on further dilution a 
precipitate is formed. The solution is made up to 200 or 300 c. c, 
i. e., sufficient water is added to hold all the thorium sulphate in 
solution; it is then boiled and filtered. If the filtrate is acid, it 
is neutralized with NH 4 OH, and the thorium is precipitated out 
by means of Na 2 S 2 3 . The filtered precipitate is burned to Th0 2 
and weighed as such in a platinum crucible. 


Monazite is with difficulty and incompletely soluble in hydro- 
chloric acid. It is attacked completely by sulphuric acid, and by 
potassium acid sulphate. It is infusible before the blowpipe flame, 
turning gray. When moistend with H 2 S0 4 it colors the flame 
bluish green (phosphorus reaction). The borax and salt of phos- 
phorus beads are yellowish when hot, and colorless on cooling; 


the saturated borax bead becomes enamel white on naming. Fused 
with soda, the mass treated with water and filtered, the residue 
dissolved in a little HC1, the solution gives with oxalic acid a pre- 
cipitate, which on ignition becomes brick red (cerium oxide). 
With soda on charcoal a little tin is sometimes obtained. 


For cerium. — The dilute solutions of cerium sulphate or chlo- 
ride give, with oxalic acid or ammonium oxalate, a precipitate, 
which is at first flocculent but soon becomes crystalline, being 
composed of fine, doubly terminated, often forked and serrated 
prisms; in more concentrated solutions these form themselves into 
radial groups. The little crystals have an oblique extinction and 
a high double refraction. In hot, very dilute solutions thin 
rhomboidal plates are precipitated, whose acute angle is about 86°; 
they have a tendency to form rectangular intergrowths, and appear 
to be monoclinic. 

For phosphorus. — Phosphoric acid is precipitated in a solution 
of the sulphate by the addition of ammonium molybdate, which 
on drying gives little crystals resembling rhombic dodecahedrons, 
yellow in reflected and greenish in transmitted light. 

Derby 2 has found that these micro-chemical tests are the best 
means of identifying monazite. 


Scharizer 3 tested the absorption spectrum of a basal cleavage 
plate of the Shiittenhofen monazite by replacing the ocular of the 
microscope with a spectroscope a vision direct e. The illumination 
was obtained by the reflection of direct sunlight from a concave 
mirror. The spectrum showed a broad absorption band in the 
yellow between the Fraunhofer lines C and D, corresponding to 
didymium, and a less broad one at the end of the green near the 
line F, corresponding to erbium. 

1 H. Rosenbusch, Mikroscopische Physiograhie, Vol. T., 3d ed., 1892, p. 266. 

2 Am. Jour. Sci. 3, vol. 37, 1889, pp. 109 114. Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 19, 1891, p. 78. 

3 Zeitscnr. fiir Kryst., vol. 12, 1887, p. 264. 



Penneld, 1 in his analyses of Connecticut, North Carolina, and Vir- 
ginia monazite (see anal. Nos. 30, 31, 32, 33; p. 20), deduces the 

(Ce, La, Di) 2 3 : P 2 5 =1 : 1 
Th0 2 : Si0 2 =1 : 1 

The former corresponds to the normal phosphate of the cerium 
metals (R 2 P 2 3 ) ; the latter corresponds to that of normal thorium 
silicate, which, in combination with a small percentage of water, 
makes the mineral thorite or orangite (ThSio^H 2 0). He concludes, 
then, that monazite is essentially a normal phosphate of the cerium 
metals, in which thorium silicate is present in varying proportions 
as an impurity in the form of the mineral thorite or orangite. 

Dunnington 2 had somewhat previously come to the same conclu- 

Rammelsberg's 3 formula of thorium-free monazite from Arendal, 
Norway, was R 2 P 2 O g =(Ce, La, Di) 2 P 2 8 , thus agreeing with Pen- 

Blomstrand, 4 from his analyses of Norwegian and Siberian mona- 
zite (see anal. No. 1-10, 13-15, pp. 17, 18), concludes that the mineral 
is a normal tribasic phosphate, an excess of bases being combined 
with Si0 2 . Thus : m (3RO,P 2 5 )+2EO, Si0 2 +pH 2 0, where m=5 
to 20, and p=less than 1 usually. 

He does not believe, as Penneld does, that the thoria is origi- 
nally combined with silicia as thorite, but that it is a primary con- 
stituent, present as the phosphate, either in combination with the 
cerium or as an isomorphous mixture, thus : 


Ce. Ce (0 3 PO) 2 and ETh (0 3 PO) 2 ; 

and that it is altered to the silicate by siliceous waters. 

iAm. Jour. Sci. (3), vol. 24, 1882, p. 250; vol. 36, 1888, p. 322. Zeitschr. fur Kryst.. vol. 7, 1SS3. 
p. 366; vol. 17, 1890, p. 407. 

2 Am. Cuem. Jour., vol. 4, 1882, p. 138. 

3 Zeitsclir. Deutsch. geol., Gesell. Berlin, vol. 29, 1877, p. 79. Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 3. 
1879, p. 101. 

^Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 9, 1887, p. 160; vol. 20, 1892, p. 367. 



Rammelsberg 1 has explained the analyses of Kersten and Her- 
mann (see anal. Nos. 19, 20, p. 18), respectively, by the formulae : 
j 5 R 3 P 2 OM , j 3K 3 F0 8 ) 
I Th 2 P 2 O 9 j ana ( Th 3 P 4 O 10 j 

which does not, however, appear to express a constant molecular 


In 1875 Radominsky 2 produced monazite artificially by treat- 
ing a solution of impure cerium salt with sodium phosphate, add- 
ing an excess of chloride of cerium, and heating to redness. After 
cooling and crystallization, long yellow prisms with striated sur- 
faces were formed. The specific gravity was 5.09, and the com- 
pound, by analysis, was found to agree in composition with that 
of the mineral monazite. 


The following table presents the salient features of the geograph- 
ical, geological, and mineralogical occurrences of monazite. All 
known localities at which the mineral monazite and its equiva- 
lents, turnerite, cryptolite, etc., have been found up to the present 
time are tabulated here. It is placed at the beginning of this 
chapter as a general introduction, and for the purpose of conveni- 
ent reference, to what is to follow. 

Conditions of occurrence of monazite. 


Country Rocks. 

Associated Minerals. 


East Blue Fill, Me 

Wakefield, N H .. 


Westerly, R. I 


Westford, Mass 





Chester, Conn 



Watertown, Conn 

dnalbite) Apatite, zircon, 

Portland, Conn 


Yorktown, N. Y 



Microlite, araazouit e, 

New Speedway, along Harlem river, New- 
York City 

beryl, apatite, orthite, 
columbite, manganese 

^andbuch der mineral. Cliemie. 1875, p. 305. 
2 Comptes Rendus, vol. 80, 1875, p. 305. 




Associated Minerals. 

united states.— Continued. 
Deake mica mine, Mitchell county, N. C. 

Ray mica mine, Yancey county, N. C. 

Mars Hill, Madison county, N. C 

Boomer, Wilkes county, N. C 

Autunite, uraninite, gum- 
mite, garnet. 

(In orthoclase.) Beryl, 

Quartz, garnet, zircon, 
rutile, magnetite, ilmen- 


In quartz. 

Quartz, garnet, zircon, 
rutile, brookite, xeno- 
time, f ergusonite. corun- 
dum, epidote, beryl, cy- 
anite, magnetite, pyrite, 

Crowders Mountain, Gaston county, N. C 

Todd's Branch, Mecklenburg county, Gold placers I Garnet, zircon, diamond. . 


Spartanburg and Greenville counties, S. C 

Milholland's Mill, Alexander county, 
N. C 

Emerald and hid denite mine, Alexander 
county, N. C 

Burke, Rutherford, Cleveland, Polk, Ca- 
tawba, and Lincoln counties, N. C 

"The Glades, 11 Hall county, Ga 


Villeneuve mica mine, Ottawa county. 


Rio Chico, Antioquia, United States of 


Alcobaca, Province of Bahia, Brazil 

Oaravellas, Province of Bahia, Brazil 

Salabro, Province of Bahia, Brazil 

Gneiss, and stream (Same as Burke, etc. coun- 

placers ties, N. C.) 

Gold placers Quartz, rutile, garnet, etc. 


Garnet, tourmaline, uran- 

Province of Minas Geraes. 

Province of Minas Graes, Rio de Janeiro 

and Sao Palo, Brazil. 
Provinces of Bahia, Minas Geraes, Rio de Porphyritic 

Gold placers 

Beach sands 


Diamond sands Quartz, zircon, garnet, dls- 

j thene, staurolite. corun- 
do Magnetite, ilmenite. py- 
Gold placers 

Janeiro, and Sao Palo, Brazil. 

Buenos Ayres, Argentine Republic. 
Cordoba, Argentine Republic. 

Corn wall - 





Dillingso, Moss, Lonnesby, Arendal, Nar 

estoe, Hitteroe, Hvalo 

Arendal and Midbo 





granu Apatite, magnetite, imien- 

litic, and schistose 
gneisses, red syen- 
ite, granite dikes... I 

River sands Zircon 

Gneiss and granite... 

ite, rutile, garnet, zircon, 

Clay slates 

Albitic granite. 
Cobalt ore 


Gold sands. 

Quartz, albite. 

Gadolinite, hjelmite. em- 

Cryptolite in apatite. 
In feldspar, enveloped by 






Country Rocks. 

Associated Minerals. 


Albitic granite 




Nil St. Vincent 


Le Puys, near St. Christophe, Dauphine... 


sphene, anatase. 

Quartz vein, tra- 
versing mica 




Santa Brigritta, near Ruaras, Tavetsch 


Laacher See, near Coblentz 

Druse in sanadine 



Josephinenhuette, Riesengebirge, Silesia 

(In black mica.) Ilmenite, 
f ergusonite, yttrium 
spar, zircon. 

Gadolinite, yttrium -spar, 
xenotime, f ergusonite. 


In beryl and feldspar. 

Schuttenhofen, Bohemia 


Pisek, Bohemia 


Vegetable Creek, County Gough, New 
South Wales. 

Monazite is an accessory constituent of the granite eruptives and 
their derived gneisses. It has been found in these rocks over 
widely separated areas of the earth's surface, and further search 
and study is liable to reveal its probable universal presence, in 
varying proportions, in most granites and granite gneisses. Thus 
Derby 1 has found monazite as a constant accessory constituent in 
the porphyritic, granulitic, and schistose gneisses of the provinces 
of Bahia, Minas Geraes, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Palo, in Brazil, 
representing 300 miles along the axis of the great gneiss region of 
the Maritime Mountains. The granite dikes, intersecting the 
gneiss, also carry monazite. 

The gneisses of the South Mountain region in North Carolina, 
covering an area of some 2,000 square miles, in Burke, McDowell, 

!Am. Jour. Sci., vol. 37, 1889, pp. 109-114. 



Rutherford, Cleveland, Polk, Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston coun- 
ties, and extending into Spartanburg and Greenville counties, S. 
C, have been shown to contain monazite. 1 I have since identified 
the mineral in the thin sections of several specimens of mica gneiss 
collected in that locality. The rocks are granitic mica gneisses, 
hornblende gneisses, which approach more nearly to diorite gneisses, 
and pegmatites. (See map. Plate II.) 

Monazite has recently been found in Hall county, Georgia, near 
"The Glades," a post-office about 10 miles northeast of Gainesville, 
on the north side of the Chattahoochee river. It occurs in the 
gold placers of Flat creek and its tributaries, the Glade, Stocke- 
neter, Hamilton and Huram branches. 

Derby, 2 by examining the heavy residues of a number of hand 
specimens, selected at random from the collection in the National 
Museum, of Washington, D. C, described the occurrence of mon- 
azite in certain granites and gneisses of Maine, New Hampshire, 
Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. 

The monazite of Chester, Portland, and Watertown, Conn., is 
an accessory constituent of the granite and gneisses. In Amelia 
county, Ya., it is found in albitic granite ; also in the Ilmen Moun 
tains of Russia. 

The pegmatites of southern Norway, Silesia, and Bohemia, and 
of some of the mica mines in Canada and North Carolina, also 
contain monazite. 

Derby (in paper above cited) has found monazite in a red syenite 
at Serra do Stauba, in the province of Bahia, Brazil. The basic 
eruptives (diabase, quartz-diorite, mica-diorite, and minette) thus 
far examined by him in Brazil showed no traces of monazite. 

The turnerite of the Laacher See (which is an extinct volcanic 
crater), near Coblentz, in Prussia, was found in a druse of a sana- 
dine bomb, the only known occurrence of monazite in an undoubted 
volcanic rock. 3 It was grown into and upon a crystal of orthite. 

The turnerite of Olivone, Switzerland, occurs in a quartz vein, 
20 to 30 cm. thick, traversing crystalline schists. 4 The percentage 

a Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Engr., Mar., 1895. 

2 Proc. Rochester, Acad. Sci., vol. 1, 1891, pp. 294-206. 

3 G. von Rath., Poggendorff, Annalen, 1871, Erg.-Bd., 5, p. 413. 

*G. Sellgman, Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 9, 1884, p. 420. 




of monazite in these rocks is exceedingly small, often infinitesimal; 
thus Derby (in paper above cited) states that the granite dikes in 
the gneiss of Serra de Tingua, near Rio, are rich in the yellow 
mineral, carrying 0.02 to 0.03 per cent, and a fine-grained granite 
dike on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro showed 0.07 per cent mon- 

The cryptolite of Norway occurs as inclusions of very fine, needle- 
shaped crystals in apatite. 

While making a reconnaisance trip through the North Carolina 
region, the writer, in company with Messrs. H. A. J. Wilkens, E. 
M., and Jno. R. Kirksey, discovered on June 19th, 1895, the inter- 
esting, and so far as known new, occurrence of monazite in cyanite. 
The locality where first observed was at the Peeler and Ivester 
placers on a branch of Knob creek, about 16 miles north of Shelby 
in Cleveland county, N. C. Numerous fragments of a light blue 
grey cyanite, usually less than one inch, but occasionally as large 
as three inches in longest dimension, were found in the tailing 
dumps from the bottom gravels that had been washed in the sluice 
boxes. The fragments of pure cyanite contained intimately inter- 
grow a crystals of mcnazite, the latter constituting as much as 50 
per cent of the mass at times, though some pieces of the cyanite 
were practically barren. The bed rock and out cropping ledges 
near here were carefully examined, in the hope of finding the orig- 
inal source of this monazite-bearing cyanite, but without success. 
It probably occurs in irregular nests and veinlets through the peg- 
matitic mica gneiss, which forms the country rock. 

Derby thinks (in paper above cited) that there is "a reasonable 
probability that zircon, and to a less degree monazite, may prove 
to be guide minerals by which eruptives and their derivatives can 
be certainly identified, no matter what degree of alteration they 
may have suffered." 

Monazite has not been found in the sedimentary rocks, although 
it may be present in some of these as a secondary mineral of trans- 

The economically valuable deposits of monazite are found in the 
placer sands of streams and rivers, and in the irregular sedi- 


mentary sand deposits of old stream beds and bottoms. Plates 
I. and III. illustrate the occurrence of monazite sands along the 
upper reaches of a small branch. The decomposition and disintegra- 
tion of the crystalline rocks, the original source of the mineral, has 
proceeded to considerable depths, particularly in the southern, 
unglaciated countries. By erosion and secular movement the 
material is deposited in the stream beds and there undergoes a nat- 
ural process of sorting and concentration, the heavy minerals being 
deposited first and together. The richer portions of these stream 
deposits are thus found near the head waters. Such deposits have 
been described from ISorth and South Carolina in the United States, 
from Brazil, and from the Sanarka river in Russia. 

The beach sand deposits along the coast of Brazil, in the province 
of Bahia, have a similar explanation, the concentration there being 
brought about by the action of the waves. 


The main constituent of the granitic rocks (quartz, feldspar, and 
mica) all contain the monazite as intergrowths, though it appears 
to be more generally confined to the feldspar. 

Zircon may be regarded as a constant associate; in fact, it is 
even a more important and general accessory constituent of the 
rocks than monazite. Among the other usual associated minerals, 
of coeval origin with the monazite, are xenotime, fergusonite, 
sphene, rutile, brookite, ilmenite, cassiterite, magnetite, and apa- 
tite ; sometimes beryl, tourmaline, cyanite, corundum, columbite, 
samarskite, uraninite, gummite, autunite, gadolinite, hjelmite, and 

The association of monazite with orthite, gadolinite, samarskite; 
uraninite, and hjelmite is interesting as suggesting the possibility 
of some genetic relationship. 

Among the principal secondary and metamorphic minerals found 
in association with monazite are rutile, brookite, anatase, epidote, 
orthite, garnet, sillimanite, and staurolite. 


The economic value of monazite lies in the incandescent proper- 


£ o 



ties of the oxides of the rare earths — cerium, lanthanum, didymium- 
and thorium — which it contains. These are utilized, principally 
the thoria, together with limited quantities of the lanthanum and 
didymium, in the manufacture of the Welsbach and other incan- 
descent gaslights. The cerium goes to the drug trade as the oxa- 

The Welsbach light consists of a cylindrical hood or mantle com- 
posed of a fibrous network of the rare earths, the top of which is 
drawn together and held by a loop of platinum wire. It is perma- 
nently suspended over the flame of a specially-devised burner, con- 
structed on the principles of the Bunsen burner, in which the gas 
is burned with the access of air, thus utilizing the heating and not 
the illuminating power of the hydrocarbons. The mantle becomes 
incandescent, glowing with a brilliant and uniform light. 

The method of manufacturing this mantle is in brief as follows : 
A cylindrical network, about 1J inches in diameter, is woven out 
of the best and strongest cotton thread. This is first washed in 
ammonia and then in warm water, being wrung out in a mechani- 
cal clothes wringer each time. It is then soaked in a solution of 
the rare earths and dried in a revolving hot-air bath. After being 
cut to the proper lengths, each cylinder is shaped over a wooden 
form, and the upper end is drawn together by a loop of platinum 
wire. The cotton fiber is then burned off under the flame of a 
Bunsen lamp, which leaves a network of the rare oxides exactly 
resembling the original woven cylinder, each fiber being identically 
preserved, excepting that the size is somewhat reduced by shrink- 
age. After a series of tempering and testing heats of various 
intensities the mantle is ready for use. The exact composition of 
the solution of the rare earths is not known, being one of the trade 
secrets; but it is a well known fact that monazite rich in thoria is 
sought after, and the natural inference is that this element consti- 
tutes one of the most important ingredients. 


The commercially economical deposits of monazite are those 
occurring in the placer sands of the streams and adjoining bottoms 
and in the beach sands ah ng the seashore. The geographical 


areas over which such workable deposits have been found up to the 
present time are quite limited in number and extent. In the 
United States the placer deposits of North and South Carolina 
stand alone. This area includes between 1600 and 2000 square 
miles, situated in Burke, McDowell, Rutherford, Cleveland, and 
Polk counties, ]N\ C, and the northern part of Spartanburg county, 
S. C. The principal deposits of this region are found along the 
waters of Silver, South Muddy, and North Muddy creeks, and 
Henrys and Jacobs Forks of the Catawba river in McDowell and 
Burke counties ; the Second Broad river in McDowell and Ruther- 
ford counties ; and the First Broad river in Rutherford and Cleve- 
land counties, IS". C, and Spartanburg county, S. C. These streams 
have their sources in the South Mountains, an eastern outlier of the 
Blue Ridge. The country rock is granitic biotite gneiss and dio- 
ritic hornblende gneiss, intersected nearly at right angles to the 
schistosity by a parallel system of small auriferous quartz veins, 
striking about N. 70° E., and dipping steeply to the N.W. Most 
of the stream deposits of this region have been worked for placer 
gold. The existence of monazite in commercial quantities here 
was first established by Mr. W. E. Hidden, in 1879. The thick- 
ness of these stream gravel deposits is from 1 to 2 feet, and the width 
of the mountain streams in which they occur is seldom over 12 feet. 
The percentage of monazite in the original sand is very variable, 
from an infinitesimal quantity up to 1 or 2 per cent. The deposits 
are naturally richer near the head waters of the streams. 

The monazite is won by washing the sand and gravel in sluice 
boxes exactly after the manner that placer gold is worked. The 
sluice boxes are about 8 feet long by 20 inches wide by 20 inches 
deep. Two men work at a box, the one charging the gravel on 
a perforated plate fixed in the upper end of the box, the other 
one working the contents up and down with a gravel fork or 
perforated shovel in order to float off the lighter sands. These 
boxes are cleaned out at the end of the day's work, the washed 
and concentrated monazite being collected and dried. Magne- 
tite, if present, is eliminated from the dried sand by treatment with 
a large hand magnet. Many of the heavy minerals, such as zir- 






*, " \ ' 

» ■■ 

i s 


con, menaccanite, rutile, brookite, corundum, garnet, etc., can 
not be completely eliminated. The commercially prepared sand, 
therefore, after washing thoroughly and treating with a hand 
magnet, is notpure monazite. A cleaned sand containing from 65 
to 70 per cent, monazite is considered of good quality. From 20 
to 35 pounds of cleaned monazite sand per hand, that is, from 40 
to 70 pounds to the box, is considered a good day's work. 

But very few regular mining operations are carried on in the 
region. As a rule each farmer mines his own monazite deposit 
and sells the product to local buyers, often at some country store 
in exchange for merchandise. 

At the present time the monazite in the stream beds has been 
practically exhausted, with few exceptions, and the majority of 
the workings are in the gravel deposits of the adjoining bottoms. 
These deposits are mined by sinking pits about 8 feet square to 
the bed rock and raising the gravel by hand labor to a sluice box 
at the mouth of the pit. The overlay is thrown away excepting 
in cases where it contains any sandy or gritty material. The pits 
are carried forward in parrallel lines, separated by narrow belts 
of tailing dumps, similar to the methods pursued in placer gold 
mining. At the Blanton and Lattimore mines on Hickory 
creek, 2 miles northeast of Shelby, Cleveland county, N. C, the 
bottom is 300 to 400 feet wide, and has been partially worked 
for a distance of one-fourth of a mile along the creek. The 
overlay is from 3 to 4 feet, and the gravel bed from 1 to 3 feet 
thick. (See Plate IV.) 

The methods of mining and cleaning are much more systematic 
in Spartanburg county, S. C, than in the North Carolina regions. 
Although the raw material contains on an average fully as much 
garnet, rutile, titanic iron ore, etc., as that in the North Caro- 
lina mines, a much better finished product is obtained, and more 
economically, by making several grades. Two boxs are used in 
washing the gravel, one below the other. The gravel is charged 
on a perforated plate at the head of the upper box, and the 
clean-up from this box is so thoroughly washed as to give a high 
grade sand, often up to 85 per cent. pure. The tailings discharge 



directly into the lower box, where they are rewashed, giving a 
second grade sand. At times the material passes through as 
many as five washing treatments in the sluice boxes. Even 
after these grades are obtained as clean as possible by washing, 
the material, after being thoroughly dried, is further cleaned by 
pouring from a cup, or a small spout in a bin, in a fine, steady 
stream from a height of about 4 feet, on a level platform ; the 
lighter quartz and black sand with the fine-grained monazite 
(tailings) falls on the periphery of the conical pile and is con- 
stantly brushed aside with hand brushes ; these tailings are 
aftewards rewashed. Instead of pouring and brushing, the mate- 
rial is sometimes treated in a winnowing machine similar to that 
used in separating chaff from wheat. 

Although the best grade of sand is as high as 85 per cent, pure, 
its quantitative proportion is small as compared with the second 
and other inferior grades, and there is always considerable loss 
of monazite in the various tailings. It is impossible to conduct 
this washing process without loss of monazite, and equally impos- 
sible to make a perfect separation of the garnet, rutile, titanic 
iron ore, etc., even in the best grades. The additional cost of 
such rewashing and rehandling must also be taken into consider- 

If the material washed contains gold, the same will be col- 
lected with the monazite in concentrating. It may frequently 
pay to separate it, which can easily be accomplished by treating 
the whole mass over again in a riffle box with quicksilver. 

It has been shown that the monazite occurs as an accessory 
constituent of the country rock, and that the latter is decomposed 
to considerable depths, sometimes as much as 100 feet. On 
account of the minute percentage of monazite in the mother rock, 
it is usually impracticable to economically work the same in 
place, by such a process as hydraulicking and sluicing, for 
instance. However, even hillside mining has been resorted to. 
Such is the case at the Pheifer mine, in Cleveland county, N. C, 
2 miles northeast of Shelby. (See Plate V.) The country rock 
is a coarse mica (muscovite and biotite) gneiss, and the small 

I F 



monazite crystals may at times be distinctly seen, unaided by a 
magnifying glass, in this rock. It is very little decomposed and 
still quite hard, and the material that is mined for monazite is 
the overlying soil and subsoil, which is from 4 to 6 feet thick. 
This is loaded on wheelbarrows and transported to the sluice 
boxes below the water race. The yield is fairly good, and the 
product very clean, though the cost of working, of which, unfor- 
tunately, figures could not be obtained, must be considerably in 
excess of that of bottom mining. Where the rock contains 
sufficient gold, as it somtimes does, to be operated as a gold 
mine, there is no reason why the monazite can not be saved as 
a valuable by-product. 


As the percentage of thoria is variable in different sands, the 
value of the sand consequently varies in a measure also. It is 
stated that the transparent greenish and yellowish brown varie- 
ties are often rich in thoria, but this can not be depended on. 

Hidden 1 has suggested that the difference in cleavage may be 
an indication of the presence or absence of thoria, that crystals 
with the cleavage best developed parallel to oo Poo are the pure 
phosphate of the cerium earths, free from thoria, while those in 
which the cleavage is best developed parallel to OP, contain 
thoria. But the cleavage is rarely observable in the rolled grains, 
and if it were the above statement is by no means a proven fact. 
He also makes the suggestion (in paper above cited) that the 
density may'afford a test of the approximate comparative amount 
of thoria present, and in support of this he mentions the follow- 
ing examples : 

Relation of thoria contents to density in monazite. 


Th0 2 



5 30 

Per cent. 
14. 23 


Amelia Coui't-House, Va 

Portland, Conn 

Table, p. 20, anal. No. 32. 
Table, p. 20, anal. No. 30. 


Burke County, N. C 

Table, p. 20, anal. No. 31. 

However, this will scarcely hold, for in other instances mona- 
zite of the specific gravity 4.6-1 has been shown to contain 

*Am. Jour. Sci., vol. 32, 1886, p. 207. Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 12, 1887, p. 507. 



as much as 9.20 per cent, thoria (from Moss, Norway ; see p. 17. 
anal. No. 4) ; and again, monazite of the specific gravity 5.19 
contained but 3.18 per cent, thoria (from Dillingso, Norway : see 
p. 17, anal. No. 2). On the whole, there is no method of 
determining even the probable percentage of thoria, except- 
ing by chemical analysis. Some monazite contains practically 
no thoria. The best North Carolina sands (highest in thoria; 
came from Burke and Cleveland counties. Some of the highest 
grade sand from Brindletown, Burke county, runs from 4 to 6.60 
per cent, thoria ; sand from Gum Branch, McDowell county, is 
reported to run 3.30 per cent ; sand from the vicinity of Bell- 
wood and Carpenter's Knob, in Cleveland county, runs from 5 
to 6.30 per cent. The fluctuation of the thoria percentage is, 
however, considerable even in the same locality. It also depends, 
of course, in a measure on the degree of concentration of the 

The price of North Carolina monazite has varied from 25 cents 
per pound in 1887 to as low as 3 cents for inferior grades and 6 
to 10 cents for the best grades in 1894 and 1895. It is only during 
the past two years that the mining and concentration of monazite 
sand in the South Mountain region has grown to a regular indus- 
try, and it is at present progressing with increased vigor. In 
1887 Mr. Hidden shipped from the Brindletown district, in Burke 
county, N. C, 12 tons of monazite sand. And during 1888 and 
1889 a number of tons (exact quantity unknown) were shipped 
from North Carolina to the Welsbach Light Company in Phil- 
adelphia. The product and value of the saud during 1893 and 
1894 is given below. It was shipped in part to the AVelsbach 
Light Company and in part to Europe (Germany and Austria). 
Product and value of monazite in 1893 and 1894. 


Value at 



Value at 
























In Brazil considerable deposits of monazite occur in the beach 
sands along the seashore. The largest of these is found in the 
extreme southern part of the Province of Bahia, near the island 
of Alcobaca. The surf as it breaks against the cliffs washes 
away the lighter earths and minerals, leaving naturally concen- 
trated deposits of monazite along the beach. Sacks filled with 
this sand were shipped to New York in 1885, the deposit having 
been taken for tin ore. Its true character was, however, soon 
recognized, and since then a number of tons have been shipped 
in the natural state, without any further concentration or treat- 
ment, as ballast, mainly to the European markets. It is reported 
to contain 3 to I per cent thoria. Very little exact information 
concerning these Brazilian deposits is at present available. Mona- 
zite has also been found in the gold and diamond placers of the 
Provinces of Bahia (Salabro and Caravellas), Minas Geraes (Dia- 
mantia), Bio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It has been found in the 
river sands of Buenos Ayres, Argentine Republic, and also in the 
gold placers of Bio Chico, at Antioquia, in the United States of 
of Colombia. 

In the Ural Mountains of Bussia monazite is found in the 
Bakakui placers of the Sanarka Biver. The placer gold mines 
of Siberia are reported to contain monazite. 

Economic deposits of monazite are also reported to exist in the 
pegmatite dikes of Southern Norway. It is picked by the miners 
while sorting feldspar at the mines. It is not known to exist in 
placer deposits. The annual output is stated to be not more than 
one ton, which is shipped mainly to Germany. 1 

!U. S. Consular Report ; vol. 48, No. 179, Aug. 1895, p. 550. 




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Ueber einige schwedische Monazite : Geol. For. Forh., vol. 11, 1889, p. 

171 ; Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 19, 1891, p. 109. 

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Monazite : Am. Jour. Sci. (2), vol. 25, 1858, p. 410 ; vol. 34, 1862, p. 217. 

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Fiedler (K. G.). Lagerstaten des Diaspor * * * u. Monazit : Poggen- 
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Fischer (H.). Mikroskopisch-Mineralogische Miscellen : Zeitschr. fiir 
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Fontaine (W. F.). Notes of Minerals in Amelia County, Va.: Am. Jour. 
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Forbes (P..) and Dahll (T.). Urdite : Am. Jour. Sci. (2), vol. 22, 1856, p. 
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Fouque (F.) and Levy (A. Michel.) Synthase des Mineraux et des Roches, 
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vol. 21, 1881, p. 159. 

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fiir Kryst., vol. 1, 1877, p. 398. 

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et Fouque (F.). Synthase des Mineraux et des Roches, Paris, 1882, 

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p. 137 ; Zeitschr. fiir Kryst., vol. 8, 1884, p. 87. 

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vol. 10, p. 236. 



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1889, vol. 8, p. 200 ; Zeitschr. fur Kryst., vol. 19, 1891, p. 415. 

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1877, p. 405 ; Compt. Rend., vol. 84, p. 462. 

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493 (monazite) ; p. 494 (cryptolite) ; p. 653 (turnerite) ; p. 678 (mon- 

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Compt. Rend., vol. 78, 1874, p. 764. 

Reproduction artificielle de la Monazite, et de la Xenotime : Compt. 

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Erganzungs-Heft to 2d edition, Leipzig, 1886, pp. 168, 169. 

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vol. 29, 1877, p. 79 ; Zeitschr. fiir Kryst., vol. 3, 1879, p. 101. 

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1882, p. 544. 

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Annalen, vol. 49, 1840, p. 223. 

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tigen Mineralien, 3d ed., 1892, pp. 266 (cerium) and 498. 

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vol. 12, 1887, p. 255. 

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1837, p. 162; Poggendorff, Annalen, vol. 43, 1838, p. 148. 

Notice of Eremite, a new mineral species : Am. Jour. Sci. (1), vol. 32, 

1837, p. 341. 

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vol. 36, 1888, p. 322; Zeitsch. Mr Kryst., vol. 17, 1890, p. 407. 

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buch, 1876, p. 593. 

Tschermak (G\). Lehrbuch der Mineralogie, Vienna, 1888, p. 535. 

U. S. Consular Report, vol. 48, No. 176, May, 1895, p. 170. Uses of Monazite 
in Europe. 

vol. 48, No. 179, Aug., 1895, pp. 541-551. Monazite in Foreign Countries. 

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vol. 119, 1863, p. 247; vol. 122, 1864, p. 407. 

Uber ein neues Vorkommen von Monazit (Turnerit) vom Laachersee : 

Sitzungsber. bayer. Akad. Wiss., 1870, vol. 2, p. 271; Poggendoff, 
Annalen, Erg. Bd. 5, 1871, p. 413. 

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1887, p. 160. 

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pp. 67, 68, 149, 254. 

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cerium : Quart. Jour. Chem. Soc, London, 1850, vol. 2, p. 131. 

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Berlin, vol. 17, 1865, p. 567. 



Wohier {¥.). Ueber den Kryptolith : Poggendorff Annalen, vol. 67, 1846, 
p. 424. 

Zirkel (F.) and Naumann (C. F.). Elemente der Mineralogie, Leipzig, 
1885, p. 514 (kryptolith); p. 515 (monazit). 

Lehrbuch der Petrographie, 1893, vol. 1, p. 432. 

Zschau (E.). Fifth Supplement to Dana's Mineralogy, Am. Jour. Sci. (2) 
vol. 25, 1858, p. 410. 




Analyses of monazite 17-20 

Analysis, method of 21, 22 

Angular measurements of monazite 13 

Argentine Republic, monazite in 26, 37 

Artificial production of monazite 25 

Associated minerals of monazite 25-27, 30 

Australia, monazite in 27 

Austria, monazite in 27 

Axial ratios of monazite 12 

Baskerville, C, cited 21 

Belgium, monazite in 27 

Bibliography 38-43 

Blanton mine, N. C 33 

Blomstrand, C. W., cited 10, 16, 17, 18, 24 

Blowpipe reactions of monazite 22-23 

Brazil, monazite in 26, 27, 30, 37 

Breithaupt, A., cited 8,14, 15 

Brooke, H. J., cited 9 

Burke county, N. C, monazite in 21, 26, 27, 32, 36 

Canada, monazite in 26 

Chemical composition of monazite 7, 14-21 

Chemical molecular constitution of monazite 24, 25 

Chemical reactions of monazite 22, 23 

Children, cited 14 

Cleveland county, N. C, monazite in 21, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36 

Concentration of monazite 32-35 

Country rocks, monazite region 25-27, 28, 29 

Cryptolite 7, 9, 11, 15, 29 

" crystal form of 11 

" identity with monazite 9 

Crystal form of cryptolite 11 

Crystal form of monazite 10, 11, 12 

Cyanite, monazite in 29 

Dahll, T., cited ". 10 

Damour, A., cited 19 

Dana, E. D., cited 12 

Dana, J. D., cited 8, 9, 10, 12 

Derby, O. A., cited 12, 28, 29 

Des Cloizeaux, A., cited 8, 10, 13, 14 

Dunnington, F. P., cited 20, 24 

Economic use of monazite 30-31 

INDEX. 45 


Edwardsite 7, 9, 14 

" identity with monazite 9 

England, monazite in 26 

Eremite 7, 9 

" identity with monazite 9 

Fiedler, K. G., cited 8 

Finnish Lapmark, monazite in 26 

Forbes, D., cited 10 

France, monazite in 27 

Franck, A., cited 12 

Genth, F. A., cited 16, 20 

Geological and geographical occurrence of monazite 25-30, 32 

Georgia, monazite in 26, 28 

Germany, monazite in 27 

Gorceix, M. H., cited 19 

Hermann, R., cited 9, 15, 18, 25 

Hidden, W. E., cited 32, 35 

Historical sketch of monazite 7-10 

Incandescent gas lights 31 

Ivester mine, N". C .- 29 

Kararfveite 10, 16 

" identity with monazite 16 

Kersten, C, cited 15, 18, 25 

Kokscharow, N. V., cited 9, 10, 12, 15 

Konig, G. A., cited 20 

Lattimore mine, N. C 33 

Levy, A., cited 7 

Liversidge, A., cited 19 

Localities of monazite 25-27 

Mallard, M. E., cited 9 

McDowell county, 3ST. C, monazite in 21, 26, 27, 32, 36 

Menge, cited 8 

Mengite 7, 9 

Methods of extraction and concentration of monazite 31-35 

Micro-chemical reactions of monazite 23 

Miers, H. A., cited 11 


Analyses of 17-20 

Artificial production of... 25 

Associated minerals of 25-27, 30 

Blowpipe reactions of 22, 23 

Brief description of 7 

Chemical composition of 7, 14-25 

Chemical molecular constitution of 24, 25 

Chemical reactions of 22, 23 

Country rocks of 25-27, 28, 29 

46 INDEX. 

Monazite— Continued. Page. 

Crystallization of 10, 11, 12 

Derivation of name 9 

Earliest recognition of 8 

Economic use of 30, 31 

Extraction and concentration of 31-35 

Geological and geographical occurrence of 25-30. 32 

Historical sketch of 7-10 

Localities of 25-27 

Microscopic distinctions of 13 

Method of analysis of 21, 22 

Method of formation in beds 30 

Micro-chemical reactions of 23 

Nomenclature of 7-10 

Optical properties of 13, 14 

Output and value of in United States 35-37 

Percentage of in sand 32, 33, 34 

Percentage of in rocks 29 

Physical properties of 7, 12, 13 

Price of in North Carolina 36 

Spectroscopic tests of 23. 24 

Use of 30, 31 

Variation of thoria in 35, 36 

Monazitoid 7, 9, 15 

" color of 13, 15 

Nomenclature of monazite 7-10 

North Carolina monazite region , 26, 27, 30, 32 

Norway, monazite in 26, 37 

Occurrence of monazite, geological and geographical 25 30, 32 

Optical measurements of monazite 13, 14 

Output and value of monazite in United States 35 37 

Peeler mine, N. C 29 

Penfield, S. L., cited 20, 21. 24 

Pheifer mine, N. C 34 

Phillips, Wm, cited - 8 

Phosphocerite 7, 10, 16 

" identity with monazite 10 

Physical properties of monazite 7, 12, 13 

Pisani, F., cited 8, 19 

Price of North Carolina monazite 36 

Radominski, F., cited 10, 16, 18 

Rammelsberg, C. F., cited 18, 19, 24, 25 

Rose, G., cited 9 

Russia, monazite in 27, 30. 37 

Rutherford county, N. C, monazite in 21, 26, 28, 32, 36 

Scharizer, R., cited 12, 13, 14, 16 

Shepard, C. U., cited 9. 14, 19 


INDEX. 47 


South America, monazite in 26 

South Carolina, monazite in 28, 30, 32 

Spectroscopic tests of monazite 23 

Sweden, monazite in 26 

Switzerland, monazite in 27 

Thoria in North Carolina monazite 21, 26 

" determination of in monazite 21, 22 

" variation of in monazite 35 

Trechmann, CO., cited 

Turner, E. H., cited 


" identity with monazite 

United States, monazite in 

United States of Colombia, S. A., monazite in 


" identity with monazite...- 

Use of monazite 

Vom Rath, GK, cited 

Vrba, cited 

Watts, H., cited .►. 10, 

Websky, cited 10, 16 

Welsbach incandescent light 31 

Wohler, F., cited 9, 15, 18 

Wiilfmg, cited 13, 14 

Zschau, E., cited 10 

, J.U, 





























Guy V. Barnes, Public Printer 




Illustrations 6 

Letter of Transmittal 8 

Preface 9 

Chapter I. — Geographical and Geological Description of the Gold Belts 11 

Virginia Belt 13 

The country-rocks 14 

The quartz-veins 14 

The Eastern Carolina belt 14 

The Carolina belt 15 

The country-rocks 15 

The gold ores 17 

Genesis of the ore-bodies 17 

The age of the ore deposits 18 

The South Mountain belt 18 

The country-rocks 18 

The quartz-veins 19 

The placer deposits 20 

Minor belts in North Carolina 20 

The Georgia belt . 21 

The country-rocks 21 

The ore deposits 22 

The Carolina belt in Georgia 24 

Minor belts in Georgia 24 

The Alabama belt 25 

Chapter II. — Historical notes ; mining, metallurgical and statistical 26 

Early discoveries of gold in the South Appalachian region 26 

Early mining operations .* 27 

Early mining and metallurgical methods 29 

Hydraulic methods 30 

Vein mining. Free-milling ores 32 

Early milling appliances 33 

Treatment of sulphuret ores 36 

Mechanical method 36 

Chemical treatment 3 7 

The chlorination process 37 

The cyanide process 38 

Other chemical processes 39 

Production of gold and silver in North Carolina and other Southern states . . 40 




Chapter III. — Distribution of gold mines in North Carolina, and mining notes . . 43 

The Eastern Carolina belt 43 

The Carolina belt 45 

Guilford county 45 

Randolph county 46 

Davidson county 47 

Montgomery county 51 

Stanly county 54 

Moore county 56 

Anson county 57 

Rowan county 57 

Cabarrus county 60 

Union county 62 

Mecklenburg county 63 

Gaston county 66 

Lincoln, Catawba, Davie, Alexander and Yadkin counties 68 

The South Mountain belt 68 

Caldwell county 68 

Burke, McDowell and Rutherford counties 68 

The mountain counties 70 

Chapter IV. — Distribution of gold mines in the South Appalachian region other 

than in North Carolina, with mining notes 71 

In Maryland 71 

In Virginia 71 

Fauquier county 72 

Stafford county 72 

Culpeper county 72 

Spottsylvania county 72 

Orange county 73 

Louisa county 73 

Fluvanna and Goochland counties 75 

Buckingham county 76 

Eloyd and Montgomery counties 76 

In South Carolina 76 

Carolina belt 77 

South Mountain belt 77 

In Georgia 78 

Rabun county 78 

Habersham county 78 

White county 78 

Hall county 80 

Lumpkin county 80 

Dawson county 81 

Forsythe county 81 

Gwinnett county 81 

Cherokee county 81 

Barton, Cobb, Paulding and Douglas counties 82 

Carroll county 82 

Haralson county 82 

Meriweather county 83 

Towne county 84 

The Carolina belt (in Georgia) 84 



In Alabama, 85 

Cleburne county 85 

Randolph county 87 

Clay county 89 

Talladega county 90 

In Tennessee 90 

Chapter V. — The mining and milling practice at some of the characteristic placer 

and free-milling mines 91 

The Crawford (or Ingram) mine, Stanly county, N. C 91 

The Mills property, Burke county, N. C 95 

Placer deposits on Silver creek 97 

Placer deposits on Parker branch 101 

The Chestatee Company, Lumpkin county, Ga 101 

The Chestatee river dredge-boats, Lumpkin county, Ga 106 

The Dahlonega method, with special description of the Hedwig mine 107 

Historical notes 108 

The water-supply 1 08 

Mining methods 109 

Milling methods 110 

Dahlonega method at Hedwig mine 114 

The Lockhart mine, Lumpkin county, Ga 115 

Chapter VI. — Mining, milling and metallurgical treatment of sulphuret ores at 

characteristic mines 117 

The Reimer mine, Rowan county, N. C 1 17 

The Franklin mine (Creighton Mining & Milling Co.), Cherokee county, Ga. . 121 

The Haile mine, Lancaster county, S. C 125 

Description of the mine workings, Haile mine 129 

Method of working, Haile mine 132 

Milling operations, Haile mine 135 

Labor, costs, etc., at the Haile mine 142 

The Brewer mine, Chesterfield county, S. C 144 

Chapter VII. — Some conclusions concerning gold mining in North Carolina and 

adjacent South Appalachian regions 118 



Plate I. Fig. 1, Log rockers, Gold Hill ; Fig. 2, Chilian mill 30 

II. Big Cut, Russell mine, Glen Brook, N. C 53 

III. Forty-stamp mill and cyanide plant, Russell mine 53 

IV. Hydraulic mining, Parker mine 54 

V. Fig. 1, Stand-pipe ; and Fig. 2, sluice-boxes* Parker mine 55 

VI. Gold Hill mine, Eames stamp-mill and Barnhardt shaft 60 

VII. Catawba mine, 30-stamp mill 67 

VIII. Wrought iron siphon pipe, Dahlonega 108 

IX. Dahlonega method of mining, giant and ground sluice 109 

X. Forty-stamp mill and chlorination plant, Brewer mine 147 

Fig. 1. Gold belts of the Southern states 12 

2. Cross-section, Thompson mine 22 

3. Map of North Carolina showing gold distribution 44 

4. Map showing distribution of veins at Gold Hill 59 

5. Plan of Capps mine 65 

6. Method of working gravel at Crawford mine 92 

7. Rocker used by tributors, Crawford mine 94 

8. Riffles in sluice-box, Crawford mine 94 

9. Proposed hydraulic work on Mills property 96 

10. Flume, Mills property 98 

11. Hydraulic gravel elevator, Mills property 99 

12. Section of sluice-box, Mills property 100 

13. Plan of hydraulic lift 103 

14. Plan of setting hydraulic lift 105 

15. Plan of portable tailings flume 105 

16. Vertical cross-section of the Hall stamp-mill 110 

17. Vertical longitudinal section of the Hall stamp-mill 112 

18. Vertical section, Reimer mine 118 

19. Mecklenburg Iron Works, 750-pound battery 120 

20. Vertical section, Franklin mine 122 

21. Haile mine, outline map of region 12 7 

22. Plan and section of Beguelin part of Haile mine 128 

23. Plan of Cross mine, Haile Gold Min. Co 130 

24. Method of stoping at Cross mine 133 

25. Vertical skip used at Haile mine 134 

26. Section of 60-stamp mill, Haile mine 136 

27. Double-hearth roasting furnace, Haile mine 13S 

28. Chlorination plant at Haile mine, longitudinal section 139 

"29. Chlorination plant at Haile mine, cross section 140 

30. Chlorination-barrel, Haile mine 141 

31. Plan of Brewer mine, Chesterfield county, S. C 146 

jfartK Carolina 

J I 


Governor D. L. Russell, ex-officio Chairman, 

Charles McEamee, . 

J. Turner Morehead, .... 





J. A. Holmes, 

Chapel Hill. 


To His Excellency, Hon. D. L. Russell, 

Governor of North Carolina. 

Sir: — I have the honor to transmit for publication as bulletin 10 of 
the Geological Survey series, a report on the subject of Gold Mining 
and Mining Methods in North Carolina and adjacent South Appalachian 
regions. The Survey has received many requests for information con- 
cerning this subject, and it is in response to these that I recommend the 
publication of this report. Many applications for copies of it have been 
received in advance of its appearance. 

Yours obediently, 

J. A. Holmes, 

State Geologist, 

Raleigh, N. C, 

July 1, 1897. 



During the past few years the Survey has received from persons 
interested in gold mining in North Carolina, numerous inquiries con- 
cerning the mining and metallurgical methods which have proven most- 
successful in operating gold mines in this and other South Appalachian 
regions. In response to these inquiries, an investigation was undertaken 
of this subject in 1895, by Mr. H. B. 0. Nitze, of the Survey, and Mr. 
H. A. J. "Wilkens, a mining expert of Baltimore, who visited during that 
year the more important mining regions in North Carolina and other 
Southern States. A preliminary report of their examinations was read 
at the Atlanta meeting of the American Institute of Mining Engi- 
neers (October, 1895), and was published in the Transactions of the 
Institute for that year. 

In the present publication that paper has been partly reproduced, but 
it has been largely rewritten, elaborated and brought down to the end 
of 1896. No attempt has been made to describe all of the mines or even 
to present detailed descriptions of all of the more important mining 
regions to be found in North Carolina and adjacent States. Only such 
mining and metallurgical methods practiced in this and the other States 
are here described as it is believed will be found useful in a study of 
the best methods for use in the development of the North Carolina gold 
fields. This report may be regarded as being in a measure supplemental 
to Bulletin 3 (Gold Deposits of North Carolina), published by the 
Survey in 1896, which described with more detail the gold-mining 
regions in this State. 

The descriptions given in the report are based almost wholly upon the 
personal examinations of Messrs. Nitze and Wilkens. They have, how- 
ever, made use of data relating to the different mining regions to be 
found in Mr. Geo. F. Becker's valuable " Reconnoissance of the Gold 
Fields of the Southern Appalachians," and the reports by the several 
State Geological Surveys, the sources of information being indicated in 
each case by footnotes. Persons desiring to consult other publications 

10 . PREFACE. 

relating to this field will find a full bibliography in the above-mentioned 
report of Mr. Becker's, published by the U. S. Geological Survey. 

Messrs. Mtze and Wilkens have been aided in the preparation of their 
statement concerning the Haile mine in South Carolina by Mr. A. Thies. 
Capt. John Wilkes, of the Mecklenburg Iron Works, Charlotte, X. C, 
has also aided them by the loan of drawings, maps and in other ways. 
Mr. Geo. B. Hanna, of the U. S. Assay Office, at Charlotte, X. C, has 
kindly furnished numerous notes concerning the history of mining and 
metallurgical methods in the entire South Appalachian region. In 
behalf of the Survey and of the authors, I desire to thank these gen- 
tlemen and many others, in different parts of the region, who have in 
various ways rendered assistance in the collection and preparation of 
information for this report. I desire further to thank the editors of 
The Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers and 
The Engineering Magazine for permission to use electrotypes of plates 
prepared for those publications. 

One of the existing needs of the North Carolina gold field is the 
establishment at central points in this region of practical plants that will 
successfully treat the low-grade sulphur et ores — plants that will do 
custom work at reasonable prices, and where individual miners can 
ship their ore and be paid for the same according to its value, as is the 
case in the great mining regions of the West. 

J. A. Holmes. 



By H. B. C. Nitze and H. A. J. Wilkens. 



The gold fields of the Southern Appalachians are situated in the area 
of the crystalline rocks extending from the vicinity of "Washington in a 
general southwesterly direction, through the piedmont and mountain 
regions of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Caro- 
lina, Georgia, and Alabama, to the vicinity of Montgomery. 

The greatest width of the belt, as a whole, is attained in North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Georgia, where it is from 100 to 150 miles, 
narrowing down in Virginia and Maryland on the northeast and in 
Alabama on the southwest (see map, fig. 1). 

In chapters III and IV the gold-mining counties of these States are 

The general term crystalline rocks includes gneisses, argillaceous, 
hydro-micaceous, chloritic, siliceous and other schists and slates, lime- 
stone, granite, diorite, diabase and other eruptives, as well as certain 
volcanic porphyries, etc., and pyroclastic breccias. The age of these 
rocks is Archaean, Algonkian, and possibly in part Paleozoic. On the 
east they are covered by the Coastal Plain and in places by small patches 
of the Jura-trias (Newark), which latter also occur within the area in 
small isolated basins, notably in Virginia. On the west they are bor- 
dered by the Paleozoic rocks. 

The rocks of the gold belt are decomposed to depths often reaching 
50 and 100 feet. Mr. Becker has proposed and used the term "sapro- 
lite," x signifying literally " rotten rock," as a general name for such 
thoroughly decomposed, earthy, but untransported rock. 

Eor geological reasons and for descriptive convenience this gold belt 

1 "'Reconnoissance of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians, by G. F. Becker, Six- 
' teenth Annual Report of the 77. S. Geological Survey, 1894-5, part iii, pp. 289-90. 





of the Southern Appalachians is differentiated into the following com- 
ponent belts: 

1. The Virginia Belt. 4. The South Mountain Belt. 

2. The Eastern Carolina Belt. 5. The Georgia Belt. 

3. The Carolina Belt. 6. The Alabama Belt. 

Other divisions might be made as, for instance, the isolated belts of 
auriferous rocks west of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, North Carolina, 
Georgia and Tennessee, and various minor belts in Georgia and Ala- 
bama; but such subdivision is unnecessary for the purposes of this paper. 

In Bulletin 3, " The Gold Deposits of North Carolina," the Carolina 
Belt has been differentiated into the Carolina Slate, the Carolina Igneous 
and the Kings Mountain belts. For the purpose of this paper, how- 
ever, where the geological descriptions of these various belts can only be 
briefly taken up, the above six main divisions will suffice, and for fuller 
and more detailed descriptions the reader is referred to the following 
papers : 

u . Reports on the Surveys of South Carolina," by O. M. Lieber, Co- 
lumbia, S. C, 1856, 1857, 1858, and 1859. 

"A Reconnoissance of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalach- 
ians," by George F. Becker. 1 

" The Gold Deposits of North Carolina," by H. B. C. Mtze and G. B. 
Ilanna. 2 

" The Lower Gold Belt of Alabama," by William B. Phillips. 3 

" Mineral Resources of the Upper Gold Belt (of Ala.)," by Win. M. 
Brewer and others. 4 

Work has been in progress by the Geological Surveys of Georgia and 
Alabama on the gold fields, and reports from these respective bureaus 
are expected to be published shortly. 


This belt begins in Montgomery county, Maryland, and extends in a 
southwesterly direction, parallel to and on the east side of the Blue 
Ridge, to the North Carolina line. The best and most reliable, though 
incomplete, information regarding the geology of this region is given in 
the early reports of Prof. William B. Rogers (1835, 1836 and 1S40V 

The width of the belt is from 9 to 20 miles, covering an area of some 
4000 square miles, and its best developed portion is in Fauquier, Cul- 

1 U. S. Geological Survey, Sixteenth Annual Report, 1894-95, part iii, pp. 251-331. 

2 North Carolina Geological Survey, Bull. No. 3, 1896. 

3 Geological Survey of Alabama, Bull. No. 3, 1892. 

4 Geological Survey of Alabama, Bull. No. 5, 1896. 

5 The Geology of the Virginias, D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1884, pp. 74-80, 131-132, 458-460. 


peper, Stafford, Orange, Spottsyrvania, Louisa, Fluvanna, Goochland 
and Buckingham counties. 


The rocks of the Virginia belt are mica-gneisses and schists, often 
garnetiferous, hydro-micaceous and chloritic. The strike is X. 20°-30° 
E., and the dip easterly at varying angles. Mr. S. F. Emmons 1 gives 
the prevailing strike in Montgomery county, Maryland, as north and 
south, and the dip nearly vertical or very slightly inclined to the east- 
ward. Granite and diabase dikes occur in the region, and these are 
sometimes sheared. In some private notes on the Arminius pyrite mine, 
in Louisa county, Va., Mr. Becker says: 

" The principal country rock is a series of micaceous schists Indica- 
tions are not wanting that a portion of these schists is of sedimentary origin. 
.... On the other hand, it is equally certain that the most prominent charac- 
teristics of the schists are of dynamic origin. . . . Much of the schist looks as if 
it were derived dynamically from granite." 


The auriferous quartz-veins conform in the main to the strike and dip 
of the enclosing rock. However, their origin is not coeval, the schistose 
structure antedating the formation of the veins. Neither must their 
approximate conformity to the country be taken in the absolute sense, 
for they often cut the schists at small angles both in dip and strike. 
The structure of the veins is irregularly lenticular, varying from a few 
inches to several feet in thickness. The wall-rock is often impregnated 
with auriferous pyrites to considerable extent. Some of these veins are 
of remarkable persistency and continuity, as, for instance, the Fisher lode 
in Louisa county, which has been opened for a distance of some five 
miles along the strike to a maximum depth of 220 feet by the Warren 
Hill, Louisa, Slate Hill, Luce and Harris mines. 

The gravel placer deposits of the Virginia belt are in all respects simi- 
lar to those of other gold regions. 

A small isolated gold belt is situated on the west side of the Blue 
Bidge in Montgomery, Floyd and Grayson counties, but it is of little 
economical importance and will not warrant more than this passing 
mention. The auriferous copper ores of Ashe and Watauga counties, 
N". C., also appear to belong here. 


This forms a small and narrow area in Halifax, Warren, ^ash and 
Franklin counties. It is covered on the east by the Coastal Plain and 

1 "Noteson the Gold-Deposits of Montgomery county, Md.," by S.F.Emmons. Trans. Am. 
Inst. Min. Eng., xviii, 391-411. 


bounded on the west by the Louisburg granite. The country rock is 
diorite, in great part sheared to a chloritic schist (as at the Mann- 
Arrington mine). The strike of the schists is !N". 50°-60° E., and the 
dip 25°-40° S.E. Other intrusives, such as diabase, occur in the region. 
The quartz-veins. — These occur (1) as lenses, from minute size 
up to 12 inches in thickness, interlaminated in the schists or cutting 
them at small angles; (2) as a reticulated network in the massive rocks. 
It is stated that the saprolites are auriferous over large areas and will 
repay hydraulic mining. 


This belt is one of the most extensive and important in the Southern 
Appalachians, though lying far to the east of the Blue Ridge. It is 
situated in the central Piedmont region, and extends from the Virginia 
line in a southwesterly direction across the central part of North Carolina 
into the northern part of South Carolina, where it sinks beneath the 
Coastal Plain, making its re-appearance in Abbeville county, S. C, and 
in Wilkes, McDuffie and adjacent counties in Georgia, near Augusta. 
There are no mountain chains in the Carolina belt, the only prominences 
of consequence being a low range of hills known as the Uharie moun- 
tains, in Montgomery county, N". C, and the isolated peaks of Crowders 
and Kings mountains in Gaston county, :N". C, extending into York 
county, S. C. 

The belt varies in width from 8 to 50 miles; it is bounded on the east 
by the Jura-trias (Newark) and the coastal plain formations. 


The gold-bearing rocks of the Carolina belt are (1) argillaceous, seri- 
citic and chloritic metamorphosed slates and schists; (2) devitrified an- 
cient volcanics (rhyolite, quartz-porphyry, etc., and pyroclastic brec- 
cias); (3) igneous plutonic rocks (granite, diorite, diabase, etc.); (4) sili- 
ceous magnesian limestone; (5) sedimentary pre-Jura-trias slates. The 
Jura-trias conglomerates along the eastern boundary have also been 
found to contain gold, but not in quantities of economical importance. 

The argillaceous and sericitic 1 slates and schists, though in general 
highly metamorphosed and sheared, show many evidences of sedimen- 
tary origin. The siliceous magnesian limestones (Kings mountain, 
etc.), must be included here. All of these rocks are non-fossiliferous 
and must be provisionally classed as Algonkian. They are often silici- 
fied in varying degrees up to a completeness which renders the rock so 

^he general term "talc" schists, so often used, is very loosely applied, and generally in- 
correctly, as the true "talc "schists are comparatively rare; it should, from a niineralogical 
standpoint, more properly be hydro-mica or sericite schists. 


hard that it resists scratching with a knife. The chloritic schists are 
more truly the crystalline schists, and probably represent the sheared 
basic eraptives. They are even porphyritic and brecciated in places. 
They are not so abundant as the argillaceous schists, and are richer in 
accessory rnetamorphic minerals, such as garnet and epidote. 

The general strike of the schist osity is ~N. 20°-55° E., and the pre- 
dominating dip to the !N". W. from 55°-85°. In many cases the force 
producing schistosity and slaty cleavage appears to have acted downward 
from the 2s".W. ? developing normal faulting with but little deformation. 

The volcanic rocks occupy irregular patches along the eastern border 
of the belt, in close proximity to the western edges of the Jura-trias 
basins. They comprise both acid and basic types. The acid rocks are 
generally devitrined to such an extent that their real character is no 
longer recognizable to the naked eye, and they appear as ordinary cherts 
or hornstones, although flow-structure is at times still discernible. Micro- 
scopic examination shows them to belong to the class of rhyolites and 
quartz-porphyries. They are sometimes sheared into schists, as for in- 
stance at the Haile mine, S. C. The basic types are dark green in color 
and perhaps pyroxenic in composition; they are sometimes massive por- 
phyrites, but more generally sheared into schists. The pyroclastic brec- 
cias consist of angular fragments of the acid rhyolites and porphyries in 
a basic matrix. The age of these ancient volcanics is believed to be pre- 
Cambrian. They seem to be analogous to, and probably contempora- 
neous with, similar rocks of the South mountain in Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania, and other points along the Atlantic coast. The igneous plu- 
tonic rocks lie on the western side of the central slates; they consist of 
granites, diorites, gabbros, diabases, etc. In point of age they are sup- 
posed to be younger than the slates and schists on the east. Diabase 
dikes are common in the Carolina belt, and appear in general to have 
exercised a favorable influence on the richness of the ore-bodies which 
they intersect; the ores often are richer in the vicinity of the dikes. At 
the Haile mine, in Lancaster county, S. C, this is very marked. 

The sedimentary pre-Jura-trias slates, mentioned above as the fifth 
class of gold-bearing rocks, are perhaps best developed near Monroe, 
I T nion county, !N". C, and have therefore been called the Monroe slates. 
These slates are but little indurated and lie in flat-bedded alternating 
synclinals and anticlinals. They cover a considerable area, extending 
from Monroe northward and eastward, and appearing in Stanly and 
Montgomery counties. They dip under the Jura-trias conglomerate 
near Polkton, 20 miles east of Monroe, and might be looked upon as 
Lower Paleozoic ; but the absence of fossils, so far as present search has 
gone, must, for the time being, place them provisionally in the Algon- 



The gold ores in the Carolina belt exist in two principal structural 
forms: (1) as quartz fissure-veins; (2) as pyritic impregnations, ac- 
companied by irregular stringer-like and lenticular quartz intercalations 
in the country schists and slates. The fissure-veins in the slates and 
schists are generally difficult to distinguish as such. Their structure is 
much more evident in the granitic and other eruptives. In the schists 
the larger and more regular quartz lodes lie apparently interlaminated 
with the country, or have the appearance of lenticular intercalations; 
however, even here they can usually be shown to intersect the schis- 
tosity, generally at very low angles. 

The age of the ore deposits is later than that of the force which pro- 
duced schistosity, from the fact that fragmental inclusions of sheared 
country-rock are not rare in quartz. The fissuring force was, there- 
fore, subsequent to the shearing force. Certain maximum lines of fault- 
ing may have been developed, which made room for the larger fissure- 
veins, on either side of which smaller dislocations formed belts of varia- 
ble width. It is certainly most natural that, in a rock like slate or schist, 
the rupturing force should have been exerted along the lines of least 
resistance, that is, along the cleavage planes, and that the predominating 
fissures should, therefore, have been formed in that direction. Isolated 
instances of cross-fissures occur, but they are rare. 

A very usual occurrence of the ores is that of irregular, finely-divided 
disseminations of auriferous sulphurets and fine gold, accompanied by 
small stringers and lenses of quartz in the country slates and schists, 
which are usually silicified, at least to some extent. This form of deposit 
bears close resemblance to the Scandinavian " fahlbands," which are de- 
scribed as belts of schists impregnated with sulphides. In the Southern 
Appalachian field they form the small and large bodies of low-grade ores 
(Haile mine, Russell mine, etc.). The shape of these ore-bodies is lenti- 
cular; their outline, however, does not necessarily conform with the 
strike and dip of the schists, but is determined rather by the degree of 
impregnation. Very often, also, the wall-rock of the quartz fissure-veins 
is impregnated for some distance with auriferous sulphurets. 

The gravel placers of the Carolina belt present no features differing 
from those of similar deposits in other gold regions. 


"No definite proof of metasomatic formation of the ores has been ob- 
served; and the most reasonable hypothesis for their formation is that 
of the ascension and percolation of heated carbonated and alkaline waters 
carrying silica, metallic elements and sulphides in solution, and the depo- 


sition of their mineral contents in the open spaces through which they 
circulated, by relief of pressure, reduction of temperature, and perhaps- 
certain chemical reactions. The frequent siliciflcation of the slates and 
schists has been noted, and must be ascribed to this permeation of the 
silicifled waters. 

The character of the quartz varies from saccharoidal to vitreous, usu- 
ally inclining to the latter. The sulphurets are chiefly pyrites; chalco- 
pyrite, galena, mispickel and zinc-blende occur in certain localities, not- 
ably at the Silver Hill and Silver Valley mines, in Randolph county. 
!N". C. Copper ores (chalcopyrite) in some of the Xorth Carolina mines 
are auriferous to such an extent as to make them valuable for gold also. 
as for instance at the Conrad Hill. Tellurides have been found in very 
small quantities, as at the Kings Mountain mine, X. C. Among the 
more common gangue minerals, besides quartz and sulphurets, are 
chlorite, barite and carbonates. 1 


The formation of the ores took place subsequent to the production of 
schistosity. The fact that the Jura-trias conglomerates, on the east, 
contain gold proves that the origin of the gold must have been pre-Jura 
Triassic. The presence of gold-bearing fissure-veins in the Monroe slate? 
shows that their age must be Algonkian or later. The existence of ore- 
bodies in the pre-Cambrian volcanic rocks furnishes another clue; and 
thus it becomes probable that the age of the gold ores in the Carolina 
belt is Algonkian. 


This belt is situated in the western part of North Carolina, and takes 
its name from the South mountains, one of the eastern outliers of the 
Blue Ridge. The principal mining region embraces an area of 250 to 
300 square miles, in Burke, McDowell and Rutherford counties, extend- 
ing from Morganton to near Rut-kerf ordton, a distance of about 25 
miles, with an average width of 10 to 12 miles. The gold veins of 
northern Burke and Caldwell counties on the north, and Cleveland and 
Polk counties, X. C, on the south, as well as Spartanburg. Greenville 
and Pickens counties, S. C, might be considered as belonging to this 
general belt; but no extensive operations have been carried on there. 


In the South mountain region, the crystalline rocks are for the most 
part Archaean micaceous (biotite) and hornblendic gneisses and schists. 

1 Mr. Becker, in the paper referred to above, pp. 274-278, tabulates no less than 60 gangue 
minerals, besides quartz, pyrite, and the ordinary products of decomposition. 




having an eminently lenticular structure. They are often garnetiferous 
and contain also many of the rarer accessory minerals, such as zircon, 
monazite, xenotime, etc. These gneisses are considered to have been 
igneous granites and diorites, subsequently rendered schistose by 
dynamo-metamorphism. The general strike of the sehistosity is N. 10°- 
25° "W., and the dip 20°-25° N.E. To the northwest of South Muddy 
creek and Vein mountain, however, the strike is generally N. E. and 
the dip S. E. This is the case also in the northern part of the general 
belt, in Caldwell county. 

Isolated masses of pyroxenite and amphibolite occur as rounded inclu- 
sions or blebs, from less than 1 to nearly 100 feet in diameter, in the 
gneiss. They are looked upon as basic segregations from the original 
igneous magma out of which the gneisses were formed. They alter to 
talc and serpentine. 

Pegmatites are of frequent occurrence in the gneisses, and like them 
their structure is usually lenticular. At several points there are indi- 
cations of pegmatite dikes. Granite dikes occur in the South mountain 
region; and in the northern part of the belt, in Caldwell county, a very 
persistent and continuous dike of aphanitic olivine diabase has been 
observed. Brown mountain, in the northern part of Burke county, is 
made of granite. 


The auriferous quartz-veins of the South mountain belt form a system 
of parallel fissures of remarkable regularity, striking t>T. G0°-70° E. and 
dipping 70°-80° N.W. Their thickness varies from that of a knife- 
edge to 4 feet. The great majority are from less than 1 to 3 inches in 
thickness, lying in zones of scores of small veins; the larger ones (1 to 4 
feet) are few and far between. Normal faulting has been observed in a 
few instances. The ore is quartz, usually of a milky white color, gener- 
ally saccharoidal and seldom vitreous or glassy. It is often stained 
brown and is cellular from decomposed sulphurets. The sulphurets are 
pyrite, galena, chalcopyrite, and zinc-blende. All observations go to 
show that the vein-matter is formed from ascending mineralized solu- 
tions. There is no evidence of the replacement of the country rock by 

In the South mountain region proper there are five parallel lines or 
zones along which these quartz-veins appear to be concentrated: 

1. The Morganton zone, passing through Morganton, along Little 
Silver creek and through the Neighbor's place to North Muddy creek. 

2. The Huntsville zone, passing over the southern end of Huntsville 

3. The Pilot mountain zone, passing over Halls knob, Whites knob, 



Pilot mountain, Brackettown, and Vein mountain, to and beyond the 
Second Broad river. 

4. The Golden valley zone, passing across the upper end of the Gol- 
den valley (valley of the First Broad river) and crossing Cane and Camp 
creeks to the Second Broad river. 

5. The Idler mine zone, about 3 miles north of Butkerf ordton. 

The great majority of these auriferous quartz-veins are too small to 
be profitably worked individually. Of the larger and more promising 
veins which have been worked, the " Nichols," at Vein mountain (18 
inches to 3 feet), and the "Idler," near Butherfordton (22 inches), may 
be mentioned. 


The principal mining ground of the South mountain region is that 
of the placer deposits. These are of three classes: 1. The gravel de- 
posits of the stream-beds and bottom-lands, deposited by nuviatile action. 
2. The gulch and hillside deposits, or accumulations due to secular dis- 
integration and motion induced by frost action and gravity. 3. The 
upper decomposed layer of the country-rock in place, the saprolites. 

In the first class the gravel is water-worn, rounded to subangular, 
and the dejDOsits are from 1 to 2 feet in thickness. In the second class 
the gravel is usually quite angular, and the deposits are from a few 
inches to several feet in thickness. In the third class gravel is of 
course absent, the washable ground consisting of the upper decomposed 
layer in place, the gold being derived directly from the partially dis- 
integrated quartz-veins. 


On the west side of the Blue Bidge, in Henderson county, N. C, 
gold has been mined at the Boylston mine. The country rocks are 
fine-grained mica- and hornblende-schists, in part much crumpled. The 
general strike is K 20°-30° E., and the dip is K¥. The schists are 
cut by a granite dike. The valley of Boylston creek is made up of 
schistose limestone, underlying these crumpled schists. These rocks 
are probably to be classed in the Ocoee, which by some is supposed to 
be Algonkian and by others Baleozoic, and by others still, it is believed 
to contain formations of different ages ranging between these two. 
This isolated belt, however, has little economic importance in connec- 
tion with gold deposits. 

Another belt of auriferous rocks is that in which some unimportant 
placer-mining operations have been prosecuted in Swain, Jackson, 
Macon, Clay, and Cherokee counties, !N\ C. The country-rock is sup- 
posed to be largely Ocoee. In Tennessee the petty stream deposits of 



Polk, McMinn, Monroe and Blount counties are probably in the same 



The Georgia belt is probably of next or equal economic importance 
to the Carolina belt. Beginning in Rabun and Habersham counties, 
in the northeastern corner of the State, it extends in a southwesterly 
direction through the important mining town of Dahlonega, and thence 
to the Alabama line in the vicinity of Tallapoosa. This is in the Pied- 
mont region of the State, lying on the southeast side of the Blue Ridge. 
Although the maximum width (N.W. and S.E.) over which the mines 
are distributed is as great as 30 miles, the principal portion of the belt, 
which extends from near Canton, in Cherokee county, through Dah- 
lonega and JNTacoochee, to Clayton, in Rabun county, is concentrated 
in a width of 4 miles or less. It is to this latter portion that the fol- 
lowing geological descriptions more especially relate. 


The rocks of this belt resemble in many respects those already de- 
scribed under the South mountain belt in North Carolina. They are 
Archaean micaceous and hornblendic gneisses and schists, which probably 
represent sheared granitic and dioritic rocks. At the Murray mill, on 
Yahoola creek, near Dahlonega, a large mass of unsheared granite 
may be seen; and massive granite is reported to exist on Yonah Peak, 
near Nacoochee. These gneisses and schists are banded in narrow., 
lenticular-shaped layers, from 2 to 20 feet wide. A dark-colored,, 
schistose hornblende rock, locally known as " brick-bat," is of frequent 
occurrence. Its structural relations are very difficult to determine; at 
times it is conformably interlaminated with the other schists (as at the 
Hedwig mine, near Auraria); again, it appears to have no regular rela- 
tion in its position to the adjoining schists, which are cut off by it or 
very markedly disturbed in their strike, bending around the " brick- 
bat " mass, and developing a crumpled or folded structure in the schis- 
tose laminae (as at the Singleton and Lockhart mines, near Dahlonega). 
It is possible that these " brick-bat " masses, which appear to be dioritic 
in origin, are magmatic segregations or blebs, similar to the pyroxemV 
and hornblendic blebs described in the South Mountain region, 1 though, 
as a rule, larger. The prevailing strike of the gneisses and schists is 
N. 20°-30° E., and the dip 30°-60° S.E. Locally, however, in the 
presence of the dioritic masses, as explained above, this changes to 
northwest strikes with northeast dips. The rocks are often garnet- 
iferous and contain rarer accessory minerals, such as monazite, though 

1 See page 18, above, and Bull. 3, North Carolina Geological Survey, 1896, p. 157. 

2 At the Glades Post-Office, in Hall county, 10 miles northeast of Gainesville, monazite has 
been found in some quantity. 



to a much lesser degree than in the South mountain rocks. The depth 
of the saprolites in the Georgia belt reaches a maximum of about 100 

Diabase' dikes, such as are common in the Carolina belt, are not 
found in the Georgia belt. Granitic dikes are, however, not uncommon 
in the Nacoochee region. 

Fig. 2. — Cross-section in Opening at Thompson mine, near Nacooehee, Ga. Scale, 
1 inch = 2 feet, a, quartz; b, slate; c, granite dike; d, -wall rock. 

The accompanying sketch (fig. 2) represents a small pegmatite dike 
at the Thompson mine, 4 miles west of Nacooehee, showing the develop- 
ment of normal faulting. Similar granitic dikes have been found in 
Cherokee county, near the Franklin mine. In the Dahlonega district, 
although no unquestionable well-marked dikes are seen in place, Mr. 
Becker 1 calls attention to the possibility that some of the unusually 
sharply marked sheets in the gneiss might be intrusive. 


Certain bands of the gneisses and schists have been fissured and filled 
with gold-bearing quartz and sulphurets. These fissures are in the 

14 'Reconnoissance of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians," Sixteenth Annual Ei 
port of the U. S. Geological Survey, 1894-5, part iii, p. 296. 


main parallel to the schistosity of the rock, though not uncommonly 
they cut the same at low angles. To a large extent they are aggre- 
gated in a zone of numerous narrow and discontinuous lenses and 
stringers through more or less definite bands of the gneiss, which, taken 
altogether, form the vein. This is well illustrated in Fig. 2. Mr. 
Becker has designated such a system, a " stringer-lead." In these 
narrow, sharply-banded gneisses and schists of different material, such 
as they are in this part cf the Georgia belt, it is natural that the frac- 
turing force, once exerted in a certain band, should have been more or 
less confined to this one, both longitudinally and transversely, the walls 
of the band forming the walls of the ore-body. This is in fact the 
case. At times the Assuring is confined to the light-colored mica- 
gneisses, at other times to the dark-colored ferromagnesian gneisses and 
schists. The " brick-bat " schists rarely contain ore-bodies. The thick- 
ness of the veins is from less than 3 to as much as 20 feet; they are 
frequently close together, separated by non-auriferous bands of gneiss; 
and the total width of the ore-bearing ground reaches as much as 200 
feet (Singleton mine, Dahlonega). The extent of fissuring must de- 
pend largely on the degree of homogeneity of the material, as well as 
on the intensity of the fracturing force. Where the rock is of homo- 
geneous composition and the force uniformly exerted, the effect would 
be a more or less evenly distributed shattering, with few gaping fis- 
sures, and the whole mass would be permeated by the gold-bearing 
solutions, with the formation of auriferous and pyritic impregnations, 
with some small quartz-stringers. At the Hedwig mine, near Auraria, 
for instance, regular quartz masses of any size are altogether absent, 
the ore-body being composed of soft, sandy, mica-gneisses and -schists 
containing only a few, small and isolated quartz-stringers. Again, under 
different conditions, the effect was the production of a large number 
of small open fissures, inducing the consequent formation of numerous 
small lenticular quartz-stringers; and such is the usual case in the 
Dahlonega ore-bodies (fig. 2, p. 22). Or, where the rock mass was of 
still greater heterogeneity, and the forces of greater or more varied 
intensity, lenticular fissures have been opened, of such size and extent 
as to allow a more or less complete filling by solid auriferous and pyritic 
■quartz, from 3 to 14 feet in thickness; while, further along the strike, 
though the fracturing extends to the same width and the walls hold out, 
the intervening space of country has simply been shattered, or opened 
only in small spaces, but was nevertheless filled with pyritic impregna- 
tions and quartz-stringers, (as at the Franklin mine in Cherokee county, 
where these barren portions of the vein are called horses). But the 

144 Reconnoissance of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians,'" Sixteenth Annual Re- 
port of the TJ. S. Geological Survey, 1894-5, part iii, p. 283. 


leads are continuous, usually for considerable distances. At the Lock- 
hart mine, near Dahlonega, for instance, the Blackmore vein, 3 to 6 
feet in thickness, has been opened by a drift 400 feet long. At the 
Franklin mine, in Cherokee county, the ore-body has been explored by 
underground workings for 1000 feet, and the continuity of the vein 
has been traced for three-quarters of a mile by isolated shafts. The 
regularity of the vein structure at the Franklin is exhibited by well- 
defined walls, and by the presence of a soft " gouge " on both the foot 
and hanging, even where there is no marked quartz filling. 

Small, clean-cut cross-fissures occur in the Georgia belt, as at the 
Franklin mine, where the filling is chiefly calcite. 

The pitch of the ore-bodies in the Georgia belt is as a rule to the 
northeast. The filling of the fissures is quartz, carrying pyrite and 
rarely chalcopyrite. Among the most interesting gangue minerals may 
be mentioned garnets, which in cases have been found to be auriferous. 1 
Another occasional, though rare, gangue mineral is tourmaline. Gold 
in close association with a tellurium mineral has been found in the 
so-called " Boly Fields " vein on the banks of the Chestatee river. 2 The 
character of the quartz varies greatly, from very saccharoidal to ex- 
tremely vitreous types, and from clear transparent to milky-white in 
color, sometimes smoky. 

The genesis of the ore deposits is best explained by the ascension 
theory; there is no evidence of substitution. The formation of the ore 
deposits was subsequent to the force that sheared the country-rock, from 
the fact that fragments of the schistose country occur in the quartz. 

The character of the gravel placer deposits in the Georgia belt is 
similar to that in the South Mountain belt. 


Mention has already been made (p. 15) of the extension of the Caro- 
lina belt into Wilkes, McDufrie and adjacent counties, Georgia. 


The crystalline rocks of Georgia are comprised in the large area lyings 
north of a straight line drawn from Augusta to Columbus. Within this 
area there are, besides the principal gold-ore belts mentioned above, a 
large number of minor belts; in fact, almost every county in the region 
claims some discovery of the precious metal. Among the more impor- 
tant are a belt including portions of Gwinnett, Milton, DeKalb, Fulton. 
Campbell, Fayette, Coweta, Meriwether and Troup counties: and a 

"Reconnoissance of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians." Sixteenth Annual Re- 
port of the 77. S. Geological Survey, 1894-5, part iii, pp. 279, 297. 
2 See paper by Dr. Wra. P. Blake, Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Eng„ Vol. xxv, 1896, p. 802. 



small belt lying on the northwest side of the main Blue Ridge divide, 
in Towns, Union and Fannin counties, extending into Clay county, ~N. C. 


The Alabama belt might be considered a continuation of the Georgia 
belt. However, principally as a matter of convenience for reference, 
it is spoken of and described separately here. It comprises an area of 
about 3500 square miles, situated in the crystalline rocks of Cleburne, 
Randolph, Talladega, Clay, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Coosa, Elmore and 
Chilton counties. This is the southwest extremity of the southern 
Appalachian gold field. 

On the latest geological map of Alabama, 1 the gold-bearing rocks of 
this area are distinguished as: 1. The semi-crystalline Talladega shales 
of Algonkian age, including argillaceous and hard, greenish, sandy 
shales (often graphitic); 2. The crystalline schists of Archaean age, in- 
cluding mica-schists, which, on the one hand, grade through gneisses 
into granite, and, on the other, into siliceous schists; garnetiferous horn- 
blende-schists, probably of dioritic origin, also occur. The general 
strike is KE. and the dip S.E. 

The quartz-veins are interlaminated in these rocks, coinciding imper- 
fectly with the dip and strike of the schistosity. Erom a structural 
geological standpoint, the veins bear much similarity to those of the 
Dahlonega type. From a mining standpoint, however, they are dif- 
ferent, not forming the wide belts of numerous parallel leads, as in 
Dahlonega. The quartz is usually glassy; the sulphurets are in the 
main pyritic, and the gangue minerals are those of usual occurrence in 
gold-bearing quartz-veins elsewhere. The character of the placer de- 
posits presents no novel features. 

1 Geological Map of Alabama, with Explanatory Chart, Geological Survey of Alabama, 1894. 






For an account of probably the earliest discoveries of gold in the 
southern part of what is now the United States by the Spanish ex- 
plorers we refer the reader to Mr. G. E. Becker's paper, Beconnoissance 
•of the Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians. 2 

Reports of the existence of gold in the Southern States antedate the 
time of the Revolutionary war, as for instance, in South Carolina at 
the Brewer mine in Chesterfield county, and in North Carolina at the 
Oliver mine in Gaston county, the Dunn mine in Mecklenburg county, 
and the Parker mine in Cherokee county. 

However, no absolutely authentic references to these can be obtained, 
and the date of the first actual discovery of gold in this country must 
Temain shrouded in uncertainty. 

Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia (1782), mentions the discovery of 
.a nugget containing 17 dwts. "of gold four miles below the falls of the 
Rappahannock river. The U. S. Mint reports give the first returns from 
Virginia in 1829. For North Carolina the first mint returns appear in 
1793; but the first mention of any specific find of gold in North Caro- 
lina is of a 17-pound nugget, discovered on the Reed plantation in 
Cabarrus county, in 1799. 

Mills, in his Statistics of South Carolina, notes the occurrence of 
gold in Abbeville and Spartanburg districts as early as 1826, but the 
first U. S. mint returns from this State are given in 1S29. 

The gold placers in Burke and McDowell counties, North Carolina, 
(South Mountain belt) were first worked in 1829, and immediately 
traced southwestward through South Carolina into Georgia. 

John Witheroods, of North Carolina, claims to have first discovered 
gold in Georgia in 1829 at Duke's creek, near Nacoochee, Habersham 
county; 3 but Jesse Hogan, also of North Carolina, claims to have taken 

1 We are indebted to Mr. Geo. R. Hanna, of the Charlotte Assay office, for valuable notes re 
lating to the History of Mining and Metal] urg-ical Operations in North Carolina. 

2 Sixteenth Annual Report of the 77. S. Geological Survey, part iii, 1894-5. 

3 Now in White county, which was later formed from a part of Habersham. 

3 feibrarifi 


out gold previously in a branch of Ward's creek near Dahlonega, which 
was then in the " Cherokee Nation." The earliest mint returns from 
Georgia appear in 1830. 

Dr. Wm. B. Phillips * gives 1830 as the probable approximate date 
of the first discovery of gold in Alabama. There were, however, no 
mint returns from this State until 1840. 

Perhaps one of the chief reasons that the discovery of gold came 
so much later in Georgia and Alabama than it did in North Carolina 
and Virginia, was that this part of the country was then occupied by 
the Cherokee Indian Nation, under the supervision of the United States, 
and was not open to white settlers, although the latter repeatedly in- 

After the discovery of gold, the long pending efforts of the States 
to acquire these Indian lands were stimulated and accelerated by the 
added thirst for the precious metal, and were finally successful in 1830, 
when the State laws were extended over the Nation and the Indians 
were removed. The mining region in Georgia was surveyed into 40-acre 
lots, which were distributed by lottery. A caustic writer of the time 
says that, " intrusive mining ceased then and there, and swindling min- 
ing commenced." 

The first mention of gold in Tennessee is from Coco creek, Monroe 
county, in 1831, 2 and this date corresponds with that of the first mint 

The earliest record of gold in Maryland is in 1849, 3 from the farm of 
Mr. Samuel Ellicott in Montgomery county, about 12 miles north of 
Washington, where a depth of 50 feet was said to have been reached, 
and about $3000 in gold to have been taken out. The mint reports, 
however, show no returns previous to 1868. 


The greatest activity of gold mining in the South seems to have fol- 
lowed closely on the first discovery, being most marked from 1829 to 
1836, and probably due to the working of the more accessible virgin 
placers and more easily mined outcrops. The mint receipts show a 
renewed activity from 1839 to 1849, caused perhaps by more syste- 
matic vein explorations and improved methods. In the early fifties, the 
Californian discoveries abated the interest in the Southern gold field, and 
attracted the mining population westward, causing a natural depression 
in the output; from that time on there was a general decrease until the 

1 Geological Survey of Ala., Bull. No. 3, 1892, p. 10. 

2 Safford's Geology of Tenn., 1869, p. 490. 

3 Emmons, E., Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 1849, Vol. v., p. 85; see also 
Am. Jour. Sci., Vol. xvii, 1830, p. 202. 


practically total cessation caused "by the Civil "War. Since then there 
have been spasmodic revivals and depressions, due undoubtedly in a 
great measure to local causes and excitements, and to the financial con- 
dition of the country at large. Considering the small total output of 
the South, such fluctuations may have been caused by the successful 
working of a single mine, shown for instance, by the increased produc- 
tion of South Carolina since 1890, owing to the revival of the Haile 

The first practical, systematic mining operations appear to have been 
in North Carolina, beginning about the year 1800. Prom 1804 to 
1827 (inclusive) this State furnished all of the gold produced in the 
country, amounting to $110,000. The progress up to 1820 was very 
slow, and mining was restricted to a very limited area. Prof. Olrn- 
stead, the first State Geologist of North Carolina, in his writings, 1 esti- 
mated the extent of the then known gold country at 1000 square miles. 
He says: " The gold country is spread over a space of not less than 1000 
square miles. With a map of North Carolina, one may easily trace 
its boundaries, so far as they have been hitherto observed. From a 
point taken eight miles west by south of the mouth of the Uwharie, 
with a radius of eighteen miles, describe a circle; it will include the 
greatest part of the county of Montgomery, the northern part of Anson, 
the northeastern corner of Mecklenburg, Cabarrus — a little beyond 
Concord on the west — and a corner of Rowan, and of Randolph. In 
almost every part of this region gold may be found in greater or less 
abundance at or near the surface of the ground. Its true bed, how- 
ever, is a thin stratum of gravel enclosed in a dense mud, usually of a 
pale blue, but sometimes of a yellowish color. . . . Rocky river and its 
small tributaries, which cut through this stratum, have hitherto proved 
the most fruitful localities of the precious metals." 

In 1820 articles began to appear in the public journals calling atten- 
tion to the North Carolina gold deposits, and itinerant German miners 
and mineralogists had already come into the country in some number. 

In 1821, when Olmstead wrote, there was a considerable mining popu- 
lation, whose average earnings were from 60 to 65 cents per day 
(approximately 65 to 70 cents in the present standard of gold coinage). 
The toll paid to the owners of the land varied from one-fourth to occa- 
sionally one-half of the yield. The dust came to Be quite a medium of 
circulation, and miners were accustomed to carry about with them quills 
filled with gold, and a pair of small hand-scales, on which they weighed 
out gold at regular rates, (for instance, 3^ grains of gold was the cus- 
tomary equivalent of a pint of whiskey). The gold found its way largely 

1 Am. Jour. ScL, 1825. 



into the country stores in exchange for merchandise at the rate of 90 
to 91 cents per pennyweight (96 to 97 cents present standard). 

In these early days farming and gold digging went, in many cases, 
hand in hand; and this is indeed still true, to some extent, at the present 
day. When the crops were laid by, the slaves and farm hands were 
turned into the creek-bottoms, thus utilizing their time during the dull 
seasons. Where mining proved more profitable than planting, the for- 
mer superseded the latter entirely. Thus, in speaking of the Tinder 
Mats placer in Louisa county, Va., Silliman says: 1 

" Jenkins is in the habit of substituting a fall working in the gold, 
for which he obtains $1000 annually, as a compensation for his tobacco 
crop, which he relinquishes in favor of the gold." 

Some of the more prominent localities developed into regular mining 
camps, where continuous and extensive operations were carried on. 
Such were, for instance, Arbacoochee and Goldville, Ala.; Auraria and 
Dahlonega, Ga.; and Gold Hill and Brindletown, ~N. C. In the latter 
place it is stated that just before the California excitement as many 
as 3000 hands might have been seen at work on one of the streams of 
the region.' 2 In 1853 there was a population of about 2000 in the Gold 
Hill camp. 

When Lumpkin county, Ga., was organized in 1832, Dahlonega (then 
called New Mexico) had a population of 800. During the mining 
boom Dahlonega had a population of 5000, and Auraria (then called 
Knucklesville) 2000 to 3000. 3 

At Goldville, Ala., between 1840 and 1850, there was a population 
of at least 3000. 

The first work, naturally, was the washing of the stream placers. 
After these were exhausted, attention was turned to the gravel deposits 
lying under cover of the alluvium. These were Avorked by sinking pits, 
and raising the gravel by hand labor. Where it was necessary the 
pits were drained by large vertical bucket-wheels, for which the power 
was derived from the stream directly, or by flume lines with over-shot 
or under-shot wheels. 


The first primitive washing, as in other newly discovered gold coun- 
tries, was probably done with the pan. As the workings grew more 
extensive, this was superseded by the rocker, long torn and sluice-box; 
and, indeed, these original devices survive to the present day. 

1 Eeport to the President and Directors of the Walton Mining Company. By Prof. B. Silliman, 
Jr., Fredericksburg-, Va., 1836. 

2 Ores of North Carolina, 1887, p. 312. 

3 Recollections of A. G. Wimpy (a very old citizen of Dahlonega, Ga.) published in the Dah- 
lonega Signal, Aug. 20, 1883. 


The rockers in use to-day are of two types. The first is essentially 
a panning process, nsing a minimum amount of water, the operation 
being an intermittent one. This type of rocker is closed at both ends, 
the discharge being over the side; it will be described, with illustrations, 
as now in use at the Crawford mine (p. 94). The second type con- 
sists of a hollow segment of a log closed at the upper end. It is set 
on a slight inclination, about 6 inches in 10 feet, and is provided at the 
lower end with grooves or strips that act as mercury pockets or riffles. 
When used on gravel it is provided at the upper end with a shallow 
box having a round punched or slotted iron bottom. The length of 
this type of rocker is 5 to 10 feet. The gravel and clay are thrown 
into the box, where a constant stream of water, together with the rock- 
ing motion and stirring with fork or shovel, disintegrates the material. 
The pebbles and bowlders are thrown out with the fork, while the fine 
portions are washed down the bottom. The rocking facilitates the 
settling and amalgamation of the gold and the discharge of the tailings. 
Two men work at one rocker or set of rockers, so joined together as to 
move in harmony. One throws the gravel from the pit into the box,, 
or directly into the rockers, and the other sits or stands above the rock- 
ers moving them with his feet, disintegrating the gravel with a fork 
and discharging the coarse material. Rockers of a similar type are at 
present in use at several mills for handling pulp and blanket washings. 
(See Plate I.) 

AVhere sufficient flowing water is at hand, the sluice box and long 
torn are used, as they handle larger quantities with less labor. The 
sluice box, generally 8 to 10 feet long, 20 inches wide and 12 inches 
deep, provided with riffles and a perforated charging plate at the head, 
fulfils the same purpose as the rocker; being stationary, however, it 
requires a larger amount of water to carry off the tailings. 

It is interesting to note that at the Beaver Dam mine, in Mont- 
gomery county, N". C, a large rocker, about 10 feet long by 3 feet wide,. 
was operated as early as 1825 by steam power, the engine having been 
imported from England. 

Tuomey, 1 in 1854, mentions ground-sluicing of side-hill deposits at 
Arbacoochee, Ala., by aid of a ditch and a series of trenches into which 
quicksilver was poured. It is probable that this method of working 
existed even prior to that day. 


The first use of the hydraulic method of mining was probably early 
in the forties, previous to the California gold discoveries, in the west- 
ern part of Xorth Carolina, although on a much smaller and modified 

1 Second Biennial Report on the Geology of Alabama, p. 70, Montgomery, 185$. 





A small stream of water pours from the crude V-shaped trough above into the upper end of each 

of the larger troughs below, and washes the gravel and soil out at their lower ends. 

'See also p. 60.) 

(See page 33.) 



scale as compared to its present application. Mr. Wm. H. Ellet, writ- 
ing in the Mining and Statistic Magazine 1 early in 1858, in reply to 
Hon. T. L. Clingman's inquiry of December, 1857, says: 

" I avail myself of my earliest leisure to answer your inquiries in relation to 
the hydraulic gold-mining operations lately introduced by Dr. M. H. Vandyke, 

in some of the western counties of North Carolina My observations in the 

hydraulic process were made during the month of April 3 at the Jamestown 
mine, 3 in McDowell county, N. C. The water was there conveyed .... about 4 

miles. The uniform descent was 4 inches to the hundred feet The number 

of hose pipes employed was four. The mass of earth moved in nine working 
days was 20 feet in depth, 82 in length and 26 in breadth, being at the rate 

of 1184 cubic feet, or 966 bushels, per day for each hose The labor 

employed .... was that of four men and two boys The yield in gold 

was $5.13 per day for each hose employed. 

Shortly afterwards a further publication appeared in the same mag- 
azine, 4 from which the following extracts are taken: 

" The Wilkinson gold mine in Burke county, N. C, is owned by Dr. Van Dyke, 
and is worked by the hydraulic process. The water is brought .... by a 

canal or aqueduct for a distance of 15 miles The water is not brought 

upon these mines at a very high head, only about 40 feet. There was only one 
pipe in operation at the time of my visit. The water passed through a 6-inch 

hose and a nozzle of iy 2 inches The average yield of the mine .... was 

about $5.00 a day to each hand Obtaining a sample of the gold of this 

mine, we passed over about 2 miles to the Bunker Hill mine, also in Burke 
county. This was formerly known as the Brindleton mine. It is owned and 

worked by Rev. Benjamin Hamilton It is now worked by the hydraulic 

process T> amount of water is limited, sufficient only for about two 

pipes, which is brought in a small ditch for a distance of 4 or 5 miles 

The Collins mine in Rutherford county is owned and worked by Dr. Van 
Dyke. The water is brought to this mine in a canal about 4 miles in length, 
at an elevation of 150 feet, and sufficient in amount for 20 pipes, and will 

command nearly 1000 acres of surface Jamestown mine, McDowell 

county, N. C, [is] also worked by Dr. Van Dyke. The deposit workings embrace 
about 400 acres. The water is brought by a canal at an elevation of 70 feet r 
and is five miles in length. There is water enough here for 20 hose pipes." 

Prof. Wm. P. Blake (in 1858) in a " Keport upon the Gold Placers of 
Lumpkin county, Georgia, and the Practicability of Working them by 
the Hydraulic Method, with Water from the Chestatee River," 5 says: 

" Desiring to see the results obtained [by Dr. M. H. Van Dyke] in North 
Carolina, and thus to be enabled to form a better judgment of the probable 
results in Georgia, I first visited the placers in Burke and McDowell counties 

1 Vol. x, pp. 27-30, January 1858. Our attention was called to this and related articles by the 
interesting- paper of Prof. Wm. P. Blake, published in the Transactions of the America)! F»sti- 
tute of Mining Engineers, October 1895, entitled Notes and Recollections Concerning tli<- Min 
eral Resources of Northern Georgia and Western North Carolina. 

- 1857. 

3 Afterwards and at present known as the Vein Mountain mine. 

4 Vol. x, pp. 393, 394, May, 1858. 

5 Mining and Statistic Magazine, vol. x, pp. 457-476, June, 1858. 


where the [hydraulic] process is now in successful operation The average 

yield, as shown by the results at several of the North Carolina placers, is about 
$6.00 a day to a pipe attended by two men, or by a man and a boy. At 

some of the placers the average is not less than §10.00 a day At Brin- 

dletown, in the bed of a little brook which has a rapid descent, Mr. Hamilton 

has been washing very successfully with two pipes and five men and boys 

I am confident that the yield cannot be less than $20.00 a day, even among 
the former excavations where the gravel has been washed over more than 
once before." 

Lieber 1 mentions the hydraulic process as being practiced previous 
to 1859 at Pilot mountain in Burke County, X. C, and he evidently 
has reference to the above described localities. 

The Dahlonega method (a combination of hydraulicking, sluicing and 
milling) originated in 1868. 

The first record that we have of dredge mining is that carried on by 
a Mr. Gibson in 1843-4, in the Catawba river, Gaston county, X. C. 
The river sediments and gravel were scooped out on flatboats by men 
using long-handled scoops, and the material was carried ashore and 

Later on mechanical dredges of various designs came into use, 
chiefly on the Chestatee river, in Georgia. 

The advent of the hydraulic gravel elevator dates from about 1883. 
It was 'first applied at Brindletown, N". C, and at Dahlonega, Ga. The 
well-known type of this mechanism, known as the Hendy lift, was 
employed at the Cincinnati Consolidated Company's mines in Dawson 
county, Ga., in 1SS3. The plan was to divert the Etowah river and 
to suck up the gravel from the old channel. 

The Roy Stone method" was experimented with in the Chestatee 
river in 1883, but the results are not known. 

The Crandall hydraulic elevator, 3 as used at the Chestatee mine, 
Georgia, in 1895, contains important improvements over other types of 
similar mechanisms. 


Yein mining probably followed more or less closely on the exhaus- 
tion of the richer gravel deposits. The first account of vein mining is 
in 1825, at the Barringer mine, Stanly 4 county, !N\ C. In Virginia 
the veins of the Tellurium and Yaucluse mines were discovered in 1832; 
and in Georgia the Reynolds vein, lot IsTo. 10, near !N"acoochee, in 
White county, was discovered some time prior to 1834. 

1 Supplementary Report to the Survey of South Carolina, 1S59, p. 154. 

2 Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. viii, p. 254. 

3 Ibid., vol. xxvi, 1897, pp. 62-68. 

4 This part of Stanly was then a part of Montgomery county. 


For a long time the output was confined to the free-milling brown 
ores near the surface, and the ore was raised by horse-whim and hand- 
windlass, or even by baskets carried upon the backs of the miners. At 
first the gold from the ores of the decomposed outcrops of the veins 
was extracted by washing in rockers. The following quotation from 
Prof. Elisha Mitchell's Report on the Geology of North Carolina (1827), 
is pertinent here : 

" The quartz is raised from the mine, broken to pieces, and those parts 
which are known to contain gold selected for washing. This part of the 
process is conducted in the same way as in Montgomery (county), except that 
the agitation is continued for a longer time, and that a small quantity of 
quicksilver is put into the rockers to collect the gold, by forming an amalgam 
with it." 

The most primitive method of milling the quartz was undoubtedly 
by crushing in hand-mortars and subsequent panning. This is still 
carried on by the native tributors in certain districts. It was followed 
by the introduction of the drag mill {arr astro), the Chilean mill (Plate 
I, p. 30) and eventually the stamp-mill. The two former were evidently 
drawn from South American and Mexican practice, and were probably 
the first mechanical pulverizing machinery used. 

As an illustration of some of the earlier milling methods, the f ollow T - 
ing is taken from a report of the Supervising Committee of the United 
States Mining Company in 1835, on their mine near the Rappahannock 
river, Virginia: 

" The plant consists of a crushing (rolls) and a vertical mill (stamping-mill) in 
a building 26x36 feet. Both mills are located on the ground floor and are 
propelled by a water-wheel 11 feet in diameter, with a 11-foot face. The 
crushing-mill has 3 sets of cylinders 2 feet in length and 15 inches in diameter, 
the first or upper set fluted, the other smooth. The ore is thrown into a hopper 
on the upper floor, from which it is conducted over an inclined shaking-table 
to the fluted cylinders, by which it is crushed to a size from 14 to 1 inch in 
diameter. The crushed material is equally divided and goes to the two sets 
of smooth cylinders. By them it is further greatly reduced, ranging from 
impalpable powder to grains as large as coarse hominy. From these cylinders 
it falls into a sifter having the fineness and motion of the common meal-sifter, 
from whence the material which passes through is conducted to 12 amalga- 
mators, constructed upon the principle of the Tyrolese bowls, making from 90 
to 100 revolutions per minute. They perform the office of washing and amalga- 
mating. The sand discarded by them, after being washed, is conducted through 
troughs to the vertical mill, where, being reduced to an impalpable powder, it 
passes in the shape of turbid or muddy water to another set of amalgamators 
similar to those above mentioned, and thence to the river. The portion of the 
ore reduced by the cylinders which passes over the sifters is conducted to the 
vertical mill, and is treated in the same manner." 


The process at another Virginia mine, the Vaucluse, is described ' in 
1847 as follows: 

" The machinery consists of a condensing Cornish mining engine of 120 horse- 
power; the mill-house contains 6 large Chilean mills; the cast-iron bed-plate of 
each is 5 feet 6 inches in diameter, and on it are two cast-iron runners of the 
same diameter, the total weight of the mill being 6200 pounds. The ores, on 
arriving at the surface, are divided into two classes: 1. The coarse and hard 
ore for the stamps; 2. Slate and fine ore for the Chilean mills. This is done by 
means of a large screen. The very large pieces are first broken by a hammer 
before they are fed to the stamps. All of the ores are ground with water, each 
mill being supplied with hot and cold water at pleasure. Twelve inches from 
the top of the bed-plate there is a wide, open mouth, from which the turbid 
water escapes to tanks. On the south side of the steam-engine is the stamp 
house and amalgamation mill, containing 6 batteries of 3 stamps each; these 
stamps, with the iron head of 125 pounds, weigh 350 to 380 pounds each. Each 
battery is supplied with water, and at each blow of the stamp a portion of the 
fine ore passes out of the boxes through the grates to the amalgamation room. 
Here are stationed 18 small amalgamation bowls of cast iron. 30 inches in diam- 
eter. The bowls are supplied with runners which move horizontally: in the 
center of these runners is an eye or opening like that in the runner of a corn- 
mill. The ground or finely-stamped ore, gold and water pass into this eye. and 
by the rotary motion of the same are brought into contact with the quicksilver 
deposited in the center, forming amalgam. From the amalgamators the pulp 
passes through 3 dolly-tubs or catch-alls, acting as mercury and gold tubs. After 
this the whole mass passes to the strakes or inclined planes, where The sul- 
phurets are deposited and the earthy matter washed away. These sulphurets 
were formerly treated in two heavy Mexican drags or arrastras; but not answer- 
ing so good a purpose, they have been altered into three heavy Chilean mills."" 

The collection of amalgam, retorting and melting was practically the 
same as to-day. The total plant at this mine was valued at $70,000. 

Emmons gives the method of working the ores of Gold Hill, X. C. r 
in the earlier days as follows : " 

" The machinery employed at Gold Hill for separating gold, consists, first of 
the Chilean mill for crushing and grinding, after being broken by hammers, 

the Tyrolese bowls, the Burke rockers, and the drag-mill The work for 

a Chilean mill of this ore is 70 bushels per day, and our mills run for 24 hours, 
with one or two short interruptions. They are all moved by steam-power, and 
all the water used in the mills is pumped from the mine. The Burke rocker 
is the principal and best saving machine employed. The drag-mill is also a 
good machine, is cheap, and easily kept in repair. On inspecting these opera- 
tions when going on it is impossible to resist the conclusion that much of the 
gold is wasted along with the mercury." 

Emmons further states the force employed at Gold Hill at that time 
for working the Earnhardt (Randolph) vein to consist of: 

" 66 miners paid by the month and 39 negroes hired by the year. The day 
of 24 hours is divided into three shifts of eight hours each for underground 

1 Plan and Description of the Vaucluse Mine, Orange County, Va. Philadelphia, 1S47. 

2 Geological Report of the Midland Counties of North Carolina, 1S56. E. Emmons, pp. 160et8€9. 



The stamp-mill, or, as it was originally called, the " pounding mill," 
was most probably a European innovation. As early as 1836 a 6-stamp 
mill, with 50-pound stamps, was in operation at the Tellurium mine in 
Virginia. In 1837 a Frenchman erected a mill at the Haile mine in 
South Carolina. These primitive mills were constructed of wood, with 
iron shoes and die-plates; the general type of construction was similar 
to that of the present California mills, with the exception that the 
stems were square and did not revolve, the cams working in slots or 
recesses cut into the stems. A few of these old-fashioned mills may 
still be seen in operation in Georgia in the Nacoochee valley, seemingly 
serving the purpose of the tributors and petty quartz miners, and it is 
stated that they are operated at a fair profit. They are cheaply con- 
structed, a 10-stamp mill with water-wheel and building complete 
costing about $150. The amalgamation is done on a copper plate of 
the width of the battery and about one foot long. 

The first regular California battery was erected at the Kings moun- 
ain mine, in North. Carolina, just after the war; and in 1866 a similar 
mill was built at the Singleton mine, in Georgia, by Dr. Hamilton. 

Besides mills of "Western manufacture, there are two types which 
are common to the South. One of these is an excellent 750-pound mill 
built by the Mecklenburg Iron Works of Charlotte, N". C, a slight 
variation of the Western type (described on p. 119). The other is the 
450-pound Hall mill, which is peculiarly adapted to the saprolitic ores 
of the Dahlonega district in Georgia (described on pp. 110—113.) 

Various types of rotary pulverizers and pan amalgamators have been 
introduced in the South from time to time, supposedly as improvements 
on the stamp-mill, as, for instance, the Tlowland mill, a flat circular 
disc revolving in an iron shell; and, similarly, the Crawford (with 
revolving iron balls) and the Huntington mills; the Parson mill, not 
unlike the Howland, but covered with a hood, and having the interior 
grinding surfaces coated with lead-amalgam; the Meech mill, in which 
the quicksilver was comminuted by superheated steam; the Wiswell 
mill, being practically an iron Chilean mill fed with corrosive sub- 
limate in connection with an electric current; the Nobles process, in 
which the ore was ground to 100-mesh between buhr-stones and the 
pulp run over amalgamated slabs of zinc or lead. Revolving Freiberg 
barrels were also used at some of the mines. The Blake system of fine 
crushing, combined with subsequent wet grinding, 1 was introduced at 
the Haile mine in 1884, but was soon abandoned in favor of the 
present stamp-mill. 

The above are simply cited as a few examples of the vast number of 
mechanical appliances for grinding and amalgamation with which the 

1 Trans. Amer. Inst. Mining Evaincers, vol. xvi, p. 7.V>. 


mines of the Southern States have been overrun. Although some of 
these, notably the Huntington mill, are still in use at a few places, it 
has been quite clearly demonstrated that such grinding apparatus pro- 
duces float gold and flours the quicksilver, besides which the mechan- 
ism is subjected to great strain and wear, against all of which defects the 
stamp battery, with plate amalgamation, has proven itself vastly su- 
perior, and through all of its vicissitudes it has held the field as the 
most economical and rational apparatus for milling and amalgamating 
gold ores. 


As soon as the water-level was reached in the mines, and the free- 
milling brown ores were practically exhausted, attempts were made to 
treat the undecomposed sulphurets. 


Probably the earliest method employed for the concentration of these 
sulphurets was that used at the Yaucluse mine in 1847 (described on 
page 34), which consisted in passing the material over strakes or in- 
clined planes. This was probably followed by buddies, primitive bump- 
ing-tables and more especially by blankets. Log rockers were also 
used at an early date for this purpose. At the present day the Frue, 
Embrey and Triumph concentrators are in general use. Of these, the 
Embrey machine is considered by some to give better results, especially 
where skilled labor cannot be obtained, and where the sulphurets are 
not sized. Still, each one of the three finds its strong advocates, and the 
difference in perfection of concentration obtained by them is prob- 
ably not material. In some cases — as, for instance, in the Gold Hill 
district — the finely-divided condition of the gold has led to the re-em- 
ployment of blankets. 

At the Reimer mine, North Carolina, a plant was in operation in 
1883 in which the ore was comminuted in a series of crushers and 26- 
inch rolls; the pulp was sized into six grades, from 10- to 60-inesh, and 
each grade treated separately by a Bradford jig. This process is said 
to have given good results, but the plant was destroyed by tire soon 
after its erection and never rebuilt. The same system of jigging was 
at one time in use at the McGinn mine in North Carolina. 

The earliest treatment of the concentrated sulphurets was by regrind- 
ing them (in the raw, unroasted state) in Mexican arrastras and Chilean 
mills, with subsequent amalgamation, as described above in the prac- 
tice of working the ores at the Yaucluse mine, Virginia, in 1847. 

In 1852-53, a Dr. Holland, of Massachusetts, introduced a roasting 
process at some mines near Charlotte, IsT. C, in which the pyritic con- 


centrales were mixed with nitrate of potash or soda and roasted in a 
reverberatory furnace at a low heat. 

Lieber stated 1 in 1856 that a process for roasting sulphurets, with sub- 
sequent amalgamation, had been introduced by a Mr. C. Bingel at a 
mine near Rutherfordton, ~N. C. (this was probably the Alta mine), 
and was afterwards practiced with success on old tailings at the Gold 
Hill and other mines in North Carolina. 

In the past history of the Southern mines a vast number of roasting 
processes and furnaces have been introduced, many of them approach- 
ing the ludicrous, but they have never lasted beyond the experimental 
stage. Heap-roasting with salt was also tried. 

Some of the furnaces, particularly of the well-known reverberatory 
type, were successful enough so far as the roasting went; the fault lay in 
the prevalent and popular belief that, by oxidizing the sulphurets, the 
difficulty of amalgamating the precious metals, which had been set 
free, would be removed, when in fact the resulting coating of iron oxide 
was nearly as fatal to the work as the sulphide had been. 

The Bartlett method of making white lead-zinc oxide was introduced 
at the Silver Hill mine, North Carolina, in 1871-2. It consisted in 
roasting the concentrated galena-blende and condensing the zinc-lead 
oxide fumes, which made a good paint material. The process is said 
to have been carried on successfully until all the available suitable ma- 
terial was exhausted. 


The next step was in the direction of a chemical treatment of these 
refractory sulphurets. It would be useless to outline the numerous 
processes that were experimented with for this purpose. The South 
has been, much to its detriment, the " proving ground " of almost all 
the patent gold-saving processes invented, and the greater proportion of 
these have, as might have been predicted, resulted in utter failure. 
Of all these the chlorination process is practically the only survivor; 
and there is a possibility of the successful application of the cyanide 


It was not until 1879 that the successful treatment of pyritic sul- 
phurets was accomplished by the introduction of the chlorination pro- 
cess. In that year a Hears chlorination plant was erected at the 
Phoenix mine, North Carolina, under the management of Mr. A. Thies, 
who soon improved on and developed it into what is now universally 
known as the Thies process. 

1 Report on the Survey of South Carolina for 1856, p. 47. 


Iii 1880 a chlorination plant (the Davis and Tyson Metallurgical 
Works) was erected two miles south of Salisbury, X. C. The process 
used was known as the Davis process, which differed from the Clears 
only in the method of precipitating the gold with charcoal instead of 
ferrous sulphate. These works were in spasmodic operation on cus- 
tom ores for several years. 

In 1881 a Davis plant was erected at the Reimer mine, Xorth Caro- 
lina, but was shortly burned down, before thorough testing. 

In 1882 the Plattner chlorination process was introduced at the 
Tucker mine, North Carolina, but was not successful, and in the fol- 
lowing year the Mears process was substituted, which also had a short 
existence here. These failures were, however, most probably due to 
the impracticable application of the methods rather than to the char- 
acter of the methods themselves. 

Experiments were made several years ago by Mr. P. G. Lidner at the 
Brewer mine in South Carolina, and at Dahlonega, Ga., with a chlor- 
ination process for treating the ore in bulk; and a plant for a patent 
electrolytic-chlorination process was erected in 1895 at the Clopton 
mine, Villa Rica, Ga. None of these have, however, met with prac- 
tical success. 

At the present time the Thies process is in successful use at the 
Haile mine, South Carolina, and the Franklin and Royal mines, Georgia. 


The cyanide process has so far found but little application in the 
South. In May, 1892, Mr. Richard Eames, of Salisbury, X. C, ex- 
perimented with cyanide at the Gold Hill mine, 1ST. C, extracting 60 
per cent of the assay value. In the summer of 1893, a 10-ton cyanide 
plant was working at the Moratock mine, 1ST. G, but the operations 
were soon relinquished here on account of the low grade and character 
of the ore. Later in the same year, a cyanide plant was in operation at 
the Gilmer mines in Goochland county, Ya. ; with what success could 
not be ascertained. At the Franklin mine, Ga., a treatment of the 
ores with cyanide was attempted before the introduction of the chlor- 
ination process. It proved successful on the oxidized tailings from the 
old dumps; but the extraction from fresh sulphurets was insufficient to 
warrant its continuation. 

In 1895 cyanide experiments were made at the Sawyer mine, in Ran- 
dolph county, 1ST. C, but were soon abandoned. In 1896 a 30-ton 
cyanide plant was erected at the Russell mine, N. C, by the American 
Cyanide Gold and Silver Recovery Company of Denver, Col., and a 
small plant was also built at the Cabin Creek (Burns) mine, X. C, by 
the same company, but neither of these lias yet been put in practical 




The Hunt and Douglas process was successfully applied in IS 80 to 
the ores of the Conrad Hill mine, N. C. The roasted snlphurets were 
leached with a ferrous chloride solution, converting the copper to a 
soluble chloride, from which it was precipitated as metallic cement on 
scrap iron. 

The Designolle process, which consisted in treating the roasted ore 
with corrosive sublimate in iron vessels, was only moderately successful 
in its application, for the reason that it made a very base bullion, the 
iron of the apparatus invariably precipitating any soluble salts formed 
in the roasting. It was worked for a time, during 3 882-83, at a custom 
plant near Charlotte, N. C. ; at the New Discovery mine, Rowan county, 
N. C. (1883), and at the Haile mine, 1 S. C. (1883). 

A plant for the extraction of gold from pyritic concentrates, with the 
recovery of the sulphuric acid, was erected early in the present decade 
at Blacksburg, S. C, mainly for the treatment of custom ores. The 
concentrates were roasted in a Walker-Carter muffle furnace, which 
was connected with lead chambers. The amalgamation of the roasted 
product Avas carried on by a patent process known as the Caloric Reduc- 
tion Company's process, the principle of which was a. volatilization of 
mercury into the mass of the pulp, followed by a condensation of the 
same, the amalgam being led into settling vats. It was proposed to use 
the tailing residues for the manufacture of red paint. The scheme, as 
might have been predicted, was a failure. A similar process, known 
as the Phelps process, had already been unsuccessfully tried on North 
Carolina ores, in (about) 1877, in an experimental plant situated at 

Attempts at pyritic smelting were made as early as 1847 at the Vau- 
cluse mine in Virginia by Commodore Stockton, but resulted in failure. 

Matte smelting, followed by refining in reverberatory furnaces, 
was practiced (about 1881-1882) on the copper ores of the Conrad Hill 
and the North State mines in North Carolina. 

Experiments on matting auriferous sulphurets from the Haile mine, 
S. C, were made in 1886 by Mr. E. G. Spilsbury," but proved unsuc- 

Regarding smelting processes in the South, probably most has been 
done in the attempted treatment of the complex galena-blende ares, 
carrying silver and gold, of the Silver Hill and Silver Valley mines, 
Davidson county, N. C. 

The process in use at Silver Hill, as early as 1S53, was heap-roasting, 
followed by wet-crushing in a stamp battery, the zinc oxide being dis- 

1 Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Enps., vol. xv, p. 771. 

2 Trans. Amer. [nst. Min. Eiig*., vol. xv, pp. 7(57-77"). 



solved and recovered separately, after which the residues were smelted 
in the old-fashioned Scotch open-hearth lead furnace, and the precious 
metals were recovered from the pig lead by refining in a cupellation 
furnace. 1 

During the past twelve years a number of patent processes have been 
experimentally tried on the Silver Valley ores in a plant situated at 
Thomasville, ~H. C, but it was not until 1895 Jhat a successful process 
was introduced by Mr. Mninger, of Newark, X. J. It consists of a 
down-draught jacket furnace, through which the fumes of lead and 
zinc are carried downward into condensers, where they are met by a 
spray of water, the liquor being led to vats where the lead oxide is 
deposited, while the zinc remains in solution and is subsequently pre- 
cipitated as zinc oxide. The matte, carrying copper, gold and most 
of the silver, is tapped from the well of the furnace and cast into pigs. 


The following table, compiled from the production reports of the 
United States Mint, gives an estimate of the gold and silver production 
of the Southern States down to the present time. The figures represent 
not only the amounts deposited at the United States Mint and Assay 
Offices, but also such amounts that were produced and not turned into 
the mint and of which records could be obtained: 

Table I. — Estimate of the Production of Gold and Silver in each of the 
Southern States from 1799 to 1879 and Annually Since. 




N. C. 

S. C. 













£40,042. N 










1881 .... 

















509. Toil 




































379.1 1 










1888 ... 


















1890 .... 



























1893 .... 









1891 .. 




































In order to give an idea of the fluctuation from 1799 to 1896, Table 
Xo. 2 is given. These figures, however, comprise only the actual 

1 Mining Magazine, vol. i, 1853, p. 367 et scq. 


United States Mint and Assay Office receipts, and do not include such 
bullion as went abroad, was sold directly to local jewellers, or was coined 
by the Bechlters * at Kutherf ordton, K C. 

Table II.- 

Statement of 

Gold and Sil 

ver prod 

ern States 

• / Deposited at the United States a 

to 1896 inclusive. 























































1860 . 










1S3S 2 


























































































Total, 25.870,310 

The following note concerning this local coinage by the Bechtlers is 
added by Mr. Geo. B. Hanna of the L T . S. Assay Office at Charlotte. 
K C: ' 

"Gold was coined at Rutherf ordton by three Bechtlers: Christian Bechtler, 
A. Beehtler and Christian Bechtler, Jr. A. Bechtler came in between C. Becht- 
ler and C. Bechtler, Jr. I have in hand a 5-dollar gold piece stamped ' A.' 

1 Christian Bechtler, jeweller by trade, who resided near Kutherfordton, N. C. was urged 
by residents in Rutherford and adjoining- counties to coin the gold of that neighborhood, as 
transportation to the only mint then existing (Philadelphia, Pa.) was hazardous and difficult. 
He commenced coining in 1831, and continued until his death, in 1S43, when his nephew. ('. 
Bechtler, Jr., continued the minting until 1857. No regular entries of the quantity of gold 
minted were made ; sometimes as much as $4000 to $5000 were coined in a week ; and for a 
period of ten years the annual quantity was fairly equal. See Second Annual Bt port Survey 
of South Carolina, 1857. O. M. Lieber, p. 135. 

2 The years 1838 to 1847 exclude the amounts deposited at the New Orleans Mint, which were 
not available for each year. The total amount at New Orleans in those years from the South- 
ern States was only $116,086. 


Beclitler, and it is the most artistic of all the 5-dollar coins. C. Bechtler also 
coined 5-dollar gold pieces stamped ' Georgia Gold '; a very few pieces are 
stamped ' August 1, 1834,' which date marked a change in the U. S. standard 
gold coin. The presumption is that all the Bechtler gold coins prior to this 
date were bought up at a premium, and recoined at a profit of nearly 7 per 
cent. The denominations coined were $1.00, of quite various patterns, and 2% 
and 5-dollar pieces; the dollar pieces ranged from 27 to 30 grains. The coins 
were generally stamped with the carat, 20 c. being the lowest observed. The 
character of the stamping varied greatly, that of the dollar pieces being very 
poor, and these were extensively counterfeited. The alloy was silver and the 
coin had a pale brassy look. Some coins were specifically stamped ' North 
Carolina ' gold; others merely ' Carolina Gold ' or ' Georgia Gold.' " 

In Table ¥o. 3 the totals found in Table No. 2, from the years 1880 
to 1896, are distributed among the various States. 

Table III. — Statement of Gold and Silver Produced in each of the 
Southern States ; Deposited at the United States Mint and Assay 
Offices from 1880 to 1896 inclusive. 




s. c. 














1881 . . . 



































1885. . . 

. 1,539 








1886. . . 



















. 2,174 


















. 7,852 









. 4,244 


























1894. .. 









1895. .. 









1896. . . 









In the Census Report for 1880, vol. xiii, can be found statistics con- 
cerning gold mining in the Southern States tabulated under the follow- 
ing headings: Directory of deep mines; Means of handling water in 
deep mines; Cost of supplies in deep mines; Directory of ditches; Cost 
of ditch plants; Grades and dimensions of ditches; Length of water sea- 
son; Placer directory; Tunnels in placer mines; Stamp batteries; Amal- 
gamating mills; Arrastras; and Roasting furnaces. 



The North Carolina mines are distributed in three main belts — the 
Eastern Carolina, the Carolina, and the South Mountain belts (see 
pp. 14, 15-18). 

The distribution of gold deposits and geological formations in North 
Carolina is indicated in a general way by the accompanying map 
(fig. 3, p. 44); but this is shown in greater detail and accuracy on the 
larger map which accompanies Bulletin 3 of the Survey reports. 

The mining districts of North Carolina have been more extensively 
developed than those in any other portion of the South; although 
to-day a comparatively small number of the mines are in operation. 
Of these, very few can be said to be steady producers, most of the work 
being prospecting and preliminary development, with irregular and 
spasmodic output. Petty mining, chiefly in the placer ground, is car- 
ried on by tributors in various parts of the State. 


The principal mines are situated in Warren, Halifax, Franklin and 
Nash counties, in an area covering about 300 square miles, and ex- 
tending in a southwesterly direction from a point near the Thomas mine, 
1^ miles northeast of Ransoms bridge, to and across Tar river. 

Among the mines in this belt are the Thomas, Kearney, Taylor, 
Mann, Davis, NickArrington, MannArrington, and Portis. Of these 
the two latter are, perhaps, of most importance. 

The Mann-Arkington mine is situated in the northwest corner of 
Nash county, at Argo P. O. The country-rock is chlorite-schist, in part 
porphyrinic, striking N. 60° E. and dipping 40° S.E. The ore-body 
consists of quartz lenses from minute size up to 12 inches in thickness, 

1 For fuller description of some of the mines, the reader is referred to : 

Geological Report of the Midland Counties of North Carolina, by Ebenezer Emmons, New 
York, 1856. 

"The Ores of North Carolina," by W. C. Kerr and George B. Hanna, Nortli Carolina 
Geological Survey, 1887. 

"The Gold Deposits of North Carolina, 1 ' by H. B. C. Nitze and G. B. Hanna. North Carolina 
Geological Survey, 1896. Bull. No. 3. 

Unless otherwise stated, the mines are not at present working. The values of the ores arc 
not given on our authority ; the same is true of the dimensions of the ore bodies in abandoned 
mines and in such as could not be examined. 



imperfectly interlaminated in the schists and often cutting the same at 
low angles. The quartz is usually saccharoidal. The mine has been 
opened to a depth of about 108 feet and, so far as is known, was last 
worked early in 1894. 

The Portis mine is situated near Ransoms bridge in the northeastern 
corner of Franklin county. The country-rock is diorite. The ore- 
bodies lie in two intersecting belts of reticulated quartz-veins, each 
about 9 feet in total width. No work further than prospecting has 
been done on these. Small irregular quartz-stringers occur promis- 
cuously throughout the country-rock, and the saprolites in general are 
stated to be auriferous. The only work of any consequence done here 
was surface sluicing and hydraulicking to a depth of 15 to 30 feet. 
Sufficient water supply and head are difficult to obtain. It is stated 
that 1000 cubic yards, washed in one of the sluice lines, yielded 1018 
pennyweights of gold, the loose vein-rock obtained in this mass assaying 
about $8 per ton. 


Granville, Person, Alamance, Orange, and Chatham counties are in- 
cluded in this belt, being at its northern extremity; but little work of 
consequence has been done here. A newly discovered belt of veins has 
been recently opened three or four miles east of Oxford (Chatham 
mine) ; another in the northern part of Granville county, near Adoniram 
and Venable; and still another near the northwest border of the county, 
in the copper belt (Hollo way mine). 


Among the principal mines are the Fisher Hill, Millis Hill, Hodges 
Hill (Hodgins), Fentress (North Carolina), Twin, Gardner Hill, Jacks 
Hill, North State (McCullough), Lindsay, Deep River, Beason, Har- 
land and Beard, situated from 3 to 10 miles south and southwest from 
Greensboro in a general direction towards Jamestown. The country- 
rock is granitic. 

The Fisher Hill and Millis Hill mines are five to six miles south 
of Greensboro. There are two systems of parallel veins, the first run- 
ning north and south and the second northeast and southwest. The 
aggregate length of the veins on this property is stated to be S or 10 
miles. The vein which has been most extensively worked varies from 
10 inches to 4 feet in thickness and has been successfully operated at 
several points. The mill consists of ten stamps and was running in 
1886 and 1887. 

The Hodges Hill (Hodgins) mine is two miles east of the Fisher 
Hill. The ore is quartz and chalcopyrite, in a flat vein from G inches 
to 12 feet thick. 


The North Carolina (Fentress) mine is 9 to 10 miles south of 
Greensboro. The general strike of the vein is X. 25° E.; its dip ranges 
from 38° to 60°. The quartz outcrop has been traced for three miles. 
The ore is chalcopyrite in quartz and siderite, containing gold. It was 
formerly worked for copper. The mine has been opened to a depth of 
310 feet, where the ore-shoot was 80 to 90 feet long and 34 inches 
wide. The thickness of the vein varies from this to as high as 13 feet. 
It was last worked in 1856, and the ores which were shipped ranged 
from 14 to 23 per cent, copper. 

The Twin mine is six miles southwest of Greensboro. There are 
two parallel veins separated by 4 feet of slate. The strike is X. 40' E. 
and the dip S.E. The thickness of the vein is about 18 inches, the 
ore being auriferous quartz, carrying chalcopyrite. 

The Gardner Hill mine is three miles northeast of Jamestown. 
There are supposed to be three veins on the property. The main vein 
strikes N. 20° E. and clips westward. Its thickness is from a few 
inches to 3 feet. The vein-matter is auriferous quartz, carrying chal- 
copyrite and some pyrite. The wall-rock is granite, with a slaty gouge 
on each side of the veins. The mine has been opened to a depth of 110 
feet. It is stated x that the ore ran from $10 to $20 per ton and that 
the mine yielded $100,000. It is estimated that the present dumps 
contain 25,000 tons of ore. Tentative assays show $3 to $10 per ton. 

The North State (McCullough) mine is situated about two miles 
west of south from Jamestown. The vein strikes northeast and dips 
45° to 80° S.E. The mine was opened to a depth of 325 feet, where 
the vein was 4 to 8 feet thick. At the surface it was 2 feet; at the 
60-foot level, 4 feet; at the 90-foot level, 10 feet; and at the 130-foot 
level, 24 feet in thickness. The ore is quartz carrying gold and sul- 
phurets (pyrite and chalcopyrite). The brown ores extend to a depth 
of 130 feet and are said to have yielded from $1.50 to $5 per bushel 
($15 to $50 per ton). 

The last work was done at the depth of 325 feet, where the vein 
varied from 4 to 8 feet in width. The equipment consisted of 20 
stamps and other machinery, which were last operated in IS 84. 

The Jacks Hill is on the northern, and the Lindsay on the southern 
extension of the North State vein. 


The mines are in the central and western part of the county. The 
country-rock is argillaceous and chloritic schist, probably in large part 
sheared eruptives. At the Hoover Hill the rock is a massive porphyrite. 

1 Emmons, Geol. Rept. Midland counties of N. C, 1856, pp. 174, etc. 


The Sawyer mine is 5 miles northwest and the Winningham, Slack, 
Winslow and Davis Mountain mines are from 2 to 5 miles southwest 
of Aslieboro. 

During 1895 the application of the cyanide process to the ores of the 
Sawyer was experimented with, but finally abandoned 

The Hoover Hill mine is situated about 10 miles west of Aslieboro 
and 17 miles east of south from High Point. The country-rock 
is a basic eruptive which is partially brecciated, the included fragments 
being hornstone. In part the rock is slightly schistose. The ore-bodies 
consist of belts in this porphyrite, which are pyritic and, filled with 
reticulated quartz-veins from less than 1 inch to 12 inches in thickness. 
The strike of the belts is I.E. and the dip 30°-60° S.E. The ore- 
bodies are intersected by pyroxenic dikes. The mine has been opened 
to a depth exceeding 300 feet. The so-called Briols shoot at this depth 
furnished ore worth $8 to $10 per ton. The mine was working in June, 
1895. It was equipped with a 20-stamp mill in 1882. 

The Wilson-Kindley mine is one-half mile southwest from the Hoover 
Hill, and the formation is similar. 

The Jones (Keystone) mine is 18 miles east-southeast from Lexington. 
The country-rock is a very schistose phase of the brecciated porphyrite 
described at Hoover Hill. The strike is N". 45° E. and the dip 80° 
LAV. The ore-bodies consist of separate belts, 12 to 15 feet wide, of 
the schists, impregnated with auriferous pyrites and quartz-stringers. 
The entire width of the ore-bearing ground is stated to be 50 to 110 
feet. The ore is cheaply mined in open cuts by quarrying. A 40- 
stamp mill stands on the property. The ore is stated to mill $2. Assay 
value $2 to $7 per ton. Pan concentrates run $22 per ton. Cyanide 
experiments have been made in a small temporary plant, and it is stated 
that several tests of sulphureted ores gave an extraction of 70 1o 80 
per cent. The mine is at present in operation. The Uharie river, 2 
miles distant, is the nearest supply from which water could be fur- 
nished by pumping, for hydraulicking and sluicing purposes. 

The Herring (or Laughlin), Delft and Parish mines are in the 
vicinity of the Jones. At the last-mentioned mine free gold is found 
in association with actinolite. 

The LTharie mine is near the Montgomery county line on the Uharie 
river. The ore-bodies are similar to those of the Russell, which i> a 
short distance southwest (see p. 52); but unlike that at the Russell, the 
work here has been underground, the depth of the shaft being 17<* 
feet. A 10-stamp mill was erected in 1887. 


The Lalor (or Allen), Loftin, Eureka and Black mines arc situated 
from 2 to 3 miles southeast of Thomasville in the granite. The ores 


contain gold, silver and copper. At the Lalor mine the depth of the 
workings is 140 feet. It was last operated in 1882 by the Campbell 
Mining and Reduction Company of Kew York. The mill contains 10 
stamps and concentrating machinery. The concentrates contained suf- 
ficient copper sulphurets to make a smelting ore. 

Two of the more important mines in this county are the Silver Hill 
and the Silver Valley. 

The Silver Hill (Washington) mine is 10 miles southeast from 
Lexington. The country is chloritic schist striking X. 35 ~ E. and dip- 
ping 57° !N7W.; it is accompanied by an eruptive porphyrite similar to 
that of Hoover Hill. The ore is schist and quartz, carrying a complex 
mixture of pyrite, galena, zinc-blende and chalcopyrite. The galena is 
rich in silver. A general average of 200 tests of Silver Hill ore shows: 1 

Per Cent. 

Galena 21.9 

Pyrite 17.1 

Chalcopyrite '. 1.8 

Zinc-blende 59.2 

Silver and gold 0.025 


The difficulty of successfully treating this complex combination of 
sulphurets has repeatedly been felt here. A mechanical separation of 
the galena and blende by buddies and similar machinery was perhaps 
the most successful of the vast number of concentrating processes tried, 
but even here the assays of the tailings and slimes showed great loss. 
The ore was for a time treated with some success, without any separa- 
tion, for the combined oxides of lead and zinc used in paint manufac- 
ture. This class of ore is best adapted to a smelting process in com- 
bination with copper ores, such as has been successfully done on the 
similar ores of the Silver Valley mine. (See p. 49.) 

As far as the 200-foot level certain portions of the vein were filled 
with argentiferous galena, which presented no difficulty in treatment. 
But below that level the blende gradually increases and finally pre- 
dominates over the galena. 

Various assays of the Silver Hill ores show: 

Carbonate Ores. Pyritie Ores. 
(1) '2^ (3) (-P 

Gold, per ton SS.27 $2.07 S3. 10 S10.34 

Silver, " 20.36 4.65 4.01 2.97 

S28.63 S6.72 S7.ll S13.31 

Lead, per cent 3.S0 31.94 0.67 

Zinc, " . 27.28 2.0S 

1 Ores of North Carolina, by W. C. Kerr and G. B. Hanna, 18ST, p. 197. 

— • -^ 


Galena and Blende Ores. 

(5) (6) (7) (8) (9) 

Gold, per ton $4.13 $6.20 $4.13 $ $ 

Silver " 3.23 10.73 11.25 23.86 103.44 

. $7.36 $16.93 $15.3S $25.86 $103.44 

Lead, per cent 22.94 56.72 12.57 49.00 52.00 

Zinc, " 7.14 31.29 

The mine has been worked to a depth of GOO feet by numerous and 
extensive levels. There are two parallel veins or lodes, known as the 
East and West, about 2S feet apart. The strike is E".E. and the dip 
45° N.W. At the 60-foot level they come together, making 20 feet 
in width; at the 160-foot level the distance between the veins again 
widens to 32 feet, and the clip approaches the vertical. At the 200-foot 
level the width of the west lode is 10 to 15 feet. This mine was dis- 
covered in 1838; it was last worked 12 years ago. 

The Silver Valley mine is situated 5 miles northeast of the Silver 
Hill. The character of the country and the ore are similar to those 
at Silver Hill. The strike of the lode is E~.E. with a dip of 45° N.W. 
The hanging is siliceous argillaceous schist, and the foot-wall, a hard 
hornstone (devitrifled quartz-porphyry). The outcrop is a barren 
milky quartz, 20 feet wide; the sulphurets appear at a depth of 60 
feet. The mine has been opened to a depth of 120 feet. The lode is 
from 5 to 12 feet in width and consists of alternate bands of slate, 
quartz and sulphurets, the latter seams being from 3 to 18 inches thick. 
A 20-stamp mill stands on the property. 

Some assays of the Silver Valley ores show: 

Galena and Blende Ores. 

(1) (2) (3) 

Gold, per ton $ $4.13 $ 

Silver, " 17.19 176.49 3S.14 

$17.19 $1S0.62 $38.14 

Lead, per cent 15.54 55.25 38.80 

Zinc, " 31.43 11.24 32.00 


(4) (5) (6) (7) 

Gold, per ton $4.13 $4.13 $1.03 $1.65 

Silver, " 23.01 44.74 13.0S 14.34 

$27.14 $4S.S7 $14.11 $15.99 

Lead, per cent 11.18 47.62 9.63 8.13 

Zinc, " 27.70 12.6S 27.S4 33.54 

The mine was last operated in the latter part of 1893, and the ores 
were smelted in a furnace at Thomasville (Xorth Carolina Smelting 
Co.). Many attempts have been made at various times to treat these 


complex ores, but unsuccessfully until this last time. A description of 
this smelting process, by Dr. Gr. "W. Lehmann, of Baltimore, MxL, is 
therefore deemed of interest and is given here in his words: 

" The smelting plant situated at Thomasville, X. C, on the line of the 
Southern Railroad and within 13 miles of the mines of the Silver Valley Mining 
Company, was erected especially for the treatment of the refractory ores from, 
this mine. 

" The composition of the ore is zinc-blende, galena, iron sulphides, together 
with some little copper, silver and gold. An average analysis representing a 
large lot delivered at the smelter gave: Zn., 28 per cent.; Pb., 12 per cent.; Cu., 
0.5 per cent.; Ag., 21 ounces per ton; Au., 0.06 ounces per ton. Quite a number 
of patent processes have been in operation since the last 10 years at the works 
in order to profitably reduce the several metals, but none of these processes 
have gone beyond the experimental stage, since none of them proved a commer- 
cial success, until about two years ago. At that time Mr. Robert Xininger. of 
Newark, X. J., erected a plant which deals with the subject of treating refrac- 
tory ores successfully. The plant consists essentially of: 

" 1. Down-draft jacket furnace connected with two horizontal jackets, one on 
each side of the furnace; 

"2. Two condensers connecting with the horizontal jackets; 

" 3. Vat house with a series of large vats to receive the flow of liquor from the 
condensers and to collect the lead and zinc residues; 

" 4. A separate plant for the treatment of the lead residues; 

" 5. A separate plant for the treatment of the zinc residues. 

" The down-draft furnace, as far as charging and general construction is con- 
cerned, is operated in a similar manner as any ordinary jacket-furnace, but the 
arrangement of the tuyeres is different and the current of air from the blowers 
necessary for the complete combustion of the refractory ore is carried down 
through the charge; thence through the horizontal jackets, the condensers, 
through two powerful suction blowers along a series of dust chambers, and out 
through the stack. A constant spray of water meeting the volatile metallic 
fumes of lead and zinc (together with what silver the zinc fumes carry 
along) in the two condensers, deposits all the metallic products and carries them 
with the liquor into a series of vats where the lead sulphite or sulphate is 
deposited on the bottom of the vats, carrying the silver with it. whilst the zinc 
remains in solution and is precipitated out of this solution as zinc oxide. 

" During the operation the slag is drawn off from openings near the bottom 
of the horizontal jackets near the furnace proper, whilst the matte is collected 
in the well of the furnace and tapped. This matte carries the copper, gold, and 
most of the silver. It is necessary to prepare the charges to the furnace so as 
to have not less than 5 per cent, of copper in your charge; otherwise the resulting 
matte would be too low in copper and would have to be treated over and over 
again. Gold concentrates and even dry ores can be used with advantage as 
fluxes and will help to make the process more profitable." 

The cause of closing down the furnace was the difficulty of obtaining 
sufficient copper ores for fluxing. 

During the summer of 1896 some testing work was done on the 
placer deposits forming the bottom land along a small creek that 
traverses the property. The plant consisted of an iron washer operated 
by a hydraulic stream, riffled sluices, amalgamating tables and rockers. 



Its capacity is from 40 to 50 tons per day. It was estimated that the 
minimum yield of the ground was $2 per ton, and from that up to $4. 

Some prospecting was also done on a gold-bearing quartz-vein situ- 
ated on the west side of the creek. A 40-foot shaft exposed 7 feet of 
vein matter, consisting of quartz and schists carrying pyritic sulphurets. 
An assay of an average sample is stated to have given a value of $9.55 
per ton. Assays of the more highly pyritic portion (about 4 feet in 
width) showed $19.06 per ton, and it is supposed that this material can 
be concentrated to $60. 

The Welborn (or Smith) mine, which is 2 miles west of the Silver 
Hill, carries similar ores. 

The Conrad Hill mine is situated 6 miles east of Lexington. The 
country-rocks are silicified chloritic and argillaceous schists, striking 
K 10°-20° E., and dipping 80° KW. There are two systems of 
veins, one parallel to the strike of the schists, and the other cutting the 
same at various angles. The vein-matter is quartz and siderite, carrying 
chalcopyrite and gold. 

A number of these veins have been opened and worked by three 
different shafts, the deepest of which, the main or engine shaft, is 400 
feet deep. 

The thickness of the ore-bodies varies in different portions of the 
mines from less than 1 to as much as 20 feet. 

The method of preparing and treating the ores at the time the mine 
was in operation, was to partially sort underground, and then still fur- 
ther hand-cobb and pick on the surface, which product went to the 
copper works; the remainder was crushed and jigged and the heads 
added to the hand-picked ore above; the tails were counted as waste, 
and the middlings were sent to the stamp-mill and amalgamated, where 
the tailings from the battery were again partly concentrated by buddies 
and blankets, and the concentrates sent to the copper works. 

The treatment for the extraction of copper at first was to smelt the 
roasted ore in a shaft furnace for matte, from which, after re-smelting, 
black copper was obtained and refined. Smelting was superseded by 
the Hunt and Douglas wet process. The crushed roasted ore was sub- 
jected to a bath of protochloride of iron, for the conversion of the in- 
soluble copper minerals to the soluble chloride; after leaching, the 
copper was precipitated by metallic iron and then refined. The resi- 
dues were milled and amalgamated in order to obtain the gold. 


The mines of this county are situated in the northern-central and 
northwestern parts, along the range of the Uharie mountains. 



The Carter and Reynolds mines are some 6 miles northeast of Troy. 
They have been worked to a depth of 100 and 80 feet, respectively. 
Telkiride of gold is stated to occur here. 

On the nortwest side of the Uharie mountains is a series of gravel 
mines situated in a line between the mountains and the Uharie river. 
Among others may be mentioned the Bright, Ophir * (Davis), Spanish 
Oak Gap, Dry Hollow, Island Creek, Deep Flat, Pear Tree Hill, Toms 
Creek, Bunnell Mountain, Dutchmans Creek, and the Worth. The 
available portions of these placers have been exhausted so far as the 
present supply of water will answer. The Beaver Dam placer is lo- 
cated about 5 miles west of Eldorado. 

The Sam Christian mine is situated on the west side of the Uharie 
mountains about 9 miles southwest of Troy. 

The property contains 1350 acres. It was at one time extensively 
worked as a gravel mine by the Sam Christian Company, of London, 
England (the last operations were in 1893), the water being obtained 
by pumping from the Yadkin river, about 2-J miles distant. The plant 
consisted of two Worthington pumps and five 100 horse-power boilers, 
with a capacity of delivering to the mine 5,500,000 gallons in 24 hours, 
through a 20-inch steel flanged pipe. The elevation of the point of 
discharge above the point of supply was 416 feet. 

The two principal channels were the Dry Hollow and the Sam 
Christian cut. The thickness of the gravel varied between 1 and 3 feet. 
The gold was coarse, mostly in nuggets from 5 to 1000 dwts. The 
country-rock is the Monroe slate, accompanied by large masses of vol- 
canic breccias and cherty felsites (devitrified quartz-porphyry) which 
contain many small quartz-veins from -J to 3 inches in thickness, strik- 
ing ~N. 70° W. and dipping 60° ]ST.E. Several shafts have been sunk 
on some of these narrow veins; but the attempts at deep mining were 

Most of the deep mines are situated in the extreme northwestern cor- 
ner of the county, with Eldorado in their center. 

The Etjssell mine (Glenbrook Mining Company), is about 3 miles 
northeast from Eldorado and but a short distance from the Randolph 
county line. The country-rocks are argillaceous slates, both of soft 
and silicifled types. Calcite occurs as a coating and in veinlets. In 
part at least, if not altogether, these slates are sedimentary; the bedding 
and cleavage planes usually coincide, though not always. The strike 
and dip is very variable. Diabase dikes occur in the country, but not 
in close proximity to the mine. The ore-bodies consist of parallel belts 
in the slates, impregnated with iron sulphurets (2 to 4 per cent.") and 
free gold, together with quartz-stringers. There are at least six of 

1 Tae siprolites have been explored here, and a belt 30 feet wide was found to mill §3 per ton. 



• y." 

v f 


i v 5» 


' M 

\ .1 



these belts within a distance of 2000 feet across the strike. One of the 
largest is opened by the Big Cut, an open pit about 300 feet long by 150 
feet wide by 60 feet deep (Plate II). On the eastern edge of this cut is 
a shaft 150 feet deep, from the bottom of which the ore has been 
&toped upward. It is stated that the entire material from the cut aver- 
aged about $2 per ton, mill-yield. There were some rich streaks from 
1- to 5 feet wide which went much higher. Two stamp-mills are situ- 
ated on the property; the new mill contains 40 stamps (Plate III) and 
the old one (now in ruins) 30 stamps. It was proposed in 1895 to treat 
the Russell ores by the cyanide process; and the American Cyanide 
Gold and Silver Recovery Company, of Denver, Col., erected a 30-ton 
plant in the following year, and it is stated that experimental tests and 
calculations demonstrated the ability to treat the ore for $1 per ton, 
on a 100 ton scale, with an extraction of 85 to 90 per cent. 

The Appalachian (or Coggins) mine is located near Eldorado. It 
is quite similar in character to the Russell, showing large bodies of low- 
grade ore. The depth of the last workings was 160 feet. A 40-stamp 
mill was erected in 1887, and was moved to the Jones mine, Randolph 
county, in 1896. 

The Morris Mountain (Davis or Dutton) mine is one mile west of 
the Appalachian, and the ore-bodies are similar to those of the Russell 
and the Appalachian. 

The Riggon Hill mine is located 3 miles east of Eldorado. The 
ore-body consists of a quartz-vein, 2-J feet in thickness, lying in and 
with the slate country. It has been opened by a shaft 100 feet in 
depth. Some very high-grade ores (both in gold and silver) are reported 
from here. Prospecting work was being done during the past summer. 

The Steel mine is situated about 2 miles southeast of Eldorado. The 
country is silicifled schist, striking !N". 25° E. and dipping 70° N.W. 
The ore-bodies (9 to 12 feet in thickness) consist of the schists impreg- 
nated with sulphurets (galena, blende, chalcopyrite and pyrite^) and 
intercalated with quartz-stringers or seams from less than one up to 
twelve inches in thickness. The combined thickness of these ore-seams 
is rarely less than 15 inches, and is sometimes more than 3 feet. The 
ore contains gold and silver in galena, blende, chalcopyrite and pyrite. 
Occasional bunches of the ore have been extremely rich, and assays of 
the entire mass of the vein-matter have shown values from $20 to $160 
per ton. The depth of the mine is 220 feet. It was last operated by 
the Genesee Gold Mining Company, the ores being treated in a 40- 
stamp mill. 

The Saunders mine is an extension of the Steel. 

The Moratock mine is situated 8 miles south of Eldorado. The 
country-rock is a massive, devitrihed quartz-porphyry and volcanic 


breccia. It is very sparingly impregnated with sulphurets (pyrite and 
some chalcopyrite). Several small quartz-veins (less than 1 inch in 
thickness) intersect the mass. The mine consists of a small quarry 
opening in the quartz-porphyry. A 10-stamp mill, equipped with a 
cyanide plant, stands on the property and was last in operation in July, 
1893. The ore was reported to be of too low grade to be profitably 


The mines are located in the northeastern portion of the county, more 
or less on the line of the Southern Railroad branch running from Salis- 
bury to Norwood. Among the more important properties are the Haith- 
cock, Hearne, Crawford, Lowder, Parker, Crowell and Barringer. 

The Haithcock and Hearne mines are about two miles northwest of 
Albemarle. The country-rock is clay-slate, striking N.E., and associated 
with eruptives. The quartz-veins are stated to be from 2 to 6 feet in 

The Crawford mine, situated 4 miles northeast from Albemarle, is 
a newly discovered placer, and is described in detail on p. 91. 

The Lowder mine is situated 4 miles west of Albemarle. It was 
opened in 1835, but has not been operated since the war. Previous to 
that time it was worked along the outcrop and to a depth of 65 feet. 
The quartz-vein is stated to be 3-| feet in thickness, lying approx- 
imately with the slates in strike and dip. During the summer of 1895 
the mine was unwatered, and some prospecting work was carried on. 

The Parker mine (the New London Estates Company, L'td.) is situ- 
ated at New London, 9 miles northwest of Albemarle. The property 
comprises about 1200 acres. It is now in litigation. The country 
slates resemble those of the Monroe type (see p. 16); they are intruded 
by successive flows of greenstone porphyry and more basic eruptives, 
in part brecciated. The mine shafts have disclosed at least two volcanic 
sheets, from 2 to 3 feet thick each, lying horizontally and separated by 
sedimentary slates. In places the greenstone is squeezed into nearly 
vertical schistose masses. The country is intersected by numberless 
quartz-stringers and several larger quartz-veins, which are auriferous. 
The principal work at the Parker consisted of hydraulicking (see Plate 
IV) in several old gravel channels, which are stated to have yielded 
over $200,000. The gold was coarse, usually in nuggets from a few 
pennyweights up to 3 pounds. The fineness of the gold is 950 to 970. 
The value of the gravel is stated to vary from 44 cents to $2.40 per 
cubic yard. 

In one of the hydraulic cuts the bed-rock underlying the grit was 
decomposed greenstone. Test-pits have shown that this bed-rock is but 




""-■-- -" <q 





a sheet of greenstone about 3 feet thick, and that it is underlain by 
another auriferous gravel deposit, which may be considered virgin 
ground, as no attempt has yet been made to work it. There would be 
no great difficulty in getting a sluice on the bed-rock beneath this lower 
grit, with sufficient fall to carry off the tailings. 

The hydraulicking plant is very extensive. It consists of a Worth- 
ington compound duplex condensing pump, with two 100 H. P. boilers 
(using 7 cords of wood per day, at $1 per cord), situated on the Yadkin 
river, 4^ miles from the stand-pipe at the mine, and 340 feet below the 
same. The pipe-line on the lower lift is 20 inches in diameter, flange- 
riveted, made of ye-inch steel; on the upper lift is a similar steel pipe 
12 inches in diameter. Expansion-joints are placed every quarter of a 
mile, and the full length of sleeve (8 inches) is necessary to take up 
the maximum expansion and contraction of the pipe caused by changes 
•of temperature. The capacity of the pump is 1,500,000 gallons in 12 
hours; the head furnished from the top of the stand-pipe to the mine- 
workings is about 90 feet. (Plate V.) 

Besides the gravel channels at the Parker, the saprolites are, in gen- 
■eral, auriferous; and a combination sluicing and milling process 
(Dahlonega method, see p. 107) was at one time attempted here. The 
bank was undercut with powder and the shattered mass moved with the 
giants. The material ran about 50 cents a ton in the mill; but only a 
small percentage of it was quartz, and an attempt to select the latter 
proved unsuccessful. The tailings in the mill were reasonably low; 
but the loss of fine gold in the overflow from the mill-tank, in connection 
with the exhaustion of the richer available saprolites, led to the aban- 
donment of the process. 

The mill is a 10-stamp one, built by the Mecklenburg Iron Works of 
'Charlotte, E\ C. The weight of the stamps is 650 pounds. In the 
Dahlonega practice 4 drops were given 80 times per minute, and round 
punched screens were used; there were no inside plates. About 50 per 
<?ent. of the gold was saved in the mortars between the dies. The total 
cost of milling (including 1 cord of wood at $1), with 1 hand on each 
shift at $1, was $4 per 24 hours. 

The last work done at the Parker (fall and winter of 1895) was 
that of prospecting some of the larger quartz-veins on the property. The 
Ross shaft was sunk to a depth of 130 feet and a vein was opened by a 
crosscut, showing sulphurets of iron and copper in white quartz, which 
gave assay values ranging from $3 to $12 per ton. The same vein had 
been exposed in a 130-foot shaft to the west of the Koss, where assays 
of the quartz showed values of $3 at the 85-foot and $7 at the 130- 
foot level. 

The dimensions of the Koss shaft are 5 feet 6 inches bv 11 feet inside 



measurements, with three compartments, the ladder-way being in the 
center. The timbers (10 by 12 inches, white oak) are placed in square 
sets, with 5 feet centers. The cost of timber is $7 per thousand. The 
cost of the shaft (including timbering) was estimated at $10 per foot 
for the first hundred feet, $12 for the next hundred, and $15 for the 
last fifty feet. 
Cost of labor: 

Mine foreman (who also does the framing) 12-hr. shift, $1.50 

Helper to same " " 1.00 

Blacksmith 10-hr. " 1.00 

Underground men 12-hr. shift, 75 to 85 cents. 

The Crowell mine is situated near the Parker. The ore-body is 
a pyritic belt in the country slate, from 4 to 7 feet in thickness, with a 
narrow pay-streak. The strike is !N". 10° \V., and the dip 45° X.TT. 
The mine has been worked to a depth of 125 feet. 

The Little Fritz (formerly the Culp) mine is situated near Glad- 
stone. Some prospecting work has lately been in progress here, and an 
Elspass frictional roller quartz-mill was erected. 

The Barringer mine is situated 4 miles southeast of G old Hill. The 
gold is associated with limestone, and very rich ores are stated to have 
been mined here. 


The mines are situated in the northern and northwestern parts of the 
county. The Jura-trias sandstone, the eastern limit of the Carolina 
belt, passes in a southwesterly direction through the central part of the 
county, near Carthage. 

The Bell mine is situated 8 miles north-northwest from Carthage. 
The country-rock is a garnetiferous chlorite-schist, striking N". 55° E.^ 
and dipping 75° jST.A\ r . The ore-body consists of a 4-foot belt in the 
schists, containing a small percentage of finely disseminated pyrite and 
intercalations of siliceous seams from -J to 4 inches in thickness. The 
entire vein-matter is said to run $12 a ton. It is stated that the pay- 
streak, 4 to S inches thick, lay against the foot-wall, and that about 
2 feet of the material on the foot-wall side was mined and milled, yield- 
ing as much as $30 a ton. The mine has been worked to a depth of 
110 feet and for a length of 800 feet. 

The Grampusville mine is 3 miles southwest of the Bell. 

The Burns mine 1 is situated 11 miles west-northwest from Carthage, 
on Cabin creek. The country is sericitic and chloritic schist, in part 
silicified. The strike is K 20° E., and the dip 55° K¥. The ore- 

1 See article by H. M. Chance, Eng. and Min. Jour. vol. Lxi, p. 132, 1896. 


bodies consist of certain belts of the country, impregnated with pyrite 
and quartz in lenticular stringers. The ore is mined in large open cuts, 
20 to 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep. The average ore is stated to 
run from $2.50 to $3 per ton in free gold. In 1894 the ores were being 
treated in five Crawford mills by the Columbia Mining Company, but 
the operations did not apparently prove successful. In 1895 the Cabin 
Creek Mining Company built a 10-stamp mill, with bumping-tables for 
the concentration of the sulphurets, for the treatment of which it has 
been proposed to introduce the cyanide process. 

The Clegg, Cagle, Bat Roost, Shields, and Brown mines are situated 
from ^ to 3 miles west and north of the Burns. The character of the 
country-rock and of the ore-bodies at these is similar to that of the Burns. 


A small patch of crystalline rocks, lying on the south side of the 
Jura-trias sandstone, is gold-bearing. Two mines, the Hamilton 
(Bailey) and the Jesse Cox, are situated about 2 miles southwest of 
Wadesboro. They are not working at present. 


The mines are located in the southeastern portion of the county in 
three general groups: 

1. In a line extending from 2 to 9 miles southwest of Salisbury, and 
1 to 3 miles east of the Southern Railroad, including the Hartman,. 
Yadkin, Negus, Harrison, Hill, Southern Belle, Goodman, Randleman, 
and Roseman mines. Not enough is known of these to admit of an 
intelligent description. 

2. Two to seven miles east and southeast of Salisbury, in the Dunns 
Mt. granite area, including the Dunns Mt., New Discovery, Bullion, and 
Reimer mines. Of these, the Reimer is fully described on page 117, 
and will serve as a type for the others. 

3. Nine to ten miles southeast of Salisbury in the metamorphic schists, 
including the Gold Hill, Dutch Creek, Gold Knob, Holtshauser, Atlas,. 
and Bame mines. 

The Gold Hill district was at one time one of the most important 
mining centers in North Carolina, if not in the whole South; although 
at present no work of consequence is being carried on there. It is situ- 
ated about 14 miles southeast of Salisbury, in the southeast corner of 
Rowan county, extending into Cabarrus county on the south and Stanly 
county on the east. The country-rocks are chloritic and argillaceous 
schists, striking N. 25° to 30° E. and dipping 75° to 85° X.AV. A 
diabase dike cuts the schists near the village of Gold Hill. The char- 


aeter of the ore-bodies is that common to these schists elsewhere, con- 
sisting of certain belts in the schists filled, with pyritic impregnations 
and imperfectly conformable lenticular veins and stringers of quartz. 
The principal part of the gold-bearing zone is 1^ miles long from north- 
east to southwest and § of a mile wide. There are well-defined veins in 
the district, among which the more prominent ones are the Randolph, 
Barnhardt, Honeycut, Standard, Trautman and the McMackiiL Some 
of these, such as the Trautman and McMackin, are heavy in argentife- 
rous galena. 1 (See fig. 4, p. 59.) 

The first gold was discovered here in 1842, and it is stated that in 
the next 14 years the total production of the various mines was $2,000,- 
000. In 1853 there was a population of about 2000 in the Gold Hill 
camp, at which time the Gold Hill Mining Company operated 5 Chilean 
mills and 40 to 50 rockers, working 300 hands. Between 1845 and 1850 
the Randolph shaft was put down to a depth of 750 feet. This is the 
deepest gold-mine shaft in the South. The Randolph vein was worked 
in three principal lenticular ore-shoots, pitching to the northeast, and 
varying from 50 to 200 feet in length and from a few inches to 6 feet 
in width. It is stated that remarkably rich ores were obtained in those 
-days, large quantities yielding from $100 to $500 per ton in the mill. 
In 1881 the Randolph shaft was unwatered to the depth of 400 feet. 

The method of working the Gold Hill ores in the earlier days is de- 
scribed on p. 34. 

According to Emmons, 2 the amount of gold produced from December, 
1853, to June, 1855 (inclusive), as derived from the company's books, 
was $136,636.76, and the expenses were $76,429, leaving a net profit 
of $60,207.76 for 19 months. During the time which includes the fore- 
going record, however, only the ore taken from the poor pockets was 

It is estimated by some that up to 1874 $3,000,000 worth of free gold 
in the ore was produced. In 1871, Mr. Amos Howes, the owner at that 
time, worked 3 Chilean mills, treating 7 tons of ore per day. The total 
daily expenses were $95.51, or $13.64 per ton. Of 8400 tons treated 
by Mr. Howes he produced $200,000, or an average yield of $23.81 
per ton. It is estimated that only 33 per cent, of the gold was saved by 
this method of amalgamation, 67 per cent, going off in the tailings. 

The first stamp-mill (20 stamps) was erected in IS SI. The last reg- 
ular work was done in 1893 by the New Gold Hill Company, Mr. 
Richard Eames, manager, when the ores from the Bamhardt vein, 
which are high in copper, were milled in a 10-stamp mill. (See p. 60.) 

1 For more detailed description of the structure of the region see Bull. 3; Gold Deposits of 
N. C 1896. pp. 83-91. 
- Geological Report of the Midland Counties of North Carolina, 1856. E. Emmons, pp. 160 et seq. 


s - 4 - K ~^"*t, M . tt , 6oldHul7eiBs ; 


Mr. Eames carried on some laboratory experiments in 1892 for a cyanide 
treatment of the Gold Hill ores, and obtained an extraction of 60 per 
cent, on 100 pounds treated. During the summer of 1895 Mr. Bloomer, 
of London, experimented with cyanide, but with what result is not 
known. Chlorination of the Gold Hill ores has been advised but never 
carried out. Xo earnest attempts have been made to treat the sulphurets 
on a working scale. Plate YI shows the Eames stamp-mill. 

For the past number of years the only work at Gold Hill has been 
done by tributors, who cart the decomposed material from the old mine 
dumps to the Barnhardt mill, receiving 50 per cent, of the yield. This 
material mills about $1.50 per ton. The pulp from the stamps flows 
directly over a line of blankets 24 inches wide, which are washed every 
20 minutes in a tank; and the concentrates are treated in a series of 
hollowed log-rockers, 12 to 14 feet long, provided with quicksilver 
riffles (see Plate I, p. 30), the tailings flowing off into the creek. 

At the Isenhour mine (Cabarrus county), 1^ miles southwest from 
Gold Hill, the ores from a 3-foot vein were ground (during the sum- 
mer of 1895) in a Howland pulverizer of 6 tons capacity per 24 
hours. The pulp was run over blankets, the washings from which were 
treated in rockers, as at the Barnhardt mill, with a yield of about $2 
from ores that assayed from $5 to $7 per ton. 

The Gold Knob mine is some 5 miles northwest of Gold Hill in the 
same general zone of schists. As many as 11 separate parallel ore-leads 
have been explored. Of these, the Holtshauser vein was again opened 
during the summer of 1895. 

The Dutch Creek mines are in the vicinity of Gold Knob. It is 
stated that there are 20 veins on the property, some of which are copper- 
bearing. The strike of the veins is generally northeast; but there is 
a second system striking more northerly and intersecting the first. The 
more or less oxidized surface ores have been largely worked out down 
to the water-level, below which point the sulphurets remain practically 

The Atlas and Bame mines are on the southwest extension of the 
Dutch Creek veins. 


The metamorphic schists occupy a narrow strip along the eastern edge 
of the county, in which are located a series of mines which might be 
considered an extension of the Gold Hill zone. Such are the TTiden- 
house, Nugget (Biggers), Eva Furr, Allen Eurr, Bocky River, Buffalo, 
Reed and Phoenix. 

The other mines of the county are situated in the granitic rocks near 
Concord and to the southeast and south of Concord. Such are the 
Joel Beed, Montgomery, Quaker City, Tucker and Pioneer Mills mines. 



The Nugget (Biggers) mine is situated 12 miles southeast of Con- 
cord, near Georgeville. The principal operations during the past 
three years have been hydraulicking on a gravel channel, similar to 
that at the Crawford mine in Stanly county. The gold is coarse, 
usually in nuggets. Quartz-veins carrying argentiferous galena have 
also been superficially explored. 

The Rocky River mine is 10 miles southeast of Concord. The 
country is chloritic schist striking !N". 20° E. and dipping 70° N". \V. 
Several lenticular quartz-veins, lying more or less with the schists, 
have been explored. The quartz contains pyrite, galena, blende and 
chalcopyrite. During 1895 Mr. Wayne Darlington, M. E., carried on 
some prospecting work on one of these in a shaft 130 feet deep, the 
total length of the drifts being about 200 feet. In the 80-foot level 
the quartz was 2 J to 3 feet thick; but it pinched out at 130 feet. 
Some of the ore was heavy in sulphurets and rich in gold. Crosscuts 
have exposed parallel quartz-bodies. However, it appears that no 
regular quartz-vein can be depended on. The more or less silicified 
schists enclosing the quartz are impregnated with sulphurets and inter- 
calated with small quartz-stringers, which, taken together, will make 
large bodies of low-grade ores. It is in such that the possible value 
of the mine must be looked for. 

The Buffalo mine, 1 mile northeast of the Rocky river, presents 
similar conditions. 

The Reed mine is 1-J miles southeast of the Rocky river. It is the 
site of the first discovery of gold in North Carolina. In 1799, a 17- 
pound nugget was found, and in 1803 one weighing 28 pounds. The 
placer ground was worked vigorously in former years and much nugget- 
gold taken out. The estimated yield from 1804 to 1846 is $1,000,- 
000. During the year 1895 work at this mine was revived, but it 
appears to have been simply of a prospecting character and short-lived. 
On April 11, 1896, a nugget weighing 246.83 ounces Troy was found. 
It contained 120.87 ounces (10.072 pounds) fine gold, and 5.99 ounces 
fine silver. During the latter part of 1896 placer work was being car- 
ried on in a small way. The chloritic schists are accompanied by a 
large body of greenstone, intersected by numerous quartz-veins vary- 
ing in thickness from 4 inches to 3 feet. Some of these are gold-bear- 
ing, and were formerly worked by a shaft 120 feet in depth. 

The Bhcenix mine is situated 7 miles southeast of Concord. The 
country schists are accompanied by a large mass of diabase, in which 
the auriferous quartz-veins are confined. The main vein is the Phoenix, 
which was extensively and successfully worked under the management 
of Captain A. Thies, now of the Haile mine, S. C. Operations ceased 
here about 1889. The Phoenix vein strikes X. 70° E. and dips -<> : 


!N". "W. It varies from 12 inches to 3 feet in thickness. The ore- 
shoot, which is 300 feet long and pitches to the northeast, has been 
worked out from the 100 to the 425-foot level. The shaft was sunk 
to 485 feet on the dip of the vein, but not drifted from. The vein in 
the shaft averages 30 inches; but the rich pay-streak, lying on the 
hanging wall, is only from 2 to 3 inches thick. It is believed, however, 
that if the vein were drifted on at the 425-foot level the 300-foot ore- 
shoot just referred to would be reached again. Another ore-shoot, the 
Big Sulphur, is situated 300 feet southwest of the above, and has been 
worked to the 180-foot level. The ore in the bottom of this shaft (the 
pump shaft, 213 feet deep) is stated to be 14 inches thick. 

Captain Thies's work was confined to the 300-foot shoot. The ore 
was quartz, carrying 3 to 60 per cent, of sulphurets (pyrite, chalcopyrite 
and traces of galena). Barite and calcite occur in the gangue. The 
cost of mining was $4 per ton. Assays show from 1-| per cent, to 3 
per cent, of copper. The mill yield was $10 per ton, besides which the 
sulphurets contained $7.50. The concentrates ran $30. Chlorination 
was first introduced here in 1880. This was the Mears process, later 
developed into the Thies process. A full description of this, with costs- 
of working at the Phoenix mine, has been given in a paper by Dr. 
William B. Phillips. 1 

The mill and chlorination plants are now dismantled. 

The Barrier, Furness, and Gibb mines adjoin the Phoenix. The Fag- 
gart is 3 miles to the northeast, and the Barnhardt is 1-J miles east of 
the Faggart. 

The Tucker (or California) mine is 1 mile south of the Phoenix. It 
was last worked in 1884, by a shaft 175 feet deep, and levels 117 feet 
in total length. The quartz-vein was 15 inches wide, and showed 
values of $15 per ton. In 1882 the Plattner chlorination process was- 
introduced here; but this was later superseded by the Mears process. 

The Quaker City mine, which is 3 miles north of the Tucker, has- 
not been worked for the past ten years. There are three shafts on the 
property, the deepest one being 80 feet. The vein is stated to be from 
2 to 5 feet wide. 

The Pioneer Mills group of mines is situated 13 miles south of Con- 
cord. No work has been done here since the war. The granite is 
accompanied by large masses of basic eruptive rocks. 


The mines are situated in the metamorphic slates in the western part 
of the county. Among the more important may be mentioned the 

14k The Chlorination of Low-grade Auriferous Sulphides," Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Engs.. xviu 
pp. 313-322. 



Crowell, Long, Moore, Stewart, Smart, Hemby, Lewis, Phifer, Davis, 
Bonnie Belle, and Howie mines. 

The Long, Moore, Stewart and Smart are characterized by the pres- 
ence of complex sulphurets (pyrite, galena, blende and sometimes chal- 
copyrite). At the Moore mine the gold is associated with calcite, which 
exists in a pay-streak 4 inches thick on the hanging wall of a 5-foot 

The Bonnie Belle (Washington) mine is situated 8 miles west of 
Monroe. The country is argillaceous schist silicified in varying de- 
grees, striking N". 55° E. and dipping steeply RT.W. The ore-deposit 
consists of pyrite and quartz impregnations in the schists. The width 
of the ore-bearing belt is stated to be 14 feet. It is intersected by a 
diabase dike. The mine was in operation during the fall of 1894. 
Ores assaying from $4 to $5 per ton were treated in a Chilean mill and 
four drag-mills, of 10 tons capacity per 24 hours; the pulp was dis- 
charged on amalgamated copper plates and thence to a Gilpin county 
humping-table. The concentrates assayed $22, and the tailings 50 
cents per ton. 

The Howie mine is 1 mile southwest of the Bonnie Belle. The ore- 
bearing slates are said to have a total width of 400 feet, within which 
there are as many as 8 so-called parallel veins, varying from 18 inches 
to 16 feet in thickness. Sulphurets are rare, the gold occurring mainly 
as fine films on the cleavage planes of the more or less silicified slates. 
It is stated that the ore, when last mined, yielded $13 to $14 in the 
mill. The mine has been opened to a depth of 350 feet. Numerous 
diabase dikes intersect the ore-bodies, which are said to be richer in the 
vicinity of the dikes. 

The Monroe slates in the vicinity of Monroe contain some narrow 
auriferous quartz-veins, but they are scarcely of economical importance,. 
at least so far as present explorations have gone. 


This has been one of the most important and active gold-mining 
counties of the State. 

The mines are distributed over the entire county, around Charlotte as 
a center. Among the more important are the Davidson Hill (1 mile 
west of Charlotte), St. Catherine, Kudisil, Clark (2^ miles west of Char- 
lotte), Stephen "Wilson (9 miles west of Charlotte), Smith and Palmer, 
Howell, Parks (1 mile northeast of Charlotte), Taylor and Trotter i 3 
miles southwest of Charlotte), Brawley (4 miles west of Charlotte), 
Arlington (6 miles west of Charlotte), Capps, McGinn, Alexander (8 
miles northwest of Charlotte), Dunn (7 miles northwest of Charlotte), 


Henderson (7 miles northeast of Charlotte), Ferris, Tredinick (7 miles 
southeast of Charlotte), Bay (9 miles southeast of Charlotte), Simpson 
(10 miles southeast of Charlotte), and Surface Hill (10 miles east of 

The Kudisil mine is 1 mile south of Charlotte. In the upper part 
of the mine the country is a silicified, chloritic and argillaceous slate. 
At a depth of 200 feet this gives place to a crystalline eruptive rock. 
The ore-body consists of two parallel veins close together and sepa- 
rated by slate; they are said to vary in thickness from 2 to 6 feet. 
The strike is K 30° E. and the dip 45° IW. The mine has been 
worked to a maximum depth of 300 feet in three principal shoots, some 
of which furnished very rich though highly sulphuretted ores. The 
largest of these shoots had a maximum length of 100 feet and a max- 
imum thickness of 15 feet; it pitched towards the south, and was fol- 
lowed down to below the 300-foot, but never found in the 350-foot level. 
~No attempt at concentration and treatment of sulphurets was made. 

The Smith and Palmer and the Howell mines are supposed to be on 
the southwestern extension of the Rudisil. » 

The St. Catherine mine is on the northeastern extension of the 
Budisil, and the general features are the same. The deepest workings 
are at the 370-foot level. It is reported that no large chimneys of solid 
high-grade ore were found below the 250-foot level; but between the 
200 and 370 a large shoot, 4 to 60 feet wide, of low-grade ore has been 
worked. The ores were treated by battery amalgamation, and the sul- 
phurets were concentrated; these were probably shipped north or else- 
where for smelting. 

The Capps mine is 5- 1 miles northwest of Charlotte. There are two 
convergent veins, the Capps striking 1ST. 30° W. and dipping 40° W., 
and the Jane striking "N. 40°-60° E., and dipping steeply eastward (see 
Fig. 5). The actual intersection of the veins has not been found. The 
Capps was worked to a maximum depth of 130 feet in the Bissell shaft. 
The filling of the vein is quartz. Its thickness, as explored in the mine 
workings, was not less than 20 feet; definite walls were only found at a 
few points. The pay-ore was not uniformly distributed in the quartz, 
but generally occurred in layers. Four ore-shoots have been explored. 
The brown ores extend to a depth of 130 feet. The sulphurets are 
pyrite, with some chalcopyrite. The past production of the Capps has 
been estimated at over $1,250,000. 

In the summer of 1895, Mr. Wilkes, the owner of the Capps. made 
at his test plant in Charlotte, a trial run of 50 tons of Capps ore (^sul- 
phurets) from the old dumps, and the result of this milling and chlorin- 
ation test was a yield of $27 per ton. 

Between January and April, 1895, four diamond drill-holes (1-inch 




No. L 

Fig. 5. Plan of Capps Mine. Scale, 1 iuch = 200 feet. 



core) were bored on the Capps vein. Fig. 5 shows their position relative 
to the mine-workings in plan, as well as a vertical section of the ground 
which they explored. 

A, Capps vein; B, parallel vein; C, Jane vein; D, diorite; E, 90-foot 
level; F, 78-foot level; G, 130-foot level; H, open cut; S, saprolites; m, 
drift; n, drift; 1, borehole, 350 feet deep; 2, borehole, 250 feet deep; 
3, borehole, 220 feet deep; 4, borehole, 200 feet deep; 5, Penman 
shaft, 80 feet deep; 6, Bissell shaft, 125 feet deep; 7, Mauney shaft, 
130 feet deep; 8, Baldwin shaft, 120 feet deep; 9, Gooch shaft, 10, 
Old shaft; 11, Isabella shaft, 160 feet deep. 

The Capps vein was penetrated by each borehole, and showed a 
regular thickness of about 20 feet, with walls of fine- and coarse- 
grained diorite, at times porphyritic. The dip is quite constant, about 
30° S.~W. The vein-matter is quartz, averaging $6 to $7 per ton, as 
shown by assays of the drill cores. The drill-holes are certainly very 
satisfactory, in so far as they prove the continuity in depth, and regu- 
larity in thickness of the Capps vein; and, on a large body of ore, such 
as this is, the assays of the drill cores are of value as showing at least 
the presence of mineable ores. 

The McGinn mine comprises the Jane vein, worked to a depth of 
160 feet in the Isabella shaft, and a cross-vein on the northern exten- 
sion of the Jane, known as the Copper vein, which has been worked 
to the depth of 110 feet as a copper mine. 

The Ferris mine is situated 5-J miles northeast of Charlotte. The 
character of the vein-matter is milky quartz, carrying free gold and 
pyrite. It lies with the schists, striking !N\ 25° E. and dipping 70° 
NVW. The quartz is broken up into stringers, the widest solid portion 
being 12 inches. The vein, as a whole, is stated to vary from 2J to 5 
feet in thickness. In the fall of 1894 the mine was being worked by 
two shafts, respectively 56 and 95 feet deep. The ore was treated in 
a Chilean mill of 3 tons capacity. It is stated that the concentrates 
assay from $45 to $60 per ton. 


Among the mines of this county are the Oliver and Farrar (12 miles 
northwest of Charlotte), the former being situated on the Catawba river 
near the " big bend," and reported to have been worked by one of the 
early German settlers prior to the Revolutionary war; the Rhyne 
and Derr (17 miles west of Charlotte), the Duffle and Robinson (16 
miles west of Charlotte), the Smith and Sam Beattie (13 miles west of 
Charlotte), the McLean (15 miles southwest of Charlotte), the Long- 
Creek and the Kings Mountain. 

The Long Creek mine is situated in the northern part of the county, 



■t9 *b&* a: 


about 6 miles northwest of Dallas. The property contains 600 acres. 
The country-rock is chloritic schist, striking northeast and dipping 85° 
northwest. There are three veins lying with the schists, and consist- 
ing of lenticular quartz-bodies. The Asbury vein was 6 to 8 feet thick, 
and contained rich ore-shoots carrying sulphurets (pyrite, chalcopyrite, 
galena, blende and mispickel). A 10-stamp mill was running here in 
1891, and in the following year a Crawford mill was put in, which was, 
however, soon abandoned, and the mine has since been practically idle. 

The Kings Mountain (Catawba) mine is situated about 1| miles 
south of Kings Mountain, a station on the Southern Railroad, in the 
southwestern corner of the county. The country-rock is mica-schist, 
striking ~H. 50° E. and dipping 70° ~N.~W., intercalated with lenticular 
masses of siliceous magnesian limestone. These rocks appear to be of 
sedimentary origin. The ore-bodies consist of large lenticular chimneys 
or shoots of this limestone, containing auriferous quartz and sulphurets 
(pyrite, chalcopyrite and galena up to 3 per cent.). Tellurides also 
occur in very small quantity. Five such lenses have been opened in 
the mine. 

In length these lenses reach about 100 feet and in thickness 20 feet, 
being separated by a black graphitic slate carrying coarse pyrite, which 
is, however, barren. The mine has been opened to a depth of 320 
feet. At the time of our visit 40 tons of ore were being raised per 24 
hours by a total force of 20 men. (Cost of mine labor, 75 to 85 cents 
per day). The rock is very tough, and 60 per cent, dynamite is used 
for blasting. The mill house is equipped with a well-constructed 30- 
stamp mill built by the Mecklenburg Iron Works, of Charlotte 
(Plate VII), and 5 Frue vanners (6x14 feet). Weight of stamp, 750 
pounds. Twenty stamps were dropping 71 times per minute — the height 
of drop being 5 inches. The ore was crushed through a 40-mesh brass 
wire screen. The mill yield is stated to be $3 per ton, with a loss of 
$3 in tailings. Great difficulty was found in saving free gold, and 
the quicksilver gave trouble by flouring; this is ascribed to the graphitic 
slates which occur with the ore. The concentrates run $35 to $40. 
The total cost of mining and milling is $1.75. Two men are employed 
in the mill at $1 per day. The cost of wood is $1.35 per cord. 

A plant for washing the surface brown ores and saprolites is situated 
at the mine, and was in successful operation until lately. It consists 
of 2 sets of 12-foot log-washers. The slimes flowed over amal- 
gamated copper plates (12 feet by 5 feet), while the material carried 
up in the washer was screened through a -J-inch perforated revolving 
screen, and then through a 20-mesh brass wire revolving screen, 
from whence it passed over copper amalgamating plates. The coarse 
material was taken to the stamp-mill. A large proportion of the 



gold remained in the log-washers; much was caught on the plates below 
the fine screens; and the smallest amount, which was all fine gold, was 
caught on the slime plates. Trouble was also experienced here by the 
flouring of the quicksilver. The bottom land lying directly to the 
east of the mine is being worked in shallow pits by tributors, who wash 
the grit and soft bed-rock slates in sluice boxes. Panning showed up 
very well here, and the ground might pay for hydraulic working on a 
large scale. 


Gold has been found in these counties in isolated localities; but with 
few exceptions no mining work of any consequence has been done. 

The Dixon mine, in Yadkin county, is a new discovery (1895). The 
vein is reported to be several feet in thickness, of high-grade sugary 
quartz, containing some copper. Only prospecting work has been 
carried on. The developments consist of a 40-foot shaft and 140 feet 
of levels on the vein. A hundred tons of ore taken out had a reported 
value of $5 per ton. 



The Miller, Scott Hill, Pax Hill and Baker mines are situated within 
a distance of 1-J miles from Johns river, and near the southwestern 
boundary line of the county. The mines are located in each in- 
stance in close proximity to a wide dike of olivine diabase, which strikes 
through the country for many miles in a direction X. 20° \V. 

The Miller, Scott Hill, and Pax Hill veins strike X. 50°-60° E. and 
dip N.W. ; as far as observed they are from 8 to 12 inches in thickness. 

At the Baker mine the strike of the veins is N". 85°-45° \Y., and the 
dip is 60°-70° N".E. The thickness is from 2 to 5 feet; the ores con- 
tain auriferous and argentiferous galena. 

The Bee Mountain mine is about 4 miles northeast of the Baker 
mine, and the ores contain zinc-blende, galena and chalcopyrite. 


By far the greater proportion of gold coming from these counties 
has been won by placer mining. With few exceptions, the quartz- 
veins are too narrow to justify deep mining. But even in the cases 
where the veins are of sufficient width, mining operations have been 
very spasmodic and of limited extent. Placer mining on a larger scale 
has been carried on during the past years only at a few points. Such 


are the Mills property and Hancock mines in Burke; Cane creek, 
Brackettown, Huntsville and Vein Mountain in McDowell, and Golden 
Valley in Rutherford county. 

The Mills place is fully described elsewhere (p. 95), and will serve 
as a type for the other mines of the district. Petty mining is almost 
constantly in progress in the above counties, as well as in certain parts 
of Cleveland and Polk counties to the south. 

Of the quartz-mines, those worthy of mention are the Idler, Elwood 
and Vein Mountain. 

The Idler (Alta or Monarch) mine is situated about 5 miles north 
of Rutherfordton, in Rutherford county. As many as 13 parallel 
quartz-veins have been explored here within a distance of \ mile. The 
country is gneiss, striking about x>T. 60° W., and dipping 25° to 30° 
2\T.E. The veins strike "N. 65° E. The vein-matter is quartz, contain- 
ing sulphurets (pyrite and some chalcopyrite). The Alta vein has been 
explored to the depth of 105 feet; its thickness is from 10 to 22 inches; 
the ore is stated to yield $10 per ton. The mine has been worked in 
a desultory way, but is now under water. 

The Elwood mine is 1^ miles southwest of the Idler. The character 
of the country and of the veins is similar to that of the Idler. The 
ore is reported to yield $5 in free gold. The mine was last operated 
in 1893. 

The Vein Mountain mine is situated in McDowell county on the 
Second Broad river. A series of as many as 33 parallel auriferous 
quartz-veins crosses Vein mountain in a belt not over J of a mile wide. 
The principal . and largest one of these is the Xichols, which has been 
prospected in four shafts within a distance of 1200 feet, the deepest one 
being 117 feet. The strike of the vein is K 80° E., and the dip 75° 
N. \\ T . Its thickness is reported to vary from a few inches to 3 feet. 
The quartz is mineralized with pyrite, galena, blende and chalcopyrite. 
The value of the ores varies from $2.50 to $70 per ton. There is a 
10-stamp mill on the property, but it has never been operated on any 
regular output. 

At Brackettown, 5 miles northeast of Vein mountain, an expensive 
shaft has been sunk to a depth of 126 feet, on a parallel series of several 
narrow (1 to 6-inch) quartz-veins, with the fallacious hope that these 
would come together in depth. It is needless to say that these small 
veins will not justify working alone unless the intervening country 
(gneiss) is found to contain auriferous sulphurets of sufficient richness 
to make large bodies of low-grade ores. 

An isolated belt of gold-bearing rocks has been mentioned in Hen- 
derson county, N. C. (see p. 20). The only mine situated here is the 
Boylston, 12 miles west of Henderson ville. The country-rocks are 





fine-grained, mica- and hornblende-gneisses and schists, in part much 
crumpled, striking K 20°-30° E., and dipping 35°-60° K.W. The 
quartz-veins coincide, more or less, with the strike of the schist*. The 
mine has been opened by a series of shallow shafts and short drifts on 
one of these veins, which is from 3 to 4 feet in thickness, with a pay- 
streak of 1 to 3 inches on the hanging; it is accompanied, in places, by 
a granitic dike. The ores are reported to average about $4 per ton 
(assay value); sulphurets occur, chiefly pyrite and some chalcopyrite. 
A 10-stamp mill (in bad repair) stands on the property. It has not been 
in use since 1889. 


In the northwestern corner of North Carolina, the copper ores of 
some of the Ashe county mines, and some small galena-bearing veins 
in Watauga and Wilkes counties, are auriferous. 

In the southwestern corner of the State (in Jackson, Swain, and 
Cherokee counties) some placer-mining operations have been carried on 
from time to time, notably in Georgetown valley, Jackson county, and 
about the headwaters and other tributaries of Valley river, in Cherokee 
county, but nowhere successfully on a very large scale. 

Gold is also stated to occur in Macon county, and this may be a 
northern extension of the Georgia belt (see p. 21). 

In Horse Cove, Macon county, the Ammons Branch mine has recently 
been explored, with the showing of a 10-inch quartz-vein, from which 
very rich specimens have been taken. 

In the southern part of Clay county the Warne mine is situated at 
the northeastern extremity of a small belt of auriferous quartz-veins 
which extends southwesterly into Towne county, Ga. (For description 
see p. 84). 




The gold mines are situated within the belt of crystalline rocks ex- 
tending from Washington to Great Falls, on the Potomac river, in 
Montgomery county, and also in the central and northern part of this 
county. Geologically, they are included in the Virginia belt (see p. 13). 

The greatest development has been in the vicinity of Great Falls, 
about 15 miles west of Washington. Among the principal mines in 
this region are the Maryland, Montgomery, Harrison (or Sawyer), Irma, 
Huddleston, and Allerton-Ream, situated in a belt from 7 to 8 miles 
in width. 2 The greatest development was during the years 1888-93, in 
which time the various properties were worked. Since that time oper- 
ations have been carried on in a limited way at the Allerton-Ream, Har- 
rison, Miller and Bethesda. 

During the winter and early spring of 1895 a considerable amount 
of exploratory work was carried on at the Bethesda mine, 7 miles 
northwest of Washington, by the Bethesda Mining Company. - Some 
$20,000 to $30,000 had formerly been taken from a rich chimney 
in a 6-foot quartz-vein at this mine. The old shaft was continued to a 
depth of 102 feet, and the ore-shoot found to pinch out. Assays from 
the lower end of the chimney ran about $4 per ton. There are no sul- 
phurets to speak of in the ore at this depth. The country-rock (mica- 
ceous schist) is slightly auriferous in places. It is stated that large 
areas of the saprolites will yield 18 cents per cubic yard. Sufficient 
water-supply for hydraulicking or sluicing is difficult to obtain. 


The principal gold region of this State is comprised in the Virginia 
belt (see p. 13). A small, isolated area of placer deposits is situated on 
the west side of the Blue Ridge in Montgomery and Floyd counties. 

1 Unless otherwise stated, the mines are not at present working-. The values of the ores are 
not given on our authority ; the same is true of the dimensions of the ore bodies in abandoned 
mines, and in such as could not be examined. 

2 The best description of these mines has been given by Mr. S. F. Emmons, in a paper entitled 
"Notes on the Gold-Deposits of Montgomery County, Maryland," Trans. Am. Inst. Min. 
Enqs., xviii, 1890, pp. 391 to 412. 


So far as is known, none of the Virginia mines are at present working 
on an actively producing scale, although considerable prospecting is in 
progress and apparent preparations for mining are being made. 

The mines of Fauquier, Stafford, Culpeper, Orange and Spottsyl- 
vania counties are grouped around the junction of the Rappahannock 
and Rapidan rivers in a belt some 15 miles wide. 


The Franklin, Wycoff and Leopold mines are situated in the southern 
part of the county near Morrisville. 


The principal localities are in the western part of the county near the 
Rappahannock river. The Eagle mine, situated 12 miles northwest of 
Fredericksburg, was worked by the Rappahannock Gold Mining Com- 
pany in 1894; greatest depth, 250 feet; length of workings, 600 feet. 

The Monroe mine adjoins the Eagle on the northwest, and the Lee 
mine is situated in the same vicinity. 

The Rattlesnake mine adjoins the Eagle on the northwest. It was 
worked as a gulch placer; large amounts of nuggets are reported, weigh- 
ing from -J to 5 dwts. ; some as high as 125 dwts. 


The Culpeper mine is situated 18 miles west of Fredericksburg on 
the Rapidan river. Prof. Silliman (in a report made in 1836) stated 
the average value of this ore to be $25 per ton, and the mining and 
milling expenses at $7 per ton. Other mines in the district are the 
Richardville and the Ellis. 

The. Powhatan Land and Mining Company operated a mine in this 
county in 1894, treating the ore in Crawford mills and a ten-stamp mill 
(Fraser and Chalmers' make) in connection with Frue vanners. 

mines in spottsylvania county. 

The oldest mines worked in this county were those operated by the 
United States Mining Company near the Rappahannock river in the 
extreme northwest corner of the county. A description of the method 
of milling at these mines in 1835 is given on p. 33. At that time a 
2 -foot vein was operated by adits and several shafts, the deepest of 
which was 80 feet. The value of the ore is given in this early report at 
$25 per ton, and the cost of milling at 80 cents per ton. Other old 
mines near this property are the Marshall and the Gardiner. 



In the central portion of the county there is a group of mines, most 
prominent among which is the Whitehall, 1 which was, in active operation 
as late as 1884. Other properties in this group are the Kiggins, Johns- 
ton, Pnllian and Grindstone Hill mines. 

Still farther south are the Mitchell and the Goodwin mines. They 
are located on Pigeon run, along which considerable placer-work was 
done in the earlier days. Both have been worked within the past 
twelve years, but no paying vein was developed. 


The gold mines of this county are situated in the northeast corner 
near the Rapidan river. The most prominent one among them is the 
Vaucluse, which was discovered and opened in 1832. A description of 
the milling practice at this mine in 1847 is given on p. 34. Other 
mines in the vicinity are the Orange Grove, Greenwood and Melville. 


The gold-bearing rocks traverse the central portion of the county in 
a southwesterly direction, forming a narrow belt but a few miles in 
width. In this belt, near the centre of the county, and from 2 to 6 
miles northeast of Mineral City (Tolersville), are the Louisa county 
pyrite mines. These large bodies of sulphurets, occurring in lenses with 
a maximum thickness of 60 feet, and developed to a depth of over 600 
feet, are probably of contemporaneous origin with the gold-veins. They 
show the same strike (N. 30° E.), dip (60° S.E.) and pitch of shoots or 
ore lenses (45° E".E.) as the quartz-veins in the vicinity. Traces of gold 
are found in the pyrite deposits, and small gold-bearing quartz-veins 
have been encountered in the mines. We quote from a letter written 
by Mr. W. H. Adams, manager of the Arminius Pyrite Mines, Mineral 
City, to whose kindness we are much indebted: 

" It is true that in the pyrite vein, as now opened, there are traces of gold 
and silver, but I do not think the average so high as $1.00 per ton, and have 
found that gold carries only in certain lines, and that nearly all the vein matter 
is barren. There are, in all of the properties, easily traceable quartz-veins in 
the hanging- and foot-slates, which are gold-bearing to the extent of $4.00 to 
$15.00 per ton, but these veins are always narrow — about as you saw them 
in our No. 3 shaft (3 to 7 inches). They are, however, persistent, and I have 
no doubt that chimneys are to be found at points of contact of the veins and 
dikes, which chimneys will be found to be the source of much of the gold so 
prevalent in the streams of the neighborhood." 

The scope of this report will not permit a detailed description of these 
interesting pyrite deposits or the methods of mining and concentration 

1 See Am. Jour. Sci., i, xxxii, 1837, p. 101. 



pursued here. 1 It may, however, be of value to give the cost of labor 
at these mines, as this would apply equally to auriferous mining. The 
daily wages paid are: 

Carpenters $1.25 to $1.75 

Engineers 1.40 

Blacksmiths 1.30 to 1.75 

Drill-runners 1.35 

Helpers 1.20 

General labor (under ground) 1.00 

" (above ground) 0.90 to 1.00 

The Tinder Flats placer deposits ' are situated at the northern end of 
the pyrite bodies on both banks of JSTorth Contrary creek. 

This bottom was perhaps the best known and most productive source 
of placer-gold in the early days of Virginia gold-mining. 

At present the problem is one of reworking shallow placer bot- 
toms on a large scale, and at the time of our visit in 1895, Mr. W. H. 
Case, of Charlotte, ~N. C, was testing the ground with this object in view. 
Water under natural head cannot be obtained here, the surrounding 
country being a but slightly indented pene-plain it would probably 
have to be pumped from the North Anna river. 

One-half mile southwest of the Arminius pyrite mine, on the same 
line of strike, is the Walton gold mine. This mine has produced some 
very rich ore from a shoot or chimney developed to a depth of 150 feet. 
The property has been tied up in litigation for the past twelve years. 

Near Mineral City (Tolersville) a vein, known as the Fisher Lode, 
striking parallel to the pyrite veins and about 2 miles to the east of 
them, has been opened by the Harris, Luce, Slate Hill, Louisa and 
Warren Hill mines. Two of these, the Luce and Slate Hill, were in 
operation at the time of our visit. 

The Luce mine had been developed to a depth of 200 feet, and the 
total length of drifting on the vein is over 1000 feet. The thickness 
of this vein is from 3 to 8 feet. The mine is equipped with a 20-stamp, 
hand-feed mill (Fraser and Chalmers' build). 

The Slate Hill mine was first opened in 1850, and for a time was 
extensively worked. It is the southwest extension of the Luce, which 
formerly constituted a portion of the property. Two veins are devel- 
oped to a depth of 150 feet. In a report made in 1853, the average 
value of the ore is given at $4 per ton, and the cost of mining and mill- 
ing at $1.40 per ton. The present company began operations in March, 
1895. A Huntington mill has been erected, and the mine was being 
developed in the lower levels at the time of our visit. 

1 For a description of the deposits, see " Origin of the Iron Pyrites Deposits in Louisa County. 
Virginia," by Frank L. Nason ; Eng. and Min. Jour., Ivii, 1894, pp. 414-16. 

2 See Am. Jour. Sci., i, xxxii, 1837, pp. 101, 110. 


The same narrow belts traverse the boundary of Goochland and 
Fluvanna counties, crossing the James river at Bremo Bluffs into Buck- 
ingham county. ~No work but petty placer-mining and more or less 
active prospecting is carried on in these counties at present, although 
from 1830 to 1860 this region was the field of extensive operations. 

Among the well known properties are the Tellurium, the Bowles, the 
Payne, the Page, the Hughes, the Moss, the Fisher, the Busby, the 
Tagus, the Gilmore, the Collins, Marks, Fades, Big Bird and the 

The Tellurium mine, embracing a property of 644 acres, lies partly 
in Fluvanna and partly in Goochland county, 6 miles from Columbia, 
and is at present owned by the Columbia Gold Mining Company. It 
was discovered in 1834 by George Fisher, and is reported to have yielded 
$1,000,000 during its various periods of activity. It was last operated 
in 1886. Three principal parallel veins, the " : Sandstone," " Middle " 
and " Little," traverse the property in a southwesterly direction for a 
distance of about half a mile. None of the workings have extended 
below a depth of 60 feet. 

The Bowles mine adjoins the Tellurium, and the Payne mine is in 
the same vicinity. 

Lying partly in Fluvanna and partly in Goochland county, and within 
\ mile of the Tellurium and Bowles mines are the Fisher, the Moss and 
the Busby mines, all on the same lode. 

The Fisher mine was opened in 1860 by James Fisher. The main 
developments consist of a 40-foot shaft with 175 feet of levels. The 
vein is narrow, from 3 to 15 inches, and the ore is stated to carry from 
$25 to $300 per ton. 

The Moss mine is one mile northeast of the Fisher. It was discovered 
in 1835 by John Moss. It has been worked to a depth of 65 feet, and 
the vein, which is 2 feet wide in places, carries reported values of $15 to 
$65 per ton. ^ 

The Busby mine is one-half mile northeast of the Moss. Prof. Silli- 
man, in an early report, gives ore values of $160 per ton from here. 
The work has been altogether of a superficial nature. 

The Page mine is situated \ mile west of Wilmington on Long Island 
creek in Fluvanna county. Work was begun on the quartz-veins in 
1856, when an 8-stamp mill was erected. Considerable prospecting 
work has been carried on lately. 

The Hughes mine is 5 miles from Bremo Bluffs in Fluvanna county. 

1 We beg to acknowledge our indebtedness to Messrs. Wm. Bugbee and Scott Thurston ot 
Palmyra, Va., for information concerning the mines of these counties. 


It was opened in 1836. The last work was done about 4 years ago, when 
a 60 -foot shaft was sunk, but without encouraging results. 

The Belzoea mine is 7 miles from Columbia in Goochland county. 
It was discovered in 1832, and was worked by surface washing until 
1849, and after that the veins were opened. The Marks, Collins, 
Eades and Big Bird mines adjoin the Belzora. 


This is the most southwesterly county of the Virginia gold belt in 
which mines have been actively operated. The occurrence of gold has, 
however, been reported still farther to the southwest, in Appomattox, 
Prince Edwards, Charlotte, and Halifax counties. 

The Booker, mine, near Whitehall Station, was worked prior to 1860 
by an English company. The deepest shaft is 110 feet. The ore was 
crushed in a Howland mill and yielded $13 per ton. 

Another English company operated the London mine, seven miles 
north of the Booker, for a number of years. Other mines of equal 
importance in their day are the Garnett and Mosely (3 miles west of 
Willis mountain), the Buckingham, the Morton, the Morrow, the Dun- 
can, the Ford, and the Lightfoot. 


A small placer-mining field was opened here (on the west side of 
the Blue Ridge) in 1879, along Brush and Laurel creeks and other 
small streams running from Pilot mountain. The area embraces about 
80 square miles. 

The Walters and Gardner mine in Montgomery county was operated 
in 1893. 

Gold also occurs it Patrick, Carroll and Grayson counties, but prob- 
ably only to a very limited extent, associated with copper ores. 


The present gold output of South Carolina is derived almost entirely 
from the Haile mine. 

To show the extent and distribution of the gold-mining industry in 
South Carolina before the war, the following table comprising the work- 
ing mines in 1859 is given: 1 

Chesterfield and Lancaster counties 21 working mines. 

Spartanburg, Union and York counties 19 

Abbeville and Edgefield counties 10 " " 

Greenville and Pickens counties S " placers. 

Total in State 5S 

1 South Carolina. Resources, etc., published by the State Board of Agriculture, Charleston, 
1883, p- 134. 


Some of these were probably minor operations, as Lieber 1 in his 
reports, made a few years earlier, complained of the lack of interest taken 
in the South Carolina gold mines. 


Chesterfield County. — The Brewer mine is the main point of in- 
terest in this county. It is fully described on p. 144. 

In the same neighborhood are the old Kirkley, Leach and Mclnnis 
mines. Some gravel mining has been done near the northern boundary 
of this county. 

Lancaster County. — The Haile mine is fully described on p. 125. 
The Funderburk, 8 miles northeast of the Haile, and of the same char- 
acter, was worked as late as 188 7. The Clyburne property is situated 
1J miles southwest of the Haile. Some tributing is done here with 
rockers, on saprolite and gulch deposits. Adjoining this on the south- 
west is the Gay mine, which shows ore-bodies of the Haile type, but is 
little developed. The most southerly occurrence of gold in this district 
is at the Williams mine, 7 miles southwest of the Haile. 

York County. — There is no active work at present in this county. 
Among the older mines of this district are the Wilson, Wallace and 

Union County. — About 3 miles south of Glen Springs are the West 
and the Thomson mines. Mr. Becker describes the veins as quartz 
lenses similar to the Dahlonega type, interlaminated with mica- and 
hornblende-schists. The Thomson mine was operated during the sum- 
mer of 1895 on a small scale by the Dahlonega method of mining and 

Abbeville and Edgefield Counties. — Little information could be 
obtained regarding the mines of this district. The deposits are probably 
closely connected with, and of the same nature as those in McDuffie, 
Warren and Columbia counties, Ga. The Dorn mine, situated at the 
loAver end of the Abbeville district, was opened in 1852. In the first 
year of its operation over $300,000 are said to have been taken from a 
rich pocket in this mine; a yield of $100 per ton was considered a poor 
one. The rich pockets were, however, soon exhausted; and the mine 
was abandoned until 1866, when it was reworked for a short time with 
some success, as reported. 


Spartanburg, Greenville and Pickens Counties. — The gold dis- 
trict in these three Piedmont counties is probably a continuation of the 

1 For a full discussion of the occurrence of g-old and a description of the older mines in South 
Carolina, see Tuomey (M.), Report on the Oeoloqy of South Carolina, 1848; and Lieber (O. M.). 
Reports on the Survey of S. C, 1856, 1857, 1858 and 1859. 


South Mountain 'belt in ^orth Carolina (page 68), and, as in that dis- 
trict, the gold produced has been obtained almost entirely from placer- 
deposits. The present operations are purely of a desultory character. 
Among the more extensive deposits might be mentioned those of "Wolfe 
creek and Tiger river, located on the boundary between Spartanburg 
and Greenville counties at the foot of Hogback mountain. The gold in 
these bottoms is derived from small quartz-veins having the same strike 
and dip, and being in other respects similar to those of the South Moun- 
tain district in North Carolina. The gravel in the bottom is from a few 
inches to 5 feet in thickness. It consists of white, saccharoidal and 
glassy, barren quartz. In 1892 the Wolfe creek bottom was worked by 
the Wolfe and Tiger Mining Company, with a 2-inch nozzle giant, 
supplied with 45 feet head of water by a 4-mile ditch. 

Other mining properties in this vicinity are the Hammett, Knott, 
Golden Gate, Thompson, Hale and \\ T est Springs. 



Some work has been done at the Smith mine near Burton, and at the 
Moore Girls' mine, 12 miles northwest of Clayton. 


Practically no work of importance has been done in this county, 
excepting perhaps some development work a few miles northeast of 


The chief mining district is located in the picturesque Xacoochee 
valley and its vicinity. Among the many Indian traditions of this 
neighborhood is that of extensive gold mining by the aborigines, but 
absolute proof of this is wanting. 

The Lumsden mine is situated about 2 miles north of the Nacoochee 
valley on Bean creek. Several rich quartz-stringers were being worked 
in 1895 by tributors, using a combination of hydraulic and dry mining, 
the hard ore being hauled £ mile to a wooden 10-stamp mill, driven by 
a 20-foot over-shot water-wheel. Five hands are stated to extract 70 
to 80 dwts. per week by this crude method. 

The J arret mine adjoins the Lumsden on the south; a 20-stamp- 
mill was operated here for some time by Mr. Childs, of Athens, Ga., 

1 For a more complete statement concerning gold mines and mining in Georgia see Bulletin 
No. 2 of the Georgia Geological Survey, Atlanta, Ga. 


using the Dahlonega method of sluicing and milling (see p. 107). It has 
been idle for the past eight or nine years. 

The Yonah Land and Mining Company controls some 4800 acres of 
mining property situated mainly along the watershed of Dukes creek. 
This property is a consolidation of what was formerly known as the 
Tonton, the Mercer and the Butt mines. The company has pursued 
extensive vein explorations on their land under the direction of Mr. E. 
T. Whatley. This prospecting work has disclosed a large number of 
auriferous quartz-veins, which have a general strike of N. 20° E. and a 
dip of about 85° S.E., while the dip of the country-rock is steeply to 
the E\"W. Although of low grade ($3 to $7 per ton) and of small width 
(6 inches to 3 feet), some of these veins might, under close management, 
be mined and milled at a profit. The producing operations of this com- 
pany are confined to placer work with hydraulic elevator in the bottom 
land of Dukes creek. The elevator used and the method of work in 
the pits is similar to that employed by the Chestatee Company (see 
p. 101). A 65-foot head of water is obtained from a 7-mile ditch line. 
The gravel bed averages about 3 feet in thickness, covered by 6 inches 
of peat and clay, and above this about 6 feet of soil overlay. The gold 
consists, to a large extent, of extremely rounded and water worn nuggets, 
often aggregated in pockets, from one of which $1500 is reported to 
have been taken in one day. 

The Loud mine, situated near Pleasant Retreat P. O., and about 11 
miles east of Dahlonega, is one of the famous placers of the district, 
and has produced a large amount of remarkably well crystallized and 
wiry nugget gold. It has been known as one of the most extensive 
and richest deposits in the Southern States. For the past few years 
the work has been confined to hydraulicking old gravel piles. Water, 
under a 75-foot head, is leased from the Hand-Barlow Company of Dah- 
lonega and is supplied by a ditch 25 miles in length. Extensive cuts in 
the saprolites have been made here. 

Other properties of importance in White county are the Longstreet 
placer, 2-J miles northwest of Cleveland, the Nacoochee Hills Gold 
Mining Company, the Martin Mining Company, the St. George prop- 
erty (also known as the Dean Mine), the Plattsburg (or Chattahoochee) 
Gold Mining and Milling Company, etc. 

Besides these there are quite a number of petty operators, some wash- 
ing gravel in sluice boxes, others mining rich, narrow seams in the 
saprolite and " beating " the ore in wooden stamp-mills, as, for instance, 
at the Thompson mine near the Yonah Land Company's property, 
where the mining operations were formerly carried on by a mother and 
son, the latter digging the quartz and carrying it on his back to the 
mill, while his mother attended to the beating. 







But little active work has been in progress for a number of years. 
The principal properties are the Botosi, 12 miles northeast of Gaines- 
ville, the Currahee, 6 miles northeast of Gainesville, the Elrod, the 
Merrick, the Mammoth and the Glades. The Currahee mine is 
equipped with a 20-stamp mill and a roasting furnace. The ore is 
quartz, containing pyrite and galena. A set of rolls and a cyanide plant 
are now being erected at this mine. 


The principal mining operations are in the vicinity of Dahlonega, 
extending from the Yahoola river, about 1 mile northeast of the town, 
in a continuous belt nearly 4 miles in width to the mining village of 
Auraria (Kunckelsville), a total length of about 6 miles. A general 
description of this belt and the method of mining and milling (which 
bears the name of the Dahlonega or Georgia method) pursued here is 
given on page 107. 

This is by all means the most important mining district in Georgia. 
In 1838 a United States mint was established in Dahlonega, which con- 
tinued in active operation until 1861, during which time $6,106,569 
were coined. The nearest railroad point to Dahlonega is Gainesville 
(Southern B. B.), 20 miles to the southeast. A connecting branch be- 
tween these two points is looked for in the near future, and will greatly 
benefit the mining interests of the district. 

The following is a list of the prominent mines and their crushing 
equipment: Mary Henry (or Murray) (5 stamps); Hand (20 stamps); 
Singleton (10 stamps); Yahoola (20 stamps); Stanley (10 stamps): 
Findley (40 stamps); Preacher (10 stamps); Hedwig (40 stamps); 
Josephine (20 stamps); Lockhart (20 stamps); Barlow (40 stamps); 
Balston (20 stamps); Turkey Hill (10 stamps); Woodward (5 stamps); 
Ivy (60 stamps); Calhoun (40 stamps); Garnet (20 stamps); Bigley 
(20 stamps); Fish Trap (20 stamps); Bast (10 stamps); Siloam (^10 
stamps); Lawrence (10 stamps); Horner (5 stamps); Betz (1 Hunting- 
ton mill). In the summer and fall of 1896 240 stamps were being 
operated at the Bindley, Hand, Yahoola, Murray, Lockhart, Singleton, 
Woodward, Breacher, Turkey Hill, Balston, Barlow and Hedwig mines. 

Of late years more attention is being paid to the deep-mining of hard 
ore in distinction to the usual method in this district of sluicing the soft 
saprolites. Thus, at the Lockhart mine, quartz from underground 
stopes is treated in a 20-stamp mill (for description of which see p. 115). 

The special operations of the Chestatee Company, and of the dredge 
boats on the Chestatee river, are described on pages 101, 106. 


Among the mines of this district there are some that are operated 
by lessees, and in those cases the usual royalty is 25 per cent, for prop- 
erties on which a mill and water-power are furnished, and 10 per cent, 
where these are absent. 


At present no active work of any prominence is prosecuted. Among 
the mines formerly extensively operated by the Dahlonega method may 
be mentioned the Cincinnati Consolidated, the Etowah, the Kin-Mori 
and the McGuire, all situated in the vicinity of Dawsonville, the county 

At the Kin-Mori a ditch 34 miles in length, delivering 600 to 700 
inches at a pressure of 286 feet, was completed in 1883, and placer- 
mining on an extensive scale was carried on in connection with a Hendy 
gravel elevator. A 30-stamp mill was erected during the winter of 
1884-85. The mine has been idle since 1888. 


No mines of importance have been developed, the gold output having 
been derived almost solely from small placer-diggings. The Dr. Charles 
property, which is 6 miles southwest of Dawsonville, and not far from 
the Cherokee county line, has been prospected to some extent. The 
quartz-veins carry arsenical pyrites from the grass roots down, and very 
little ordinary pyrites. There is a 10-stamp mill at this mine. 

Other properties that might warrant attention are the Little, Settles, 
Collins, Sawnee Mt,, Parks, and Fowler. 


The Piedmont mine, 2 miles northeast of Buford, has been worked 
in a small way until recently. The vein-quartz carries pyrite, galena, 
and free gold. 

The Shelby mine is 4 miles west of Buford. It is equipped with a 
5-stamp mill. The quartz-vein is 2 feet in width, and is stated to 
carry values approximating $6 per ton. The Simmons property adjoins 
the Shelby on the east. 


At Creighton, near the eastern boundary of this county, is located the 
Creighton (Franklin) mine, which, together with the Haile mine of 
South Carolina, and some smaller mines in North Carolina, shows 
the brighter side of Southern gold-mining. It is a continuously 
and systematically worked, dividend-payina' property (for description 


see p. 121). Stimulated by the success of this mine, developments are 
being pushed on several other properties in this county, mainly along the 
approximate strike of the Franklin vein. The properties extend from 
a point about 3 miles north of the Creighton, in a more or less continuous 
line to the Sixes, Wilkinson, Cherokee (10 stamps), Georgiana, Cox and 
Worley mines in the southwestern portion of the county. Xear the 
center of this belt, south of the Creighton, the Chester (formerly 
Latham) and the Strickland properties have been prospected. 

The same auriferous belt, described above as occurring in Cherokee 
county, extends through a portion of Barton, Cobb and Paulding coun- 
ties. In the latter county a high-grade quartz-vein has been opened up 
in the Yorkville mines. 

In Douglas county, lenses of auriferous quartz have been explored 
to some extent in former years, but no active mining is carried on at 

The Mineral Hill mine in this county has been developed by a 
double-compartment shaft 120 feet in depth, sunk on the vein. At the 
80-foot level the width of the ore-body is estimated to be 15 feet. The 
ore is rich in sulphur ets (pyrite and chalcopyrite), and is stated to have 
an average value of $8 per ton. 


The principal mining district is in the vicinity of Villa Rica, where 
prospecting and development work has been quite active during recent 
years. The principal properties are the Clopton mine, operated by the 
Boston Kennesaw Mining Company; the Mineral Farm mine, 3^ miles 
northwest from Villa Rica; the Pine Mountain mine, operated by the 
Southern States Exploration and Financial Syndicate, L't'd. 


Several mines have been opened in the southwestern portion of this 
county, lying in the belt which, to the southwest, is more extensively 
developed near Arbacoochee, Ala. The most important of these is the 
Royal (formerly known as the Camille) mine, 2-J miles southwest of 

In past years the soft, semi-crystalline slates were sluiced, the loose 
free gold saved in the sluice boxes, the quartz milled, and the gold saved 
by amalgamation. In the washed-off portion, hundreds of quartz- 
stringers, from the size of a knife blade to 5, 6 and more feet in thick- 
ness, can be seen striking almost due east and west. 


In 1887 a large amount of money was spent in developing the mine 
and in erecting a 20-stamp mill (Fraser and Chalmers), with 8 Frue 
vanners. A double-compartment inclined shaft was sunk to a depth of 
186 feet. The ore was milled at the rate of 4 tons per stamp head. 
But little free gold was saved, the loss in the sulphurets being great, 
and after a short run the work was abandoned as unprofitable. 

In December, 1895, Capt. A. Thies, of the Haile mine, S. C, made 
a thorough examination of this property, which resulted in reworking 
the mine and the erection of a chlorination plant. 

The outcrop of the main vein, on which the 186-foot shaft is sunk, 
is exposed for 600 feet west of the shaft. The width of the ore-body 
is stated to be 6 feet. The ore in sight stands practically from the 186- 
foot level to the surface, and is developed by east and west drifts. 

Later, a three-compartment vertical shaft was located south of the 
inclined shaft and sunk to a depth of 118 feet. It cut the ore-body at 
105 feet and had not passed through it at 118. The ore is hard, white 
quartz, heavily sulphuretted. 

In the original exploratory work done by Capt. Thies, 8 tons of ore, 
including a large amount of hanging wall slates broken from the east 
drift of the inclined shaft, were milled and yielded 55 dwts. free gold 
and ^ ton of concentrates. Later, 143 tons of ore from the east drift 
of the same shaft were milled, realizing 500 dwts. free gold, and 7 tons 
of concentrates, assaying $602 per ton. The percentage of sulphurets 
(iron pyrites) in the ore varies from 5 to 7 per cent. 

There are over 2 acres of old tailing dumps, 8 feet deep, which 
material assays from $7 to $8 per ton. 

Towards the end of 1896, the mill was increased to 40 stamps with 
10 Frue vanners, and a 5 -foot Huntington mill, with 2 Triumph con- 
centrators were added. The milling capacity is 1J tons per stamp per 
day, and 12 tons per day in the Huntington mill. 

Besides the above equipment, 2 reverberatory roasting furnaces, 50x9 
feet hearth, and a chlorination plant with two 2-ton barrels, filters, etc., 
were built. 


The only mine of importance is the Wilkes, situated in the extreme 
northwest corner of the county. It is stated to have produced $50,000 
from 1873 to 1878, during which years the vein (composed of quartz 
lenses 8 to 10 inches thick) was mined to a depth of 130 feet. The 
ore, consisting of quartz, with about 3 feet of the adjoining wall-rock, 
mills about $4 per ton. 

In the spring of 1895 the mine was opened and operations conducted 
on a limited scale by Mr. John Cross. 




A zone of ore-bearing schists about 3 miles in length extends across 
the State line into Clay county, "N. C. (see p. 70). 

The Warne mine, in Clay county, E". C, is situated on Brasstown 
creek, about 8 miles southwest of Haysville and not more than \ mile 
north of the Georgia line. 

The developments consist of a 60-foot shaft, at the bottom of which 
the quartz-vein is stated to be 2 feet in width. There are no under- 
ground workings of consequence. The property is equipped with a 10- 
stamp mill driven by a turbine wheel with a 20-foot water-fall. 

The Old Field mine, in Towne county, Ga., adjoins the Warne on 
the southwest. Considerable exploratory work has been done, and a 
number of quartz-veins located. There appears to be a good opportunity 
here for hydraulicking the saprolitic material over a considerable area; 
with a ditch line 2 miles in length a head of 160 feet can be attained. 

The JSTancy Brown mine adjoins the Old Field on the southwest, be- 
yond which lies the Hunt mine property, where the main developments 
consist of a shaft 45 feet deep, and a tunnel 60 feet long. In the 
former, the vein, which is composed of vitreous quartz, is stated to vary 
from 18 to 36 inches in width, and various assays have shown values 
ranging from $10 to $17. In the tunnel the quartz-vein, which strikes 
nearly east and west and stands vertically, has a thickness of from 12 to 
15 inches, which has given reported mill-test values of $13. The 
country is mica-gneiss and -schist, striking N. 70° W. These rocks are 
filled with quartz-stringers or veinlets, and in general the district is not 
unlike that of the Dahlonega region in Lumpkin county. 

The Jack Brown property adjoins the Hunt on the southwest. The 
main prospect is an 8-foot quartz-vein, which has a promising appearance 
and is stated to carry values from $9 to $125 per ton. The strike of 
the vein is ~N. 75° E., and the dip is nearly vertical. 

The Welborn Hill mine is situated about -J mile west of the Jack 
Brown on a parallel zone of auriferous schists. It was last worked sev- 
eral years ago by two shafts respectively 125 and 70 feet deep, cutting 
two parallel quartz-veins respectively 36 and 30 inches wide. The 
strike is 1ST. 40° E. and the dip steeply to the northwest. The property 
is equipped with a 10-stamp mill of the Hall type. 


In the eastern part of the State an auriferous district, which prob- 
ably represents the southwesterly extension of the Carolina belt, is 
developed to some extent in McDuffie, Warren, Wilkes, Lincoln, and 
Columbia counties. 


The most prominent mine in this district is the Smith mine, operated 
by Mrs. J. Belknap Smith. It is situated 14 miles northwest of Thom- 
son in McDuffie county. 

A 3-foot vein of white quartz, carrying free gold, pyrite, chalcopyrite 
and galena, and milling from $8 to $24 by simple amalgamation, has 
been developed by two shafts to a depth of 160 feet, and for a distance 
of about 300 feet along the strike (nearly north and south). The mill 
(10 stamps) is located three miles from the mine on Little river. ±^o 
attempt is made to save the sulphurets, and the tailings are stated to 
carry as high as $12 per ton. 

Other mines in this district are the Columbia, Egypt, Tatham, Wil- 
liams, Warren, and Magruder. 



All of the more important mines of the county are located in the 
Arbacoochee district, situated 7 miles southeast of Heflin, the nearest 
railroad point. In the earlier days extensive placer mining was earned 
on about § of a mile southwest of the mining village, Arbacoochee, 
principally in the Clear Creek valley. The auriferous deposit at this 
point covers nearly 100 acres in Sections 5, 6 and 7, T. 17, R. 11 E. 

During the summer of 1895 a pocket of very rich quartz was opened 
up in one of the old placer pits on the boundary line between Sections 
6 and 7. It is stated that between $1000 and $2000 of coarse gold 
was taken from about 400 pounds of ore and the immediately overlying 
gravel. This find created considerable local stir, and prospecting was 
being pushed along the strike of the quartz-vein as far as the direction 
could be determined from the very limited dimensions of the ore lens, 
the latter having a maximum width of 8 inches, a dip of about 30 , 
and pinching rapidly along the strike in a distance of about 6 feet. 
The ultimate value of this find will depend on the continuation of this 
shoot in length and depth, or the discovery of new ore-bodies along the 
strike of the veins. Prospecting along this ore-lead was still in progress 
during 1896. 

The only hydraulic work in the State was carried on for a short time 
by the Arbacoochee Hydraulic Company on side-hill deposits, about 
-J mile east of Arbacoochee. The limited supply of water and poor 
management are given as the reasons for failure. 

The Anna Howe, the Anna Howe Extension, the Crutchfield and the 
Valdor are adjoining properties in the Arbacoochee district. These 

1 For a more complete statement concerning- gold mines and mining in Alabama see Bulletins 
3 and 5 of Alabama Geological Survey, referred to on p. 13. 


mines are located on a series of narrow, irregular, lenticular quartz- 
veins having quite a flat clip. The Anna Howe was developed to a 
depth of about 100 feet when the vein pinched out and the mine was 
abandoned. The equipment consists of a Huntington mill and Frue 

The Chulafinnee district is about 8 miles west of Arbacoochee, in 
Sections 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, T. 17, E. 9 E. As at Arbacoochee, 
extensive placer mining has been prosecuted here in the past, but has 
long since been abandoned. Recent prospecting has disclosed some 
rich quartz-stringers on the property of Mr. Burrell Higginbotham. The 
old King mine, at which a stamp mill was in operation over 20 years 
ago, is in the same vicinity. 

The Turkey Heaven District comprises a series of mines situated 
along the base of the Turkey Heaven mountains. Among the more 
important properties are the Miller, the Crown Point, the Moss-Back. 
the Pritchard, the Lucky Joe, the Hicks-Wise, the Lee, the Crumpton, 
the Middlebrook, the Sutherland, the Bennifield, the Marion- White, and 
the James Moore. 

The Crown Point mine is equipped with a 5-stamp mill. The Moss- 
Back is one of the early discoveries; it is equipped with a 10-stamp mill. 
The Lucky Joe 1 is the most extensively developed mine in the district. 
It was opened in 1593, and a stamp-mill (Fraser and Chalmers make) 
erected. It is stated that the mill runs saved $2.27 a ton by amalgama- 
tion, the cost of mining and milling being $1.35 to $1.45 per ton. The 
capacity of the mill, using 30-mesh screens, was 30 tons per day. The 
pay-ore lies in chimneys and shoots from 3 to 4 feet thick, dipping 
about 30° eastward. The workings consist of about 300 feet of drifting 
and cross-cutting. Apparently the development of ore did not prove 
satisfactory, as the mine was abandoned during the summer of 1894. 

The Moss-Back mine, near the Lucky Joe, was opened in the early 
seventies. A 10-stamp mill was erected in 1890. 

The Hicks-Wise mine was developed by a vertical shaft 110 feet 
deep with levels at 20, 40, and 85 feet. Of 3000 tons of ore milled 
it is stated that a yield of $2 per ton was obtained by amalgamation. 
The ores are graphitic. 

The Lee mine is developed by an inclined shaft sunk to a depth of 
40 feet on the dip of the ore-body (45°), on which level a drift of 121 
feet in length has been run in ore, which varies from 2 to 5 feet in thick- 
ness. The plant in operation in 1894 consisted of 3 arrastras and a 
Blake crusher. It is stated that the ore will mill $5 per ton. 

The Middlebrook is opened by an inclined shaft 20 feet deep on an 
ore-body 5 feet in thickness. Panning tests have shown $5 per ton. 

1 For full description of this property ee Engineering and Mining Journal, vol. lvi, 1S93, p. 79. 
by W. M. Brewer. 



The Sutherland ore-body closely resembles the Middlebrook. It 
has been but slightly developed to a depth of about 30 feet. An old- 
fashioned wooden stamp mill with iron shoes stands on the property. 

The Kemp Mountain district is situated in T. 17, K. 10 E. and T. 
17, R. 11 E. The two most important properties are the Eckels and 
the Golden Eagle. The Eckels mine was opened in 1893 by an open- 
cut 8 feet deep and 50 feet long, exposing ore, thin seams of quartz 
in decomposed graphitic schist, the entire distance. A shaft was sunk 
from the floor of the open cut to a depth of 65 feet. The dip is vertical 
down to 36 feet, when it changes to 60° south. A cross-cut at the bot- 
tom of the shaft showed that the ore-body had narrowed down to 18 
feet. In 1891- the shaft was deepened to 100 feet and the same condi- 
tions found to hold. No sytematic work of treating the ore has been 

The Golden Eagle (formerly known as the Price) mine has been 
opened by a shaft 75 feet deep on the dip of the ore-body about 50° 
southeast. The vein-matter, quartz-stringers in hydromica-schist, is 
10 feet thick at the bottom of the shaft and is highly sulphuretted, con- 
taining also arsenical pyrites. Some rich ore has been found here. 

The Dyne-Creek Company has recently made a number of openings 
in the vicinity of Kemp Mountain and south of Arbaeoochee. 


The only mine of prominence is the Pinetucky. It might be classed 
as belonging to the Arbaeoochee district, and is located about 2 miles 
south of Micaville and 11 miles from Heflin, near the northern boun- 
dary of the county. 

The occurrence of gold-bearing quartz here was discovered by a 
Mr. Knight in the early days of gold digging. Numerous shallow 
workings, perhaps the most extensive at any one point in the South, 
extend in a continuous line for over a mile along the outcrop of the 
vein, and give evidence of the large amount of work done here in time 
past, as well as of the continuity of the vein. These old workings have 
been carried to a maximum depth of 70 feet, and a large amount of 
drifting has been done on the course of the vein, which is nearly north 
and south, the dip being about 20° east. The vein is a fissure of hard, 
bluish quartz in walls of garnetiferous hornblende-schist. It varies in 
thickness from the fraction of an inch to 12 inches. The values are 
concentrated in chimneys or shoots, and vary from a trace to $150 a 
ton. It is claimed that the ore will carry an average of $10 per ton. 
About one-half of the gold is free-milling, the other half being con- 
tained in the sulphurets (pyrites). The percentage of pyrite in the 


ore is less than 1 per cent. Assays of concentrates have shown from 
$90 to over $600 per ton. 

A few years ago a complete and well-constructed 10-stamp mill of 
Western pattern (Fraser and Chalmers) was erected on the property 
abont 700 feet east of the outcrop. A vertical shaft was started in the 
mill house with the object of cutting the vein in depth and hoisting the 
ore direct to the grizzly and crusher, situated at the top of the building. 
This shaft was sunk to a depth of 50 feet and then abandoned for lack 
of funds. In the spring of 1895 the property was leased to the Fair 
Mining and Milling Company of Chicago, which began operations by 
sinking three (3) vertical diamond drill-holes. The first of these was 
driven to a depth of 205 feet without cutting ore. The cores showed 
granite at a depth of 55 feet, which alternated with the garnetiferous 
country schists to the bottom of the hole. The second hole, bored 
about 150 feet east of the old workings to a depth of 130 feet, also 
failed to reach the vein. The country schists were passed through at 
60 feet, below which they alternated with granite. The third hole, 
only 80 feet east of the old workings, was drilled to a depth of 70 feet. 
After passing through the country schists, granite was encountered at a 
depth of 47 feet, immediately below which the quartz-vein was found 
12 inches in thickness; below that a layer of soft gouge, and below that 
garnet-schist and granite. A working shaft was started at this point. 

In gold quartz-veins of this size the result obtained by diamond drill 
borings might often be misleading, as the gold-bearing vein can at times 
be distinguished from other quartz only by its gold contents; about this 
the drill-core, and still more the cuttings used as assay samples, can give 
no reliable information. However, such explorations may disclose other 
facts of interest, as, for instance, in this case the discovery of granite 
overlying the vein in depth, which may give a clue to the formation of 
the vein and more intelligently direct search for it. 

The prospecting work at this mine was done with a small Sullivan 
drill (J-ineh core). The drill runner furnished by the Sullivan Diamond 
Drill Company, of Chicago, received $90 per month. The cost of under- 
ground labor in this district is $1 per day and for top labor 80 cents to 
$1; cord wood, 75 cents per cord; freight to HefTin (by wagon), 14 miles, 
20 cents per 100 pounds. 

Near the center of this county, at Wedowee, some placers have been 

The Goldberg district lies in the extreme western part of the county, 
running partially into Clay county near Abner. Attention has been 
paid in this direction almost entirely to placer mining along the bottom 
of Crooked creek. A very considerable amount of prospecting has also 
been done on the vein formations, but no regularly producing mines 

I Tn» 


have yet been developed. Arsenical pyrite is of common occurrence 
in the district. 


The more important mining operations have been carried on in the 
Idaho district, which embraces an area of about 3 miles square. The 
country-rocks are graphitic mica- and hornblende-schists, often garnet- 
iferous. The principal properties are the Idaho, ITobbs, Laurel, Chin- 
capina, California, and Horns Peak. 

The Idaho (or Franklin) mine is situated in Sec. 3, T. 20, K. 7 E., 
on the northwestern side of Shinbone ridge. The main ore-body con- 
sists of a large mass of the country schists interlaminated with quartz- 
seams and largely stained with manganese oxide. The schistosity stands 
almost vertical. This ore-body, which, has a thickness of 50 feet, is 
opened by cuts Avhich extend for over 300 feet along the line of strike 
and to a maximum depth of 60 feet. 

The second ore-body is about 150 feet northwest of the above. It is 
locally called the " Little Sampson vein." But little work has been done 

The Idaho ore is stated to carry $2 per ton in free gold. The milling 
plant, which, was in operation in the winter of 1896, consists of a 5-stamp 
mill (crushing capacity 10 tons in 24 hours), and a 5-foot Huntington 
mill (crushing capacity 20 tons in 24 hours), the former crushing 
through round punched 2 mm. screens, and the latter through 1 mm. 
slotted screens. The pulp from both mills goes over shaking coppers 
and thence over stationary coppers, which are barred with riffles. From 
here it flows over blanket sluices 8 feet wide at the Huntington and 4 
feet wide at the stamp-mill. The cost of mining and milling is stated 
to be 50 cents per ton, and the cost of delivering from mine to mill 15 
cents per ton. 

The following rates of wages are paid: Miners, 75 cents per day (10 
hours); foremen, millmen, and engineers, $1 per day; millwright, $1.25 
per day. The cost of fuel is $2 per day. 

The Laurel mine is supposed to be an extension of the Little Sampson 
ore-body, and the character of the ores is very similar. 

The Chincapina mine is situated on a ridge to the north of the 
Laurel and Idaho mines. The character of the ore-body is similar to 
that of the Idaho, though the dip is more inclined, about 30° southeast. 
"No work of consequence has been done. 

At the California mine a 10-stamp mill was erected and operated sev- 
eral years ago. 

The Horns Peak mine is situated about 1 mile west of the Idaho. 
The ore-body, which resembles the others in this district, has been 


opened by a cross-cut tunnel, determining its thickness to be about 30 
feet. Tests made in a small 5-stamp mill located in the vicinity have 
demonstrated a saving of $2 per ton by amalgamation. 


The occurrence of gold in this county is limited to the extreme eastern 
portion, in the Blue Ridge mountain range. The Riddle and Story 
mines have been worked to some extent. 

The ore-body at the Riddle mine is a highly sulphuretted quartz- 
vein, having a very flat dip towards the southeast. It has been opened 
by an inclined shaft on the dip to a depth of 100 feet. The thickness 
of the quartz lenses is about 4 inches, pinching to a mere seam in places. 
Assays have shown values varying from $20 to $150 per ton. The 
prospect pits extend for over half a mile on the course of the vein. 

The Story mine lies in the adjoining section to the Riddle. The ore 
was mined some years ago from an incline on the vein to a depth of 60 
feet. It is similar to that of the Riddle mine. 

The occurrence of gold in Coosa, Chilton, Chambers and Tallapoosa 
counties has been fully described by Dr. W. B. Phillips in Bulletin 
No. 3, Geological Survey of Alabama. 

The latter county was at one time the seat of extensive mining opera- 
tions in the Goldville, Hog Mountain, 1 Silver Hill, Gregory Hill, Blue 
Hill, and Farrow Mountain districts. 2 


The gold produced in this State has been obtained entirely from petty 
placer workings in Monroe, Polk, McMinn, and Blount counties. The 
most prolific sources have been the deposits along Coco creek, a trib- 
utary of the Hiawassee river in Monroe county. Other gold-bearing 
streams in this county are the Citico and Cane creeks, and the head- 
waters of the Tellico river. Along Whippoorwill branch, a tributary, 
of the Tellico, small gold quartz-veins have been discovered, but they 
have never been worked. 

In the latter part of 1896 a company known as the Cooper Gold 
Mining Company was organized for the purpose of developing the Coco 
creek gold fields. 3 

1 Extensive prospecting- work has recently been done at Hog Mountain with the result of 
showing the existence thereof a number of thick veins of low grade ore, averaging perhaps 
$4 or $5 a ton. 

So also in the vicinity of the old Ulrich mines, and across the river at the Bonner, Terrell, 
and Gunn mines, much work has been done within the past twelve months. 

2 See Bulls. Nos. 3 and 5, Geoloq. Survey of Alabama. 
3 Eng. and Min. Jour., vol. lxii, p. 374. 






This mine is situated 4 miles southeast of Albemarle, in the Carolina 
belt. It represents a type of working in virgin placer ground, the gold 
being coarse, usually in nuggets. The mining tract (180 acres) com- 
prises a flat hollow or depression, averaging 250 feet in width, which 
is drained by a small branch. The country-rock is the dark greenish 
Monroe slate (sedimentary), lying in a flat synclinal trough. The aurif- 
erous grit, lying on the slate floor, is composed of angular fragments of 
quartz and country-rock bound in a clay matrix; the cement is often 
hard and stained a brownish or black color. The quartz is of a milky, 
vitreous variety, seldom showing ferruginous stains; some pieces show 
parallel walls (vein structure) from a few inches up to 1 foot in thick- 
ness. No free gold has been found in this quartz. The thickness of 
the grit in the center of the synclinal basin is from 1^ to 2 feet, and 
of the over-lay 2 to 4 feet, thinning out towards the edges. The length 
of the deposit on the company's property is about a quarter of a mile. 
The adjoining property on the north is owned by Mr. F. A. Fesperman, 
whose place has been worked by tributors. The gold found at the 
Crawford is altogether coarse, from the size of a pin's head to nuggets 
of considerable weight. The largest nugget was found on August 22, 
1895, and weighed 10 pounds. The so-called De Berry nugget, found 
April 8, 1895, weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces. These nuggets are scarcely 
at all water-worn, being rough and irregular in shape. The fineness of 
the gold varies from 850 to 900. 

On the hillside to the west of the placer mine several quartz-veins 
have been explored by shallow openings along the outcrop. One of 
these is from 2 to 3 feet thick, and dips steeply to the east, cutting the 
slates both in strike and dip. The quartz, so far as explored, has been 
found generally barren, though in several places gold has been panned 
from the crushed rock; but no larger pieces have been found giving any 
possible clue as to the origin of the nuggets of the placer deposits. 

Gold was first discovered in this bottom in August, 1892, the prop- 




- - 



erty being at that time a portion of the W. S. Ingram farm. For two 
years it was worked spasmodically by tributors, and 16 to 17 pounds of 
nuggets were obtained. In 1894 the property was bought by the Craw- 
ford Mining Company of New York, and was put under the able man- 
agement of Mr. Richard Eames, Jr., of Salisbury, !N\ C. A sketch of 
the method of working which was being pursued in 1895 is given in 
fig. 6. 

The bottom having insufficient grade to carry off the tailings with 
the limited amount of water at hand, a washing tank and sluice were 
put up on the side hill at an elevation of about 30 feet above the creek. 
The deposit was mined by a system of parallel trenches 12 feet wide, 
worked from the lower end of the deposit upward. Track was laid in 
these as they advanced. The upper 6 to 18 inches of the over-lay were 
thrown off, the remaining 1-J to 2 feet, together with the true grit 
(gravel) and 6 to 12 inches of the bed-rock, were shovelled into cars 
holding about half a cubic yard. These were trammed to the foot of 
the inclined plane (8), and hoisted to the top of the washing plant by a 
small friction-drum engine (3) (see fig. 6). This tank was built of 
plank and is about 50 feet long, 18 feet wide and 6 feet high. On one 
of the sides there is a door or opening 4 feet wide, reaching to within 4 
inches of the bottom to a sill. The grit was dumped into the tank and 
a constant stream of water kept flowing over it. The action of this 
stream was reinforced by water played on the material from a hose nozzle 
under a head of 30 feet. This head was obtained from a stand-pipe (4) 
to which water was pumped from a reservoir (1) by means of a Hall 
duplex pump (2) with a 4-inch discharge. Excepting at the time of the 
clean-up, the tank was kept nearly full of gravel, and under the com- 
bined action of the two streams of water, closely imitating natural 
agencies, a very good concentration of the coarser nuggets was attained 
in the tank. The material, partly assisted with a rake, flowed over a 
grizzly (6), the bars of which were set 1-J inches apart. The coarser peb- 
bles and boulders were forked off, while the finer gravel and sand were 
carried down into a sluice (7) situated below the grizzly. The sluice 
was 400 feet long, 12 inches wide and 10 inches deep, and had an in- 
clination of 6 inches in 10 feet. It contained only about 20 feet of 
riffles, and these were situated about 100 feet below the grizzly. Orig- 
inally, the whole sluice was filled with riffles, but these were removed 
when it was recognized that they were superfluous for saving gold. 
The first hundred feet of the sluice were found to aid in thoroughly 
washing and disintegrating the material before it reached the riffles, and 
gold was seldom found below the first four or five feet of the rirrles. 
The upper riffles consisted of diagonal slots cut in 2-inch plank, which 
was laid in the bottom of the sluice. The lower riffles were of the longi- 
tudinal variety (see fig. 8). 



The upper riffles, as well as the surface of the material in the tank, 
were examined every evening for larger nuggets. A complete clean-up 
was made at odd intervals, depending upon the richness of the material 
worked on, etc. The gravel in the tank was entirely worked down by 
means of the hose, the coarser nuggets picked out by hand, and the 
heavy sand, together with similar material found in the bottom of the 
sluice, after taking up the riffles, was washed in a rocker. Xo quick- 
silver was used, there being no fine gold whatever. A loss of gold 
would more likely be in the form of larger nuggets, which might be 
overlooked in forking out the coarser material, or which, on account 
of their round form and size, might roll over the riffles to the tailing 
heap. One large nugget, of the shape and size of a hen's egg, was 
found on the latter. Clay balls (sluice-robbers) also cause considerable 

Fig. 7. — Rocker used by tributors ; Crawford Mine. 

pgggg | V/7Z7/7/7/7/7A 

Upper End. Lower End. 

Fig. 8. — Riffles in sluice-box; Crawford Mine. Scale, }{ ineh = l foot. 

When working to full capacity, 25 men were employed at these 
mines — 5 men at the tank and sluice, 1 playing the hose and dumping 
cars, 1 raking gravel out of the tank, and 3 helping the material down 
the sluice and over the riffles, forking out the coarser pebbles. The 
latter force was necessitated by the limited supply of water and the de- 
sire to work as large quantities as possible. Their work might perhaps 
have been assisted by the use of a much shorter sluice, and a somewhat 
steeper inclination of the same, without endangering loss in gold of such 
a coarse character. The remainder of the force, excepting foreman and 
engineer, were employed in digging gravel, taking up bed-rock, etc. 
An average day's output consisted of 80 carloads, about 45 cubic yards 
of loose gravel. Two and one-half to three cords of wood were burnt a 
day, at 65 cents per cord. Labor was paid at the rate of 60 to 65 cents 
per day. These figures, with reasonable additions for superintendence, 
supplies, etc., placed the cost of mining gravel by this method at about 
50 cents per loose cubic yard. From June until November, when the 
water-supply is very limited, the right of mining the gravel was let out 
to tributors, who turned in as royalty J of the finer gold, including 



pieces up to 1 ounce in weight, and -J of the larger nuggets (above 1 
ounce). The tributes worked in pairs, one pitting and taking out the 
bed-rock while the other one manipulated the rocker (cradle), shown in 
fig. 7. It is made up like a barrel, with half-inch staves, smoothed on 
the inside, with solid heads, the latter being a little more than half a 
circle. One wheelbarrow-load is put in the rocker at a time. After the 
gravel is thoroughly disintegrated by vigorous motion of the rocker, 
the pebbles, etc., are thrown out, and finally, by a light movement, the 
finer and heavier portions are examined closely by eye. It is practically 
a panning process on a larger scale. Fifteen minutes are occupied in 
cleaning up one charge. 


This property is situated near Brindletown, about 14 miles southwest 
from Morganton. It comprises an area of 2460 acres, including the 
eastern portion of Pilot Knob and the western flanks of the South moun- 
tains, being drained by the waters of Silver creek. The problem here 
presented is the reworking of old gravel deposits by a simple hydraulick- 
ing process where the grade is sufficient, or, where this is not the case, 
by raising the material to the surface by hydraulic elevators. 

Geologically, the locality is in the South mountain belt. The general 
strike of the crystalline schists 'is 1ST. 20° W. and the dip 20° 1ST.E. The 
rocks are decomposed to a considerable depth, reaching often 50 feet and 
at times 100 feet. The strike of the auriferous quartz-veins is ~N. 60° 
to 70° E. and the dip 70° to 80° KW. These veins are usually from a 
knife edge to several inches in thickness, and are too small to work indi- 
vidually. One vein from 12 to 18 inches in thickness has been ex- 
plored, but was found to be almost barren. The gravel deposits occupy 
the present stream beds and adjoining bottoms, and the ancient channels 
now covered with deep over-burden and extending into the hillsides 
which flank the mountain. From Pilot Knob and along its lower slopes, 
a number of these deep channels radiate in all directions. 

The facilities for obtaining water for mining purposes are good, 
though beset with difficulties. The numerous streams which have their 
rise in the South mountains are small though of good flow throughout 
most seasons, and it is practicable to collect their water and lead it to 
the larger part of the mining ground in ditch and flume-lines and reser- 
voirs with sufficient head for sluicing and hydraulicking purposes. 
However, the summer months cannot be depended upon for steady work, 
as the water-supply is apt to be cut short by droughts. The chief im- 
pediment is in the loss of grade before the mining ground in the lower 
country is reached, owing to the deep and numerous indentations of the 
mountains which it is necessary to circumvent. It is impossible to 



• M 


water some portions of the sidehills except by pumping into reser- 
voirs or by constructing expensive syphon-lines. 

Brindle creek on the Mills property was the site of the first discovery 
of gold in this part of North Carolina, in 1828. "With few exceptions, 
most of the virgin placer ground above alluded to has, by more or less 
continuous mining operations since then, been worked as high as water 
could be obtained with the present ditch lines. Much of the gravel 
has been washed over as many as three times. As no regular records 
have ever been kept, it is impossible to speak intelligently of the value 
of these gravel deposits. Small channels yielding as high as $20 per 
cubic yard have been worked, but in general the gravel will yield 
from 4 to 50 cents. At present, the available mining ground may 
be divided into two general classes: first, the bottom and ancient channel 
gravel deposits; second, the decomposed country-rock in place, contain- 
ing belts of small auriferous quartz-veins. Not much attention has 
been paid to the latter, excepting by tributors who in a spasmodic way 
have worked some deposits on the flanks of Brindle ridge, gouging out 
the small rich quartz-veins, and extracting the gold by crushing in hand- 
mortars and panning; they pay a royalty of 16f per cent, to the owner. 
Captain J. C. Mills at one time successfully worked one of these small 
quartz-belts by sluicing to a small stamp-mill (Dahlonega method), but 
the mill was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. 

In 1894 an English company was formed with the object of again 
reworking the principal gravel deposits and obtaining as a by-product 
the monazite, which occurs concentrated with the gold and is derived 
from the adjacent country-rocks by disintegration. Over a year was 
spent in preparing the mining ground, building and repairing ditches, 
flumes, etc. It was proposed to concentrate the work at two points, the 
first in the bottom land of Silver creek, using a giant and hydraulic 
elevator; the second in the bed of Magazine or Parker branch, using a 
giant and continuous sluice-box system. 


Silver creek forms one of the main drainages of the South mountains. 
The placer deposits which it was proposed to rework on the Mills prop- 
erty are situated near its headwaters. They are about 1 mile in length 
and are located mainly upon the west bank, on which the gravel often ex- 
tends out a distance of 500 to 600 yards. The main difficulty encoun- 
tered was the want of fall in the bed, a feature common to many South- 
ern placers. It amounts in this case to less than 1 foot in 100. To over- 
come this obstacle for hydraulicking with continuous sluice, the use of 
the hydraulic gravel elevator was decided upon. Fig. 9 gives a 



rough sketch of the plant and method proposed. Twelve miles of ditch 
and flume line (1) carry the water from a reservoir, through the Dan 
Sisk gap in the South mountains, to a penstock (4), situated 200 feet 
above the level of the creek bed. The ditch is cut about 8 inches deep 
by 20 inches wide, at a cost of about 25 cents per rod, and is given a 
grade of from \\ to 3 inches in 100 feet. The flumes are, at ordinary 
grade, 18 inches wide by 12 inches deep (see fig. 10). 

A sill, bent, top and side brace are erected every 6 feet at the jointing 
point and middle of each box. The bents are made of rough lagging 
seldom more than 6 inches in diameter, the greatest height of trestle 
being less than 30 feet. The sill of the flume acts as a cap for the 
posts. Wherever a small grade becomes necessary, the width of the 
flume is doubled. The cost of erecting these flumes is small, equal to 
about the cost of the material in them. Lumber is worth $6 to $7 per 

Fig. 10. — Flume, Mills Property, N. C. Scale, % inch = l foot. «, lxo-ineh board ; 
&, 1-inch holes ; c, lx3-inch board ; d, wedging ; e, 1^-inch plank (sides and bottom) ; 
/, 2x4-inch sills and cap for bent. 

The water, before reaching the penstock, flows through a sand pit 
(2, fig. 9), to catch sand, etc., washed into the ditch line from the side. 
It then enters the penstock after passing through a screen (3) for 
removing leaves, sticks, etc. The pipe (5) leading from penstock is 
10-inch spiral riveted sheet-steel (with No. 16 Birmingham gauge), 
coated with coal-tar and connected with flanges. Smaller curves are 
made by placing cast-iron bevelled wings between the gaskets of the 
flanges, larger ones by suitable elbows. Near the gravel pit the 10- 
inch pipe branches out through a Y (6) into two 7-inch pipes, supplied 
each with a gate-valve, one leading to the giant pen and the other to 
the hydraulic elevator (7). These are both of California type and manu- 
facture. 1 An illustration of the latter in detail is given in fig. 11. The 
principle of this device is too well-known to require a description. It 

Joshua Hendey Machine Works, San Francisco, Cal. 



Fig. 11.— Hydraulic Gravel Elevator, J. C. Mills' land, Burke Co., X. C 




is intended to keep the elevator stationary as long as possible, as its 
installation consumes considerable time. A pit must be sunk in the 
bed-rock, and as the elevator must also drain the workings (a drain on 
the top of bed-rock to the initial point of working was considered too 
expensive), the water would gain too much headway while the elevator 
is moved. The work in the main pit will be carried diagonally up the 
banks of the stream, so as to gain as much grade as possible. As soon 
as there is room, a sluice-box (9) will be placed between the working 
bank and the elevator-pit. A cross-section of this is given in fig. 12. 

Fig. 12. — Section of Sluice-box, J. C. Mills land, Burke Co., N. C. Scale, >£ inchznl 
foot. «, 1%-incb: surfaced pine plank (sides and bottom) ; b, 2x4-incb brace; c, 2x4-inch 
sill ; d, lx4-incb riffle ; e, lx8-inch sand-board. 

The upper part of this sluice will be filled with 3-inch by 1-inch 
Mocks and the remainder with 1-inch by 3-inch cross-riffles, placed 11 
inches apart and held down by a sand-board, which is halved down on 
them. Both will help to protect the sluice-box against wear. All 
pebbles, etc., more than \ inch in diameter will be forked out of the 
sluices and left in the pit (11). After being raised by the elevator, the 
material will pass through another sluice (8), the tailings from which 
will be worked for monazite. It is expected that by far the largest part 
of the gold will be saved in the first sluice. 

Active work was commenced in July, 1895, and after three months' 
washing with the giant and hydraulic elevator the undertaking was 
abandoned. So far as the working of the machinery was concerned, the 
operations were entirely successful, but the yield in gold and monazite 
did not meet the expectations. 

The f -acre of ground (chiefly tailing dumps, which had already been 
worked over in an irregular and imperfect manner several times) that 
was worked to an average depth of 9 feet, yielded $350 in gold, and the 
monazite was so full of magnetite, rutile, etc., that its saving was not 

It is by no means intended by this to condemn the property, for it is 
of course unjust to judge its value from this single test; and while it is 
undoubtedly true that the resources are insufficient to support a com- 
pany organized on so large a capitalization as this English company was, 
there is no reason why smaller operations should not be entirely suc- 



The Magazine or Parker branch is a tributary of South Muddy creek. 
Its source is at the foot of Pilot Knob, and from the latter several 
gravel channels run towards it, sometimes entirely covered with soil, 
so as to make their location unrecognizable at the surface. One of 
these, the Magazine channel, has been extensively worked, first by open 
hydraulic work, and afterwards at the upper end, where the over-burden 
grew too heavy, by a tunnel, subsequently connected with the shaft. 
The former had a total length of 600 feet, and the latter a depth of 50 
feet. The creek bed has also been worked, mainly with rockers. It 
was proposed to work this bottom, besides any side-hill channels that 
might be found, by giant, sufficient fall being available to carry off the 
tailings in a continuous sluice-box below. Water for this work was 
brought a distance of 5 miles to a large reservoir on the divide between 
South Muddy and Silver creeks, and from here in 2 miles of ditch and 
flume, along the foot of Pilot Knob, to a reservoir situated 100 feet above 
the creek bottom. This reservoir was designed to hold the water con- 
tained in the ditch after the gate at the large reservoir had been closed 
in the evening ; and this was to be the first water to be used in the morn- 
ing before that from the large reservoir had time to reach this point. 
The placer deposit in the creek bed has a total width of 400 feet. The 
old gravel banks, etc., were to be broken down and the material run into 
sluices similar to those described above, the tailings being carried down 
the branch to South Muddy creek. 

These operations were, however, never undertaken, owing to the 
liquidation of the company before that point was reached. 


The work pursued here, and its ultimate object, present special fea- 
tures of interest, and might warrant a greater application in the Southern 
gold-fields. The plant and property of this company are situated 2-J 
miles from Dahlonega, on the Chestatee river, about -J mile above the 
entrance of Yahoola creek. The property comprises about 250 acres of 
placer ground on the banks of the river, together with about 1 mile of 
the stream bed. The main object in view was to turn the river into a 
new channel and to work the stream-gravel, as well as that in the adja- 
cent bottoms. 

At the lower end of the property a dam was thrown across the river 
and a substantial and well-constructed power station erected, supplying 
the power, by means of two 66 -inch Leffel wheels, for a Blake duplex 
12-inch by 24-inch pump and a 50 horse-power dynamo. The Leffel 
wheels were originally installed to furnish motor-power to a centrifugal 


sand-pump for raising gravel from the channel excavation, but this was 
later on abandoned in favor of a hydraulic gravel elevator. The substi- 
tution was made for economic reasons as well as for the fact that the 
latter had in its favor greater simplicity, more constant work, and easier 
portability, as well as greater facility of installation. 

This elevator is the design of Mr. W. R. Crandall, the general man- 
ager of the Chestatee Company. It combines cheapness and compact- 
ness of construction, and a novel feature is the introduction of air at the 
nozzle whenever the inlet of the suction-pipe is entirely submerged. Its 
mechanism and operation have been admirably described and illustrated 
in a paper by Mr. Crandall, presented at the Pittsburgh meeting of the 
American Institute of Mining Engineers in February, 1896. \Ye be- 
lieve that this form of elevator may have quite an extended and useful 
application in many parts of the Southern field, and in order to intelli- 
gently bring it before those of our readers to whom the Transactions of 
the American Institute of Mining Engineers may be inaccessible, we 
cannot do better than to repeat the descriptive portions of Mr. Crandall's 
paper, 1 changing the numbers of the figures to suit this report: 

H^"Fig. 13 shows the elevator in detail; Fig. 14, the manner in which it is set; Fig. 15 
the details of the flume, etc. In all the figures the parts are lettered respectively as fol- 
lows : 

A. Cast-iron elbow at the base of the elevator. 

B. Wings or vanes, to straighten the water before it enters the nozzle. 

C. Nozzle. 

D. Air-cap. 

E. Air-inlet pipe, to furnish air when the bottom of the discharge-pipe is submerged. 

F. Studs to support the discharge-pipe and to keep it and the nozzle in line. 

G. Cast-iron flanged throat. 
H. Discharge-pipe. 

I. Discharge-box. 

K. Hood for discharge-box. 

L. Adjustable wood-packing around discharge-pipe. 

M. Discharge-flume. 

N. Adjustable flume-supports. 

This elevator, as used at the Chestatee mine, near Dahlonega, Ga., where it 
has been gradually developed and perfected under the needs of practice, consists 
essentially of an elbow, A, longer at one side than the other, and coupling by 
means of a flange to a 5-inch pipe. At the other extremity are a flange, into 
which the nozzle screws, and three studs, F, which support the throat into 
which the gravel and water enter to be elevated. The throat slips inside the 
6-in. lap-welded pipe, H, for discharging into the flume on the bank, from 
which it may be conveyed wherever desired. 

The whole apparatus, except the discharge-pipe, may be readily carried by 
two men. If it be necessary to move the elevator often, to keep up with the 
drainage, the portable character of the outfit is a great advantage. 

At the Chestatee mine the practice is about as follows: The water-supply is 
conducted to the mine through a 9- inch pipe. At a suitable point the water is 
divided, and a 5-inch pipe conveys that used by the lift, while a 7-inch pipe 
conducts to the giant. Valves are provided at the Tee, so that one or both 

1 Trans. Am. Inst. Engs., xxvi, 1897, pp. 62-68. 





"W. R. Crandall, July, 1895. 

{Patent, applied for) 

Fig. 13.— Plan of Hydraulic Lift. 



may be shut off as necessity requires. The lift is set into the slate to such 
depth as may be desired, and connection is made with the water-supply pipe. 
The discharge-pipe is then slipped over the throat and the discharge-flume is 
put in place, the discharge-pipe being set at such an angle of inclination as 
may be necessary to give proper grade to the tailings-flume and allow the pipe 
to extend a few inches through the bottom of the hooded box. 

The air-pipe, E, is then screwed into place, and the lift is ready for opera- 
tion. We govern the depth to which we set the lift into the bed-rock slate by 
the hardness or softness of the latter. If it be hard, frequent moving is cheaper 
than cutting slate-drains. If soft, we go as deep as the slate will stand without 
timbering. This we find to be about 7 feet. 

A main drain is then started in the* general direction of our work, from 
which laterals are afterwards cut as required; and, at some suitable place 
near the lift-pit, a box about 6 feet long by 32 inches wide is set into the 
drain at grade, and in this is placed a cast-iron " grizzly " having round holes 
2% inches in diameter. This catches any rocks which may escape the forkers, 
and insures that nothing will get to the lift which will not readily pass through 
the throat, which has, when new, an opening of three inches. 

We use straight-bar riffles in the discharge-flume to catch any gold that 
may pass through the lift. This we find in practice to be about 5 per cent, of 
the total amount recovered, a result largely due to the fact that, when work 
is started at a new pit, the ground-sluices are not long enough to settle the 
gold thoroughly. 

Whenever the drainage afforded by a pit is exhausted the pipe-line is 
extended, a new pit is sunk near the gravel-breast, and the work is continued 
as before. 

As the work follows the general course of the river, the tailings are dis- 
charged into the river at the nearest point, the portable tailing-flume being 
extended far enough to insure the safety of the immediate bank. The tailings 
finally flow through a ditch into the river. 

We usually use about 200 feet of 5-inch pipe in the lift water-supply before 
extending the 9-inch pipe-line; and we often move up 100 feet, dig the pit, re-set 
the lift and get ready for work again in one 12-hour shift with 5 men. 

As to the work which the lift will accomplish, I may say that we are using a 
lift with l^-inch nozzle, discharging through a 3-inch throat into a 6-inch pipe, 
and lifting an average of 18 feet vertically, with water at about 60 pounds 
pressure per square inch. 

As we are quite near the river, and have the drainage of a side-hill, the 
surface-water is considerable, probably fifty gallons per minute. We use a 
l^-inch nozzle on the giant, and the lift readily handles all this and all the 
dirt and gravel we are able to wash to it. The latter we estimate, from meas- 
urements taken at different times, to be about y 2 cubic yard per minute of 
' topping.' The quantity of gravel is hard to determine, owing to varying 
conditions; but it is safe to say that it is all that the amount of water em- 
ployed will wash." 

Water is supplied to both the elevator and the giant by direct pressure 
(about 60 pounds to the square inch) from the Blake pump. This 
direct appliance of pressure, without intermediate stand-pipe or reser- 
voir, has proved very successful, the only precaution necessary being to 
shut off the pump before closing the feed of the giant or elevator. It 





as practiced at the Chestatee Mine 

Lumpkin Co., Ga. 

Scale 1 in. = 6 feet. W. R. Crandall, Snpt. 

Fig. 14.— Plan of setting Hydraulic Lift. 



( ) 











Fi°\ 15. — Portable Tailings-Flume 

as used at Chestatc i 
Lumpkin Co-,Ga. 

Scale 1 iu. = o feet. W. R. CfU tall, S 


lias also this advantage, that when occasion demands it, smaller nozzles 
can be used and the pressure thus increased. 

The channel is cut 30 to 35 feet wide, down to bed-rock in depth, 
and has a total length of about half a mile. It runs almost parallel to 
the river, and from 50 to 200 yards from the north bank of the same. 
When completed, the waters of the river will be turned into it by means 
of a wing-dam. 

The gravel above the bed-rock in this channel is auriferous and has 
paid the expenses of the preliminary excavations. It averages 1 foot in 
thickness, with 6 to 10 feet of over-lay. The latter was worked off during 
the night shift (using electric light illumination), and the gravel thus 
exposed, as well as about 2 inches of bed-rock, taken up during the 
succeeding day. 


Dredge-boats of various descriptions have been at work on the Ches- 
tatee river for a number of years. The work has been spasmodic, and 
failures are more often recorded than successes. The river, where oper- 
ated on, is about 100 feet in width and of variable depth. Xumerous 
shoals make dredging difficult. 

A steam vacuum dredge * was operated for a time on this river; it did 
good work, especially in cleaning up the bed-rock. The main difficulty, 
and the reason for abandonment, was the banking up of the tailings 
around the boat, finally hemming it in. 

The Hoy Stone method, 2 using the principle of the hydraulic eleva- 
tor, was attempted as early as 1883, but proved unsuccessful. In the 
summer of 1895 there were two dredge-boats on the river, one above 
and the other below New Bridge. The former of these, operated by 
Mr. Frye, is on the principle of a continuous bucket elevator. So far 
it has not been operated successfully, the buckets and continuous link- 
chain proving entirely too light for the work. The other boat was op- 
erated at a small profit by Mr. Jacquish. It was erected seven years 
ago by the Bucyrus Steam Shovel Company at an initial cost of about 
$15,000. After being worked for two years it lay idle until the summer 
of 1895. 

The machinery is installed on a scow, 26 by 70 feet, drawing 3-J feet 
of water. It consists of a Bucyrus shovel (scoop) of 1J tons capacity, 
derrick and hoisting-drums for operating the same, a small horizontal 
engine and a centrifugal-pump for supplying fresh water to wash the 
gravel, and a 60 horse-power locomotive boiler. A barge, 100 by 20 
feet, lying alongside of the dredge-boat, carries the sluices. There are 

1 See Gold, by A. G. Locke, 1882, p. 890. 

2 See R. W. Raymond, in Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. viii, p. 254. 


two lines of sluice-boxes, each 3 feet wide and 18 inches high, running 
the full length of the barge, and filled with longitudinal riffles, made 
up in five-foot racks, composed of 1 by 3-inch slats set 1 inch apart. The 
gravel is discharged from the shovel on an iron-shod platform at the 
head of these boxes, where the boulders and larger pebbles are removed. 
The gold is caught almost entirely in the upper two racks; the tailings 
run off into the river in the back of the boat. "When in favorable 
ground, the dredge will scoop and deliver an average of 1 bucket every 
2 minutes. "When examined there were 3 men on the dredge-boat, engi- 
neer, fireman and craneman, and 6 men at the sluice-boxes. Work is car- 
ried forward up stream, the scow being moved against the current by an- 
choring the scoop and pulling the scow towards it by means of the crane 
engine. The main wear and tear are on the lip of the scoop, and on the 
chains. A steel lip 12 inches in length wears out in about six months. 
The river ground is leased on a royalty of from 5 to 10 per cent, by the 
property owners. It is said that gravel as low as 5 cents per cubic yard 
can be worked at a profit. 

In the spring of 1896 a boat, equipped with a Marion Steam Shovel 
Company's dredging outfit, was in operation under the management of 
Messrs. Benham and Helmer. A pontoon alongside of the dredge car- 
ried a line of sluice-boxes. The material from the dredge was dumped 
on a grizzly at the head of the sluice line and washed down by a stream 
of water from a ~No. 8 Held and Cisco centrifugal pump having a 
capacity of 4500 gallons per minute. The sluice-boxes were 70 feet 
in length, 64 inches wide and 12 inches deep, and provided with riffles. 
There was a device for carrying back the tailings and depositing them 
in the excavation behind the machine. The efficiency of the dredge was 
stated to be 800 to 1200 cubic yards per 10 hours. The expenses were 
estimated at about $18 per day, and the gross returns at $40 to $120 
per day. 


The Dahlonega method of mining and milling is one which is par- 
ticularly adapted to the large bodies of low-grade auriferous saprolitic 
schists, such as exist in the Dahlonega district of Georgia. It consists 
in cutting down the soft, decomposed ore-bodies by means of a hydraulic 
giant, the water from which carries the material through a line of sluices 
to the mill situated some distance below the workings, usually on the 
banks of a stream from which it derives its water-power. In the mill 
the coarser and heavier portions are retained by means of a screen, and 
are fed to the battery by hand, the mud and fine silt being carried 
through into the river. Generally, a third of the gold saved is caught 


in the riffles of the mine-sluices, the remainder being obtained in the 


The Dahlonega method first originated in 1868 by sluicing the ma- 
terial from the mines to platforms near the mill, from where it was 
hauled to the mill in carts. This was improved by placing bins, with 
perforated bottoms, in the stamp-mills, from 4 to 5 feet above and back 
of the mortars; underneath this bin was a settling-box, in which the 
sandy material settled and the slimes overflowed. At the Child's mill, 
near Nacoochee, a plant was erected, consisting of a series of washing 
and sizing plate-screens, in which three sizes, coarse, medium and sand, 
were made and milled separately. It is stated that all the millable ore 
was saved in this way, in a clean shape, free from mud. 

The present practice is to flush the material on to the mill floor back 
of the batteries, this space in the mill-house being practically arranged 
as a large bin with a slat screen (distance between slats about -J inch) 
at one end. Frequently a Y-shaped storage-tank is situated outside of 
the mill, where the material is collected and flushed into the mill as 
occasion requires. 


The system of reservoirs, ditches, etc., in this district is by far the 
most extensive and best equipped in the Southern gold-belt. The prin- 
cipal water-line is known as the Hand and Barlow ditch, having a total 
length of 34 miles, the main canal being 20 miles long, 6 feet wide and 
3 feet deep, and furnishing 800 miners' inches. The grade averages 5 
feet to the mile, being 4^ feet on straight lengths, with slightly steeper 
grades on bends. The cost of digging this canal was about $1 per rod; 
the total cost, including trestling, etc. (excluding syphon-line), was 
$1000 per mile. The canal crosses the Yahoola valley about 1 mile 
northeast of Dahlonega, in a wrought-iron syphon-tube (see Plate VIII) 
2000 feet in length. The difference in level of the two ends is about 
6 feet, and the pressure at the lowest point is 90 pounds per square 
inch. The inside diameter is 3 feet, the thickness of the pipe being i\ 
inch in the upper and f inch in the lower part. It was built in IS 69. 

Tour miles from Dahlonega the water is carried across a similar de- 
pression in a wooden tube which is -g- of a mile in length and 3 feet in 
outside diameter. It is made of 3 by 5-inch staves, trimmed so as to 
make a tight fit. These staves are laid in wrought-iron hoops, forming 
alternate joints; the last stave is driven in with a maul. This tube was 
built in 1868, and is still in good condition. 

Auxiliary ditches run off from the main canal to the various mines. 
A portion of this water was formerly leased out at the rate of 12 cents 
per miner's inch for 24 hours. The present owners, The Hand & 







i, >,/'i 

'*'.;■ J'fJ ••■■** 



Barlow United Gold Mines and Hydraulic Works of Georgia, have, 
however, been lately using the whole amount in working their own 
mines. Besides this system there are several smaller ones, bringing 
the total length of ditch-lines up to about 80 miles. 

A unique feature of the water-supply at the Findley mine is the 
elevation of the water from the ditch-line to a reservoir situated 152 feet 
above it, by means of a hydraulic pumping engine made by the Filer & 
Stowell Company, of Milwaukee, Mich. This pump is situated near the 
stamp-mill, 285 feet below the ditch-line. The water is led to it from 
the above ditch in a 16-inch straight-riveted feed-pipe 456 feet in 
length, and is discharged by it into a reservoir of 88,000 cubic feet 
capacity, a total vertical height of 437 feet, through a 12-inch steel pipe 
1141 feet in length. The principle involved is that of the hydraulic 
ram, inasmuch as a large quantity of water under a lower head raises 
a certain portion of itself to a higher head, the remainder being waste. 
The machine, however, is of entirely different and, so far as known, 
novel construction. It is of the duplex pattern, the two engines being 
-connected by gearing and with an 8-foot fly-wheel. Each engine has 3 
•cylinders in tandem, to which the water under the feed-head (123 
pounds) is admitted and discharged by valves of the Hiedler type. In 
one of these cylinders the water is raised to the greater head (190 
pounds) at the expense of the feed-water, under head, going to waste in 
the other two. A snifting-valve is attached to the latter to give relief 
to the valves. The stroke is 18 inches, and at a high piston-speed of 
250 feet per minute the pump works very smoothly. Tests had not 
been made, and no figures of efficiency could be obtained at the time of 
our visit. Such figures, as well as a more detailed description than 
could be made after a hasty examination, would be of great interest. 
The present working capacity of the pump is 600 gallons per minute. 


The general character of the ore-bodies has already been described (pp. 
22 and 23). The depth of the saprolites (decomposed schists) in the 
Dahlonega region reaches often to 50 and sometimes 100 feet. Enor- 
mous openings have been made in these by the hydraulic giant, whole 
sides of the mountain being torn off in places (see Plate IX). The 
head employed in hydraulicking varies from 50 to 150 feet, dependent 
on the height from which water can be obtained. Where harder rock 
"is torn loose, it is broken by hand-sledges and thrown into the ground- 
sluices. Powder is sometimes resorted to for breaking down the more 
resistant ledges. In order to shorten the distance in sluicing to the 
mill, tunnels are often run through the intervening hill- (as at the 
Hand and Eindley mines). The wooden sluice-line is supplied with 
longitudinal riffles throughout its entire extent. 



In the pursuance of this method a large proportion of the material 
carried to the mill is perfectly barren, for the reason that the entire 
mass is not gold-bearing, but only certain streaks of it, which cannot be 
mined separately by this method. 


Fig. 16. — Vertical Cross-section of the 450-pound Hall Stamp-mill. 

The Dahlonega method of mining and the milling material resulting 
from the same have developed a milling practice particularly character- 
istic of this district. The material floated to the mill is of necessity of 
small size, the larger pieces of rock being sledged before entering the 
flume. Thus crushing is dispensed with. Automatic feeders at the 



mill have been tried, but were found impracticable, the variable hardness 
of the ore (only a small proportion being hard quartz and rock) making 
hand-feeding imperative. 

The battery which is almost universally in use is that of the Hall type, 
invented and patented by Mr. Frank W. Hall, of Dahlonega. The 
usual weight of the stamp is 450 pounds. Figs. 16 and 17 give the 
two vertical sections of this mill. It represents novel features both in 
the battery and in the setting. The long battery blocks and a bed-rock 
foundation have been entirely dispensed with. The mill can be set upon 
any level piece of ground, a 2-inch plank platform forming practically 
the only foundation. The plan of construction (well shown in the 
drawing) makes the frame self-contained, the blow of the stamp and the 
reaction being absorbed and neutralized in the setting. Elasticity is 
maintained by the guy-rods. A suspended platform gives access to the 
props, cams, etc. The mortar is held in place by a rib on the bottom 
fitted in a corresponding gain in the mortar block. It is held down on 
the latter by wedges driven against blocks bolted on the inside of the 
battery posts. The small inside dimensions of the mortar are still more 
narrowed down by chilled-iron liners, which reach to within an inch of 
the dies. The main purpose of these liners is to bring the ore, on being 
fed, immediately under the shoes. They also protect the mortar against 
wear, and help to some extent in collecting and secreting amalgam. 
Quicksilver is fed to the batteries, and in some cases a considerable 
amount of amalgam collected is obtained from the mortars. The liners 
are fitted with dovetails and lugs at the end, and are finally held in 
place by two large keys driven against the screen frame, which is shod 
with wear iron on each side. On removing the front liner the mortar 
is opened to the floor. The dies, which sit in ^-inch depressions, are 
easily withdrawn, the back and side liners drop out, and the mortar can 
be cleaned in a few minutes. The whole clean up in a 10-stamp mill 
is accomplished in the space of half an hour. The front liner deter- 
mines the height of discharge, which, when the dies are new, is about 
2 inches. An annealed copper plate, 4 feet long and of the full width 
of the mortar, is in most cases considered sufficient for the outside amal- 
gamation. The weight of the 450-pound stamp-mill is divided as 
follows : 


Stem or spindle 175 

Head of boss 150 

Tappet with keys 50 

Shoe 75 

Total weight of stamp 450 

Die 50 

Mortar 2100 

; Liners for same 240 



Fig. 17 — Vertical Longitudinal Section of the 450-pound Hall Stamp-mill. 



The average drop of stamp is 9 inches; number of drops per minute, 
90. The whole machine is well constructed, and admirably fulfills its 
purpose of handling large quantities of the Dahlonega mill-stuff. The 
mill is also built with heavier stamps, and some slight changes are made 
in the frames of these. None of these heavier mills were seen in opera- 
tion; but the setting employed is said to give as great satisfaction as in 
the lighter ones. Whether the application of this mill would be exten- 
sive for harder ores we are unable to judge. It certainly gives the 
extreme of rapid crushing, and might be adopted where such an object 
is in view. 

The cost of these mills is light and that of installation small as com- 
pared with those of Western type. 1 

Almost all the mills in Dahlonega are operated by water-power, using 
turbines of the Lefiel type for large quantities and low heads, and wheels 
of the Pelton type when the water is small in quantity under a high 
head. The crushing capacity of these mills varies from 2 to 5 tons per 
stamp of 450 pounds in 24 hours, depending greatly on the nature of 
the material run through. 

In hydraulicking, and subsequent transportation by water, a partial 
concentration takes place, resulting in the eventual deposition of a 
largely enriched product in the mill. The light stuff and most of the 
slimes pass through the mill, in almost all cases without subsequent 
treatment, and the heavy product' remains, the enriching being all the 
way from 2 to 5 times the original value of the ore in place. Besides 
this, free gold (generally about one-third of the total amount saved) is 
caught in the sluices before reaching the mill. Some of the losses in 
this process are evident from the above. Another serious loss, which is 
rapidly making itself felt as the mines grow deeper and less decomposed 
ores occur, is that of gold in the sulphurets. In such ores that carry 
sulphurets at all it is stated that they will run from 2 to 10 per cent., 
the concentrates from which are reported to assay as high as $40 and 
higher. Thus far, concentration has not been carried out on a working 

1 The following figures were obtained in the camp as representing the average cost of a 450- 
pound 10-stamp mill of the Hall type, as erected and used in the Oahlonega district : 
All iron-work for batteries and setting, including copper-plates (f. o. b. 

works, Cincinnati) $700 00 

Freight on same, and cost of erection, about 500 00 

Buildings, floors and sluices ' 400 00 

Engine and boiler, with connections 600 00 

Freight on same, about ■ 150 00 

Total cost of complete mill $2350 00 

Water-wheel and installation of same would cost about the same as engine and boiler. 
Chrome steel (made in Brooklyn, N. Y.) and Wilson pressed steel (made in St. Louis, Mo.) shoes 
and dies find about equal favor in the district, costing respectively 6 and 7 cents, f. o. b. works. 
Cast-chilled iron shoes are also used to some extent, at a cost of about 3 cents per pound. 
Mills similar to the Hall type are also made in Gainesville and Atlanta, Ga. 


basis. Despite many inquiries amongst local mill-men and others, we 
could hear no reports of losses in amalgamation resulting from so-called 
rusty gold. A loss of this nature was in a few cases ascribed to the 
finely-divided or flaky condition of the gold. 

It is difficult to give any average values of the Dahlonega ores, or in 
fact to clearly designate exactly what the term ore applies to in this dis- 
trict. Material worth as low as 40 cents per ton has been milled at a 
profit. If this figure per ton, plus the gold saved in the sluices (20 
cents per ton milled) represents the milling-value of 5 tons of material 
mined, as is stated to be frequently the case, then the value of the latter 
per ton must have been 12 cents. As a rule, however, the mill-stuff is 
of better grade than the above. The actual ore (quartz) is stated to 
assay from $1 up to exceptionally high values in the cases of rich 
stringers or pockets. 

The cost of mining and milling throughout the district will average 
from 18 to 25 cents per ton of ore milled. 

A description, somewhat more in detail, has been prepared of the 
following mine as representing perhaps most perfectly the Dahlonega 
method in its original type (of working .soft saprolites or highly decom- 
posed material). 


The Hedwig mine is situated near Auraria six miles west of Dahlo- 
nega, It consists of a large open cut about sixty feet in depth, 
run on a line of siliceous, micaceous ore-bearing schists, sixty feet 
in total width. The strike of the sckistosity is N.E. and the dip 
60° S.E. Three separate ledges of barren hornblende-gneiss (brick- 
bat) enclose two ore-bodies, striking and dipping conformably To them. 
But very few small quartz-stringers occur in the mass. \Vater is fur- 
nished to the giant (3-inch nozzle) under a maximum head of 60 feet 
from a reservoir situated on the hillside above the mine. Six men are 
employed at the mine at 80 cents per day (day-shift only). 

The material is run to the mill in a flume 2800 feet in length and 14 
by 16 inches in cross-section, made of oak boards. It is supplied with 
longitudinal riffles made of 2 by 3-inch post oak scantling. The grade 
of this sluice is 4 J inches in 12 feet at the lower, and 3^ inches at the 
upper end, that is, in the cut where it is not necessary to avoid over- 
flows. The outside mill-bin holds about 240 tons, and the material is 
flushed from here to the inside bin, which holds 200 tons. Formerly 
there were three outside bins and the ore was hauled to the mill in cars. 

The mill is a 40-stamp one of the Hall pattern, with a 12-foot driving* 
pulley. It is driven by a 4-inch Bidgeway wheel, using 40 inches of 
water from two 1-inch nozzles. The water is supplied from the same 


reservoir that furnishes the giant at the mine, by an 18-inch spiral' riv- 
eted pipe-line, 2880 feet in length, under a head of 226 feet. The 
weight of the stamps is 450 pounds; drop 9 inches, 80 times per minute; 
discharge 2 inches; round punched screen, 120 holes to the square inch; 
length of plates (plain copper) 8 feet in two sections; ten of the stamps 
were fitted with silvered plates in 2-foot sections. Only the upper 4 
feet of the plates in the mill are kept in shape; it is stated that no gold 
was saved on the lower ones. The tailings flow off through mercury 
traps. The overflow from both the outside and inside bins runs through 
a short line of riffled sluice boxes. At the time of our examination 
seven men were employed in the mill in two shifts, at 90 cents per day. 


The Lockhart mine is situated on the west bank of the Yahoola river 
near Dahlonega, Ga, It represents the working of ore-bodies of the 
Dahlonega type by underground mining. 

The Dahlonega method of mining the saprolites was formerly em- 
ployed here, and the old open cuts, now practically abandoned, are of 
considerable extent. This is the only mine in the Dahlonega district 
where underground work of any importance has been carried on. The 
ore-bodies consist of veins of the Dahlonega type (see description, pp. 22 
and 23) where the quartz-filling has been more extensive, in places occu- 
pying the greater part of the fractured gneiss bands, which in a mining 
sense may be termed the vein, the boundaries of the gneiss bands form- 
ing continuous, smooth walls, and being the limit of the mineable ore. 
The normal strike of the schists at the Lockhart is northeast and the dip 
southeast; at one point, however, the schists bend around a mass of 
" brickbat," the strike being abruptly changed to the northwest and the 
dip to the northeast. 

The principal work has been done on the Blackmore vein, where the 
country is a biotite hornblende-gneiss. The strike of this vein is E\E. and 
the dip 30°-60° S.E. It varies in thickness from 3 to 6 feet. The ore- 
body is opened by two adit-levels on the vein, 60 feet apart. The lower 
one, which enters the hillside at a depth of about 135 feet below the 
original outcrop, has a length of 400 feet, and the ore has been stoped 
out between it and the upper level for a distance of 100 feet from the 
face, which is the length of the ore-shoot so far as explored. This 
shoot has also been worked from the upper level to the surface. The 
pitch is steeply to the E~.E. The ores from this shoot mill from $4 to 
$5 per ton. Besides this richer shoot the bottom level exposes ore 
throughout its entire length. This, however, decreases in quality as the 
mouth of the tunnel is approached, where it yields only $1. The system 
of work is underhand stoping, stulls being placed 6 feet apart to 1ml. 1 



up the ground. The ore is carried from the stopes in barrows to a 
platform at the mouth of the tunnel, from where it is hauled to the mill 
by carts. 

The same vein has also been opened by a shaft, 50 feet deep, at the 
mill house, which is situated about 300 feet N.E. from the mouth of the 
mine. A drift 300 feet long was run on the vein here, which is 
reported to be 14 feet thick, carrying highly sulphuretted ores, which 
milled $4. This part of the mine is now under water. 

Other ore-bodies have been opened up to some extent, but not suf- 
ficiently to say much of their nature. 

The ore is treated in a 20-stamp mill of the 450-pound Hall type, 
erected originally for working material from open cuts by the Dah- 
lonega method. No crusher or mechanical feeder is used, and no con- 
centration of the sulphurets has so far been attempted, although they 
are stated to be of high grade. The ore is fed by hand, one man 
attending to each ten stamps. The drop is 6 to 8 inches, 60 times per 
minute, and the discharge is about 2 inches high. The screen used is 
a No. 9 Russia slot. The plates are 6 feet in length, plain copper. 

For the hard ores; such as are at present mined, this mill can scarcely 
be considered of the best type, being too light. A crusher and auto- 
matic feeder would also be applicable here, as well as concentrators and 
a subsequent treatment of the sulphurets. The mill-power is furnished 
by a turbine wheel, obtaining its head of water from a dam across the 
Yahoola river. 

The cost of production at the Lockhart is given as follows: 

Per ton of ore. 

Mining $ .90 

Hauling 15 

Milling 20 

Other expenses 10 

Total cost of producing bullion $1.35 

The average milling value of the ore for the month ending February 
3, 1895, is given as $4.15 per ton. Eo figures of the assay-values of 
the tailings could be obtained. 




This mine is situated about 6 miles southeast of Salisbury on the 
waters of the Yadkin river. Geologically it is in the Carolina belt. It 
represents a highly sulphuretted quartz-vein of marked persistency, 
with smooth walls and a clay gouge, the ore from which is worked by 
st^mp-mill amalgamation, concentration of the sulphurets, and chlorin- 
ation by the Thies process. 

The vein is said to average 3-J feet in thickness, varying from 1-J to 
as high as 9 feet. The strike of the outcrop, which has been traced 
for 2 miles, is in an east and west direction. The dip is practically ver- 
tical. The sulphurets, mostly pyrite with a little chalcopyrite, occur 
in bunches, averaging about 10 per cent, of the ore. The quartz is 
compact, white and glassy. The wall-rock is a coarse crystalline erup- 
tive, probably a quartz-diorite, and a fine-grained phase of the same. 

Until 1884, when it was destroyed by fire, a concentration plant was 
in operation here. The concentrates which were obtained without pre- 
vious amalgamation, were treated at the Yadkin Chlorination works 
near Salisbury. Work w T as not taken up again until 1894 and lasted 
until the fall of 1895. Fig. 18 gives a vertical section of the mine 
along the strike of the vein. The last work was concentrated at the 
bottom of No. 1 shaft (1), at a depth of 190 feet. The shaft is poorly 
constructed and very wet. A Cornish pump, driven by a belt from the 
crank of a small friction-clutch hoisting engine, raised the water from 
the bottom into a crude ring at the 150-foot level, from where a No. 9 
Cameron sinking pump raised it to the surface. No development work 
was carried ahead, the ore being taken out by overhead stoping as soon 
as found. It was stated by the management that the poor condition of 
the mine and the crude method pursued was due to the more or less 
experimental nature of the late underground developments. The size 
and substantial construction of the mill and chlorination plant seem, 
however, to have gone beyond this stage. On account of the limited 
development the mine was worked in three shifts of eight hours each. 
with two miners and helpers on each shift, paid respectively $1.50 and 




$1. The engineer, fireman and top-labor worked in two shifts of twelve 
hours each. No definite information could be gained regarding the cost 
of mining ; but under the conditions existing, it must have been excessive. 
The mill is a 20-stamp one, built by the Mecklenburg Iron Works. 1 The 
mortar (fig. 19) is of a modified California type, and of medium width 
and depth. A novel feature in this mortar is a large opening above 
and in back of the screen by which the inside of the screen can be 
reached to clear it of foreign clogging matter. The inside plates may 
also be taken out through it without disturbing the screen. The weight 
of each stamp is 750 pounds, given 5- to 7-inch drop, 90 drops per min- 
ute. No inside plates are used at this mill. The height of the discharge 
is 5 inches, when the dies are new. The screens are 40-mesh, brass wire. 
The outside plates are similar to those at the ITaile mine (see p. 136) 
The amount of ore milled was about 1 ton per stamp in 12 hours. About 
it of the gold extracted was saved by amalgamation. The tailings from 
the plates were concentrated on 2 Frue and 2 Triumph vanners, produc- 
ing about 1 ton of concentrates in 12 hours, running from $30 to $40 
per ton. 

The concentrates were roasted in a large reverberatory furnace located 
in the mill building, the area of the hearth being 9x41J feet. The 
capacity of this furnace was stated to be 4 roasted tons in 24 hours at a 
cost of $1.25 per ton. The furnace was worked in two 12-hour shifts 
with two men on each shift, head roaster at $1 and helper at 85 cents. 
Two cords of wood, at $1.25 per cord, were burnt in 24 hours. 

The chlorination was carried on in a 1-barrel plant with a capacity of 
4 roasted tons of concentrates per 24 hours. The building is arranged 
for the addition of another barrel which would allow the same work to 
be done in 12 hours, giving better opportunity for precipitation, and 
reducing the total cost of chlorination. The charge and the method of 
working was identical with that pursued at the Haile mine (see p. 140). 

1 The Mecklenburg Iron Works of Charlotte, N. C, Captain John Wilkes, Manager, make a 
specialty of gold-mining and milling machinery. In the summer of 1895 this company erected 
a 5-stamp test mill at their works, connected with a complete chlorination test plant having a 
capacity of half a ton of raw concentrates per day. As being of interest and value in a paper 
of this kind, we have obtained from them the following list of the cost of milling and chlorina- 
tion plants erected in the South. The figures given are outside ones and apply in each case 
to a complete automatic plant. 

The cost of the machinery for a 10-750-pound stamp mill with grizzly, crusher, self feeders, 
silvered inside and outside plates, Triumph concentrators (4 to every 10 stamps), engine and 
boiler, together with all attachments, and plans for erecting and locating machinery, is given 
at $5700 f . o. b., Charlotte, N. C The same for a 20-stamp mill is $10,350. 

The complete cost of a 10-stamp mill as above, set up (in the vicinity), will be about ££000. 
Of a 20-stamp mill, about $14,000. 

The approximate cost of a 1-barrel chlorination plant with two reverberatory furnaces, 
erected, is given at $5500. The same for a 2-barrel plant with four furnaces at $9700. 

The complete cost of a 10-stamp mill with concentrators, roasting furnaces and a Thies 
chlorination plant with all necessary power and expenses may be figured at $1200 per stamp. 
For a 20-stamp mill at $1000 per stamp, and for a 40-stamp mill at $900 per stamp. 

The price of shoes and dies of a chilled charcoal iron mixture is 3 cents a pound f. o. b. works. 




"No satisfactory figures regarding the value of the tailings from either 
the concentration or chlorination could be obtained; the figures given 
were high as compared with those of other mines. The cost of milling, 
concentration, roasting and chlorination per ton of ore milled was given 
at $1.80 per ton. This excessive cost, almost three times as much as that 
at the Franklin mine, an almost identical case as far as the plant and the 
thickness of the ore-body are concerned, must no doubt be greatly laid 
to the fact that an attempt is made to supply a plant with a nominal 
capacity of 40 tons in 24 hours from a mine, in which the development 
does not warrant an output of 10 tons in this time. 

The percentage and value of concentrates given above, with the addi- 
tion of the gold saved on the plates, gives an estimated value of from 
$4 to $5 per ton to the ore mined, without including in this value the 
gold lost in tailings. Such an ore if found in sufficiently large bodies 
on developing the mine, should pay a profit with the above method of 
treatment under a close management. 

Experiments were made with cyanide in 1896, but were not successful. 


This mine is situated on the Etowah river, about 16 miles northeast 
of Canton, the county seat. Geologically it is in the Georgia belt. The 
proposition presented here is in most respects similar to that at the 
Reimer mine. 

The country-rock consists of gneissoid mica- and hornblende-schists, 
often garnetiferous. The general strike is !N\ 55° E. and the dip 40° 
S.E. Granite dikes are stated to exist in the vicinity of the mine, but 
none have been as yet found intersecting the ore-bodies. The char- 
acter of these ore^bodies has been described (p. 23). There are two 
parallel veins about 150 feet apart, known respectively as the Franklin 
and the MacDonald. Of these, the Franklin has been most extensively 
opened, and is the only one that has been worked during recent years. 
The strike and dip of the veins are, in the main, coincident with those 
of the country schists. The mineable ore exists in lenticular shoots or 
cylinders pitching 45° 1ST.E. (see fig. 20). Four such shoots had been 
opened in the mine within a horizontal distance of about 750 feet on 
the strike, at the time of our visit. The largest one of these has a max- 
imum length of 120 and maximum width of 14 feet. The average 
thickness of the ore-bodies is probably about 3 feet. All but one of the 
ore-shoots crop out at the surface, and they show considerable perma- 
nency in depth. The 350-foot drift in the mine was extended in a 
northeasterly direction about 400 feet beyond the last ore-shoot. 
Although a permanent vein with clay casings, and in places heavy quartz- 




filling-, had been found, the ore was not rich enough to mill. On the 
235-foot level a horizontal diamond-drill hole (over 150 feet in length) 
was bored in the hanging, but no other parallel ore-body was found. 
Cross-fissures, from 3 to 6 inches in thickness, are met with in the mine, 
striking 1ST. 30° to 35° W., with a vertical dip, and intersecting, though 
not faulting, the ore-bodies. These fissures are filled with coarse crys- 
talline calcite, sometimes carrying inconsiderable amounts of pyrite. 
The structure of the vein-quartz at the Franklin is banded, and its char- 
acter is milky, glassy. The sulphurets consist mainly of coarse crystal- 
line pyrite (with very little chalcopyrite), usually occurring in bunches. 
Although the ore is over 50 per cent, free-milling, gold visible to the 
eye is of very rare occurrence. The fineness of the gold is 980 to 989. 

The property of the Creighton Mining and Milling Company com- 
prises some 1800 acres. The first work done here was by open cuts in 
the outcrop of the ore-shoots. After the death of Mr. Franklin, the 
original owner, the mine was worked for a long time by his widow. 

Before the adoption of the chlorination process for treatment of sul- 
phurets by the present company, a cyanide plant was erected and oper- 
ated for a short time. 

The present condition of the mine is shown in figure 20, 
giving a vertical section along the strike. The mine is worked entirely 
through No. 2 shaft (1), driven in the hanging wall to a depth of 215 
feet, at which point it strikes the vein. From this level work is carried 
on to a total depth of 430 feet by a slope on the dip of the vein and the 
pitch of the ore-shoot, resting on a small horse of poor ore. 

The method of mining the ore is as follows: Levels are run every 
100 feet, and the ore-lenses are entirely stoped out, leaving the inter- 
vening bodies of low-grade material as pillars. The levels are con- 
nected by a series of raises, their number depending upon the length of 
the ore-shoots. The ore is then stoped by underhand work, the raises 
acting as ore-chutes (mill-holes), and the cars being loaded directly from 
pockets in the level below. No pillars are left below the levels, the 
track, when necessary, being carried over the worked-out stopes on stulls. 
Only such timbers as are necessary to assist the men in their work are 
used, the walls requiring no support. All the material stoped is hoisted 
and milled, leaving no waste filling in the mine. Air-drills are used 
almost exclusively; for stoping, a Baby Band with J-inch steel is used, 
while drifting is clone with 3|-inch cylinder Sergeant machines. The 
ore is raised in cars of -J-ton capacity, first up the incline by underground 
hoisting engine (4), and then trammed to the bottom of the vortical 
shaft, from where they are hoisted to the surface on cages. Xo. 1 shaft 
(2) is used for ventilation and as a pipe-way. The mine is not a wet 
one, a small steam-pump, situated immediately below Xo. 2 shaft, taking 


care of the water. At the surface, the ore is run over a grizzly and 
then through a crusher, the jaws of which are set 1-J inches apart. The 
crushed ore is hauled to the mill by mules in cars of 1^ tons capacity, 
which are loaded from a bin below the crusher. 

During the summer and fall of 1895 two other shafts, No. 3 and 
No. 4, located respectively \ and -§ miles southwest of No. 2, were in 
progress of sinking, with the object of developing in depth lenses of 
ore which had been located and worked to some extent on the surface. 
Considerable diamond drilling has been done on the property (some 800 
feet in all) at a cost of about $1.25 per foot. 

The mill is situated about. J of a mile from No. 2 shaft, on the east 
bank of the Etowah river. Water at a head of 7-J feet is supplied to two 
turbine wheels by a dam thrown across the river. One of the turbines, a 
60-inch Leffel wheel, supplies 23 horse-power to the stamp-mill, while 
the other, a 56-inch Davis wheel, drives a duplex Rand air-compressor. 
The concentrators are run by steam-power, that derived from the tur- 
bine not being of sufficient regularity to secure a uniform product. 
There are 20 stamps in the mill, 10 of Western make and 10 erected by 
the Mecklenburg Iron Works. Weight of stamps 850 pounds, 7-inch 
drop, 70 drops per minute, 6-inch discharge. No inside plates are used 
and no quicksilver is fed to the battery (a little coarse gold is cleaned 
from the battery sands). The screens are No. 7 slotted Russia iron, 
corresponding to about 30-mesh. The outside plates have the full width 
of the mortar. They are 8 feet long, arranged in four steps, and are 
handled in the same manner as those at the Haile mine. About 55 per 
cent, of the gold extracted from the ore is saved by amalgamation. The 
ore is fed from bins by Hendey automatic feeders. The mill handles 35 
tons in twenty-four hours. 

The pulp from each 10 stamps is carried by launders to four hydraulic 
classifiers, the overflow from all these going to one slime-spitzkasten of 
9 by 9 feet surface dimensions. The product of the 8 hydraulic clas- 
sifiers goes to 8 Embrey tables, the product of the slime-kasten being dis- 
tributed to 2, making 10 tables in all working on mill-pulp. Besides 
these, there are 3 tables working on old amalgamation tailings, assaying 
about $3 per ton. The concentrates are not clean, containing about 50 
per cent, of sand, but close work would decrease the percentage of ex- 
traction. The average amount of sulphurets in the ore mined is about 
5 per cent., sometimes running as high as 9 per cent. As high as 5^ 
tons of raw concentrates are produced and treated in twenty-four hours. 
The tailings from concentration run at present about S5 cents per ton, 
giving a remarkably high percentage of extraction. 

The concentrates are roasted in two double-hearth reverberatory fur- 
naces, with a capacity of 2 tons of roasted ore each in 24 hours. Twelve 


pounds of salt per ton are added to the charge to change the carbonate 
of lime present to chloride. 

Chlorination of the roasted concentrates is carried on in a one-barrel 
chlorination plant, the arrangement of the same and the method pur- 
sued being identical with that at the Haile mine (see p. 137). The tail- 
ings from the chlorination run about 60 cents per ton, giving an extrac- 
tion of over 95 per cent. 

Labor, Costs, etc. — At the time of our examination about 90 men 
were on the pay-roll of the company, when work was going on at full 
capacity. The force of men is variable, however, depending upon the 
output and the amount of development work. The wages paid were as 
follows : 

Per day. 

Drill runners $1.55 

Helpers 1.00 

Muckers 75 to 80 cents. 

Trammers 1.00 

Blacksmiths 2,25 

Carpenters 2.50 

Three men were employed on each 12-hour shift in the mill and con- 
centration house at the following wages : 

Per day. 

Amalgamator .$1.40 

Concentrator 1.35 

Helper 75 

Boasting. — Two men on each shift, at $1.25. Cost of roasting, per 
ton of roasted concentrates, $2. 

Chlorination. — One man on each shift. Cost of chloridizing per ton 
of roasted concentrates, $1.48. 

Supplies. — Timber, $9 per 1000 feet. Cord wood, $1.25 per cord, 
8 cords used per day. 

Cost per ton of ore mined: 

Mining, crushing and tramming to mill $2.05 1 

Milling, roasting and chlorination (J5 

Total $2.70 


The Haile mine is situated 3 miles northeast of Kershaw in Lancaster 
county, S. C. It is the property of the Haile Gold Mining Company 
(New York office, 17 Maiden Lane), Capt. A. Thies, superintendent and 
general manager. 

1 This figure includes all development work. The average value of the ore ami the concen- 
trates cannot be given lor private business reasons. 

2 Written in co-operation with Mr. A. Thies. 


This mine represents an example of gold mining in its highest devel- 
opment in the South, on large bodies of low-grade sulphuret ore. 

It is situated in the Carolina belt. ' The country is a siliceous hydro- 
muscovite- and argillaceous-schist striking E". 45° to 70° E. and dipping 
55° to 85° N.W. The rock is impregnated with auriferous pyrite, free 
gold, and in places small quartz-stringers. This is the mass that consti- 
tutes the ore-bodies, which are lenticular in shape. Their outline, how- 
ever, does not necessarily conform with the strike and dip of the slates,. 
but is determined rather by the degree of impregnation. The lenses are 
about 200 feet in length and 100 feet in maximum width. The pitch is 
50° to 60° N.E., and the dip E~.W. from 45° to nearly vertical. The 
country is intersected by a number of diabase dikes, from a few feet to 
150 feet in width, striking across the slates at various angles, and in one 
instance (Beguelin mine) parallel with them. \Vhere these dikes cross 
the ore-bodies they appear to have exerted, in some cases, an enriching 
influence on the ore. A short distance to the southeast of the main 
workings is the outcrop of a heavy quartz-vein (F., fig. 21) from 10 to 
12 feet thick, which strikes parallel to the slates; it is apparently barren. 
As explained above, the ore consists of pyritic slates, silicified in varying 
degrees, from soft, sericitic slate to very hard hornstone. The more 
siliceous ores are usually the richest; graphitic laminae are also good indi- 
cations. In the better grade of ore the pyrite exists in a finely divided 
condition. Ore containing coarse sulphurets is generally of poor grade. 
The crucial test, however, of the value of the ore is the amount of free 
gold it contains, which is in direct proportion to that contained in the 
sulphurets, and is determined by daily panning. The ore at present 
delivered to the mill averages $4 per ton (assay value), of which about 
one-third is free gold. 1 The percentage of sulphurets in the ores varies 
from 2 to 25 per cent. 

The first work done at the Haile mine consisted of branch washing 
in 1829, which led afterwards to the discovery of gold on the hillsides. 
All work was open cutting until 1880, when underground mining was 
begun, and this is continued to the present time. Although visible coarse 
gold is now of rare occurrence, the mine has yielded some nuggets worth 
from $300 to $500 from the decomposed slates in the shallow open cuts/ 

The first mill was a 5-stamp one, afterwards enlarged to 10, and in 
1881 to 20. About 1884 a Blake dry-crushing mill was erected in con- 
nection with 20 Embrey tables. 3 This was soon abandoned, and the 
mine was worked in a dilatory way with the 20-stamp mill until 1S88. 

1 Ores as low as $2.75 have been successfully milled. 

2 First Annual Report on the Survey of South Carolina for 1856, by O. M. Lieber, Columbia, S_ 
C, 1858, p. 63. 

3 "The Rlake System of Fine Crushing and Its Economic Results, 1 '' by T. A. Blake, Trans. 
Am. Inst. Min. Eny., xvi, 753. 


Fig. 21. — Mines and Plant, Haile Gold Mining Co., Lancaster County, S. C. Scale, I 
inch=400 feet. 

A, Red Hill pits; B, Diabase dikes; C, clay dikes; D, outlet of large reservoir ; E, Bumalo pit ; 
F, quartz-vein; G, Beguelin mine; H, Haile pit; K, small reservoir; L, Chase Hill pits; L, 
chlorination house; 2, roasting furnaces; 3, boiler house; 4, pump; 5, machine shop; <*>, 
No. 2 shaft ; 7, new shaft; 8, No. 3 shaft; 9, offices; 10, superintendent's residence; 11, 
mill; 12, concentration house; 13, boiler and engine; 14, crusher; 15, new Beguelin shaft ; 
16, Beguelin slope ; 17, boiler house; 18, crusher; 19, flume; 20, mine railroad; 21, com- 
missary ; 22, church ; 23, school ; 24, village. 






Fig. 22.— Beguelin Mine (part of the Haile Gold Mine). Scale 1 inch — SO feet 
D, diabase dikes; S, slate; O, ore-body; 1, new shaft; 2, pillar; 3, pit, 160 feet deep: 4. 
inclined shaft; 5, crusher and ore-bin; 6, mine railroad; 7, 22-inch diabase dike; 8. 
diabase dike, parallel to ore-body ; 9, old shaft, 50 feet deep ; 10, open cut, 40 feet deep. 


During this time, and previously, many unsuccessful experiments for the 
treatment of sulpliurets were made. 1 In 1888, Mr. A. Tliies took charge 
of the Haile mine. He operated the 20-stamp mill until the mine was 
sufficiently developed to warrant a larger plant. At this time a 2-barrel 
ehlorination plant was added and increased later on to 3 barrels. In 
1889 the Blake mill was changed to a 60-stamp, back-to-back mill, with 
20 concentrators. 

The present workings consist of the Cross (a continuation in depth of 
the old Haile and Flint pits, H, fig. 21), and the Beguelin (G, fig. 21) 
mines. The Bumalo, Ked Hill and Chase Hill pits (E, A and L, 
fig. 21) have not been worked for some time, although in the first there 
has been considerable underground work. 

Work at the Cross mine Avas stopped in 1888, and all attention was 
concentrated on the Beguelin (formerly Blauvelt) mine. Pig. 22 gives 
a plan and vertical section of the open pits and some of the underground 
workings of this mine. The old workings consist of some shallow open 
pits and 3 perpendicular shafts, one 70 feet deep in ore, one 54 feet 
deep in the diabase dike (9, fig. 22), and one 70 feet deep in the foot- 
wall slates on the southwest side of the dike (not shown). The first of 
these was transformed, from a depth of 60 feet downward, into an in- 
clined shaft (4, fig. 22), and sunk in the ore-body to a depth of 195 feet. 
This shaft was rigged with a self-dumping skip, crusher and ore-bin situ- 
ated over the railroad tracks which had been extended to the mine. At 
60 feet a drift was run in a northeast direction until the diabase dike was 
reached. Meanwhile sinking was continued in the shaft to 120 feet. 
From this level drifts were run and connections were made with the 
60-foot level, which prepared the ground between them for stoping. 
At ISO feet a similar drift was run to the dike and connections made 
with the upper levels in such a manner that the ore from the 60-foot 
would fall to the 180-foot level, and from there be hoisted to the sur- 
face. At 180 feet a drift was started in a southwesterly direction, en- 
countering at 64 feet a dike 125 feet thick, through which the drift was 
continued to a distance of 600 feet from the shaft. At a depth of 70 
feet a similar drift was run and the ore-body beyond the dike was pre- 
pared for stoping by connecting these two drifts by several raises. At 
the present day all ore on the west side of the dike has been stoped out 
to the 180-foot level. To the northeast of the shaft a considerable body 

1 "Gold Mining in South Carolina," by E. G. Spilsbury, Trans. .1///. Inst. Min. Engs., xii, 99. 
" Notes on the General Treatment of the Southern Gold Ores and Experiments in Matting 
Iron Sulphides," by E. G. Spilsbury, Ibid., xv, 767. 
"Chlorination of Gold Bearing- Sulphides," by E. G. Spilsbury, Ibid , xvi, 359. 




^ ^ t 

Fig. 23.— Plan of Cross Mine (part of the Haile Gold Mine). Scale, 1 inch=100 feet. 

B, Bumalo pit ; C, clay dike ; D, diabase dikes ; F, Flint pit ; H, Haile pit ; S, old stope -00-foot 

level ; «, No. 2 shaft ; 6, No. 3 shaft ; c, new shaft ; d, bottom of old stope, 160 feet, rising to 100 

feet : e, 120-foot level ; /, 200-foot level : g and h t 270-foot level ; O. ore-bodies ; 1. 2, 3 # stop! 


of ore was still standing above the 60-foot level. In order to extract this 
ore it became necessary to open the mine from the surface, and the open 
pit (3, fig. 22) was started. The gronnd was stripped to a depth of 15 
feet, and from that point on the ore, though lean, was used in the mill. 
At 60 feet a diabase dike (8, fig. 22), lying parallel to the schistosity 
of the country, was encountered in cross-cutting and was at first believed 
to represent the hanging wall. On cutting through it, however (a dis- 
tance of 4 feet), it was found to merely divide the ore-body. Under the 
altered conditions it became necessary to sink a new shaft (1, fig. 22) 
in the hanging wall as an outlet for the ore and for pumping. This 
shaft was sunk to a depth of 165 feet; connections were made by cross- 
cuts with the present inclined shaft and everything prepared for taking 
out the shaft pillars, as well as the remainder of the ore. This is the 
present condition of the mine. The maximum thickness of the ore- 
body at the Beguelin was 80 feet, and the best ore was found between 
the two large cross-dikes. A large amount of heavy sulphuretted ores 
is at present in sight. 

Five hundred feet northeast of the Beguelin mine are several open 
pits known as the Chase Hill (L, fig. 21). The character of the ore at 
this point is somewhat different, being a banded, colored slate, barren of 
sulphurets, but carrying several gold-bearing quartz-veinlets. Taken as 
a body it will not make ore. 

To the northwest of the Beguelin are several ore-leads as yet un- 

The 60-stamp mill was run on Beguelin ores three years. The Cross 
mine was then reopened (1891). A plan of the Cross mine is given in 
fig. 23 showing the open pits and present underground workings, as 
well as some of the abandoned ones. After the water had been pumped 
out, and the old shaft No. 2 (a, fig. 23), 200 feet deep, was fully 
secured, a cross-cut was driven in a northwesterly direction from the 
bottom, a distance of 25 feet. A drift (/, fig. 23) was started from 
that point in a south westerly direction, reaching ore at a distance of 75 
feet from the cross-cut. This drift, on being continued 200 feet, en- 
countered a dike 25 feet thick, which was cut through and the drift car- 
ried on for 100 feet more. The old workings (d, fig. 23) were also con- 
tinued through the dike, the drift (e, fig. 23) on the 100-foot level being 
run 100 feet beyond it. Four upraises were driven between these two 
levels, two on each side of the dike, opening up 4 large stopes of ore. 
This ore ran low in sulphurets, but carried more free gold and furnished 
one-half of the quota to the mill. In order to work the ores below the 
200-foot level a new shaft (c, fig. 23) was sunk to a depth of 270 feet. 
A cross-cut was run from the bottom in a southwesterly direction for a 
distance of 75 feet; 15 feet from the shaft a drift (li, fig. 23), parallel to 


the drift (/) on the 200-foot level, was carried in a distance of 250 feet. 
The dike when encountered was 35 feet thick and no longer decomposed 
on the wall, as was the case in the npper level, but hard and solid. By 
upraises 4 more stopes were opened. The ore was of a better grade in 
proximity to the dike on both sides. 

During 1896 an open-cut was made opposite the old Haile pit, in 
order to take out the pillars and the ore in the hanging, above the 200- 
foot level. 

The old workings (S, fig. 23), which were continued from the Bu- 
malo pit (B, fig. 23), to a depth of 200 feet, and were for a long time 
inaccessible, have been opened up by a diagonal drift from the 270-foot 
level (h, fig. 23). Some time ago a northeast tunnel was driven from 
the Bumalo pit, at a depth of 50 feet and for a distance of 150 feet, to 
a diabase dike 150 feet in thickness, and later continued through this. 
Drifts on the further side showed up only barren ground, but good ore 
was found from the mouth of the tunnel to the dike, being richest near 
the dike. This ore-body was encountered in the 270-foot level with 
the drift above mentioned, and the ores are found to be more heavily 
sulphuretted than anywhere in the Cross mine. 

So far as explorations have gone, 3 different lenses have been encoun- 
tered: 1. The Bumalo, furthest northeast; 2. The Haile or middle lens: 
3. A small lens 80 to 90 feet west of the Haile (outcrop under the new 
boiler-house, 17, fig. 21). 

During the summer of 1896 an electric diamond-drill hole was started 
in back of the old store building (just to the right of 5, Rg. 21). At 
a depth of 58 feet the cores showed ore, assaying as high as $6, and it 
appears as though this were in a new hanging wall lens. In order to 
solve this question a cross-cut is being driven on the 270-foot level along 
the 25-foot dike in a northwesterly direction. 

Bed Hill (A, fig. 21) consists of a number of open pits on the north- 
west side of the 150-foot dike, where ore was formerly mined to a depth 
of 60 feet. It is supposed to be in a line with the Haile lens. 

The thickness of these lenses varies, reaching 100 feet in places, while 
at others, near the end of the lenses, it is only from 25 to 30 feet. 


The method of working these deposits is the pillar system (Pfeilerbaif). 
illustrated in fig. 24. 

The levels (8x7 feet) are run 70 to 100 feet apart, and nearer the 
hanging than the foot-wall. At intervals of about 50 feet upraises are 
made, with a cross-section of Sx7 feet. These are carried forward at 
an inclination as near as possible to 45°. If necessary, the upper portion 
through the chain pillar left under each level is carried up vertically. 



This raise serves afterwards as a chute (mill-hole). Drifts are then run 
below this pillar until the limit of the stope in length (about 30 to 40 
feet in all) is reached, leaving a vertical pillar 15 to 20 feet in thickness 
between the stopes. The ground is then cut away between the foot- and 
hanging walls, completely exposing as roof the bottom of the chain pillar 
above, which is sprung in the shape of an arch, with its heavier toe in 
the foot-wall and a minimum thickness of 15 feet. This, as well as 
all other work in tight ground, is done by air-drills. Stoping is then 
carried downward by hand-drilling in circular steps, arranged in such a 
manner as to allow the broken ore to drop into the chute, without further 
handling. The angle of 45° given to the latter allows a steady flow of 

Vertical Section along Strike. Section on X-Y. 

Fig. 34.— Method of Stoping at the Cross Mine (Halle Mine). Scale, 1 inch=60feet. 

the material down the foot-wall without completely choking it. At the 
bottom of the chute is a rough grizzly (a, fig. 24) made of logs, which 
holds back the larger boulders and prevents them from choking the 
smaller loading pocket below. This grizzly is easily accessible from the 
drift, and the larger. pieces of ore are here sledged. The loading-chute 
and grizzly are kept up as long as possible, until the stope is finally 
broken through to the drift-level below, the ore being shoveled into 
cars. As far as possible, the pillars are left in poor ore, the diabase dike 
fulfilling this purpose admirably. ~No timber whatever is used, and 
although chambers 100 by 100 by 40 feet have been cut out, there 
seems to be no danger of a fall, the country-slate being very tough and 
self-supporting. The stopes from the 100- and 200-foot levels are con- 
nected with the surface by raises, so that at a future date the worked-out 



at S 

— Y 


stopes can be filled from the surface and the ore in the pillars, i. e., what 
is left toward the hanging wall, can be taken out. 

Blasting is done with 40 per cent. Hercules powder. One-inch steel 
is used for both hand and machine-work. The number of air-drills is 
limited by the size of the compressor — an Ingersoll machine, with 
3-drill capacity. The ore is carried from the loading-chutes to the shafts 
in sheet-iron cars of f-ton capacity, running on 18-inch gauge track. 
At No. 2 Shaft (7x12 feet, single compartment) they are hoisted by 
cage, with automatic safety catch. The new shaft is 6x14 feet, double 
compartment, and the ore is raised by a novel skip designed by Mr. 
Thies (fig. 25). The body of the skip, made of sheet iron, has two 
projecting lugs riveted to it below the centre of gravity and the bail is 
lugged one inch from the vertical centre line. 

Each lug runs between a pair of yellow-pine guides set 2 inches apart. 
When the skip is raised above the landing-chute two iron pins are 
thrown across the openings between each set of guides. The skip is 
dropped down on these and the ore is dumped into a loading-chute 
placed on the heavier side of the skip. The skip is raised and righted 
by the bail, the iron pins are withdrawn by the lander, and the skip de- 
scends. The operation is rapid and simple and the cost of the device is 
light. The mine is not wet, a No. 9 Cameron pump easily handling the 


The ore is crushed to 1^-inch size in a 10x2 0-inch Blake crusher at the 
Beguelin, and a 7x1 0-inch crusher at the Cross mine, and is stored at 
both places in bins of 30 tons capacity. The broken ore is hauled to the 
mill in narrow-gauge, bottom-dumping cars, holding 3 tons; 8 cars are 
run to the trip. The mill bin has a capacity of 300 tons, and is so 
arranged that every stamp can be supplied separately with ore, as, owing 
to the different character of the ore at the Beguelin and the Haile, it is 
treated in separate batteries. A hinged plate, not shown in the accom- 
panying illustration, is for this purpose hung at the apex of the bin 
floor. A vertical cross-section of the mill is shown in fig. 26. Two ver- 
tical sections of a similar battery at the Reimer mine are shown in fig. 
19 (p. 120). 

The mill is a 60-stamp back-to-back one, 30 on each side, built by the 
Mecklenburg Iron Works of Charlotte, N. C. The ore is fed by Hendey 
self-feeders. The weight of the stamps is 750 pounds; chilled iron 
shoes and dies are used; the stamps drop 6 inches, 86 times per minute, 
in the order 1, 3, 2, 5, 4. The crushing capacity is 2 tons to the stamp 
in 24 hours. The screens are 30-mesh, made of No. 20 brass wire: these 
work well if no cyanide is used in the battery. The average height of 



discharge is 6 inches. Amalgamation is accomplished: (1) In the mortar 
by a curved front plate attached by means of a wooden chuck-block to 
the lip of the mortar, immediately below the discharge ; it is held in posi- 
tion by bolts and can be rapidly and easily removed. It present- an 
amalgamation-surface of 1.75 square feet and is made of Xo. 7 silver- 
plated sheet-copper. The gold being very fine, its accumulation in the 
mortar between the dies is insignificant, and the mortar is seldom cleaned 

Fig. 26. — Vertical Cross-section of 60-starnp Mill at the Haile Gold Mine. 

out. (2) On the outside plates, made of Xo. 12 silvered copper-sheet, and 
presenting an amalgamation-surface of 32 square feet to each battery of 
5 stamps; they are the full width of the mortar and are arranged in four 
steps, each 2 feet in length, and overlapping the next by 1 inch, the 
inclination being 2 inches in 1 foot. They are fastened directly to the 
battery, the tremor caused hereby being considered beneficial to amal- 


gamation. These plates are interchangeable; whenever the upper plate 
becomes hard and unfit for amalgamation, it is interchanged with one of 
the lower plates, thus giving in rotation to each plate a position at the 
head of the table. The outside amalgamation-surface of each battery is 
further increased by 12 additional square feet, arranged by a drop system 
of three plates, the pulp discharging from one to the other before it 
enters the main launder. Each battery is provided at the screen-dis- 
charge with an impact-plate, not only for amalgamation, but to retard 
the velocity of the pulp. They are cleaned from verdigris with a weak 
solution of cyanide, and a little potash is sometimes fed into the battery. 
Phosphate of sodium is used in the mill to keep the quicksilver bright 
and lively. It has been found expedient to remove the inside plates 
every 24 hours; as duplicate plates are kept on hand, no delay occurs 
while they are being cleaned. The amalgam from these, which is col- 
lected and weighed daily, forms an excellent indication of the value of 
the ore milled. The amalgam is removed from the outside plates when- 
ever it is necessary. A regular clean-up is made only once a month. 
About one-third of the gold is saved on the inside plates. The fineness 
of the mill gold is 880. The average amount of water used per stamp 
is 3-J gallons a minute; and the average consumption of quicksilver is 
0.35 ounce per ton of ore. The wear of shoes and dies is 1.3 pounds 
per ton of ore stamped. As a lubricant for the cams, molasses thickened 
with flour is used and gives excellent results. 

The pulp is carried to the concentrators in launders lined with riffles 
for a distance of eighty feet. JSTo attempt at sizing the pulp is made, 
but the ores from the Beguelin and Cross mines, owing to the differ- 
ence in contents of sulphurets, are concentrated separately. The Cross 
ore averages about 2 per cent., the Beguelin running from about 7 to 
25 per cent, sulphurets. They are milled separately in the proportion of 
xV Beguelin and xV Cross, so as to obtain an average of 7 to 8 per cent, 
sulphurets from the total ore milled. The concentration is done on 20 
Embrey tables (4 by 12 feet), with smooth rubber belts which are set 
at an inclination of 2f inches and travel 5 feet per minute, receiving at 
the same time 192 percussions. The concentrates contain 90 per cent. 
pyrite, which is pure sulphide of iron with occasional small traces of 
arsenic. The loss in concentration is 15 to 20 per cent. The averag< 
value of these concentrates is $25 to $35 per ton. 

Chlorination. — The concentrates are hauled on the mine-railway to 
the chlorination plant. They are roasted in two double-hearth rever- 
beratory (see fig. 27) and one revolving pan-furnace, the sulphur being- 
reduced from about 43 to as low as -J per cent., and the value of the 
material being increased by -J. Each double-hearth furnace is worked 
by two men to a shift of 12 hours, the output being 2 ton- of roasted 







if I 

H* § 




concentrates per 24 hours for each furnace. The revolving pan-furnace 
is worked by three men per 24 hours, with the same output as the double- 
hearth. The fumes from these furnaces carry off into the air the equiv- 
alent of 13 tons of 50 per cent, sulphuric acid. The management has 
investigated the erection of lead chambers, but so far have not consid- 
ered such an installation to their advantage. The Spence furnace has 

Fig-. 28. — Cliloriuation plant at the Haile Gold Mine. Vertical Longitudinal Section. 

been tried at the Haile, without success. 1 The roasted ore after cooling 
is elevated to the top floor of the chlorination house, 82 feet high. This 
consists of a four-story frame building, containing 3 chlorination-barrels, 
11 filtering-tanks, 2 storage-tanks, and 13 precipitating vats (see figs. 
28, 29). The ore is charged through a hopper into the chlorination- 

l See paper by A. Thies and W. B. Phillips, "The Thies Process of Treating Low-grade 
Auriferous Sulphides at the Haile Gold Mine, Lancaster Co., S. C," Trans. Am. Inst. Mill. Eng., 
xix, 601. 





barrels (see fig. 30) by cars holding 1 ton each. The barrel is 60 inches 
long by 42 inches in diameter, made of cast-iron and lead-lined (12 
pounds of lead to the square foot). It also contains a lead valve in 
order to ascertain whether the necessary amount of free chlorine is 
present. (The use of this valve is unnecessary after the character of 
the ores becomes known). 

Fig. 29. — Chlorination Plant at the Haile Gold Mine. Vertical Cross-section. 

The full charge consists of 120 gallons of water (to make an easily 
flowing pulp), from 8 to 11 pounds of bleaching powder, then the ore, 
and finally 12 to 15 pounds of sulphuric acid. The barrel is hermeti- 
cally closed and revolves for about 3 hours at the rate of 15 to IS revolu- 
tions per minute. (A 5 horse-power engine performs this work and 
also the elevating of the ore.) The barrel is then inverted, opened and 
discharged through a lead-lined semicircle in the floor to a filter on the 


Fig. 30.— Chlorination-Barrel, Haile Gold Mine. The upper Bgure is a vertical cross- 
section, and the lower a vertical longitudinal section. Inside dimensions: Diameter, 
42 inches ; length, 60 inches. 


floor below. There are 4 lead-lined filters to each barrel, their 
sizes being 6 by 8 feet by 18 inches deep in front and 17 inches in back. 
The bottom is covered with mineraline 1 tiles 12 by 12 inches by 1 inch 
thick, perforated and having -J-inch gutters underneath; on top of these 
is placed a rack of lj-inch wooden slats, 4 inches high and 8 inches 
apart; the first layer above the tiles consists of 4 inches of coarse quartz 
pebbles (-§• to -J inch size), and this is covered by from 1 to 2 inches of 
ordinary clean sand. Before emptying the contents of the barrel, the 
filter is flooded with water to the level of the top of the filter-bed to act 
as a cushion. Then the original solution is passed through, striking on 
a float to prevent breaking the filter-bed. The ore-pulp is washed twice 
with clean water; the first time enough is added to stand 4 inches above 
the surface of the pulp, and the second time the tank is entirely filled. 
This amount is found sufficient to thoroughly remove all traces 
of chloride of gold from the pulp (tests are made with TeSOj. The 
filtered solutions are stored in two stock-tanks on the second floor, and 
are drawn off from these into the precipitating-tanks as required. The 
latter are S feet in diameter and 3 feet high, made of wood, the interior 
coated with asphalt. They are provided with three outlets, the upper 
one IS inches from the top, the middle one 1 inch above the bottom and 
the lowest one in the jamb. The gold is precipitated in the metallic state 
with an excess of fresh ferrous sulphate, made in a small lead-lined tank. 
Tn warmer weather 48 hours suffice for settling, and in colder weather 
from 3 to 4 days. The supernatant liquor is drawn off through the two 
upper outlets, opened one after the other (in order to prevent auy stir- 
ring of the precipitates), and passed through a box filled with sawdust 
to catch any precipitate. The gold precipitate is drawn from the tanks 
through the jamb-opening into a small lead-lined settling-tank 2 by 2 by 
4 feet. After standing 24 hours the supernatant liquor is siphoned off, 
and the precipitate filtered on paper. This is dried and mixed with 
about half its weight of borax and soda in almost equal proportions. 
Should iron salts be present, a little quartz sand is added. It is melted 
in graphite crucibles and cast into ingots of about 990 fineness. The 
whole operation is so simple that the most ordinary laborer can acquire 
the mechanical knowledge in a day. The repairs are practically nil. 3 


Some of the figures of costs of labor and working at the Haile mine 
are given below. For private business reasons it is impossible to give 
these as fully as we should like to. 

1 A melted mixture of sulphur and quartz. 

2 The Thies chlorination process has been described'in detail by T. K. Rose, in his Metallurgy 
of Gold, C. Griffin & Co., London, 1894. 



Mines. — Cost of Labor: 

Per day. 

Holders $ .90 

Strikers 1.10 

Machine-runners 1.25 

255 cords of wood at $1.50, burned per month. 

Mill (2 shifts of 12 hours each).— Distribution and Cost of Labor: 

One superintendent $ 

" laborer (amalgamation) per shift 2.50 


(concentration) " 1.25 


" fireman per shift ., 1.00 

" engineer per day shift 1.75 

" per night shift 1.50 

150 cords of wood at $1.50, used per month. 
Repairs (wear of shoes and dies, etc.), 4 cents per ton of ore. 

Roasting and Chlorination.— Distribution and Cost of Labor: 
Roasting furnaces, producing 6 tons of roasted concentrates 

per 24 hours; six men, day shift, each $1.00 

Five men, night shift, each 1.00 

3 cords of wood at $1.50. used per 24 hours. 

Chlorination (1 shift of 12 hours) working 6 tons of roasted concentrates: 

Two men, each at $1.00 

One man at 1.25 

Cost of roasting per ton of roasted concentrates: 

Labor $1.83 

Fuel 75 

Cost of chlorinating 1 ton of roasted concentrates: 

Labor $ .50 

Foreman 20 

Power 12 

Sulphuric acid for FeSo 4 06 

11 pounds of bleaching powder, at iy 2 cents 27% 

15 pounds of sulphuric acid, at 1 cent 15 

Wear and tear 10 

Superintendence 05 


Cost of roasting and chlorination per ton of raw concentrates. .$3.02 
Cost of roasting and chlorination per ton of ore mined 19 

Percentage of Extraction: 

Mill: Tailings from concentrators 85 to 90 cents. 

Showing a yield of 75 to 80 per cent. 

Chlorination: Tailings as high as $1.50 

Average yield 94 per cent. 



The Brewer mine (the De Soto Mining Company) is situated on 
Lynch's creek, about 13 miles by road northeast of Kershaw, the nearest 
railroad station; it is about 8 miles (air-line) northeast of the Haile mine. 

The mining problem presented here is the working of large bodies of 
low-grade, sulphuretted ores by quarrying, milling, concentration, and 

Geologically, the mine is situated in the Carolina belt. The country- 
rock is a hard, de vitrified acid volcanic (probably quartz-porphyry ) . of 
a light bluish-gray color, resembling hornstone or chert. It is in part 
sheared into sericitic schists, similar to the slates at the Haile mine, 
though more highly silicified. Masses of coarse, pyroclastic breccia 
were found in the bottom of the large mine-pit, but the rock was not 
observed in place. The strike of the siliceous schists is very much con- 
fused, being in all directions; the normal strike is probably something 
like !N". 70° E., and the dip 60° "N.~W: [Numerous coarse-grained granitic 
dikes (Gr, fig. 31) intersect the country, and the local abnormal strikes 
and dips of the schists may be due to their intrusion. These rocks 
occupy an elevation known as Brewer hill, which rises some 200 feet 
above the level of the main drainage basin, Lynch's creek on the east 
and Flat creek on the west. A heavy diabase dike lies on the west bank 
of Flat creek, and to the west of that, the country-rock is granite. 

The ore-bodies at the Brewer are similar to those of the Haile mine, 
being auriferous pyritic impregnations in the country-rock, and assum- 
ing more or less lenticular forms. Free gold appears as thin films or 
coatings on the cleavage- and joint-planes of the schists. The ore-bearing 
rock is decomposed, in certain streaks more than in others, to the deepest 
workings of the mine, 150 feet, resulting in soft, friable masses which 
disintegrate into finely divided white sand. Certain portions of the 
deposit are richer in gold, and these also have an imperfect lenticular 
shape, from 10 to 30 feet in thickness (O, fig. 31). These better 
grade ores will run from $5 to $7 per ton, assay value, while the average 
run of the mine is in the vicinity of $3. The fineness of the gold is from 
070 to 984. The total width of the ore-bearing ground is stated to be 
800 yards. The main ore-body has been opened for a distance of 600 
feet in a north and south, and 250 feet in an east and west direction. 
The sulphuret contained in the ore (finely divided pyrite) averages 
about 7 per cent of the total mass. In one portion of the mine 
enargite (and perhaps also covellite) appears in some quantity, but its 
occurrence is local. Other sulphurets occur in small quantities, but are 
interesting merely from a mineralogical standpoint. Tinstone (some- 
times in direct association with gold) has been found in hydraulicking 


at the Tan-yard deposit; and pyrophyllite occurs as an alteration pro- 
duct in the granitic dikes. 

The ore itself is practically devoid of auriferous vein-quartz. Small 
reticulated fissures filled with barren quartz intersect the country; and 
in the Tan-yard (an old gravel-channel to the east of the mine) a large 
barren quartz-vein, 5 to 20 feet in thickness, is to be seen. 

The Brewer mine, probably one of the first developed in South Caro- 
lina, was opened in 1828 by shallow pits in the saprolites and in the 
gravels of the Tan-yard, the material being worked in rockers. This 
work continued until 1857, and it is stated that in various years during 
this period as many as 100 to 200 hands were employed at one time, mak- 
ing $1.50 to $3 per day each, and paying nearly 30 per cent, royalty. 
From 1857 to 1862 Commodore Stockton mined and milled the ore in 
arrastras and Chilian mills. Up to 1879, when the Brewer Mining 
Company took hold of the property, there seems to have been a lull in 
the activity of the operations. In this and succeeding years the old 
Tan-yard placer was reworked by hydraulicking. This deposit is an 
old river-channel, and was extensively worked in former days, being, 
in fact, the site of the first discovery of gold on the property. The 
width of the channel is from 200 to 300 feet, and its length about 1-J 
miles; it is now intersected by a large valley. The original overlay was 
about 6 feet, and the gravel from 3 to 6 feet in thickness, underlain by 
a thin bed of compact conglomerate, cemented by iron oxide; the bed- 
rock is a siliceous sericitic schist. The old miners in working this 
■deposit did not wash the overlay, nor did they take up any part of the 
bed-rock. In reworking, the whole mass (from 5 to 20 feet in thickness) 
was hydraulicked, and as much as 4 to 5 feet of the loose bed-rock was 
also torn up. Water was pumped about 200 feet in vertical height, 
from Lynch's creek to a small reservoir situated at the head of the placer, 
from where a portion of it was delivered to the giant (2-J-inch nozzle), 
by a force-pump under a pressure of 80 pounds, and the remainder run 
directly through the ground-sluices to carry off the tailings. Six men 
were employed in cleaning bed-rock, and two at the sluices. It is stated 
that a handsome profit was realized by this work. 

In 1885 a 5-stamp mill was erected and run on ores produced in 
prospecting work. In 1887 an adit-level (A, fig. 31), 1200 feet in 
length, was driven into the hillside under the main ore-deposit, and the 
mine was opened from below by a raise, which was at the same time 
used as a chute, connecting with the open pit above. The stoping was 
carried on overground, and the material taken out through the tunnel. 
In 1888 a 40-stamp mill was erected, and started up in May, 1889. A 
Thies chlorination plant was added in 1892, and operated for a short 
time during 1893. From that date until June, 1895, the mine was idle, 
but at that time preparations were being made for starting work again. 



Figure 31 represents the plan of the Brewer mine as it is at 
present developed. It consists of the large open pit (P), 150 feet 
in depth, about 200 by 250 feet on the surface, and 100 by 180 feet in 

Fig. 31. — Plan of Brewer Mine, Chesterfield County, S. C. Scale, 1 inch=120 feet 
A, adit-level, 1200 feet long ; C, north cut, 10 feet deep; D, drift, 150-foot level: G,. 
granitic dikes ; O, streaks of best ore ; P, bottom of main pit, 150 feet deep ; W, west 
cut, 50 feet deep ; a a, surface line of open cut; b b, 150-foot level. 

the bottom. The ore-body has been further explored by a drift (D) r 
on the bottom level, extending 430 feet in a northerly direction, and 
being in ore all the way. The tunnel (A) is laid with narrow-gauge 






track, over which the ore is hauled to the mill by a small locomotive. 
This tunnel is drained by a wooden gutter situated in the center of the 
track line. At present ore is being quarried in the west cut (W) near 
the surface, from where it falls to the bottom of the pit (P), and is hauled 
to the mill through (A). The 40-stamp mill, which was not in oper- 
tion when visited, is situated about a quarter of a mile east of the mine, 
on the west bank of Lynch's creek. It is of the Western type, built 
by Eraser & Chalmers. The weight of the stamps is 900 pounds. The 
mortars are 15 inches wide at the lip, and are fitted with front inside 
plates and 30-mesh steel wire screens. The outside plates of silvered 
copper are 8 feet long by 54 inches wide. Below the plates is situated 
a line of pointed boxes, serving simply as amalgam-traps, which dis- 
charge 2 feet above the bottom to four Frue vanners with 6- by 14-foot 
belts. This is one of the most substantial and best constructed mills in 
the South. (Plate X.) 

The chlorination plant consists of 2 revolving-pan furnaces, 2 barrels, 
8 filters, 2 stock-tanks, and 8 precipitating-vats of the same construc- 
tion and arrangement as at the Haile mine (see pp. 139-142). 

When the mill was last operated (in 1893), the object was to put 
through as much material as possible; 5 to 6 tons of ore per stamp were 
milled in 24 hours, with 4-inch drop, 90 drops per minute, crushing 
through a 20-mesh screen. Naturally, the pulp flowed over the plates 
without a large portion of it coming in contact with them; and, with 
only 4 vanners, the ultimate loss in tailings was so great as to leave little 
if any profit. The concentrates that were obtained ran from $15 to $20. 
About 50 per cent, of the gold in the ores is free, and of the amount 
saved in amalgamation 50 per cent, was in the battery and on the inside 
plate. The cost of mining and milling at the Brewer mine, as prac- 
ticed above, is given at 75 cents; and the total cost (including mainte- 
nance, salaries, etc.) at $1 per ton of ore mined. 

Laboratory experiments with cyanide, and others with chlorination 
in bulk (the latter by Mr. P. G. Lidner), have been tried at the Brewer, 
but proved unsuccessful. In the latter part of 1895 cyanide experi- 
ments were again undertaken with reported favorable results. 





Bonanzas, in the general meaning of that term, have not been found 
in North Carolina nor in the adjacent 1 South Appalachian regions, and 
probably never will be, unless we except rich pockets of limited extent 
which for a time might prove to be such to the individual operator or 
tributor. The "Western saying that " A good gold mine is one which 
will pay dividends under poor management/' would exclude all South- 
ern gold mines from even this distinction. There are, however, a few 
mines in the south, notably the Haile and the Eranklin, which, under able 
management, fully conversant with all the requirements and exigencies 
of the case, have been developed into remunerative business enterprises. 
The wide distribution and the variety of the auriferous deposits through- 
out the South do not preclude the possibility of these mines serving as 
examples for a larger number of operations, instead of being isolated 
cases as at present. 

By far the greater portion of the gold that has been produced in the 
South was derived from the placers, including bottom and sidehill 
gravels, as well as auriferous saprolites and decomposed vein out- 
crops. From such deposits the cream has been worked off, and 
what remains are the old gravel heaps and such virgin ground as 
in the earlier days proved inaccessible to water and unprofitable for 
primitive methods, or was overlooked by the prospectors. Of the latter 
class the Crawford mine, described on pp. 91—95, is an example. Al- 
though the earlier prospecting for gravel deposits was carried on in a 
thorough manner, there were no doubt large plantations on which such 
work, especially in the fertile bottoms, was not countenanced. It is also 
probable that deeper lying gravel-channels, of which there are no indi- 
cations on the surface, remain to be exploited, as, for instance, in the 
South Mountain and Dahlonega districts. The installation of pumps 
(or where these have been unsuccessfully used, the erection of improved 
or more economic plants), as well as more thorough and extensive sur- 
veys for ditch lines, may open up much ground which was formerly in- 
accessible to water. Hydraulicking under direct pressure from a pump 
may in many cases be feasible, and may prove more economical as far as 
plant is concerned. 


Bottom-gravel mines were operated in the earlier days almost entirely 
by pitting, draining the excavations with water-wheels, and raising the 
gravel by hand to rockers and sluice-boxes, the tailings being left in 
large heaps. This work was often done in an unsystematic manner; 
portions of the ground could not be worked at all; and, in general, only 
the richest gravel received attention, the overlay and the bed-rock being 
neglected entirely. Some of these gravel heaps have frequently been 
reworked, in one case (on the Mills property, N. C.) as often as seven 
times. The additional gold obtained in these operations was partially 
due to the incompleteness of the preceding washings, as well as to the 
subsequent further disintegration of vein-quartz carrying free gold and 
sulphurets. A number of these old bottom-placers may warrant a re- 
munerative reworking on a large scale, either by the use of giants and 
bed-rock sluices when sufficient fall is available, or where the latter 
is not the case (a common feature in the South) by the application of 
the hydraulic gravel-elevator. 

Virgin placer deposits a] so exist, which, on account of the low grade 
of gravel, or the great depth of the overlay, could not be profitably 
worked by the more primitive methods. Tor such, the above appliances 
may also furnish a solution. The Southern gravel deposits are far less 
extensive than those of California and New Zealand, and therefore as 
low a grade of gravel cannot be worked, although the South has cheaper 
labor in its favor. Systematic work has rarely been pursued, and rec- 
ords of such work have not been kept. Tor this reason, as well as on 
account of the unequal concentration of the gold in the deposits and the 
varying working conditions met with, it is impossible to give limiting 
values per cubic yard to guide operations in the future. Tor the same 
reasons, preliminary testing will be difficult, especially in ground that has 
already been worked. 

In general, it may be said that the great extent of the rock-decompo- 
sition in the South (often from 25 to 100 feet in depth), and the easy 
disintegration of the same has resulted in a greater concentration of gold 
in the gravel, considering the richness of the ore-bodies in place, than 
in many other gold fields. 

The auriferous saprolites and decomposed vein-matter have been most 
extensively worked in the Dahlonega district. Here the decomposed 
material, in which gold from the eroded vein-matter is more or less con- 
centrated, has to a great extent been worked clown to the harder rock. 
In the Dahlonega method of working, everything seems to have tended 
towards the simplification of the process and plant, with the object of 
milling as large an amount of loAV-grade material as is possible with 
economy in labor and plant, irrespective of close working. Both on ac- 
count of the greatly impoverished material and its increasing unfitness 



for disintegration with the giant, a limit to this method of mining must 
ultimately be reached here. The ore-bodies continue in depth and should 
open up a probably more productive field in deep mining, with less loss 
of gold and more economical output. 

Although the Southern gold field has been known and worked since 
the beginning of the century, it has not had the benefit of such thor- 
ough and systematic vein-prospecting as most of the later discovered 
fields. It was already a well-settled farming country, generally owned 
in large plantation-tracts, when gold was first sought after; and such 
lands as were unoccupied were the property of the State governments, 
which did not offer special privileges and inducements to the develop- 
ment of the mining industry. Hence the Western system of mineral 
lands and mining claims did not exist, and the field was not opened to 
the individual professional prospector. The same condition practically 
exists to-day. It is difficult to make satisfactory arrangements with the 
property holders for prospecting; and propositions for such work from 
outsiders are as a rule regarded with suspicion. Even the larger tracts 
owned at present by mining companies have not been prospected to any 
extent. A notable exception to this is the development work carried 
on by the Yonah Land and Mining Company in Georgia. If this ex- 
ample were followed by other mining corporations whose acreage runs 
into the thousands while their operations are limited to a few square 
rods, it would greatly help to develop the possible gold resources of the 
South in the direction of new discoveries. We do not, however, wish 
to give the impression that larger and more valuable ore-deposits than 
those already exploited are still to be found; the more easily recognizable 
and richer outcrops have been worked over, and in any case such finds 
as may be made will probably present no new features. 

In general, the abandoned mines present the same features as those 
that are working. Judging from some of the older reports (Silliman, 
Rogers, Emmons, etc.), the surface ores of these mines were very rich. 
due partially to local concentration near the surface from the eroded 
portions of the vein, and in other cases perhaps to pockets and shoots 
of limited extent and depth. In the earlier days, few of the veins 
were worked below the water-level; the abandonment of these older 
mines, cannot, however, always be laid to the appearance of refractory 
sulphurets. In the sulphuretted ores worked to-day from 20 to 60 per 
cent, of the gold is free, and in many of the earlier mines, where rich ores 
occurred in continuous shoots, these were followed down far below the 
water-level and the free gold which they contained was obtained by 
simple amalgamation, as for instance at the Gold Hill mine in Xorth 
Carolina, where the workings extended to 740 feet in depth. The more 
plausible reasons for the abandonment of the so-called rich Southern gold 


mines may be attributed to the pinching out of the ore-shoots outcrop- 
ping at the surface or a diminution in the assay value of the ore. It 
is probable that the more expensive and difficult operations at such 
depths precluded the further search for other ore-bodies below the water- 
level. It must also be remembered that as early as 1840 at least par- 
tially successful attempts were made to work sulphurets. 

In many of the mines, however, the ore-bodies were of low grade, 
though sometimes of large extent, and the small extraction of the free 
gold in the sulphuretted ores did not permit of a profitable continuation 
of the work. As in all mining regions, many other so-called plausible 
reasons are given for the abandonment of the mines, as, for instance, 
mismanagement, disputes among the owners, etc. 

To determine the probable value of a mine an examination is of course 
absolutely necessary. A conclusive opinion is, however, in most cases 
impossible, even after the mine has been pumped out and examined, on 
account of the poor condition of the workings and the, at best, limited 
exposures of the ore-bodies. The prospective investor must, with few 
exceptions, bear the cost of the necessary exploratory development, 
which expenditure must be considered speculative. A great number 
of the properties are held at prohibitory figures, and arrangements for 
satisfactory examination under option or otherwise cannot be made, 
traditional merit and output being considered a sufficient proof of value 
by the owners. 

In low-grade highly sulphuretted ore-bodies assays may give a fair 
indication of the value of the ore if the samples be fairly taken; but a 
test on a larger scale at one of the experimental chlorination plants, 1 in 
cases where it is intended to subsequently adopt the chlorination process, 
would be much more conclusive. 

On higher grade, free-milling ores, however, assays, even if taken 
with care, will be of little value; the results will, in fact, often be mis- 
leading. In such cases a mill-test is imperative, and it can generally 
be made either in the mill at the mine itself, at some neighboring mill, 
or at test mills especially operated for this purpose. 2 

The most feasible propositions in the South appear to be the work- 
ing of the larger low-grade ore-bodies. Rich veins as a rule have been 
in pockets and of small extent, more suited to the operations of tributors 
or small landowners, with the help, perhaps, of the wooden stamp-mill. 
It is a well-known fact that ore-deposits of this uncertain character can- 
not be worked systematically by larger companies with an extensive 
plant, and must be left to the individual miner, whose persona] success 
pays his daily wages, and to whom an occasional strike is an induce- 
ment for continuous work. 

Captain A. Thiee, Haile Mine, S. 0., and Mecklenburg Iron Works, Charlotte, X. C. 
2 Mecklenburg Iron Works, N. C, and the Salisbury Supply Co., Salisbury, N. U. 



Systematic work can only be pursued where the ore-bodies are large 
and continuous enough to warrant the establishment of a regular plant 
for mining, milling and reduction of the ores. The question of quantity 
means more than that of quality, so long as the former does not fall 
below a certain limit. 

Among such may be classed the wide lenticular bodies of auriferous 
and pyritic slates, as at the Haile and Russell mines, and the persistent 
and continuous quartz-veins of sufficient width, such as at the Reimer 
and Capps mines. The more continuous and stronger ore-leads of the 
Dahlonega type may also be included here, such as at the Lockhart and 
the Franklin mines, which are at present being worked as deep mines, 
as well as those which have so far been worked by hydraulic-king, like 
the Hand, Singleton, Findley, etc., mines. 

In some localities smaller or irregular quartz-veins lying close to- 
gether have been worked separately; it may prove feasible to mine these 
together as a body of low-grade ore, especially where the intervening 
and adjoining country-rock is to some degree auriferous, as at the Rocky 
River mine. 

Such ores as are alluded to may be said to average between $3 and 
$7 per ton. There are exceptional cases of richer ore-bodies which have 
shown considerable continuity, as, for instance, at the Phoenix mine; 
but here, as is usual, the size of the vein and hence the quantity of the 
ore decreases proportionately with the improvement in the quality. 

Almost without exception, a profitable extraction from Southern gold 
ores can only be attained by supplementing amalgamation with con- 
centration of the sulphurets and by subsequent treatment of the latter. 
The practically universal adoption of the stamp-mill in the South verities,, 
as in other gold-mining regions, its more general applicability for crush- 
ing compared with other machinery. The two types of stamp-mills more 
especially characteristic of the South, each having its own field of action, 
have been described on pages 111 and 119. The milling practice varies 
greatly, as might be expected from the extremely variable character of 
the ores. 

All of the Southern ores contain at least a portion of their gold in 
the free state, and excepting where other ingredients offer serious ob- 
stacles, or where a smelting process is intended, concentration is best 
preceded by amalgamation, so as to obtain the free gold as soon as pos- 
sible and not endanger it to loss in subsequent treatment. Especially 
where the sulphurets are coarse and the crushing is not fine, a prelimi- 
nary sizing in hydraulic classifiers and spitzkastens, and the treatment 
of each size on a separate vanning machine, is advisable. There has 
been a tendency to overcrowd these machines in the South; a saving of 
original cost here is but poor economy. It would seldom be advisable 


to use less than two 4-foot belts to every five stamps. The degree of 
concentration (cleanness of the concentrates) must depend upon the ratio 
between the cost of subsequent treatment per ton, on the one hand, and 
a greater loss in tailings occasioned by close concentration on the other, 
the cost of concentration itself being practically the same in either ex- 

For the economical treatment of the concentrates chlorination by 
the Thies process furnishes in almost all cases a ready solution. The 
process is a simple one and is not patented; the cost of plant is com- 
paratively small, and the percentage of extraction is high (94 to 97 per 
cent.). It has been in active operation on a continuous working scale 
at the two most successful mines in the South (Haile and Franklin 
mines). The presence of copper is objectionable in this process, as it 
increases the consumption of chemicals, and if in too large a quantity 
it may preclude the adoption of the process. At the Phoenix mine, N. 
C, ores running as high as 3 per cent, copper were, however, success- 
fully treated. Ingredients which make dead-roasting difficult may also 
add to the cost of the process. 

Sulphuret ores assaying only $3 per ton, when existing in exten- 
sive bodies, so as to permit operations on a larger scale, other condi- 
tions being favorable, might be worked at a profit by the application 
of this process. 

Should concentration, on account of the too finely divided condition 
of the gold and sulphurets, prove impossible without a heavy loss in 
tailings, the cyanide, bromination or Swedish chlorination process might 
prove of value for a direct treatment of the ore; or the ore might be 
treated in bulk by the modification of the Thies process in use at Dead- 
wood, Dakota; or by the Thies process proper on an enlarged scale, 
using, if necessary, closed filtering-tanks under pressure. In all of the 
above previous roasting is necessary, excepting perhaps in the cyanide 
process. Attempts with the latter have so far been unsuccessful. It 
will be of interest to watch the outcome of the plant at the Russell mine, 
K". C. Lack of success in the use of cyanide cannot always be laid to its 
lack of applicability; it certainly has, however, this disadvantage, that it 
requires a careful experimental trial, best made on a large scale and 
therefore expensive, as well as a continuous supervision afterwards by 
an experienced chemist, together with more or less skilled assistance, 
which is a requirement not always conformable with Southern con- 

A small class of the Southern ores, referring particularly to those con- 
taining lead, copper and zinc, would have to be treated by -inciting. A 
smelting plant would, however, only prove a financial success under the 
concerted action of all — or at least most — of the mine- producing such 



ores, a state of affairs which, under the present condition of gold mining 
in the South, seems difficult to attain. Several attempts have been made 
to gain this end, but have not been successful. 

Taken as a whole, the gold ores of the Southern Appalachians present 
no greater difficulties of treatment than those of other fields, the dis- 
tinguishing feature being perhaps their large variety, which makes a 
close study of each separate ore-body necessary. 

As to the cost of labor in the South, it may be said that while it is low 
compared to that of the Western mining districts, and unskilled labor 
can be obtained at especially low cost, skilled labor commands about the 
same wages as throughout the East. It will be found here, as in other 
places, that the laborer is worthy of his hire. Some difficulty may be 
experienced in obtaining suitable labor, especially in those districts 
where no active mining work has been going on. In general there are 
no mining camps, in the Western sense of the word, and hence no regular 
mining population that might otherwise engender a more energetic min- 
ing spirit. 

Among the facilities for operations in the South are the climate, 
which permits continuous working throughout the year: the accessibility 
of the mines to railroad lines, and their comparative proximity to in- 
vesting Eastern capital. Lumber, timber and cord wood can be obtained 
at very low cost. Mining supplies and machinery are furnished from 
several central points in the field (Salisbury, Charlotte, Daklonega, 
Atlanta). Water-power — in most cases, however, undeveloped — is 
abundant throughout a great portion of the mining belt. Should a 
revival in mining favor a development of properties in groups, central 
electric power distribution plants would be practicable in most districts. 

Gold mining in the South has its favorable features, which should 
facilitate the economic working of the ore-deposits as legitimate business 
undertakings, with close and intelligent management. A considerable 
number of properties are at least worthy of investigation, and to the 
best of our belief, such investigations will disclose remunerative working 
opportunities, and will ultimately lead to a reasonable revival of gold 
mining in the South. Examinations would be greatly stimulated by 
more disinterested co-operation and reasonable demands of the mine 
owners, ultimately to their benefit. It is to be hoped that speculative 
investments in the Southern gold mines have had their day, and that 
all future operations will be conducted on such a business-like basis as 
begets confidence and stabilitv. 



Abandonment of mines, reasons for. 150, 151 

Abbeville county, S, C, mines in 77 

Adams, W. H., cited 73 

Age of ore deposits, Carolina gold belt... 18 

Alabama, distribution of mines in 85-90 

early discovery of gold in 27 

geological map of, referred to. .25 
production of gold and silver 

in 40, 42 

Alabama Geological Survey, publications 

referred to 13, 25, 27, 30, 85, 90 

Alabama gold belt, description of 25 

mines in 85-90 

Alamance county, N. C, occurrence of 

gold in 45 

Alexander county, N, C, occurrence of 

gold in 68 

Alexander mine, N. C 63 

Allen (Lalor) mine, N. C 47, 4S 

Allen Furr mine, N. C 60 

Allerton-Ream mine, Md. 71 

Alta (Idler or Monarch) mine, N. C..37, 69 

Amalgamation mills, types of 35 

American Cyanide Gold and Silver Recov- 
ery Co., referred to 38, 53 

American Institute of Mining Engineers, 
Transactions of, referred to 9, 10, 14, 24, 
31, 32, 35, 39, 62, 71, 102, 106, 129, 139. 
American Journal of Science, referred to 

27, 28, 73 74 
American Philosophical Society, Proceed- 
ings of, referred to 27 

Ammons-Branch mine, N. C 70 

Anna Howe mine, Ala 85, 86 

Anna Howe Extension mine, Ala 85, 86 

Anson county, N. C, mines in 57 

Appalachian (Coggins) mine, N. C 53 

Appomattox county, Va., occurrence of 

gold in 76 

Arbacoochee, Ala., early mention of 

ground-sluicing 30 

Arbacoochee Hydraulic Company, referred 

to 85 

Arbacoochee mining district. Ala 85 

Argentiferous ores 39, 48-51, 58 

Arlington mine, N. C 63 

Arminius pyrite mine, Va 14, 73 

Arrastra, use of 33 

Ashe county, N. C, auriferous copper ores 

of 14, 70 

Assays, value of 151 

Atlas mine, N. C 57, 60 


Auraria, Ga., early mining population of. 29 
Auriferous copper ores.. 14, 18, 45, 46, 48, 

51. 70 

Auriferous garnets 24 

Bailey (Hamilton) mine, N. C 57 

Baker mine, N. C 68 

Bame mine, N. C 57, 60 

Barlow mine, Ga 80 

Barnhardt mine, N. C 62 

Barnhardt vein, Gold Hill, N. C 58, 59 

Barrier mine, N. C . 62 

Barringer mine, N. C 32, 56 

Bartlett lead-zinc-oxide process 37 

Barton county, Ga., occurrence of gold in. 82 

Bast mine, Ga 80 

Bat-Roost mine, N. C 57 

Beason mine, X. C 45 

Beaver-Dam mine, N. C 30, 52 

Bee-Mountain mine, N. C 68 

Bechtler, A. referred to 41 

C. referred to 41 

C. Jr., referred to 41 

Bechtler coinage of gold in North Caro- 
lina 41, 42 

Becker, Geo. F., cited. .9, 11, 13, 14, 18, 22, 

23, 26, 77 
Beguelin (Blauvelt) mine (see Haile mine) 


Bell mine, N. C 56 

Belzora mine, Va 75, 76 

Benham and Helmer, Messrs., referred 

to 107 

Bennifield mine, Ala 86 

Bethesda mine, Md 71 

Bethesda Mining Co., referred to 71 

Betz mine, Ga SO 

Big-Bird mine, Va 75, 76 

Biggers (Nugget) mine, N. C 60, 61 

Bigley mine, Ga 80 

Black mine, N. C 47 

Blake crushing system 35. 126 

Blake, T. A., referred to 126 

Blake, Wm. P., referred- to 24, 31 

Blankets, use of 36 

Blauvelt (Beguelin) mine (see Haile mine) 


Bloomer, Mr., referred to 60 

Blount county, Tenn.. occurrence of gold 

in 90 

Blue Hill mining district, Ala r>0 

Bonner mine. Ala 90 

Bonnie-Belle (Washington) mine. N. C....63 






Booker mine, Ya 76 

Boston Kennesaw Mining Co., referred to.82 

Bowles mine, Va 75 

Boylston mine, N. C ..69, 70 

Brackettown mines, N. C 69 

Bradford jig 36 

Brawley mine, N. C 63 

Brewer mine, S. C 26, 38, 77, 144-147 

Brewer Mining Co., referred to 145 

Brewer, ¥m. M., referred to 13, 86 

" Brickbat " rock, defined 21 

Bright mine, N. C 52 

Brindleton (Bunker Hill) mine, N. C 31 

Brindletown, N. C, early mining popula- 
tion at 29 

Bromination process 153 

Brown mine, N. C 57 

Buckingham county, Va., mines in 76 

Buckingham mine, Va 76 

Bucyrus Steam Shovel Co., referred to.. 106 

Buddies, use of 36 

Buffalo mine, N. C 60, 61 

Bugbee, Wm., referred to 75 

Bullion mine, N. C 57 

Bumalo pits (Haile mine) 129, 130, 132 

Bumping tables, use of 36 

Bunker-Hill (Brindleton) mine, N. C 31 

Bunnell-Mountain mine, N. C 52 

Burke county, N. C, mines in 68, 69 

Burns (Cabin Creek) mine, N. C...38, 56, 57 

Busby mine, Va 75 

Butt mine, Ga 79 

Cabarrus county, N. C, mines in 60-62 

Cabin-Creek (Burns) mine, N. C..38, 56, 57 

Cabin Creek Mining Co., referred to 57 

Cagle mine, N. C 57 

Caldwell county, N. C, mines in 68 

Calhoun mine, Ga 80 

California mine, Ala 89 

California (Tucker) mine, N. C 38, 61, 62 

Caloric Reduction Company's process 39 

Camille (Royal) mine. Ga 38, 82, 83 
Campbell Mining and Reduction Co., re- 
ferred to 48 

Cane Creek gold deposits, Tenn 90 

Cane Creek mine, N. C 69 

Capps mine, N. C 63-66 

Carolina gold belt, description of 15-18 

in Georgia. 15, 24, 84, 85 
in North Carolina, 

15, 45-68 
in South Carolina. 15, 77 

mines in 45-68, 77, 85 

Carolina-Igneous gold belt 13 

Carolina-Slate gold belt 13 

Carroll county, Ga., mines in 82 

Carroll county, Va., occurrence of gold in. 76 

Carter mine, N. C 52 

Case, Wm. H., referred to 74 

Catawba county, N. C, occurrence of gold 

in 68 

Catawba (Kings Mountain) mine, N. C, 

18, 35, 66-68 


Census Report of United States, referred 

to 42 

Chambers county, Ala., occurrence of gold 

in 90 

Chance, H. M., referred to 56 

Characteristic deep mines described . 115-147 
Characteristic placer mines described.91-115 
Charlotte county, Va., occurrence of gold 

in 76 

Chase-Hill mine pits (Haile mine), 

127. 129, 131 
Chatham county, N. C, occurrence of gold 

in ...45 

Chatham mine, N. C 45 

Chattahoochee (or Plattsburg) Gold Min- 
ing and Milling Company's mines, Ga..79 

Chemical processes 37-40 

Cherokee county, Ga., mines in 81, 82 

Cherokee county, N. C, placer mining in. 70 

Cherokee mine, Ga 82 

Chestatee Company, referred to. 79. 101, 102 

Chestatee mine, Ga 32. 101-106 

Chestatee River dredge boats 106, 107 

Chester (Latham) mine, Ga 82 

Chesterfield county, S. C, mines in 77 

Childs, Mr., referred to 78 

Chilian mills, use of 33 

Chilton county, Ala., occurrence of gold 

in 90 

Chincapina mine, Ala S9 

Chlorination plant, illustrations of... 139-141 
Chlorination processes, introduction of.37, 38 

Chlorination process at Brewer mine 147 

Franklin mine . .125 
Haile mine. 137-142 

Phoenix mine 62 

Reimer mine 119 

Royal mine S3 

Tucker mine 62 

Chulafinnee mining district, Ala S6 

Cincinnati Consolidated mine. Ga 32, SI 

Citico Creek gold deposits. Tenn 90 

Clark mine, N. C 63 

Clay county, Ala., mines in S9, 90 

Clay county, N. C, mine in 70, 84 

Cleburne county, Ala., mines in S5-87 

Cleveland county, N. C, petty mining in. 69 

Clegg mine, N. C 57 

Clingman, T. L., referred to 31 

Clopton mine, Ga 38, 82 

Clyburne mine, S. C 77 

Cobb county, Ga., occurrence of gold in.. 82 

Coco Creek gold deposits, Tenn 90 

Coggins (Appalachian) mine, N. C 53 

Collins mine, Ga SI 

Collins mine, Va 75, 76 

Columbia county, Ga., mines in S4, 85 

Columbia Gold Mining Co., referred to... 75 

Columbia mine, Ga S5 

Columbia Mining Co., referred to 57 

Concentration methods 36 

Conrad Hill mine, N. C IS. 39, 51 




Contents, table of 3-5 

Cooper Gold Mining Co., referred to 93 

Coosa county, Ala., occurrence of gold in. 90 

Copper ores, auriferous 14, 18, 45, 

46, 48, 51, 70 

Cost of chlorination plants 119 

chlorinating at Franklin mine.. 125 
" " Haile mine . . . .143 

diamond drilling at Franklin 

mine 124 

labor at Arminius pyrite mine... 74 

" " Crawford mine 94 

" " Franklin mine 125 

" Haile mine 143 

" " Idaho mine 89 

" " Kings Mountain mine.. 67 

" " Parker mine 56 

" " Pinetucky mine 88 

" " Reimer mine 117, 119 

labor, general discussion 154 

milling at Franklin mine 125 

" " Parker mine 55 

milling, concentrating, roasting 
and chlorinating at Reimer 

mine 121 

mining at Phoenix mine .62 

mining, crushing and tramming 

at Franklin mine 125 

mining and milling at Brewer 

mine 147 

mining and milling at Crawford 

mine 94 

mining and milling in Dahlonega 

district 114 

mining and milling at Idaho 

mine 89 

mining and milling at Kings 

Mountain mine 67 

mining and milling at Lockhart 

mine 116 

mining and milling at Lucky Joe 

mine 86 

mining and milling at Slate Hill 

mine 74 

roasting at Franklin mine 125 

" " Haile mine 143 

" " Reimer mine 119 

supplies at Franklin mine 125 

" " Haile mine 143 

stamp mill equipments 113, 119 

Cox mine, Ga 82 

Crandall hydraulic gravel elevator, 

32, 102-105 

Crandall, W. R., cited 102 

Crawford mill 35 

Crawford (Ingram) mine, N. C 54, 91-95 

Crawford Mining Co., referred to 93 

Creighton (Franklin) mine, Ga.81, 82, 121-125 
Creighton Mining and Milling Co., refer- 
red to 121, 123 

Cross, Jno., referred to 83 

Cross mine, S. C. (see Haile mine), 

127, 129, 130, 131 


Crowell mine, Stanly county, N. C 56 

Crowell mine, Union county, N. C 63 

Crown Point mine, Ala 86 

Crumpton mine, Ala 86 

Crutchfield mine, Ala 85 

Culp (Little Fritz) mine, N. C 56 

Culpeper county, Va., mines in 72 

Culpeper mine, Va 72 

Currahee mine, Ga 80 

Cyanide process, application of 38, 153 

Cyanide process at Brewer mine 147 

Cabin Creek (Burns) 

mine 38, 57 

Franklin mine... 38, 123 

Gilmer mines 38 

Gold Hill mines.. 38, 60 

Jones mine 47 

Moratock mine ...38, 54 

Reimer mine 121 

Russell mine 38, 53 

Sawyer mine 38, 47 

Dahlonega, Ga., early mining population. 29 
Dahlonega method of mining and milling, 

general description 32, 107-115 

Dahlonega method of mining and milling, 

future of 149, 150 

Dahlonega method of mining and milling, 

at Hedwig mine 114, 115 

Dahlonega method of mining and milling, 

at Parker mine ., 55 

Dahlonega mining district, Ga...80, 107-115 

Dahlonega Mint, the, referred to .80 

Darlington, Wayne, referred to 61 

Davidson county, N. C, mines in 47-51 

Davidson Hill mine, N. C 63 

Davie county, N. C, occurrence of gold in. 68 

Davis chlorination process.... 38 

Davis and Tyson Metallurgical Works, re- 
ferred to 38 

Davis mine, Halifax county, N. C 43 

Davis (Dutton or Morris Mt.) mine, Mont- 
gomery county, N. C 53 

Davis (Ophir) mine, Montgomery county, 

N. C 52 

Davis mine, Union county, N. C 63 

Davis Mountain mine, N. C 47 

Dawson county, Ga., mines in 81 

Dean (St. George) mine, Ga 79 

Decomposition of rocks 11 

Deep Flat mine, N. C 52 

Deep River mine, N. C 45 

Delft mine, N. C 47 

Derr mine, N. C. 66 

Designolle process 39 

De Soto Mining Co., referred to 144 

Diabase dikes, influence of on ore-bod- 
ies .16, 63, 126 

Diamond drilling at Capps mine 64-66 

Franklin mine 123 

Haile mine 132 

Pinetucky mine . . . .SS 

Distribution of mines in Alabama 85-90 

Georgia 78-85 

Maryland 71 





North Carolina. .43-70 
South Carolina.. 76-78 

Tennessee 90 

Virginia 71-76 

Dixon mine, N. C 68 

Dorn mine, S. C 77 

Douglas county, Ga., occurrence of gold in. 82 

Drag-mill, use of 33 

Dr. Charles mine, Ga 81 

Dredge mining .32, 106, 107 

Dry Hollow mine, N. C 52 

Duffle mine, N. C 66 

Duncan mine, Va 76 

Dunn mine, N. C 26, 63 

Dunns Mountain mine, N. C 57 

Dutch Creek mine, N. C 60 

Dutchmans Creek mine, N. C 52 

Dutton (Davis or Morris Mt.) mine, X.C..53 

Dyne Creek Co., Ala., referred to 87 

Eades mine, Va 75, 76 

Eagle mine, Va 72 

Eames, R., referred to 38, 58, 93 

Early concentrating methods 36 

Early discoveries of gold in the Southern 

states 26, 27 

Early discovery of auriferous veins 32 

Early milling appliances 33-36 

Early mining and metallurgical prac- 
tice 29-40 

Early mining operations 27-29 

Early records of vein mining 32 

Earnhardt (Randolph) vein, Gold Hill, 

N. C 34, 58, 59 

Eastern Carolina gold belt, description of, 

14, 15 
mines in. .43, 45 

Eckels mine, Ala 87 

Edgefield county, S. C, mines in 77 

Egypt mine, Ga 85 

Electrolytic chlorination process 38 

Elevators, hydraulic gravel, 32, 98, 99, 


Ellet, Wm. H., cited 31 

Ellis mine, Va 72 

Elrod mine, Ga 80 

Elwood mine, N. C 69 

Embrey concentrating machine 36 

Emmons, E., cited 27, 34, 5S 

Emmons, S. F., cited 14, 71 

Engineering Magazine, referred to 10 

Engineei'ing and Mining Journal, referred 

to 50, 74, S6 

Etowah mine, Ga , SI 

Eureka mine, N. C 47 

Eva Furr mine, N. C 60 

Faggart mine, N. C 62 

Fair Mining and Milling Co., referred to..SS 

Farrar mine, X. C GO 

Farrow Mountain mining district, Ala.... 90 

Fauquier county, Va., mines in 72 

Fentress (North Carolina) mine, N. C..45, 46 

Ferris mine, X. C 04, 66 I 

Fesperman, F. A. referred to 91 ' 

Filer and Stowell Co., referred to 109 

Findley mine, Ga.., SO, 109 

Fish Trap mine, Ga 80 

Fisher, Geo., referred to 75 

Fisher, Jas., referred to 75 

Fisher lode, Va 14, 74 

Fisher mine, Va 75 

Fisher Hill mine, N. C 45 

Flint pit (Haile mine) 129, 130 

Floyd county, Va., occurrence of gold 

in 71, 76 

Fluvanna county, Va., mines in 75, 76 

Ford mine, Va 7$ 

Forsythe county, Ga., mines in 81 

Fowler mine, Ga SI 

Franklin county, X. C, mines in 43, 45 

Franklin (Idaho) mine, Ala 89 

Franklin (Creighton) mine, Ga...23, 24, 38, 
81, 82, 121-125 

Franklin mine, Va 72 

Freemilling ores, treatment of 32-36 

Freiberg amalgamation barrel 35 

Frue Vanner concentrating machine 36 

Frye, Mr., referred to 106 

Funderburk mine, S. C 77 

Furness mine, X C 62 

Gangue minerals 18, 24 

Gardiner mine, Va 72 

Gardner Hill mine, X. C 45, 46 

Garnet mine, Ga 80 

Garnets, auriferous 24 

Garnett and Mosely mine. Va 76 

Gaston county, X. C, mines in 66-6S 

Gay mine, S. C 77 

General conclusions and considerations, 

Genesis of ore deposits, Carolina gold 

belt 17, IS 

Genesee Gold Mining Co.. referred to.... 53 
Geological map of Alabama, referred to.. 25 
Geological Survey of Alabama, publica- 
tions referred to 13, 25, 27, 30, S5, 90 

Geological Survey of Georgia, publications 

referred to 13. 7S 

Geological Survey of Xorth Carolina, pub- 
lications referred to.. 9, 13, 21. 29, 33, 34. 
43, 46, 48, 5S 
Geological Survey of South Carolina, pub- 
lications referred to. .13, 32, 37. 41. 77. 126 
Geological Survey of United States, pub- 
lications referred to. 11. 13, IS. 22, 23. 24. 26 
Geological Survey of Virginia, publica- 
tions referred to 13 

Geology of the Southern Appalachian gold 

belt 11-25 

Georgetown Valley, X. C, placer mining.. 70 

Georgia, distribution of mines in 7S-S5 

early discoveries of gold in. .26. 27 
production of gold and silver 

in 40. 42 

Georgia Geological Survey, publications 
referred to 13. 7S 





Georgia gold, belt, description of 21-25 

mines in 78-85 

Georgiana mine, Ga 82 

Gibb mine, N. C 62 

Gibson, Mr., referred to 32 

Gilmer mines, Va 38 

Gilmore mine, "Va 75 

Glades P. O., Ga., gold and monazite 

at 21, 80 

Glenbrook Mining Co., referred to 52 

Gold belt, the Alabama, description of 25 

mines in 85-90 

the Carolina, description of. 15-80 
in Ga., 15, 24, 84, 85 
in N. C...15, 45-68 

in S. C 15, 77 

mines in 45-68, 

77, 85 

the Carolina-Igneous 13 

the Carolina-Slate 13 

the Eastern Carolina, descrip- 
tion of 14, 15 

the Eastern Carolina, mines 

in 43. 45 

the Georgia, description of. .21-25 

mines in 78-85 

the Kings Mountain 13 

the South Mountain, descrip- 
tion of 18-20 

the South Mountain, in N. C. 68-70 
in S. C. 77, 78 
mines in, 68-70, 77, 78 
the Southern Appalachian, de- 
scription of 11-25 

the Southern Appalachian, di- 
visions of 13 

the Southern Appalachian, ge- 
ology of 11-25 

the Virginia, description of. 13, 14 

mines in 71-76 

Gold belts, minor, in Georgia 24, 25 

in North Carolina. .20, 21 
Gold Hill, N. C, map showing distribution 

of veins 59 

Gold Hill, N. C, population of early min- 
ing camp 29, 58 

Gold Hill mines, N. C 34, 37, 38, 57-60 

Gold Hill Mining Co., referred to 58 

Gold Knob mine, X. C, 57, 60 

Gold milling machinery 33-36 

Gold and Silver production, statistics. .40-42 

Goldberg mining district, Ala 88, 89 

Golden Eagle (Price) mine, Ala 87 

Golden Gate mine, S. C 78 

Golden Valley ore zone 20 

Golden Valley placer mines, X. C 69 

Goldville, Ala., population of early mining . 

camp 29 

Goldville mining district, Ala 90 

Goochland county, Va., mines in 75, 76 

Goodman mine, X. C 57 

Goodwin mine, Va 73 

Grampusville mine, X. C 56 


Granville county, X. C, mines in 45 

Gravel elevators, hydraulic, 32, 98, 99, 

Grayson county, Va., occurrence of gold 

in 76 

Greenville county, S. C, mines in.... 77, 78 

Greenwood mine, Va 73 

Gregory Hill mining district, Ala 90 

Grindstone Hill mine, Va 73 

Ground-sluicing, early mention of 30 

Guilford county, N. C, mines in 45, 46 

Gum mine, Ala 90 

Gwinnett county, Ga., mines in 81 

Habersham county, Ga., occurrence of 

gold in 78 

Haile Gold Mining Co., referred to 125 

Haile mine, S. C 16, 17, 35, 38, 39, 76, 

77, 125-143 

Haile pit (Haile mine) 129, 130 

Haithcock mine, X. C 54 

Hale mine, S. C 78 

Halifax county, X. C, mines in 43 

Halifax county, Va., occurrence of gold in.76 

Hall, F. W., referred to Ill 

Hall county, Ga., mines in 80 

Hall stamp-mill 35, 110-113 

Hamilton, Benj., referred to 31 

Hamilton (Bailey) mine, X. C 57 

Hammett mine, S. C 78 

Hancock placer mines, X. C 69 

Hand-Barlow Co., referred to 79 

Hand and Barlow ditch, Dahlonega 108 

Hand and Barlow United Gold Mines and 

Hydraulic Works of Georgia, referred 



Hand mine, Ga 80, 109 

Hand-mortars, use of 33 

Hanna, Geo. B., referred to. 10, 13, 26, 41, 42 

Haralson county, Ga., mines in 82, 83 

Harland and Beard mine, X. C 45 

Harris mine, Va 14, 74 

Harrison (Sawyer) mine, Md 71 

Harrison mine, X. C 57 

Hartman mine, X. C 57 

Hearne mine, N. C 54 

Hedwig mine, Ga 23, SO, 114, 115 

Hemby mine, X. C 63 

Henderson county, X. C, mine in 69, 70 

Henderson mine, X. C 64 

Hendy lift (gravel elevator) 32, 98, 99 

Herring (Laughlin) mine, X. C 47 

Hicks-Wise mine. Ala S6 

Higginbotham mine, Ala S6 

Hill mine, X. C 57 

Historical notes 26-40, 10S 

Hobbs mine, Ala 89 

Hodges Hill (Hodgins) mine, X. C 45 

Hodgins (Hodges Hill) mine, X. C 45 

Hog Mountain mining district, Ala 90 

Hogan, J., referred to 26 

Holland, Dr., referred to 36 

Holloway miue, X. C 45 

Holtskauser mine, X. C 57 

A ' 





Honey cut vein, Gold Hill. N. C 58, 59 

Hoover Hill mine, N. C 46, 47 

Horner mine, Ga 80 

Horns Peak mine, Ala 89, 90 

Howell mine, N. C 63, 64 

Howes, Amos, referred to 58 

Howie mine, N. C 63 

Howland mill 35 

Huddleston mine, Md 71 

Hughes mine, Va 75, 76 

Hunt mine, Ga 84 

Hunt and Douglas process 39, 51 

Huntington mill 35, 36 

Huntsville ore zone 19 

Huntsville placer mines, X. C 69 

Hydraulic gravel elevators, 32, 98. 99, 


Hydraulic mining methods .30-32 

Hydraulic mining at the Chestatee mine 

Crawford mine 

in the Dahlonega dis- 
trict 108-110 

at the Hedwig mine.. 114 
Mills mine.. 96-101 
Parker mine. 54, 55 

Portis mine 45 

Sam Christian 

mine 52 

Yon ah mine. . . .79 
Hydraulic pumping engine at the Findley 

mine 109 

Idaho (Franklin) mine, Ala 89 

Idaho mining district, Ala 88, 89 

Idler (Alta or Monarch) mine, X. C..37. 69 

Idler-Mine ore zone 20 

Illustrations, list of 6 

Influence of diabase dikes on ore-bodies, 

16. 63, 126 
Ingram (Crawford) mine, X. C....54, 91-95 

Irma mine, Md 71 

Isenhour mine, X. C. . . , 60 

Island Creek mine, X C 52 

Ivy mine, Ga SO 

Jack Brown mine, Ga 84 

Jacks Hill mine, X. C 45, 46 

Jackson county, X. C, placer mining in.. 70 

Jacquish, Mr., referred to 106 

James Moore mine, Ala 86 

Jamestown (Vein Mountain) mine, 

X. C 31, 69 

Jarrett mine, Ga 78, 79 

Jefferson, Thos., cited 26 

Jesse Cox mine, X. C 57 

Joel Reed mine, X. C 60 

Johnston mine, Va 73 

Jones (Keystone) mine, X. C 47 

Josephine mine, Ga 80 

Joshua Hendy Machine Works, referred 

to 98 

Kearney mine, X. C 43 

Kemp Mountain mining district. Ala 87 

Keystone (Jones) mine. X. C 47 

Kiggins mine, Va 73 

Kin Mori mine, Ga SI 

King mine, Ala ■ SO 

Kings Mountain gold belt 13 

Kings Mountain (Catawba) mine. X. C, 
18, 35, 66. 67. 68 

Kirkley mine, S. C 77 

Knight, Mr., referred to 87 

Knott mine, S. C 78 

Knuckelsville, Ga., early mining popula- 
tion of 29 

Lalor (Allen) mine, X C 47. 48 

Lancaster county, S. C, mines in 77 

Latham (Chester) mine, Ga 82 

Laughlin (Herring) mine, X. C 47 

Laurel mine, Ala S9 

Lawrence mine, Ga 80 

Leach mine, S. C 77 

Lee mine, Ala 86 

Lehmann, G. TV, cited 50 

Leopold mine, Va 72 

Letter of Transmittal 8 

Lewis mine, X. C 63 

Lidner, P. G., referred to 38. 147 

Lieber, O. M., cited 13. 32. 37. 77. 126 

Lightf oot mine, Va 76 

Lincoln county, Ga., mines in S4. 85 

Lincoln county, X. C, occurrence of gold 

in 68 

Lindsay mine, X. C 45. 46 

List of illustrations 6 

Little mine, Ga 81 

Little Fritz (Culp) mine, X. C 56 

Locke, A. G., referred to 106 

Lockhart mine, Ga 21, 24, SO, 115. 116 

Lof tin mine, X. C 47 

London mine, Va 76 

Long mine, X. C 63 

Long Creek mine, X C 66. 67 

Longstreet placer mine, Ga 79 

Loud mine, Ga . . . . < 79 

Louisa county, Va., gold mines in... 73, 74 
pyrite mines ...73. 74 

Louisa mine, Va 74 

Lowder mine, X. C 54 

Luce mine, Va 14. 74 

Lucky Joe mine, Ala S6 

Lumpkin county, Ga., mines in SO, SI 

Lumsden mine, Ga 7S 

Macon county, X. G* occurrence of gold 

in TO 

Magazine (or Parker) Branch placer-mine. 

x c 101 

Magruder mine, Ga 85 

Mammoth mine, Ga SO 

Mann mine, X. C 43 

Mann-Arrington mine, X. C 15. 43. 45 

Map of Xorth Carolina, showing distribu- 
tion of gold deposits 44 

Map of Gold Hill mining district, showing 

distribution of veins 59 

Map, showing location of mines and plant. 

Haile mine 127 

Map, showing plan of Capps mine 65 




Marks mine, Va 75, 76 

Marion Steam Shovel Co., referred to... 107 

Marion-White mine, Ala 86 

Marshall mine, Va 72 

Martin Mining Co.'s mine, Ga 79 

Mary-Henry (Murray) mine, Ga 80 

Maryland, distribution of gold mines in. .71 
early discoveries of gold in. . . .27 
production of gold and silver 

in 40, 42 

Maryland mine, Md. 71 

Matte-smelting 39 

McCullough (North State) mine, N. G, 

39, 45 ,46 
McDowell county, N. C, mines in... 68, 69 

McDuffie county, Ga., mines in 84, 85 

McGinn mine, N. C 36, 63, 66 

McGuire mine, Ga 81 

Mclnnis mine, S. G 77 

McLean mine, N. C 66 

McMackin vein, Gold Hill, N. C 58, 59 

McMinn county, Tenn., occurrence of gold 

in 90 

Mears chlorination process 37, 62 

Mecklenburg county, N. C, mines in.. 63-66 

Mecklenburg Iron Works, referred to.... 66. 

119, 120, 124, 135 

stamp mill.. . .35, 

119, 120 

test plant. 119, 151 

Meech mill 35 

Melville mine, Va 73 

Mercer mine, Ga 79 

Meriweather county, Ga., mines in 83 

Merrick mine, Ga 80 

Middlebrook mine, Ala 86 

Miller mine, Ala 86 

Miller mine, N. G 45 

Milling machinery 33-36 

Milling practice at the Bonnie Belle mine, 63 
Brewer mine .... 147 
in the Dahlonega district, 

Ga 110-114 

at the Franklin mine . .124 
Haile mine. ..135-137 
Hedwig mine. 114-115 

Idaho mine 89 

Kings Mountain 

mine 67 

Lockhart mine. . .116 

Parker mine 55 

Iteimer mine 119 

Millis Hill mine, N. G 45 

Mills' (Statistics of South Carolina), cited. 26 

Mills, J. C, referred to 77 

Mills property, N. C, placer mines 69, 95-101 

Mineral Farm mine, Ga 82 

Mineral Hill mine, Ga 82 

Mines in Alabama 85-90 

Georgia 78-85 

Maryland 71 

North Carolina 43-70 

South Carolina 76-78 



Mines in Tennessee 90 

Virginia 71-76 

Mining Magazine, referred to 40 

Mining and Statistic Magazine, referred 

to 31. 32 

Mining, milling, and metallurgical treat- 
ment of sulphuret ores at characteristic- 
mines 117-147 

Mining practice at characteristic placer 

and free milling mines 91-115 

Mining practice at the Chestatee mine, 

Crawford mine 92-95 
in the Dahlonega dis- 
trict 107-110 

at the Franklin mine, 

123, 124 
Haile mine. .132-135 
Lockhart mine. 

115, 116 

Mills mine 96-100 

Minor gold belts in Georgia 24, 25 

North Carolina... 20, 21 

Mitchell, Elisha, cited 33 

Mitchell mine, Va 73 

Monarch (Alta or Idler) mine, N. C..37, 69 

Monazite, occurrence of 19, 21, 97 

Monroe county, Tenn., occurrence of gold 

in 90 

Monroe mine, Va 72 

Monroe slates, described 1G 

Montgomery county, Md., mines in 71 

Montgomery county, N. C, mines in.. 51-54 
Montgomery county, Va., occurrence of 

gold in 76 

Montgomery mine, Md 71 

Montgomery mine, N. C 60 

Moore county, N. C, mines in 56, 57 

Moore mine, N. C 63 

Moore Girls' mine, Ga 78 

Moratock mine, N. C 38, 53, 54 

Morganton ore zone 19 

Morris Mountain (Davis or Dutton) mine, 

N. C 53 

Morrow mine, Va 76 

Morton mine, Va 76 

Moss, Jno., referred to 75 

Moss mine, Va 75 

Moss-Back mine, Ala 86 

Murray (Mary-Henry) mine, Ga SO 

Nacoochee Hills Gold Mining Co.'s mines, 

Ga 70 

Nacoochee Valley mining district, Ga.TS. 79 

Nancy Brown mine, Ga S4 

Nash county, N. C, mines in 43 

Nason, F. L., referred to 74 

Negus mine, N. C . 57 

New Discovery mine, X. C 39, 57 

New Gold Hill Co., referred to 58 

New London Estates Co.. L't'd., referred 

to •• 54 

Nick-Arrington mine. N. C 43 

Nininger, Mr., referred to 40 




Nitze, H. B. C 

Nobles process 


referred to 13 


North Carolina, distribution of mines in, 

early discovery of gold in. 26 
production of gold and sil- 
ver in 40, 42 

North Carolina Geological Survey, publica- 
tions referred to. .9, 13, 21, 29, 33, 34, 43, 

46, 48, 58 
North Carolina (Fentress) mine, N. C. .45, 46 
North Carolina Smelting Co., referred to. 49 
North State (McCullough) mine... 39, 45, 46 

Notes on Virginia (Jefferson), cited.. 26 

Nuggett (Biggers) mine, N C 60, 61 

Old Field mine, Ga 84 

Oliver mine, N. C 26, 66 

Olmstead, Prof., cited 28 

Ophir (Davis) mine, N. C 52 

Orange county, N. C, occurrence of gold 

in 45 

Orange county, Va., mines in 73 

Orange Grove mine, Va 73 

Ore concentration 36 

Ore zones of South Mt. gold belt 19, 20 

Page mine, Va 75 

Palmetto mine, S. C 77 

Parish mine, N. C 47 

Parker (or Magazine) Branch placer mine, 

Burke county, N. C 101 

Parker mine, Cherokee county, N. C....26 

Parker mine, Stanly county, N. C 54 

Parks mine, Ga 81 

Parks mine, N. C 63 

Parson mill 35 

Patrick county, Va., occurrence of gold in.76 

Paulding county, Ga., mines in 82 

Pax Hill mine, N. C 68 

Payne mine, Va 75 

Pear Tree Hill mine, N. C 52 

Person county, N. C, occurrence of gold 

in 45 

Phelps process 39 

Phifer mine, N. C 63 

Phillips, W. B., cited 13, 27, 62, 90, 139 

Phoenix mine, N. C 37, 60-62 

Pickens county, S. C, occurrence of gold 


Piedmont mine, Ga 81 

Pilot mountain, N. C, hydraulic mining 

at 32 

Pilot Mountain ore zone 19, 20 

Pine Mountain mine, Ga 82 

Pinetucky mine, Ala 87, 88 

Pioneer Mills mine, N. C 61, 62 

Placer mines, described 91-115 

Placer mining, possibilities of discussed, 

148, 149 

Plattner chlorination process 38, 62 

Plattsburg (or Chattahoochee) Gold Min- 
ing and Milling Co.'s mines, Ga 79 

Polk county, N. C, petty mining in 69 

Polk county, Tenn., occurrence of gold in. 90 


Portis mine, N. C 4M. 45 

Potosi mine, Ga 80 

Powhatan Land and Mining Co.. referred 

to 72 

Preacher mine, Ga 80 

! Preface 9, 10 

; Price (Golden Eagle) mine, Ala 87 

j Prince Edward county, Va., occurrence of 

gold in 76 

Pritchard mine, Ala 86 

Proceedings of American Philosophical So- 
ciety, referred to 27 

I Pullian mine, Va 73 

Pyrite mines of Louisa county, Va. . . .73. 74 

! Quaker City mine, N. C ' 60. 62 

j Rabun county, Ga., mines in 78 

| Ralston mine, Ga 80 

| Randleman mine, N. C 57 

Randolph county, Ala., mines in 87-89 

! Randolph county, N. C, mines in 46-47 

I Randolph (Earnhardt) vein, Gold Hill. N. 

C 34. 58. 59 

! Rappahannock Gold Mining Co., referred 

to 72 

I Rattlesnake mine, Va 72 

I Ray mine, N. C 64 

Red Hill mine pit (Haile mine). 127. 129, 132 

| Reed mine, N. C 60. 61 

I Reimer mine, N C 36, 38, 57, 117-121 

Reynolds mine, N. C 52 

Reynolds vein. Ga 32 

Rhyne mine, N. C 66 

Richardville mine, Va 72 

Riddle mine, Ala. 90 

Riggon Hill mine, N. C 53 

Ringel, C, referred to 37 

Roasting processes 36, 37 

Roasting process at Franklin mine.. 124. 125 

Haile mine 137-139 

Reimer mine 119 

Robinson mine, N. C 66 

Rock-decomposition 11 

Rockers, descriptions of 30, 94. 95 

Rocky River mine, N. C 60, 61 

Rogers, ^Ym. B., referred to 13 

Rose, T. K., referred to 142 

Roseman mine, N. C 5 1 

Rowan county, N. C, mines in 57-60 

Roy Stone method of dredging and gravel- 
elevating - 32, 106 

Royal (Camille) mine 3S, S2, 83 

Rudisil mine, N. C 63, 64 

Russell mine, N. C 17, 3S, 52. 53 

Rutherford county, N. G, mines in. .68. 69 
Safford's Geology of Tennessee, referred 

to 27 

Salisbury Supply Co., test mill lol 

Sam Beattie mine, N. C 66 

Sam Christian Company, referred to 52 

Sam Christian mine, N. C 52 

Sand-pump, used as gravel elevator 102 

Saprolite, definition of 

Saunders mine, N. C 





Sawnee Mountain mine, Ga 81 

Sawyer (Harrison) mine, Mel 71 

Sawyer mine. N. 38, 47 

Seott Hill mine, N. C 68 

Settles mine, Ga 81 

Shelby mine, Ga 81 

Shields mine, N. C 57 

Silliman, Prof. B., cited 20, 75 

Siloam mine. Ga 80 

Silver ores 30, 48-51, 58 

Silver and Gold production, statistics of, 


Silver Creek placer mines, N. C 07 

Silver Hill (Washington) mine, N. C, 

18, 37, 30, 40, 48, 49 
Silver Valley mine, N. C...18, 30, 40, 40-51 

Simmons mine, Ga 81 

Simpson mine, N. C 64 

Singleton mine, Ga 21, 23, 35, 80 

Sixes mine, Ga 82 

Skip used at Haile mine 134, 135 

Slack mine, N. C 47 

Slate Hill mine, Va 14, 74 

Sluice-box, descriptions of.... 30, 03, 04, 100 

Smart mine, N. 63 

Smelting processes ..30, 40, 50, 51, 153, 154 

Smelting process at the Conrad Hill mine. 51 

Silver Hill mine... 30, 40 

Silver Valley mine. 40, 50 

Smith, Mrs. J. B., referred to 85 

Smith mine, Ga 78 

Smith (Welborn) mine, Davidson county, 

N. C 51 

Smith mine, Gaston county, N. C 66 

Smith and Palmer mine, N. C 63, 64 

South Carolina, distribution of mines in, 

early discovery of gold.. 26 
production of gold and 
silver in ... .40, 42 
South Carolina Geological Survey, publica- 
tions referred to 13, 32, 37, 41, 77, 126 

South Carolina State Board of Agricul- 
ture, publication referred to 76 

South Mountain gold belt, elescription 

of 18, 20 

in N. C 68-70 

in S. C 77-78 

ore zones of 10, 20 

mines in, 68, 70, 77, 78 
Southern Appalachian gold belt, descrip- 
tion of 11-25 

divisions of 13 

geology of, 11-25 

Southern Belle mine, N. C 57 

Southern States Exploration and Financial 

Syndicate, L't'd., referreel to 82 

Spanish Oak Gap mine, N. C 52 

Spartanburg county, S. C, mines in.. 77, 78 

Spence roasting furnace 130 

Spillsbury, E. G., referred to 30, 120 

Spottsylvania county, Va., mines in. .72, 73 


St. Catherine mine, >'. C 63, 64 

St. George (Dean) mine. Ga 70 

Stafforel county, Va., mines in 72 

Stamp-mill, history of 33, 35 

the Hall pattern elescribed, 

the Mecklenburg Iron Works 
pattern elescribed ....110, 120 

Standard vein. Gold Hill, N. C 58 

Stanley mine, Ga 80 

Stanly county, N. C, mines in 54-56 

Statistics of gold and silver production. 40-42 
Statistics of South Carolina (Mills), cited. 26 

Steel mine, N. C 53 

Stephen Wilson mine, N. C 63 

Stewart mine, N. Co 63 

Stockton, Commodore, referred to.... 30, 145 

Story mine, Ala 00 

Strickland mine, Ga 82 

Stringer-lead, defined 23 

Surface Hill mine, N. C 64 

Sutherland mine, Ala 86, 87 

Swain county, N. C, placer mining in... 70 

Swedish chlorination process 153 

Table of contents 3-5 

Tables showing production of gold and 

silver 40-42 

Tagus mine, Va 75 

Talc-schist, incorrect use of term 15 

Talladega county, Ala., mines in 00 

Tallapoosa county, Ala., occurrence of gold 

in 00 

Tanyard placer, Brewer mine .145 

Tatham mine, Ga 85 

Taylor mine, N. C 43 

Taylor and Trotter mine, N. C 63 

Tellurium, occurrence of in ores, 18, 24, 52, 67 

Tellurium mine, Va 32, 35, 75 

Tennessee, distribution of mines in 00 

early discovery of gold in.... 27 
production of gold and silver 

in 40, 42 

Terrell mine, Ala. . . , 00 

Thies, A, referred to. 10, 37, 61, 83, 125, 120, 


Thies chlorination process 37, 153 

Thomas mine, N. C 43 

Thompson mine, Ga 22, 70 

Thompson mine, S. C. 78 

Thomson mine, S. C 77 

Thurston, Scott, referred to 7.'. 

Tiger river placer mines, S. C 7S 

Tinder Flats placer mine, Va 20, 74 

Tom's Creek mine, N. C 52 

Tonton mine, Ga 70 

Towne county, Ga., mines in S4 

Transactions of American Institute Min- 
ing Engineers, referred to 0, 10, 14, 24 

31, 32, 35, 30, 62, 71, 102, 106, 120, 130 

Trautman vein, Gold Hill, N. C 58, 50 

Treatment of freemilling ores.:32-36, 110-116 
Treatment of sulphuret ores.. 36-40, 117-147 
Tredinick mine, X. C 64 



• i 


Triumph concentrating machine 36 

Tucker (California) mine, N. C...38, 61, 62 

Tuomey, M., cited 30, 77 

Turkey Heaven mining' district, Ala.. 86, 87 

Turkey Hill mine, Ga 80 

Twin mine, N. C 45. 46 

Uharie mine, N. C 47 

Ulrich mines, Ala 90 

Union county, N. C, mines in 62, 63 

Union county, S. C, mines in 77 

United States assay offices, statistics 

from 40-42 

United States census report, referred to.. 42 
United States Geological Survey, publica- 
tions referred to. 11, 13, 18, 22. 23, 24, 26 
United States Mining Co., report of, 

cited 33, 72 

United States mint bureau, statistics 

from 40-42 

United States mint, reports, referred to, 

26, 40-42 

Valdor mine, Ala 85 

Valley river, N. C, placer mines 70 

Van Dyke, Dr. M. H., referred to 31 

Vaucluse mine, Va 32. 34, 36, 30, 73 

Veins, early discovery of 32 

Vein mining, early records of 32 

possibilities of. discussed, 

Vein Mountain (Jamestown) mine, N. C. . 31, 60 

Villa Rica mining district, Ga 82 

Virginia, distribution of mines in 71-76 

early discovery of gold in 26 

production of gold and silver 

in 40, 42 

Virginia gold belt, description of 13, 14 

mines in 71-76 

Virginia, Notes on (Jefferson), cited 26 

Virginias, the geology of the, referred to. 13 
Volcanic rocks of the Carolina gold belt.. 16 

Walker-Carter roasting furnace 39 

Wallace mine, S. C 77 

Walters and Gardner mine, Va 76 

Walton mine, Va 74 

Walton Mining Co., report of. referred to. 29 

Warne mine, N. C 70, 84 

Warren county, Ga., mines in 84, 85 

Warren county, N. C, mines in 43 

Warren mine, Ga 85 

Warren Hill mine, Va 14, 74 

Washington (Bonnie Belle) mine. X. C 63 

Washington (Silver Hill) mine, X. C. .48, 49 
Watauga county, X. C, auriferous galena 
ores 70 


Water-power, application of to mining. . .154 

at the Chestatee mine 101 

Crawford mine. .92. 93 

Hedwig mine 115 

Kin Mori mine 81 

Loud mine 79 

Mills mines, 95-98, 101 

Old Field mine 84 

Parker mine 55 

Sam Christian mine 52 
Wolfe Creek mines. 78 

Yonah mine 79 

Water-supply of the Dahlonega dis- 
trict 108, 109 

South Mountain district 95 

Welborn (Smith) mine, N. C 51 

Welborn Hill mine, Ga 84 

West mine, S. C 77 

West Springs mine, S. C 78 

Whatley, E. T.. referred to 70 

White county, Ga., mines in .78, 79 

Whitehall mine. Va 73 

Widenhouse mine, N. C 60 

Wilkes, Jno., referred to 10. 119 

Wilkes county, Ga., mines in 84, 85 

Wilkes county. N. C, auriferous galena 

ores in 70 

Wilkes mine. Ga S3 

Wilkinson mine. Ga 82 

Wilkinson mine, X C 31 

Williams mine. Ga 85 

Williams mine. S. C 77 

Wilson mine, S. C 77 

Wilson-Kindley mine, N. C 47 

Wimpy, A. G.. referred to 29 

Winningham mine, N. C 47 

Winslow mine, X C 47 

Wiswell mill 35 

Witheroods, Jno., referred to 26 

Wolfe and Tiger Mining Co.. referred to..7S 

Wolfe Creek placer mines, S. C 7S 

Woodward mine. Ga 80 

Worley mine, Ga 82 

Worth mine, X. C. 52 

Wycoff mine, Va 72 

Yadkin Chlorination Works, referred to. 117 

Yadkin county. X. C. mines in 6S 

Yadkin mine, X. C 57 

Yonah Land and Mining Co., mines. Ga.. 

79. 150 

Yonah Peak, Ga.. granite at 21 

York county. S. C. mines in 77 

Yorkville mines. Ga S2 




' k 

Triumph concentrating machine 36 

Tucker (California) mine, N. C...38. 61, 62 

Tuomey, M., cited 30, 77 

Turkey Heaven mining district, Ala.. 86, 87 

Turkey Hill mine, Ga 80 

Twin mine, N. C 45. 46 

Uharie mine, N. C 47 

Ulrich mines, Ala 90 

Union county, N. C, mines in 62, 63 

Union county, S. C, mines in 77 

United States assay offices, statistics 

from 40-42 

United States census report, referred to.. 42 
United States Geological Survey, publica- 
tions referred to. 11, 13, 18, 22. 23, 24, 26 
United States Mining Co., report of, 

cited 33, 72 

United States mint bureau, statistics 

from 40-42 

United States mint, reports, referred to, 

26, 40-42 

Valdor mine, Ala 85 

Valley river, N. C, placer mines 70 

Van Dyke, Dr. M. H., referred to 31 

Vaucluse mine, Va 32, 34, 36, 39, 73 

Veins, early discovery of 32 

Vein mining, early records of 32 

possibilities of, discussed, 

Vein Mountain (Jamestown) mine, N. C. . 31, 69 

Villa Rica mining district, Ga 82 

Virginia, distribution of mines in 71-76 

early discovery of gold in 26 

production of gold and silver 

in 40, 42 

Virginia gold belt, description of 13, 14 

mines in 71-76 

Virginia, Notes on (Jefferson), cited 26 

Virginias, the geology of the, referred to. 13 
Volcanic rocks of the Carolina gold belt.. 16 

Walker-Carter roasting furnace 39 

Wallace mine, S. C 77 

Walters and Gardner mine, Va 76 

Walton mine, Va 74 

Walton Mining Co., report of, referred to. 29 

Warne mine, N. C 70, 84 

AVarren county, Ga., mines in 84, 85 

Warren county, N. C, mines in 43 

Warren mine, Ga , 85 

Warren Hill mine, Va 14, 74 

Washington (Bonnie Belle) mine. N. C....63 
Washington (Silver Hill) mine, N. C. .48, 49 
Watauga county, N. C, auriferous galena 
ores 70 


Water-power, application of to mining. ..154 

at the Chestatee mine.... 101 

Crawford mine. .92, 93 

Hedwig mine 115 

Kin Mori mine 81 

Loud mine 79 

Mills mines, 95-98, 101 

Old Field mine 84 

Parker mine 55 

Sam Christian mine 52 
Wolfe Creek mines. 78 

Yonah mine 79 

Water-supply of the Dahlonega dis- 
trict 108, 109 

South Mountain district. .. .95 

Welborn (Smith) mine, N. C 51 

Welborn Hill mine. Ga 84 

West mine, S. C 77 

West Springs mine, S. C 78 

Whatley, E. T.. referred to 79 

White county, Ga., mines in '. . .78, 79 

Whitehall mine. Va 73 

Widenhouse mine. N. C 60 

Wilkes, Jno., referred to 10. 119 

Wilkes county, Ga., mines in S4, 85 

Wilkes county. N. C, auriferous galena 

ores in 70 

Wilkes mine. Ga 83 

Wilkinson mine. Ga 82 

Wilkinson mine, N. C 31 

Williams mine, Ga 85 

Williams mine. S. C 77 

Wilson mine, S. C 77 

Wilson-Kindley mine, N. C 47 

Wimpy. A. G., referred to 29 

Winningham mine, N. C 47 

Winslow mine, X. C 47 

Wiswell mill 35 

Witheroods, Jno., referred to 26 

Wolfe and Tiger Mining Co., referred to..7S 

Wolfe Creek placer mines, S. C 7S 

Woodward mine. Ga SO 

Worley mine, Ga S2 

Worth mine, N. C . = 52 

Wycoff mine. Va 72 

Yadkin Chlorination Works, referred to. 117 

Yadkin county. X. C. mines in 68 

Yadkin mine, N, C 57 

Yonah Land and Mining Co., mines. Ga.. 

79. 150 

Yonah Peak. Ga.. granite at 21 

York county, S. C. mines in 77 

Yorkville mines. Ga S2 

K3£ .! km 



f c IW' 


■ ^ V ^*-4&atl 


J -A. Holmes, State Geologist 




estern North Carolina 

Showing Corundum Localities and the 
distribution of Peridoti tes and Related Rocks. 


J.Volney Lewis . 

Boundaries of the Ocoee formation have been supplied by 
Mr. Arthur Keith of the United States Geological Survey. 










Assistant Geologist. 


Through some misunderstanding several small errors have been made 
in the geological boundaries on the western portion of this map, chiefly in 
Unicoi, Cocke and Monroe counties, Tennessee, and in Madison and 
Mitchell counties in North Carolina. The errors were discovered too 
late to be corrected in this edition. Later work lias also shown that the 
Ocoee rocks should be made to extend across the area left uncolored in 
Cherokee county (N. C), and Polk county (Tenn.), and that the uncolored 
area in Wilkes, Alleghany and Ashe counties should be colored for 
"gneisses and granite. " All needed corrections will be made in a future 
edition of this map, which it is expected will be published at an early date. 




• i 



Letter of Transmittal 7 

1. Introduction 9 

2. Geologic Sketch of the Corundum Region 11 

3. The Peridotites and Associated Massive Rocks 15 

(1.) The Peridotites .' 15 

a. Dunite 17 

b. Harzburgite 23 

c. Amphibole-picrite „ 23 

d. Forellenstein 24 

(2.) The Pyroxenites 25 

a. Enstatite rock 25 

b. Websterite 27 

(3.) Ainphibolites j 28 

4. Associated Secondary and Schistose Rocks 30 

(1.) Massive 30 

a. Serpentine 30 

(2.) Schistose 32 

a. Talc schist, Soapstone 32 

b. Chlorite schist 33 

5. Distribution of the Peridotites and Associated Rocks 33 

(1.) In the Appalachian belt 33 

(2.) In North Carolina 34 

a. Clay county . 35 

b. Macon county 36 

c. Jackson county. 37 

d. Transylvania county 39 

e. Haywood county 40 

/. Buncombe county 40 

g. Madison county 41 

h. Yancey county 43 

i. Mitchell county 44 

j. Watauga county 45 

7c. Ashe county 46 

I. Alleghany county 47 

6. Corundum 48 

(1.) Character and Varieties 48 

(2.) Uses of Corundum 51 

(3.) North Carolina Corundum = 51 

(4.) Modes of Occurrence of Corundum 54 

a. Associated with peridotite. 55 

b. In chlorite schist 57 

c. In amphibolite 58 

d. In dunite 00 

e. In gneiss 01 

/. In gravel deposits 02 






(5.) Distribution of corundum 63 

a. In the Appalachian belt 63 

Alabama 64 

Georgia 64 

South Carolina 64 

North Carolina 64 

Virginia 65 

Maryland 65 

Pennsylvania 65 

New Jersey 65 

New York 66 

Connecticut 66 

Massachusetts 66 

b. In North Carolina 67 

Clay county 67 

Macon county 69 

Jackson county 70 

Transylvania county 72 

Haywood county 73 

Buncombe county 73 

Madison county 74 

Yancey county 75 

Mitchell county 75 

Iredell and Alexander counties 76 

Burke and Cleveland counties 77 

Gaston county 77 

Guilford county 77 

Other localities 78 

(6.) Methods of Prospecting for Corundum 78 

(7.) Mining and Cleaning methods 81 

Historical Sketch of Corundum Mining- in America 86 

(1.) Discoveries and early Developments 87 

(2.) North Carolina Corundum mines 89 

a. The Behr mine, Clay county 91 

b. The Buck creek (Cullakanee) mine, Clay county 91 

c. The Corundum Hill (Cullasaja) mine, Macon county 92 

d. The Sapphire (Hogback) mine, Jackson county 94 

e. The Carter mine, Madison county 94 

/. The Acme mine, Sfatesville, Iredell county 95 

Other Economic Minerals of the Corundum Belt 96 

(1.) Chromite, or chromic iron 96 

(2.) Asbestos 96 

(3.) Nickel-bearing minerals. 97 

(4.) Serpenl ine 97 

Literature on the Corundum Belt 99 

Index 103 



Plate I. Geologic sketch map of western North Carolina Frontispiece. 

II. Sketch map of the Appalachian crystalline belt 32 

III. Map of the Buck creek peridotite area, Clay county.. 34 

IV. Map of Corundum Hill, Macon county 36 

V. Map of the Webster peridotite area, Jackson county 38 

VI. Photomicrographs of thin sections of dunite 102 

FIGURE 1. Corundum crystal, showing rhombohedral parting 49 

2. Corundum crystal, showing basal parting 49 

3. Corundum crystal from Egypt mine, Yancey county 49 

4. Corundum-bearing zone in amphibolite, Iredell county 59 

5. Corundum crystal in dunite, Egypt mine, Yancey county.. 60 

6. Diagram of corundum-bearing zone, Corundum Hill 93 

7. Corundum crystal from Ivy river, Madison county 74 

8. Corundum wrapped iu margarite, Iredell county , 76-. 



Raleigh, N. C, December 1st, 1895. 

To His Excellency Hon. Elias Carr, 

Governor of North Carolina. 

Sir: — I beg to submit for publication as Bulletin 11 of the 
Geological Survey, a preliminary report on Corundum and the 
associated basic Magnesian Rocks in North Carolina, by Mr. J. Y. 
Lewis. The larger part of the corundum now produced in the 
United States is mined in North Carolina, and the increasing 
demand for information on this subject has led to the preparation 
of this paper. It is hoped that a more elaborate final report on 
the subject can be prepared by the close of another year. 
With great respect, I have the honor to be, sir, 

Yours obediently, 

J. A. Holmes, 

State Geologist. 









By J. Volney Lewis. 


The present incomplete report is issued for the purpose of pre- 
senting the field results obtained chiefly during the summer months 
of 1893 and 1894. 

To the fact that it is mainly a report of field observations is due, 
to a great extent, its incompleteness; and I would urge this con- 
sideration as an apology for certain vagaries of mineralogic termi- 
nology in the following pages, and for many unsatisfactory points 
in geologic and petrographic descriptions. As far as possible, I 
have confined myself to a simple presentation of facts thus far 
determined, and the more theoretical discussions have been 

In the beginning of the field season of 1893, a rapid reconnais- 
sance of the region under consideration was made with the late Dr. 
George H. Williams, of Johns Hopkins University ; and a portion 
of the laboratory work and the field studies for both this and the 
succeeding seasons were prosecuted, to a great extent, under his 
guidance and general supervision. Specimens were collected from 
all portions of the region, and by the courtesy and cooperation of 
the Director of the United States Geological Survey, I have 
begun the microscopic study of this material in the Survey laborato- 
ries, at Washington. A more thorough report on the corundum- 
bearing rocks, embodying the results of this work, will be pub- 
lished as soon as practicable. 

One acquainted with the methods and aims of geology, or of any 
natural science, needs no argument to point oat the necessity of 



thorough detailed work for the understanding of any problem in 
Nature, whether of immediate economic importance or only of 
scientific interest. Thus far all that is known of the extent and 
value of our corundum deposits has been derived from experience ; 
that is to say, from actual prospecting and mining. Studies of 
considerable iuterestand value in the corundum regions have been 
made by Chatard, Julien, Shepard, Genth and others, but these 
have been confined chiefly to local occurrences and special problems, 
and no attempt has been made to cover the whole field ; conse- 
quently, the various theories that have been advanced in regard to 
the origin of corundum and its associated rocks have left entirely 
out of consideration much evidence which only a careful survey of 
the whole area could furnish. 

I can scarcely hope, by the work in hand, to furnish a final or 
even a very satisfactory answer to the question of origin ; for 
such problems, in areas of great disturbance and so thoroughly 
metamorphosed as the one under consideration, do not readily 
yield clear results ; but it is hoped that even the facts recorded 
here may add something to the small sum of our knowledge of 
these interesting formations, and that thereby a somewhat clearer 
understanding of their geologic relations may be attained. 

From the standpoint of the prospector, miner, or land-owner, 
whose interest in such matters is eminently practical and whose 
geologic training is entirely the result of work and observations 
in the mines themselves, it is hoped that this presentation of facts 
may be found useful, and that the mining interests of every section 
may be advanced by a study of conditions existing in other por- 
tions of the field. In fact, this method of comparison has been 
found the only practical guide in the search for new localities or 
in the development of deposits already known. If the rocks and 
associated minerals of a given locality are the same as found in a 
corundum mine, the prospector goes to work on the hypothesis that 
the occurrence there of corundum itself is entirely probable. 
While characteristic differences are everywhere observed between 
mines, even in the same immediate neighborhood, yet experience 
has shown that the conditions for the occurrence of corundum are 
practically the same throughout the region. The few important 


exceptions to this rule are noted further on in describing the 
modes of occurrence. 

For the reasons suggested, then, it has been thought advisable 
to publish the facts gathered in the field, along with some general 
observations on the geology of the region and the characteristics of 
the corundum-bearing rocks, rather than hold these for the appear- 
ance of the final report. A knowledge of the facts cannot but 
advance the interests of legitimate mining, as well as prevent such 
waste of time and money as may sometimes be observed in western 
North Carolina. 

At the present writing, the only active corundum mining in the 
world is in this State, and, with the important exception of 
Georgia, North Carolina has supplied the only corundum on the 
market since the beginning of the industry more than twenty years 
ago. Besides regular mining, much work has been done in explor- 
ing and prospecting, and considerable investments have recently 
been made with a view to engaging in active mining at an early 
date. Explorations have never been more actively prosecuted and 
it is not unlikely that production .will be largely increased in the 
near future by the opening of new mines. That there is abundant 
demand for such increase is shown by the fact that, in addition to 
the available corundum, there are annually imported for consump- 
tion in the United States from 3,000 to 5,000 tons of emery, which 
is practically the only mineral product that competes with corun- 
dum in the market. 

The combination of circumstances favorable to mining and 
milling operations in North Carolina — the equable climate and 
the almost universal presence of water-power — together with the 
great superiority of corundum as an abrasive, combine to place 
these formations among the important resources of the State. 


From the accompanying map it will be seen that what we may 
term the Corundum belt in North Carolina is confined to a broad 
strip of gneisses lying chiefly west of the Blue Ridge and extend- 
ing northwestward from the Georgia boundary through Clay, 



Macon, Transylvania, Jackson, Haywood, Buncombe, Madison, 
and Yancey counties, while the peridotites with their character- 
istic chromium- and nickel-bearing minerals, asbestos, etc., extend 
the belt through Mitchell, Watauga, Ashe, and Alleghany coun- 
ties to the Virginia line. 

This belt is but a portion of the greater belt of crystalline rocks 
which is coextensive with the Appalachian mountain system (see 
plate II), and which, on account of its complex and highly crystal- 
line character, is generally considered to be of Archean age. The 
southern extremity of this belt disappears under the younger 
formations in central Alabama. Its principal constituent is gneiss, 
often, through higher development of lamination, passing into 
schists, and including frequent masses of granitic and other dis- 
tinctively igneous rocks. 

These gneisses have been usually considered to be, in great part, 
sedimentary rocks that have lost their original clastic characteris- 
tics, with the possible exception in some cases of bedding, in the 
great earth-movements and other metamorphosing agencies in 
which they have been involved. Some of them, however, are 
certainly granites or other massive rocks that have been sheared 
or squeezed by the same agencies — transitions from the massive to 
the laminated forms being often easily observed and, in fact, almost 
universally present about the borders of the massive rocks of the 

When these changes have affected the whole of such an igneous 
mass, it is obvious that a rock will result that will often be difficult 
and sometimes impossible to distinguish, in the field, from a meta- 
morphosed sediment of similar composition. As yet the geology 
of this area is not sufficiently known to map these varieties 
separately; though such distinctions are highly desirable in con- 
sidering the questions of origin of some of the massive rocks and 
their relations to the prevalent structural types of the region. 

By the earlier geologists, the lamination of the gneiss was con- 
sidered true bedding, and their attempts to interpret the structure 
of the region were based on this misconception. It is well known 
that lamination is often developed where no such original struc- 
ture existed, as in the sheared massive rocks alluded to above. It 


is also known that such structure produced by movement in the 
mass of the rock may, and usually does, obliterate whatever origi- 
nal structure may have been present ; so that a sedimentary rock 
thus mechanically laminated and at the same time thoroughly crys- 
tallized would no longer show its original stratification. The new 
structural planes might correspond in certain cases with bedding, 
but often they would not ; and hence the strikes and dips observed 
in this region and recorded here, being those of lamination planes, 
are not in any case to be interpreted as true strikes and dips. 

The prevailing strike of the lamination planes in the gneiss of 
western North Carolina is about north 30° east, and the prevailing 
dip is at a high angle toward the southeast. Yery frequently 
local variations occur, especially in the dips, and often the preva- 
lent southeasterly dip will become vertical and, tipping over, will 
pass into a northwesterly dip within an outcrop of only a few feet. 
All stages occur from these local variations in dip and strike to the 
most gnarled and contorted forms imaginable. In general, the 
lamination has suffered the most deformation in the immediate 
vicinity of igneous intrusions ; or perhaps the statement might be 
reversed, as the forces that produced the contortions doubtless 
formed simultaneously the fissures into which the massive rocks 
were injected. 

Constituting a small proportion of this belt, as regards area, are 
the basic magnesian rocks, chiefly peridotites, which are here 
specially considered in their relations to the occurrence of corun- 
dum. These occur in small lenticular masses or in narrow strips, 
rarely exceeding a mile or two in length, and, so far as I am aware? 
are nowhere intimately associated with the well recognized 
igneous rocks of the granitic type. Contortions are observed, 
however, in the adjacent gneisses similar to those in the vicinity 
of granites, and often a transition to mica-schist gives evidence of 
an unusual amount of movement. 

The magnesian rocks, too, whether peridotites or pyroxenites, 
have always a sheath of schistose talc developed about their bor- 
ders and, in the corundum-bearing region, also much chlorite. 
Hence there is never, as far as observed, an absolute contact be- 
tween these massive rocks and normal irneiss. 


South of Virginia, the gneissic belt is flanked on the west by a 
broad strip of partially metamorphosed but generally distinct sedi- 
ments of undetermined geologic age. No fossils have yet been 
found in them and structures are greatly confused by disturbances 
that have given rise to the Appalachian system of mountains. 
Hence their relations to the known Paleozoic rocks, by which, in 
turn, they are bordered on the west, is, as yet, a matter of contro- 
versy. These beds consist of a lower series of shales and lime- 
stones lying uncomformably on the gneisses, and followed by con- 
glomerates and sandstones above. To the whole formation the 
name Ocoee has been given. 

Referring again to the map (plate I.), it will be seen that two belts 
of Ocoee are developed in western North Carolina ; the one, lying 
along the Tennessee border, a broad area of irregular outline and 
tapering northward to a point just south of Johnson City, Ten- 
nessee. Beyond this point, as far as the boundary has been traced 
northward, the paleozoic formations lie directly in contact with 
the gneisses. The other Ocoee belt forms a narrow strip lying 
about forty miles further east in its southern portion, and passing 
northwestward from the upper French Broad valley, approximately 
in the direction of the Blue Ridge. The irregular boundary of the 
western area brings the two belts within twenty-five miles of each 
other in places, but the general trend of them both is the same as 
that of all the rocks of the region, and corresponds to the axes of 
Appalachian folding. 

The eastern belt is exceedingly narrow in its southern portion, 
perhaps even narrower in places than indicated on the map, but 
it broadens northward and becomes involved in extremely com- 
plex folds and faults in Mitchell and Watauga counties. It should 
be stated that, north of the 36th parallel, as the detail on the map 
would indicate, the boundaries of this belt are much more accu- 
rately determined than in its southern extension. East of this 
narrow strip of Ocoee, comes a broad expanse of gneisses and 
granites, extending beyond Charlotte, Salisbury, and Greensboro, 
and forming the Piedmont plateau region of the State. 

The corundum-bearing peridotite belt lies wholly within the 
strip of gneiss between these two belts of Ocoee. Almost the 



whole width of this strip in the southwestern portion of the State 
is thickly dotted with small peridotite areas, but north of 
Waynesville they become more irregular and scattering. The 
manner of distribution is shown on the map, but, for the sake of 
clearness, the areal proportions are there often necessarily exag- 
gerated. This is especially true of the schistose talc and chlorite 
rocks, which seldom exceed twenty or thirty feet in width of out- 


As the corundum deposits of the State are found chiefly in con- 
nection with these rocks, it is important, before passing to the con- 
sideration of these deposits, to give brief descriptions of the perid- 
otites and related rocks, in order that the descriptions of mines 
that follow may be more fully understood. 

The rocks to be considered may be classed in three groups, 
namely : peridotites, pyroxenites, amphibolites . Of these, the first 
group largely predominates, and the others are regarded as only 
variant or accompanying forms of the same geologic unit. They 
sometimes, however, attain considerable importance as independ- 
ent rock masses. 


The peridotites appear in numerous small oval or lenticular 
masses of dimensions rarely exceeding a few hundred feet. Some- 
times these lenses merge into each other and form a narrow strip 
a mile or two in length with constrictions at intervals, thus resem- 
bling, in form, a string of sausages. In rare cases, the outcrops pre- 
sent an irregular boundary, and cover areas of several hundred 
acres. The Buck creek area in Clay county, and that at Webster 
in Jackson county, are the largest masses of the belt, and their 
form and extent are shown approximately on the small scale 
map, plate I. (See also plates III and V.) 

These rocks are in general perfectly massive and structureless, 
though a parallel structure is often developed about the borders; 
and at Webster the whole mass is so perfectly laminated as to pre- 



sent a striking resemblance to a thin-bedded sandstone. As stated, 
however, this structure is exceptional, even the small bodies and 
narrow strips preserving a perfectly massive character. 

This is often true, even where there has been considerable move- 
ment along the contacts between the gneiss and peridotites, result- 
ing in the frequent development of mica-schist in the adjoining 
gneisses and the universal presence of schistose talc in the borders 
of the dunite. The boandaries have thus become veritable slick- 
ensides, and hence no true contacts between the peridotites and 
gneisses have been observed, and original contact metamorphism, 
if such ever existed here, has been entirely obliterated. 

The peridotites of North Carolina represent a petrographic unit; 
and no extensive field work is necessary to convince one that any 
attempt to subdivide them must proceed on comparatively slight 
mineralogical differences, and the classes established regarded as 
mere varieties. Thin sections cut from different portions of the 
same outcrop might be made the basis for the establishment of 
three or four petrographic divisions; but, in the field, the lines of 
separation cannot be sharply drawn. The classes made in the 
laboratory are found to merge into each other, forming parts of 
the same rock mass. 

However, with a clear understanding of this unity, the estab- 
lished classification of the peridotites may be useful for purely 
petrographic purposes; and, in deference to usage, the more prom" 
inent types observed in the State are here considered separately 
These are dunite, the pure olivine rock; harzburgite (saxonite), 
that composed of olivine and orthorhombic pyroxene; amphihole. 
picrite, consisting essentially of olivine and hornblende ; forell- 
enstein (troctolite),the olivine-feldspar rock, which is not a peridotite 
according to the definition of that class; namely, that it consists o* 
olivine rocks without essential feldspar. Forellenstein is usually 
regarded as a phase of olivine-gabbro produced by the suppression 
of the pyroxene — indeed, it may be questioned whether most perid- 
otites should not also be so considered — but on the ground of geo- 
logic unity, it is here classed with the peridotites. 



The type of this rock was discovered in Dun mountain, New 
Zealand, about thirty years ago, and described by von Hochstetter as 
a light yellowish-green to grayish-green, crystalline granular rock, 
with an oily to a glassy lustre, and an uneven angular fracture. 
The dull, rust-brown color of the barren, weathered surface gave 
the mountain its name and, indirectly, the rock itself. It was 
found to consist almost exclusively of granular olivine, with chrom- 
ite or picotite, in octahedral crystals the size of a pin-head, scat- 
tered through the mass. 

The North Carolina dunite is very close to this type. It is 
usually composed of quite small grains of olivine, about the size 
of granulated sugar, though sometimes much coarser rock is found 
in small quantities, and large grains are often scattered through 
the fine-grained masses. 

Small octahedrons or rounded grains of chromite or picotite are 
sparsely scattered through nearly all the olivine rocks. Sometimes 
these become very plentiful, and are then frequently segregated 
into vein-like streaks or pockets, and attain importance as a chrom- 
ium ore. Long, glistening needles of tremolite are often observed, 
and sometimes flakes of talc and chlorite. 

The colors include nearly all shades from light brownish yellow 
to a dark green, though the freshest specimens seem to be those of 
light oil-green or yellowish green color. Brown and yellow tints 
are generally more superficial and seem to be the results of oxida- 
tion of the iron constituent in the incipient stages of decomposi- 
tion ; and a dark green color may sometimes be seen, by the aid of 
a lens, to be the result of a partial alteration to serpentine. The 
dark green, fine grained varieties are usually tough, and the coarser 
grained, yellowish ones are very friable, being often easily crumbled 
with the fingers, even when apparently quite fresh. The more 
thinly laminated varieties about Webster and elsewhere are usually 
partly altered and quite friable also. 

The characteristic dull brown color of the weathered surface is 
the same here as described for the New Zealand rock. By decom- 
position, an ochreous soil is produced which, on account of its 


infertility and the cod sequent absence of vegetation, is easily 
removed by rains ; and hence the outcrops are nearly always made 
conspicuous by barren areas of brown, angular rocks in a region 
otherwise well wooded. 

Under the microscope, in ordinary light, dunite is seen to consist 
of irregular, angular grains of translucent, colorless olivine. In the 
fresh specimens, the angles of these grains fit accurately into each 
other with no interstitial matter whatever (Plate VI, figure 1); 
though in the great majority of cases there has been a slight alter- 
ation along the cracks into serpentine, and this secondary material 
surrounds every grain completely like mortar in a rubble wall. 
(Plate VI, figure 2.) 

The microscope also reveals the fact that many of these rocks 
now of fine texture have resulted from cracking up the grains of a 
much coarser rock. In this process the remnants of these origin- 
ally large grains have suffered very little or no displacement, for 
in polarized light they still extinguish together over considerable 
areas. (Plate VI, figure 3.) In some cases, however, these frac- 
tured grains have also been slightly sheared, and, hence, of course, 
the small fragments have rolled somewhat on each other and the 
evidence of its having once been a coarse grained rock is more or 
less completely obliterated. Sometimes, too, these grains show the 
development of a distinct cleavage parallel to the brachypinacoidal 
plane of the crystal ; and more rarely, a basal cleavage is devel- 
oped at right angles to this. 

Besides olivine, either chromite or picotite, while neither is an 
essential constituent of dunite, is always present in rounded grains, 
occasionally in crystals, scattered through the rock ; and hence 
they must be regarded as characteristic accessories. The distinc- 
tion between these two minerals under the microscope, if indeed a 
sharp line may be drawn between them at all, is often quite diffi- 
cult to make. No chemical or other special investigations have 
yet been made in connection with this work, and the two names 
are used rather loosely in the descriptions of microscopic 
characters of the rock. A review of a considerable amount of 
literature on similar studies shows quite a prevalent indefinite- 
ness in referring to these minerals, and emphasizes the need of more 


thorough chemical and microscopic investigation for the purpose 
of establishing definitely the relations between them. 

In the study of these North Carolina rocks, I have called the 
opaque mineral that shows a dull grayish color by reflected light 
chromite / and for all those varieties that are translucent and of a 
yellowish or reddish brown color I have used the name picotite. 
The thoroughly unsatisfactory nature of this classification is more 
readily understood when it is found that every possible gradation 
between the bright yellowish brown, translucent mineral and the 
dull, opaque one are found in the same rock, and, indeed, may 
often be seen in the same thin section. The most natural explanation 
of these facts seems to lie in the hypothesis that we have here a 
complete chemical series, as pointed out by Wadsworth* ; and 
further w T ork on the chemical relations of these minerals, to be of 
the greatest value, should also take into account their microscopic 

In some of the oli vine-feldspar rocks described below, the rela- 
tions are even more striking than this ; for quite frequently the 
clear, translucent picotite is surrounded by a border of opaque min- 
eral with a sharp line between them, and the width of this border 
varies from a thin peripheral line to a band so broad that there 
appears only a minute grain of translucent mineral in the middle. 

The size of the grains of chromite, or picotite, as the case may 
be, usually does not vary very widely from that of the olivine 
grains, though sometimes they are conspicuously larger. This is 
usually true where the quantity present is largely in excess of the 
normal, so that prominent segregations of it appear, sometimes 
attaining the importance of an ore, as mentioned above. Masses 
of such ore have been found in the vicinity of Webster, in Jack- 
son county ; near Burnsville, in Yancey 'county ; northwest of 
Boone, in Watauga county, etc. 

Other accessory constituents of dunite which are seen under the 
microscope, and which sometimes become prominent macroscopi- 
cally, may be briefly mentioned. Enstatite in irregular grains is 
quite often seen, and is sometimes pleochroic. Less often, diallage 
is found. A light green hornblende, in elongated prisms, and giving 

*Lithological Studies, Cambridge, 1884, pp. 176-186. 


under the microscope properties of aetinolite, is often found in the 
rock at Buck creek, Clay county, and sometimes on Shooting creek. 

The minerals described above are the only ones that have been 
at all commonly observed in the perfectly fresh dunite. As soon 
as alteration begins, there appear a considerable number of new 
minerals among the secondary products; and, as has been already 
mentioned, at least some alteration may be seen in most of the 
sections when examined microscopically. 

By far the most prevalent product of alteration, and one that 
is to a certain extent well-nigh universal, is serpentine. The first 
stage in serpentinization of the olivine is seen in the narrow line 
of yellowish or greenish, low-refracting substance that appears 
along the borders of the grains, forming a fine network, which 
completely envelops the olivine. Later, it forms along the irreg- 
ular fissures and cleavage cracks through the individual grains 
themselves ; and gradually, as these are altered more and more 
along their borders, the serpentine replaces the olivine till no 
trace of the original mineral is left. 

In the earlier stages, this alteration is very common, almost 
universal, in the dunite; but, in North Carolina, complete altera- 
tion, save in a few small areas, is exceptional. The process is sel- 
dom carried so far as to destroy the granular, sandy nature of the 
rock over any considerable area. Plate YI (figures 1, 2, 4, and 
5,) shows successive stages in this process, together with some of 
the characteristic phenomena that attend it. A deposition of mag- 
netite in fine grains in the beginning of the alteration is very com- 
mon, and a net-work of black lines is thus formed that often out- 
lines the original olivine grains after the whole has passed into 
massive serpentine. Sometimes the rejected ferruginous materials 
take the form of a lower oxid and stain the serpentine and also 
the olivine remnants a deep yellowish brown. Where cleavages 
are developed in the olivine, the alteration to serpentine usually 
takes place more readily along that parallel to the basal plane, 
though the brachypinacoidal cleavage is always more highly 

The same difference in resistance to chemical action along these 
two planes is observed in the development of chlorite in the olivine. 


StaU faibrary, 


Chlorite is often present in the partially serpentinized specimens 
and also in many cases where there is no serpentine. The horn- 
blende-bearing variety (amphibole-picrite) generally shows more 
or less alteration of the hornblende to chlorite, and sometimes only 
scattered remnants of it are left entirely surrounded by the sec- 
ondary product. 

But chlorite is often distinctly the result of alteration of the 
olivine also, as seen in its frequent development along cracks and 
cleavage planes ; and still more conclusively in those cases where 
the chlorite penetrates the solid olivine grains and gradually 
replaces them, much in the same manner as serpentine. In such alter- 
ation there is, of course, an accession of alumina from some source 
outside of the olivine itself, this mineral being simply a combina- 
tion of the silicates of iron and magnesium in varying proportions 
and entirely free from alumina. The same is true of the produc- 
tion of talc, which is much less frequent in these rocks. With the 
formation of chlorite there also occurs a segregation of the fine 
grains of magnetite into irregular patches or large grains, and 
these are frequently given a skeleton appearance by the laths 01 
chlorite that penetrate them. Such masses of magnetite are almost 
universally surrounded by a zone of chlorite or a mixture of chlo- 
rite and talc, in radiating fibres approximately at right angles to 
their boundaries. 

Tremolite, in long slender needles, is often present with serpen- 
tine and chlorite, and is sometimes largely developed where very 
little of the other two has be enformed. Its secondary nature is 
unmistakable, in most cases, from the manner in which it pene- 
trates the olivine grains in every direction, often passing through 
several in succession without reference to the orientation of cleav- 
ages or crystallographic axes. The tremolite, in turn, is frequently 
more or less altered to talc and chlorite ; and most of the speci- 
mens showing talc also bear some tremolite, so that such alteration 
may often, though not always, account for the presence of talc in 
dunite. In some cases it is evidently the result of alteration of 
enstatite, as shown by remnants of the original mineral and by the 
form which the talc still retains. 

Enstatite, in some cases at least, is a secondary product, as often 



seen in the radial casing which it forms along the joint-planes 
of the dunite. This is especially prominent at the north end of 
Corundum Hill, and is more or less developed in a great many of 
the outcrops throughout the State. 

The casing varies from an inch or less in thickness to 12 or 14 
inches, and generally contains more or less chlorite in scattering 
scales through it. It is always fibrous in structure, with the fibres 
arranged approximately normal to the surface of the enclosed 
dunite ; and may sometimes be separated into two or more con- 
secutive layers, practically identical in structure and composition. 
The outer portions of these casings are often altered to talc, and 
sometimes this has been rendered schistose by subsequent shearing 
so as to wrap these portions round the boulders in thin laminae. 
Such layers are seen to be continuous with the unaltered portions 
of the casing which still stand perpendicular to the surface of the 
enclosed block of dunite. 

Casings of this nature are often broken through in mining for 
corundum, and the enclosed block found to be completely altered 
to a yellow ochreous earth that easily crumbles on exposure. The 
connection of this enstatite with the corundum veins will be dis- 
cussed later in describing the modes of occurrence of corundum. 

Carbonates in small quantities, sometimes forming little veins 
through the rock, are found in the specimens that have suffered 
considerable alteration. They are readily recognized under the 
microscope by their high double refraction and well-developed 
rhombohedral cleavage. ~No tests were made of their chemical 
nature, but they are doubtless ordinary magnesium carbonate, or 

In the final weathering and disintegration of dunite, silica, in 
the form of chalcedony, is deposited in irregular masses in he 
joints and cracks; and garnierite, genthite, and other nickel bear- 
ing silicates are formed in cases where the olivine carries small 
quantities of nickel. These minerals, however, never form impor- 
tant rock masses, though the nickel minerals have been found in 
sufficient quantity in some localities to attract attention from a 
commercial standpoint. 

The original minerals and alteration products described above 


are found in practically all the dnnite localities of the State ; in 
fact, there is remarkably little variation in the characters of the 
rock throughout the region, much less than in the corundum and 
its associated minerals. Such variations as do exist are chiefly in 
the relative proportions of the various minerals resulting from 
alternation rather than in the original constitution of the rock, 
and important characters of this nature will be pointed out below 
in enumerating the peridotite localities. 

b. harzburgite (Saxonite). 

This is essentially an olivine-enstatite rock and is found in this 
region chiefly as a transition between the dunite and the enstatite 
rock described below, though there are a few exceptions and these 
are of sufficient extent and importance to warrant a separate con- 
sideration. The two principal constituents occur in very variable 
proportions, and, besides these, all the accessory minerals of dunite 
are also present. The olivine, chromite, etc., are identical with 
the same minerals as found in dunite, and the enstatite has the 
same essential characteristics. But here it is much more highly 
developed and becomes an essential constituent, being always pres- 
ent in macroscopic dimensions, and prominent for its glistening 
cleavage faces. 

The alteration processes are the same as for dunite. The ensta- 
tite alters in some cat-es to serpentine, just as described for olivine, 
but oftener it changes to talc. This is especially true of the ensta- 
tite in the pyroxenites described below. Harzburgite is found 
principally in large outcrops near Bakersville, Mitchell county, and 
near Elk Cross Roads, Ashe county; Balsam Gap, Jackson county; 
and Mine creek, Yancey county. 


This rock is very similar in structure to the harzburgite described 
above, an amphibole (hornblende) mineral, resembling actinolite, 
replacing the enstatite as an essential constituent. Enstatite is 
frequently present, however, and the grains and crystals of chromite 
or picotite constitute characteristic accessories, as in dunite. The 



hornblende is often partially or wholly altered to chlorite, and it 
is very probable that the chlorite of the olivine rocks of this region 
may have originated often in this manner. A considerable por- 
tion of the Buck creek peridotite mass, especially towards the 
north end of the mountain, is composed of rock which conforms 
closely to this type. 

d. forKIvLExsteix (Troctolite). 

This rock type, composed essentially of olivine and feldspar, has 
been found in important development at only one locality ; 
namely, on the eastern border of the dunite area at Buck creek, 
in Clay county. It is also found in small amounts on Shooting 
creek, where the rock associations are similiar in many ways to 
those of Buck creek. The whole outcrop at the former place covers 
an area of only about two acres, but it is interesting on account 
of its connection with the dunite, instead of with gabbro, as usually 
found, and also on account of the rarity of this type of rock. 
So for as I am aware, this is the first recorded instance of forellen- 
stein as a phase of peridotite. 

The rock is composed almost entirely of olivine and a basic 
feldspar (anorthite), and the zones of intermediate silicates devel- 
oped along the borders between these minerals. 

A small amount of feldspar that was separated by heavy solution 
for analysis showed some kaolinization when examined with the 
microscope, but the following partial analysis places it unmistak- 
ably with anorthite. 

Partial Analysis of Feldspar (Anorthite) from Forellenstein of Buck 
Creek, Clay County, N. C. 

Percentage On basis of 100 
Determined. per cent. 










The percentages, calculated on a basis of 100, are only approxi- 
mately correct for the pure mineral, as magnesia probably exists 
in combination with part of the silica. The quantity available 
was too small to give more than approximate results. 

In this rock, the olivine nowhere borders directly on the feld- 
spar, but it is separated from it by a double zone of fibrous miner- 
als, arranged at right angles to the boundaries. Rarely, one 
portion is absent and the minerals are separated only by a single 
zone. Such reaction rims have been described often from olivine 
gabbros, and their optical properties were carefully studied by Dr. 
F. D. Adams, in an occurrence in the anorthosites of Canada, 
which is exactly similar to this North Carolina rock, except that 
the reaction rims of the latter are somewhat more highly developed 
than in any occurrence heretofore described. 

Dr. Adams found that the portion of this zone adjacent to the 
olivine corresponded in optical properties with enstatite, and that 
the other part is made up of a fibrous green hornblende. In the 
North Carolina rock, this latter is sometimes perfectly continuous 
with large cleavable masses of hornblende, and its identity is thus 
easily recognized microscopically. But the other portion cannot 
be satisfactorily determined without separation of the minerals 
from the powdered rock, and this I hope to do before the publica- 
tion of the final report on these rocks. 


Two types of this family are found in closest connection' with 
the peridotites, and sometimes passing gradually into them, though 
usually much more sharply differentiated than the different varie- 
ties of the peridotite from each other. Two very distinct types of 
pyroxenite have been observed, namely, that composed of ortho- 
rhombic pyroxene, enstatite rock ; and, one consisting of both 
monoclinic and orthorhombic pyroxenes, websterite. 


This rock, as its name indicates, is composed chiefly of the ortho- 
rhombic pyroxene, which is usually in large bladed, interlocking 



crystals of a grayish or yellowish color. In some places where it is 
considerably developed it forms a mass perfectly continuous with the 
dunite, as at Corundum Hill, Macon county, and in some of the 
outcrops of the Sapphire mine in Jackson county. At other 
Sapphire localities, and especially in Transylvania and Watauga 
counties, it forms separate rock masses of considerable extent. 
Besides occasional grains of olivine and chromite, this rock scarcely 
contains anything else than enstatite and its alteration products. 

The alteration consists entirely, so far as observed in this region, 
of a change into talc. Even the freshest looking specimens often 
have greenish, transparent talc developed in them, and frequently 
large masses that have undergone this alteration still retain 
perfectly the form and appearance of the original mineral. This 
is often true also of talc in enstatite-bearing peridotite (harzburg- 
ite), as may be seen in that near Balsam gap, in Jackson county. 

Dr. C. D. Smith considered the chief constituent of this rock to 
be anthophyllite,* and the same term has been employed by some 
later writers. Rocks of a similar character at the Pine Mountain 
mine, Rabun county, Georgia, are also called anthophyllite by Mr. 
Francis P. King.* 

In view of this usage and the extreme scarcity of well deter- 
mined localities for true orthorhombic amphibole, I had a specimen 
of the mineral from Corundum Hill analyzed in the laboratory of 
the Survey by Dr. Charles Baskerville, with the result given below 
in column I. Talc could be seen in small amounts in the specimen 
from which the sample was taken. This was carefully excluded 
from the material analyzed, but the high percentage of water shows 
that considerable alteration had taken place. There can be no 
doubt, however, of the true character of the mineral. Deducting 
the water and calculating the percentage on the basis of 100, we 
obtain the results given in column II., and these figures represent 
a normal enstatite with a high iron constituent, and near the 
bronzite variety. 

*Report Geol. Sur. N. C L, 1875, appendix, page 93. 
♦Bulletin 2, Geol. Sur. of Georgia, 1894. pages 79, 82, etc. 



An analysis of another specimen from the same locality by Mr. 
Frank Julian* is given in column III, for comparison. 

Analyses of enstatite from Corundum Hill, Macon county : 











Ferrous oxid 







Manganese oxid 





No other specimens have been determined, and the name is 
applied to rocks of other localities on general resemblance. It 
is possible that some of them may prove to be of a different nature. 


This rock was first described and named by the late Dr. G. H. 
Williams from specimens collected at Webster, Jackson county.* 
Thus far, besides the type locality near the town of Webster, it 
has been observed only in the continuation of the same outcrop of 
dunite on Cnne creek, about six miles further east. It is composed 
of both orthorhombic and monoclinic pyroxenes in a compact, gran- 
ular mass, closely resembling the dunite with which it is associated, 
and forming a part of the same rock mass. So far as observed, 
however, there is no gradual transition from one to the other, the 
two types remaining quite distinct. 

The Webster dunite, as before stated, is very highly laminated, 
and in the midst of this rock, which appears on a hillside facing 
the Tuckaseegee river in an outcrop over 1,500 feet wide, the web- 
sterite occupies a width of about 300 feet. It may be traced for 
about a mile in length, in this type locality ; then it thins out and 
does not appear again, except in the Cane creek outcrop mentioned 

♦Bulletin 74, TJ. S. Geol. Sur., Minerals of North Carolina, 1891, page 43. 
♦American Geologist, VI, 1890, pages 41-44. . 


above. It is more massive in character than the dunite, has a more 
brilliant green color, and is less altered on the surface. It is also 
quite prominent in the field, owing to the vigorous vegetation 
which it supports, in contrast with the barren dunite. 


This term is here used to indicate massive rocks composed 
wholly or chiefly of amphiboles. The most important to be 
considered here is the beautiful green, feldspathic, hornblende 
rock, which often bears pink and red corundum in the Shoot- 
ing creek and Buck creek localities of Clay county. It is 
principally composed of grass-green hornblende and the lime- 
feldspar, anorthite, in greatly varying proportions ; and its struc- 
ture is usually laminated and gneissic, though massive forms are 
not entirely wanting. The corundum which it bears occurs in 
masses from the minutest microscopic grains to broad cleavable 
plates three or four inches in diameter. 

The rock is very fine-grained and exceedingly tough ; and, hence, 
it has not been found practicable to crush it for the separation of 
the corundum. Transitions from this type to the dunite, with 
which it occurs, are found on top of the mountain west of the mine, 
at Buck creek. The intermediate stages have about the same com- 
position and structure as the forellenstein described above ; but 
they never assume sufficient importance in this connection to be 
classed as a separate rock. The relations of this rock to the dunite 
(see map, plate III) is strongly suggestive of a system of dikes 
cutting the latter. On Shooting creek, Clay county, it usually 
occurs in narrow strips beside the dunite, though sometimes in 
masses of equal size. 

The hornblende of this rock has usually been referred to the 
species smaragdite* but analyses show it to be an aluminous horn- 
blende, and the late Professor Dana classed it with edenite. The bril- 
liant color is undoubtedly due to the chromium present. This is more 
plainly seen when the powder of the rock is examined under the 

*F. A. Genth, Bulletin 74, U. S. Geological Survey, 1891, 45. F. P. King, Bulletin 2, GeoL 
Survey of Georgia, 1894, 44, 45. 



microscope. When the mineral is separated from this powder with 
heavy solutions, the heavier fragments are all seen to contain 
inclusions of picotite in minute grains, and to be of a much 
brighter green immediately around these inclusions. This will 
account for some of the chromic oxid found in analyses. The 
purer mineral thus separated was analyzed by Dr. Charles Basker- 
ville, with the results given in column I. That in column II is an 
analysis of the same mineral (without separating the grains with 
picotite) given by Dr. Grenth in the bulletin referred to above. 

Analyses of Aluminous hornblende from Buck creek, Clay county : 











Chromic oxid 


Ferrous oxid 


Nickelous oxid 






Manganese oxid 









Specific gravity 



The specific gravity given by Dr. Genth was determined on the 
grass-green variety, and it is natural to suppose that picotite inclu- 
sions cause the greater weight as well as the higher chrome per- 
centage. Feldspar was separated and found to agree both in spe- 
cific gravity and extinction angles with typical anorthite. 



Besides the schistose phases of the massive rocks described 
above, there are found frequent large masses of talc- and chlorite- 
schists in connection with the typical dunite, as well as with the 
other associated rocks. Serpentine is extensively developed in only 
one portion of the region, and is evidently an altered dunite. 


Massive serpentine is almost the universal result of exposure of 
olivine rocks to hydration process. These rocks in Xorth Car- 
olina have been subjected to this alteration in but few places. 
Throughout the greater portion of the belt, the outcrops of the 
peridotites are almost perfectly fresh to the very surface of the 
exposure ; and such alteration as has taken place is usually in the 
nature of a direct decomposition of the olivine, forming magne- 
sium carbonate, which is mostly carried away in solution, and a 
residue of. limonite and silica, the latter remaining as chalcedony. 
As stated in the description of dunite, however, most of the sec- 
tions of this rock show, under the microscope, some slight altera- 
tion to serpentine along the cracks; and it seems quite probable 
that this is the first stage in the decomposition and disintegration 
of the rock through ordinary weathering processes. 

The production of serpentine scarcely reaches a greater develop- 
ment, in the majority of cases, than to form a thin net-work along 
the cracks of the olivine ; and this is seldom perceptible to the 
naked eye. On the most exposed surfaces, where the rock is super- 
ficially stained by the iron oxids of the decomposing olivine, the 
typical granular structure is still retained; and, with the excep- 
tion of a small area at Buck creek, Clay county, there is no devel- 
opment of massive serpentine south of Waynesville. 

But very different conditions have evidently prevailed somewhat 
further north ; for in Buncombe, Madison, and Yancey counties 
we find these granular rocks largely altered to typical, massive 


serpentine. The outcrops appear in the same form as found in the 
olivine rocks, and the characteristic chromite grains are always 
present. Under the microscope, thin sections often also show the 
original granular nature of the rock in the net-like or "mesh" 
structure of the fibrous serpentine bands that were first formed 
around the olivine grains. This structure is still more emphasized 
if, as is often the case, in the early stages of serpen tinization, there 
was a separation of magnetite or other ferruginous material along 
these bands. 

A serpentine retaining quite a large percentage of unaltered 
olivine is found on Ivy river, in Madison county. Sections of this 
rock, seen under the microscope, have the appearance of that 
shown in plate YI, figure 4 ; and, in some cases, the olivine 
grains are quite distinctly seen with the unaided eye. 

However, most of the serpentine represented on the map, espe- 
cially that in the vicinity of the French Broad river below Ashe- 
ville, is massive and of light to dark green color, and is in every 
way similar to that of Maryland and Pennsylvania, in the north- 
ward continuation of the belt. In these States, it is quarried for 
architectural purposes, and may be seen in many buildings in the 
cities of Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. There would 
seem to be no special reason why the serpentine of North Carolina 
should not be used in the same maimer, especially w T here trans- 
portation facilities are good. Stone of good color is available in 
many of the localities indicated on the map ; but thus far, no 
attempt has been made to utilize it.* 

Many people in the corundum region of North Carolina use the 
term serpentine indiscriminately, and in most cases incorrectly, for 
any rock of the peridotite belt, especially when associated with 

*See "Notes on Building and Ornamental Stone, 11 by J. V. Lewis. 1st Biennial Report of 
the State Geologist, 1893, pages 101, 102. 





As already mentioned in the geologic sketch of this region, 
there is always a greater or less development of talc along the 
boundaries of the peridotites and pyroxenites, separating them from 
the gneisses of the country. But there are considerable masses of 
enstatite rock sometimes entirely altered to talc. Such rocks may, 
and sometimes do, retain the form and appearance of the original; 
but generally they have been rendered schistose by subsequent 

Besides these larger masses, narrow strips of schistose talc are 
very generally developed along lamination of the gneisses as a con- 
tinuation of the outcrops of the magnesian rocks; and these some- 
times connect two or more lenticular masses of dunite or pyroxenite 
across intervals of two or three miles. The width of such strips 
seldom exceeds ten or fifteen feet, and is very frequently less. 
They are composed of rather pure, white and grayish talc, and are 
always schistose. Their chief importance, of course, lies in their 
close connection with the massive rocks. All the talcose rocks, 
frequently the chloritic schists, and sometimes even the peridotites 
are locally termed "soapstone," or "serpentine." 

In many portions of the peridotite belt, especially in the north- 
western counties of North Carolina, soapstone of the firmer and 
more massive varieties assumes considerable importance on account 
of its extensive local use. Its great resistance to heat makes it a 
most enduring material for the construction of fireplaces ; and its 
use for this purpose is almost universal in regions where it can 
be readily obtained. It is easily cut into desired shapes with 
ordinary saws, axes, and planes, such as are used in wood-work. 
While the copper mine was operated at Ore Knob, Ashe county, 
great quantities of soapstone were used for furnace linings, all of 
which was cut from the neighboring peridotite belt in Ashe and 
Alleghany counties. This material also finds an extensive local 
use for tombstones on account of the ease with which it is shaped 
and lettered. 






Where corundum is found in connection with dunite, there is 
always more or less chlorite developed about the borders of the 
rock mass and through the larger joints ; but the chlorite itself, in 
such cases, never assumes the importance of a rock. In certain 
localities, however, especially on the waters of the Tuckaseegee 
river above Webster, there are narrow strips of chlorite rock, com- 
parable in many ways to those of talc described above, but in no 
way connected with known olivine rocks. They are apparently 
independent masses, usually schistose in character, and sometimes 
bear corundum. In these cases the corundum is surrounded by 
alteration zones of muscovite, but, besides the chlorite, the rock 
has no other prominent constituent. The chlorite rocks are often 
talcose, and sometimes pass over into the type described above. 
Whether talcose or not, they are usually known to the people as 
"blue soapstone." , 



A great peridotite-serpentine belt, coextensive in length with 
the Appalachian mountain system (see map, plate II), traverses the 
crystalline schists and gneisses from Tallapoosa county in eastern 
central Alabama, where these rocks emerge from beneath the later 
formations to the southward, to Trenton, New Jersey, where they 
disappear for a space under the younger sedimentary rocks to the 
northward. Throughout this distance of over 800 miles, the perid- 
otites are found along a narrow belt of disconnected outcrops 
with an approximate trend of north 45° east. 

In the southern half of this belt, dunite is the prevailing type of 
rock, but in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, it is repre- 
sented only by the secondary forms — serpentine and talc rocks. 
Chromite is almost a constant accompaniment throughout the 
region, and in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Alabama, corundum is also found in the same 



With the reappearance of the crystalline belt, we find serpentine 
again at Hoboken, New Jersey, and on Staten island. Other 
occurrences of a similar nature are found in northern New York, 
Massachusetts, Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and at Deer 
island on the coast of Maine. The distribution of these rocks is 
indicated on the accompanying map, plate II. The occurrence of 
corundum in these regions is discussed further on, but it may be 
stated here that, with two exceptions, it is not found with 
olivine rocks north of Pennsylvania. The two localities excepted 
are the emery deposits of Westchester county, New York, and the 
corundum found at Pelham, Massachusetts. 


The highest development of these magnesian rocks is attained in 
North Carolina, where, in the southwestern connties, the outcrops 
are thickly scattered over a region nearly forty miles in width. In 
this region also — at Buck creek, in Clay county, and at Webster, 
in Jackson county (see plates III and Y) — occur the two largest 
dunite outcrops of the whole belt, covering areas of approximately 
three-fourths and one-half a square mile respectively. It will be 
seen, however, that the amount of corundum bears no relation to that 
of the dunite ; for very little corundum has been found at Webster, 
while the mine at Corundum Hill, (see plate IY) which has fur- 
nished a steady output of corundum for seventeen years, covers an 
area of only ten acres. 

A more detailed description of localities is desirable in order to 
point out local characteristics and variations in the rocks that 
could not be represented on the map. 

Along the southern boundary of the State, tliese rocks group 
themselves roughly into three sub-belts, located approximately in 
the valleys of the Chattooga, the Little Tennessee, and the Hi- 
wassee rivers, though none of these retains its individuality for 
any considerable distance. In Union county, Georgia, two and 
a half miles south of the Towns county line, is the Track Rock 
corundum mine. The magnesian rocks outcrop here chiefly in the 
form of talcose chlorite schist. Little typical dunite is found, 


though olivine grains are sometimes seen in the chlorite on the 
fresh fracture, and an altered dunite was found here bj Mr. Francis 
P. King, of the Geological Survey of Georgia. * This outcrop 
is continued for two or three miles both north and south of the 
gap, by talcose rocks; and northward the line is almost continu- 
ous to the the Hamilton mine, which is located about a mile and a 
half south of the North Carolina line. Near the road, about a 
mile north of Young-Harris, is a small mass of forellenstein, and, 
so far as observed, this is the only exception to the prevalent talc- 
chlorite rocks of this line. 

From this point, the line of outcrop drops back five miles to 
the east, and appears again in normal dunite a mile and a half 
north of Hiawassee. Here a long strip of laminated dunite crosses 
the road and may be followed for more than half a mile; and, a 
little further up Bell creek, two oval masses occur very near 
together, with dimensions of 400 or 500 feet. Near this, on the 
north slope of Bell knob, is a band of talc rocks interlaminated with 
gneiss, and the talc is found in almost a continuous line to the 
waters of Shooting creek in Clay county, North Carolina. 


Here considerable chlorite is found, gradually passing into less 
altered dunite near Shooting creek postoffice. After an interval 
of two miles, this line is again found at the foot of Chunky Gal moun- 
tain, composed of dunite and considerable schistose talc, in a strip 
rarely attaining a width of forty feet, but continuous for three 
miles across the mountain, and disappearing within a mile of the 
great Buck creek area. 

Three miles above the mouth of Shooting creek, in the vicinity 
of Elf postoffice, are two other narrow strips of dunite very close 
together and lying parallel in the lamination of the gneiss for 
about a mile. Occasionally feldspathic phases are developed in 
these rocks, and in one place a peculiar lamination is found where 
feldspar and enstatite alternate with olivine in laminae of half an 
inch to three inches in thickness. This lamination is almost at 

^'Bulletin No. 2, Geological Survey of Georgia, p. 93. 



right angles to that of the gneiss, and the whole is enclosed in 
massive dunite. Accompanying the western strip almost its entire 
length, is amphibolite, varying all the way from almost pure feld- 
spar to pure hornblende rock. The latter is of a brilliant grass- 
green, and sometimes bears beautiful red corundum. This strip 
differs also from the other in being continued northeastward for 
nearly three miles, by a narrow line of talc outcrops. 

We now come to the Buck creek area, which is the largest 
compact mass of peridotite in the State, and in fact, the largest 
yet observed in the Appalachian belt. There is a greater surface 
exposure in the vicinity of Webster, but it is drawn out into con- 
siderable length, and in that respect differs markedly from that at 
Buck creek. 

The form and extent of this outcrop are shown in plate III, 
which is reduced from a large-scale map made during the summer 
of 1894. Points of especial interest, which will be dwelt on more 
fully in a later report, are the amphibolite and forellenstein and 
their relations to the dunite, the arms (apophyses) passing into the 
surrounding gneiss, and the structure of the gneiss itself. In a 
general way these points are shown in the accompanying map 
(plate III) sufficiently well not to require further description here. 
The area of this outcrop is approximately half a square mile. 


The broad region over which the peridotites occur in this county, 
as contrasted with the width elsewhere, especially northward, 
would seem to indicate that considerable disturbance has taken 
place here. Whatever theory may be adopted to account for the 
origin of the peridotites, the conclusion that a number of parallel 
breaks (fault-planes, or fissures) have been formed in this region is 
one that is readily suggested by a study of the map (plate I). A 
mile or two south of the State line, in Rabun county, Georgia, 
small lenticular masses of dunite and enstatite rock are devel- 
oped on Bettys creek. Much of this enstatite is quite fibrous and 

On the road from Franklin, North Carolina, to Clayton, Georgia, 
and almost on the State line, is an outcrop of dunite with consid- 







(Showing directions of strike and dip.) 



Corundum Workings 



Macon County, N.C. 

r>u J. Volncij Lewis, 1B95. 

Topography by Chas. E Cooke. 

Contour Interval 10 feet. 

100 000 300 




erable schistose talc ; and for fifteen miles down the Little Tennes- 
see river, numerous small, often entirely isolated, outcrops are 
scattered over the country. These arrange themselves approxi- 
mately in lines and are represented on the map as continuous 
masses, where, strictly, there should be a number of small dots. 
Some of these are enstatite, and they are often represented on the 
surface only by the talc that has resulted from their alteration. 

Between the Cullasaja river and the Jackson county line, an 
area on the spurs of the Cowee mountains is thickly dotted with 
typical oval masses of normal dunite, of which the well-known 
Corundum Hill outcrop may be taken as an example (plate IY). 
Many of the masses are somewhat larger or different in shape from 
this, but the variation is nowhere very great, and the same general 
type prevails. Plate IY is a topograhic map of Corundum Hill, 
and shows its most prominent characteristics. This rather blunt, 
lens-shaped mass of dunite has an extent of about ten acres, and 
the rock is laid bare over almost the entire surface. Enstatite, 
which is developed at the south end of this outcrop, is not usually 
found in the other places in this vicinity, though scattered grains 
and nodules of it are quite common. 

As indicated on the map, corundum is found over this entire area 
between Walnut and Ellijay creeks, north of the Cullasaja, and 
considerable activity is manifested in the search for workable 


In the line of strike of the gneisses of the Cullasaja region, are 
found, in Jackson county, a series of long strips of chlorite schist, 
as mentioned in the description of that rock, in the vicinity of the 
forks of the Tuckaseegee river. Similar narrow bands of talc 
schist are occasionally seen in the same region. 

In some respects the dunite area at Webster (plate Y) is the 
most remarkable outcrop of the whole Appalachian belt. In point 
of shape it is entirely unique, bearing no resemblance, as a whole, 
to the prevailing lenticular form. The line of outcrop traces an 
almost unbroken ellipse, mostly northeast of Webster, with a major 
axis of six miles lying north 25° east, and a minor axis of three 



and a half miles. The width of exposure varies from a third of a 
mile at Webster to extremely attenuated strips of talc in several 
places ; and on the eastern side five complete breaks occur, the 
smaller disconnected masses having the typical lenticular form. 

Near its northern extremity, at Addie, an irregular mass projects 
into the gneisses within the ellipse; and a little further west, a 
gneiss area is entirely enclosed by slender strips of dunite and talc. 
Near Sylva, on the western side of the area, for a short distance, 
the deep soil covering rendered it impossible to determine whether 
the belt is continuous or not ; and hence it is indicated there by a 
dotted line on the map. Plate Y is reduced from a map of this 
region which has been prepared for publication in the final report 
on the corundum belt ; but the most prominent features alluded to 
above are sufficiently well shown as not to require further explan- 

Another important peculiarity of this Webster area is the high 
development of lamination ; and this is best seen in the larger out- 
crops about Webster and Addie. In its broadest portion, on the 
hillside facing the river at Webster, is the type locality of web- 
sterite, as mentioned in the description of that rock. It forms a 
strip within the dunite about 300 feet wide in its greatest develop- 
ment, and may be identified for a distance of about a mile. The 
only other locality where I have seen this rock is on the eastern 
side of this ellipse, about a mile above the mouth of Cane creek. 

The peculiar form of the outcrop renders the structure of this 
area unusually interesting. The strikes conform to the outline of 
the ellipse, the dips, both inside and outside, are away from the 
centre, and, in general, steeper as we go outward. The directions 
of strike and dip are indicated by the symbols in the gneiss area, 
near the borders of the dunite. 

Near the head of Cane creek, and within half a mile of the 
isolated dunite masses which form the eastern portion of the Web- 
ster outcrop, another line of dunite and talc schists begins, which 
is continued by a series of disconnected masses in a direction north 
45° east almost to the Haywood county line, at Balsam gap. Near 
the gap, a very coarse grained phase is developed, which bears 





enstatite altered to talc, and good exposures are seen in railroad 

In the southern portion of Jackson county, several small danite 
areas are found in the vicinity of Glenville, and associated with 
these, talc and chlorite schists are developed in narrow belts. But 
dunite is found in much greater abundance in the region about 
Sapphire, including portions of both Jackson and Transylvania 

Directly southwest of these outcrops and in the direction of trend 
of the gneiss, is the Laurel creek corundum mine, in Rabun county, 
Georgia. This mine is very similar in many respects to that at 
Corundum Hill. The dunite outcrops in an oblong, somewhat 
irregular mass, covering an area rather larger than that of Corun- 
dum Hill ; and, so far as observed, no arms branch off into the 
surrounding gneiss. The nature of the rocks is the same, though 
a much larger development of enstatite is found. The principal 
differences between these two mines are found in the minerals 
developed with the corundum ; and further reference will be made 
to these in describing the modes of occurrence of corundum. 

Several small areas of dunite and talc rocks are found between 
the State line and Sapphire, and quite a large area in the vicinity 
of the latter place is thickly dotted with dunite and enstatite 
rocks. Many of the smaller outcrops are necessarily merged into 
each other on the map. 

d. Transylvania county. 

In the southwestern portion of the county, adjoining the Sap- 
phire region of Jackson, the rocks are the same as those mentioned 
above, but enstatite rook becomes more and more prevalent as we 
pass northeastward into the valley of the upper French Broad 
river. Often the surface exposures of this rock are entirely altered 
to talc, and all the northwestern portion represented on the map 
by the talc-chlorite symbol is composed of narrow strips of talc 
schist, seldom exceeding twenty feet in width. Those nearer Bre- 
vard are similar strips of chlorite, becoming quite talcose towards 
the northeast. They are made up of several outcrops of "soap- 



stone," as it is called, which could not be definitely connected by 
search for intervening exposures ; but, on account of the small 
scale, they have been thrown into continuous lines on the map. 


From the crest of the Balsam mountains, the Haywood-Jackson 
county line, a gap occurs in the peridotite belt, to the Pigeon 
river above Clyde — a distance of 15 miles. Just north of the 
river, scattering outcrops of soapstone occur over an area of sev- 
eral square miles. But peridotite does not appear till we reach 
the North Fork of Hominy creek, two and a half miles northeast 
of Canton, the railroad station at the crossing of Pigeon river. 
Here a strip of dunite several hundred feet wide and about half a 
mile long crosses the road near the creek. Another small lens 
occcurs near the head of the creek, and a strip of talc schist and 
still another dunite outcrop is found in New Found gap. A mile 
west of this line and on the waters of North Fork is the amphib- 
olite outcrop in which is located the Presley corundum mine. 

/. buncombe; county. 

For a distance of seven miles from the county line at New Found 
gap, the belt is not represented except for a small strip of talc 
which extends for a short distance from the dunite at the gap. 
Near Leicester, where the Asheville road crosses New Found creek, 
another mass of dunite occurs with dimensions not exceeding thirty 
by one hundred feet. A mile southeast of this, a small serpentine 
outcrop about ten feet wide is found and, very near this another 
serpentine mass about forty feet wide and about half a mile long. 

Less than a mile further down New Found creek, two outcrops 
are found about 150 feet apart — one a strip of serpentine ten feet 
wide, and the other a typical dunite about thirty feet in width. 
Both of these outcrops have been cut across in search of nickel 
ore, and their nature is well shown. Decayed gneiss appears 
between, and, as far as the outcrops show, the two masses have no 
connection with each other. 


StaU £# pi 

ar^ t 


For a distance of eight miles from this point, serpentine and 
talc are the only basic magnesian rocks found. The belt crosses 
the French Broad river a mile above Alexander — eight miles below 
Asheville — in two narrow strips of serpentine that may be seen 
north of the river on the Asheville road. 

The river gorge here shows a fine section of the gneiss. It con- 
tains many granitic and other igneous intrusions and its lamination 
planes have been twis'ed and contorted in the most intricate man- 
ner. Doubtless the forces which produced these phenomena have 
had great influence in the hydration processes that produced the 
serpentine and talc in the dunite belt through this region. 

Through the Flat Creek mountains, only strips of talc and a little 
serpentine are found, except one small outcrop of dunite five miles 
from the French Broad river, near the head of Flat creek. The 
talc outcrop is almost if not quite continuous to Morgan hill, two 
miles south of the Madison county line. At this point, it connects 
directly with a typical dunite mass which in a very short distance 
attains a width of 400 to 500 feet, and is continuous with about 
the same dimensions for three miles, ending with the Carter corun- 
dum mine in Madison county. 

This strip is remarkable for its size and the constancy of its 
characters over so great a distance. Most of it is laminated, though 
less so than that of Webster, and nickel and chrome stains are 
quite prominent. Talc is highly developed along the borders, and 
chalcedony is found in rather larger quantities than usual. Corun- 
dum has attracted attention only in the northern portion of the 
outcrop, beyond Ivy river; and important deposits have been found 
only in the corner of Madison county, at the Carter mine. 

The second parallel strip that was found at the crossing of the 
French Broad river is still traceable in the narrow strip of talc 
that appears at intervals from half a mile to a mile east of the 
principal outcrop. 


The Carter corundum mine is located in the north end of the 
outcrop last described, which is continuous from Morgan hill, in 
Buncombe county. Three miles north of this, serpentine again 



appears on Paint Fork of Ivy river. Light green, massive rock 
predominates, but some portions show a considerable amount of 
unaltered olivine fragments visible to the naked eye. The outcrop 
at the road is about 100 feet wide and is continuous for about 
three miles toward Faint gap. At one point, a small mass of 
unaltered dunite occurs about one-eigth of a mile east of the ser- 
pentine, having a width of about fifty feet and interlaminated at 
the borders with gneiss. This outcrop shows no tendency to the 
development of massive serpentine. 

The second and minor belt is represented in this county by dark 
green serpentine on the head waters of Terrys Fork, about two 
miles east of the main belt, in an outcrop about 200 feet wide. 

Ten or twelve miles west of the principal peridotite belt just 
described, is a zone of scattering soapstone outcrops, which crosses 
the French Broad river two miles below Marshall. This zone 
seems to have its beginning in a series of similar rocks found north 
of Clyde, in Haywood county. In the southern part of Madison 
county, soapstone occurs on the headwaters of Spring and Sandy 
Mush creeks, and a number of outcrops are found along the course 
of the latter within a few miles of its mouth. It appears then on 
Little Pine creek, and on both sides of the French Broad river 
below Marshall. Outcrops occur at intervals as we pass up Wal- 
nut creek, and in a number of places on the waters of Big Laurel 
creek, on the north side of the county. 

The chief constituent of these outcrops is schistose talc with 
more or less chlorite, the latter in a few places predominating, or 
occurring almost pure. But one important exception was found to 
this rule, and that is an outcrop two miles north of Marshall, on 
Walnut creek, at the county poor-house. The rock here consists 
largely of talc also ; but scattered thickly through it are grain: and 
crystals of olivine, varying in size from a small fraction of an inch 
to one or two inches in diameter. A rock exactly similar to this, 
near Philadelphia, except that the olivine has largely altered to 
serpentine, has been called "perido-steatite" Several of the soap- 
stone outcrops in this Madison county zone are full of small "rust- 
holes," as though similar olivine crystals had weathered out of it. 



Crossing the mountains about Paint gap, only talc schists repre- 
sent the belt till near Cnney river the serpentine is again found on 
Possum Trot (McElroys) and Bald creeks. 

Here it has the same general characters as that on Paint Fork, 
and the outcrops indicate masses of approximately the same dimen- 
sions. Beyond Caney river, no direct extension of this line is 
known, but two miles to the eastward, irregular outcrops of dunite 
occur on the waters of Prices and Banks creeks, accompanied by 
a little serpentine and a narrow strip of chlorite schist. Small 
talc outcrops are also found on the Green mountains north of 

Four miles north of Burnsville, on Mine Fork of Jacks creek, a 
very prominent lenticular mass of peridotite appears. It is about 
half a mile long and 500 feet wide, and forms two small hills, one 
on either side of the creek. The rock is normal harzburgite of 
greenish yellow color, rather plentifully sprinkled with chromite 
grains, and much of it contains talc scales of the form and appear- 
ance of the original enstatite. A small peridotite mass occurs 
half a mile north of this, and then the line of outcrop swerves sud- 
denly eastward, just before reaching the Toe river. For the rest 
of the distance within the county, it is represented only by narrow 
talc strips and occasionally a little serpentine. 

A still smaller belt appears to the east of this line of principal 
outcrops, and this is seen in a narrow talc strip about two miles 
northeast of Burnsville, and in a mass of dunite on Chestnut 
mountain, four miles east of the locality on Mine Fork described 

This last locality is perhaps the purest type of olivine rock yet 
observed in the whole belt. The outcrop is about 300 by 700 feet, 
oval in shape, and forms a hill about 200 feet high, with a per- 
fectly barren rocky surface except for occasional bunches of sedge 
that grow in the crevices of the rocks. The longer axis of this 
mass lies north 10° west. Besides light greenish yellow olivine, the 
rock contains only a few disseminated scales of chlorite and, in 
places, small flecks and interlacing veins of talc. The rock lias 



weathered to a dull brown on the surface, but shows very little 
alteration of any other kind. At the contact with the mica schist 
in which it is enclosed there is a radial border of fibrous enstatite 
altered mostly to talc, but such borders do not follow the joints 
within the mass, as is often the case in other localities. 

Ten miles west of Burnsville, in Egypt township, on the slopes 
of Sampson and Bald mountains, occurs a strip of rocks that must 
be considered as belonging here. At its southern extremity is 
located the Hayes (or Egypt) corundum mine, and the predominant 
rock is enstatite with a little dunite, the latter considerably altered 
to tremolite. Three separate masses of enstatite rock occur at the 
mine, and the line of outcrop is almost continuous across Bald 
Mountain creek. From this point narrow talc strips were found 
northward for a distance of four miles. 

Again, on the eastern border of the county, we find a belt of 
enstatite rocks, and talc resulting from their hydration, along the 
valley of the South Toe river. Six miles south of the forks of Toe 
river, corundum is found with one of these outcrops on Bailey 
mountain. A mile east of this, there is a large outcrop of the 
talc-olivine rock ("perido-steatite") described above (see Madison 
county). The olivine crystals in this case are, however, much 
larger, some of them being several inches in diameter. 


Eight miles south of Bakers ville, and just north of the ford of 
South Toe river, is an outcrop about one-fourth of a mile long and 
300 to 400 feet wide, composed chiefly of dunite, though there is 
also considerable enstatite rock ; and forming the transition 
between these two types, harzburgite is developed. This locality 
is very similar to that at the Woody place described next below. 

Two and a half miles south of Bakersville is a large lenticular 
outcrop of dunite on what is known as the Woody place. It is 
about 300 by 600 feet and the long axis lies north 65° east. It is 
a light green dunite with considerable masses of enstatite rock. 
Very little chromite was seen. Cellular and compact chalcedony 
and nickel stains are abundant. The hillside which is composed of 
this rock is quite barren and rocky. 


From this place a line of enstatite and talc rocks, outcropping at 
frequent intervals, extends up Cane creek. One small dunite 
mass appears near the summit of Grassy Ridge Bald, considerably 
to the north of the general line; but the original direction is con- 
tinued by the large outcrops on North Toe river, six miles south 
of Cranberry, near the mouth of Roaring creek. This is a large, 
irregular area which is continuous for nearly a mile with a width 
of 150 to 200 feet, 

Considerable chromite is found in some portions of the rock, 
and chrysotile (fibrous serpentine, commonly called asbestos) is 
highly developed at the north end of the exposure, just below the 
mouth of Squirrel creek. Another area of dunite occurs near this, 
on the side of Haw mountain. 

At Bellevue, on the summit of Fork mountain, two miles south 
of Cranberry, dunite also appears in an outcrop abolit 200 feet 
wide and greatly altered to serpentine and talc. The outcrop can 
be traced by a strip of the latter for about one-fourth of a mile. 

But here we evidently encounter the results of very great and com- 
plex earth movements, as shown by the manner in which the rocks 
of the Ocoee formation have sufferen folding, crumpling and gen- 
eral breaking up ; and also by the presence of considerable bodies 
of massive rocks. In this region of intense confusion, no recogniz- 
able peridotites or related rocks have been observed for a distance 
of about sixteen miles from the outcrop at Bellevue mentioned 


Normal conditions are somewhat restored in the upturned edges 
of the gneisses on the western side of Rich mountain, just north of 
Boone. The first appearance of peridotite is observed in the road 
about two and a half miles west of Boone, where atypical yellow- 
ish dunite appears in a small outcrop. From this point outcrops 
occur at intervals in a curved line following the general trend of 
the mountain for a distance of four miles northward. More or less 
talc and asbestos accompany these occurences. 

Near where the road crosses the mountain at the northern 
extremity of this line, a considerable body of chromite has been 



removed in prospecting. It was in the form of a lenticular mass 
lying in the pure olivine rock, narrowing within a few feet of the 
surface to a small vein. These places constitute the last dunite 
outcrops found on the belt within the State. Further northward, 
enstatite becomes a predominating element, as in the region about 
Sapphire, in Jackson county, and in a number of cases constitutes 
the whole mass of the rock. 

Just east of the northern extremity of this Eich mountain dunite, 
and about four miles north of Boone, an enstatite rock is encoun- 
tered — in places altered into talc on the surface — forming, 
in some cases, masses of a hundred feet or more in width and 
traceable across the country continuously for about two miles. 
Other areas of less importance are indicated on the map, but it is 
scarcely necessary to mention them all in detail. 

Of the other areas indicated on the map, one six miles east of 
Boone, on the crest of the Blue Ridge just north of Cook gap, is 
worthy of mention. Talc, bearing fine radiating actinolite, is the 
predominant rock in an outcrop about fifty feet wide and, per- 
haps, three or four times as long. But there are also large masses 
of dark green serpentine, the only occurrence of this rock that I 
have found north of Cranberry. About one-fourth of a mile north- 
east of this, another outcrop of soapstone of about the same dimen- 
sions is found on the estern slope of the Blue Hidge. 


An outcrop of importance, both on account of its unusual size 
and the type of rock represented, is found on the middle fork of 
Elk creek three miles from its mouth, and situated just east of the 
Watauga county line. Here an immense mass of harzburgite, the 
olivine-enstatite peridotite, forms heavy cliffs on the western 
slope of Black mountain, and great quantities of it have rolled 
down into the creek below. The rock consists of about equal 
parts of enstatite and olivine, and the texture varies from a uni- 
form fine grain to that in which both constituents assume dimen- 
sions of three or four inches. Blocks of scaly chlorite, bearing 
red garnets one-fourth of an inch in diameter and occasional crys- 
tals of magnetite, are also found. 


Four miles northeast of the outcrop just described, is another 
great mass of harzburgite, on Bee Ridge, a short spur on the east 
side of Elk Ridge. The mass is about a thousand feet wide, length 
undetermined, and presents a forked outline at the south end. 
Enstatite frequently predominates, and soapstone derived from it 
constitutes about half of the outcrop. This is sometimes schis- 
tose, though it often retains the structure of the mineral from 
which it is derived. Considerable quantities of this stone have 
been used for furnace linings in the copper works at Ore Knob. 
In the surrounding country, most of the fireplaces and many of 
the chimneys are built of it ; and it is found quite suitable 
for these purposes, both on account of its fireproof qualities and 
the ease with which it is worked. Soapstone outcrops have been 
worked at intervals, along the flanks of Elk Ridge, for three or 
four miles north of this place. 

Other small outcrops of soapstone, which have had some local 
application, are found on Negro mountain, just south of Jefferson, 
and one and a half miles north of Jefferson, at Phoenix gap. 


The first appearance of peridotite in this county is found three 
miles south of Sparta, near Little river, where soapstone is found 
in the road to Whitehead. From this point, a line of disconnected 
harzburgite outcrops follows the general direction of Little river 
almost to the Virginia line. It is typically developed about a 
mile east of the mouth of Pine Swamp creek, also just north of 
the mouth of Glade creek, in the great bend of the river, and 
south of the river, at the mouth of Brush creek. It next appears 
at Ennis, on Crab creek, and is found in almost a continuous line 
up the north fork of this creek, in a direction about north 50° 
east, to the Virginia line. The same rock is said to occur almost 
continuously for fifteen miles further in the same direction. 

This rock has about the same nature as that at Bee Ridge, in 
Ashe county, described above. All stages are found between pure 
talc and nearly pure olivine rock, but the latter is never quite 
free from a certain perceptible amount of talc or enstatite. A 
coarse lamination is generally discernible, and the purer steatite 




portions are usually schistose. The latter also frequently bears a 
considerable proportion of carbonates; and the numerous "rust- 
holes" in some portions of the outcrops are doubtless due to the 
weathering out of these minerals and olivine. 


For a complete description of the chemical, physical, and crys- 
tal lographic characters of corundum, the reader is referred to 
Dana's System of Mineralogy, or to any good text-book on the 
subject. Only the most important features are related here, and 
technicalities, while not entirely avoidable, are dispensed with or 
explained as far as practicable, for the benefit of the general 


Next to diamond, corundum is the hardest substance known in 
nature, and on this property, as more or less modified by other 
qualities named below, depends its commercial value. It crystal- 
lizes in the rhombohedral division of the hexagonal system ; but 
the six-sided prism is usually the most prominent form, and the 
crystals often appear to have the complete hexagonal symmetry 
(see figures 1, 2 and 3). Sometimes, however, the rhombohedron is 
quite prominent, but it is usually developed only in small faces 
truncating the alternate corners of the prism and basal plane or 

Small crystals are usually quite perfectly formed, but the 
larger ones are generally rough and irregular, with many of the 
faces deeply corrugated. Figures 1 and 2 show the hexagonal 
form as effected by rhombohedral and basal parting, respectively. 
Figure 3 is a crystal with rhombohedral parting well shown by 
the faces it has produced on the prism. Figure 8 is a common 
form of wrapped crystal. 

Strictly speaking, corundum has no cleavage, but two forms of 
parting, often erroneously called cleavage, are frequently met 
with. This parting is due to multiple twinning, and the form 



most commonly seen is that parallel to the rhombohedral faces, 
which are inclined to each other at an angle of 93° 56 r , thus 
breaking the crystal into almost cubical blocks, (see figures 1, 3, and 
7). The other form of parting is parallel to the basal plane, and 
crystals in which it is developed break square across into a number 
of thin segments, often resembling buttons, (figure 2). Crystals 
or masses in which no parting is developed break with a rough, 
uneven fracture. 

Fig. 1. 



Fig. 1.— Hexagonal crystal of corundum showing rhombohedral parting. (From 
Tschermak's Mineralogy.) 

Fig. 2,— Corundum crystal showing basal parting and concentric zonal arrangement of 
colors. (Tschermak.) 

Fig 3.— Corundum crystal from Egypt mine, Yancey county, showing hexagon termi- 
nated by rhombohedral parting planes. One-fourth natural size. (Drawn from a photo- 

Corundum sometimes appears in masses without crystal form, 
though crystalline in structure, and such masses may have either 
form of parting described above. Crystalline granular aggregates 
are also sometimes met with. 

All the foregoing varieties of form and crystallization are 
subject to great variation in color — gray, blue and red being the 
most common. Corundum is usually more or less translucent, but 
seldom transparent. The more strongly colored varieties are 
pleochroic; that is, they show different colors for light passing- 
through them in different directions. 

Corundum has a specific gravity of 3.9 to 4.1, which is equiva- 
lent to saying that it is about four times as heavy as water. Of the 
minerals associated with it, only chromite and magnetite are 
heavier, garnet and spinel are about the same weight; olivine, 



chlorite, hornblende, tourmaline and margarite are not so heavy; 
while quarty, feldspar, serpentine, and talc are much lighter. 

Professor Dana, in his description of the varieties of corundum, 
says : "There are three subdivisions of the species prominently 
recognized in the arts, and until early in this century regarded as 
distinct species ; but which actually difTer only in purity and state 
of crystallization or structure."* 

The three varieties mentioned are ; 1. Sapphire, 2. Corundum, 
3. Emery. 

1. Sapphire includes all those transparent and translucent kinds 
which are of good colors and useful as gems. Jewelers designate 
the various gems according to colors : the red is the oriental or 
true ruby ; the blue is the sapphire; the yellow is the oriental 
topaz ; the green is the oriental emerald / the purple, the oriental 
amethyst ; and the opalescent variety showing a six-rayed star of 
light is called asteria, or star sapphire. North Carolina has pro- 
duced the sapphire variety of corundum in every known color. 

2. Corundum, as the term is used in the arts, " includes the 
kinds of dark or dull colors and not transparent, colors light blue 
to gray, brown and black." This is the rough material which 
forms the bulk of the product of the North Carolina mines. 

3. Emery is an intimate mixture of granular corundum and 
magnetite or hematite. This is the form of much the greater part 
of the corundum used in the arts ; a fact which is due to its com- 
parative abundance and cheapness in Asia Minor and the Grecian 
Islands, while corundum is obtainable only in much smaller quan- 
tities and at greater expense. Emery is mined at Chester, 
Massachusetts, and has been obtained in small amounts from 
Westchester county, New York. It was found in Guilford county, 
North Carolina, in 1871, by Dr. Genth, (see index reference, 
.Emery), and has been recently reported from a locality in Macon 
county, North Carolina, but, so far as I am aware the material has 
not yet been examined, so no further statement can be made in 
regard to it at present. 

'Dana's System of Mineralogy, 1892, page 212. 

j*}iai9 %j/{hi»&?2» 



The use of the sapphire variety for gems has already been 
pointed out in the description above. The red colors are most 
highly prized for this purpose, and especially that particular 
shade known as "pigeon-blood." Fine specimens of two or three 
carats in weight are equal in value to- the diamond. 

Corundum and emery are used for the same purposes, and in 
both the value is due to the hardness as applied to cutting and 
polishing metals, glass, stone, and all hard substances. The mate- 
rial to be used for polishing is first crushed and then sorted 
according to size of grain by passing through sieves. For most 
cutting and grinding purposes, the granular material thus obtained 
is made into a kind of dough with some cementing material, then 
moulded into the form of a grindstone and baked. Such artificial 
stones are called corundum wheels or emery wheels, according to 
the material of which they are made, and are extensively used in 
all kinds of metal working, especially the iron and steel industries. 


The gem varieties of corundum were the chief attraction for 
the early prospectors and miners. The mine at Corundum Hill, 
in Macon county, the story of which constitutes the greater part 
of the history of corundum mining in the United States, was 
opened and worked for a number of years as a gem mine. Some 
of the material that came from this mine and other localities in 
the State has attracted considerable attention, as may be seen from 
the following mention by Mr. George F. Kunz : 

"In variety of color the North Carolina corundum excels. It is 
found gray, green, rose, ruby-red, emerald-green, sapphire-blue, 
dark blue, violet, brown, yellow, and of intervening shades, and 
colorless" "Many specimens [from North Carolina] have been 
cut and mounted, especially of the blue and red shades, and make 
good gems, though not of the choicest quality. Several rubies of 
1 carat each have been found ; a blue sapphire, 1 carat in weight, 




is in the United States National Museum at Washington, and a 
series of fine red and bine crystals has been deposited there by 
Dr. H. S. Lucas."* 

In several localities, as on Ellijay creek, in Macon county, crys- 
tals of a peculiar brown corundum with a beautiful chatoyant 
lustre have been found. "These (when cut en cabochon) all show 
a slight bronze play of light, and under artificial light they show 
well defined stars, being really asterias, or star-sapphires, and not 
cat's eyes, as might seem at first sight to be the case."f 

Although the principal work in the mining region is now con- 
centrated on the search for commercial corundum, still there is a 
considerable interest shown in some sections in prospecting for 
gems; and Mr. Kunz writes again in 1893: "The finding of small 
rubies of fairly good color in Macon county, North Carolina, gives 
ground for the belief that larger and better stones may be found 
there by more extended development."^: • 

Commercial corundum does not occur in all the varieties of color 
that are found in the gems, but there are differences of texture and 
purity that have no less important bearing on the value of the pro- 
duct than color and transparency in the gems. As mentioned 
above in describing the varieties, this class includes all those dull and 
dark colored kinds which constitute the priucipal product of the 
mines. The colors are generally gray, or some shade of blue, or mot- 
tled white and blue; but the variations in texture are much more 
important than those of color. The different mines of the State 
produce every known variety : massive or "block" corundum, crys- 
tal corundum, and the fine granular or crystalline variety called 
"sand" corundum. And all these are sometimes found associated 
in the same immediate locality or even the same mine. Each 
mine has its own peculiar characteristics, however, and a kind of 
family resemblance runs through its whole product. This fact is 
well recognized by the miners, and they can frequently ascribe a 
specimen to its proper locality by its general appearance. 

Corundum from some localities is chiefly six sided crystals, often 

*George F. Kunz, Mineral Besources of the United States, 1892, pages 760, 761. 
tGeorge F. Kunz, Gems and Precious Stones of North America, 1890, page 47. 
^George F. Kunz, Mineral Besources of the United States, 1893, page 680. 


tapering toward the end like a barrel — hence, we sometimes hear the 
term "barrel corundum" — and these crystals may or may not 
have one of the forms of parting developed. If parting is absent 
or only developed to a slight extent, the crushed product will be 
solid and tough, even in the coarser numbers; while, if it is very 
highly developed, the coarse numbers and sometimes also the 
medium and finer sizes will be full of these parting planes along 
which it will easily crumble down in use. Besides producing a 
defective grain, there is always considerable loss in crushing from 
the production of an unusual amount of "flour." 

The massive or "block" corundum may have the same defects, 
though this is usually not the case, and hence such material, when 
in sizes suitable for crushing, produces a good tough grain. But 
the difficulty encountered in working such corundum lies in the 
size of the masses, which are frequently intergrown with feldspar 
and hornblende into blocks so tough that they cannot be profitably 
broken and crushed. This is the case with some of the material 
mined at Buck creek, in Clay county. This variety is also found 
in veins of tough, compact materials which render its removal from 
the mine a source of considerable expense. 

Sand corundum consists of small crystals and irregular grains, 
which are developed in the soft vermiculites surrounding the 
peridotites, and hence are always easily dug out and the corundum 
obtained by washing away the lighter minerals. This variety is 
not subject to the difficulties and defects of the other two, but, as 
there is considerable variation in the size of the grains, it is impos- 
sible to remove all the lighter minerals by washing, and, of course, 
the magnetite and chromite cannot be thus removed. 

Corundum in place in the rocks is subject to numerous altera- 
tions by which its hardness is impaired even in incipient stages ; 
and this property is entirely lost in the complete alteration, 
which produces a series of aluminous minerals of little or no value 
as abrasives. 

It is a well known fact that chemical action takes place much more 
rapidly on small grains than on large ones, owing to the greatly 
increased proportion of surface exposed: hence, sand corundum is 
more subject to alteration than the larger masses. The sand may 


be in some cases only the remnants of larger masses which have 
disappeared through this means. Still, sand corundum is the kind 
most sought by the miners, and the usnal presence of more or less 
crystal corundum along with it makes up to a certain extent for 
its lack of purity. These two forms constitute the product of the 
mine at Corundum Hill. 


Professor Zirkel enumerates the following modes of occurrence 
of corundum as a rock constituent'. Corundum in small, fine 
grained aggregates is the chief constituent of emery. Otherwise, it 
occurs only occasionally as an accessory in granites, gneisses, granu- 
lar limestones and dolomites, in the amphibolites of northwestern 
Austrian Silesia (largest hazel-nut size, white or blue grains i, 
in the cholorite schist of Nischne-Issetsk in the Urals, in the graph- 
ite of Miihldorf, near Spitz, in Lower Austria ; as blue sapphire 
in several basalts, where it is perhaps originally a remnant of mol- 
ten inclusion; often with spinel, rutile and sillimanite. Worthy 
of note is the occurrence as a contact product of the diorites of 
Klausen, in Tyrol. It is also observed as altered foreign inclu- 
sions or as real accessory masses in certain eruptive rocks, often 
with cordierite, spinel, andalusite — as inclusions in the andesite 
of the Eifel, and similarly in tonalite. Further it appears scattered 
through a contact product of qnartz-mica-diorite on quartz-phyl- 
lite in Yal Moja. Similarly in the kersantite of Mickaelstein, 

Besides these occurrences as a rock constituent, corundum is 
found in large quantities in feldspar veins and associated with clilo- 
rites in the peridodtites and serpentines of the Atlantic States 
of America ; and in areas of crystalline rocks in many parts of the 
earth's surface, in the gravel-beds of streams. Except the occur- 
rences in granular limestone, in graphite, and in association with 
volcanic rocks, all the various modes enumerated above have been 
observed in North Carolina. These will be described briefly in the 
following order: 

*F. Zirkel, Lehrbuch der Petrograptiie, Leipsic, 1893, page 416. 


a. Associated with peridotites ; h. In chlorite schist ; c. In 
amphibolite ; d. In dunite ; e. In gneiss ; f. In gravel deposits. 


The occurence of corundum in the State, with few important 
exceptions, is in association with olivine rocks (peridotites), though 
rarely occurring in the body of such rocks. It is found in the 
zone of chlorites and vermicnlites developed between the perido- 
tites and the gneisses of the surrounding country, and sometimes 
near this zone in the gneisses themselves. In some cases this 
border zone of chloritic minerals carrying corundum has de- 
veloped along -the joints of the peridotites to the very center of 
the mass. Such a condition is shown in a number of openings at 
.Corundum Hill, though mining operations have been chiefly con- 
fined to the border zones. (See figure 6.) 

These zones vary exceedingly in thickness, from ten or twelve 
inches to as many feet, and the proportion of corundum is scarcely 
more constant, though bearing no relation to the dimensions of 
the "vein". In places the chlorites are thickly studded with cor- 
undum almost from wall to wall, and sometimes this condition 
prevails for a considerable distance; then the corundum-bearing 
portion w T ill narrow down to a thin strip in the middle, or perhaps 
disappear entirely, to be encountered again only after a consider- 
able amount of barren material has been handled. 

There is a prevailing impression that peridotite always occurs 
in hornblende-gniess. While this is frequently the case it is by 
no means universally true, as a microscopic examination shows some 
of these enclosing rocks to be normal gneiss ; that is, composed 
of quartz, feldspar and mica (the mica being chiefly biotite). In 
other cases, the country rock is mica-schist. 

A gneissoid rock resulting from the lamination of the bright 
green hornblende rock found at Buck creek, in Clay county, and 
elsewhere, is closely associated with the' peridotites of these local- 
ities ; but it is here regarded as a member of the peridotite group, 
and is not classed with the country rocks. 

The gneiss of this region, wherever found in contact with the 


peridotites near the surface is considerably decomposed, crumbling 
easily into a loose sand, though retaining a fresh appearance and 
the original structure of the unchanged rock so far as may be seen 
with the unaided eye. 

In the description of the secondary products found in connection 
with the alteration of dunite, mention was made of the enstatite 
casing which often surrounds the jointed masses of the rock. In 
most cases, it is quite clear that these casings are closely connected 
with the chloritic zones that bear corundum. They are composed 
of enstatite, often fibrous and usually altered more or less to talc : 
and the structure is radial, or parallel, the fibres standing normal 
to the outer surface of the dunite block enclosed. In all cases 
observed, the enclosed rock is more or less altered, and frequently 
to such an extent that only a soft ochreous, clay-like mass remains, 
though the casing may be tough and apparently fresh. These 
casings often contain more or less chlorite, and especially towards 
their outer portions; furthermore, they are never developed ex- 
cept in places where chlorite is also formed along the borders and 
more prominent joints of the peridotites; and, vice versa, some 
slight development, at least, of such enstatite always lies between 
the chlorite and the olivine rocks. 

The whole zone, consisting of chlorite, vermicnlite, talc, and the 
enstatite border is frequently sheared until all original structure 
is replaced by a high development of schistosity. 

A number of other minerals are always present in minor pro- 
portions, varying in importance in the different localities. Some 
variety of amphibole, pyroxene, spinel, and tourmaline are fre- 
quently observed; staurolite, diaspore, and anthophylliteare occa- 
sionally seen ; and, where the corundum is associated with feld- 
spar, margarite and zoisite are frequent accompaniments. Muscov- 
ite, margarite, and other minerals that so often form the wrapping of 
corundum crystals, appear to be in many cases undoubtedly the 
results of alteration of that mineral, as indicated by the researches 
of Dr. F. A. Genth. 

The green and yellow micaceous minerals, known respectively as 
chlorite and vermiculite, have been divided into several more or less 



definite species based on chemical analyses. Lucasite, kerrite, 
culsageeite, jefferisite, wilcoxite, etc., are some of the names 
that have been given to the yellow and brownish minerals ; but 
the distinctions are almost purely chemical, and the names are of 
no practical value in the held examinations; and, in most cases, 
their use would tend only to confusion. These are all grouped 
here under the name vermiculite. Pennine, clinochlor, prochlor- 
ite, cornndophilite, etc., are some of the more important subdivi- 
sions of the chlorite group ; but the same condition exists here as 
in the vermiculite group, so far as field distinctins are concerned, 
and the term chlorite is used for all green colored micaceous 
minerals associated with corundum and the olivine rocks. * 

In the midst of these Chlorite zones, corundum is sometimes 
found in veins of feldspar, as at Buck creek, and with amphibole 
rocks in Iredell county. In rare cases quartz is intergrown with 
the feldspar, forming a true pegmatite. Such a vein, without cor- 
undum is found at the Hamlin prospecting, on the head-waters of 
Ellijay creek, in Macon county. 


An occurrence in some respects similar to that in the chloritic 
zones about peridotites, is found in the long belts of chlorite schist 
that traverse the country ten to twelve miles southeast of Webster. 
Chloritic rocks here, which sometimes attain a width of several 
hundred feet are traceable across the country for several 
miles. Green, scaly chlorite is almost the only constituent of 
these rocks, though sometimes they are flecked with small white 
grains of feldspar, and occasionly amphibole needles are seen. 
The chlorite is in small scales, never very coarse, as is sometimes 
the case in the zones about peridotite, and often they are so min- 
ute as to impart quite a compact appearance to the rock. 

In one of these belts, on Caney Fork of Tuckaseegee river, cor- 
undum is disseminated through the chlorite in small rounded 
masses, ranging from an inch in diameter to minute grains. In 

*A careful investigation of the chemical and mineralogic relations of corundum and 
its associated minerals is now being pursued by Mr. Joseph H. Pratt, of Yale University 
and the most of these minerals are here referred to only in a general way. 


these cases, the chlorite is not so tough and compact as elsewhere, 
and the corundum is invariably wrapped in a coating of white 
mica, usually in radiating scales perpendicular to the outer sur- 
face of the corundum. The mica coating is exceedingly thin in 
some cases, but it is so variable that many nodules are composed 
almost entirely of it with only a small grain of corundum in the 
centre. The secondary nature of this mica and its derivation from 
the corundum can scarcely be doubted. 


The beautiful grass-green hornblende rock, which forms impor- 
tant dike-like masses at various peridotite localities iD Clay county, 
was described above among the massive rocks associated with per- 
idotite (p. 28). Besides the green hornblende and the an e 
which constitute the principal constituents of the rock, there is 
always present, in the corundum-bearing phase, microscopic grains 
of picotite, and the smaller grains of corundum are usually inter- 
grown with irregular masses of this mineral and enclose many 
minute particles of it. 

The corundum ranges in size from the minute microscopic 
grains to large masses of several inches in width, and is usually 
laminated or possesses a parting according to the rhombohedron, 
which breaks it into small, nearly cubical blocks. It ranges in 
color, too, from almost white to deep ruby-red. most of it being of 
quite a decided red color. Some portions of the rock are thickly 
studded with corundum, and boulders of this kind have been 
gathered from the surface at Buck creek and hauled on wagons to 
Corundum Hill to be crushed for separation. It has furnished 
some handsome cabinet specimems, the contrast of the bright red 
and green colors producing a striking effect ; but it is an exceed- 
ingly tough rock and is not likely soon to become a commercial 
source of corundum. 

The corundum that has been found in place in the vicinity of 
Statesville, Iredell county, is developed in the joint-planes and 
along the borders of coarse hornblende rocks, much in the same 
manner as that with dunite at Corundum Hill and elsewhere in 
the more westerly counties. These hornblende rocks appear in 



the gneisses somewhat as the peridotites, so far as may be judged 
from the meagre outcroppings available, and the corundum is 
found with fine brown, scaly vermiculite, which is developed in 
zones from a few inches to three or four feet in thickness, along 
the borders, and through irregular joints in the hornblende rock 
(See figure 4). In one or two instances, feldspar veins five or six 
inches thick, sometimes altered to kaolin, were observed in the 
midst of the vermiculite zones. This feldspar often bears corundum 
also, though in prospecting most of it was found with the vermi- 
culite. The corundum is in crystals and rounded masses of crys- 
tals clustered together; sometimes margarite accompanies it, and 
large masses have been found on the surface in this region made 
up of these two minerals. 

Fig. 4. 

Fig. 4. Diagram illustrating the mode of occurrence of corundum in amphibolite at 
Hunter's, seven miles west of Sfcaiezviile, Iredtdl councy. a, Feldspar vein, (not always 
present) sometimes carrying corundum; b, Fine scaly vermiculite with crystals and 
lumps of corundum; o, Radiating uorder of actinolite enclosing large blocks of (d) dark 
green hornblende rock. 

Still another point of similarity to the occurrences in connection 
with peridotite is found in the radiating borders that intervene 
between the corundum-bearing vermiculite z.ones and the massive 
rock. In this case, the radiating border is composed of a green 
horneblende similar to actinolite, instead of the enstatite. Sim- 
ilarly, the rounded blocks thus inclosed are often almost completely 
decomposed ; so that we find, on breaking through this radial 



casing, only a mass of ochreons clay b( aring occasional needles 
of horneblende and scales of brown vermiculite. 


Thus far I have observed but one instance of this association; 
and, so far as I am aware, it is entirely unique. This was found 
at the Egypt mine on the western slopes of the Sampson moun- 
tains, in Yancey county, by Mr. U. S. Hayes, who was prospect- 
ing at the time of my visit. I am indebted to him for two of the 
best specimems collected, one of which is shown in figure 5. It 
consists of a hexagonal crystal of corundum completely surrounded 
by granular dunite, with none of the chloritic minerals which 
usally intervene. The dunite is not quite fresh, being stained 
yellowish brown and rather friable. A little muscovite is devel- 
oped along the basal parting planes of the corundum, as is often 
the case in other occurrences. 

Fig. 5. 

Fig. 5. Corundum crystal in altered d unite. From Egypt (Hayes) mine, Yancey countv. 
One-half natural size. (Drawn from a photograph.) 

With one possible exception, so far as I am aware, this is the 
first instance of such anomolous mineral association yet recorded. 
In enumerating the minerals of the Buck creek corundum locality, 
in 1875, the late Dr. C. D. Smith states that he found "chrysolite 
attached as an enveloping matter to considerable masses of cor- 
undum ;" * but as neither Dr. Smith nor any of the numerous 
writers on this subject during the succeeding twenty years have 
made any further mention of this extraordinay discovery, it may 

*Report of the North Carolina Geological Survey, 1875, Appendix page 95, 



be fairly assumed, I think, that this passage refers only to the 
ordinary occurrence of corundum in the chlorite zones developed 
within the peridotite and along its borders. 


In the same belt of crystalline rocks that carries the peridotite, 
but apparently, in no way connected with the latter, corundum is 
found in a number of localities in the ordinary gneiss of the coun- 
try. Five years ago Dr. Genth * described, as a new mode of 
occurrence for corundum, that discovered in the mica schist region 
of Patrick county, Virginia. The schists are sometimes garnet- 
iferous and gn eissic, and the corundum is associated with andalu- 
site, cyanite, chloritoid, mica, etc. The schists were intersected 
with granite dikes, and the corundum was found near these in 
crystals and rounded masses on the surface. 

In the North Carolina localities, corundum occurs in place in 
the gneiss in nodules of half an inch in diameter and smaller, and 
wrapped in a sheath of radiating muscbvite, similar to that in the 
chlorite schist described above. None of the accompanying min- 
erals described by Dr. Genth were observed, and but for the pre- 
sence of these nodules, the lock seemed to be in every way normal 
gneiss. The nodules, on account of their resistance to the decom- 
posing forces of the atmosphere, always stand out prominently on 
the weathered surface; and they are often present in such propor- 
tion as to thickly stud these surfaces with little white and grayish 

In one instance, however, the corundum-bearing gneiss is asso- 
ciated with basic magnesian rocks, though such has not yet been 
shown to be the case in other instances. The basic rock referred 
to here occurs on the head waters of Shooting creek, in Clay county, 
and consist largely of fine grained green horneblende and hypers- 
thene — the latter somewhat predominating. The sections of this 
rock have not been sufficiently studied to determine whether the 
horneblende is primary or secondary, but the preponderence of the 
hypersthene would give ground for calliing it hypersthenite. This 
rock cuts through the gneiss in two dikes about ten feet thick 

*F. A. Genth, Am. Jour. Science, 3, xxxix, 1890, pa^es 47, 48. 



and about 500 or 600 feet apart. The Corundum is found in 
the gneiss between, intimately associated with a small pegmatite 
vein and a band of very black mica. 

Just beside one of the dikes also, corundum was found in a zone 
of line scaly brown mica. This corundum is in nodules and, like 
that in the gneiss betweeu the dikes, has two systems of parting 
well developed. 

In other localities, no such relation to magnesian rocks has been 
observed. The covering of soil and decomposed rock is, however, 
very deep in some places, and quite sufficient throughout most of 
this region to render the outcrops rather obscure. 

On the western side of Chunky Gal mountain, bands of brown 
mica, bearing lumps of granular garnet, and both carrying more or 
less corundum, are found in the gneiss. So far as determinable at 
the time of my visit, the corundum here has no connection with 
peridotite or similar rocks. 


It is well known that the gem varieties of corundum are found 
chiefly in the soil and gravel beds of Burma, Ceylon, and other 
regions of southern Asia. Along with these, the common forms 
of crystalized corundum are also found ; and, in some of the local- 
ities, the mineral has been traced to its origin in the crystalline 

The gravel beds represent the result of ages of concentration. 
While the rocks have been slowly decomposing and crumbling 
away through the agencies of air and water, the stream beds fur- 
nished a natural system of sluices in which the heavy and more 
resistant minerals, including corundum, have been caught and 
retained, while the lighter material has been carried out to the 
sea. Hence, although the corundum gems may have been quite 
rare in the original rock, they are found in these gravel deposits 
in cotriparitive abundance ; and even when the original source is 
found, the gravels still remain the principal commercial source. 

Most of the corundum localities of North Carolina have beeu 
found through the discovery of fragments in the soil or in beds of 
streams; and it is a favorite method with prospectors to wash the 


distribution' of corundum. 63 

gravels of stream beds for corundum, much in the same manner as 
search is made for gold. Similarly, corundum crystals have been 
ploughed up in bottom lands, and further investigation has revealed 
gravel beds, often of considerable extent, which usually bear sev- 
eral varieties of corundum. Search up the stream and its tribu- 
taries till no further trace is found and then up the adjoining 
hillsides, has in many instances brought to light the source of 
these valley deposits ; but, in a number of cases, such search has 
proven, thus far, fruitless; and we are led to the conclusion that 
the corundum must have been concentrated from rocks in which 
it is only a rare constituent. 

Several such deposits, in Macon and Jackson counties, have fur- 
nished ruby-colored corundum of nearly every shade, and consider- 
able attention has been devoted to the search for gems. Occasion- 
ally pieces are found sufficiently transparent and free from flaws 
to be cut into fair gems, though most of it is too much clouded 
and the parting too highly developed to be of any value except as 
mineral specimems. The principal object of the recent work 
in these gravels has been to locate the original source of the 
material in the hope that the finer specimens may be found in 
sufficient quantity to establish gem mining on a profitable basis. 

Small grains and crystals of corundum are found in the gold 
placers of Rutherford, McDowell and Burke counties, 'but they 
are not considered of sufficient importance to be indicated on the 


As indicated above, in the description of the modes of occurence, 
the home of corundum is in the t highly crystalline rocks, and 
chiefly in the region of gneisses. This is true of all occurrences 
that attain to any but purely scientific interest. 


In describing the distribution of peridotites, mention has already 
been made of the occurrence of corundum in Pennsylvania, North 
and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. In these states, the 
corundum localities are found along the peridotite belt .indicated 
on the general map (plate II, p. 32). Other localities are found as 



indicated above, which are not intimately connected with these 
rocks ; but thus far none of these, except the emery of Chester, 
Massachusetts, has become of economic importance. 

Corundum in Alabama. — The Appalachain crystalline belt 
passes under the Cretaceous and later sedimentary formations 
in the central part of the State near Montgomery. Representatives 
of the peridotite belt have been found in the vicinity of Dudley- 
ville, in Tallapoosa county, and corundum has been found in frag- 
ments on the surface both in this and Coosa, the adjoining county 
on the west. A little search would doubtless reveal the presence 
of peridotite, and perhaps also,' corundum, to the very borders 
of the crystalline rocks. 

Corundum in Georgia. — A series of scattering deposits extends 
the peridotite belt through this State in a northeast direction, pass- 
ing in a general way up the valley of the Chattahoochee river to 
the western extremities of North and South Carolina. Along this 
line, corundum has been found in the following counties : Rabun, 
Towns, Union, Lumpkin, Habersham, Hall, Cobb, Paulding, Doug- 
las, Carroll, Heard, Troup, and somewhat off the line to the east, 
in Walton. One occurrence is reported in Forsyth county in a 
region of mica schist and garnetiiierous horneblcnde gneiss. Con- 
siderable work has been done along this belt in the nature of 
prospecting, and for a number of years, a productive mine was 
operated at Pine mountain, in Rabun county. * 

Corundum in South Carolina. — Corundum is reported from 
Laurens, Anderson and Oconee counties, and I have seen speci- 
mens that were said to have been found in Pickens. The western 
portion of this State is in the line of peridotites as indicated 
by the direction of the belt in Georgia and North Carolina, and 
these rocks are known to exist along the border in the north- 
western corner; but no work has been done to trace out their 
distribution nor to develop the corundum deposits, if such exist. 

Corundum in North Carolina. — As remarked above, this State 
presents the greastest development both of peridotite and corun- 
dum. The belt here attains its greatest width, and the largest 

*A Preliminary Report on the Corundum deposits of Georgia, by Francis P. King, 1894 
Bulletin No. 2 of the Geological Survey of Georgia. 



outcrops of chrysolitic rocks in the Atlantic States are found in 
the southwestern counties. As indicated on the map, (plate I) 
corundum occurs in Clay, Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Transylvania, 
Buncombe, Madison, Yancey and Mitchell counties along the belt 
of basic magnesian rocks ; and it is found east of the mountains in 
the counties of Cleveland, Burke, Gaston, Alexander, Iredell and 
Guilford. More particular mention is made of these localities 
under another head beyond. 

Corundum in Virginia. — Thus far I have been able to find cor- 
undum reported from only two localities in this State. The first 
is a large deep blue crystal found in Louisa county by Mr. Louis 
Zimmer, and reported by Mr. George F. Kunz.* The second is 
that described by Dr. Genth in 1890, and noted above in describ- 
ing the mode of occurrence in gneiss. The peridotite belt is con- 
tinued through the State by a great number of talc and serpen- 
tine rocks, but no corundum has been reported from any of these 

Maryland. — Although the peridotite belt is well represented in 
this State, no corundum localities are known. 

Corundum in Pennsylvania. — The serpentine belt that comes 
diagonally across Maryland, is continued through the counties of 
Lancaster, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks. Corun- 
dum is found associated with it in many places, especially in 
Chester and Delaware counties, and, a few years ago, w T as mined 
to a certain extent in the former. It is found here in chloritic 
zones about the serpentine, but in larger amounts in granular 
albite, much like the occurrence in feldspar veins at Buck creek, in 
Clay county, North Carolina. 

Zones of chloritic minerals along the borders of the serpentine 
masses and in the larger joints, are constantly present in these cor- 
undum localities, and chromite is found in the mass of the serpen- 
tine itself. Considerable prospecting has been done in Pennsyl- 
vania, and corundum has been mined in one or two places but 
these are now abandoned. 

Corundum in New Jersey. — The crystalline belt disappears 

*George F. Kunz, Mineral Recources of the United States, 1883-4, page 736. 


under the Jura-Trias near Trenton, almost immediately on crossing 
the Pennsylvania line. Portions of it outcrop again to the north- 
ward in the Highlands, but in the line of the perhiotite belt, it 
does not reappear till we find it on the opposite side of the State 
at Hoboken, where serpentine is found, but no corundum. 

Corundum is found, however, in Sussex county along the bor- 
ders between the crystalline limestones and the gneiss. 

Corundum in New York. — Corundum is also found with the 
white limestone of this State in Orange county. Emery, an 
intimate mixture of granular corundum and magnetite, is found 
east of Peekskill, in Weschester county, in basic magnesian rocks. 
which have been shown to be eruptive in origin.* This Emery is 
also often intimately intergrown with chlorite and green spinel, 
though there are no well defined chlorite zones such as are devel- 
oped about the^ peridotites of North Carolina. This has been 
mined to a limited extent, though the product is said to have been 
too soft, and it is not worked now. 

Corundum in Connecticut. — Connecticut has thus far furnished 
only surface specimens of corundum, nothing of commercial impor- 
tance. Early in the century, a mass of cyanite was found at Litch- 
field, "associated with talc, sulphuret of iron, and corundum . . . 
supposed to weigh 1500 pounds."! Dana also reports it from 
Norwich. Both of these localities are in regions of crystalline 

Corundum in Massachusetts. — About thirty years ago, the 
emery vein at Chester was found in a chlorite schist zone lying 
between a talc rock on the east and a horneblende schist on the 
west. The vein traverses the mountains on both sides of Westfield 
river, in a nearly north and south direction, and has been traced 
for a distance of about four miles. A typical section from west to 
east would be about as follows : (a.) Horneblende schist, black, 
coarse crystalline, often feldspathic and banded, gneissic; (b.) Chlo- 
ritic schist, bearing lenticular masses of emery and magnetite, 
sometimes becoming talcose, and often bearing radiating tourma- 

*George H, Williams, American Journal of Science, 3. 1886. XXXI: pasres 26 41: 1887, 
XXXIII, pa^es 135 144 and J91-199; 1888, XXXV, pages 438-448 ; 1888, XXXVI, pages 254 26^. 

tEdward Hitchcock, American Journal of Science, 1, VI, 1823, page 219. 


line clusters. This belt is usually about twenty feet wide, (c.) 
Granular quartz in a vein one to two feet wide ; sometimes entirely 
disappearing, (d.) Talc schist, sometimes chloritic and of fine 
texture, closely resembling serpentine; fifteen to twenty feet wide. 
(e.) Mica schist to the eastward. 

The position of the emery in the chloritic zone (b.) is very 
variable, and it often lies along the border of this and the talcose 
rocks (d). The emery is associated with diaspore and margarite, 
especially about the edges of the lenticular masses. Grains of 
corundum are said to be found in the talc rocks sometimes. This 
locality is still worked, and is the only productive emery mine in 
the United States. 

A few years after the discovery of emery at Chester, corundum 
was found in brown, scaly vermiculite associated with asbestos 
and other amphibole minerals in Pelham, Massachusetts. Pro- 
fessor B. K. Emerson informs me in a private letter that olivine 
rocks are also found here, and that the occurrence is very similar 
to the corundum localities of North Carolina. This locality has 
thus far proved of only mineralogic interest, however. 

In the numerous serpentine localities of the State, no corundum 
has been found. 


We come now to a more detailed consideration of the corundum 
localities of North Carolina. In a general way, these are all 
indicated on the map (plate I), except those of Gaston and Guilford 
counties ; and in the following enumeration of localities the per- 
idotite belt will be considered first — beginning with thf southwest- 
erly corner of the State — and afterwards, the localities east of the 

Corundum in Clay County. — One mile south of Elf postoffice, 
on Shooting creek, and five miles southeast of Hayesville, perido- 
tite occurs within about a mile of the Georgia line, and corundum 
is found associated with it in its most southerly outcrops, on the 
property of W. C. Ledford. It occurs here in "sand veins" in 
scaly vermiculites ; and, a little further north, it occurs in feld- 


spar veins and green chlorite, on the land of Samuel Housed. On 
the same place, it is found in feldspar, associated with zoisite, 
forming considerable masses; also in rounded nodules with rhom- 
bohedral parting (as in figures 1 and 3) highly developed, and cov- 
ered with a very variable coating of white compact mineral 
(margarite?) which has undoubtedly been formed from the alter- 
ation of the corundum. Sometimes only small grains remain in 
the center of the nodules, while the coating has developed to great 

About Elf, are found outcrops of the bright green amphibolite : 
and one place near the postoffice by the roadside, shows beautiful 
red corundum plates and grains, also having the rhombohedral 
parting. Sand corundum and the massive variety with feldspar 
were obtained in the Behr mine, at Elf. Corundum has been found 
on the surface and ploughed up in fields along the continuation of 
this peridotite strip up Lick Log branch almost to the gap between 
this and Tusquittah creek. 

Except a few loose surface fragments near Shooting creek post- 
office, no corundum has been found along the strip of dunite and 
talc that passes across the head- waters of Shooting creek, till it 
reaches the slopes of Chunky Gal mountain at Newton Penland's. 
From this point it has been found all the way up the mountain 
side to about half a mile east of the summit, where it narrows to 
very small dimensions and finally disappears. The occurrence in 
feldspar predominates toward the point of this outcrop, and this 
mode is found along with the sand veins and crystal corundum on 
the mountain side also. A decomposed amphibolite, bearing cor- 
undum disseminated through the mass in small grains, is now being 
extensively prospected near Penland's, and encouraging results 
are reported. 

About three miles from Shooting creek postoffice, on Thumping 
creek, at Curtis Ledford's, is the corundum locality in gneiss 
described above under modes of occurrence (p. 61). Corundum is 
found here in rounded nodules in the gneiss and in veins of black 
mica ; and is also developed in vermiculite beside one of thehypers- 
thenite dikes. Some work has been done here, and portions of the 
rocks exposed are quite thickly studded with corundum. 


At the head of Muskrat fork of Shooting creek, and about half 
way up the side of Chunky Gal mountain, corundum is found in 
garnet rock and brown scaly mica. This is also described above 
under the occurrence of corundum in gneiss (p. 61). This was being 
prospected at the time of my visit in the summer of 1894, and 
the work is said to have been resumed again this year (1895). 

The only remaing deposit in Clay county is that with the great 
peridotite mass at Buck creek. The corundum mined here is 
found in veins of coarse* feldspar and horneblende near the eastern 
edge of the peridotite. In fact, only a few feet of these rocks inter- 
vene between the corundum-bearing vein and the gneiss. Some 
corundum is also found in the vermiculite and chlorite that are 
developed through joints of the peridotite on the hillside west of 
the creek ; and some is f ;und here also in feldspar associated with 
zoisite and margarite. Portions of the bright green amphibolite 
at this locality are quite full of corundum ; this is especially true 
of that on top of the mountain west of the creek, where the ground 
was covered with fragments of this rock ; but many of these have 
been collected and hauled to Corundum Hill to be crushed and 
separated. The locations of the corundum workings at this place 
are represented on the map (plate III, page 34). 

Corundum in Macon County. — I have visited and located on 
the map a great number of peridotite and soapstone outcrops in 
the valley of the Little Tennessee river above Franklin ; but, so 
far as I was able to learn, corundum has been found at only 
one of those places. A number of them show considerable 
development of chlorite, and a little careful search in such places 
might be well rapaid. The locality referred to is at the head of 
Hickory Knoll creek, at an elevation of about 4000 feet, on the 
western slope of Fish Hawk mountain. A number of small dunite 
outcrops are found here, most of the blocks exposed near the 
surface having a well developed radial enstatite casing. Some 
corundum has been found in small encased nodules. 

Six miles southeast of this, and just south of mount Scaly, cor- 
undum is found in small crystals and grains with outcrops of 
soapstone and a fibrous, asbestos-like mineral. Radiating casings 



of talc here enclosing an ochreous earthy material doubtless repre- 
sent the peridotite, which does not appear on the surface. 

The next corundum region encountered lies seven miles east of 
Franklin, just north of the Cullasaja river, and included between 
its tributaries, Ellijay and Walnut creeks. On this, one of the 
most prominent western spurs of the Cowee mountains, are found 
more promising corundum localities than in any other region of 
equal area within the State, or indeed, in the whole Appalachian 
crystalline belt. At the southern point of this spur is Corundum 
Hill, the most widely known mine, and the one that has furnished 
by far the greater part of American corundum since the beginning 
of the industry. A map (plate TV,) and description of this place 
are given under the head of the distribution of peridotitite (p. 36), 
and a sketch of its history will be found beyond. 

It is entirely unnecessary to add anything further here about 
the occurrence of corundum at this place. In this region, having 
a total area of less than twenty square miles, there are at least fif- 
teen outcrops of peridotite; and corundum in greater or less quan- 
tity has been found associated with nearly all of them. Consider- 
able prospecting has been and is now being done, and a great deal 
of capital has been invested there within the past three years. 

Corundum has been found and some prospecting done in the 
gneiss on the summit of Turkey knob, on the Macon-Jackson county 
line, and fine specimems of red corundum are found in the gravels 
of Cowee creek. Well formed crystals are also found at Xona 
postoffice, seven miles west of Franklin, in the soil of gneiss. 

Corundum in Jackson County. — Loose fragments and crystals 
of corundum have been found at Addie, on the ring of peridotite 
that lies northeast of Webster, (see (plate Y, p. 38.) but pros- 
pecting has not yet located any important deposit in place. Good 
specmens of red corundum are found in gravel beds on the head- 
waters of Cullowbee creek. 

On Caney Fork, two miles above its mouth, corundum is found 
in the chlorite schist in the manner described on page 57, on 
Mrs. Chastain's place and at Marion Long's. By digging a very 
shallow pit, a width of eight feet of this rock was exposed which 
was thickly studded with nodules of corundum. On Johns creek, 



half a mile above its junction with Caney Fork, a chlorite schist 
outcrop occurs with a width of about a thousand feet. Corundum 
is said to be found in fragments over the surface, but no prospect- 
ing has been done. 

At the mouth of Chastains creek, five miles up Caney Fork, 
corundum is found in the gneiss near the residence of W. W. 
Biown. It is in nodules one-half to one inch in diameter, and 
surrounded by a thin, compact casing. Two miles up Chastains 
creek, corundum is found in the same manner in the gneiss, near 
a belt of chlorite schist. At many points along Caney Fork, cor- 
undum is reported to be found in the fields and elsewhere over the 
surface. So far as I was able to learn, corundum has been found 
in only one place on West Fork, and that in association with a 
chlorite rock on Shoal Creek mountain, four miles north of Glen- 

South of Sapphire, corundum is found with peridotite on Snake 
ridge at several places; and on the lands of Dr. C. Grimshawe, 
near Montvale postoifice, in both Jackson and Transylvania coun- 

At the Sapphire mines, corundum is found in similar associa- 
tions in a great number of places on both sides of Horespasture 
river, and on the spars of Great Hogback mountain. Several of 
these localities have been mined by the Sapphire Yalley Company, 
and have yielded considerable quantities of corundum for the 
market. In a number of the outcrops, enstatite rock predominates, 
though more or less peridotite may be seen in nearly all of them. 
The mutual relations of these two rocks at some of the localities, 
as at the "Sapphire 1 ' mine, is such as to strongly point to the 
derivntion of the enstatite from the olivine. 

Besides a number of places that have been prospected, the fol- 
lowing localities have been mined, to a greater or less extent, and 
constitute jointly the Sapphire mines. I am indebted to Mr. 
Charles N. Jenks, the superintendent, for the characterization of 
the product of the different workings. 

The "Burnt Rock" mine is a mile and a half northeast of Great 
Hogback mountain, and produces nodular, massive corundum. 



Some of the blocks taken out weighed as much as twenty-five 

The "Brockton" mine is about a mile south of the Burnt Rock, 
and its product is a dull gray crystal corundum, which is easilv 
separated from the vermiculite ganffue. 

The "Rattlesnake" mine is a mile and ahalf southwest of Great 
Hogback mountain and about the same distance northeast of 
Sapphire. Crystal and sand corundum are found here in chlo 
rite and vermiculite about the borders of the enstatite rock. 

The "Sapphire" mine is somewhat less than a mile northeast 
of Sapphire, and near where the Brevard road crosses Big Hog- 
back creek. The product of this place is crystals and masses of 
white and gray corundum specked and mottled with blue. 

The "Socrates" mine is half a mile south of Sapphire, on the 
north end of Bear Pen mountain. The corundum here is neither 
in crystals nor masses, but occurs in "shotty" nodules in the chlo- 
rite veins through enstatite rock. This furnishes the most perfect 
grain produced by these mines, and is well adapted to the manu- 
facture of either cement or vitreous wheels. 

The "Bad Creek" mine is on the west side of Bear Pen moun- 
tain and about half a mile from the Socrates mine. The corun- 
dum here is massive, and occurs with chlorite, margarite, garnet, 
biotite, feldspar, and a number of rarer minerals, forming a hard, 
tough vein. Mr. Jenks informs me that corundum constitutes 
about 35 per cent, of the whole mass, but that it is very difficult 
to separate it thoroughly from the gangue. 

The " Whitewater" mine is about six miles southwest of Sap- 
phire, on Whitewater river. The corundum occurs here in col- 
ored crystals, possessing some gem characteristics, and producing 
a good solid grain. 

All of the lacalities enumerated lie near the Jackson-Transyl- 
vania county line, and the first three are situated in the latter 
county. A number of intermediate outcrops have been prospected 
a little, and still others yet remain untouched. 

Corundum in Transylvania County. — The Sapphire mines 
"Burnt Rock," "Brockton,'' and "Rattlesnake, " described above, 
are located in this county, on the spurs of Great Hogback mountain. 


Corundum is said also to be found with enstatite rocks in the 
same vicinity, on the headwaters of the Toxaway river. 

On the West fork of the French Broad river, I saw corundum 
with similar rocks on the hill just west of the mouth of Owens 
creek. A number of shallow pits had been dug in prospecting, 
and large masses of margarite had been thrown out, bearing cor- 
undum and black tourmaline Asbestiform minerals are also 
found at the same locality. 

A large number of similar outcrops are found to the eastward 
and northeastward, and corundum is said to occur with some of 
these on the North Fork of the French Broad river; but I was 
unable to verify these reports, owing to the profound air of secrecy 
maintained by the alleged discoverers. 

Near the mouth of Owens creek, east of the corundum locality 
described above, a number of large boulders of disthene (cyanite) 
have been found on the surface, bearing grains and crystals of 
deep sapphire-blue corundum. The rocks at this locality are 
ordinary gneiss. 

Corundum in Haywood County. — On Pigeon river, at Retreat 
postofhce, six miles southeast of Waynesville, corundum is found 
with cyanite and margarite in crystals scattered through the soil. 
The rocks are garnetiferous mica schist and gneisses, and no 
deposit has yet been found in place. 

Three miles northeast of Canton, corundum has been found on 
the surface with an outcrop of dunite, but no workable deposit has 
been discovered. A mile north of this, at the "Presley mine," 
corundum occurs in pegmatite veins through dark green horn- 
blende rock. The corundum occurs both in the mica and the 
feldspar of the pegmatite, and is sometimes wrapped in margarite. 
It often has the appearance of having altered into these minerals. 

Just south of Newfound gap, red corundum is found on the 
surface about a small lenticular mass of dunite. It is also reported 
from a soapstone outcrop near the gap between Cabes and 
Crabtree creeks. 

Corundum in Buncombe County. — Just south of the Carter mine, 
near the Madison county line, corundum is found about Democrat 



with the long strip of peridotite which crosses Big Ivy river at 
this place. The Carter mine is in Madison, and very little pros- 
pecting has been done in Buncombe. 

At Swannanoa gap, on the eastern border of the county, cor- 
undum is occasionally found in masses of cyanite. 

Corundum in Madison County. — The Carter mine is very near 
the Bumcombe county line, in the eastern end of the county, and 
is situated on Holcombe branch, a tributary of Little Ivy river. 
It is at the north end of the strip of dunite which is continous 
from Morgan Hill, in Buncombe county. The corundum here 
occurs in a vein of chlorite and vermiculite which is developed 
at right angles to the lamination of the peridotite. It is in 
masses of white, pink, and blue colors, and is intergrown 
with greenish black, massive spinel and feldspar. 

Recently, Mr. John A. Carter, of Democrat, has found a crys- 
tal of mottled bine and white corundum weighing -16 pounds. It 
is hexagonal in form, though rough and irregularly broken, and has 
the rhombohedral parting well developed. It was found loose 
above the Carter mine in a small stream very near its head, but 
search failed to discover its source. 

Fig. 7. Hexagonal crystal of corundum showing rhombohedral twinning. A, oblique 
view; B, end view; one-fourth natural size; weight 17 pounds. From an amphibolite out- 
crop half a mile north of the mouth of Ivy river, Madison county. (Specimen in posses- 
sion of Mr. G. C. Haynie, Marshall, N. C Figure drawn from photographs.) 

The first corundum found in North Carolina was picked up 
from the surface three miles below Marshall, just above the mouth 
of Little Pine creek. A belt of soapstone and peridotite crosses 



the river near this point, but the locality has never furnished a 
second specimen, so far as I was able to learn. 

Three miles above Marshall and half a mile north of the mouth 
of Big Ivy river, corundum is found in large gray crystals on 
the surface of a large hornblende outcrop. One crystal from 
this place (figure 7), which weighs 17 pounds, and exhibits fine 
rhombohedrol twinning, is in possession of Mr. G. C. Haynie, of 
Marshall, the owner of the property. 

Corundum in Yancey County. — The principal corundum local- 
ity of this county is that known as the "Egypt (or Hayes) mine," 
ten miles west of Burnsville, on the western slopes of Sampson 
mountain. Corundum occurs in green chlorite along the bor- 
ders of dunite and enstatite rock, the latter predominating. It 
is generally in distinct crystals, though granular massess are 
also found. The prevailing colors are white and banded or mot- 
tled blue and white. The corundum imbedded in dunite (figure 
5), and the crystal shown in figure 3 are from this locality. 

Eight miles southeast of Burnsville, on Celos Ridge, near 
South Toe river, corundum is found in crystals of two or three 
inches in diameter in the decomposed gneiss adjoining an out- 
crop of enstatite rock. 

Corundum in Mitchell County. — Three-fourths of a mile west 
of Bakersville, corundum crystals are found in the gneiss at Wil- 
liam Bowman's. I also saw fragments of corundum on the sur- 
face and in the dump a mile and a half up White Oak creek from 
Bakersville, where work had been done for asbestos. The rock 
is a massive enstatite with fine radiating borders similar to those 
found about dunite in many places. 

Since my visit to this region, Mr. D. A. Bowman, a local min- 
eralogist, of Bakersville, writes me that "one mile due east from 
Bakersville, a massive blue corrundum occurs, with now and then 
a hair-brown piece." He further states that in the sumer of 1888 
he obtained about 600 lbs. at this place, one piece of which 
weighed 23£ pounds. "Some small blue crystals found at this 
place would cut very nice gems were it not for cleavages." 

~No corundum has yet been found in North Carolina north of 



Corundum in Iredell and Alexander Counties. — The country 
rock in these counties is ordinary gneiss, and surface specimens 
of corundum are found scattered over a large number of local- 
ities, especially in Iredell. Grayish masses are found several 
inches in diameter, and the smaller ones frequently have crystal 
form. All are more or less altered, and most of the specimens 
have a sheath of compact damourite or margarite, (figure 8) which 
is sometimes developed to such an extent that only a trace of 
the original corundum remains in the interior. 

Fig. 8. A tapering crystal of black corundum enclosed in a sheath of compact mar- 
garite. One-half natural size. From Belts bridge, Iredell county. (Drawn from a pho- 

In the alluvial deposits first worked by the Acme company at 
Statesville, blue and pink corundum was found in clays and 
sands, either in small loose pieces or in masses with cyanite. On 
passing through the clays and gravels, a massive hornblende 
rock was encountered, and a little search discovered a vein of 
feldspar bearing corundum and separated by vermiculite from 
the hornblende rock through which it passed. In its widest 
place, this feldspar-corundum vein had a thickness of two and a 
half feet, and was very rich in corundum. 

The only other locality where corundum has been found m 
place in this region is eight miles northwest of Statesville, and 
just north of the Charlotte and Taylorsville railroad, on the Hun- 
ter place. Here no such alluvial deposits were encountered, and 
the amphibolite is of much finer texture than that at Statesville. 
But otherwise, the occurence is very much the same. The cor- 
undum is almost coal-black and is associated with feldspar and 
vermiculite in the joint system of the rocks, much in the same 
manner as that found in some of the dunite localities of the moun- 
tain region. The mode of occurrence is described and illustrated 



(figure 6) on page 93. Near this place, large masses of corun- 
dum with margarite are found on the surface. The soil and 
decomposed rock are so deep over this region that very little can 
be determined about the form or extent of these amphibolites. 
Only occasionally does a stream or a wash in the hill side offer 
an exposure of rock that may be readily recognized. 

Corundum in Burke and Cleveland Counties. — lam indebted 
to Mr. H. B. C. Nitze for the following notes in regard to the 
•occurrence of corundum along the borders of Burke and Cleve- 
land counties, near the corner of Catawba. The rocks of the 
region are highly garnetiferous, gneissic, mica schist. Grayish 
blue, tapering corundum crystals are found on the surface along 
the ridge leading northwest of Carpenters knob. On the waters of 
the South Fork of the Catawba, in Burke county, corundum of a 
similar nature is found in "pockets" containing from one to two 
hundred pounds. Monazite is found in the placers of the streams. 
Dr. Genth mentions "crystals of corundum surrounded by fibro- 
lite" from this locality.* 

Corundum in Gaston County. — Corundum was discovered in 
this county at Crowders, Chubbs, and Kings mountains by Dr. 
C. L. Hunter, about forty years ago. It was found in masses and 
six-sided crystals "in place — associated with mica and quartz 
aggregate." Margarite was found with it ; and, in places, by the 
gradual introduction of iron oxids, a transition to granular emery 
was observed. ~No large quantities have been found here, and 
thus far, the discovery has proved of only mineralogic interest. 

Corundum in Guilford County. — In the titaniferous iron ore 
belt that traverses the northwest corner of Guilford county, Dr. 
Genth found true emery at the McChristian (or McCuiston) place, 
seven miles north of Friendship. One variety was reddish, gran- 
ular, and had "much the appearance of agranular reddish brown 
garnet, for which it has been mistaken, until the analysis proved 
it to be not a silicate, mixed with granular magnetite, but corun- 
dum." Another, found in the same locality was grayish in color; 

^Bulletin 74, U. S. Geological Survey, 1891. The Minerals of North Carolina, page 30. 


and "the minute crystals of eorudum have a yellowish or brownish 
white color, and show in many places cleavage fractures, 
which give it the appearance of a feldspathic mineral."^ 

The following analyses of these varities are given in the same 

Analyses of J^mery from the McChristian place, 7 miles north of Friend- 
ship, Quilford county. 


Silica 1.39 0*98 

Titanic acid 0.78 2.42 

Magnetic iron oxid r.. 42.77 46.29 

Oxid of Manganese and Cobalt 1.00 1.27 

Chromium oxid 0.80 trace 

Alumina 52.24 44.86 

Magnesia 0.68 3.27 

Lime 0.84 0.91 

100.00 100.00 

Corundum in other localities. — Tn the report of the North 
Carolina Geological Survey for 1S75, large hexagonal crystals of 
corundum are reported from Forsyth county (page 299), and a 
reddish variety from Polk (Appendix page 65). Small particles 
are also said to occur in cyanite in Wilkes county : and Dr. 
Genth says that "rarely small remnants of corundum are found 
in the pyrophyllite slates of Chatham county." He also men- 
tions the locality of Y alley river in Cherokee county for corun- 
dum, and says that emery is found near Salem, Forsyth county. + 
I have not yet had an opportunity to verify these reports, but 
hope to do so before publishing a final report on this subject. 


The early discoveries of corundum in North Carolina were not 
the result of any systematic search ; in fact, corundum, as it is 
now known in this State and Georgia, was not then a commer- 

*Report of the Geological Survey of North Carolina, I., 1815, pages 245, 246. 
tBulletin 74, U. S. Geological Survey, 1891, pages 29-31, 96. 


cial mineral, and nothing was known of its occurrence with 
peridotite. Accidental finding of surface fragments led to the 
discovery of extensive deposits ; and the subsequent working of 
these and other localities has given to mineralogy and mining 
a great fund of information on this subject that is to a large 
extent entirely new. As usual in the case of things new, many 
mistakes were made in early prospecting and attempts at 
mining. Mistakes are made yet, and they will doubtless con- 
tinue for some time to come, but many of the earlier errors need 
not be repeated if due regard is had to the store of information 
that has been accummulated by more than twenty years of expe- 

Those who would search for corundum had best see, first of all, 
an actual corundum mine or a place where prospecting has been 
done and corundum found; and note carefully the conditions. In 
the southwestern portion of the State this may easily be done with- 
out great inconvenience. If the preceding pages have been read, 
or even a small portion of them, it will already be understood 
that conditions are rarely duplicated exactly, even in localities 
very near together. Certain types of rocks and minerals, how- 
ever, may be observed in the greater number of them ; and these 
may be profitably used as guides in searching for new localities. 
Of course the prospector must be able to recognize corundum 
itself in all of its common forms. 

Loose fragments of corundum in the soil or stream beds are, 
of course, the surest "signs" of corundum deposits, though not 
always the most easily traced to their origin. The extreme 
resistance of the mineral to the ordinary process is of abrasion and 
decomposition render it almost indestructible when exposed on the 
surface. Hence, it may be transported tor great distances down 
the mountain slopes and streams without showing any apprecia- 
ble alteration and but little wear. When associated with frag- 
ments of peridotite, chlorite, or talc, the corundum is a much 
more valuable guide. In such cases, it has probably been trans- 
ported only a short distance, and the search for the source 
becomes far less difficult. Where no corundum is found with 


the rock fragments or minerals indicated, and none is found by 
panning the soil or sand, as in the ordinary search for gold, there 
is little encouragement to seek further. 

The "indications" are followed up the grade by which they 
would most naturally have reached their present position. If in 
a stream bed, the search is made up the stream or its tributaries 
till fragments are no longer found, and then up the adjoining 
hillsides till the parent mass of peridotite is reached. The bor- 
ders of this rock are first examined. If the border is not readily 
found by inspection, ditches are cut through the soil and decom- 
posed surface materials at right angles to the strike of the 
country rock. The chlorite and vermiculite along the contact 
between the gneiss and peridotite should then be examined for 
corundum. A ditch, passing completely through the soil, 
should follow this contact zone; and, at intervals, shallow pits 
or cuts should be sunk to disclose the nature of the deposit. 
Where no encouraging development is found about the borders, 
it may be worth while to cut ditches across the peridotite mass 
for the examination of the joint zones; but these are usually less 
developed than those about the borders. 

Margarite is found abundantly with corundum in some places, 
but in the majority of the North Carolina localities, this is not 
true, and its discovery usually follows, rather than precedes, 
that of the corundum. The emery mine at Chester, Massachu- 
setts, however, was discovered by the finding of this mineral, 
and, when found, it is to be regarded as a good "indication." 

Obviously, the points given above apply chiefly to corundum 
associated with peridotite. It is found, however, in a number of 
other associations in the State, and several of those in amphibo- 
lite and gneiss give promise of becoming of commercial import- 
ance. For these occurrences, there seems to be no important 
index, except to find the corundum itself. When it is developed 
in considerable quantity, there should be no difficulty in finding 
it in the soil and in the gravels of the adjacent streams. 

In some cases, where chlorite and vermiculite are found 
abundantly on the surface, it may be advisable to trace them to 
their origin, even though corundum may not be found floating 


in the soil with them. Corundum itself, however, is the only 
sure indication of new deposits, and other guides, though often of 
valuable assistance, should be regarded as pointing only to proba- 

An ordinary wash-pan, or even a shovel, will serve very well 
in examining the gravels or soil; and any one may readily deter- 
mine for himself whether corundum occurs in a given locality. 
By a little practice, all the heavy minerals in the soil or gravel 
may be shaken to the bottom of the pan and the lighter mate- 
rials washed off over the edge. The heavy minerals will be found 
usually to contain grains of magnetite, garnets, dark hornblende, 
and corundum, if any is present. 

Finally, however good the indications, even from the presence 
of corundum itself, no extravagant anticipation or large invest- 
ments are justifiable till the deposit has been thoroughly 
explored by intelligent prospecting. Had this truth been borne 
in mind, trite as it may seem, much disappointment and financial 
loss would have been avoided and the mining reputation of the 
State saved many serious blows. 


Twenty-five years ago, the corundum fields under considera- 
tion were entirely new to the mining world. Corundum itself, 
as a commercial article was scarcely known except in the forms 
of emery and the gems; as an associate of peridotite, it was not 
even known to mineralogy. There were no precedents in min- 
ing, and every step was evolved by the slow and expensive pro- 
cess of experiment. Undue excitement had been created by the 
finding of a few gems, and the idea that corundum might be 
profitably mined as an ordinary abrasive had scarcely been con- 

Under these conditions, the first undertaking (at Corundum 
Hill) was naturally a failure. A hydraulic method with short 
sluice systems was adopted for working the corundum-bearing 
soil and gravels, and some of the chlorite zones were opened. 
Only the larger crystals and promising gem materials were saved. 


With the exception of the gems, the product was sold for cabinet 
specimens and for the manufacture of dental appliances ; but the 
work was soon found unprofitable. The concentrated gem-bear- 
ing gravels were exhausted, and the mine abandoned. 

Two great mistakes were made in this early work ; first, too 
much importance was attached to gem mining ; and, second, the 
smaller fragments, or "sand-corundum," which afterward became 
the most important product, were allowed to waste. Prospect- 
ing, and some small attempts to mine in other localities during 
the next few years, soon demonstrated the scarcity of true gems. 
When Dr. H. S. Lucas reopened the work at Corundum Hill, it 
was purely for the purpose of mining corundum as an abrasive. 
and methods were adopted for saving the whole product of the 
mine. On this basis, the work has been successfully continued 
to the present time, not even closing down entirely during the 
panic of 1893 and 1894. 

Mining Methods. — Naturally, the methods of work adopted in 
the few places that have really been mined, as distinguished from 
prospecting, have varied greatly, according to location, character 
of material, and other variable conditions. The area under con- 
sideration is located entirely in the mountainous and hilly districts 
of the western part of the State, and the outcrops are usually on 
high ground, with abundant natural drainage. These conditions 
and the nature of the border zones of chlorite and vermiculite. 
which are the principal deposits worked, have led to the adoption, 
in the majority of cases, of open cuts and drifts. 

So long as the work is confined to the comparatively superficial 
portions of the deposit, the open cut is the most advantageous. 
But, with increase in depth, the jointed peridotite, with its great 
development of slippery magnesian minerals along the cracks, is 
exceedingly liable to fall in. Such cuts at Corundum Hill, at a 
depth of twenty to thirty feet, have loosened great masses, and 
have sometimes produced cracks in the surface at a considerable 
distance from the working. These are a continual menace to the 
miners; and, in a few cases, they have slipped into the cuts, 
though without more serious result than to stop the work. 


The same trouble, though to a less degree, is sometimes exper- 
ienced in drifts, and it is very difficult to timber the workings in 
such a manner as to be perfectly safe. Much of this trouble, 
however, is really due to unsystematic work and employment of 
unskilled men. After the work in open cuts had been rendered 
impracticable at Corundum Hill, the mining was continued by 
drifts. In one place, several of these have been driven, one 
above another, in the same vein. 

In a few localities, small shafts have been sunk, but generally, 
this is done only where the configuration of the surface is not 
favorable to cuts and drifts. The expense of hoisting and pump- 
ing incurred in shafts is probably the chief objection to them. 

The material handled, in the great majority of cases, is loose, 
scaly chlorite and ' vermiculite with corundum disseminated 
through it, and is easily removed with a pick and shovel. In 
solid feldspar veins, however, as in some of the Sapphire mines, 
and at Laurel Creek (Ga.) and Buck Creek, blasting has to be 
resorted to, and afterward the material crushed for cleaning. 
One of the drifts at Corundum Hill is now being cut through 
the gneiss wall adjoining the peridotite. It is very hard and 
thickly impregnated with corundum, and must, of course, be 
removed by blasting. In removing the material from the mines, 
hand cars and wheelbarrows are employed. It is then, according 
to its nature, dumped into wagons or sluice-troughs to be carried 
to the mill for cleaning. 

Methods of Cleaning. — The prime object of all methods of 
cleaning corundum is, of course, the removal of all impurities as 
completely as possible ; for any other mineral that is ever found 
in association with corundum, though it may be very hard itself, 
is always softer, and if left with it in considerable quantity, will 
appreciably reduce its abrasive power. But the mere removal 
of impurities is not the only point to be considered in devising 
methods of cleaning. This must be done with the least possible 
injury to the cutting power of the corundum grains. The sharp 
edges attained by crushing must not be ground off, and no large 
percentage of it should be lost by reducing it to " flour." 


Owing to the high sjDecific gravity of corundum, it can be 
effectually separated from most of its associated minerals by 
washing methods in many ways similar to those adopted in 
placer mining for gold. Where the corundum occurs loose in 
chlorite and vermiculite scales, little other treatment is nec- 
cessary ; but, when it is enclosed in a tough gange of feldspar, 
margarite, and other minerals, or is a constituent of a solid rock, 
as in the gneiss and some of the amphibolite occurrences, the 
minerals must be thoroughly broken apart before separation. 
For the accomplishment of this purpose, the abrasive power of 
the corundum itself is used, by scouring the crushed material 
together, so that the particles cut the softer minerals from each 
other. All cleaning methods, then, involve the three processes, 
crushing, scouring, and washing. The means by which these 
processes are applied may be best understood by descriptions of 
concrete cases. 

Methods of cleaning Corundum at Sajyjjhire. — I am indebted to 
Mr. Charles ~N. Jenks for the following outline of methods 
adopted by him at the Sapphire mines. 

With crystal corundum, which is found in loose, scaly vermi- 
culite, only the simplest treatment is necessary. It is placed in 
a box through which flows a strong current of water, and stirred 
vigorously with hoes. The scaly minerals float off with the cur- 
rent, leaving the corundum about 95 per cent, pure ; and this 
requires only crushing and sifting into sizes to prepare it for the 

But with every other variety of corundum, the separation of 
impurities is more difficult and the methods of treatment corres- 
pondingly more complicated. The material is first broken into 
coarse grains by passing through crushers and rolls. In this 
process, much of the adhering impurities is broken loose ; and 
this may be partly removed by the gravity process described 
above ; that is, by stirring in a strong current of water. It is 
then passed through a machine, in which a coarse worm, like a 
screw-conveyer, is carried on a revolving shaft. In this the 
adhering minerals are cut away by the grinding of the corundum 
grains upon each other; after this it is again subjected to 


the gravity treatment in a strong current of warter. The last 
process, and one by which the corundum is brought to a high 
degree of purity, is in a machine called the "muller", or "chaser". 
In this machine, two heavy wooden rollers move around the cir- 
cumference of a shallow tub. The partially cleaned corundum 
is thrown into this tub, and is stirred constantly by iron 
teeth that move in front of the rollers. Being thus alternately 
stirred up by the teeth and pressed down by the rollers, a scour- 
ing motion is continually kept up between the grains, and the 
impurities are gradually cut away. In this action, the impuri- 
ties are reduced to the form of a fine powder, and are carried 
away by a small current of water which continually flows through 
the tub. This process is continued from three to five hours, accor- 
ding to the difficulty of cleaning and the degree of purity required. 

Methods of cleaning Corundum at Corundum Hill. — Two classes 
of material are produced by this mine; namely, the sand corun- 
dum (and crystals) contained in the vermiculite and chlorite devel- 
oped along the borders and in the joints of the peridotite ; and 
the contact gneiss impregnated with corundum. Each of these 
requires its special mode of treatment. 

Until recently, the sand corundum veins were the only depos- 
its worked at this mine. All of the material of this class is sent 
from the mine to the mill, a distance of a mile and a half, in a 
small trough carrying a swift current of water. In this course, 
there are seA 7 eral vertical drops of five to ten feet to facilitate in 
breaking loose the scaly minerals adhering to and enveloping the 
corundum. At the mill, all material that will not pass through 
a screen of II mashes to the inch is crushed between rolls and 
passed, with the originally fine material, to the gravity boxes, or 
sluices, where it is vigorously stired in a strong current of water. 
It is then treated in mullers, as in the process described above. 

The gneissic material comes from the minein hard, tough blocks, 
sometimes quite large, and is hauled to the mill on wagons. A 
very primitive method is adopted for breaking the large blocks into 
sizes suitable for the crushers. A fire is built over them till they 
are heated through, and then they are suddenly cooled by throw- 
ing on water. Fortunately, only a small part of the product 



requires this treatment. It is then passed through crushers and 
coarse and fine rolls till it will all pass through meshes II to an 
inch. It is then subjected to a scouring action in the auger-like 
machine described above, and passed on to the gravity boxes. 
The final cleaning, as in the other case, is given by the mullein. 

The method of drying in use at Corundum Hill is also worthy 
of notice. When the material is removed from the mullers, it is 
allowed to lie over night in a heap on an inclined floor. This 
material, still wet, is carried up in an elevator and dropped verti- 
cally through a distance of about twenty feet down the stack of 
a furnace. At the bottom of this, it strikes an inclined plane 
and slides down this for a few feet through the flames of a wood 
fire. By this time it is thoroughly dry, and is passed into a cham- 
ber beneath, whence it is removed with shovels and subjected to 
a final sifting. All material not fine enough to pass through a 
screen with 14 meshes to an inch is again passed through the 
rolls, and the entire cleaning process is repeated. 

The corundum thus cleaned is shipped to the company's mills 
at Chester, Massachusetts, where it is further crushed and sorted 
into sizes for the market. The coarser numbers are also passed 
through magnetic separators for the removal of the magiuetite. 


The following chronological outline of the principal discov- 
eries and the developement of corundum mining in the eastern 
United States has been compiled from the sources enumerated in 
the bibliography at the end. In the main, these sources are con- 
sidered reliable, and it is believed that the outline here presented 
indicates with tolerable accuracy, not only the origin of the cor- 
undum mining industry, but also the growth of our knowledge 
of corundum in many of its most important mineralogic and geo- 
logic relations. 

Besides the enumerations of discoveries, I have o-iven short 


sketches of all the corundum mines, properly so called, in North 


So for as I have found in the literature on the subject, corun- 
dum was not known in America before 1819. In that year, Mr. 
John Dickson, a teacher, of Columbia, South Carolina, sent Prof. 
Silliman a lot of minerals which he had collected on a tour through 
the Carolinas. Among these was a regular, six-sided crystal of 
blue corundum three-fourths of an inch long and one inch in diam- 
eter, with parting and striae developed similar to the East Indian 
corundum. It was sent without label, and in reply to an inquiry 
as to its locality, Mr. Dickson writes: "I think it was Laurens 
district; at all events, it was picked up by my own hands, if not 

in situ, in a place which it could have reached only by one 

of the usual and natural accidents which displace minerals of all 
kinds I am sure it is American and Carolinian." l 

In 1822, both Edward Hitchcock and Parker Cleaveland des- 
cribed the mass of cyanite found at Litchfield, "associated with 

talc sulfuret of iron, and corundum supposed to weigh 

1500 pounds." The corundum was massive and in six-sided 
prisms, of a dark grayish blue color, and imbedded in the cyanite. 
Both of these authors attribute their information to Mr. John P. 
Brace. 2 

In April, 1827, at a meeting of the Lyceum of Natural History, 

New York, "Major Delafield exhibited crystals of Sapphire 

from Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey." 3 In 1832, Dr. Fow- 
ler described this locality, pointing out the geologic and miner- 
alogic relations of the corundum. It is found along the border 
of crystalline limestone. 4 

According to Mr. W. W. Jefferis (as quoted by Mr. Joseph 
Willcox) John and Joel Bailey claim to have discovered corun- 
dum in the serpentine region of Chester county, Pennsylvania, 
about 1822 to 1825. Dr. Thomas Seal collected specimens at 

1 Am, Jour. Sci., 1, III., 1821, 4,229, 230. 

2 Am. Jour. Sci., 1, VI., 1823, 219; Cleveland's "Mineralogy and Geology,' 1 Boston, 1822. 

3 Am. Jour, Sci., 1, XIII., 1828, 380. 

4 Am. Jour. Sci., 1, XXL, 1832, 319, 320. 


Unionville about 1832, and Mr. Jefferis himself saw large lumps 
in the fields there in 1837 or 1838. l A ton of surface fragments and 
boulders was collected about 1839 and shipped to Liverpool. But 
the search for the source of this material was unsuccessful till 1873, 
when a large lenticular mass was found in place. This consisted 
chiefly of corundum and margarite and carried some fine speci- 
mens of diaspore. 2 

In a report on the Mineralogy of New York, in 1842, Lewis C. 
Beck mentions the occurrence of corundum in the white lime- 
stone near Amity, in Orange county. 

The first discovery in North Carolina was a large detached 
block of dark blue, laminated corundum, found three miles below 
Marshall, in Madison county, in the spring of 1847. Gen. T. C. 
Clingman, after considerable search, found another piece in the 
same vicinity in 1848 — about a year before the first discovery 
of emery in place in Asia Minor by Dr. J. L. Smith. 3 

In 1852, Mr. W. P. Blake described corundum from the new 
locality at Yernon, Sussex county, New Jersey. 4 In the spring 
of the same year, Dr. C. L. Hunter discovered corundum and 
emery in place in Gaston county, North Carolina. 5 

In 1864, the occurence of emery at Chester, Massachusetts, 
was predicted by Dr. C. T. Jackson from his discovery of mar- 
garite there — a mineral which Dr. J. L. Smith had just found 
characteristic of the emery deposits of Asia Minor. On Septem- 
ber 6th of the same year, Dr. H. S. Lucas discovered the emery 
in what had before been considered only deposits of magnetic 
iron ore. 6 Two years later, distinct crystals of corundum were 
found in the same deposits. 7 This discovery of emery soon led 
to the establishment of active mining, the first of its kind in 
America. This mine is still worked, though it has not been 
operated continuously from the beginning. 

> /fin 1870, Mr. Hiram Crisp found the first corundum that 
ie/jfy£jl?W$$- ^jjfentionto the present mining regions of North Caro- 

2d G-eol. Sur. Perm., C4, 1883, 348-351. 

1 Owl. Sur. Penn., 13, 1875, 31-33. 

ull. 74, U.S. Geol. Sur., 1891, 293-1. 
♦Am. JoiH-. 8cl., 2, -XIII., 1852, 116. 
5 Am. Jour. Sci., 2, XV.,""1§§J 3*6. 

°The exact date was furnished me by Dr. Lucas in a private letter. 
'Am. Jour. Sci., 2, XXXIX., 1865, 87-90; XLIL, 1866, 421. 


lina. This was found at what is now the Corundum Hill Mine — 
Mr. Crisp living there at the* time. A specimen was sent to 
Professor Kerr, then State Geologist, for indentification, and 
considerable interest was aroused on the discovery that it was 
true corundum. In the same year, Mr. J. H. Adams found 
corundum in very similar relations at Pelham, Massachusetts.* 

In 1870-71, considerable activity was displayed in the search 
for corundum in the dunite regions of the southwestern counties 
of North Carolina ; and new localities were soon brought to 
light in Macon, Jackson, Buncombe, and Yancey counties. In 
1871, Dr. Genth also discovered the emery of Guilford county. f 
About this time, Mr. Crisp and Dr. C. D. Smith began active 
work on the Corundum Hill property, and removed about a 
thousand pounds, part of which was sold to collectors for cabi- 
net specimens. Some of the masses weighed as much as forty 

In the fall of 1871, the property was bought by Col. C. W. 
Jenks, of St. Louis, Missouri, and Mr. E. B. Ward, of Detroit, 
Michigan ; and mining was soon begun under the superinten- 
dence of Col. Jenks. 

In reply to my inquiry about the discovery of corundum in 
Iredell county, Mr. J. A. D. Stephenson, of Statesville, writes 
me as follows : "The first corundum found in Iredell county 
was found by myself near where the Collins (Acme) mine is now 
located, either late in 1871 or eariy in 1875. It was a mass 
weighing probably two pounds. I also found a lot of pink frag- 
ments near by." It was soon discovered in loose masses and 
crystals in many parts of the county, and small amounts have 
been found in Alexander, the adjoining county to the west. 


Mining proper, as distinguished from prospecting, has thus far 
been restricted to a few localities in the counties of Clay, Macon, 
Jackson, Madison, and Iredell. Extensive prospecting, however, 
has been done at a number of places which have come to be known 

*Am. Jour. Science, 2, XLIX,, 1870, 271, 272. 
tRept. Geol. Sur. of N. C, L, 1875, 246. 


locally as " mines ; " and more or less work has been done at 
nearly all the localities where corundum is known to occur in 
the State. Most of this has been done in the most primitive and 
unsystematic manner. Little pits -are dug here and there, no 
deeper than a man may conveniently throw the dirt from 
with a shovel ; and trenches are dug, apparently at random, in 
every direction over the surface about the peridotite outcrops. 
At few of the corundum localities enumerated, has the work been 
sufficient or of such a nature as would reveal the extent and 
value of the deposit. 

Much has been learned, however, by the experience of a quar- 
ter century ; and the prospecting of recent date has been more 
intelligently directed and the results correspondingly more satis- 
factory. To find that a place has been prospected and aban- 
doned, however, is still not to be regarded as conclusive evidence 
that it is worthless ; and I have no doubt that the work now 
under way, and that of the future will, in many cases, prove 
the correctness of this statement. 

Short historical sketches of the following mines are given 
below : 

a. The Behr mine, Clay county. 

b. The Buck creek (Cullakanee) mine, Clay county. 

c. The Corundum Hill (Cullasaja) mine, Macon county. 

d. The Sapphire (Hogback) mines, Jackson county, 

e. The Carter mine, Madison county. 

f. The Acme mine, Statesville, Iredell county. 

In the preparation of these sketches, I have had to rely partly 
on such information as could be gathered piecemeal here and 
there through the country ; but chiefly, and especially in regard 
to the more prominent mines, I am indebted to the kindness of 
superintendents and mine-owners for most of the facts presented 
here. I would mention especially Dr. H. S. Lucas, who first 
placed corundum mining on a successful basis, and who has been 
identified with the industry for twenty years ; and Mr. Charles 
~N. Jenks, superintendent of the Sapphire mines, who was asso- 
ciated with his father, Col. C. "W. Jenks, in the first work of the 
kind undertaken on a commercial scale. Valuable information 


has also been furnished by Mr. A. M. Stoner, of Franklin ; and, 
in regard to recent developments and prospecting, I am much 
indebted to Mr. L. S. Ropes, of Franklin, and Dr. C. Grimshawe, 
of Montvale. Mr. J. A. D. Stephenson, of Statesville, Mr. John 
A. Carter, of Democrat, and Mr. IT. S. Hayes, of Bald Creek, 
have furnished important data in regard to the operations in 
their respective localities. 


This mine is located five miles east of Haysville, at Elf post- 
office, on Shooting creek. It was opened in 1880 by Dr. H. S. 
Lucas. It was afterward bought by Herman Behr & Company, 
of New York, and was operated till 1890. A steam cleaning 
plant was erected at the mine, and considerable work was done. 
Much of this was doubtless of the nature of prospecting, but I 
am informed that several car loads of cleaned corundum were 
shipped. The location of the mine in a low place by a branch 
necessitated the constant use of pumps for drainage. The near- 
est railroad is about twenty-five miles distant. 


In the report of the North Carolina Geological Survey for 
1875, Dr. C. D. Smith states that he was the first to find corun- 
dum at Buck creek. Large loose blocks with feldspar and black 
horneblende were found on the surface. The first prospecting 
was done by Maj. Bryson about 1875 ; and two years later Mr. 
Frank Meminger worked for about six months and removed 
about thirty tons of corundum. 

For a period of ten years no further operations were under- 
taken ; then work was resumed by Mr. Ernst and continued for 
nine months, chiefly in the nature of prospecting. During 
another period of four years, the mine was idle ; then operations 
on a liberal scale were begun by Mr. Gregory Hart, and con- 
tinued for a year and a half, during which time a shaft was sunk 
on the feldspar vein and several open cuts made on the chlorite 
zones about the eastern border of the peridotite. Considerable 
quantities of corundum were taken out during this time, but 


nothing was shipped. Most of the product, however, was in 
large massive blocks with feldspar and black horneblende, and 
there was no economic method of crushing and cleaning it. 

In 1893, the mine was purchased by the Hampden Emery and 
Corundum Company (as it is now styled), and the material 
already mined was hauled to Corundum Hill and cleaned with 
the product of that mine. Since that time a little prospecting 
has been done in the chlorite zones, but no farther mining; has 
been undertaken. 

The nearest practicable shipping point is forty miles away, but 
by the construction of a few miles of wagon road, another station 
could be reached within twenty miles. (See also page 69.) 


This mine is seven miles southeast of Franklin, on Cullasaja, or 
Sugar Fork of the Little Tennessee river. The postoffice is Cul- 
lasaja. It is well known, not only for being the first worked, but 
also as the most successful corundum mine of the whole belt. Since 
1878, it has afforded a constant annual product of 200 to 300 tons 
of cleaned corundum. During 1893-4, the output was not so 
large, but the mine was operated continuously during a period 
when nearly every industry of the country was paralyzed. 

The beginning of operations here in 1871, by Col. C. AY. Jenks, 
has already been noted in the sketch of " Discoveries and early 
developments" given above. This first mining was chiefly for 
gems ; and the work was done by a hydraulic process with sluice 
boxes, very much in the same manner as the process is applied to 
gold mining. The surface soil and loose vein material were 
washed through a series of sluices, or rather boxes, inclined about 
thirty degrees. The material was constantly stirred so as to allow 
the lighter minerals to float off, while the corundum and other 
heavy minerals remained in the boxes. The concentrated corun- 
dum thus obtained was then removed and carefully searched for 
gems. Transparent and translucent fragments of ruby-red, sap- 
phire-blue, yellow, green, colorless, and other shades were found. 
Some of these cut good gems ; but, unfortunately, they were 



always small and the quantity too limited to make the business 

The value of the so-called sand corundum was not then realized ; 
and the only material put on the market, besides gems and cabinet 
specimens, consisted of the larger crystals and lumps. About one 
hundred tons of this corundum were mined, and sold for dental 
and other purposes in this country and Europe. This material, 
however, possessed a degree of purity scarcely attained in the later 
product of any of the mines. The average force employed in this 
work was about twelve men. 

In 1878, Dr. H. S. Lucas, of Chester, Massachusetts, bought the 
mine at Corundum Hill for the Hampden Emery Company, and 
began operations in October of the same year. Profiting by the 
experience of his predecessors, Dr. Lucas confined his operations 
to the mining of corundum for abrasive purposes only; and all 
corundum found — whether sand, crystals, or lumps — was saved 
and worked into sizes together. The abundant water-power of 
the Cullasaja was early utilized for the operation of washing and 
other cleaning machinery ; and thus the business was placed on a 
basis which has continued successful to the present time. 





[Fig. 6.— Diagramatic section across the corundum-bearing zone between gneiss and 
peridotite, Corundum Hill, Macon county, a. Gneiss, sometimes bearing corundum near 
the border; b, Schistose talc, chlorite, and vermiculite; c, Chlorite and vermiculite in 
interlocking crystalline plates with disseminated corundum; d. Similar to l> but more 
talcose; e. Border of bladed and fibrous enstatite; /, Dunite. [For a description of the 
formations illustrated by this figure see page 55.] 

A line of sluice troughs a mile and a half in length connects 
the mine with the mill, and the loose chloritic vein material is 
dumped into this as fast as mined. The rolling, falling, and 


scouring action to which it is subjected over this course does 
much toward separating the corundum from the accompanying 
impurities, and it arrives at the mill in a condition which renders 
cleaning comparatively easy. (See fig. 6 [p. 93] and pp. 37 and 55.) 

For two or three years, the " Hosea Moses mine " on Eliijay 
creek was worked by the same company, and, after a partial wash- 
ing at the mine, the product hauled to Corundum Hill for defin- 
ing. This was closed in 1894, and has not since been worked. 

Recently Dr. Lucas has retired from the company, and the 
mines are under the management of the new president, Mr. Frank 
E. Bidwell. The force employed in the company's x^orth Carolina 
mines has been somewhat variable, but it is usually about thirty 
or forty. The company (now styled the Hampden Emery and 
Corundum Company) also owns the Buck creek mine, but has not 
yet attempted to work it ; also the Pine Mountain mine, (Laurel 
creek,) in Rabun county, Georgia, which was operated from 18 SO 
till the spring of 1893 ; and the emery mine at Chester, Massa- 
chusetts, which is still in operation. 


Corundum was known in the vicinity of Great Hogback moun- 
tain in the southeastern corner of Jackson county atthe time when 
Dr. Smith wrote his report on this region, 1875.* He speaks of 
several hundred pounds having been taken out by digging small 

Work was begun here by the Sapphire Valley Mining Company 
in 1892, at the " Burnt Bock " mine, seven miles northeast of 
Sapphire ; and shortly afterwards a number of places in the sur- 
rounding country were opened. A complete cleaning and crushing 
plant was erected on Horsepasture river, and considerable expense 
was incurred in building roads, bridges, stores and other houses, 
saw-mills, shops, etc. About fifty or sixty men were constantly 
employed in mining, prospecting, and improvements, during the 
year in which the mine was operated. Mr. Charles N". Jenks, the 
superintendent, reports a product of over 400 tons, one-fourth of 
which was crystal corundum 90 per cent. pure. Work was sus- 

*Rept. Geol. Sur. N. C, 1, 1875, Appendix 91-97. 


pended during the financial crisis of 1893, and has not yet been 
resumed. The new railroad to Brevard will affect a considerable 
saving in transportation, as the product was formerly hauled on 
wagons to Henderson ville for shipment, a distance of some forty 
miles. (For descriptions of the various workings, see pages 71 
and 72.) 


This mine is in the eastern corner of the county, near Demo- 
crat postoffice, in Buncombe county. It is located on Holcombe 
branch, a tributary to Ivy river, and marks the northern extremity 
of the belt of dunite which extends over a distance of more than 
two miles, with an average width of about one-fourth of a mile. 
Dr. C. D. Smith first found corundum here about fifteen or twenty 
years ago. 

The first work was done by Mr. William Carter and Dr. H. S. 
Lucas, who took out a few tons in prospecting. Afterward work 
of a similar nature was done by Mr. M. E. Carter, and by Messrs. 
Rice and Coleman, who sold the property to Tarr, Hamilton and 
Company, of ISTew York. This company began regular mining 
about 1886. A steam crushing and sizing plant was erected on 
the grounds, and about twenty tons of corundum were cleaned and 
shipped from Marshall. The work continued only about six 
months, and has not since been resumed. (See also page 74.) 


This mine is located about three-fourths of a mile west of the 
town of Statesville, and half a mile south of the Charlotte and 
Taylors ville Railroad. About 1875, Mr. J. A. D. Stevenson 
found corundum near the site of the present operations. The 
Acme Corundum and Mining Company began work here in Feb- 
ruary 1893 under the management of Mr. H. A. Collins. Some 
corundum was shipped in the form of large rough blocks and 
crystals, just as it came from the mine ; but this was soon found 
unprofitable, and a steam mill was erected in March of the same 
year for cleaning and crushing. The product of cleaned material 
in 1893 was about fifty tons. 

Considerable difficulty was encountered on account of the great 


depth of soil and decayed rock. The mine is situated in a depression 
near the head of a small branch, where the alluvial deposits of clay 
are about fifteen feet deep. This material and the soft rock under- 
lying it are so thoroughly saturated with water that great diffi- 
culty was experienced in holding them back out of the workings. 

Mining was resumed in December, 189i, and since then, the 
work has been of the nature of prospecting for the purpose of 
locating veins under more favorable conditions. 

The mode of occurrence of this corundum and that of the Hun- 
ter place, in Iredell, are described under the head of corundum 
in amphibolite, pages 58 and 59. See also page 76. 


Incidentally the chromic iron and asbestos deposits were noted 
in passing over the region on the corundum work. These min- 
erals have been found in promising abundance in many places, and 
hence a word in regard to them is appended here. "While the cor- 
undum shows a great falling off northward, this is by no means 
true of the characteristic accompaniments of peridotite — chromite, 
asbestos, and nickel silicates. 


This mineral has been found in considerable abundance in Jack- 
son county, near Webster; in Bum combe county, at Morgan Hill; 
and in several localities in Yancey, Mitchell, and Watauga coun- 
ties. For analyses and more definite information, the reader is 
referred to Bulletin No. 1 of the present Survey, Iron Ores of 
North Carolina, by H. B. C. Nitze, 1893, pages 212-215. 


A fibrous mineral which is called by this name has been the 
object of considerable interest in Jackson county, in the vicinity 
of Glenville; in Mitchell county, near Bakersville, and near the 
mouth of Squirrel creek on north Toe river; in Watauga county, 


along the western slopes of Rich mountain; in Ashe county, on 
Elk creek; and it is found with all the enstatite rocks of the north- 
eastern portion of this belt. Fibre of good length, color, and fine- 
ness has been found in many places; and the mineral is of suffi- 
cient importance to warrant further investigation. In some places 
this fibrous mineral is enstatite, while in others it is chrysotile, or 
fibrous serpentine. In a few cases it is possibly amphibole, the 
true asbestos. 


Minute quantities of nickel are often present in the olivine rocks 
of this belt, but its presence can scarcely be detected in the fresh 
specimen except by chemical methods. But when the olivine 
begins to decompose under the influence of the atmospheric agen- 
cies, it is readily seen in the characteristic green silicates that are 
developed along the joints and fissures. Genthite, garnierite, and 
perhaps other nickel silicates are formed in such relations in the 
dunite at Webster, in Jackson county. These minerals have attrac- 
ted considerable attention, and some prospecting has been done, 
but nothing of importance as an ore has yet been found. 

Similar indications of the presence of nickel were observed south 
of Shooting creek, near Elf, Clay county, and south of Democrat, 
in Buncombe county. Small amounts of nickel staining have been 
seen in many places, showing a wide distribution of the metal in 
our olivine rocks; but no other localities were found that are 
considered worthy of special mention. 


Mention has already been made (page 31) of the adaptation of 
the serpentines of this belt to architectural purposes. They are 
indentical in every respect with those of Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania, which are largely quarried, especially in the latter state, for 
both interior decorative work and ordinary building purposes. 
The dark green and mottled varieties take a fine polish and 
give very rich effects for ornamental work where not exposed to 
wear or weather. The peculiar, but not unpleasing effect of the 


lighter colors for general building purposes may be seen in many 
structures in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. 

Outcrops of serpentine well suited to both these uses occur abun- 
dantly between Weaverville aud Leicester, in Buncombe county, 
in the strip that crosses the French Broad river a mile above Alex- 
ander. Other masses equally as large are found on the Paint Fork 
of Ivy river, in Madison county, and on the waters of Bald creek, 
in Yancey county; but these are not so conveniently located for 

There seems to be no reason why the Buncombe county serpen- 
tine should not come into the market in the near future. The era 
of substantial building has only just begun in the southern states, 
and as we learn to build, we should also learn to appreciate and 
appropriate our own resources. 




Only references pertaining to corundum itself or the corundum-bearing 
rocks are included in this list. Many others on peridotites and serpentine 
might be added. 

Adams, J. H. Corundum at Pelham, Mass. Am. Jour. Science, 2, XLIX., 

1870, 271, 272. 
Beck, Lewis C. Corundum in New York. Mineralogy of New York, 

1842, 315. 
Blake, W. P. Corundum, etc., at Vernon, N. J. Am. Jour. Science, 2, 

XIII, 1852, 116. 
Chatard, T. M. Corundum and emery of the U. S. Min. Resources of 

the U. S., 1883-84, 714-720. 
Gneiss-Dunite contacts of Corundum Hill, N. C. Bull. 42, U. S. Geol. 

Survey, 1887, 45-63. 
Cleaveland, Parker. Corundum at Litchfield, Conn. Mineralogy and 

Geology, Boston, 1822. 
Dana, J. D. Emery of Cortlandt, Westchester county, N. Y. Am. Jour. 

Science, 3, XX., 1880, 199, 200. 
Day, David T. Coruudum and emery of the U. S. Min. Resources of 

the U. S., 1885, 429 : 1887, 553, 554; 1888, 577; 1889-90, 457. 
Dickson, John. Corundum from the Carolinas. Am. Jour. Science, 1, 

III., 1821, 4, 229, 230. 
Fowler, Samuel. Sapphire, etc., at Newton, Sussex county, N. J. Am. 

Jour. Science, 1, XXL, 1832, 319, 320. 

Gannett, Henry. Corundum and emery of the U. S. Min. Resources of 

the U. S., 1882, 476, 477. 
Genth, F. A. Corundum in N. C. Jour. Franklin Inst., Nov. and Dec. 

Corundum, alterations and associated minerals. Proc. Am. Phil. Soc, 

XIII., 1873, 361-406 ; XIV., 1874, 216-218 ; XX., 1882, 381-404. 

Corundum in Pennsylvania. 2nd Geol. Survey of Penn., B, 1875, 31-33. 

Corundum in N. C. Rept. Geol. Survey of N. C, I., 1875, Appendix, 64. 

— — and W. C. Kerr. Emery in Guilford county, N. C. Rept. Geol. Sur- 
vey of N. C, I., 1875, 246. 
Corundum in Patrick county, Va. Am. Jour. Science, 3, XXXIX., 

1890, 47, 48. 

Corundum in N. C. Bull. 74, U. S. Geol. Survey, 1891, 29-31. 

Hitchcock, Edward. Corundum at Litchfield, Conn. Am. Jour. 

Science, 1, VI., 1823, 219. 
Hunt, T. Sterry. On Dr. Genth's researches on Corundum. Proc. Nat. 

Hist. Soc, Boston, XVI., 1874. 
Hunter, C. L. Corundum and emery in Gaston county, N. C. Am. 

Jour. Science, 2, XV., 1853,376. 


Jackson, C. T. Discovery of emery at Chester, Mass. Am. Jour. Science, 

2, XXXIX, 1865, 87-90. 
Discovery of corundum at the emery mine, Chester, Mass. Am. Jour. 

Science, 2, XLII., 1866, 421. 
Jenks, Charles N. Abrasives in common use. Scientific American 

Sup., No. 988, Dec. 8, 1894. 
Jenks, C. W. Corundum in N. C, Am. Jour. Science, 3, III, 1873, 301, 

302. Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, London, XXX., 1874, 303-306. 
Julien, A. A. Dunite beds of N. C, Proc. Nat. Hist. Soc. Boston, XXII., 

1882, 141-149. 
Kerr, W. C. Corundum of N. C, Kept. Geol. Survey of N C, I., 1875, 

299. Appendix Rept.Beol. Sur. of N C, 1873, 9. 
King, Francis P. Corundum in Gra., Bull. 2, Geol. Survey of Ga., 1894. 
Kunz. George F. Corundum gems of the U. S. Min. Resources of the U. S., 

1882, 485, 486; 1883-84, 733-736; 1892, 760-761; 1893, 680. Gems and Pre- 
cious Stones of North America, 1890, 40-48. 
Lesley, J. P. Origin of Corundum, etc., in Penn., 2d Geol. Survey of 

Penn., C4, 1883, 351-354. 

Lewis, J. Volney. Origin of peridotite and Corundum of the southern 
Appalachians. Jour. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc, 12th year, 1895-6. 

Corundum of the Appalachian Crystalline Belt. Trans. Am. Inst., 

Min. Eng., XXV., Atlanta meeting, 1895. 

Paret, T. Dunkin. Emery and other abrasives. Jour. Franklin Inst., 

CXXXVIL, 1894, 353-372, 421-438. 
Parker, E. W. Corundum of the U. S. Min. Resources of the U. S., 

1891, 555; 1892, 751. 

Corundum in N. C. Min. Resources of the U. S., 1893, 674 678. 

Pennypacker, Charles H. Corundum in Penn. Mineral Collector, II.. 

1895, 89, 90. 
Raborg, William A. Corundum of the U. S. Mineral Resources of the 

U. S., 1886, 585, 586. 
Rand, Theodore D., W. W. Jefferis, and J. T. M. Cardeza. Min- 
eral localities of Philadelphia and vicinity. Proc. Ac. Nat. Sci. 

Phil., 1892, 174-202. 
Origin of serpentine of Pennsylvania. Proc. Ac. Nat. Sci. Phil., 1890, 

Raymond, R. W. Jenks (Corundum Hill) mine, N. C. Trans. Am. Inst. 

Min. Eng. VII., 1878, 83-90. 
Shepard, C. U. Corundum at Litchfield, Conn. Minerals of Conn., 1837, 

Corundum regions of N. C. and Gra. Am. Jour. Science, 3, IV.. 1872, 

109-114, 175-180. 


Emery and associated minerals at Chester, Mass. Am. Jour. Science, 

2, XL., 1865, 112, 123; 2, XLIL, 1866, 421, 422; 2, XLVL, 1868, 256. 
Silliman B., Jr. Corundum and associated minerals, Unionville, Penn. 

Am. Jour. Science, 2, VIII., 1849, 377, 393. 
Smith, C. D. Corundum in N. C. Rept. Qeol. Survey of N. C, I, 1875, 

Appendix, 91-97; 98-120. 
Smith, Edgar F. Discovery of corundum in Lehigh county, Penn. Proc. 

Am. Phil. Soc, XXII., March, 1882. 
Analysis of corundum from Lehigh county, Penn. Am. Chem. Jour. 

V., 1883, 275. 
Smith, J. L. Emery of Chester, Mass. Am. Jour. Science, 2, XLIL, 1866, 

Corundum in N. C, Ga. and Mont. Am. Jour. Science, 3, VI., 1873, 

Trautwine, J. C. Corundum, etc., Cullasaja (Corundum Hill), N. C, 

Jour. Franklin Inst, XCIV., 1872, 7. 
Wadsworth, M. E. Olivine rocks of N. C, Science, III., 1884, 486, 487. 
Dunite of N. C. u Lithological Studies,''' 1 Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., Cam- 
bridge, XL, Part 1, 1884, 118-120. 
Willcox, Joseph. Corundum in North and South Carolina. Proc. Acad. 

Nat. Sci. Phil., 1878, 159, 223. 
Corundum in Penn. 2d Qeol. Survey of Penn., C4. 1883, 346-351. 

Williams, G. H. Emery of the " Cortland series," N. Y. Am. Jour. 

Science, 3, XXXIII, 1887, 194-199. 
Miscellaneous mention. — Corundum in N. J. Am. Jour. Science, 1, XIIL, 
1828, 380. 

Corundum Hill, N. C. Am. Jour. Science, 3, III., 1872, 301. 
Corundum in N. C. Pop. Science Monthly, IV., 1874, 452-456. 
Corundum in S. C. Agr. Rept. S. C. 1883, 137, and map. 
Corundum in Ga. The Commonwealth of Ga., 1885, 139. 




Photographed with Fetiss'' objective No. 0. Magnified 12 diameters. 


This is an exceptionally fresh specimen of the pure olivine type. The 
perfectly crystalline, even grained texture of the rock, and the generally 
irregular (hypidiomorphic) structure are well shown ; though crystal out- 
lines, like that on the upper left hand side, are frequently seen. 


This figure represents the prevailing character of the surface exposure 
of dunite. These first narrow bands of yellowish green serpentine formed 
about the borders of the olivine grains are minutely fibrous, with the 
fibres at right angles to the boundaries of the olivine. They look very 
much like mortar in rubble masonry. 


This section shows a common type of fine grained olivine rock as seen 
between crossed nicols (polarized light). The minute grains are found to 
extinguish together over considerable areas, showing that the fine text- 
ure is the result of irregular cracking up of large grains similar to those 
shown in figure 1. 


This specimen shows an advanced stage in the alteration of olivine to 
serpentine, the beginning of which was seen in figure 2. In the process of 
alteration, a considerable proportion of magnetite has been formed and 
deposited in dark bands about the olivine remnants, which appear white 
in the figure. 


Here we have the final result of the process of serpentinization repre- 
sented in figures 2 and 4. No trace of unaltered olivine remains. The 
positions of the last fragments to disappear are marked by black accumu- 
lations of magnetite; otherwise the serpentine appears quite homogeneous 
in ordinary light. 


The subject of this figure is identical with the last, except that the 
section is here viewed between crossed nicols. The network of light 
bands ("mesh-structure") represents the first serpentine formed in the 
alteration of olivine, as shown in figure 2, and marks the boundaries of 
the original grains. (This figure is inverted with reference to figure 5.) 



THIN SECTIONS OF DUNITE. (Magnified 12 Diameters'. 


Acme corundum mine, Iredell Co. 
Actinolite in amphibolite 

in anaphibole-picrite.... 

in dunite 

in talc 

Adams, F. D., cited 

Adams, J. EL, cited 

Addie, Jackson Co., corundum 





Alabama, corumdum 38,64 

peridotite 33, 64 

Alexander, Buncombe Co., serpen- 
tine 41, 98 

Alexander Co., corundum 76, 89 

Alleghany Co., peridotite 47 

soapstone 47 

Alluvial deposits, corundum in 62 

Alterations of dunite 20, 56, 102 

of peridotite 20,56 

of pyroxenite 26 

Amphibole 20, 23, 25, 26, 59, 60 

Amphibole-picrite 23 

Amphibolite 28, 58 

Analyses of enstatite 27 

of emery, Guilford Co 78 

of feldspar in f orellenstein 24 

of "smaragdite" 29 

Andalusite 61 

Anorthite in amphibolite.. 28, 58 

in forellenstein 24 

Anthophyllite 26, 56 

Apophyses of peridotite 36, 38 

Appalachian crystalline belt 12,33 

Asbestos 45, 69, 73, 96 

Ashe County 97 

Jackson " 96 

Mitchell " 45, 75, 96 

Watauga" 45,96 

Ashe Co., asbestos 97 

peridotite 46 

soapstone 32, 47 

Asia Minor, emery 88 

Asteria, asteriated sapphire 50, 52 

Bakersville, asbestos 96 

corundum 75 

peridotite 44 

Bailey, John and Joel, corundum in 

Penn .-. 87 

Balsam Gap, peridotite 38 

Banks creek, peridotite 43 

Baskerville, Dr. Chas., analyses by. 24, 26, 29 

Beck, Lewis C, cited 88 


Behr corundum mine, Clay Co 91 

Bell knob, peridotite 35 

Bellevue, peridotite 45 

Bid well, Frank E., corundum mining 94 

Blake, W. P., cited 88 

Block corundum 52 

Boone, Watauga Co., chromite 19, 96 

peridotite 45 

Bowman, D. A., cited 75 

Bowman, Wm., corundum 75 

Brace, John P., cited 87 

Brush creek, peridotite 47 

Bryson, Major, corundum mining.... 91 

Buck creek, amphibole-picrite 24 

amphibolite 28, 36, 55 

corundum mine 69, 83, 91 

forellenstein 24, 36 

peridotite 15, 34, 36 

serpentine 30 

Buncombe Co., chromite : 96 

corundum 73 

nickel-bearing min- 
erals 40 

peridotite 40 

serpentine 30, 40 

Burke Co., corundum 63, 77 

Burnsville, chromite 19, 43 

Cane creek, Jackson Co., peridotite. 

Cane creek, Mitchell Co., peridotite.. 

Caney fork, corundum 

Cai'bonates in dunite 21, 

Carpenters knob, corundum 

Carter, John A., acknowledgements 

Carter corundum mine, Madison Co. 41, 74, 

Chalcedony from peridotite 22, 

Chatard, T. M., cited 

Chatham Co., corundum 

Cherokee Co., corundum 

Chester, Mass., emery mine tit;, 80, 

Chestnut mountain, dunite 


in amphibole-picrite 

in dunite 20, 21, 

veins of with corundum 55, 

Chlorite schist 

corundum in 33, 


Chromite, chromic iron 19. 

in peridotite 17, 18, 

relation to picotite 



Chrysolite, see Olivine. 

Chrysotile 97 

Chubbs mountain, corundum 77 

Chunky Gal mountain, corundum-... 62, 68 

peridotite 35 

Clay Co., corundum 67,91 

nickel-bearing minerals.... 97 

peridotite 24, a5 

Cleaning corundum, methods 81, 83 

Cleveland Co., corundum 77 

Cleveland, Parker, cite i 87 

Clingman, Gen. T. C, 88 

Collins, H. A., corundum mining 95 

Commercial corundum 50, 52 

Concentration of corundum 81 

natural 62 

Connecticut, corundum 66 

Corundum, character and varieties. 48 

in North Carolina. 51 

as rock constituent 54 

cleaning processes 81, 83 

discoveries and early de- 
velopments 87 

distribution 63 

in Alabama 33,64 

Alexander Co.. 76,89 

Appalachian belt 63 

Buncombe Co 73 

Burke Co 63,77 

Chatham Co 78 

Cherokee Co 78 

Clay Co 67,91 

Cleveland Co. 77 

Connecticut 66 

Forsyth Co 78 

Gaston C > 77,88 

Georgia 33, 64 

Guilford Co 77, 89 

Haywood Co 73 

Iredell Co 58,76,89,95 

Jackson Co 57, 63, 70 

Macon Co 69,92 

Madison Co 74, 88, 95 

Massachusetts 34, 66 

Mitchell Co 75 

New Jersey 65, 88 

New York 34, 66 ,88 

North Carolina. 33, 64, 67, 88 

Pennsylvania 33,65 

Polk Co 78 

South Carolina 33, 64 

Transylvania Co 72 

Virginia 65 

Wilkes Co 78 

Yancey Co 75 

mining methods 81,82 

modes of occurrence 54, 93 

Corundum— Continued. 

prospecting methods 78 

uses of 51 

Corundum belt, geologic sketch 11 

Corundum gems 50. 52 

Corundum Hill mine 37, 92 

cleaning methods.... 85 

Corundum mining, historical sketch 86 

in North Carolina 89 

methods of 81,82 

Corundum wheels 51 

Cowee mountains, corundum 70 

Crab creek, peridotite 47 

Cranberry, peridotite near 45 

Crisp, Hiram, discovery of corundum 88 

Crowders mountain, corundum 77 

Cullakanee mine, see Buck Creek. 
Cullasaja mine, see Corundum Hill. 
Cyanite, corundum in 61, 73, 74.87 

Damourite on corundum 76 

Dana, James I)., cited 28.50 

Delafleld, Maj., cited 87 

Democrat, corundum near 73 

nickel-bearing minerals. 41, 97 

peridotite 40 

Deer Island, Me., serpentine 34 

Diallage in dunite 19 

Diaspore with corundum 56. 88 

Dickson, John, chW 87 

Dikes of amphibolite 28 

hypersthenite 61 

Discoveries and developments of 

corundum 87 

Distribution of peridotite, ere. 33 

of corundum, see Co- 

Dunite 17, 43 

alteration of 20,56,102 

corundum in 60. 75 

distribution, see Peridotite. 

microscopic characters 18. 102 

Economic minerals of corundum belt 96 

Edenite 28 

Egypt (Hayes) mine, Yancey Co 44, 75 

Elf, Clay Co., corundum 68, 91 

nickel-bearing minerals... 97 

peridotite. 35 

Elk creek, Ashe Co., harzburgite 46 

Elk ridge, Ashe Co., peridotite 47 

Emerson, B. K., cited 67 

Emery 11, 50, 88 

Chester, Mass. 66, 80 

Forsyth Co 78 

Gaston Co ". 88 

Guilford Co 77,89 

;";.•-. -. - 




Emery— Continued. 

New York 34,66 

Emery wheels 51 

Ennis, Alleghany Co., peridotite 47 

Enstatite in peridotites 19, 23, 25, 47 

in pyroxenites.. 25 

Enstatite borders 21, 56 

Enstatite rock. 25, 45, 46 

analyses of.... 27 

Feldspar in amphibolite 29 

in forellenstein 24 

with corundum 59, 74, 76, 83 

Fish Hawk mountain, corundum 69 

Flat creek mountains, peridotite 41 

Forellenstein, troctolite 24, 35 

Forsyth Co., corundum and emery... 78 

Fowler, Dr. Samuel, cited 87 

French Broad river, peridotite 39, 42 

serpentine 31, 41, 98 

Friendship, emery near 77 

Garnet 46, 62, 73 

Garnierite 97 

Gaston Co., corundum... 77, 88 

Gem varieties of corundum 50,51 

Genth, Dr. F. A., cited. 10, 27, 28, 56, 61, 77, 78, 89 

Genthite 97 

Geologic sketch of corundum region 11 

Georgia, corundum in 33, 64 

peridotite 34, 36, 39 

Glade creek, peridotite 47 

Glenville, Jackson Co., asbestos 96 

peridotite 39 

Gneiss, corundum in 61, 73 

of the crystalline belt 12, 55 

Gravel deposits, corundum in 62 

Grimshawe, Dr. C, acknowledge- 
ments 91 

Guilford Co., emery 77, 89 

Hamilton corundum mine, Georgia. 35 

Hampden Emery and Corundum Co. 92, 94 

Hart, Gregory, corundum mining.... 91 

Harzburgite (Saxonite) 23, 43, 46, 47 

Hayes (Egypt) mine, Yancey Co.... 44, 75 

Hayes, U. S., acknowledgements 91 

Haynie, G. C, corundum 75 

Haywood Co., corundum 73 

peridotite 40 

Historical sketch of corundum m'n'g 86 

Hitchcock, Edward, cited 66, 87 

Hoboken, N. J., serpentine 34 

Hogback (Sapphire) corund 1 m mine 39, 71, 94 

Hogsed, Samuel, corundum 68 



Hornblende, see Amphibole. 

" Hosea Moses Mine," Macon Co 94 

Hunter, Dr. C. L., cited 77, 88 

Hypersthenite dikes 61 

Igneous rocks, sheared 12 

"Indications" of corundum 78 

Iredell Co., amphibolite 58 

corundum 58,76,89,95 

Ivy river, corundum 75, 95 

peridotite 42 

serpentine 31,42, 98 

Jackson Co., asbestos 96 

chromite 19, 96 

corundum 57, 63* 70, 94 

nickel-bearing min'r'ls 97 

peridotite 37 

Jackson, Dr. C. T., cited 88 

Jefferis, W. W., cited 87 

Jefferson, soapstone 47 

Jenks, Chas. N., acknowledgements 71. 90, 94 
Jenks, Col. C. W., corundum mining. 89, 92 

Julian, Frank, analysis by 27 

Julien, A. A., cited .. 10 

Kings mountain, corundum 77 

King, Francis P., cited 26,28,35, 65 

Kunz, George F., cited . 51,52,64 

Laurel creek (Pine mountain) co- 
rundum mine, Georgia 39, 64, 83 

Leicester, serpentine 40, 98 

Lewis, J. Volney, cited 31 

Limestone, corundum with 66, 88 

Literature on corundum belt. 99 

Litchfield, Conn., corundum 87 

Lucas, Dr. H. S., acknowledgements 88, 90 
corundum mining 91, 93, 95 

McChristian place, emery 77 

McDowell Co., corundum 63 

Macon Co., corundum 37, 69,92 

peridotite 36 

Madison Co., corundum 74, 88, 95 

peridotite 41 

serpentine 30, 41, 98 

Magnesian rocks 13,15 

Magnetite 21, 46, 102 

Maine, serpentine 34 

Map of Appalachian crystalline belt 32 

Buck creek peridotite area... 34 

Corundum Hill 36 

Webster peridotite area 38 

Western N. C. Frontispiece. 




Margarite with corundum. 56, 59, 73, 76, 80, 88 

Marshall, corundum discovery 74, 88 

Maryland, corundum 65 

serpentine 31, 33, 97 

Massachusetts, corundum, emery ...66, 88, 89 

peridotite 34,67 

serpentine 34 

Massive rocks of peridotite belt 13, 15 

Meminger, Frank, mining 91 

Mesh structure of serpentine 102 

Methods of cleaning corundum 81, 83 

mining 81, 82 

prospecting 78 

Mica with corundum 56.58,60, 61 

Mica schist, corundum in 61, 64, 73 

Microscopic characters of dunite 18, 102 

serpentine 102 

Mining and cleaning methods 81 

Mitchell Co., asbestos 45, 75, 96 

chromite 96 

corundum 75 

peridotite 44 

Modes ofoccurrence of corundum.... 54, 93 

Monazite 77 

Morgan Hill, chromite £6 

Muscovite 58,58,60,61 

New Found creek, serpentine 40 

New Found gap, corundum 73 

peridotite 40 

New Hampshire, serpentine 34 

New Jersey, corundum 87, 88 

serpentine 34 

New York, corundum and emery... 34, 66, 88 

peridotite 34, 66 

serpentine 34 

New Zealand, dunite 17 

Nickel-bearing minerals 22, 44, 97 

Nitze, H. B. C, acknowledgements . 77 

cited 96 

North Toe river, asbestos 96 

peridotite 45 

Norwich, Conn., corundum 66 

Ocoee formation 14, 45 

Olivine, alterations, etc 20, 102 

in forellenstein : 24 

in peridotite 15 

serpentine from 30, 102 

Oriental amethyst 50 

emerald 50 

ruby 50, 52 

topaz 50 

Paint Fork of Ivy river, serpentine. 42, 98 

Paleozoic of Tennessee 14 

Pegmatite with corundum 57, 73 


Penland, Newton, corundum 68 

Pennsylvania, corundum 33, 65 

serpentine 31. 33 

" Perido-steatite " 42, 44 

Peridotite and associated rocks 13, 15 

corundum with 55 

distribution'in Alabama 33, 64 

Alleghany^Co 47 

Appalachian belt 33 

Ashe Co 46 

Buncombe Co 40 

Clay Co 35 

Georgia 33, 36, 39, 64 

Haywood Co 40 

Jackson Co 37 

Macon Co 36 

Maine 34 

Madison Co 41 

Maryland 33. 97 

Massachusetts 34. 67 

Mitchell Co 44 

New Hampshire 34 

New Jersey 34,66 

New York 34,66 

North Carolina 34, 64, 67 

Pennsylvania 33, 65 

South Carolina 33. 64 

Transylvania Co 39 

Vermont 31 

Virginia 33, 65 

Watauga Co 45 

Yancey Co 43 

Picotite in amphibole-picrite 23 

amphibolite 29, 58 

dunite 17. 18 

relation to chromite 18 

Pigeon river, corundum 73 

Pine mountain (Laurel creek) corun- 
dum mine, Georgia 39. 64. 83 

Pine Swamp creek, peridotite 47 

Polk Co., corundum 78 

Presley corundum mine, Hayw'd Co. 40, 73 

Prices creek, peridotite. 43 

Prospecting methods 78 

Pyrite with corundum 87 

Pyrophyllite, corundum in 78 

Pyroxene 56 

in harzburgite 23 

in pyroxenites 25,27 

Pyroxenites 25, 45, 46 

Rabun Co., Georgia, corundum 39 

peridotite 36 

Reaction zones in forellenstein 25 

Rich mountain, chromite 45 

peridotite 45 

Ropes, L. S., acknowledgements 91 




Ruby, oriental or true 50, 52 

Rutherford Co., corundum 63 

Sampson mountains, corundum 75 

peridotite 44 

Sand corundum 52 

Sapphire 50 

Sapphire (Hogback) mine 39, 71, 83, 94 

cleaning methods 84 

Saxonite (Harzbui gite) 23, 43, 46, 47 

Scaly mountain, corundum 69 

Schistose magnesian rocks 32 

Seal, Dr. Thomas, corundum in Penn 87 

Secondary minerals in dunite 20 

Secondary magnesian rocks 30 

Serpentine..... 20,30, 97 

architectural uses 31, 97 

derived from olivine 20, 30 

distribution, Buck creek 30 

Buncombe Co 30, 40 

Clay Co 30 

Madison Co 30 

Maine 34 

Maryland 31,33,97 

Massachusetts 34 

New Hampshire.. 34 

New Jersey 34 

New York 34 

Pennsylvania 31, 33, 97 

Vermont 34 

Virginia 33 

Watauga Co 46 

Yancey Co 30 

Sheared igneous rocks 12 

Shepard, Dr. C. IT., cited 10 

Shooting creek, corundum 61, 68, 91 

nickel-bearing'minerals.. 97 

peridotite 24, 35 

Smaragdite 28 

Smith, Dr. C. D., cited 26,60,91,94 

Smith, Dr. J. L., cited 88 

Soapstone, talc rocks 32, 42 

Alleghany Co 32 

Ashe Co 32, 47 

Watauga Co 46 

South Carolina, corundum 33,64 

South Toe river, peridotite 44 

Spinel with corundum . 56,66, 74 

Star sapphire 50, 52 

Staten Island, serpentine 34 

Statesville, corundum 76, 95 

Staurolite 56 


Stephenson, J. A. D., acknowledge- 
ments 89, 91 

Stoner, A. M., acknowledgements.... 91 

Swannanoa gap, corundum 74 

Talc from enstatite 26 

in dunite 21 

Talc rocks, soapstone 13, 32, 42, 46, 73 

Tourmaline with corundum 56 

Towns Co., Georgia, corundum 34, 64 

peridotite 34 

Toxaway river, corundum 73 

Track Rock corundum mine, Ga 34 

Transylvania Co., corundum 72 

peridotite 39 

Tremolite in dunite 21 

Troctolite, Forellenstein 24 

Turkey knob, corundum 70 

Union Co., Georgia, corundum 34 

Uses of corundum 51 

Varieties of corundum 48, 51 

Vermiculite 57, 59, 76 

Vermont, serpentine 34 

Vernon, N. J., corundum 88 

Virginia, corundum 61, 65 

peridotite 47 

serpentine 33 

Wadsworth, Dr. M. E., cited, 19 

Ward, E, B., corundum mining 89 

Watauga Co., asbestos 45, 96 

chromite 19, 96 

peridotite 45 

Weathering of dunite 22 

Weaverville, serpentine 98 

Webster, chromite 19,96 

nickel-bearing minerals.... 97 

peridotite 15,17, 34, 37 

Websterite 27 

Wilkes Co., corundum 87 

Willcox, Joseph, cited 78 

Williams, Dr. G. H., cited 9, 27, 66 

Yancey Co., chromite 19, 96 

corundum 75 

peridotite 43 

serpentine 30, 98 

Zirkel, F., cited 54 












E. M. Uzzell & Co., Public Printeks and Binders 








Governor R. B. Glenn, ex officio Chairman Raleigh. 

Henry E. Fries Winston-Salem. 

Frank R. Hewitt Asheville. 

Hugh MacRae Wilmington. 

Frank Wood Edenton. 

Joseph Hyde Pratt, State Geologist Chapel Hill. 



Chapel Hill, N. C., November 15, 1906. 

To His Excellency, Hon. E. B. Glenn, 

Governor of North Carolina. 

Sir. — I have the honor to submit for publication as Bulletin No. 
12 of the Geological and Economic Survey, the report of Dr. George 
Frederick Kunz on the History of the Gems found in North Carolina. 

Yours obediently, 

Joseph Hyde Pratt, 

State Geologist. 




Peeface ix 

Introduction xl 

Chapter I. — Historical sketch of gem mining in North Carolina 1 

II. — Diamonds 5 

III. — Corundum gems 10 

IV. — Gem minerals of the pegmatite dikes 25 

The feldspars 27 

Orthoclase 27 

Microline 27 

Oligoclase 27 

Labradorite 28 

Leopardite 28 

V— Quartz 29 

Crystalline varieties 29 

Rock crystal 29 

Amethyst 81 

Smoky quartz 32 

Rose quartz 33 

Quartz inclusions 33 

Fluid inclusions 34 

Non-Crystalline quartz 35 

Chalcedony 35 

Chrysoprase 35 

Jasper 35 

Opal 36 

Hyalite 36 

VI. — Beryl, spodumene (hiddenite) 37 

Beryl 37 

Emerald beryl 37 

Aquamarine 42 

Yellow beryl 42 

Hiddenite or lithia emerald 45 

VII. — Garnet, zircon, rutile, octahedrite 49 

Garnet 49 

Almandite 49 

Pyrope 50 

Rhodolite 50 

Zircon 51 

Rutile 52 

Octahedrite 53 

VIII. — Cyanite, epidote, tourmaline, chrysolite (peridot), ser- 

Cyanite 54 

Epidote 55 

Tourmaline 55 

Chrysolite (peridot) 56 

Serpentine 56 

Edenite (smaragdite) 57 

Lazulite 57 

Malachite 58 

Pearls 58 



I. Corundum gems from North Carolina « 1 

II. Wiseman Beryl Mine, Mitchell County, N. C, 18 miles from 

Marion 2 

III. Diamond and heryl crystals from North Carolina 8 

IV. A, Transparent blue and green sapphire, natural size, Macon 

County, N. C; B, Corundum showing alteration, natural size, 

Haywood County, N. C 16 

V. Quartz gems from North Carolina 26 

VI. A, Quartz crystals (smoky), natural size, Alexander County, 

N. C; B, Amethyst crystals, Lincoln County, N. C 30 

VII. A, Smoky quartz crystals 7/16 natural size, Hiddenite P. 0., 
Alexander County, N. C; B, Quartz crystals with amethyst 

tips, natural size, Lincoln County, N. C 32 

VIII. A, Group of quartz crystals, parallel crystallization, % natural 
size, Lincoln County, N. C; B, Group quartz crystals en- 
closing clay and water, % natural size, Burke County, N. C. 34 

IX. Beryl crystals from North Carolina 38 

X. Emerald mine, Crabtree Mountain, Mitchell County, N. C, about 

25 miles from Marion 42 

XL Beryl crystals, natural size, Burnsville, N. C 44 

XII. A, Spodumene (hiddenite) in matrix, natural size, Stony Point, 

N. C; B, Cyanite, natural size, Burnsville, N. C 48 

XIII. Garnet and cyanite gems from North Carolina 50 

XIV. A, Rutile crystals, natural size, Stony Point, N. C.;. B, Rutile, 

reticulated, natural size, near Hiddenite P. 0., Alexander 

County, N. C 52 

XV. A, Rutile with dolomite and muscovite; B, Rutile group, natural 

size, Stony Point, N. C 56 



The preparation of the report on the History of the Gems Found in 
North Carolina was turned over to Dr. George Frederick Kunz of New 
York as the recognized authority on gems. He has had access to all the 
information relating to gems and gem minerals on file in the office of the 
Survey, and has also drawn freely from the various publications by 
himself and others relating to the gems of the State. In his introduction, 
Dr. Kunz calls attention to the fact that the production of gems in the 
State has been largely incidental to the mining and production of some 
other mineral and that there have been but few localities that have been 
developed solely for gems. At the present time, however, there are 
several companies operating in North Carolina simply for gem minerals, 
the two more important companies being the United States Ruby Com- 
pany and the American Gem and Pearl Company. 

The report is freely illustrated and many of the colored illustrations 
are of gems in the Morgan-Tiffany and Morgan-Bement collections at 
the American Museum of Natural History of New York City. 

Chapter I gives a brief historical sketch of gem mining in the State, 
but detailed accounts are given in many instances under the head of the 
individual mineral. 

The various gem minerals are described in the next five chapters. The 
localities are also given and reference is made to the commercial value of 
the gem material found. 

This report does not pretend to take up a detailed account of the 
geological occurrences of the gem minerals, or a study of their chemical 
and physical characteristics, as these will be discussed in a later publi- 
cation. It has been published especially for distribution at the James- 
town Exposition. 

Joseph Hyde Pratt, 

State Geologist. 



North Carolina, with its magnificent mountains and its swiftly running 
rivers and streams, has now for some years come to possess almost as 
great a charm for the Northern as it long before had for the Southern 
tourist. " The land of the Sky " has become a favorite resort for the 
traveler, the invalid, the sportsman, the lover of nature, and the seeker 
for rest, from almost every part of the country. For the mineralogist, 
too, it has peculiar interest, so great, indeed, that its scenic attractions 
have, for such as he, been almost overmatched, not to say overlooked, 
in the search for the beautiful crystals that are found in its mountains, 
and the variety of rare, minute, and interesting minerals that occur in 
the brooks and streams associated with gold. Among these crystals and 
sands occur many minerals that have yielded true gems, and North 
Carolina has hence become one of the most notable States for gem pro- 
duction in the American Union. 

The finding of these minerals, however, has been in most cases a 
secondary or incidental result in the search for and mining of substances 
more immediately desired for practical use on a larger scale. These 
last have been essentially three, which have developed in succession, and 
mark several stages in the mineral production of North Carolina. 

These stages were : (I) The gold-mining, from early in the last century 
to the time of the Civil War; (II) the corundum and mica industry, for 
the quarter-century following that great struggle; and (III) the devel- 
opment of the " rare earths," and the monazite sands, in connection with 
recent scientific discoveries and appliances, within the last 10 or 15 
years. To these may be added a fourth stage, viz., that of systematic 
mining for the gems themselves at various times, such as for sapphire 
at Corundum Hill; for ruby and rhodolite in the Cowee Valley; for 
beryls in Mitchell County, and later, for amethyst at Tessentee Creek, 
Macon County. 

Through the gold belt of the western Carolinas and Georgia, that 
metal occurs widely distributed, but in very variable amounts. At certain 
points mining has been conducted with profit, and in some instances 
nuggets of impressive size have been obtained. More or less active 
working has long been done in the North Carolina gold fields, and the 


total product has been very considerable; but, strange as it may seem, 
many of the discarded gold-washings of a century ago are now yielding 
more to the owner of the land for the obscure and long unknown monazite 
sands than for the gold originally obtained with them. In regard to this 
latest development, extended mining has recently shown that the hillsides, 
from which the monazite sands in the " branches " and streams originally 
came, contain an endless store of these rare minerals, and that when the 
ancient brook-washings are exhausted, the hillsides can be resorted to for 
a century to come. It is in the search for this mineral that most of the 
small and beautiful garnets, rutiles, sapphires, epidotes, and other gems 
have lately been found. 

Between the gold-mining of earlier times and the more recent and 
varied developments, came the terrible years of the " war between the 
States." When that was past, brave and patriotic men like the late 
Gen. Thomas L. Clingman, afterwards United States Senator, turned their 
attention to developing the natural resources of their State and retrieving 
in every way possible the ruin and devastation that had swept over the 
South. Then commenced a period of exploration and discovery in the 
mineral and gem treasures of North Carolina that has progressed and 
expanded to a wonderful extent. It began with the corundum industry 
and the mica mines. The presence of the former mineral had been known 
for some years before the war, but it had not been developed. The first 
notice of its occurrence in the State was in 1846, by Prof. C. D. Smith, 
but with no particulars as to the locality. About 1850 General Clingman 
announced it from Madison County; andin 1852, Prof. E. T. Brumby, 
of the College of South Carolina, collected and labelled specimens from 
Clubb Mountain, in Lincoln County, and placed them in the College cab- 
inet at Columbia, S. C. In the next year Professor Ebenezer Emmons, of 
the University of North Carolina, in a report on the midland counties of 
the State, mentioned a discovery of corundum by Dr. C. L. Hunter, in 
Gaston County. Little or nothing was done in regard to it, however, until 
immediately after the war, in 1865, when the Rev. C. D. Smith, of Frank- 
lin, Macon County, who had been an assistant to Prof. Ebenezer Emmons 
on the Geological Survey of the State, identified specimens that were 
brought to him, visited the spot whence they came, and discovered a 
number of important localities. In the next 5 years a great amount of 
exploration was done, mines were opened, and an important and enduring 
industry was called into being. Among those most active in this field 
of study and progress, besides Mr. Smith and General Clingman, were the 
able State Geologist, Prof. Washington C. Kerr, the enthusiastic and 
indefatigable collector, Mr. J. Adlai D. Stephenson, of Statesville, and 


Mr. C. W. Jenks, who opened the Corundum Hill mine, at Franklin, N. C, 
about 1870, and was the first to find gem sapphire in its original matrix. 
During the same period, numerous valuable scientific reports and analyses 
were prepared and published by such authorities as Prof. F. A. Genth, 
Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, and Dr. T. M. Chatard; and the North Carolina 
corundum, its history, mineralogy, and composition, was thus made widely 

Although the main value of the mineral as mined was for use as an 
abrasive material, yet pieces were obtained that had color and transparency 
enough to rank them in some cases as true gems and largely as valuable 
specimens. Among the first fine crystals were some obtained by Prof. 
C. U. Shepard; one of these, now in the Shepard collection at Amherst 
College, Mass., weighs over 300 pounds. Besides the collecting tours of 
Professor Shepard, many annual visits were made to the corundum region 
by Mr. Norman Spang, of Pittsburg, Pa., a wealthy and noted collector, 
who encouraged exploration, and brought back with him much of the 
choicest of the "treasure trove." Mr. W. E. Hidden, of New York, 
devoted a large part of 20 years to energetic and intelligent search 
for minerals and gems with wonderful success; and recently the State 
Geologist, Dr. Joseph H. Pratt, and Prof. J. V. Lewis have given ex- 
tended and detailed study to the whole subject of the various occurrences 
of corundum in the State. All this activity has not only developed the 
industry itself, but has led incidentally to other discoveries. It may be, 
indeed, that more has been spent in the search and in attempts at mining, 
not always judicious, than the product itself has yielded; but the effect 
on the development of the State has been immense. In the matter of 
gems and remarkable specimens, these years of exploration have succes- 
sively brought to light one and another fine gem, crystal, or rare mineral, 
to such an extent that to-day, were the North Carolina specimens removed 
from the great collections of the world, a gap would be left that could 
not be filled, in such places as the American Museum of Natural History, 
New York, the British Museum of London, the Imperial Museum of 
Vienna, the U. S. National Museum at Washington, the Field Columbian 
Museum of Chicago, the Musee de Historie Naturelle, Paris; and many 
others, important but less famous. 

During the same general period, the mining of mica came to be another 
important industry in the revival of the State, and this also led to 
discoveries of other rare minerals in the search for valuable localities for 
mica. One of the most curious and interesting facts brought to light in 
this connection, was the clear evidence that some of the best mica mines 
had been long and extensively worked by ancient aborigines, either Indians 


or earlier "mound-builders" (if these indeed be distinct peoples), or 
both. Ornaments cut from mica, as also shells and quartz crystals, are 
not uncommon in the burial-mounds of the Mississippi valley; and, as 
no mica occurs in that part of the country, it is clear that the old excava- 
tions, rudely made with stone tools, along the outcrops of large mica veins 
in Forth Carolina, were the source of this material, which was evidently 
prized by the prehistoric tribes and widely distributed among them. 

It is a " far cry " from prehistoric mounds and ancient and long- 
forgotten mica mines to the incandescent lighting of our present civiliza- 
tion and the properties of rare chemical elements. But such are some 
of the contrasts that present themselves in speaking of North Carolina 
minerals. It is now some 18 years since the introduction of the 
Welsbach incandescent burner, or rather mantle, that has so improved 
our gas illumination. Instead of using the light produced by white hot 
carbon particles, as in ordinary flame, a hood or mantle is employed, 
which, when heated by the burning gas, glows with far greater intensity 7 . 
This mantle consists of a loosely woven fabric impregnated with certain 
compounds of rare elements. The first forms of it employed zirconia salts ; 
and this fact led to active mining of the small, opaque, and previously 
unimportant zircon crystals that are abundant at several points in North 
Carolina. Since then it has been found that even greater brilliancy is 
obtained by the use of nitrate of thorium. This latter is a rare metal, 
found in very few minerals and in small amounts; but it is notably 
present in monazite, a phosphate of this and other oxides of rare elements. 
Monazite was formerly regarded as a very uncommon mineral, but it has 
been found to occur quite abundantly in the sands of the stream-beds in 
the South Mountain region, comprising several counties of North Carolina, 
being derived from the disintegration of the country rock. Thus the 
monazite industry has now become highly important,* and it is likely to 
continue and increase; as the demand for thorium salts for incandescent 
burners is very great. This latest stage of North Carolina mining — the 
search for the " rare earths," so-called — has developed extensively within 
a few years; though General Clingman was active in the earlier stages 
of it, in promoting the zircon mining, and Mr. W. E. Hidden first brought 
into use the monazite sands, and induced the Welsbach Company to 
experiment with them in 1884. In 1901 the monazite output of North 
Carolina was 748,000 pounds, valued at some $50,000. Only Brazil 
surpasses, or even approaches, this production. In 1906 the output was 
697,275 pounds, valued at $125,510. A total of 8,426,004 pounds valued 
at $635,568, was mined in the 14 years 1893 to 1906, inclusive. 

With these general historical outlines in mind, we may pass to a more 


special account of North Carolina gems, that have been found, as above 
noted, chiefly as incidents in the course of mining enterprises. 

The diamonds of North Carolina, although small in size and few in 
number, are undoubtedly authentic. The localities have been visited 
and the discoveries verified by good mineralogists. Whether their occur- 
rence will always be as sporadic as these, or whether others will be found, 
time only can tell. Eubies, as fine in color as those of Burma, but gener- 
ally small or containing imperfections, have lately been found in the 
Cowee Valley, in Macon County; considerable mining for them has been 
done, but the financial outcome is still somewhat problematical. Eme- 
ralds, remarkable as crystals, but rarely transparent enough for gems, 
were obtained in Alexander County, some years ago ; but a greater quan- 
tity has been sold from the more recent Crabtree Mountain discovery, in 
Mitchell County, where the emerald is translucent to transparent, in a 
white granitic rock, and the whole is cut together as a matrix material — 
the quartz and feldspar contrasting charmingly with the emerald green. 
Aquamarines, which for beauty of colors have never been rivalled in any 
country of the world, have been found in some profusion, and many gems 
have been cut weighing from 1 to 30 carats, of the most beautiful sea- 
blue color. Beryls, both sea-green and yellow, than which none richer 
have ever been found, are also obtained in Mitchell County and elsewhere. 
Mention should also be made of the peculiar "lithia emerald," or hid- 
denite, found with the large emerald crystals above noted, at Stony Point, 
Alexander County. This gem-stone was discovered in 1879 by J. Adlai D. 
Stephenson, then sent by William E. Hidden to Dr. J. Lawrence Smith 
of Louisville, who named it hiddenite. The garnets of the gold washings 
are well known; but it remained for the Cowee Valley to produce a new 
variety of garnet which has received a distinct name, rhodolite, and has 
brought of late greater financial returns, probably, than any other North 
Carolina gem. The amethysts from various localities equal those found 
in any country of the globe; while smoky quartz, wonderful as crystals, 
that have commanded the attention and study of some of the greatest 
living crystallographers, has been obtained in Alexander and adjoining 
counties. These specimens have frequently been fine enough to cut into 
gems. But quartz in its choicest form, — rock crystal — has been found in 
Ashe County in such magnificent masses that one of the finest art objects 
shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900, was made from rock crystal ob- 
tained in this county in 1888 by the author as was the cover of the 
" Adams gold vase " presented to the same museum. These now form 
parts of the Matthiessen gift and Edward D. Adams gift to the Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, in New York, where they are two of the finest 
objects in the entire museum. 


It is intended in this report to illustrate some of the principal North 
Carolina gems, more remarkable usually as crystals than as precious stones 
for jewelry, that grace the great collections before alluded to. All those 
shown on the colored plates, and many of the others, are contained especi- 
ally in the Morgan-Tiffany collections, presented by the munificence of 
Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan to the American Museum of Natural History, 
at New York ; these comprise the splendid collections formed by the author 
for Tiffany & Company, of New York, of American gems and precious 
stones shown at the Paris Exposition of 1889, and the still finer and more 
extensive one displayed by them at the Paris Exposition of 1900 ; also the 
Tiffany collection shown at the Cotton States Exposition at Atlanta, in 
1894, and presented to the II. S. National Museum by Prof. L. T. 

Many of the figures are loaned by the courtesy of the publishers of 
" Gems and Precious Stones of North America," and will form part of 
the new edition of that work, treating of the Morgan-Tiffany and Morgan- 
Bement collections of minerals in the American Museum of Natural 
History; this latter made up of the Spang collection and many from the 
Hidden, Wilcox, and other collections. It was thought well to illustrate 
for this report specimens in places which are readily accessible, and no 
collection on this continent contains so many choice examples of North 
Carolina gems as does this one. 

Fuller discussions upon all these subjects, with geological, miner al- 
ogical, chemical, or crystallographic details, may be found in the reports 
issued by the North Carolina Geological Survey, which contains many 
most valuable papers and monographs by such authorities as Kerr, Shep- 
ard, Genth, Chatard, Hidden, Lewis, and Pratt, and in the Journal of the 
Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, published at Chapel Hill ; also in the 
Annual Eeports of the Department of Mining Statistics of the United 
States Geological Survey, prepared by the author under the directorship 
first of Albert Williams, Jr., and then of Dr. David T. Day, who has done 
everything to encourage and increase public interest in the development 
of the precious stone and mineral resources of the United States. Many 
papers have likewise appeared on the same topics in the American Journal 
of Science. Among all these, much of the literature of the gem product 
of the State may be found. It is the purpose of the present report to 
present in a clear and concise manner such facts as may interest the 
mineralogist, the collector, or even the tourist who wishes to acquaint 
himself with these " crystallized flowers," as the celebrated Abbe Hauy 
called them, whose enduring beauty remains unchanged by the variations 
of climate found upon our globe. 


The mineral collections in the State Museum at Ealeigh include a 
number of valuable and interesting collections of gems and gem minerals 
prominent among which is that of Mr. J. A. D. Stephenson, for more than 
30 years a resident of North Carolina and an enthusiastic explorer of 
its natural resources. 

Much credit is also due to the late James D. Yerrington, for many years 
the agent of the Henry D. Morse Diamond-Cutting Company, who for 
30 years carried on correspondence with North Carolina, doing much by 
his kindly advice and care to encourage the people to send small gems, 
which in many cases led to valuable results. 

George Frederick Kunz. 









/Section of a .Sapphire crystal, 

banded blue and yellow, Jenks Mine, Macon County, 
North Carolina. 

Asteriared sapphire, 
Jackson County, 

North Carolina. 



J en ks M me , Macon County , 
North Carolina 

First sapphire found ii 

Corundum Hill, Macon Countv. 
North Carolina. 
Restored to matrix after beinq cut. 


- /alley, 

Sapphire. (Brown. 


McDowell ( bunty, 

North Carolina. 


vee Valley, 
Macon CounK North . 

Prepared under** directions of Gt»rj£FKiM 





Gem mining in North Carolina had its origin; first, in the finding of 
rolled crystals in the gold washings in several counties, some of them 
of gem value, notably a few diamonds and occasionally a zircon or 
epidote; then in the development of the mica mines, some of which 
furnished some very beautiful beryls and others, garnets. Some of the 
garnet crystals of wonderful color and brilliancy were frequently found 
flattened between the plates of mica. 

The first systematic mining for gems was undertaken by Mr. C. W. 
Jenks, in 1871, when he opened the corundum mine, on Corundum Hill, 
near Franklin, Macon County. This proved interesting scientifically, and 
many choice gems were obtained ; and the name of the Jenks, or Culsagee, 
mine became noted. The amount of gems found, however, did not warrant 
permanent operations for gem corundum only, and after a few years the 
mine was operated for corundum for abrasive purposes. Another promis- 
ing mine, opened soon afterwards, was the Buck Creek, or Cullakeenee 
mine, in Clay County ; but this has had much the same history. Next 
came the mining for emeralds in Alexander County, at Stony Point, where 
crystals had been found loose in the soil formed by the disintegration of 
the country rock. As this region has never been subjected to glacial action, 
as the northern part of the country has, anything found in the soil, apart 
from stream-beds, has its origin presumably near the spot where it is 
met with. The entire soil and upper portions of the rocks here consist of 
what Professor Kerr called the " frost drift," i. e., the same as the under- 
lying rock, but decayed and decomposed by frost and weathering in 
general. Credit should be given here to the late Mr. J. Adlai D. Stephen- 
son, of Statesville, who recognized these conditions and stimulated the 
country people to search the surface of their fields for such crystals, of 


which he gathered a great collection, in the hope of locating mines near 
the points where anything of special interest was encountered. It was 
thus that the emerald locality at Stony Point, which also yielded the 
new and remarkable hiddenite gems, was traced. Later, the beryl mine 
at Spruce Pine, Mitchell County (PI. II), was opened, and worked from 
time to time, affording beautiful beryls. Then came the discovery of 
true rubies near Franklin, Macon County, which has led to considerable 
development and to the finding of some crystals which had gem value, 
although never very great. Near this place occurs also the rhodolite — a 
garnet between pyrope and almandite. This has been developed by two 
companies with remarkable success, and apparently more gems in value 
have been sold from this mine than from all other sources in North 
Carolina combined. More recent still is the development of the emerald 
matrix mine at Crabtree Mountain, near Bakersville, in Mitchell County. 
Here the emerald occurs as small richly colored crystals, thickly strewn 
through a white matrix of feldspar and quartz ; and the whole rock is cut 
and polished together, as a green and white ornamental stone, which is 
quite in favor. Amethyst of good quality, but not to any great extent, has 
been developed in Lincoln and Macon counties. 

Thus far, with the exception of rhodolite and beryl, the gem mines of 
North Carolina have not proved remunerative enough to warrant a 
continued development, either from absence of sufficiently rich material 
or else from the use of methods that lacked cohesiveness to assure success. 

A few notes may be given here as to some of the circumstances con- 
nected with mining development and the men who were active in it. 
General Clingman has been referred to already; another early and very 
active worker was Mr. C. W. Jenks, who will be mentioned further in 
relation to the first corundum development. One of the most energetic 
explorers and discoverers of North Carolina minerals was Mr. J. A. D. 
Stephenson, of Statesville. In 1888 he prepared for the author a sum- 
mary of the results which he had attained in the years following the Civil 
War; and from this little unpublished work the following passages are 
taken, to show the spirit and the methods of his activity : 

The Piedmont region lying between the Catawba and Yadkin rivers, is 
remarkable for the number of minerals, both common and rare, that are 
found in unusually fine crystals. Being a native of this section, and an 
ardent admirer of all the phenomena and beauties of nature, these crystals 
attracted my attention in early life, and the collection and study of 
them .... convinced me that they were of more than usual interest; and 
my early experience in the placer gold mines of North Carolina familiarized 
me with the occurrence of such rare materials as monazite, xenotime, zircon, 
columbite, etc., in this region; and knowing that these materials are found 




associated with precious stones in other countries, impressed me with the 
idea that by ... . systematic search, valuable gems would be found here, 
but want of time and opportunity delayed the search until 1874. 

I selected this section as the most convenient for my work. But the same 
indications cross the State from northeast to southeast. In fact, to draw 
a line .... from Paris, Maine, to Gainesville, Ga., it is surprising to me 
how near it passes all the gem localities east of the Mississippi River. 

My plan .... was to go among the people of the country, and endeavor 
to interest them in collecting the different crystals found in their respective 
sections; this I found an easy matter, especially with the children, as they 
took hold of the idea readily and many of them soon became familiar with the 
work, and not only did good service in developing the mineral resources of 
the State, but many of them have acquired a good knowledge of mineralogy 
and general natural history. 

Mr. Stephenson's discoveries form almost the only exception to the 
general statement made at the outset, that the discoveries of gems and 
gem-minerals in North Carolina arose incidentally in the search or min- 
ing for gold, corundum, mica, or the rare earths. Mr. Stephenson had 
described how he set about the search for gems directly, in the assurance 
that they must exist and could be traced by sufficient endeavor. In almost 
all other cases, the discoveries have been made accidentally in the course 
of other mining operations. 

A recent letter to the writer from Mr. D. A. Bowman, of Bakersville, 
for example, states the usual facts as follows : 

As to the discovery of beryl, and other gems, this was invariably by mica 
mining, for outside of a mica vein, I have never known a beryl to be found. 
In working for black mica, the beautiful beryl at Buchanan Mine was found. 
It was the same at Grassy Creek, where Wiseman and McKinney found the 
deep green aquamarines, and then sold to the " American Gem Company." 

I identified the beryl found by Wiseman and McKinney and shipped it to 
Tiffany & Company. 

It was Mr. Rorison and myself that first discovered the emerald matrix 

at Brush Creek Mountain, in 1894 or 1895 For 35 years I have 

worked hard to bring to light the various minerals and gems, and through 
your kind assistance I feel I have not worked in vain, and have been of 
some little service to my country. 

In the same letter, Mr. Bowman gives an interesting account of the 
first opening of a mica mine, shortly before the war. In 1858, General 
Clingman, while traveling in the western part of the State, stopped over 
night with a Mr. Silver, near Bakersville, and was interested to find 
a window filled with 8 by 10 inch panes cut from sheets of mica, or as it 
was generally called, isinglass. The very next day, having been shown 
the spot where this novel material was found, General Clingman hired 
workmen and began sinking a shaft. Mica was taken out in magnificent 


blocks; but General Clingman was more interested in a brilliant pyrites 
in the adjacent feldspar, under the impression that it was a silver ore. 
After the war had closed, in 1869, the old mine, long known in the 
vicinity as the " Sink-hole," was brought to the notice of a stove company 
in Knoxville, Tenn., who began to operate it for the mica, with great 
success. Another mica mine in the same section, the " Cloudland," was 
discovered accidentally at about the same time, and proved to be also 
valuable. Quite a local excitement sprang up, and much prospecting 
was done for mica, with the result that several important mines were 
discovered. One of these, the " Clarissa/' has yielded as much as half a 
million of dollars, by Mr. Bowman's estimate. It has been worked down 
to 400 feet, and is now stopped by water; but only awaits improved 
machinery and a rise in the price of mica, to be reopened with profit. 

With all that has been discovered, however, and all that has been done, 
in North Carolina gems, there are evidently much greater possibilities 
in the future. One suggestion of a practical kind may be made in 
closing this introductory chapter. 

A wonderful development has gone on in North Carolina in the direc- 
tion of the great hotels at Asheville and Toxaway and the mountain re- 
sorts at Linville, Cranberry and elsewhere, and a large tourist class visit 
this region every year. If some of the native prospectors should use their 
spare moments as do those in Eussia, they would gather, mine and 
then cut the rock crystals, smoky quartz, and other stones of the region, 
shaping them into ornamental forms, as the inhabitants of the Ural 
Mountains have done since the eighteenth century, when Catherine the 
Second sent two Italian lapidaries to educate them in the art. This might 
well prove a source of interest and profit to the people of the State. 



The mining of gems in this State had its origin in the finding of rolled 
crystals of gem value in the gold washings. In these regions have been 
found crystals of diamond, either loose in the soil, or taken from the 
washings of auriferous gravel. 1 The portion of the State which has 
yielded these valuable substances is that known as the Piedmont region — 
a broad belt of country, as its name indicates, at the foot of the mountains, 
along the eastern base of the Blue Eidge. The rocks here are meta- 
morphic and crystalline, with some Cambrian beds a little farther west. 
There runs throughout much of this region a belt or belts of itacolumite, 
the so-called " flexible sandstone," which is also found in Brazil and in 
the Ural Mountains, and has frequently been supposed to be the matrix 
of diamond crystals. The presence of this peculiar rock and the occasional 
discovery of diamonds in adjacent districts have led to the idea that the 
itacolumite belt of North Carolina might prove to be a valuable diamanti- 
f erous region ; but as yet no diamonds have actually been discovered there, 
and but few have been found in the loose debris of the crystalline beds. 
The late Prof. Frederick A. Genth, of the University of Pennsylvania, 
described 2 the occurrence of the 2 crystalline varieties of carbon in that 
State, — the graphite in beds interstratified with schist or gneiss; the 
diamond in the debris of such rocks, associated with gold, zircon, garnet, 
monazite, and other minerals, and after speaking of this occurrence in 
connection with rocks of identical age, as a very interesting circumstance, 
he says : " The diamond has not been observed in North Carolina in any 
more recent strata, and in the itacolumite regions no diamonds have 
ever been found, as in Brazil ; from which it appears that the itacolumite 
of Brazil is either simply a quartzose mica slate of similar age with the 
North Carolina gneissoid rocks, or, if it be contemporary with the 
North Carolina itacolumite, the diamonds were not produced in the same, 
but came from the older rocks and were redeposited with the sands 
resulting from the reduction to powder of these, and are now found 
imbedded in the same, their hardness having prevented their destruction. 
Seven or 8 diamonds have thus been found. They occur distributed 

1 Gems and Gem Mining in the South, hy Joseph Hyde Pratt ; The Southland, Vol. I, 
No. 2, p. 4, 1901. 

2 Mineral Resources of North Carolina, p. 28, Philadelphia, 1871. 


over a wide area of surface in the counties of Burke, Kutherf ord, Lincoln. 
Mecklenburg, and Franklin, and I have no doubt if a regular search were 
to be made for them, they would be more frequently found." To the 
counties named by Professor Genth, must now be added McDowell, and 
these all form, with the exception of Franklin, a group lying together in 
the line of the general drainage of the country, southeast of the Blue 
Eidge. Franklin County is far to the northeast of the others; and any 
diamonds occurring there must be derived from the disintegration of 
another belt of crystalline rocks, that traverses the eastern portion of the 
State, near Weldon, in Halifax County, or else have been transported for 
a long distance by streams. 

Up to the present time there are about ten authentic occurrences of 
diamonds in North Carolina, besides several reported discoveries that are 
not entirely reliable. 3 One such instance was that of a quartz crystal 
found near Danbury, which was examined, and pronounced a (genuine) 
diamond, by the local jewelers, who valued it erroneously at some 
thousands of dollars. 

The first specimen in order of time, was found in 1843, by Dr. F. M. 
Stephenson, at the ford of Brindletown Creek, in Burke County. It 
was an octahedral crystal, and was valued at $100 ; but no particulars of 
it are on record. Another was found in the same neighborhood by Prof. 
George W. Featherstonhaugh, but there seems to be no account of its 
characters preserved. In 1845, a diamond of 1J carats, a distorted octa- 
hedron with curved faces, clear and flawless, though tinged with yellow, 
was found in the gold washings of J. D. Twitty's mine, in Rutherford 
County. It became the property of the late General T. L. Clingman, of 
Asheville, who for many years took great interest and did great service 
in developing the mineral resources of North Carolina. This stone was 
described by Prof. Charles U. Shepard, 4 who announced the existence 
of itacolumite in the gold-bearing region of North Carolina, at the 
meeting of the American Association of Geologists and Naturalists in 
1845, and under the impression that the itacolumite is their matrix, had 
predicted the further discovery of diamonds in that region, as in Brazil. 
For this reason diamonds, when found, were naturally submitted to him. 
C. Leventhorpe, of Patterson, Caldwell County, N. C, reports a small 
and poor specimen found in a placer mine on his property in Eutherford 
County, and states that he presented it to Prof. Shepard, who retained it 
in his cabinet. The next important diamond was found in gold-washings 

3 Sketch of N. C, issued by the Dept. of Agriculture. Raleigh, to accompany the State 
Exhibit at the Charleston Exposition, 1902. Diamond, pp. 40, 41. 

4 Am. Jour. Sci., Vol. II, p. 253, Sept., 1846. 


in 1852, by Dr. C. L. Hunter, near Cottage Home, Lincoln County. It 
is described as an elongated octahedron of a delicate greenish tint, trans- 
parent, and about half a carat in weight. Another, said to be a very 
handsome white crystal of 1 carat, was obtained in the same year, at 
Todd's Branch, Mecklenburg County; it became the property of the late 
Dr. Andrews, of Charlotte, N. C, who also informed Prof. G-enth that a 
beautiful black stone " as large as a chinquapin " was afterwards found 
by some gold-washers in the same locality. This specimen, unfortunately, 
was crushed with a hammer, sharing the fate of several American 
diamonds when submitted to the mistaken test which confounds hardness 
with strength. The fragments of the black diamond scratched corundum 
with ease, thereby proving its genuineness. 5 Soon after this two dia- 
monds, one a beautiful octahedron, were reported by Prof. F. A. Genth, 
as obtained at the Portis mine, in Franklin County. This locality is far 
removed from the others in North Carolina, — a point which is referred to 

Two discoveries are recorded in McDowell County, one of two or three 
small crystals found at the headwaters of Muddy Creek, and the other 
a fine stone picked up at a spring near Dysartville, in 1886. 6 This was a 
distorted and twinned hexoctahedron, of 4-J carats, transparent, with a 
grayish-green tint. The little son of Mr. Grayson Christie, going for 
water to a spring on the farm of Alfred Bright, observed this peculiar 
shining pebble, and brought it home. After some local interest had 
developed, its nature was suspected, and it was sent to New York and 
there at once identified. A model of it was exhibited at the Paris Ex- 
position of 1889, and is now in the Tiffany-Morgan collection of the 
American Museum of Natural History. The present writer subsequently 
visited the spot, and fully authenticated all the facts of the discovery. 
The sediment in the bed of the spring was taken out and examined, and 
also the small hollows on the adjacent hillside. None of the ordinary 
associations of the diamond were observed, and hence it is probable thai 
the crystal was washed down with decomposing rock-soil from higher 
ground, perhaps during some freshet ; or possibly it may have been carried 
to the spring by miners, and left unobserved or unrecognized among the 
" wash-up " of the gold-bearing sand from some neighboring placer. 
There are gold mines in McDowell County, worked chiefly by hydraulic 
sluicing, but as a rule the stones that remain in the sluices are carefully 
examined, as the miners know that gems are sometimes thus found. 
The value of the Dysartville diamond as a jewel will hardly represent the 

3 Handbook of North Carolina, Raleigh, 1886, pp. 197, 198. 
6 Am. Jour. Sci., Vol. XXXIV, Dec, 1887, p. 490. 


interest that attaches to it as a local specimen of large size and fine 
appearance. (See Plate III.) 

Another diamond is reported to have been found 9 years before, in 18? 7, 
by a small boy, in the same region as the last. It weighed 2f carats, 
and is described as white and lustrous, but somewhat flawed, and of 
irregular flattened form, resembling a bean, with the crystal faces 
obscure. The finder sold it in Marion for a mere nominal sum. Mr. 
B. B. Price, of Marion, put it for disposal into the hands of Mr. James 
M. Gere, of Spruce Pine, an extensive buyer and miner of North Carolina 
mica. He took it to Syracuse, N. Y., and sold it there to Messrs. C. M. 
Ball & Co., jewelers, for the sum of $18. It was finally sent to New 
York, where it was cut into a small gem and its identity lost. 7 

Still another crystal is in the State Museum at Ealeigh. The partic- 
ulars of its discovery are not known; but it was purchased by the State 
with the collection of the late Dr. J. A. D. Stephenson, of Statesville, 
N". C, who had possessed it for some years, and reported that he had 
bought it, with other minerals, from a countryman in Burke County. 
It has an oblong spheroidal form, the faces being curved and rounded; 
and it weighs 5/16 of a carat. These particulars are given in a recent 
letter from Mr. T. K. Brunner, Secretary of the State Department of 
Agriculture at Ealeigh. 

The latest well established discovery was in 1893, in Cleveland County, 
near King's Mountain. It was a polished octahedron, weighing J carat, 
of a bright light canary yellow. 

It will be noticed that most of these localities are situated in the 
same section of the State, — in the mountainous district, lying just 
north from the northernmost extension of the border of South Carolina. 
Here the counties of Burke, Eutherford, McDowell, and Cleveland lie 
closely adjacent, and Mecklenburg only a short distance eastward. 

The foregoing list includes all the authentic diamonds thus far 
discovered in North Carolina. A number of small stones, exhibited as 
diamonds, have been found at Brackettstown. They are similar to 
supposed diamonds found by J. C. Mills at his mine at Brindletown, but 
these were transparent zircon or smoky-colored quartz, the former of 
which has a lustre readily mistaken by an inexperienced person for that 
of a diamond. A number of pieces of rough diamond, exhibited as 
from the same section, have been decided to be of South African, not 
Carolinian origin. It is to be hoped that the few legitimate discoveries 

7 Addendum to the " Minerals and Mineral Localities of North Carolina," by William 
Earl Hidden, p. 2, 1889 ; Reprinted from Jour, of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 
6th year, part II. Raleigh, 1890. 

Plate No HI 



McDowell County. 

North Carolina. 

Alexander County 
Ncrih Carolina. 

Aquamarine, ( Blue 

Spruce Pine, 
Mitchell (buniy, 
North Carolina. 

Beryl Cats Eye 

Spruce Pine, 
Mitchell County, 

North Carolina. 


(.Sea Green. ) 
Spruce Pine, 
Mitchell County, 
North Carolina. 


Stony Point, 

North Carolina. 

Emerald Matrix 

' !rabtroc Mounl 

Mitchell Co>... 
North Carolina. 

1 iili byUshei I'm no A; 

■ I 


actually made in this locality will not lead to deceptions, which would 
greatly retard any natural development of interest. It is quite possible 
that diamonds may be found widely distributed throughout the auriferous 
belt of the Carolinas and northern Georgia; and that, in the often rude 
and hurried methods of gold-washing employed, they may have been 
overlooked in the past, and now lie buried in the piles of sand that 
stretch for miles along the water-courses. 8 It is stated that 3 diamond 
crystals were obtained many years ago on Koko Creek, at the headwaters 
of the Tellico Eiver, in East Tennessee, on the " Bench lands " of the 
Smoky or Unaka Mountains. If this statement be correct, it probably 
points to a western extension of the diamond belt of North Carolina, or 
to the transportation of the stones thence by streams. 9 

Franklin 'County is far removed, both geographically and geologically, 
from all the other points above noted; and indeed in both aspects, a 
possible relation is suggested rather with the celebrated Manchester, Vir- 
ginia, diamond. In both these cases, if the diamonds came from the 
Blue Eidge, they must have been carried a long distance by streams. There 
is, however, a possible nearer source, in the belt of " Atlantic " or " Tide- 
water " gneiss, which runs down from New York to and through the 
Carolinas, forms the rapids in the James at Richmond, and goes on 
directly toward Franklin County, North Carolina. This is merely a 
suggestion, however, caused by the geographical isolation of these two 
occurrences; nowhere else along this gneissic belt have diamonds ever 
been found. 

8 Gems and Precious Stones of North America, by Geo. F. Kunz, New York, 1890, p. 
21. 8vo, 363 pp. 
M. o... p. 35. 


While diamonds and gold are found in the Piedmont country east of 
the mountains, North Carolina's chief corundum rocks are in Madison, 
Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Clay counties, where numer- 
ous occurrences are known. A second and a third line of localities are 
recognized, but they are of slight importance. There are occurrences of 
corundum, however, east of the mountains, in the counties of Gaston, 
Lincoln, Burke, Iredell, Guilford, and Forsyth. The late Prof. John A. 
Humphreys called attention to some of these in 18 — , in his paper No. 12 
of " Natural History Notes on Western North Carolina," and suggested 
their possible importance in comparison with those farther west. Some 
of the earliest specimens, also, were collected in Gaston and Lincoln 
counties, as will be noted further on. But the main corundum region is 
beyond the Blue Eidge, where it forms a belt or zone of large extent, 
stretching along the whole course of the Southern Appalachians. The 
principal corundum gems are the ruby, sapphire, and oriental emerald. 

According to Dr. Thomas M. Chatard, 2 of the United States Geological 
Survey, the corundum region extends from the Virginia line through the 
western part of South Carolina, and across Georgia as far as Dudleyville, 
Ala. Its greatest width is estimated to be about 100 miles. This 
belt has sometimes been called the chrysolite or chromiferous series, 
owing to the presene of chrysolite containing chromite, from the former 
of which corundum was believed, by certain authorities, to have been 
derived by alteration. 3 In this decomposed and altered chrysolite (dunite) 
throughout the Southern States, corundum is found in place; and the 
earlier writers on the subject, including such eminent authorities as Dr. 
J. Lawrence Smith and Prof. Charles U. Shepard, 4 believed it to be con- 
fined to the serpentinous rocks of this belt, which represent largely an al- 

1 For more detailed descriptions of corundum occurrences in North Carolina, refer- 
ence is made to Reports, N. C. Geol. Survey, Vol. I, 1905, on Corundum and the Basic 
Magnesian Rocks of N. C, by Joseph Hyde Pratt and Joseph Volney Lewis ; Corundum 
and the Basic Magnesian Rocks of N. C, by J. Volney Lewis, Bull. No. 11, 1895 ; and also 
Gems and Gem Mining in the South, by Joseph Hyde Pratt ; The Southland, Vol. I, 
Nos. 3 and 4, 1901. 

2 Mineral Resources of the United States, p. 714, 1883-1884. 

3 See Corundum : Its Alterations and Associated Minerals, by Frederick A. Genth, 
in Contributions from the Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, No. I, Phila- 
delphia, 1873. 

4 Corundum and its Gems : A Lecture before the Society of Arts, Boston, 1876. 


teration product of chrysolite. Such was the general view during the 
years following the Civil War, when the mineral resources of North Caro- 
lina were beginning to be actively developed. 

More recently, it has come to be seen that this is only one phase of 
corundum occurrence, although much the most conspicuous. The investi- 
gation of the Geological Survey, conducted by Dr. Joseph H. Pratt, 
and Prof. Joseph Volney Lewis, 6 have traced several distinct associations 
in which corundum appears. Three of these are clearly developed in 
North Carolina: — (1) In the crystalline schists, as long prismatic crys- 
tals, usually opaque, grey, pink, or blue; (2) in the decomposed chrysolite 
or peridotite rocks, called dunites, that intersect the schists, as igneous 
intrusions; the crystals often large and variously colored, but very rarely 
of gem quality; (3) in more or less decomposed basic rocks, with garnets, 
in the Cowee Valley in Macon County, where the crystals are small, in 
six-sided tables or to some extent rhombohedral, sometimes transparent 
and rich red. These last are the " Cowee rubies." The second group 
corresponds to the chrysolite or serpentine occurrence noted by the 
earlier writers ; the first has been but recently distinguished with clearness 
from the second. It appears now, through further researches of Dr. Pratt 
that under this first head are again included two very different modes of 
geological occurrence, — one in a hornblende gneiss arising from the 
alteration of an igneous rock and its foliation by pressure, and the other 
in a true gneiss varying to a quartz schist, which has resulted from the 
metamorphism of sedimentary strata. These latter gneisses occur sepa- 
rately, extending along the crest of the Blue Kidge, at an elevation of 
3000 to 4000 feet, from Eabun County, Georgia, to Clay Count}', N. C. 
The corundum appears in irregular bands in the gneiss, evidently 
belonging to it, and not in veins or dikes. Dr. Pratt concludes that these 
were originally aluminous shales, and that in the long process of meta- 
morphism, the alumina may have first separated as bauxite (hydra ted 
oxide), and subsequently formed corundum bands parallel to the planes 
of lamination. 

In all the other cases, the corundum is a product of true igneous action, 
having either crystallized out from a molten rock directly, or formed at 
the contact zones of such rock with others which it penetrated, by mutual 
chemical actions under the influence of great heat. The former is a 
frequent manner in which corundum exists. The extensive deposits lately 
made known in Ontario, are in a nepheline-syenite, plainly igneous in 

5 Amer. Jour. Sci., Vol. VI, Pt. 4, p. 59, 1898 ; Vol. X, pp. 295-298, 1900. 
N. C. Geol. Survey, Bull. 11, 1896 and Vol. I, 1905. 


origin, and the gem corundums of Montana are derived from intrusive 
dikes. The occurrence in crystalline limestone, in northern New Jersey, 
like that in Burma, is probably of the other type, a result of contact 
metamorphism, although Messrs. Brown and Judd have advanced a 
theory for the Burman mines, that attributes even these to an original 
igneous source. 

The whole question of the geology of corundum, — its origin, mode of 
formation, etc., has been obscure and uncertain for a long time. Many 
theories have been advanced, only to be modified by subsequent dis- 
coveries. Within a few years past, however, important progress has been 
made; and though much remains to be ascertained, a number of points 
have gradually been established. 

Among these is the fact that corundum, long regarded as a somewhat 
rare mineral, is really of more frequent occurrence than was formerly 
supposed ; and also that it has been formed under various conditions and 
in several distinct ways. As already stated above, it is now known to 
have been produced (1) by crystallizing directly out of igneous rocks; 
and (2) by various forms of alteration and metamorphism, in both 
igneous and sedimentary rocks. The first head is further divided into 
occurrences in basic and in acidic rocks, and again into cases when the 
alumina was present in excess in the igneous rock itself, as an original 
constituent (autogenic), and those when it was introduced in pieces of an 
aluminous shale traversed by the igneous rock and taken up by it in its 
ascent (allothigenic). All these eases of occurrence have now been fairly 
identified in the corundum localities in the United States. 

The earlier writers generally held that pure alumina (corundum )was 
a secondary or derivative mineral, formed by the alteration of other species 
in which it had previously existed in combination, as a silicate. Its 
close association with the altered peridotite or chrysolite (dunite) belt 
of the South Atlantic States, has already been referred to, and the belief 
of some geologists that the corundum was derived from the chrysolite, by 
various processes of alteration. The late eminent Dr. F. A. Genth, while 
not committing himself to any positive statement as to the origin of the 
corundum, developed a remarkable body of facts as to the alteration of 
corundum itself into various other and associated minerals.' There is not 
space here to go into any full outline of the course of observation and 
opinion. This has been very well done by Dr. J. H. Pratt, of the North 
Carolina Geological Survey, in his recent paper " On the Origin of the 
Corundum associated with the Peridotites in North Carolina." s In this 

7 The Alterations of Corundum; Proc. Am. Phil. Soc, XIII, pp. 361-406, 1873. 

8 Am. Jour. Sci., IV, Vol. VI, No. 31, July, 1898, pp. 49-65. 


article he shows how the igneous origin of these peridotites or dunites has 
come to be gradually established, and the separation of the corundum from 
them as an original ingredient. In a subsequent and more extended paper 
on " The Occurrence and Distribution of the Corundum in the United 
States," 9 Dr. Pratt describes all the known localities, and the special 
features of each. 

A full and excellent account of the distribution, the geology, and the 
history and literature of corundum, with special reference to Georgia, has 
also been given by Prof. Francis P. King, assistant geologist of that 
State, in his " Preliminary Eeport on Corundum Deposits in Georgia." 10 

The earliest discovery of corundum in the United States was reported in 
1819, by Mr. John Dickson, in an article on the mineralogy and geology 
of the two Carolinas, published in " Silliman's Journal." u The crystals 
which he obtained came from Laurens District, S. C, a locality which has 
since yielded a considerable amount of both corundum and zircon. 

Of corundum in North Carolina, the first recorded account is the 
statement by Prof. C. D. Smith, who was the assistant State Geologist 
under Professor Emmons, that it was found in 1846, but he does not 
say where or by whom. Dr. F. A. Genth reports that a large mass of 
corundum was obtained in 1847, in Madison (then a part of Buncombe) 
County, on the French Broad Eiver, 3 miles below Marshall. 

This was a dark blue piece, associated with chlorite and margarite. 
In 1849 or 1850, Prof. Charles U. Shepard received from Gen. Thomas L. 
Clingman several pounds of a coarse blue sapphire broken from a large 
crystal " picked up at the base of a mountain on the French Broad 
Eiver in Madison County, N. C." This is probably the same discovery as 
that previously noted. 

Whether the Indians knew anything of corundum is uncertain. It is 
too hard for them to have worked it in any way, and it has not been 
recognized among any of the minerals occasionally found in graves or 
mounds. As Professor King of Georgia says, it is not unlikely that some 
of the pink or blue fragments of crystalline corundum found in the 
gravels of the Southern States may have been noticed and prized as 
ornaments; but the aborigines certainly made very little use of it 
otherwise. A curious fact is noted by Professor King, however, in refer- 
ence to the corundum mine at Track Eock, in Union County, Georgia, — 
that near the locality is a rock covered with curious carvings, many of 
them resembling animals tracks, whence the place derives its name. 

9 U. S. Geol. Survey Bull., No. 180, 93 pp., 1901, and Bull. 269, 175 pp., 1906. 

10 Geol. Survey of Georgia, Bull. No. 2, 133 pp., 1894. 
"Am. Jour. Sci., I, Vol. Ill, p. 4. 


Possibly the Indians may have employed fragments of corundum in 
executing these designs on the rock (?). 

This first recognition, far to the west, was soon followed by some on 
the eastern side of the Blue Eidge. In 1852, Prof. E. T. Brumby, of the 
College of South Carolina, collected specimens of corundum at Clubb 
(now Chubb) Mountain, in Gaston County, and placed them in the 
cabinet of the College, where they still remain, with Prof&ssor Brumby's 
dated labels. They are rough crystals and crystalline masses, of dark 
blue color, covered with the micaceous alteration-products so frequently 
present; but they have high interest in being perhaps the first North 
Carolina specimens to be determined, labeled, and placed in a public 
collection. About the same time Dr. C. L. Hunter discovered corundum 
in Gaston County, perhaps at the same locality, and Professor Emmons 
referred to it in his report on the midland counties of Xorth Carolina in 
1853. 12 The Civil War began soon after, putting a stop to further research, 
and it was not until its close that investigations were resumed. 

Eev. C. D. Smith, of Franklin, N". C, who in his former position on 
the State Geological Survey, had become very familiar with the minerals 
of the State, now discovered most of the important localities in North 
Carolina. In 1865 a specimen was brought to him from a point west of 
the Blue Eidge, which he recognized as corundum ; he visited the locality, 
collected specimens, and announced the occurrence. This was the origin 
of the mining industry now so valuable. These discoveries led to further 
exploration, and many localities were found in the same region, which 
have since been more or less developed. 

In 1870, Mr. Smith sketched the corundum belt of North Carolina, 
as running in a southwesterly course across Macon County, where it 
strikes the Georgia State line, its general direction coinciding with the 
trend of the Blue Eidge, until it reaches the head of the Tennessee Eiver, 
when it suddenly ceases on encountering the Nantahala Mountain (a 
spur of the Blue Eidge here running due north), to reappear 10 miles to 
the northwest on Buck Creek, whence it pursues its original course of 
northeast and southwest across the Chunkygal mountains, where it again 
enters the Blue Eidge. Later investigation has revealed a more extended 

Two of the localities in this region have been much the more promi- 
nent, — those at Corundum Hill and Buck Creek. 

With the opening of the Culsagee (Cullasagee, or Cullasaja) mine, on 
Corundum Hill, near Franklin, Macon County, by Mr. C. W. Jenks, in 

12 Amer. Jour. Sci., II, Vol. XV, p. 373, May, 1853. 


1871, the first systematic attempt to mine gems within the State was 
begun. From a scientific point of view the operations were most interest- 
ing, but the number of gems found did not warrant permanent operations, 
for gems only, and after a few years mining for this mineral was for 
abrasive purposes. 

This mine, which includes several openings, is situated on the Culsagee 
or Sugartown Fork of the Little Tennessee Eiver, 8 or 9 miles above 
(southeast of) the town of Franklin, the county seat, at an elevation 
of about 2500 feet above the sea. The Corundum Hill is essentially an 
outcrop of peridotite (dunite), some 10 acres in area, and rising to a 
height of between 300 and 400 feet. Most of the openings are along the 
contact of the dunite with the gneiss or schist through which it rises, 
and follow " contact veins " of corundum. It has often been called the 
Jenks mine, also the Culsagee and the Corundum Hill, names derived 
from the locality and from the name of its first operator, Charles W. 
Jenks, of Boston, Mass. It was subsequently worked by the Hampden 
Emery Company, of Chester, Mass., under the direction of Dr. S. F. 
Lucas, and became known as the Lucas mine. It is now owned by the 
International Corundum & Emery Co., of New York, which also controls 
several other less important mines in the same neighborhood. 

The other prominent locality was the Buck Creek or Cullakenee (also 
spelled Cullakeenee and Cullakenish) mine, in Clay County, 20 miles 
southwest of Franklin. It was opened soon afterwards, and has had a 
similar history. The outcrop is much more extensive, but less work has 
been done there. 

These mines, especially the first, have been described in various scientific 
papers and reports. One of the earliest published accounts was given by 
Prof. C. U. Shepard 13 in 1872 ; another was by Mr. Jenks himself, 2 
years later, in a paper read before the Geological Society of London. In 
1876, Prof. Eossiter W. Eaymond read an excellent paper before the 
American Institute of Mining Engineers"; in 1883, Dr. Thomas M. 
Chatard, of the XL S. Geological Survey described it again. 18 

Besides these valuable articles, there are the no less excellent references 
in various reports of the State Survey, by Prof. W. C. Kerr, and in 
articles by Dr. F. A. Genth, who was associated with him in portions 
of the survey work, and by Dr. J. Lawrence Smith. 

Professor Shepard described the dunite rock very well, and recognized 
it distinctly as an altered form of chrysolite, referring it to the species 

13 Am. Jour. Sci., II. Vol. IV, Aug.-Sept., 1872. 

14 Trans. Am. Inst. Min. Eng., Chattanooga meeting, May, 1876. 

15 Mineral Resources of the U. S., 1883-1884, p. 714. 



known as villarsite. Dr. Eaymond fully perceived its character as an 
igneous intrusion, differing from some other writers on this point, since 
clearly established. Dr. Chatard describes the Culsagee outcrop as con- 
sisting of chrysolite (dunite) mingled with hornblende. The corundum 
is enclosed among various hydromicaceous minerals, commonly grouped 
under the term chlorite, between the gneiss and the dunite, from the 
alteration of which they have evidently been formed. It occurs chiefly 
in crystalline masses, often of considerable size, and sometimes suitable 
for gems (PI. IV, A). At other parts of the mine it is found in small 
crystals and grains mingled with scales of chlorite, forming what is called 
the " sand vein." This is so loose and incoherent that it is worked by the 
hydraulic process; and the small size of such corundum is the saving of 
much labor in the next process of pulverizing. At Buck Creek the 
chrysolite rocks cover an area of over 300 acres, and from that point 
southward the hornblende rocks assume greater proportions, being asso- 
ciated with albite instead of the ordinary feldspar and forming an 
albitic cyanite rock. There is also found here the beautiful green 
smaragdite, called by Professor Shepard chrome-arfvedsonite, which, 
with red or pink corundum, forms a beautiful and peculiar rock curiously 
resembling the eclogite or omphacite rock of Hof, in Bavaria, as Professor 
Shepard had noted in his early article in 1872. 

Both these localities have also been recently described, with maps, in 
the admirable report of Dr. J. H. Pratt and Prof. J. V. Lewis, elsewhere 
referred to. 16 

The resemblance in the occurrence of the North Carolina corundum to 
that of Mramorsk in the Ural Mountains, as described by Prof. Gustav 
Rose of the University of Berlin, has been shown by Professor Genth. 17 
There the associated species are serpentine and chlorite schist, sometime? 
with emery, diaspore, and zoisite, very similar to the chrome serpentine 
corundum belt of the Southern States. The emery deposits of Asia Minor 
and the Grecian Archipelago, according to Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, 18 yield 
that substance in marble or limestone, overlying gneissic rocks; while 
with it are associated many of the same hydromicaceous and chloritic 
species that accompany both the New England emery and the southern 

With more particular reference now to the actual gems yielded at these 
various localities, we may note that they occur in two distinct forms: 
first, as crystals, of which the usual forms for sapphire are doubly termi- 

16 Corundum and the Peridotites of North Carolina, N. C. Geol. Surv., Vol. I, 1905. 

17 Contributions to the Laboratory of Penn. Univ., No. 1, 1873. 

M Am. Jour. Sci., II, Vol. X, p. 355, Nov., 1850 ; and Vol. XII, p. 53, Jan., 1851. 






nated hexagonal pyramids, often barrel-shaped by the occurrence of a 
number of pyramidal planes of successively greater angle; and second, 
as nodules of purer and clearer material, in the midst of larger masses of 
ordinary cleavable corundum. These, when broken or falling out, are 
sometimes taken for rolled pebbles, which they resemble. This latter, 
and quite peculiar mode of occurrence is treated of somewhat in the able 
paper on this mine, read by Prof. Eossiter W. Eaymond, in May, 1876, 
before the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and published in 
their Transactions. 

In regard to the relations of different kinds of corundum, Dr. Pratt 
says : — " The corundum gem or sapphire localities are usually distinct 
from corundum localities, although very handsome gems have been found 
where corundum was mined for abrasive purposes, notably at the 
Corundum Hill mine." 19 

In 1874, Mr. C. W. Jenks read a paper on the occurrence of sapphires 
and rubies in situ in corundum, at the Culsagee mine, before the Geolog- 
ical Society of London; in this brief but important article he described 
the location and mineralogical character of the mine, and the fact of the 
presence of portions in the corundum of true gem quality. The paper 
attracted much interest, and Prof. David Forbes said that great credit 
was due to Mr. Jenks, and that he had " discovered the actual home " of 
the true ruby and sapphire, which had never before been really traced 
to their sources (see PL I). 

Some years later, a London periodical made the statement that any one 
who found the sapphire or the ruby in its original matrix would be 
called the " King of Rubies," and that his fortune would be assurred. 
But such is not always the result to those who deserve it. Mr. Jenks was 
undoubtedly the original finder of the true corundum or sapphire gems- 
in place, and he obtained from this locality nearly all the fine crystals of 
the best American collections. One of the most interesting of these is a 
piece of blue corundum with a white band running across it and a place 
in the center where a nodule had dropped out. This piece was cut and 
put back in its place, and the white band can be seen running across both 
gem and rock. (See colored PL 1.) Nearly all the fine gems from 
Franklin, N. C, were brought to light by Mr. Jenks' mining; but 
although found in their original matrix, they were of such rare occur- 
rence that it was found unprofitable to mine for them alone. The work 
was subsequently suspended for some time in consequence of the financial 
crisis of 1873, but resumed by the Hampden Emery Company. 

18 Corundum in the United States, J. H. Pratt, 1901, p. 10 (Bull. No. 180, U. S. Geol. 


The largest crystal ever found, which is 5 times larger than any other 
known, is one early discovered by Mr. Jenks and described by Professor 
Shepard. 20 It is now in the cabinet at Amherst College: but much 
injured by the disastrous fire of 1882, which destroyed so many fine 
specimens of the Shepard collection. It weighed 312 pounds, and meas- 
ured 22 inches in length, 18 inches in breadth, and 12 inches in thickness. 
In form it was a steep and somewhat irregular six-sided pyramid, termi- 
nated above by a rather uneven basal plane. Its general color is grayish 

In addition to these and other notable crystals, many public collections, 
besides the American Museum of Natural History (which possesses 
much the finest series), contain numerous cut gems from this mine. 

A blue stone of over 1-carat weight is in the United States Xational 
Museum at Washington, and a series of fine red and blue crystals have 
been deposited there by S. F. Lucas. In the collection made by the late 
Prof. Joseph Leidy, of Philadelphia, and now also in the Xational 
Museum, are several gems from the same mine, including a wine-yellow 
sapphire of 3£ carats (660 milligrams) ; a violet-blue stone of a little 
over 1 carat (215 milligrams) ; and three dark-blue ones weighing 
respectively about 1^ (320 milligrams) ; 1J (250 milligrams) ; and J 
(145 milligrams) carats each. 

In Dr. Spencer's notes on American gems in the British Museum of 
Xatural History, London, is noted a specimen of corundum from Corun- 
dum Hill, Macon County, X. C, which consists of a rough hexagonal 
prism, 26 cm. long and 18 cm. across, of a reddish color. 

In a recent report of Prof. J. H. Pratt, State Geologist, he thus refers 
to gems from this locality : 

At the Corundum Hill Mines, Cullasagee, N. C, various shades of gem 
ruby corundum have been found. Two of the best rubies of good color that 
have ever been found at this mine are in the collection of Clarence S. 
Bement, of Philadelphia; there are also a number of fine ones in the United 
States National Museum at Washington. Many of the smaller crystals of 
various shades of pink to red are transparent near the outer surface and 
near their extremities, and from these small gems can be cut, but few that 
are worth $100 have been obtained from them. 

Probably the finest emerald green colored sapphire in the world came 
from the Culsagee mine sand is now in the Morgan-Bement collection at 
Xew York. This is the rarest of all the colors of sapphire or corundum 
gems, and is known as Oriental emerald. The specimen is a crystal 

20 Am. Jour. Set, IV, Aug. and Sept., 1872. 


4 x 2 x 1 J inches ; part of it is transparent, and several very fine gems 
could be cut from it, see Plate XII. 

Another locality in the same county, interesting, though less prominent, 
is the Mincey mine on Ellijay (properly Elegee) Creek, about 2 J miles 
northeast of Corundum Hill. Some good ruby corundum occurs here, 
together with a peculiar brown or bronze variety, known locally as " pearl 
corundum," which shows distinct asterism, both by natural and artificial 
light, when the stone is cut en cabochon. In natural light these corun- 
dums all show a bronze luster and are somewhat similar to the catVeye, 
but in artificial light the star is more distinct. Most of the bronze -corun- 
dum is in rough crystals, but some have been found that have the prismatic 
faces smooth and well developed, and these are often dark, almost black, 
in color. One crystal of this dark kind, found some years ago, yielded 
gems § of an inch in diameter. A similar asterism has been noticed in 
many of the rubies and sapphires from Cowee Valley, and at several 
other points in the State. According to Von Lasaulx, it is some- 
times produced by rifts due to the basal parting. These rifts when 
examined with the microscope, are seen to be very thin, sharp and recti- 
linear, and are parallel to the edge between the prism and the base. In 
other cases asterism is undoubtedly due to rutile or other minute crystals 
enclosed in the corundum, intersecting each other at an angle of 60°, or in 
some similar systematic positions. 

At the Cullakenee mine, Buck Creek, in Clay County, masses of emerald 
to grass-green amphibolite (also called smaragdite) are found, through 
which are disseminated particles of pink and ruby corundum, from the 
size of a pea to some as large as hickory nuts. The corundum is not of 
gem quality, but the combination of the green and pink makes very 
beautiful specimens, and as the rock is hard enough to take a good polish, 
it might furnish a decorative or ornamental stone of some value. It has 
been introduced for such purposes under the name of ruby matrix. 

A similar association of green amphibolite with corundum, sometimes 
pink and sometimes dark blue, is found near Elf post-office, on Shooting 
Creek, in the same county. Other corundum localities in Clay County are 
the Foster mine, near the headwaters of the north fork of Shooting Creek, 
and the Herbert mine on Little Buck Creek. 

Of late much attention has been aroused by the discovery of rich ruby 
corundum in small distinct crystals of a different character from any 
others found in the State, and in a different rock. These have been known 
as the Cowee rubies, from the locality in the Cowee valley, in Macon 
County. It has seemed as though here, at last, true gem rubies, equal to 
those of Burma, had been really found, and much interest has been felt in 


the discovery. Thus far, however, no very important results have been 
obtained, although some of the stones are unquestionably fine, but most of 
them are small (see PI. I). 

They are unusually interesting and beautiful as crystals, but many of 
them are imperfect. It is claimed, however, that the percentage of 
imperfect stones is no greater than it is in the rubies from Burma. 
Unfortunately, many of the crystals also have inclusions which mar their 
elegance as gems. The exact locality of this very interesting occurrence is 
a tract of some 10 square miles lying between Mason's Branch and 
the Caler Fork of Cowee Creek, affluents of the Little Tennessee River 
some 6 miles below Franklin, Macon County. Many interesting minerals 
are found in this area, and there are mica mines there, and mines where 
the abundant garnet has been worked for use as an abrasive. The 
beautiful rhodolite garnets, found in close association with the ruby 
crystals in the gravel and saprolite, will be described separately under 

The discovery and development of the " Cowee rubies " were first 
described in the volumes of the TJ. S. Geological Survey (Mineral 
Resources of the United States), in the writer's annual reports on the 
Production of Precious Stones, from 1893 to 1896, year by year, and 
further in that of 1899. 21 Also in 1899, there appeared a full account by 
Prof. J. W. Judd, Mr. W. E. Hidden, and Dr. J. H. Pratt 22 ; and the 
latter gentleman has since published further accounts in his annual 
reports, and in his special bulletins on corundum in the United States. 2 " 

The first published notice in the author's report for 1893, above 
mentioned, was of the finding of ruby corundum, in small hexagonal 
crystals, flat or tabular, in an alluvial deposit on the Reeves farm, not far 
from Franklin, associated with beautiful garnets. The next years report 
described the locality as consisting of the valley of a stream, for several 
miles, in which the rubies were distributed through a gravel bed from 
2 to 10 feet thick, overlain by several feet of surface deposit. — a mode 
of occurrence very similar to that in the Mogok Valley in Burma, where 
the finest rubies are obtained. 

The attention of the author was first called to these rubies by the late 
Mr. James D. Yerrington, of New York, who had specimens, both cut 
and uncut, that he had received from Mr. Reeves, of Athens. Georgia, 
who owned the farm on which they had been found. Two cut gems of 
\ a carat each, were set in a flag scarf-pin shown in the Tiffany jewelry 

21 Mineral Resources U. S., Ann. Reps. U. S. G. S., 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896. 1899. 

22 Am. Jour. Sci., IV, Vol. VIII, Nov. 1899, pp. 370-380. 

23 Bulls. U. S. Geol. Survey, No. 180, 1901 and No. 269, 1906. 



exhibit at the Columbian Exposition of 1893; these were subsequently 
unmounted and displayed by the same firm at the Atlanta Exposition of 
1895. They now form part of the Tiffany-Lea collection, included in 
that of the U. S. National Museum at Washington. A number of others 
(see figures), obtained at about the same time, are in the American 
Museum of Natural History, New York. A fine series, both of crystals 
and cut gems, was shown by the North Carolina Geological Survey at the 
recent Expositions at Buffalo, 1901, Charleston, 1901-02, and St. Louis, 

In 1896, the locality was visited and examined by Mr. C. Barrington 
Brown, the eminent authority on ruby mining, who had previously pre- 
pared an exhaustive report on the Burma region, in conjunction with 
Prof. J. W. Judd, for the British Government. 

In 1899, as above stated, Professor Judd and Mr. William E. Hidden 
published a joint article, with crystallographic notes by Dr. J. H. Pratt. 
This account embodied the results of Mr. Brown's visit, of Mr. Hidden's 
operations on the ground, and of Dr. Pratt's studies on the crystal forms 
and their relations. It had now become clear that the rubies from this 
locality occurred in a wholly different association from any other corun- 
dum in the State, and the title of the article was " On a New Mode of Oc- 
currence of Euby in North Carolina." The surrounding rocks are schists 
and gneisses, often containing corundum, but in elongated crystals and 
not of gem quality. Only a few miles away are the dunite outcrops of the 
Culsagee and other localities, already described. But at Cowee the rock 
is wholly different, and the forms of the crystals also. The first accounts 
had reported a limestone as the probable source of the valley deposit, 
and even as the matrix of the crystals, as is the case in Burma. But 
further study had disproved this statement. Underneath the ruby-bearing 
gravel, comes a soft decayed rock to which the name of saprolite has been 
given, — a result of the decomposition of basic igneous rocks, in. place. 
This is sometimes many feet in thickness, but gradually passes downward 
into the unaltered condition of the same rocks. Trial shafts show that 
this change begins from a depth of some 35 feet, when portions of the 
unaltered rock begin to be met with. The original rock, when reached, 
proves to consist of several related varieties, comprising amphibolite, 
hornblende-eclogite (garnet-amphibolite of some authors), and a basic 
hornblende-gneiss, with some feldspars (labradorite and perhaps anor- 
thite). Some of these rocks are doubtless the source of the rubies strewn 
through the saprolitic material and the overlying gravel, though their 
actual occurrence in the undecomposed rock has not vet been proved. 
The crystals are distinct from any others found in North Carolina, but 


resemble in form those from Yogo Gulch, Montana (the sapphire variety) 
which are taken from true igneous dikes; and these flat and tabular 
hexagonal forms are regarded by students of crystallography as character- 
istic of corundum that has solidified from a molten igneous rock. 

Another corundum occurrence in saprolitic rock, but the crystals blue 
and more prismatic, is noted by Dr. Pratt at the Seed, or Watauga mine, 
6 miles east of Franklin; and red, sometimes ruby, corundum is found 
in old stream gravels near West Mills; both of these are in Macon 
County. A number of minor occurrences are known throughout the 
general region, where there are small saprolitic areas. 

There are many other localities of corundum in this group of counties, 
some of the more important or promising of which may be simply men- 
tioned here. In Macon County, besides the important occurrences already 
described, corundum appears at Glenville, in chlorite schist; at Xona, 
on Thumping Creek, in nodules and flat crystals in gneiss; on Hickory 
Knoll Creek at an elevation of 4,000 feet on Fishhawk Mountain, in 
dunite ; and at the Coweeta mine, of pink color in greenish cyanite. Of 
late, the emery variety has been found, and to some extent worked, at 
several points near Fairview Knob, in a basic magnesian rock, the prin- 
cipal mine being the Fairview, near North Skeener Gap, and the Waldroop 
mine on Dobson Mountain. 

Jackson and Transylvania counties have numerous corundum localities, 
notably in the region along their border, where the town of Sapphire has 
been named, and the appellation of the Sapphire country is frequently 
used. Here are found many outcrops of peridotite, with a general X.E.- 
S.W. course, and frequently associated with corundum. One locality that 
gives some promise is the so-called gem mine on the property of Dr. 
Grimshawe, of Montvale. This has been known and to some extent 
worked, for many years. Eubies of good color, from which a number of 
fine but very small stones have been cut, have been found here in the 
gravels of the stream, together with blue and yellow corundum of gem 
quality. By following up the gravels the corundum was located in a small 
vein in the decomposed peridotite. 

At the Sapphire and Whitewater mines, near Sapphire, fragments of 
corundum of a fine blue color have been found, from which small but good 
gems have been cut. 

Quite large amounts of commercial corundum have been taken out at 
the Bad Creek and Socrates mines, and also at the Burnt Bock and 
Brockton mines; these two are in Transylvania County, the others being 
in Jackson County, and all in peridotite. Other associations in Jackson 
County are, along Caney Fork and Chastain's Creek, in chlorite schist; 
and at Bett's Gap in translucent grayish-white crystals in gneiss. 


In Haywood County, 2 miles northeast of Pigeon river, near the cross- 
ing of the Asheville road, and 2 miles north of this, on the west fork of 
Pigeon Eiver, at Presley mine, are found some of the finest colored 
specimens of blue and grayish-blue corundum, in a pegmatitic dike, and 
also near Eetreat post-office (see PI. IV, B). At Newfound Gap, red 
corundum occurs in an outcrop of dunite. 

Twenty miles northeast of the Presley is the Carter mine in Buncombe 
County, where fine white and pink corundum occurs in crystals and in a 
laminated form in peridotite. Blue, bluish-white, and reddish varieties 
occur at Swannanoa Gap ; and also a little south of the town of Democrat, 
corundum appears, — all in the same or similar rock. 

Yancey County has several localities, the most noted of which are 
Celos Eidge, 8 miles southeast of Burnsville, where crystals occur in a 
decomposed gneiss, and Egypt, 10 miles west of the same town, where 
white crystals, sometimes mottled with blue, are found directly in the 
decomposed peridotite (dunite). This occurrence is noted as of much 
interest, by Lewis 1 and Pratt, 2 for although corundum is very largely 
associated with the rock, the crystals are rarely found actually enclosed 
in it. 

Northeast of these mines, in the line of strike of the whole country 
rock, corundum is found in gneiss near Bakersville, in Mitchell County ; 
and also southwest, in Madison County, near Marshall, a little north of 
where Big Ivy Eiver enters the French Broad; here the rock is amphib- 

Grouped together under the name of the Blue Eidge tract, are a 
number of localities where the corundum occurs in long bands of quartzose 
schist that belong in and with the gneisses among which they occur. This 
was referred to before as a very distinct mode of occurrence, in that the 
rocks are altered sediments, and the corundum, a product of metamorphic 
action rather than igneous. These corundiferous schists have been traced 
for many miles along the crest of the Yellow and Chunkygal mountains. 
The content of corundum is very small, and these deposits will not be 
important sources for some time to come. Dr. Pratt makes 4 local divi- 
sions ; — The Scaly Mountain tract, at an elevation of some 4,500 feet 
on the southern and southwestern slopes of those mountains, near the 
headwaters of Beech Creek, a tributary of the Tallulah ; the Foster tract, 
just over the line in Georgia; the Yellow Mountain tract, on the northern 
slopes of those mountains ; and the Chunkygal tract, near the headwaters 
of Sugar Cove Creek, on the western slopes of the mountains. The first 

1 Bull. 11, N. C. Geological Survey. 
2 Bull. 269, U. S. Geological Survey. 


two have been worked somewhat, by the Corundum Mining & Manufac- 
turing Co., of Philadelphia. These localities are all near the southern 
border of the State, and pass over into Rabun County, Georgia. 

The Piedmont Counties. — As was stated above, corundum was early 
found at some points east of the mountains ; and the references to discov- 
eries and collecting by Dr. C. L. Hunter, Prof. J. A. Humphreys, and 
Prof. Brumby of Columbia, S. C, antedate the Civil War by about 10 
years. Since the new epoch of mineral development set in after the 
return of peace, further discoveries have been made, all of interest, but 
none as yet of importance. Mr. J. A. D. Stephenson obtained fine 
hexagonal prisms of pale brown corundum at Belt's Ridge, near States- 
ville, Iredell Co., and some crystals of fine colors from other neighboring 
points. Prof. Lewis mentions a black corundum in amphibolite, on the 
Hunter farm, 8 miles north of Statesville, another occurrence in the 
same rock, at the Acme mine, and a pink corundum in cyanite at the 
Collins mine, both in the same vicinity. An old locality, especially noted 
by Professor Humphreys, is Shoup's Ford, in Burke Co., where the 
corundum is associated with fibrolite, which sometimes surrounds or 
encloses the crystals, forming what Professor Humphreys described as 
"pods." In Gaston County, bine corundum occurs with quartz and 
mica, at Crowders Mountain and Chubbs Mountain; the latter is the 
source of the Brumby specimens in 1852; it was then known properly 
as Clubb Mountain, named from an old resident and Revolutionary 

Corundum in grayish-blue crystals in garnet-bearing schists and gneisses 
is reported from points along the ridge stretching from Carpenter's Knob, 
northwest, on the borders of Burke, Catawba, and Cleveland counties. 



In the pegmatite veins of North Carolina are found so many minerals 
of gem value 1 that a short description of these dikes is given here. 

These pegmatitic veins are interesting not only from a commercial 
standpoint on account of the value of the mica obtained, but also from a 
mineralogical' standpoint on account of the variety of minerals that they 
sometimes contain. 

In character these pegmatitic dikes are very similar to a granite and 
have sometimes been called " coarse granite " and, if we could conceive 
of the constituents of a granite magnified a hundred times or more, 
we would have an appearance that is very similar to a pegmatitic dike. 
The main mineral constituents of these dikes are quartz, feldspar, and 
muscovite mica in varying proportions, sometimes being nearly equally 
distributed while in others sometimes one and again another will pre- 
dominate. Sometimes the feldspar, quartz, and mica have separated out 
in rather small masses while at other times they have separated out on a 
larger scale and are more or less crystallized. 

The associated minerals that occur in these dikes vary with their occur- 
rence and while in some there is a great variety of •them, in others they 
are very rare. The pegmatitic dikes that are observed in North Carolina 
have furnished the greatest variety of accessory minerals, 45 having been 
observed from the different veins, at a number of which over 20 different 
minerals have been observed. Of these accessory minerals the garnet 
(either andradite or almandite) is by far the commonest and is often the 
only accessory mineral observed. 

The accessory minerals in these pegmatitic dikes are usually well 
crystallized and a number of them are gem minerals. The following is a 
list of the minerals that have been identified in the mica-bearing 
pegmatitic dikes in North Carolina and they are given approximately 
according to their relative frequency of occurrence : 

Quartz (massive, crystallized and Zoisite (var. thulite). 

smoky). Menaccanite. 

Albite, Feldspar. Rogersite. 

1 Joseph Hyde Pratt in " The Southland," Asheville, North Carolina, August, 1001, pp. 



Microcline, Feldspar. 
Oligoclase, Feldspar. 
Orthoclase, Feldspar. 

Beryl (Emerald, yellow, and aqua- 
Muscovite, Mica. 
Biotite, Mica. 
Essonite, Garnet. 
Almandite, Garnet. 
Andradite, Garnet. 













Opal (var. hyalite) 








Of the minerals given in this list the following have been found of 
sufficient purity to be a source of gems : 
Essonite. Albite. 

Almandite. Oligoclase. 

Beryl. Orthoclase. 

Quartz. Gahnite. 

The following of these pegmatite occuring minerals are precious stones : 

Albite, Feldspar. 
Almandite, Garnet. 
Beryl (Emerald, yellow, and aqua- 

Essonite, Garnet. 
Opal (var. hyalite). 

Quartz, (massive, crystallized and 

Oligoclase, Feldspar. 

The following are radio-active : 

Allanite. Monazite. 

Autunite. Phosphuranylite. 

Columbite. Rogersite. 

Fergusonite. Samarskite. 

Gummite. Uraninite. 

Hatchettolite. Uranotil. 

Plate No V 

Smoky quartz 

( cairngorm stone), 
AlexanderCounh/, North Carolina 

iu 1 1 late d Quariz. 

Alexander County, 
North Carolina 

Elutiloted Quartz 

Alexander County, 
North Carolina 

D E 


Henry Lincoln County 
North Carolina. 

Smith Bridgelbwnship, 
Macon Cbunty, NorthCaioIina. 

i by'lhliei Prang Art lo 

.Vepsrw undei II 


The following are commercial minerals : 

Graphite. Muscovite (mica). 

Kaolin. Orthoclase. 

Magnetite. Pyrophyllite. 

It is the breaking down of these veins that form many of the smaller 
often microscopic minerals found in the detritis of the gold veins. 


Several interesting varieties of feldspar occur in North Carolina, 
among which the following may be especially noted as the ones which are 
of importance as gem material. 

Orthoclase. — A very interesting variety of sunstone was found by J. A. 
D. Stephenson at the quarry in Statesville, N. C; the reflections are as 
fine as those of the Norwegian, but the spots of color are very small. 
Several hundred dollars' worth from this locality have been sold as gems. 

Microcline. — This feldspar is closely related to orthoclase; it is some- 
times of a very beautiful light green color, and is then known as amazon- 
stone, and valued for cutting and polishing for ornamental purposes. 
Several localities in North Carolina furnish this mineral, especially the 
Eay mica mine, Yancey County. 

Oligoclase. — In December, 1887, specimens of feldspar were sent to the 
writer 2 by Daniel A. Bowman, who had found them at a depth of 380 
feet in the Hawk Mica mine, 4 miles east of Bakersville, N. C. They 
proved to be a variety of oligoclase, remarkable for its transparency. The 
clearest piece measured 1 by 2 by 3 inches. One of the two varieties 
is of a faint window-glass green color, and contains a series of cavities, 
surrounded and fringed by tufts of white, needle-shaped inclu- 
sions called microlites; these tufts vary from 1/50 to 3/50 inch (0.5 to 
1.5 millimeter) in diameter and are quite round, resembling those that 
are occasionally present in the Ceylonese moonstone. The wonderful 
transparency of the oligoclase and the whiteness of the inclusions give 
the whole mass a striking resemblance to the lumps of glass so commonly 
obtained from the bottom of a glass-pot. It was mistaken for this until 
its highly perfect cleavage was noticed. Recently some material of a 
slightly different character has been obtained at the mine. Cleavage 
masses of a white, striated oligoclase, 3 inches long, were found containing 
nodules about f inch to f inch (10 to 15 millimeters) across, which were 
as colorless and pellucid as the finest phenacite and entirely free from 

2 See Mineralogical Notes, by George F. Kunz, Am. Jour. Sci., Ill, Vol. XXXVI, p. 222, 
Sept., 1888. 


the inclusions found in the greenish variety. This translucent variety, 
like the other, shows no striae. 

The following analysis by Prof. Frank W. Clarke, made from a faint 
green variety, shows it to be a typical oligoclase. The specific gravity was 
determined to be 2.651. This has been cut into a transparent gem, and 
may be advantageously used for spectroscope, microscope, and other lenses. 

Silica 62.60 

Alumina 23.52 

Ferric Oxide 08 

Manganous Oxide trace 

Lime 4.47 

Potassa 56 

Soda 8.62 

Loss by ignition 10 


Labradorite (Opalescent feldspar). — On the road to Charlotte, Mecklen- 
burg County, and near Bakersville, Mitchell County, specimens showing 
a slight blue chatoyancy are found. This domestic labradorite is scarcely 
used at all in the arts, as the mineral from Labrador is cheaper and of a 
much superior quality, and takes a fine polish. 

Leopardite. — This is a rock composed largely of whitish feldspar 
(orthoclase and plagioclase), spotted black, perhaps by manganese oxide, 
and named from its leopard-like appearance. It is abundant near 
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and also in Gaston County. It is not 
a definite mineral, but a variety of porphyry with disseminated crystals 
of quartz, and occurs in large masses as a rock, so that it would furnish 
a good ornamental stone, if polished. This variety of spotted feldspar 
is peculiar to North Carolina, and has been described in detail in the 
report on Building Stones. 

The beryl, zircon, and other gem minerals, which are also constituents 
of pegmatitic dikes, are described in the following chapters. 



Quartz in its various crystalline forms, — rock-crystal, amethyst, and 
smoky quartz, — occurs at many points in North Carolina, and in some 
cases of fine quality (PL V). The non-crystalline varieties, such as 
agate, jasper, etc., have not, on the other hand, been found to any 
important extent in the State, until very recently in the chrysoprase 
workings near Asheville. 


Rock-Crystal.- — Much interest was created in 1886, when a remarkable 
mass of rock-crystal, weighing 51 pounds, was sent to Tiffany & Com- 
pany, New York. It purported to be from Cave City, Va., but was 
subsequently traced with certainty to the mountainous part of Ashe 
County, N. C. 1 The original crystal, which must have weighed 300 
pounds, was unfortunately broken in pieces by the ignorant mountain 
girl who found it, but the fragment sent to New York was sufficiently 
large to admit of being cut into slabs 6 inches square and from half an 
inch to an inch thick. This superb crystal, if it had not been broken, 
would have furnished an almost perfect ball 4-J or 5 inches in diameter. 
It is now in the Morgan Collection at the American Museum of Natural 
History, New York. A visit to the locality by the author traced this 
specimen to the place of its discovery near Long Shoal Creek, on a spur 
of Phoenix Mountain in Chestnut Hill Township. There have also been 
found at 2 places, 600 feet apart (about 1 mile from the former locality), 
2 crystals, weighing respectively 285 and 188 pounds. The larger of the 
2 was 29 inches long, 18 inches wide, 13 inches thick, showing 1 pyra- 
midal termination entirely perfect and the other less complete. All these 
crystals were lying in decomposed crystalline rock consisting of a coarse 
feldspathic granite, and were obtained either by digging or by driving a 
plow through the soil. Altogether several dozen crystals have been found 
in this vicinity weighing from 20 to 300 pounds each, and future working 
will undoubtedly reveal more. These large crystals are often very irregu- 
lar and pitted, like many of those from St. Gothard. Of those now in 

iProc. Am. Assoc'n Adv. Scl., Vol. XXXV, p. 239, 1886. 


the Morgan-Tiffany collection at New York, the most irregular was 20-| 
pounds in weight, with the entire surface rough and opaque like ground 
glass, and almost spherical in form, but the interior perfectly transparent. 
In a few instances, they had a coating of rich green chlorite that pene- 
trated to the depth of an inch. This, when left on the quartz, gave the 
cut crystal, after polishing, the effect of a pool of water with green moss 
growing on the bottom. 

Many beautiful articles have been made from this Ashe County 
material. One was an elegantly carved vinaigrette or scent-bottle, exhib- 
ited at the Paris Exposition of 1889. A crystal ball 5 inches in diameter, 
and a number of art objects, all of American workmanship, made from 
the same material, were shown at the Columbian Exposition at Chicago 
in 1893, and some of these are now in the Tiffany collection in Higin- 
botham Hall, in the Field Columbian Museum in that city. These were 
all made in the Tiffany ateliers in New York. 

By far the most important piece from this locality, however, was a 
magnificent crystal obtained in 1888 by the author at the same locality. 
This was worked up into a special design, and exhibited as the finest 
piece of American lapidary work ever executed in rock crystal. It was the 
most important art object of stone at the great Paris Exposition of 1900, 
where it was shown by the makers, Tiffany & Company. It now will form 
part of the F. A. Matthiesen memorial gift, lately presented to the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

Another North Carolina locality was reported in 1896, by Mr. E. M. 
Chatham, who described crystals up to 40 pounds in weight, from Elkin, 
in Surrey County. Some large crystals are also known from South 
Carolina; and it is probable that a good deal of rock-crystal, capable of 
use in the arts, exists in the mountain region of the South. 

The report of the finding near Bakersville of transparent crystals of 
quartz, weighing 642 pounds and 340 pounds respectively, was premature, 
as the specimens proved to be veins of translucent quartzite, with the 
crystalline markings of a group rather than of a single crystal. The 
clear spaces, which were to be observed only on these crystalline sides, 
would hardly afford material for a crystal ball an inch in diameter, and 
with this exception they are almost an opaque white, with flaws. Notwith- 
standing this error, it is certain that some localities in North Carolina 
have yielded larger masses of clear rock-crystal than any other State 
in the Union, until the recent developments in Calaveras County, 

In Alexander and Burke counties, N. C, crystals of white as well as of 
smoky quartz have been found, in which were spaces that would cut into 







clear crystal balls of from 2 to 2-| inches (PI. VII, A). One of these 
from Alexander County, measuring 2 3/16 inches, is in the State Museum 
of Natural History at Albany, N. Y. A very interesting bead made of 
rock-crystal, fluted and drilled from both ends, is in the collection of 
A. E. Douglas, in New York City. It is evidently native work, as it is 
improbable that foreign traders would use white rock-crystal beads, when 
glass would answer the purpose as well. 

The Indians who lived in North Carolina previous to the advent of 
the white man occasionally noticed quartz crystals, as is shown by some 
being found in the mounds. They also realized the beautiful cutting edge 
that this material would possess if it were chipped in the form of an arrow 
point; and so they used up great quantities of the white quartzite for this 
purpose, and occasionally a transparent piece of quartz, either white or 
smoky. Many such objects, — of the chase or of war, — made of this 
beautiful material have been found, and are to be seen in our museums. 
Within the past 10 years, however, the demand for these transparent 
arrow-heads has increased, until the demand has so much exceeded the 
supply that some of the inhabitants, especially in Mitchell County, with 
remarkable cupidity and cleverness, have chipped arrow-points out of 
quartz crystals. These are in many ways quite as beautiful as the Indian 
work, but have no archaeological value, of course, though they are to some 
extent sold as articles of ornament. 

The highly modified crystals from White Plains, in Surrey County, 
and Stony Point, Alexander Count}', and also from Catawba and Burke 
counties, N. C, are worthy of note as being crystallographically un- 
equalled anywhere, and as having formed the subject of special memoirs 
by Dr. Gerhard von Path 2 (Pis. VI, A and VIII, A). A beautiful 
opalescent quartz has been found in Stokes County. 

Amethyst (Purple Variety of Quartz.) — An almost unique gem in the 
collection of the United States National Museum at Washington is a 
piece of amethyst found at Webster, N. C, and deposited by Dr. H. S. 
Lucas. The present form is just such as would be made by a lapidary in 
roughly shaping a stone, preliminary to cutting and polishing it. It was 
turtle-shaped when found, though the shape was unfortunately destroyed 
by chipping, and was said to have borne marks of the handiwork of 
prehistoric man. It now measures 3f inches (6 centimeters) in width, 
1-J- inches (4 centimeters) in thickness, and weighs 4f ounces (135.5 
grams). It is perfectly transparent, slightly smoky, and pale at one end, 
and also has a smoky streak in the center. 

2 Naturw. Verein, Westphalia, 1888. 


In Haywood County a number of crystals of amethyst have been 
secured, some of which were cut into very fine gems. 

In 1894 Mr. T. K. Brunner, of Kaleigh, reported a yield of amethysts 
from Catawba, Macon, Wake, Lincoln, and other counties in the State; 
and in 1898 he stated that large amethysts of good color were still found 
in Lincoln County, together with smoky and lighter colored varieties. 

In 1901 there was a decidedly promising effort to prosecute mining for 
amethysts on a commercial scale at Tessentee, on the creek of that 
name, in Smith Bridge Township, Macon County. Here a large vein of 
crystalline quartz occurs in an altered pegmatite. The development 
during the year was entirely in a kaolinized rock, in which the amethyst 
crystals, ranging from \ inch to 3 inches in length, were found loose with 
the quartz and mica in the kaolin. The entire vein was exposed to the 
depth of 20 feet by a landslide. It would appear that further working 
should disclose the amethysts in the rock. The crystals are light and dark 
in color, and the dark spots are often of the deepest purple. Xo finer 
amethysts have been discovered in this country, and several thousand 
dollars worth of crystals were sold as the proceeds of the first development 

Amethyst crystals, often of great beauty and of much crystallographic 
interest, have been found in various parts of the State, sometimes in 
remarkable quartz groupings, such as the so-called capped crj'stals, with 
purple tops raised upon slender stilt-like white crystals ; others with rare 
faces, and then again enclosing water, especially from Lincoln County 
(see Pis. V, VI, B, and VII, B). 

Smoky Quartz. — At Taylorsville and Stony Point, North Carolina, a 
number of clear pieces of this material have been found that cut fair 
stones weighing over an ounce each. In Alexander, Burke, Catawba, and 
adjacent counties, smoky quartz crystals which would afford fine gems are 
frequently met with. They are generally from 1 to 5 inches in diameter, 
sometimes of a citron or light yellow color, and often in groups weighing 
up to 100 pounds and over, quaintly grouped and often very clear. 
Crystals weighing as much as 40 pounds have been taken from the vicinity 
of Elkin, in Surrey County. Smoky and citrine quartz abound also in 
Iredell and Mitchell Counties. 

At Stony Point, near Hiddenite post-office, Alexander County. X. C. 
have been found from time to time in the gneissoid rocks, pockets of quaitz 
crystals varying from absolute pellucid and transparent to a dark smoky 
color. These are of wonderful brilliancy and purity, and range from an 
inch in length to a large size ; but they are particularly remarkable from 
the fact that the faces of the crystals are highly and peculiarly developed, 















sometimes with great complexity (PL VI, A). They have furnished the 
subject for several monographs on the crystallography of quartz, notably 
those by Dr. Gerhard von Eath, of Bonn, and by Dr. Gill, of Cornell 
University. Some of the large complex groups are very interesting from 
their remarkable twinning-masses from 150 to 200 pounds, being made up 
of many crystalline faces, while in general contour a single large crystal. 
They stand quite unique as examples of beautiful color and marvelous 
crystallization (see Pis. V and VI, A). 

The remarkable smoky crystals with included cavities, from Alexander 
County, are referred to further on, under quartz inclusions. 

Hose Quartz. — Specimens of rose quartz from Dan Eiver, Stokes 
County, N. C, show a beautiful opalescence, and the existence of like 
quartz, as well as asteriated quartz, in two other counties, Iredell and 
Cabarrus, was determined in 1894. 

Quartz Inclusions (sagenite). — North Carolina has yielded more of 
this material for gem purposes than all other American localities together. 

Eutilated quartz of unexcelled beauty, the rutile brown, red, golden or 
black, has been brought to light in many places in Eandolph, Catawba, 
Burke, Iredell, Jackson, and Alexander counties, especially the last, where 
in 1888 crystals of quartz, 3 inches in length, and filled with rutile the 
thickness of a pin, were secured at Stony Point (PL V) . Beautiful series 
of these formerly in the collection of J. W. Wilcox, of Philadelphia, are 
now in the Morgan-Bement collection in New York. In 1901, fine ruti- 
lated quartz, well crystallized and perfectly transparent, was developed, 
together with handsome garnets, in the monazite mines near Shelby, 
Cleveland County. 

Hornblende in quartz is reported as found in Burke, Alexander, and 
Iredell counties. 

Mining operations at Stony Point, N. C, have brought to light a 
number of crystals 4 by 3 inches, and masses of quartz 6 by 3 inches, 
some of the former filled with what appears to be asbestos or byssolite, 
forming an interesting and attractive material susceptible of being cut 
into charms and other objects. Magnificent polished specimens are in 
the Morgan-Tiffany and Morgan-Bement collections. The inclosures of 
what is seemingly gothite in minute red, fan-shaped crystalline groups 
or tufts, form also a beautiful and interesting gem stone. 

Among other inclusions, some of which might be utilized for gems, 
the following may be mentioned from North Carolina : Quartz, including 
scales of hematite from King's Mills, Iredell County; quartz containing 
crystals of green spodumene (hiddenite) from Stony Point; inclusions of 


muscovite mica, that are green when viewed through the side of the prism, 
and of green chlorite, from several other localities in Alexander County. 

A remarkable specimen of this kind, that was a " nine-days wonder " 
some years ago, was the so-called Gibsonville emerald. This was a stone 
weighing 9 ounces, plowed up near Gibsonville, Guilford County, which 
was pronounced a genuine emerald by some local expert, who tested it, 
and with the microscope showed that it contained various small diamonds. 
Its value was estimated up in the thousands, and $1000 was reported to 
have been refused for it by its owner, who, as it was believed to be the 
largest known emerald, expected that it would bring him a fortune. 
Being, therefore, too valuable to be be entrusted to an express compan}*, 
he put himself to the expense of a trip to New York, where his prize 
proved on examination to be a greenish quartz crystal, filled with long 
hair like crystals of green byssolite or actinolite, on which were series 
and strings of small liquid-cavities that, glistening in the sun, had led to 
the included diamond theory. The best offer that he received for the 
stone was $5. 

Fluid Inclusions. — In March, 1882, Mr. William E. Hidden described 
and illustrated before the New York Academy of Sciences some unpar- 
alleled specimens obtained at Stony Point, Alexander County — the 
emerald locality elsewhere noted. 3 Here some 400 pounds of choice large 
crystals of smoky quartz were taken out of a " pocket " in a quartz vein, 
besides much of less fine quality. These crystals were filled with cavities 
containing a clear lustrous fluid, and of extraordinary size, those of an 
inch long being not uncommon, and some of double that length. The 
largest was 2J inches by J of an inch. So abundant were they that at 
times the crystals seemed to be made up of thin walls of quartz, separating 
a multitude of elongated cavities, parallel to the rhombohedral or pris- 
matic faces of the crystals (PL VIII, B). 

It is a matter of great regret that such unique specimens could not 
have been studied with the minute care given by Professors Dana and 
Penfield to those of Branchville, Conn. But now comes the singular 
conclusion of this account. The whole body of these crystals, carefully 
taken out and put aside as great treasures, were shattered into fragments 
in a single night, by the temperature falling below the freezing point. 
The contained fluid was evidently, as in the Branchville quartz, principally 
water, and its expansion in freezing destroyed the entire body of speci- 
mens. Those with few cavities exploded with sharp reports, and pieces 
were blown as much as 15 feet away. Those filled with small cavities were 

3 On a Phenomenal Pocket of Quartz Crystals ; Trans. N. Y. Acad. Sci., March, 1SS2. 












reduced to little heaps of fragments frozen together in a coherent mass. 
All that remained for the illustration of Mr. Hidden's paper before the 
Academy, were flakes of flat pieces, parallel to the faces of the rhombo- 
hedron, and filled and clouded with elongated and often rod-shaped 
cavities, in great numbers and of conspicuous size. 

So-called quartz pseudomorphs after calcite cleavages occur at a locality 
2 or 3 miles northeast from Eutherfordton, Eutherford County, and 
frequently contain irregularly shaped cavities filled with water, which, 
if broken out in good shape, could be utilized as curious ornaments. This 
variety of quartz was also found by J. A. D. Stephenson in Iredell County. 
This occurrence was named and described by Mr. William E. Hidden of 
New York, and shown to be due simply to quartz filling irregular cavities 
between the mica crystals in a pegmatite rock. It is known as "box 


As was stated above, these varieties have not been very prominent in 
North Carolina. 

Chalcedony. — A rich fawn and salmon colored chalcedony has been 
obtained near Linville, in Burke County, and fine agates and chalcedony at 
Caldwell's, Mecklenburg County, near Harrisburg and Concord, Cabarrus 
County, and in Granville and Orange counties, and at some other localities 
in the State. A fine green-colored variety intermixed with black horn- 
blende, that would afford gems an inch across, was found some years ago 
in Macon County, and moss agate near Hillsborough, in Orange County. 

Chrysoprase. — This valuable variety of chalcedony, colored green by 
oxide of nickel, has recently been found in Buncombe County, near 
Morgan Hill, about 16 miles from Asheville. 4 It appears in several 
parallel seams or veins, having a general N.E.-S.W. course, and within 
a few feet of each other. At the surface, the color was pale green, but as 
the rock was opened down to some 4 feet, the tint became deeper and 
richer. Only a little test work has yet been done, and the extent and 
commercial value of the material cannot at present be determined. The 
stone polishes very well, and if darker in color the deposit would have 
considerable value. 

Jasper. — In North Carolina fine jasper, banded red and black, is found 
in Granville and Person counties ; bright brick-red and yellow at Knapp's, 
Eeed's Creek, Madison County; at Warm Springs; at Shut-in-Creek in 

4 Min. Res. U. S., 1902, p. 57 (U. S. G. S. report). 



Moore County; also in Wake County, and elsewhere. Black jasper 
(basanite) also occurs somewhat, and a beautiful spear-point, 5 inches 
long, and a number of arrow-points, made from this material, have been 
found near Statesville. 


Opal has been found but very sparingly in North Carolina and, with 
the exception of the hyalite variety, the only specimen that has been found 
was near Asheville, Buncombe County, and is of a delicate pink color. 

Hyalite. — This mineral has been found at the Culsagee Mine, Macon 
County; the Carter Mine, Madison County; near Concord, Cabarrus 
County; in Burke County; and in limonite geodes found in the decom- 
posed dunite near Elf on Shooting Creek, Clay County. Nowhere, 
however, is it of importance, though its presence is of scientific interest. 




This gem, chemically a silicate of alumina and glucina (or beryllia) 
and ranking among the most valuable of precious stones, is found quite 
extensively in North Carolina. Its commoner variety, beryl, occurs at 
many places in the State, and sometimes of beautiful gem quality; these 
are the aquamarines, blue to light green and the yellow or golden beryl. 
We will first treat of the precious variety, emerald. 

Emerald Beryl. — Very few genuine emeralds have been found in the 
United States; and a number of reported specimens, assumed to be 
such, have proved upon examination to be only deep green beryls. The 
true emerald owes its color to a minute amount of oxide of chromium. 
Some beryls are of a very rich light green, and closely resemble emerald, 
so that they may easily be regarded as such; but they lack the depth of 
color so valued in the real emerald (see Pis. Ill and IX). The chief 
localities are Alexander and Mitchell counties, N. C, where emeralds, or 
beryls suggesting them occur. In the former it has been found at several 
different points, with quartz, rutile (some of the finest known), dolomite, 
muscovite, garnet, apatite, pyrite, etc., all in fine crystals. One of these 
places, Stony Point, is about 35 miles southeast of the Blue Kidge, and 16 
miles northeast of Statesville, N. C. The surface of the country is rolling, 
the altitude being about 1000 feet above sea level. The soil, which is not 
very productive, is generally a red, gravelly clay, resulting from the 
decomposition of the gneissoid rock, and under these circumstances it is 
easy to find the sources of minerals discovered on the surface. Prof. 
Washington C. Kerr's theory of the " frost-drift " is well illustrated by 
the conditions that prevail throughout this region. The unaltered rock 
appears at Stony Point at a depth of 26 feet and is unusually hard, 
especially the walls of the 'gem-bearing pockets. 

An exceptionally clear and reliable account of the search for minerals 
in Alexander County which resulted in the final uncovering of the import- 
ant emerald and beryl deposits of Stony Point, has been given by the 


developer of the first emerald mine in this country, William E. Hidden/ 
in 1881, and we cannot do better than quote his words. He writes : 

Sixteen years ago, the site of the mine now being worked was covered 
with a dense primitive forest. Less than 10 years ago (1871), this country 
was mineralogically a blank; nothing was known to exist here having any 
special value or interest. Whatever we know of it to-day is due directly or 
indirectly to the earnest field work done here in the past 7 years by 
J. A. D. Stephenson, a native of the county, now a well-to-do and respected 
merchant of Statesville, N. C. Under a promise of reward for success, he 
engaged the farmers for miles around to search carefully over the soil for 
minerals, Indian relics, etc., and for several years he enjoyed surprising 
success in thus gathering specimens. The amount and the variety of the 
material gathered in this way was simply astonishing, and his sanguine 
expectations were more than realized. To be brief .... I will state that 
from a few localities in the county Mr. Stephenson would occasionally procure 
crystals of beryl of the ordinary kind, but now and then a semi-transparent 
prism of beryl, having a decided grass-green tint would be brought to him. 
These the farmers named " green rocks " or " bolts," and became the principal 
object of the people's searchings. Mr. Stephenson had told them that a 
dark green beryl would be valuable if clear and perfect, would in fact be 
the emerald and for them to search more carefully than ever to find one. 
Surely, he had informed the people aright and had given them a rara avis 
to look for. It is sufficient to say that within a period of about 6 years 
there was found on 3 plantations in this county, loose in the soil, a 
number, say 10, of veritable emeralds, none of which, however, were dark- 
colored or transparent enough for use as gems. All of these specimens went 
into Mr. Stephenson's collection, with the single exception of one very choice 
crystal obtained at that locality by the late John T. Humphreys, which 
crystal is now in the New York State Museum at Albany, after first being 
in the collection of the late Dr. Eddy, of Providence. 

The following historical account is from unpublished notes on North 
Carolina gems, prepared for the author hj Mr. Stephenson himself in 

The first beryl I collected suitable for cutting, was found early in 1875, at 
the locality now known as the Emerald and Hiddenite mine. It was a 
beautiful aquamarine, but only partly suitable for cutting. A few weeks 
later, I obtained at this locality my first emerald; it was small and rather 
opaque, but of fine color, and the file-like markings on its planes were very 
distinct. During 1876, I collected two others at the same locality. . . . Dur- 
ing 1877, Mr. I. W. Miller brought me 2 emeralds found on his mother's 
farm, 2 miles northeast of the Emerald and Hiddenite mine. They were 
of good color and quite transparent, but very rough on the surface. This 
promising locality is still undeveloped. 

1 The Discovery of Emeralds in North Carolina, by W. E. Hidden. Privately printed, 
8vo., 4 p., 1881, and also Trans. N. Y. Acad. Sci., 1882, pp. 101-105. 














During .... 1883, Mr. J. O. Lackey brought me 36 small emeralds, .... 
found in a vein of dark mica on his farm a short distance southwest of 
the Emerald and Hiddenite mine. One or two other occurrences in the 
same region are also reported in these notes. 

In July, 1880, Mr. Hidden undertook to follow up the field-work of 
Mr. Stephenson systematically, by engaging men to dig a series of ditches 
on a selected site, where at least half a dozen pale beryls had been uncov- 
ered by a farmer while plowing. These ditches were dug in different 
directions, so as to cut the strata of the prevailing country rock (gneiss) 
at various angles. After this work had been carried on for 5 weeks 
without success, a so-called " blind vein " or pocket was discovered at a 
depth of 8 feet. Only a few emeralds, and those of small size, were 
found in this pocket, but outnumbering the emeralds 50 to 1, emerald- 
green spodumene was brought to light, which later received the name of 
hiddenite from Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, of Louisville, Ky., who was the 
first to determine its true chemical nature (PI. III). By further work, 
eleven other like pockets were opened during the year, within an area of 
40 feet square, all carrying emeralds in small quantities, and three 
besides the first containing hiddenite or the spodumene emerald also. 
Other pockets were found that yielded quartz, rutile, monazite, and 
mica crystals of great beauty. In others the walls were covered with 
finely crystallized dolomite and calcite and transparent apatite, as well 
as the former minerals. 

The gem-bearing " pockets " referred to are expansions of quartz veins 
that traverse the gneiss rock of the region, having generally an east and 
west course and a dip toward the north. They are usually quite narrow, 
but on being followed downward, are found to widen out occasionally and 
form these -cavities, which may be several inches wide and a foot or more 
in length, or in rare cases much larger. There are other quartz veins 
also, of more irregular course, which do not appear to develop these 
cavities or yield any of the gems. The gneiss rock decomposes in place 
to a depth often of many feet; and then the quartz crystals and pieces, 
the mica and beryls or emeralds, and in short all the harder minerals of 
the veins and pockets, are left lying in the soil formed by the decayed 
and disintegrated gneiss. The presence of these minerals on or near the 
surface, therefore, serves to those who understand their source, as an 
indication or " sign " of the presence of such veins in the rock beneath. 
This was the principle, as has been shown, that guided Mr. Stephenson 
in his pioneer work. 

In 1881, a corporation called the Emerald and Hiddenite Mining Com- 
pany was organized to work the property at Stony Point, and prosecuted 


the search for gems irregularly, for periods varying in length, for several 
years. Since 1885, however, but little has been done, owing to some legal 
disputes as to the property. 

The largest emerald crystal found during this mining work was 8-J 
inches in length and weighed nearly 9 ounces (PL III, p. 8). It is 
now in the Morgan-Bement collection at Xew York. This was one of 
nine crystals contained in a single pocket, all excellent in color and 
partially transparent, but somewhat flawed. One was 5 inches in length 
and others were over 3 inches (PI. III). 

One of the most noteworthy gems cut from the product of this mine 
was from a crystal found in a pocket at a depth of over 43 feet. Its color 
is a pleasing light green and it weighs 4 23/32 carats. In 1887, at a 
depth of about 70 feet, another crystal was obtained that yielded a cut 
stone of 5 carats. Both of these are too light in color to rank as fine 
gems. The two largest, and a series of the smaller ones, went into the 
cabinet of Clarence S. Bement, now the Bement-Morgan collection in 
the American Museum of Natural History. Some fine ones are also in the 
British Museum. The rich emerald color in many of these crystals is 
confined to a border from 2/100 to 3/100 of an inch in thickness 
around the edge and near the termination of the crystals. If this edge 
were thicker, fine gems could be cut from it. 

The value of the emeralds in this deposit was relatively small com- 
pared with that of the many slender crystals of hiddenite. Both these 
species are in part silicates of alumina, but they differ in the other basic 
element present, which, in hiddenite, is lithia, while in the emerald it is 
glucina. Both gem stones owe their color to the same substance, oxide 
of chromium. The emeralds found in this mine were very rarely without 
flaws, while the hiddenite was notably free from such defects, and varied 
in shade from a yellowish green to the deepest blue-green, often oddly 
combining both extremes of color in the same crystal. 

The chemical composition of the emerald beryl is shown in the analysis 
given below of a leek-green colored beryl from Alexander County : 

Analysis of Emerald Beryl. 1 

Specific Gravity, 2.703. 

Constituent. Per cent. 

Silica 66.28 

Alumina 18.60 

Ferrous oxide 0.22 

Beryllia 13.61 

Water 0.83 

Total 99.54 

1 F. A. Genth, Analyst. 


In the soil overlying the rock and resulting from its decomposition, 
nine crystals of emeralds were found, later, all doubly terminated and 
measuring from 1 to 3 inches (25 to 77 millimeters) in width. The latter 
crystal is very perfect as a specimen; it is of fine light green color and 
weighs 8 J ounces, or only \ ounce less than the famous Duke of Devon- 
shire emerald costal (PI. III). Another crystal measuring 2 \ inches 
(63 millimeters) by 11/12 inch (25 millimeters) is filled with large 
rhombohedral cavities, formerly containing dolomite. As mineral speci- 
mens these are quite unique. 

Some peculiar features pertaining to the emeralds and beryls from this 
region, are particularly noted by Mr. Hidden. 2 " They appear," he says, 
" as though filed across the prismatic faces." The basal plane is also often 
pitted with minute depressed hexagonal pyramids, that lie with their 
edges parallel to one another, and to the edge of the di-hexagonal prism. 
Rarely, though, crystals are found with perfectly smooth and brilliant 
faces. The emerald color is often focused on the surface and fades 
gradually to a colorless central core, which feature is of exceeding interest 
when the genesis of the mineral is considered. 3 A similar etching or 
corrosion appears in beryls from Colorado and those from Pala, California. 
A remarkable fact is that we have here a green beryl (emerald) and 
emerald green spodumene (hiddenite), and in the Pala, California, mine, 
we have lilac spodumene (kunzite) and pink beryls. 

Some beryls and emeralds of pale color were also collected by Mr. J. A. 
D. Stephenson, 1 mile southwest of the Stony Point deposit and a short 
distance from the place where the same mineral was found by Mr. 
Smeaton, of New York. Such discoveries tend to show that the deposit 
is evidently not the only one, and that there is still encouragement for 
future working in this region. 

In July, 1894, 4 a new locality of true emeralds, in the western part of 
the State, was discovered by Mr. J. L. Rorison, a pioneer miner of mica. 
and Mr. D. A. Bowman, on the Rorison property, 14 miles from Bakers- 
ville, and about the same distance from Mitchell's Peak, Mitchell County. 
Here, at an elevation of 5000 feet, on Big Crabtree Mountain occurs a 
vein of pegmatite some 5 feet wide, with well defined walls, in mica-schist. 
It outcrops for perhaps 100 yards, with a north-and-south strike (PI. X). 
This vein carries a variety of minerals besides its component quartz and 
feldspar, among these being garnets of a translucent reddish color, and 
black tourmaline, the latter abundant in slender crystals; beryls, white, 

2 Am. Jour. Sci., III, Vol. XXXIII, p. 505, June, 18S7. 

3 See Rep. Dept. Mining Statistics, George F. Kunz, 1903. 
4 16th Ann. Rep. U. S. Geol. Sur., Part IV, p. 600, 1894. 


yellow, and pale green; and the emeralds. These last are chiefly small, 
1 to 10 mm. wide by 5 to 25 mm. long, but some have been found two or 
three times the size of the largest above-named. They are perfect hex- 
agonal prisms, generally well terminated with basal planes, and are of 
good color, with some promise for gems. They very strikingly resemble 
the Norwegian emerald from Arendal. 

It will be noticed that the occurrence here is entirely different from that 
in Alexander Coiinty, being not in veins of quartz, but in a pegmatite 
dike. The latter is the usual situation in which beryls are found, from 
New England to the Carolinas, and also the large deposits of mica suitable 
for mining. This emerald locality has been lately worked by a New York 
company, and, although but few perfectly transparent gems have yet been 
obtained, a beautiful ornamental stone has been developed. The crystals 
vary from ■§ of an inch to 1J inches in diameter, and are rarely over 
1 inch in length. Though not clear, they have rather a fine emerald color, 
and penetrate the quartz and feldspar in an irregular manner. This green 
and white mixture is very pleasing; and as the feldspar has a hardness of 
6.5, the quartz of 7, and the emerald of about 8, the whole can be cut and 
polished together. Pieces are cut en caboclion, showing sections of one or 
more emerald crystals on the top and sides of the polished stone. The 
name of " emerald matrix " is given to this ornamental gem material (see 
illustration in Morgan-Tiffany collection) (see PL III). This property, 
which was worked quite extensively in 1906 by the American Gem and 
Pearl Company, of New York, produced some perfectly transparent crys- 
tals of emerald which cut good gems up to f carat in weight. 

Far to the southwest of Stony Point and some 50 miles south of the 
emerald locality near Bakersville, a second new occurrence was noted in 
1897 by Mr. J. Meyer of Charlotte, N. C, who had found near Earle's 
Station, in that State, between Blacksburg, S. C, and Shelby, N. C, a 
broken fragment of emerald of good color, better than anything observed 
from North Carolina, although somewhat flawed ; it was cut into a facetted 
stone, of tapeziform, or sub-triangular shape, weighing 4 15/16 carats, 
that quite closely resembles the material from the Muzo mine of Colombia. 

Aquamarine, Yellow and. Golden Beryl. — This mineral, as above stated, 
is found at many localities in North Carolina, and sometimes of quality 
fine enough to yield choice gems. It will be noted that beryl localities are 
met with on both sides of the Blue Eidge, both in the Piedmont region; 
and west of the mountains. Here again, for the development of these 
and many other forms of mineral wealth in North Carolina, in the years 
following the devastation of the Civil War, a lasting debt of honor is 
due to Mr. J. Adlai D. Stephenson, of Statesville, and also to the late G-en. 




Thomas L. Clingman, who after serving as a brave officer in the Southern 
army, turned his energies to the cultivation of the arts of peace and the 
improvement of the natural resources of his State (see Pis. Ill, IX, and 

Mr. Stephenson published accounts from time to time of his researches 
and discoveries, beginning soon after the war, and continuing for a 
number of years. A number of beryl localities are noted by Mr. Stephen- 
son in the counties of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Cleveland, Macon, 
Mitchell, and Yancey, some of them yielding choice material (PL IX). 
The remarkable discovery of emerald beryls at Stony Point, Alexander 
County, has been already described under emerald ; but there are numer- 
ous occurrences of beryl in the State, closely resembling those of New 
England, both in size and variety. Mr. Stephenson called the attention of 
the author to a dark green beryl, weighing 25.4 ounces, part of which 
would furnish gems of some size, that was found in January, 1888, near 
Russell Gap Eoad, Alexander County, by a farmer plowing. This 
locality, about 10 miles from Stony Point, is the largest beryl deposit 
affording gems that has been opened in North Carolina. It is noteworthy 
that the highly modified beryls of this region occur rarely, and only when 
associated with spodumene or albite, and also that the white or pale green- 
ish beryls are found with the deepest green spodumene. It has be- 
fore been noted that the quartz and beryl of Alexander County are more 
highly modified when implanted on the feldspathic layers of the walls of 
the pockets. We have here a green spodumene and a green beryl (em- 
erald) ; we have the same minerals, rose or lilac colored (kunzite) and 
rose beryl, at Pala, California. Two emerald beryls found in 1881, at a 
depth of 34 feet, were in a little cavity, the walls of which were almost 
covered with crystals of albite twinned parallel to the base. Only four 
emeralds were found, averaging about 1 cm. in the three dimensions. 
The pocket was free from all decomposition whatever. The crystals 
were of good color, transparent, and had their commoner planes well 
polished, but they differed to some extent in habit. 

Some of the North Carolina beryls, especially the fibrous, green, opaque 
beryl from Alexander County, would furnish cat's-eyes, although not very 

A rich yellow crystal was reported in 1888 by Mr. Stephenson, as found 
in a quartz boulder, with finely crystallized tourmaline, near Little Eiver 
Church, Alexander County. Beryl, resembling the Siberian, occurs in 
greenish-yellow and deep green crystals, in the South Mountains, 9 
miles southwest of Morganton, Burke County; also in the Sugar Moun- 
tains at Shoup's Ford, Dietz's, Huffman's, and Hildebrand's. A rich 


blue-green crystal in quartz was found at Mill's gold mine, Burke County, 
and a fine transparent green crystal from that vicinity is now in the 
cabinet of M. T. Lynde, of Brooklyn, 1ST. Y. Another Piedmont locality 
is at Wells, in Gaston County. 

Some of the beryls from the neighborhood of Statesville are of unusual 
interest from their crystalline forms; these have been described and in 
part figured by Mr. W. E. Hidden. 5 

Passing to the counties west of the Blue Eidge, several good localities 
are known where fine beryls occur, generally in pegmatite dikes, like the 
Bakersville emeralds. Clear green beryls have also been obtained at 
Balsam Gap, Buncombe County; Carter's mine, Madison County; Thorn 
Mountain, Macon County, and at one or two points in Jackson County. 
The following, however, are more important: 

Blue beryl in fine crystals that afforded fair gems was found near the 
Yancey County line, and golden beryl in the same vicinity, as noted by 
Dr. Pratt. Some crystals 2 feet long and 7 inches in diameter, with small 
clear spots, which would cut into gems, occur 4 miles south of Bakers- 
ville, and near Grassy Creek, both in Mitchell County (PI. III). Fine 
blue-green aquamarine is known at Pay's mica mine on Hurricane Mt., 
Yancey County. 

The Grassy Creek locality, just noticed, has attracted some attention 
recently as a source of fine aquamarine. It is situated on Brush Creek 
Mountain, Estatoe P. O., 6 Mitchell County. The beryls occur in a 
pegmatite dike that cuts across the country rock (gneiss) at a low angle, 
instead of conforming to the steep lamination of the latter, as do the 
ordinary mica veins. These last are chiefly muscovite, while the dike 
consists of quartz and albite, with black mica (biotite), garnet, black 
tourmaline, titanic iron and beryls. Most of the latter are opaque and 
yellowish, the bright green ones being only occasionally found, and not 
always in the dike, but sometimes in the adjacent mica-schist, — as though 
a product of contact alteration. The best crystals have a fine aquamarine 
tint, and some have yielded very perfect gems of more than a carat in 
weight. Some honey-yellow beryls also occur, sufficiently clear for cutting, 
but these are rare. 

Another locality in Mitchell County, very promising as a source of 
aquamarines, is the Wiseman mine at Elatrock, near Spruce Pine P. 0. 
Here the beryls occur not in a dike, as in the last instance, but in con- 
nection with veins of muscovite mica that run with the gneiss rock. 

5 Am. Jour. Sci., Vol. XXII, August, 1881. 

6 J. H. Pratt. Jour. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Society, Vol. XIV, Part 2, 1897, p. 80. 





Several colors are found here ; some are of fine aquamarine tint, and have 
yielded very perfect gems of more than a carat; less frequently they are 
honey-yellow, with portions clear enough to be cut; while rich blue ones, 
equal to any of those from Brazil, have also been obtained in the course 
of the past 15 years, first by desultory working and then by the most 
systematic operations under the American Gem Company, of New York 
City. Large quantities, — thousands even, — of magnificent blue gems 
weighing from 1 to 20 carats, have been taken out here. (See PL II.) 

At the Littlefield mine, on Tessentee Creek, Macon County, clear aqua- 
marines have been obtained which have cut into beautiful gems. 

At the Charleston Exposition of 1901, 7 Dr. J. H. Pratt exhibited, 
among other choice minerals of North Carolina, a crystal of golden beryl 
1J inches in diameter and %\ inches long, obtained from an Indian mound 
near Tessentee Creek, not far from the Littlefield mine, and hence pre- 
sumably from that locality. This is the first instance recorded of a beryl 
crystal found deposited in an Indian grave. 

Another important locality in Macon County is the McG-ee mine. Here 
the gems are sea-green and occasionally yellow, and are found in quantity. 

A fine representation of the North Carolina beryl is to be seen in the 
museum of the State University at Chapel Hill, together with the other 
minerals of the State, collected by the late Mr. Stephenson, in the course 
of his enthusiastic explorations, and whose cabinet was most appropriately 
secured by the State. 


This is a stone which is peculiar to North Carolina, and hence possesses 
especial interest in any account of the minerals of that State. The 
circumstances under which it first came into notice have already been 
mentioned under Emerald, with which it was found, at Stony Point, 
Alexander County, in about 1879. Mineralogically, it is a variety of 
spodumene, a well-known silicate of alumina and lithia, usually found in 
large rather coarse crystals, opaque and of no beauty. Occasionally, how- 
ever, it is transparent and richly colored (PI. III). The first occurrence 
of this form of it in the United States, was in these small brilliant, green 
crystals in North Carolina; a second has lately attracted much attention 
in San Diego County, California, where the crystals are large and of a 
rose-lilac tint ; this variety is the new gem-stone called kunzite. 
The history of the North Carolina discovery is as follows : 
About 1879, some crystals of a yellow and yellowish-green mineral, 

7 Report Dept. Mining, Charleston Exposition, 1901. 


supposed to be diopside, were found at Stony Point, Alexander County, 
N. C, associated with beryl, quartz, rutile, garnet, dolomite, etc. These 
crystals soon came into the hands of J. A. D. Stephenson of Statesville, 
Who sent the best of them to Norman Spang, of Pittsburg, Pa., a noted 
collector of choice minerals. About 2 years later Mr. Stephenson called 
the attention of William E. Hidden to this mineral, and to the locality; 
Mr. Hidden then sent specimens for examination to Dr. J. Lawrence 
Smith, of Louisville, Ky., who found, on investigation, that the mineral 
was not diopside but a transparent variety of spodumene. The crystals 
were first found loose in the soil with emeralds, but systematic mining 
revealed them attached to the veins of the wall-rock (PL XII, A). The 
spodumene is generally more or less altered, hence its pitted or eaten-out 
appearance ; but when found in the rock, the crystals are quite perfect and 
unchanged. They are all transparent and range from colorless (rare), 
to a light yellow, into yellowish-green, then into deep yellow emerald- 
green. Sometimes an entire crystal has a uniform green color, but 
generally one end is yellow and the other green. Its hardness is on 
the prism faces, 6.5, and across them, according to Doctor Smith, nearly 
that of the emerald ; but a series of experiments proved it to be some- 
what less. At first considerable difficulty was experienced in cutting it, 
owing to its remarkably perfect prismatic cleavage, which is very lustrous. 
Gems have, however, been cut up to 2 -J carats in weight. Specific gravity, 
3.18 to 3.194. 

Specimens of the crystals and of cut stones, have gone into all important 
public and private collections in the United States, and to some extent 
abroad. Dr. Spencer, of the British Museum, has recently described 
several specimens there contained, in a report to the Director, Dr. 
Fletcher, as follows: 

Hiddenite: Alexander County, N. C. 

A faceted stone of a rich emerald-green color, perfectly transparent, and 
with only 1 or 2 small cracks. Weight, 0.494 gram. 

A piece of matrix bearing 2 or 3 small crystals. Also numerous isolated 
prismatic crystals up to 2V 2 centimeters in length; many rather pale in color, 
but 3 crystals, presented by Mr. Hidden, in 1893, of a rich emerald-green. 

The yellow tinge exhibited by this mineral in even the darkest green 
gems will prevent it from competing with the emerald, since it is this 
very quality that has kept down the prices of the Siberian demantoids, 
or Uralian emeralds, as the green garnets are variously termed. The 
finest crystal of lithia emerald ever found is in the Morgan-Bement 
collection at New York. (See PI. III.) It measures 2f inches (68 


millimeters) by J inch (14 millimeters) by i inch (8 milli- 
meters). One end is of very fine color, and would afford the largest gem 
yet cut from this mineral, weighing perhaps 5J carats. In Dr. Augustus 
C. Hamlin's cabinet is a fine gem weighing about 2 carats; and a cut 
stone of fine color, and a good crystal are in the collection of Col. W. A. 
Eoebling. Dr. J. Lawrence Smith 8 says that the crystals, when cut and 
polished, resemble the emerald in luster though the color is not so intense 
as in the finer varieties of the latter gem. Prof. Edward S. Dana says 
that, owing to its dichroism, it has a peculiar brilliancy which is wanting 
in the true emerald. Thomas T. Bouve, of Boston, says : " One might 
infer from the statement .made of the great brilliancy of both the hiddenite 
and garnet, when compared with the emerald, that this should decide 
their relative beauty; but it is not the case, for the emerald has a beauty 
of its own, in its deep and rich shade of color, that will ever make it rank 
at least an equal in loveliness with the newer aspirants for favor." l 
When the hiddenite was first introduced, it had a considerable sale because 
of its novelty as an American gem and because of the newspaper notoriety 
it gained through the controversy that arose as to its discovery. Hence 
for a time the demand exceeded the supply, which, from the desultory 
working of the mine, was limited. Thus a 2-J carat stone was sold for 
$500.00, and a number of stones brought from $40.00 to over $100.00 a 
carat. The total sale of all the gems found, from the beginning of oper- 
ations in August, 1880, to the close of 1888, amounted to about $7500.00, 
the yield in 1882, during which the preparatory work was done, being 
about $2000.00. At the time of the discovery, this was supposed to be 
the first occurrence of transparent spodumene; but Pisani, in the Comptes 
Eendus for 1877, announced a transparent yellow spodumene that had 
been found at Minas G-eraes, Brazil, where it exists in large quantities 
and has been extensively sold as chrysoberyl. The writer saw nearly a ton 
of broken crystals of this mineral at Idar, Germany, in 1881, whither it 
had been sent for cutting. A stone from Brazil weighing 1 carat is 
in the United States National Museum., as also a series of crystals and 
cut stones from North Carolina. At Branchville, Conn., spodumene is 
found in opaque crystals 4 or 5 feet long and a foot in diameter, almost 
entirely altered to other minerals. In spots, however, it is transparent 
enough to furnish small gems of an amethystine color. The alterations 
which have taken place have entirely changed it to what might almost be 
called a defunct gem; otherwise, these crystals would have afforded gems 

8 Am. Jour. Sci., Ill, Vol. XXI, p. 128, Feb., 1881. 
8 Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. His., Vol. XXIII, p. 2, Jan. 2, 1884. 


over an inch in thickness and several inches in length. The color before 
the alteration was probably much richer pink. It is of mineralogical 
value only. 

Within the past year, the discoveries in San Diego County, California, 
have brought to light spodumene of "a similar color with the little rem- 
nants at Branchville, but entirely clear and unaltered. 

The North Carolina mineral was given its name by Dr. J. Lawrence 
Smith (who first determined its true character) in honor of Mr. W. E. 
Hidden. The crystals are slightly inclined prisms in form, ranging from 
quite small up to perhaps 2 inches in length and from -J to \ of an inch 
in diameter, for the largest. The first crystal of any size that was found, 
was shown in the remarkable North Carolina gem-exhibit at the Charles- 
ton Exposition of 1901-02. Notwithstanding the interest which attaches 
to this peculiar and beautiful American gem, no further developments of 
it have been made for several years, owing to the mines at Stony Point 
being closed under litigation. 

The chemical composition of hiddenite is given in the following table 
of analyses : 

Analyses of Hiddenite. 
Specific Gravity, 3.152-3.189. 




P*er cent. 1 



Per cent 


Ferric Oxide 


Chromic Oxide 

Ferrous Oxide 












1 F. A. Genth, analyst. Am. Jour. Sci.. Ill, 23. 68. 

2 ,T. Lawrence Smith, analyst, Am. .Tour. Sci., Ill, 21, 128. 








The name garnet is applied not to any single mineral, but to a well- 
marked little group, comprising several species and varieties, differing 
in color and chemical composition, but very closely related physically. 
They all crystallize in the isometric system, and are all constructed on the 
same type chemically, though varying considerably in their components. 
They are silicates of lime, magnesium, iron, or manganese, with more or 
less of alumina, ferric iron or chromium. According to the presence and 
the proportions of these substances, the species and varieties are deter- 
mined. Several members of the garnet group are found in North 
Carolina, some of the commoner kinds in large quantities, so that they 
have been mined for use as an abrasive and some of choicer quality that 
yield beautiful gems. 

Of the latter are to be noted the following: Almandine or precious 
garnet, the iron-alumina variety; pyrope or Bohemian garnet, the mag- 
nesia-alumina variety; rhodolite, a peculiar and beautiful garnet inter- 
mediate between these two ; and spessartite, or manganese-alumina garnet. 
This last is rare and the only North Carolina occurrence of it is reported 
by Dr. J. H. Pratt, in beautiful flattened plate-like crystals in mica, near 
Bakersville, some large enough to cut gems of a carat or more. 1 Very 
elegant crystals of large size have been found at Amelia Court House, 
Virginia, in an albite pegmatite. This variety is not red, but of a peculiar 
rich brown or fulvous tint (PI. XIII). 

Almandite is the most frequent variety, and the one that has been mined 
for garnet paper and other abrasive purposes, including a so-called 
" emery," for which tons of it have been crushed. The color is red, of 
many shades, varying to brownish and purplish reds. The peculiar play 
of color observed in some of the North Carolina garnets is usually due 
to inclusions. In Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties are found 
large dodecahedral and trapezohedral almandite crystals coated externally 
with a brown crust of limonite, the result of superficial alteration, but 

1 Gems and Precious Stones of North America, New York, 1S00. pp. 70-S.'?. 


usually showing a bright and compact interior when broken. They are 
sometimes as fine in color as the Bohemian garnets, and should find a 
ready use for watch-jewels and other like purposes. Some crystals have 
been found weighing 20 pounds each. Although not fine enough for 
gems, these might be cut into dishes or cups measuring from 3 to 6 
inches across, as has been done in India. A very large quantity of these 
garnets has been found about 8 miles southeast of Morganton, and also 
near Warlick, in Burke County. Here they have been extensively mined 
for abrasive use and also near HalFs Station in Jackson County, where 
garnet wheels are manufactured. 

Bohemian or pyrope garnets. — This garnet of good color, that has fur- 
nished gems, has been found in the sands of the gold-washings of Burke, 
McDowell, and Alexander counties. This species has a more blood red 


tint than the preceding, and is used largely in the garnet jewelry made 
in Bohemia, whence the name; it is the same also that passes under the 
name of Cape ruby, from South Africa, and Arizona ruby, from the 
territory of that name. 

Rhodolite. — This is by far the most important variety of garnet in 
North Carolina, and is found nowhere else, indeed, so that it possesses 
peculiar interest. Since it has been recognized and developed, it has 
proved to be also the most valuable gem produced commercially in the 
State. The locality is much the same as that of the Cowee rubies, in 
Macon County, in the gravels of streams heading on Mason ; s Mountain, 
and on the mountain itself at some points. When first observed it was 
regarded as a very beautiful and brilliant light-colored form of almandine ; 
but analysis subsequently showed that it is a variety intermediate between 
that and pyrope, in fact an inter-mixture of the two, in the proportion of 
f pyrope and -J almandine. 

The first mention of these Macon County garnets was apparently due 
to Mr. A. M. Field, of Asheville, in 1893, 2 and was made by the author 
in his report on the production of precious stones for that year, and 
again in 1897. 3 In the following year, a paper was published by Mr. W. 
E. Hidden and Dr. J. H. Pratt, in which the whole subject was treated 
fully, the analyses described, the nature of the stone determined, and the 
name of rhodolite proposed for it as a new variety. 4 This name is from 
the Greek word rhodon, a rose, from the resemblance of its color to some 
kind of roses and rhododendrons. The mineral shows a light shade of 
fine red, without the dark aspect that belongs to most garnets, and it 

2 Min. Res. U. S., 1893 (Rep. U. S. Geol. Survey), pp. 15 and 19. 

3 Min. Res. TJ. S., 1897 (Rep. U. S. Geol. Survey), p. 13. 

4 Am. Jour. Sci., IV, Vol. V, 1898, pp. 293-296 ; and also Vol. VI, pp. 463-46S. 

Plate No 

Cyan ile, 

Seven .Mile Ridge, Mitchell County, 
North Carolina. 


Cyan He, 

Seven Mile Ridge, Mitchell County, 
North Carolina. 



Cowee Valley, 

Macon Couniv. North Carolina, 


<v Valley, 
Macor. Couniv. North 

i hvl'almi PrrtnoArt Cc 

• ■ d 




possesses a remarkable degree of brilliancy, especially in artificial light. 
Those qualities give it great value for gem purposes, and it has become 
very popular. The pieces found are not generally large, but stones have 
been cut of as much as 14 carats. A very fine exhibit of rhodolites was 
made in the State Geological Survey Exhibit at the recent Expositions at 
Buffalo, Charleston, and St. Louis. They have been developed by two 
companies with remarkable success; and apparently more gems in value 
have been sold from this mine than from all other sources in the State 
combined. (See PL XIII.) 

Perhaps $53,000 worth of these stones have been sold from these 
mines to date. 


Zircon (silicate of zirconia) is a mineral of somewhat wide distribu- 
tion, though rarely conspicuous. It crystallizes in square prisms with 
pyramidal terminations, generally opaque and of some shade of brown. 
When transparent, and of any size, beautiful gems can be cut from 
zircon crystals ; these are the hyacinths of jewelers. 

In North Carolina zircon is abundant in the gold sands of Polk, Burke, 
McDowell, Eutherford, a'nd Caldwell counties, and in nearly all the 
colors found in Ceylon — yellowish-brown, brownish- white, amethystine, 
pink, and blue. The crystals are beautifully modified, but too minute 
to be of value. Brown and brownish-yellow crystals, very perfect in form, 
occur abundantly in Henderson County, N. C, and in equal abundance 
in Anderson County, S. C. The latter are readily distinguished from the 
North Carolina crystals, as they are generally larger, often an inch across, 
and the prism is almost always very small, the crystal frequently being- 
made up of the two pyramids only. They are found in large quantities, 
loose in the soil, as the result of the decomposition of a feldspathic rock. 
Large and richly colored zircons, sometimes as much as 2 ounces in 
weight, and of fine shades of brown and hone}^-red, are found in Iredell 
County. 5 . 

Within the past 20 years some demand has arisen and continued for 
minerals containing the rare earths, — zirconia, thoria, etc., — as these 
substances are used for the mantles or hoods of the Welsbach and other 
forms of incandescent gas burners. This demand led to active search 
throughout the world for the minerals containing these oxides, and so 
successful has been this search that many species which were once con- 
sidered rare are now so plentiful that they are quoted at one-tenth to one- 

5 N. C. Geolog. Survey, Economic Paper, No. 6, 1901, p. 99; and Department of 
Mining Statistics, 1898, p. 34. 


hundredth of their former prices. The best zircon localities in Xorth 
Carolina are on the Old Meredith Freeman estate, and the Jones estate, 
Green Kiver, Henderson County. It was leased for 25 years by Gen. 
Thomas L. Clingman, who, as early as 1869, mined 1000 pounds of zircon, 
and during that whole period never lost faith in the incandescent proper- 
ties of zirconia; but when these were finally proved and acknowledged, 
through some legal difficulties General Clingman had forfeited his leases, 
and hence failed to reap his reward. The zircon industry has been quite 
important in North Carolina; and as far back as 1883 Mr. W. E. Hidden 
mined 26 tons in that single year. The chemical composition of zircon 
is shown below in the analysis of a sample of this mineral from Buncombe 

Analysis 6 of Zircon from Buncombe County, N. C. 
Specific Gravity, 4.607. 

Constituent. Per cent. T ^° ^ al 

Silica -33.70 32.80 

Zirconia 65.30 67.20 

Ferric Oxide 0.67 

Water 0.41 


This is one of the most interesting minerals found in North Carolina, 
although not one that is very conspicuous. In composition, it is pure 
oxide of the metal titanium, and varies in color from deep red or reddish- 
brown to black, the crystals being modified square prisms. Specimens 
from Alexander County rival any that have ever been found for their 
perfection of form, wonderful polish, and fine color (PL XIV, A and B, 
and PI. XV). At Graves Mountain, Georgia, elegant rutile occurs with 
lazulite usually imbedded in a compact red oxide of iron that can be 
readily removed by hydrochloric acid, or with a sharp instrument, leaving 
on the surfaces a mirror-like polish. The crystals vary in length from -J 
an inch up to 5 inches, and are either single, twins, or vieriings, often 
in fine groups. The rutile from this locality has realized at least $20,000 
for cabinet specimens, and has supplied the collections of the world 
through the perseverance of Prof. Charles IT. Shepard. It occurs in a 
similar association with lazulite in North Carolina, at Crowders Mountain, 
in Gaston County. 

The finest small brilliant geniculated crystals are found at Millholland's 
Mills, White Plains, near Liberty Church, and near Poplar Springs, in 

r; C. F. Chandler, analyst, Am. Jour. Sci., II, 24, 131. 












Alexander County, see Plate XIV. These have furnished some of the 
finest cut black rutile, which more closely approaches the black diamond 
in appearance than any other gem. Some of the lighter colored ones 
furnish gems strongly resembling common garnet. Beautiful long crys- 
tals at times transparent red, ranging from the thickness of a hair to J 
and in some instances § inch across, and from 1 inch to 6 inches in length, 
often doubly terminated and very brilliant, have been found at Taylors- 
ville, Stony Point, and elsewhere in that vicinity. A very marked form 
of rutile is that in which these slender red crystals penetrate transparent 
quartz, both colorless and smoky, forming the beautiful combination 
called sagenite, or by the French, " fleches d'amour" (love's arrows) 
(PL V). This material is found of remarkably fine quality at several 
points in North Carolina, and is described in this report under Quartz 

Dr. Joseph Hyde Pratt has recently reported the occurrence of beau- 
tifully terminated rutile crystals from near Mebane, Orange County. The 
crystals are up to 1J inches long and J broad and are imbedded in 


Octdhedrite is a rare mineral, identical with rutile in composition, but 
entirely different in the form of its crystals. It is described by W. E. 
Hidden 7 as occurring in thin tabular, glassy crystals of a pale-green color 
and very brilliant up to J of an inch in diameter, in the gold sands of 
Brindletown Creek and elsewhere in Burke and the adjoining counties, 
especially on the northern slope of Pilot Mountain. These might afford 
small gems that would compare favorably with the beautiful blue crystals 
from Brazil, which are so brilliant as to have been mistaken for diamonds. 
Cassiterite, the oxide of tin, has been found in considerable quantities at 
King's Mountain. Fine specimens may be cut like rutile, but this 
place has not yielded a single gem, or been worked as yet with commercial 
success for tin. 

7 Am. Jour. Sci., Ill, Vol. XXII, July, 1881, p. 26. 




This mineral (also spelled kyanite) is a subsilicate of alumina almost 
identical in composition with andalusite, and very closely related also to 
topaz. It is named from the Creek huanos, blue, in allusion to its pre- 
vailing color, and was also called by old writers sappar, from a corruption 
of sapphire, which the fine clear cyanites of deep tint sometimes resemble. 
It occurs generally in long prismatic or blade-like crystals, and is not 
uncommon in the gneissic rocks of New England and Southeastern 
Pennsylvania to North Carolina (Pis. XIII and XII, B). It presents 
various shades of blue and blue-green, occasionally varying to pure white, 
— the variety from the Tyrol called rhcetizite. Fine crystals occur with 
lazuli te at Chibb's and Crowder's mountains, on the road to Coopers 
Gap, in Gaston County, and also in Rutherford County. Cyanite is some- 
what frequently associated with corundum, from which Dr. Genth believed 
it to be derived by alteration. Another locality is at Swannanoa Gap, 
in Buncombe County; but the finest specimens are found in Mitchell 
County, 1 where it occurs in distinct isolated crystals that, for perfection. 
depth of color, and transparency, rival those from St. Gothard, 
Switzerland. The locality is at an altitude of 5500 feet, near the summit 
of Yellow Mountain on the road to Marion, 4 miles southeast of Bakers- 
ville, in a vein of white massive quartz in a granitic bluff, associated with 
almandite garnet of a very light transparent pinkish-purple color. The 
vein has a dip of 60 degrees, bearing northeast and southwest. The color 
varies from almost colorless to deep azure-blue, as dark as the Ce} T lonese 
sapphire, also occasionally green. Some of the crystals are 2 inches long, 
while a few were observed f inch (15 millimeters) in width and f inch 
(10 millimeters) in thickness. Occurring in white quartz, they form 
beautiful specimens, and the loose crystals were extensively sold for 
sapphire some years ago, at Roan Mountain, the summer resort. A few 

'Am. Jour. Sci.. III. Vol. XXXVI. p. 224. Sept., 1888. 


gems have been cut, and a fine example is in the United States National 
Museum. It is, however, too soft to admit of much wear. 

Another locality of fine cyanite in the same vicinity, was described in 
1898 by Dr. J. H. Pratt. 2 This was on the farm of Mr. T. Young, in 
Yancey County, on North Toe Eiver, a few miles from Spruce Pine, 
Mitchell County. Here the cyanite is frequently of a rich mossy green 
color, sometimes perfectly transparent; and some of the crystals are blue 
along the center with grass-green margins. Many of them are terminated, 
which is not common in cyanite; and the locality seems a very promising 


Prof. Frederick A. Genth mentions 3 a crystal of epidote in the cabinet 
of the University of Pennsylvania, from the gold-washings of Eutherford 
County, N. C. This crystal is strongly pleochroic, like the so-called pusch- 
kinite from the auriferous sands of Ekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains, 
and would cut into a small gem. Some fine highly complex forms have 
been observed at Hampton's, Yancey County, by William E. Hidden. 
These crystals might possibly afford cabinet gems, not equal, however, 
to the Tyrolese epidote. Handsome prismatic crystals, 1-J inches in length 
and i in diameter, have been reported by Mr. 0. H. Blocher, of Old Fort, 
McDowell County, as found some 40 miles from that place, but with no 
more specific location. They are brilliant, but of too dark a green to 
have much promise as gems. 

Crocidolite was observed by Joseph Wilcox in long, delicate fibers of a 
blue color, in one of the western counties of North Carolina. 


This is a complex boro-silicate of alumina and several oxides, which is 
frequent in various crystalline rocks, and in its common black form is 
found at numerous North Carolina localities. But the richly colored 
varieties which are valued as gem stones, and are found in Maine, Con- 
necticut, and Southern California, do not appear in North Carolina. 
The only announcement of the presence of any of them, thus far, was 
made several years ago by Messrs. D. C. Morgan and Company, of Waynes- 
ville, Haywood County, who reported crystals of transparent green 
tourmaline as found near that place. The colored tourmalines usually 
contain some lithia, and are nearly always found, when they do occur, in 
pegmatite dikes. As these latter are frequent in the western counties, 

. 2 Am. Jour. Sci., IV, Feb., 1898, pp. 126, 127. 

3 Minerals and Mineral Localities of North Carolina, Raleigh, p. 44, 1881. 


it seems remarkable that almost no tourmalines of this kind have been 
found in all the mining and prospecting work. 


This mineral is a silicate of magnesia and iron. It occurs largely in 
an altered form in North Carolina, as the leading constituent of the 
decomposed peridotites called dunites, but very rarely in its unchanged 
condition. It is a green to yellow mineral, nearly as hard as quartz 
(6.5-7), and when transparent and in pieces of any size, it is valued 
as a brilliant gem-stone, — the chrysolite or peridot of jewelers. Xear 
Webster, in Jackson County, it is found in granular masses, of a bright 
yellow-green color, and susceptible of a fine high polish. This material. 
if present in any quantity, might be utilized as a pleasing ornamental 
stone; but not as a gem, unless more transparent and in larger pieces. 

Analyses of Chrysolite from Wedster, Jackson County N. C. 

Constituent. Percent. 4 Percent. 5 Percent. 

Silica 41.89 40.74 41.17 

Ferric Oxide ) n co 1 00 

- U.Oo l.oo 

Chromic Oxide ) 

Ferrous Oxide 7.39 7.26 7.35 

Nickel Oxide 0.35 0.39 0.41 

Lime 0.06 0.02 0.04 

Magnesia 49.13 49.18 49.16 

4 F. A. Genth, analyst, Am. Jour. Sci., Ill, 33, 200. 

5 1. c. 

e F. A. Genth, analyst, Am. Jour. Sci., II, 33, 199. 

4 Color, pale grayish green. 

5 and 6 Color, yellowish olive green. 


This mineral, a hydrous silicate of magnesia, occurs widely distributed 
throughout some portions of the State, and is often a result of the alter- 
ation of the olivine-bearing rocks (peridotite, dunite) already repeatedly 
mentioned. At some points it is massive and of good color and quality, 
such as might be used for building-stone, as it is frequently near Phila- 
delphia. But the translucent and rich green variety known as precious 
serpentine, which is used as an ornamental stone like that of Maryland, 
has been recognized only at a few points and does not appear as yet to 
have been utilized at all. Dr. Pratt mentions several promising outcrops 
in Buncombe County, between Leicester and Weaversville. and others in 
Madison and Yancey counties. Still another, where the serpentine is of 
fine quality, is in Wilkes County, where it forms the rock of the asbestos 




mine near North Wilkesboro. It is hard and compact and polishes hand- 
somely, and might prove as beautiful as that of Harford County, Mary- 
land. Dr. Genth, also, years ago, stated that a serpentine from the 
neighborhood of Patterson, Caldwell County, of a dark greenish-black 
color, admits of a fine polish. 7 

Analysis 8 of Serpentine, Webster, N. G. 

Constituent. Per cent. 

Silica 43.87 

Alumina 0.31 

Ferrous Oxide 7.17 

Nickel Oxide 0.27 

Magnesia 38.62 

Water 9.55 


Smaragdite is a variety of hornblende (amphibole), which occurs 
plentifully at the Cullakenee Corundum Mine, Clay County, N. C. In 
color it is bright emerald to grass-green, also grayish and greenish-gray. 
Masses through which the pink and ruby corundum occur disseminated, 
are exceedingly beautiful. The mineral is hard enough to admit of a fine 
polish and is worthy of attention as an ornamental or decorative stone. 
It has recently been utilized for such purposes, under the name of " ruby 
matrix." Pieces are selected in which bright portions of red or pink 
corundum are enclosed in the rich green smaragdite, and the contrast 
makes a very attractive material. Smaragdite occurs also near Elf, on 
Shooting Creek, in the same county, similarly associated with corundum, 
pink and dark blue. 


Lazulite is a somewhat rare mineral, a phosphate of alumina containing 
some magnesia and protoxide of iron. It occurs in pale and dark blue 
crystals and crystalline masses at Clubb Mountain and Crowder's Moun- 
tain, in Gaston County, and at Sauratown, in Stokes County. The finest 
crystals, however, come from Graves' Mountain, Georgia, some of the m 
being as much as two inches in length. Its hardness is 6, and its specific 
gravity is 3.122. This mineral would make an opaque gem or an orna- 
mental stone, as the color, though lighter, is often as rich as that of lapis 
lazuli, for which it was mistaken when first found. 

7 Mineral of N. C, p. 57. 

8 F. A. Genth, analyst, Am. Jour. Sci., II. 33. 201. 


Analysis 9 of Blue Lazulite from Gaston County, N. C. 

Constituent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Phosphoric Acid 43.38 44.15 

Alumina 31.22 32.17 

Ferrous Oxide 8.29 8.05 

Magnesia 10.06 10.02 

Silica 1.07 1.07 

Water 5.68 5.50 

Hardness 5.0-6.0 5.0-6.0 


This beautiful green carbonate of copper, often used as an ornamental 
stone as well as mined for an ore of the metal, is found somewhat in 
Guilford, Cabarrus, and Mecklenburg counties. The fibrous variety has 
been observed at Silver Hill and at Conrad Hill, in Davidson Count} 7 , and 
in a number of other localities in North Carolina, but is rarely of any gem 
value. In the Torrey Collection at the United States Assay Office, in 
New York City, are a few fine gem pieces of malachite from the Copper 
Knob mine in Ashe County. 


The Indians of Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama, gathered 
mussels and conchs, as shown by the numerous refuse piles and shell 
heaps that abound upon the salt-water creeks. It is not a matter of 
surprise that the Indians, as they opened these shells, should have care- 
fully watched for pearls, and from the vast numbers examined, should 
have accumulated a store. If the shores of Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida did not afford the larger and more highly prized pearls, it is 
not impossible that pearls from the islands and lower portions of the 
Gulf of Mexico, and even from the Pacific coast, may have found their 
way into the heart of Georgia and Florida and into more northern 
localities, to be there bartered away for skins and other articles. The 
replies of Indians to Father Hennepin and others and the presence in 
remote localities of beads, ornaments, and drinking-cups made of marine 
shells and conchs, still peculiar to the Gulf of Mexico, confirm the 
truthfulness of this suggestion. 10 

9 Analysts, Smith & Brush. Dana, Mineralogy, 5th ed., p. 572. 

10 Ancient Aboriginal Trade in North America, by Charles Rau. Report of the 
Smithsonian Institution for 1872, Washington, 1873 ; Gems and Precious Stones of 
North America, New York, 1890-92 ; TJ. S. Commission Fish and Fisheries, 1S93-9S ; 
Pearls, by Geo. F. Kunz, Charles H. Stevenson, Century Co., New York, 1907. 






1. Iron Ores of North Carolina, by Henry B. C. Nitze, 1893. 8°, 239 pp., 20 
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2. Building and Ornamental Stones in North Carolina, by T. L. Watson and 
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3. Gold Deposits in North Carolina, by Henry B. C. Nitze and George B. 
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4. Road Material and Road Construction in North Carolina, by J. A. Holmes 
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6. The Timber Trees of North Carolina, by Gifford Pinchot and W. W. Ashe, 
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8. Water-powers in North Carolina, by George F. Swain, Joseph A. Holmes 
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9. Monazite and Monazite Deposits in North Carolina, by Henry B. C. Nitze, 
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10. Gold Mining in North Carolina and other Appalachian States, by Henry 
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11. Corundum and the Basic Magnesian Rocks of Western North Carolina, 
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12. History of the Gems found in North Carolina, by George Frederick 
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13. Clay Deposits and Clay Industries in North Carolina, by Heinrich Reis, 
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14. The Cultivation of the Diamond-back Terrapin, by R. E. Coker, 1906. 
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15. Experiments in Oyster Cultutre in Pamlico Sound, by Robert E. Coker. 
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16. A List of Elevations in North Carolina, by Joseph Hyde Pratt and 
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17. The Loblolly Pine in Eastern North Carolina, by W. W. Ashe. In prepa- 

18. Shade Trees in North Carolina, by W. W. Ashe. In preparation. 

19. The Tin Deposits of the Carolinas, by Joseph Hyde Pratt and Douglass 
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Vol. II. The Fish of North Carolina, by H. M. Smith. In press. 

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y Vol. IV. Mica Deposits of Western North Carolina, by Joseph Hyde Pratt 
and Douglas B. Sterrett. In preparation. 

Samples of any mineral found in the State may be sent to the office of the 
Geological and Economic Survey for identification, and the same will be 
classified free of charge. It must be understood, however, that xo assays, or 
quantitative detekminations, will be made. Samples should be in a lump 
form if possible, and marked plainly with name of sender outside of package, 
post-office address, etc.; a letter should accompany sample and stamp should 
be enclosed for reply. 

These publications are mailed to libraries and to individuals who may de- 
sire information on any of the special subjects named, free of charge, except 
that in each case applicants for the reports should forward the amount of 
postage needed, as indicated above, for mailing the bulletins desired, to the 
tttate Geologist, Chapel Hill, N. C. 




O "S 

Q- X 


S I 


O co 

£ =0 








Guy V. Barnes, Public Printer 

Hf' lJL - 




Illustrations 6 

Letter of Transmittal 8 

Preface 9 

Chapter I. — The Origin of Clay 11 

Chapter II. — Chemical properties of clay 15 

Impurities in clay 15 

Fluxing impurities . . 16 

Alkalies in clay 1G 

Soluble alkaline compounds 17 

Insoluble alkaline compounds 17 

Compounds of iron in clay 18 

Lime in clay ; . . 20 

Effect on the brick of calcium carbonate in clay 21 

Magnesia in clays 23 

Non-fluxing impurities , 23 

Silica 24 

Titanium 24 

Organic matter 25 

Water 26 

Methods employed in making clay analyses 2T 

The rational analysis of clay 30 

Chapter III. — Physical properties of clay 33 

Plasticity 33 

Tensile strength 34 

Shrinkage 35 

Fusibility 36 

Temperature at which clay fuses 37 

Measurement of temperatures 3S 

The thermo-electric pyrometer 38 

Seger's pyramids : '» s 

Slaking of clays 42 

Minor physical properties of clays 42 

Absorption of water 42 

Texture 42 

Taste 4:; 

Color 4:; 

Density 43 



Chapter IV. — Geology and geography of North Carolina clay deposits 44 

Residual clays , 44 

Sedimentary clays 46 

The North Carolina clay working industry 48 

Chapter V. — Kaolins or china clays 50 

Character, Mining, Preparation for market 50 

Distribution of the kaolins 50 

Mineralogical character of kaolin 50 

Properties of kaolin 51 

Mining of kaolin 53 

Preparation of kaolin for market 54 

Deposits of kaolin in North Carolina 58 

Kaolin in Jackson county 58 

Macon county 62 

Montgomery county 64 

Richmond county 65 

Uses of the North Carolina kaolins 68 

Chapter VI. — Pottery Clays in North Carolina 71 

The pottery industry 71 

Requisites of a pottery clay 72 

Stoneware manufacture 73 

Pottery industry in Burke county 75 

Catawba county 76 

Lincoln county 77 

Wilkes county 78 

Chapter VII. — Fire-clays and pipe-cla} r s in North Carolina 80 

Fire-clays SO 

Fire-clays in Cleveland county 81 

Guilford county S3 

Pipe-clays in North Carolina S6 

Manufacture of sewer pipes and tiles S6 

Guilford county SS 

Chapter VIII. — Brick-clays and brick manufacturing 92 

General character of brick-clays 92 

Requisites of brick-clays 93 

Methods of brick manufacture 94 

Soft-mud process 94 

Stiff-mud process 96 

Dry-press process 99 

Chapter TX. — Brick-clay deposits in North Carolina 102 

Brick-clays in Bladen county 102 

Buncombe county 104 

Burke county 107 

Cleveland county 108 

Cumberland county 110 

Forsyth county Ill 

Gaston county 113 


Chapter IX. — Continued. 

Brick-clays in Guilford county 114 

Halifax county , 116 

Harnett county 119 

Jackson county 121 

Martin county 122 

Mecklenburg county 122 

Richmond county 125 

Robeson county 126 

Rowan county , 127 

Surry county 128 

Union county 129 

Wake county 130 

Wayne county 131 

Wilkes county 134 

Wilson county 136 

Comparison of Wilson and Wayne county clays 138 

Chapter X. — Manufacture of paving-brick 139 

Requisite character of clay 139 

Manufacture of paving-brick 140 

Table of Chemical Analysis of Clays „ 142 

Table of Physical Properties of Clays 146 

Bibliography 150 

Index 153 



Plate I. Pomona Terra Cotta Works, Pomona, N. C Frontispiece. 

II. Map showing distribution of geological formations in Xorth Carolina . . 44 

III. Fig. 1, Kaolin washing and drying plant, Harris Clay Co 56 

2, Harris Clay Co.'s mine, showing method of sinking pits in soft 

kaolin 56 

IV. Fig. 1, Wooden frame kaolin filter-press -. 58 

2, Iron frame kaolin filter-press 58 

V. Fig. 1, Residual kaolin deposit, Harris Clay Co.'s mine, near Webster.. . 59 

2, Residual clay deposit, Powhatan Clay Mfg. Co., near Grover 59 

VI. Fig. 1, Press for sewer-pipe, tile, and hollow brick 86 

2, Chaser mill for tempering clay for sewer-pipe 86 

VII. Fig. 1, Circular down-draft kiln for tile, etc 88 

2, Tunnel dryers, used in brick making 88 

VIII. Fig. 1, Stiff-mud auger end-cut brick machine ." . 98 

2, Re-pressing brick machine 98 

IX. Fig. 1, Interior view of a continuous brick-kiln 99 

2, Exterior view of a continuous brick-kiln 99 

X. Fig. 1, Up-draft brick-kilns, for burning common brick, at the State 

Penitentiary, Raleigh, N. C 101 

2, Down-draft brick-kiln. Eudaly type 101 

XL Fig. 1, Black clay along Cape Fear river, at Prospect Hall 110 

2, Poe Bros', clay bank, Fayetteville, N. C 110 

XII. Fig. 1, Brick works of Carter and Shepard, Bethania 120 

2, Clay deposit in railway cut, Spout Springs, C. F. & Y. V. railroad. 120 

Fig. 1. Pump for removing kaolin from settling vats and forcing it into the presses. 57 

2. Potter's jolly, No. 3 74 

3. Vaughan sewer-pipe press S7 

4. Dry-pan crusher 97 

5. Dry-press brick machine 100 



Govern ob. D. L. Russell, ex-officio Chairman, . . Raleigh. 

Charles MoNamee, ....... Biltmore. 

J. Turner Morehead, ...... Leaksville. 

J. A. Holmes, Chapel Hill. 


To His Excellency, Hon. D. L. Russell, 

Governor of North Carolina 

and Chairman of the Geological Board. 

Sir: — I have the honor to transmit as bulletin 13 of the Survey series, 
a preliminary report on some of the clay deposits and the clay industry 
in North Carolina, by Dr. Heinrich Hies. This report is not intended 
as a complete or final discussion of the clay deposits of this State. Their 
examination has thus far been limited mainly to the regions about towns 
and railway stations, where the need for information is greatest: but 
during the next few years it is expected that this work will be ex- 
tended to all portions of the State where there is a probability of dis- 
covering workable deposits of clay or kaolin. 

Meanwhile it is thought best to publish, in response to the calls for 
immediate information, this preliminary report, which I regard as an 
important contribution to our series of reports on North Carolina 
resources. I believe it will be well received by the clay workers of the 
State, and hope that it will prove useful to them. 

Yours obediently, 

J. A. Holmes, 

State Geologist. 

Raleigh, N. C, 

July 15, 1897. 


The following investigation of the North Carolina clays was under- 
taken for the purpose of determining (1) the extent, qualities, appli- 
cability of the clays occurring within the State; and (2) whether those 
deposits now being utilized could be used for making other or better 
products than those that are now being manufactured from them, 
by varying the mixtures or by the use of different appliances in the 
manufacture. The field work was earned on during the spring and 
autumn of 1896, and many of the clay deposits (nearly 100) were 
visited. Samples were collected from about seventy beds and sub- 
mitted to chemical and physical investigation. 

The chemical work was earned out in a careful and detailed manner 
by Prof. Chas. Baskerville, of the University of North Carolina. In 
each case the constituents determined were free and combined silica, 
alumina, ferric oxide, lime, magnesia, alkalies, moisture, and water. In 
certain cases determinations were also made of the ferrous oxide, organic 
matter, sulphur, and titanic oxide. Of the high grade clays, such as the 
kaolins, a rational analysis was made in each case. This, though of 
great importance, has rarely been done in this country, although it is 
often carried out abroad. From the rational analysis, as pointed out 
in the report, it is possible to compute the percentage of clay substance, 
quartz, and feldspar in the clay, a fact which is of great practical value 
to the manufacturer, for it gives him an important guide in making up 
the mixture for the body. 

The physical investigations consisted in determining the amount of 
water required to be added to give a workable mass, the shrinkage in 
drying and burning of bricklets made from this mud; the color to which 
the clay burns; the temperatures of incipient fusion, vitrification, and 
viscosity; the cohesion or tensile strength of the air-dried clay, deter- 
mined by making briquettes and pulling them apart in a cement testing 


machine; the texture of the clay; the slaking in water; and other minor 
physical characteristics. 

The fire tests were carried on in a regenerative gas furnace for tem- 
peratures up to 2500 degrees F., but for temperatures above this a 
Deville furnace was used. 

The results of the work show that North Carolina contains an abun- 
dance of kaolin of superior quality, as well as clays for the manufacture 
of stoneware, pressed brick, sewer pipe, and probably paving brick if a 
mixture of clays is used. 

The presence of good clays for the better grades of structural mate- 
rial is of itself a matter of importance, as at present nearly all such 
wares are brought from other States at considerable cost. While the 
sedimentary " bottom " clays yield smoother and usually better pro- 
ducts than the residual ones, still experiments and practical tests show 
that the product made from the latter is materially improved by the 
proper manipulation. 

Many of the products are easily accessible, being situated either along 
navigable rivers or near the intersection of important lines of traffic. 

As only a portion of the clay deposits has as yet been examined, this 
must be regarded as a preliminary report. It is expected that these 
investigations will be continued until the more promising clay deposits 
in all parts of the State shall have been examined, and a final and more 
elaborate report will then be prepared for publication. 

Acknowledgments are due to the clay workers of the State for the 
uniform courtesy with which they have aided the gathering of informa- 
tion for this report. 

The American Clay-working Machinery Co., of Bucyrus, O., The 
Turner, Vaughn and Taylor Co., of Cuyahoga Tails, O., and the 
Director of the New York State Museum have kindly loaned several 
of the illustrations for this report. 

ITeixkich TIies. 

May 9, 181)7. 



By Heinrich Bjes, Ph. D. 



Forming as it does one of the most abundant materials of the sur- 
face of the earth's crust, the enormously extensive application of clay 
is not to be wondered at. It is to be found almost everywhere, but 
varies greatly in form, color, and other chemical and physical char- 
acters. There are two properties, however, which are more or less con- 
stant, and by means of which clay can be generally recognized. These 
are plasticity when wet, so that any form can be given it by pressure; 
and the retention of this form when air-dried. 

Pure clay is composed of the mineral kaolinite, which is a hydrated 
silicate of alumina, and masses of it are called kaolin. It rarely hap- 
pens that kaolin is found in a strictly pure state, for more or less foreign 
mineral matter is usually present, and may form such a large percentage 
of the kaolin as to completely mask the kaolinite. The latter is known 
as the clay substance, the foreign minerals being regarded as impurities. 

Clay may therefore be defined as a mixture of kaolinite with more or 
less quartz and other mineral fragments (hydrates, silicates, etc.) pos- 
sessing usually plasticity when mixed with water, and when subjected 
to a high heat becoming converted into a hard, rock-like mass. 1 

Kaolinite, the base of all clays, is not an original mineral of the 
earth's crust, but a secondary one, resulting from the decomposition of 
feldspars, and possibly sometimes from other aluminous mineral-. The 
feldspars are a group of silicate minerals of rather complex composition, 
but orthoclase (the common feldspar), which serves as the type of the 
group, is a compound of silica, alumina, and potash, or in other words, 
a double silicate of alumina and potash. 

The change to kaolinite is brought about by weathering agents oi 
the atmosphere which are continually at work on the minerals of the 
earth's crust, disintegrating them or converting them into new uiiu- 

1 The flint clays, though nearly pure kaolinite, possess little or no plasticity. 


eral compounds. The most active weathering agents are oxygen and 
carbon dioxide, which by percolating waters are carried into the 
most remote cracks and crevices of the rocks, and attack the various 
mineral compounds, simply oxidizing some, decomposing others and 
carrying part of their elements off as carbonates, while silica may be 
left behind. 

Under the action of these weathering agencies the feldspar is decom- 
posed, the potassium being removed in the form of carbonate, while the 
silica and alumina remain behind, and with water form the hydrated 
silicate of alumina or kaolinite, whose composition is expressed by the 
formula A1 2 3 , 2Si0 2 , 2II 2 0; or in the proportions of silica (Si0 2 ) 
46.3^, alumina (A1 2 3 ) 39. 8$, water (H 2 0) 13.9^. 

It sometimes happens that the percentage of alumina in clay is over 
39.8, as in the case of many of the Missouri flint-clays, and TTheeler has 
suggested that they may be mixtures of kaolinite and pholerite. 1 The 
latter is an amorphous variety of the former and contains -±5^ of 

The purity of a clay as formed will depend largely on the nature of 
the parent rock or the associations of the feldspar. This mineral fre- 
quently occurs in large vein-like masses, in which case its decomposition 
would yield a bed of nearly pure kaolin, but more frequently it is asso- 
ciated with quartz, or with quartz and mica, etc. When these pegma- 
tite or granite veins decompose, the result is a bed of kaolin with par- 
ticles of angular quartz and flakes of mica, etc., scattered through it. 
These mineral impurities can usually be separated by washing. 

Beds of kaolin occurring in or very close to their place of origin are 
known as residual clays, and they may represent the purest as well as 
the most impure forms of clay. The mineral impurities commonly 
found in residual clays are feldspar, quartz, mica, garnet, hornblende, 
augite, rutile, etc. Residual clays may form small vein-like masses, 
or be of enormous extent. The kaolins near \Vebster and Sylva are 
examples of the former, the surface clays around Greensboro of the 

In the erosion of the earth's surface the residual clay is washed down 
into the lakes and seas, where it is deposited in the form of a sediment, 
but with the addition of many impurities. 

Clays thus deposited are known as sedimentary clays, and are usually 
far more plastic than the residual clays mentioned above. 

The clays of the Cretaceous and Tertiary formations bordering the 
Atlantic coast are all of sedimentary origin. Shales are simply har- 
dened clays, their rock-like character being due to their having been 
buried more or less deeply under other sediments formed subsequent 

iMo. Geol. Surv., XI, 1897. 


to them. On grinding them to a powder and mixing them with water, 
they become plastic just like other clays. 

By metamorphism a shale may lose its chemically combined water, 
develop a cleavage, and become converted into a slate. It is then no 
longer possible to develop any plasticity by grinding and mixing with 

Sedimentary clays may vary widely in their nature, even in the 
same formation and within small areas. This is due to the variations in 
direction and velocity of currents in the bodies of water where they 
were deposited, for the finer clay would only be dropped in quiet water, 
while where currents existed coarse sand only might be deposited. 

Variations in the current at the same point would produce alter- 
nating beds of clay and sand, while similar causes might develop large 
lenses of clay, free from sand or comparatively so, surrounded by coarse 
sand beds. The kaolin deposits of Aiken,. South Carolina, and the 
black clays exposed in the bluffs at Prospect Hall, Xorth Carolina, are 
examples of this. 

Sedimentary clays may be either soft or hard. In the latter case 
they are known as shales. Shales, on account of their rockdike con- 
dition, are frequently deceptive, yet when ground and mixed with 
water they possess the same plasticity as soft clay. On account of the 
fusible impurities which they frequently contain, they are found to 
be admirably suited to the manufacture of vitrified wares, but in Xorth 
Carolina no shale deposits have yet been developed which are suitable 
for the manufacture of clay products. 

As clays show ail gradations from the purest kaolins to the most 
impure brick clays, it is hard to draw any sharp lines of division be- 
tween the kinds of clay used for one purpose or another, and conse- 
quently no classification is here given. 

As before stated, kaolinite forms the base of al] clays, and the rest 
of the clay is composed chiefly of the two minerals quartz and feld- 
spar. The relative proportion of these three can not be calculated 
from the ordinary analysis, but if the amount of residue insoluble 
in sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide be determined, and this latter 
analyzed for alumina, potash and soda, it is possible to calculate 
the amount of clayd)ase, quartz and feldspar present in the clay. This 
determination is of special importance in the case of clays used for the 
manufacture of porcelain, white earthenware, stoneware, tiles, and 
refractory wares. 

The amount of clay-base may vary within wide limit-. In a strictly 
pure kaolin it should theoretically be 10(K, but seldom exceeds tuv,. 
On the other hand, it may get as low as 5 or 10 per cent., and in this 
instance the material would resemble a sand more than clay. The per- 
centage of feldspathic detritus is seldom large. 


In kaolins of great purity the clay substance consists of kaolinite, but 
in impure clays the term is generally taken to mean the finest clay par- 
ticles, viz., those under jjtq inches diameter. In impure clays the 
clay substance, which may contain both ferric oxide and lime, often 
forms the most plastic portion of the mass. 

In the North Carolina clays the variations in clay substance and free 
sand (quartz and feldspar with some mica) are shown by the following 
extremes : 

Clay substance. 

Washed kaolin, Webster (53) 96.81 % 

Bottom clay, Prospect Hall (12) 85.02% 

Crude kaolin, Bosticks Mills (20) 47.14% 

Free sand (quartz and feldspar). 

Black clay, Prospect Hall (12) 15.05% 

Kaolin, Bosticks Mills (20) 52.86%, 



The properties of clay are of two kinds, (1) chemical and (2) phys- 
ical, and the action of clays under heat is not dependent on one class 
of properties alone, but upon both acting together. Two clays may 
correspond closely in chemical composition, but differ in their phys- 
ical properties, and consequently act in a totally different way. 

Pure clay, as previously stated, consists of the mineral kaolinite. 

This is a white, pearly mineral, crystallizing in the monoclinic system, 
the crystals presenting the form of small hexagonal plates. Its specific 
gravity is 2.2 to 2.6, and its hardness is 2 to 2.5. It is naturally white 
in color, and plastic when wet, but very slightly so. A microscopic 
examination shows the plates of kaolinite to be collected in little 
bunches, which if broken apart by grinding increase the plasticity. 1 If 
kaolin be formed into briquettes of the same shape as those used in test- 
ing cement, its tensile strength, as determined by pulling these bri- 
quettes apart in a testing machine, is usually 12 to 15 pounds per square 
inch — a very low amount when compared with the tensile strength of 
more plastic clays. Kaolinite is practically infusible, as much so as 
silica or magnesite, but a slight addition of fusible impurities immedi- 
ately lowers its refraetiveness. 


The impurities in clay are silica, iron oxides, lime, magnesia, potash, 
soda, titanic acid, sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, manganese oxide and 
organic matter. 2 They are generally present in the clay in the form of 
oxides, silicates, carbonates, sulphates, phosphates, etc. The minerals 
present in clay containing these impurities may be feldspar, quartz, 
limonite, mica, garnet, hornblende, augite, calcite, gypsum, talc, etc. 

The impurities in a clay will vary in effectiveness according to the 
quantity present and the combination in which they exist. Thus cal- 
cium or alkalies if present as silicates may serve as a most useful I lux. 
whereas if the calcium is present as carbonate it may be very injurious. 

The impurities found in clay may be divided into two classes accord- 
ing to their effects: (1) fluxing impurities, and (2) non- fluxing ones. 

1 The Clays of New Jersey, N. J. Geol. Survey, 1878. G. H. Cook. 

2 All of these impurities are seldom present in the same clay. 



These include alkalies, ferric oxide, lime, magnesia and silica. Their 
effectiveness or fluxing action is in the order given above; therefore, of 
two clays having the same physical properties and the same total per- 
centage of fusible impurities, the one might be more fusible than the 
other on account of having a larger proportion of the more active of the 
fluxes in its composition. For some purposes it is desirable as well as 
necessary that the percentage of fluxes should be low, not only for 
reasons of refractiveness, but also to prevent discoloration of the ware, 
as when the clay is used for porcelain manufacture. On the other 
hand, when the clay is to be used for paving brick or sewer-pipe, a high 
percentage of fluxing impurities is desirable in order to produce a vitri- 
fied body. In kaolins the fluxes may be as high as 7^, provided they 
do not exert a coloring action. Thus some of the most celebrated por- 
celain kaolins have 35$ of feldspar, which means about 5.5$ of potash. 
In fire-clay 4 to 5$ is the permissible limit, depending on the physical 
properties. For paving brick and sewer-pipe the total fluxes may run 
as high as 16$. 

The term fluxing impurities should not be misunderstood. All the 
substances mentioned below as exerting a fluxing action do not become 
effective at the same temperature. Thus quartz is a flux at extremely 
high temperatures, while feldspar acts at a lower temperature, and iron 
or lime at a lower one still. Furthermore the greater the amount of 
feldspar present, the lower the temperature at which the quartz and 
kaolinite act on each other, for the feldspar when fused seems to play 
the same part that water does in promoting chemical action between 
two substances which when dry do not act upon each other. 


The alkalies present in clays may be of two kinds, viz.: the fixed 
alkalies, potash, soda and lithia, and the volatile alkali, ammonia. 

Ammonia. — This substance is abundant in moist clay, and is ab- 
sorbed by the latter with great avidity. Indeed, it is responsible to a 
large extent for the characteristic odor of clay. 1 If the ammonia 
remained in the clay it would act as a strong flux, but it is rendered 
harmless for the simple reason that it passes off as a vapor at a tem- 
perature considerably below dull redness, or may even volatilize with 
the moisture in the clay during the early stages of burning. 

The fixed alkalies, potash, soda, and lithia, will only vaporize at 
high temperatures, and consequently their effect must be taken into con- 
sideration in all stages of the drying and burning. Lithia is of very 

1 F. Senft, Die Thonsubstanzen, p. 29. 


rare occurrence and only apt to be present in the rare mica, lepidolite; 
it may therefore be left out of consideration. 

Potash and soda are present in almost every clay, from a trace up to 
nine or ten per cent., with an average of one to three per cent. 

The reason for this variation is easily apparent when we consider the 
composition of pure clay and its derivation. Kaolinite, it will be 
remembered, contains only silica, alumina and water, whereas orthoclase, 
the common feldspar, has nearly l7fo of alkalies. The presence in the 
clay, therefore, of varying amounts of undecomposed or even partly 
altered feldspar would be sufficient to account for the alkalies found in 
greater or less quantities in the majority of samples analyzed. Aside 
from the feldspar, the only common rock-forming mineral containing 
alkalies in abundance is mica. In a few cases potash or soda may be 
present in the form of soluble salts. We may, therefore, recognize two 
sources of the alkalies, viz., soluble and insoluble compounds. 


Soluble alkaline salts are very frequently present in clays, though 
generally in very small quantities. They may come from the decom- 
position of feldspar (as in the case of potassium carbonate), or may have 
been introduced by percolating surface waters. In most regions the 
soluble alkaline compounds are unimportant and hardly worth atten- 
tion; but in areas of little rainfall, where evaporation exceeds precipi- 
tation, they become concentrated near the surface. These soluble salts 
may give the manufacturer considerable trouble. Unless decomposed 
in burning or rendered insoluble in some way, they may form an 
unsightly white coating on the surface of a burned brick or other pro- 
duct. In a similar manner this crust may interfere with the formation 
of a salt glaze by preventing the union of the sodium vapors with the 
silica of the clay, or prevent the glaze adhering to the surface of pottery 
which is glazed before burning. 

Soluble alkaline sulphates are powerful fluxes. They may cause blis- 
tering of the ware if the clay is heated sufficiently high to decompose 
the sulphate and permit the escape of sulphuric acid gases. 

In some clays containing sulphate of iron the latter may be decom- 
posed by chemical reactions taking place in the clay and sulphuric acid 
set free. This acid is apt to attack the alumina, of the clay-base, and, 
if potash, soda or ammonia are present, give rise to potash, soda, or 
ammonia alum, which can frequently be detected by tasting the clay. 


The minerals feldspar and mica forming this class of alkaline salts in 
clay are among the commonest of the rock-forming minerals. The 


feldspars are silicates of alumina and potash, or alumina, lime and soda. 
Orthoclase is the only species furnishing potash, of which it contains 
about 17$, while the lime-soda feldspars have from 4 to 12$ of soda de- 
pending on the species. 

The orthoclase is by far the commonest of the feldspars, and next 
to it in point of abundance come albite and oligoclase, with about 12$ 
and 9$ of soda respectively. The species of feldspars present in a clay 
may have some bearing on its refractiveness, for the soda feldspars are 
more fusible than the potash ones. 

The micas are complex silicates of aluminium with iron, magnesium, 
and potassium. Muscovite, the commonest species of the group, con- 
tains nearly 12$ of potash and may at times contain a little soda. 

Feldspar is the only serious source of alkalies in clays, however, for 
the mica is not always present in very large amounts. Mica alone is 
extremely refractory, being unaffected at a temperature of 2550° I\, 
while feldspar fuses completely at 2300° F. 1 

Alkalies, on account of their fluxing properties, especially if in the 
insoluble form as silicates, are frequently of an advantage, as they serve, 
in burning, to bind the particles together in a dense, hard body, and 
permit the ware being burned at a lower temperature. In the manu- 
facture of porcelain, white granite and C. C. ware (cream-colored ware), 
the alkalies for fluxing are added to the body in the form of feldspar, 
provided the kaolin does not already contain a sufficient amount of this 
material. Much feldspar is mined in this country for potters' use, all 
of it being the potash feldspar. 

So far as is known, the alkalies exert no coloring influence on the 
burned ware, although if an excess of feldspar be added to a white 
burning kaolin, the latter may exhibit a yellowish tint when burned. 

In the North Carolina clays the combined alkalies (potash and soda) 
vary from .29$ in clay from Spout Springs to 4.62$ in brick clay from 
Wilkesboro. The average is 1.50 to 2.5$. The washed kaolins usually 
contain under one per cent. The pottery clays of North Carolina have 
from 0.68 to 2.82$. 


Aside from being a flux, iron oxide is also the great natural coloring 
agent of clays in both their raw and burned state. The mineral com- 
pounds which may serve as the sources of iron oxides in clays are as 

follows : 

Silicates: Mica, hornblende, garnet, etc. 
Oxides: Limonite, hematite, magnetite. 
Sulphides: Pyrite, marcasite. 
Sulphates: Melanterite. 
Carbonates: Siderite. 

i G. Vogt, Bull, de la Soc. Chim. de Paris ; and Chem. News, 1890, p. 315. 


The silicate mineral, mica, is missing in very few clays. Of the 
oxides, limonite and hematite are frequent impurities, and are often 
introduced from the surface by percolating waters, or may result from 
the decomposition of minerals, such as garnet. This fact is noticeable 
in some of the less pure portions of the kaolin beds at Webster, North 
Carolina. The iron oxides color the raw clay various shades of red 
and yellow. Pyrite is frequently present in clays, especially in many 
stoneware and fire-clays, its yellow, glittering metallic particles being 
easily recognizable. When disseminated through the clay in small 
grains it may be difficult to separate except by careful washing; but 
when occurring in lumps, popularly known as " sulphur balls/' it is 
much easier to extract. If the finely disseminated pyrite remained in 
the clay, it would be found after burning that the clay was dotted with 
fused spots of silicate of iron. Many of the first speckled brick so 
extensively used at the present time were made in this manner. 

The pyrite may readily become oxidized to the soluble sulphate of 
iron, which, if present in sufficiently large amounts, imparts an inky 
taste to the clay. Pyrite being such a strong flux, the addition of 
1-J to 2$ by weight, according to Wipplinger, 1 may exert a noticeable 
effect in the increase of its fusibility. 

In all the classes of iron compounds mentioned above, the iron is 
present in one or two conditions, viz. as a ferrous or ferric salt; and 
the fusibility of the clay depends somewhat on this condition, ferrous 
salts being more fusible than ferric salts. In burning any clay the 
ferrous salt will be changed to the ferric salt, provided the action of the 
fire is oxidizing. If the fire exerts a reducing action, the same clay will, 
under these conditions, fuse at a lower temperature. 

Ferric silicate may be an original mineral impurity of the clay, but 
many ferric compounds in clays result from the oxidation of ferrous 
carbonate or ferrous hydrate in clay which has been introduced in solu- 
tion. The presence of ferric hydrate in clay increases its absorptive 
power for gases and solutions. On burning, the hydrate is of course 
converted into an oxide. 

If treated to an oxidizing fire, the presence of ferrous salts need not 
therefore be considered, provided the heat is raised high enough to 
oxidize them. The rapidity with which the temperature is raised is 
important, for if the heat is raised too quickly the outer portion of the 
clay may shrink and become dense before the air has had time to 
permeate the clay and oxidize the iron in the centre of the body. This 
is the cause of black cores sometimes seen in bricks whose surface is 
red. This rapid heating may also bring about a differential shrinkage 
between the interior and exterior of the brick and cause cracking. 

1 Keramik, p. 26. 


Uiiburnecl clays may be yellow, blue, brown, red or gray in color, 
depending on the relative amounts of ferrous and ferric salts present. 

The same variety of shades and colors is produced in burning. Fer- 
rous oxide (FeO) alone produces a green color when burned, while 
ferric oxide (Fe 2 3 ) alone may give a purple, and mixtures of the two 
may produce yellow, cherry-red, violet, blue and black, 1 a fact which is 
of the greatest importance to manufacturers of unglazed wares. The 
more intense the heat the deeper the color produced by the iron. 

Seger 2 found that combinations of ferric oxide with silica produced 
a yellow or red color, while similar compounds of the ferrous salt showed 
blue and green. 

The black coloration by iron produced by hard firing is often to be 
seen on breaking open the arch bricks of a brick kiln. The surface of 
these bricks may get black, due to the dust and ashes of the fire sticking 
to it. 

The bleaching of the iron color by the presence of lime is to be seen 
in many calcareous clays, as described under lime. It may sometimes 
happen, however, that a calcareous clay when burned does not become 
buff, but shows a red surface, as if there were no lime present to neu- 
tralize the iron color. 

In such an instance as found by Seger, the core of the brick may 
show the expected buff color. This was brought about by the sulphuric 
acid vapors from the fuel uniting with the lime of the clay to form 
calcium sulphate, thus preventing its union with the ferric oxide. 

The percentage of ferric oxide permissible or desirable in a clay 
depends on the quality of the latter. Kaolins, to be used in the manu- 
facture of white ware, should have under 1$ if possible, although many 
with 1.5$ produce excellent results. A greater percentage might be 
present, provided there was also present three times as much lime to 
neutralize its color. 

If a kaolin has enough ferric oxide to produce a faint yellowish tinge 
when burned, by burning it in a reducing atmosphere the color will be 
bluish, and will be far less noticeable. The reduction is accomplished 
by letting less air into the kiln, and the production of a smoky fire. 

The North Carolina washed kaolins contain from .28$ to 1.86$; the 
unwashed, 1.14$ to 1.86$; the pottery clays from 2.88.^ to 5.48$. 

The total range of ferric oxide in the seventy-three samples of North 
Carolina clays which were tested was from .28$ to 11.79^, with an 
average of 1.5$ to 5$. 


Lime is a common detrimental or fluxing impurity of most medium 
or low grade clays. It may be present in one of three conditions, viz. : 

1 Keramik, p. 258. 5 RotizUatt, 1874, p. 16. 


a. As a silicate, such as in the feldspars. 

b. As a simple carbonate, limestone or calcite, or in the form of a 
double carbonate, as dolomite. 

c. As a sulphate, such as gypsum. 

The first two of these are primary mineral constituents of the clay, 
the third is of secondary origin and results from chemical action taking 
place in the clay. 

The presence of lime as a silicate in clay is probably the form in 
which it usually occurs, especially if the clay has been derived wholly 
or in part from a region of feldspathic rocks. The common feldspar, 
orthoclase, contains no lime, so that it probably comes from the lime- 
soda feldspars. There are other silicates containing lime, but their pres- 
ence is usually more difficult to prove with certainty. 

When present as a silicate, lime acts as a flux, but it is less liable to 
exert a decolorizing action on the clay, by the formation of a double 
silicate of iron and lime, except at higher temperatures. 

Calcium carbonate is very common in clays which have been derived 
in part from limestone areas, or it may result from the decomposition 
of lime-bearing feldspars. Its presence may be usually determined by 
treating the clay with muriatic acid, which produces effervescence if 
more than 4 or 5$ of calcium carbonate is present. 

Lime if present in the form of lumps or pebbles is very injurious, 
and should be removed by screening or washing. Finely divided lime 
though, if not present in too large amounts, may be harmless. Clays 
with 20 to 25$ of calcium carbonate may be used for common or even 
pressed bricks, and also for earthenware. In the latter case the same 
clay can often be utilized for glazing the pottery, requiring only the 
addition of some fluxes. 


When occurring as carbonate in clay, lime becomes far more injuri- 
ous. If the clay is under-burned, the calcium carbonate will be simply 
broken up into carbon dioxide and lime. The former escapes, but the 
lime, on the cooling of the brick, slakes, that is to say, it absorbs water 
from the air, and swells, thus frequently bursting the brick. 

If, however, the clay is thoroughly burned, the calcium carbonate 
after being decomposed unites with any free silicate that may be 
present and forms silicate of lime or probably also silicate of lime and 
alumina. If iron oxide is present, the lime takes it also into combina- 
tion and thereby destroys its coloring action, giving a buff product 
instead of a red one, as would be the case if the iron oxide remained 
free. It should also be stated, however, that a low percentage of iron 
oxide in the clay without the presence of lime will also give a buff- 
colored ware. This is the case with manv stoneware clays. 


In high-grade clays large amounts of lime do not have to be consid- 
ered, for such materials cannot be used, but in the manufacture of build- 
ing brick, or pressed brick, terra-cotta, etc., it is frequently necessary to 
use a clay containing large percentages of lime, either from necessity or 
to obtain a cream-colored ware. It therefore becomes a matter of 
importance to know how much lime is permissible in a clay for this pur- 
pose. In general, it may be said that a good brick can be made from a 
clay containing 20 to 25$ of calcium carbonate, provided it is evenly 
distributed through the clay and in as finely a divided state as possible. 

Some clays contain lime in angular fragments or pebbles, which can 
be frequently removed by screening. 

Aside from lowering the fusibility of a clay to a marked extent, lime 
also exerts a powerful effect on its shrinkage. 

Seger 1 found that calcareous or marly clays required usually only 
20 to 24$ of water to convert them from a dry condition into a workable 
paste, whereas other clays needed 28 to 35^ of water to accomplish the 
same change. Furthermore, as calcareous clays lost not only combined 
water but also carbon dioxide in burning, the bricks were the more 
apt to be light and porous, and this increased with the amount of lime 
present. They also shrink much less than other clays up to the points 
of incipient fusion. This low shrinkage may become zero, and the 
brick swell instead of shrinking. He also found that the difference 
between the points of incipient fusion and viscosity was so small that 
it was extremely difficult to bring a kiln of bricks made from calcareous 
clay to vitrification without melting a large number. 

Seger claims that the presence of calcium carbonate and ferric oxide 
in the proportions of 3:1 is sufficient to produce a buff color. 

Many clays contain calcium in the form of gypsum, the hydrated 
calcium sulphate. It generally originates from the action on calcium 
carbonate by sulphuric acid obtained by the oxidation and leaching of 
pyrite in the clay. Gypsum frequently discloses its presence by the 
formation in the clay of crystals or masses of its transparent variety, 
selenite. It also not uncommonly occurs in masses of parallel fibres 
filling cracks or cavities in the clay. 

It serves as a flux, but may do considerable damage in burning by 
its disintegration, the sulphuric acid thus set free causing in its escape 
blisters on the surface of the wares. 

There is another method by which lime may be introduced into clay, 
and that is absorption. This may occur when a clay deposit rests on 
a limestone or marl formation, and the lime being taken into solution 
by the percolating waters is soaked up by the clay. In this event the 
lower layers of the clay would be more calcareous than the upper ones. 

1 Gesammelte Schrift, p. 265. 


Few of the North Carolina clays are very calcareous. Out of the 
seventy-three samples examined the lime varied from .1$ in the clay 
at Prospect Hall to 2.55$ in Kirkpatrick's clay at Greensboro. This 
latter is exceptionally high, for most of the North Carolina clays contain 
under 1$. 

Its action, therefore, in all of the samples tested amounts to very 

Marly clays are known to occur in the coastal plain formation near 
the coast, but none of these have been tested. 


Magnesia rarely occurs in clays in the same quantity as lime; in fact, 
it rarely exceeds 2$. In the North Carolina clays, however, of which 
samples were examined it seldom exceeds .75$, and is generally present 
in about the same quantity as the lime. 

Magnesia may be derived from the same classes of compounds as 
lime, viz. silicates, carbonates and sulphates. 

The silicates are probably by far the most abundant form of its occur- 
rence in clay and are represented by the minerals mica, chlorite, and 
hornblende (all scaly minerals) containing respectively 20-25$, 15-25$, 
and 15$ of magnesia. The mica scales may be prominent in many 
clays, and chlorite scales, if very abundant, might even tend to color 
the clay green. Hornblende is mostly present in clays derived from 
rocks of a very basic composition (that is, with a low silica percentage), 
and the same may be said of pyroxene, which, however, is less common 
than the hornblende. 

Dolomite, the double calcium-magnesium carbonate, has been men- 
tioned under the description of lime (p. 21). 

Magnesium sulphate, or epsom salts, occurs sparingly in clays. It 
is mostly to be found in those clays where sulphuric acid, set free by 
the decomposition of pyrite, has attacked magnesium carbonates. The 
presence of magnesium sulphate can frequently be detected by the 
bitter taste which it imparts to the clay. 

As far as the effects of magnesia are concerned with the chemical 
properties of clay, they are probably the same as lime. This, however, 
can only be stated with a reasonable amount of certainty, for magnesia 
is generally present in such small amounts that its actual effect cannot 
be detected. 


These include silica, titanic oxide, organic matter, and water. Both 
silica and titanic oxide at high temperatures are fluxes. 



Chemical analysis distinguishes two classes of silica, viz. (1) that com- 
bined with aluminium in kaolinite, and (2) sand. The latter includes 
quartz, and silica in combinations with various bases as in feldspar and 
mica (excluding kaolinite). The two kinds of silica included in this 
second class are insoluble in sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide. If 
this residue be further analyzed, it is possible to calculate the amount of 
silica present as quartz and that contained in the clay in the form of 
feldspar or mica. This is frequently an important matter, for the con- 
dition of the silica may influence the fusibility of the clay to a marked 

Free silica or quartz is present in all clays in variable amounts. 
Cook * found a minimum of 0.2 of one per cent., and gives 5$ as the 
average in the Woodbridge fire-clays. Wheeler 2 gives the minimum as 
0.5 of one per cent, in the flint clays, and the sand as 20 to 43$ in the 
St. Louis fire-clays, and 20 to 50$ in the Loess clays. 

Twenty-seven samples of Alabama clays contained from 5 to 50$ of 
insoluble residue, mostly quartz. 8 

Seventy North Carolina clays had from 15.05 to 70.43$ insoluble 
residue; while of three samples of which a rational analysis was run 
the percentage of sand was from 24.55 to 56.58$, and the quartz per- 
centage in these ran from 16.58 to 49.06$, and the feldspathic detritus 
from 7.52 to 16.05$. 

Free silica is considered by Bischof * to exert a fluxing action at high 
temperatures, that is, over 2800° F. 

The most important effects of free silica and sand are directed towards 
the physical properties of clay. They lessen the plasticity, diminish 
the tensile strength and also the shrinkage. If silica is present in ex- 
cess and in grains of large size, it may cause the clay to expand in 
burning. Quartz in fine grains lessens the shrinkage less than when 
present in large ones. 


Titanium is probably of widespread occurrence in clay, though never 
present in great quantity; it may be derived from rutile (TiOo") or 
ilmenite (titaniferous iron ore). It was formerly looked upon as a 
rare element and a non-detrimental impurity, but this idea of its rarity 
has resulted from the fact that it is usually overlooked in chemical 
analyses. According to Seger, it is often present in clay slates and 
bauxites. Its effect on the refractiveness of a clay has always been 
misunderstood, although its action was considered similar to silica. 

1 N. J. Clay Rept., 1878, p. 213. 2 Mo. G-eol. Surv., XI, p. 54. 

3 Forthcoming- Bulletin of Alabama Geological Survey. * Die Feuerfestcn Tlwjie. 1896. 


Although the determination of titanium in clay requires no difficult 
methods, it has, as a rule, not been determined in the chemical analyses 
of clay except when specially desired. 

In order to determine definitely what the effect of titanium was, 
Seger and Cramer 1 took a sample of Zettlitz kaolin (which has 98.5$ 
of clay substance) and mixed two samples of it with respectively 5$ and 
10 fc of silica, and two other samples of the kaolin with respectively 6.65$ 
and 13.3$ of titanic oxide. These samples were molded into pyramids, 
which were heated to a temperature above the fusing point of Avrought 
iron with the following results : 

1. Pure Zettlitz kaolin burned to a white, sharp-edged, dense body. 

2. 100 pts. kaolin and 10% silica burned white. 

3. " " " " 5% " 

4. " " " 6.65% titanic oxide softened in heating aud showed a 

blue fracture. 

5. " " " '* 13.3% titanic acid fused to a deep blue enamel. 

It will therefore be seen that titanium acts as a flux at lower tem- 
peratures than silica, and calls to mind the fact that the blue color 
given to some stoneware clays by hard firing may not be due always to 
iron oxide. 


This is commonly noticed in many clays by the black color which it 
imparts to them, but the clay may also be colored brown or blue from 
the same cause. 

The organic matter generally consists of finely divided pieces of plant 
tissue, or large pieces of stems and leaves, which settled in the clay 
during its deposition. All surface clays contain plant roots in their 
upper layers, but these do not always exert a coloring effect. 

Clays colored by organic matter, and containing no iron, burn white 
as the plant tissue burns off at a bright redness, but if such a clay is 
heated too quickly the surface of the piece becomes dense before all of 
the organic matter has had time to escape from the interior, and the 
latter remains dark colored. The presence of iron may be masked by 
organic matter, so that the clay burns red, as-is _the case with the clays 
from Prosp ect- Hall, on the Cape Tear river. Organic matter is sel- 
dom determined separately in chemical analysis, but its quantity may 
often be judged approximately from the relation between loss on igni- 
tion and alumina. 

Organic matter exercises the important property of increasing the 
plasticity, but all clays having organic matter are not necessarily plastic, 
for the presence of much sand may render such a clay very Iran, like 
the Prospect Hall clays. 

1 Ges. Schr., p. 411. 


In the weathering of clays, organic material, by its oxidation and 
consequent evolution of carbonic acid, helps to break up the clay. 


The water in clay is of two kinds: 

1. Hygroscopic water or moisture. 

2. Chemically combined water. 

Moisture. — This may be as low as .5$ in air-dried clays or reach 
30$-40$ in those freshly taken from the bank. In the air-dried speci- 
mens of the North Carolina clays it ranged from .08 $ to 3.07$ in the 
kaolins, .45$ to 4.50$ in the sedimentary clays, and .95$ to 1.90$ in the 
residual brick clays. 

Air-drying expels most of the moisture in a clay, and this is accom- 
panied by a shrinkage which, in 70 samples tested from North Carolina, 
ranged from 2$ to 13.3$. Sandy, coarse-grained clays usually show the 
least shrinkage, but some of the fine-grained ones may act in a similar 
manner. The amount of water which a dry clay needs in order to 
develop an easily worked paste varies from 12$-20$ in lean ones and 
25$-35$ for fat clays. The samples of North Carolina clays tested 
required from 16$-40$. The more water that a clay absorbs the more 
it has to part with in drying and the greater will be the shrinkage. If 
the clay is fine-grained, rapid drying may cause it to split from the 
active disengagement of steam. 

In the manufacture of clay products the moisture is expelled by 
exposing the ware to the sun or drying it in heated tunnels. The last 
portions of moisture are driven off in the early stages of burning, 
known as water smoking, during which time abundant white vapors 
can be seen issuing from the kiln. 

Combined water is present in every clay. In pure kaolin there is 
nearly 14$ of it. In other clays the percentage varies with the amount 
of clay-base and hydrates present. In the North Carolina clays the 
loss on ignition (which practically amounted to combined water, those 
containing organic matter being left out) varied from 4.04$ to 13.40$ in 
the washed kaolins, 5.98$ to 9.00$ in the residual clays, and 4.17$ to 
11.08$ in the sedimentary ones. 

Combined water is driven off at a low red heat, and when this takes 
place the clay begins to suffer an additional loss in volume or shrinkage. 

It is a curious fact that while the amount of combined water does not 
seem to stand in any close relation to the plasticity of a clay, neverthe- 
less, when once driven off, the clay can no longer be rendered plastic 
by the addition of water. The fire shrinkage in the North Carolina 
clays varied from 2$-12$. 



The following brief statement of the methods employed in making 
the analyses of clays for this report has been prepared by Dr. Charles 
Baskerville, by whom the analyses were made: 

Moisture. — Two grams are heated in a platinum crucible at 100° C. 
until they show a constant weight. The loss is reported as moisture. 

Loss on Ignition (combined water, and sometimes organic matter, 
etc.). — The crucible and clay are heated with a blast lamp until there 
is no further loss in weight. 

Alkalies. — This same portion of clay, which has been used for de- 
termining moisture and loss, is treated with concentrated sulphuric and 
hydrofluoric acids until it is completely decomposed. The acids are evap- 
orated off by heating upon the sand-bath. The cooled crucible is washed 
out with boiling water to which several drops of hydrochloric acid have 
been added. The solution after being made up to about five hundred 
cubic centimetres is boiled, one-half gram ammonium oxalate added and 
made alkaline with ammonium hydroxide; the boiling is continued until 
but a faint odor of ammonia remains. The precipitate is allowed to 
settle and is separated from the liquid by filtering and washed three 
times with boiling water. The filtrate is evaporated to dryness and 
ignited to drive off ammonium salts. The residue is treated with five 
cubic centimetres of boiling water, two or three cubic centimetres of 
saturated ammonium carbonate solution are added and the whole is 
filtered into a weighed crucible or dish. The precipitate is washed 
three or four times with boiling water and the filtrate evaporated to 
dryness. Five drops of sulphuric acid are added to the residue and 
then the crucible or dish is brought to a red heat, cooled in a desiccator, 
and the alkalies are weighed as sulphates. 

To separate the alkalies, the sulphates are dissolved in hot water, 
acidified with hydrochloric acid, sufficient platinum chloride added to 
convert both the sodium and potassium salts into double chlorides; the 
liquid is evaporated to a syrup upon a water-bath, eighty per cent, 
alcohol added, and filtered through a Gooch crucible or upon a tared 
filter paper. The precipitate is thoroughly washed with eighty per 
cent, alcohol, dried at 100° C. and weighed; the potassium oxide is cal- 
culated from the double chloride of potassium and platinum. 

When magnesium was present to as much as one-half of one per cent, 
the magnesium hydroxide was precipitated with barium hydroxide solu- 
tion, and the barium in turn removed by ammonium carbonate. When 
the amount of magnesium was less than the amount named, this por- 
tion of the ordinary process was not regarded as necessary. 

Silica. — Two grams of clay are mixed with ten grams of sodium car- 
bonate and one-half gram of potassium nitrate and brought to a calm 


fusion in a platinum crucible over the blast lamp. The melt removed 
from the crucible is treated with an excess of hydrochloric acid and 
evaporated in a casserole to dryness upon a water-bath, and heated in 
an air-bath at 110° C. until all the hydrochloric acid is driven off. 
Dilute hydrochloric acid is added to the casserole now, and the solution 
brought to boiling and rapidly filtered.^ The silica is washed thor- 
oughly with boiling water and then ignited in a platinum crucible, 
weighed, and moistened with concentrated sulphuric acid. Hydro- 
fluoric acid is cautiously added until all the silica has disappeared. The 
solution is evaporated to dryness upon a sand-bath, ignited and weighed. 
The difference in weight is silica. 

Iron Sesquioxide.- — The filtrate from the silica is divided into equal 
portions. To one portion in a reducing flask is added metallic zinc and 
sulphuric acid. After reduction and filtration to free the liquid from 
undissolved zinc and carbon, the iron is determined by titration with a 
standard solution of potassium permanganate. 

Aluminium Oxide. — To the second portion, which must be brought 
to boiling, ammonium hydroxide is added in slight excess, the boiling 
continued from two to five minutes, the precipitate allowed to settle 
and then caught upon the filter, all the chlorides being washed out with 
boiling water. The precipitate is ignited and weighed as a mixture of 
aluminium oxide and iron sesquioxide. The amount of iron sesqui- 
oxide already found is taken from this and the remainder reported as 

Calcium Oxide.— -The filtrate from the precipitate of iron and alum- 
inium hydroxides is concentrated to about two hundred cubic centi- 
metres, and the calcium precipitated in a hot solution by adding one 
gram of ammonium oxalate. The precipitate is allowed to settle dur- 
ing twelve hours, filtered and washed with hot water, ignited and 
weighed as calcium oxide. When the calcium is present in notable 
amounts, the oxide is converted into the sulphate and weighed as such. 

Magnesium Oxide. — The filtrate from the calcium oxalate precipi- 
tate is concentrated to about one hundred cubic centimetres, cooled and 
the magnesium precipitated by means of hydrogen disodium phosphate 
in a strongly alkaline solution, made so by adding ten cubic centimetres 
of ammonium hydroxide (0.90 sp. gr.). The magnesium ammonium 
phosphate, after standing over night, is caught upon an ashless filter, 
washed with water containing at least five per cent, ammonium hydrox- 
ide, burned and weighed as magnesium pyrophosphate. 

The insoluble residue is determined by digesting two grams of clay 
with twenty cubic centimetres of dilute sulphuric acid for six or eight 
hours on a sand-bath, the excess of acid being finally driven off. One 
cubic centimetre of concentrated hydrochloric acid is now added and 


boiling water. The insoluble portion is filtered off, and after being 
thoroughly washed with boiling water is digested in fifteen cubic cen- 
timetres of boiling sodium hydroxide of ten per cent, strength. Twenty- 
five cubic centimetres of hot water are added and the solution filtered 
through the same filter paper, the residue being washed five or six 
times with boiling water. The residue is now treated with hydro- 
chloric acid in the same manner and washed upon the filter paper, and 
free from hydrochloric acid, is burned and weighed as insoluble residue. 

A portion of this is treated as the original clay for silica, aluminium 
oxide, and iron oxide. Another portion is used for the determination 
of the alkalies in the insoluble residue. 

Titanic Oxide. — One-half gram clay is fused with five grams potas- 
sium bisulphate and one gram sodium fluoride in a spacious platinum 
crucible. The melt is dissolved in five per cent, sulphuric acid. Hy- 
drogen dioxide is added to an aliquot part and the tint compared with 
that obtained from a standard solution of titanium sulphate. 

Sulphur (total present). — The sulphur is determined by fusing one- 
half gram of clay with' a mixture of sodium carbonate, five parts, and 
potassium nitrate, one part. The melt is brought into solution with 
hydrochloric acid. The silica is separated by evaporation, heating 
resolution, and subsequent filtration. Hydrochloric acid is added to the 
filtrate to at least five per cent, and the sulphuric acid is precipitated by 
adding barium chloride in sufficient excess, all solutions being boiling 
hot. The barium sulphate is filtered off and washed with hot water, 
burned and weighed as such. 

Ferrous Oxide is determined by fusing one-half gram clay with five 
grams sodium carbonate, the clay being well covered with the car- 
bonate, the top being upon the crucible. The melt is dissolved in a 
mixture of dilute hydrochloric and sulphuric acids in an atmosphere 
of carbon dioxide. The ferrous iron is determined at once by titration 
with a standard potassium permanganate solution. 

The rational analysis is made from the results obtained by the chem- 
ical analysis in the following way: The alumina found in the portion 
insoluble in sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide is multiplied by 
3.51. This factor has been found to represent the average ratio be- 
tween alumina and silica in orthoclase feldspar; therefore the product 
just obtained would represent the amount of silica that would be presenl 
in undecomposed feldspar. The sum of this silica with the alumina. 
ferric oxide and alkalies equals the " felclspathic detritus.'' The dif- 
ference between silica as calculated for feldspar and the total silica in 
the insoluble portion represents the " quartz " or " free sand." The 
difference between that portion of the sample insoluble in sulphuric 
acid and sodium hydroxide and the total represents the "clay sub- 


stance." The method of analysis used to determine the mineralogical 
character of the clay is called the rational method, and when carried 
out in its simplest form, determines the amount of clay substance or 
kaolinite, quartz, and feldspar present in the clay. If carried out more 
completely it enables us to calculate the amount of calcite or limestone 
(calcium carbonate), iron oxide and even mica in the clay. 


In the ordinary or ultimate quantitative analysis of clay the latter 
is regarded as being composed of a given number of elements or oxides 
of them, in given amounts, but gives no clue as to the condition in 
which these substances exist, viz., whether they are present as oxides, 
silicates, carbonates, etc., a point which it is often of the greatest im- 
portance to know. Thus, as pointed out under calcium (Chemical Prop- 
erties of Clay), if this substance is present as a carbonate it may be 
extremely injurious, but if combined with silica in the form of feld- 
spar it is beneficial, serving as a binding material (p. 21). Or, again, 
the ultimate analysis does not point out the condition of the silica, 
whether present as quartz (serving to lessen the shrinkage) or as a con- 
stituent of feldspar (serving as a flux). A high percentage of total 
silica in an ultimate analysis may be caused by an excess of feldspar 
and not always by quartz. 

The inferences which may be drawn from the ultimate analysis of a 
clay are: 

1. It may be said in general that the greater the amount of ferric 
oxide in a clay the deeper red it will burn at any given temperature. 
Small percentages of ferric oxide will only color the clay yellow. 

2. We can see from the ultimate analysis whether there is sufficient 
lime present to counteract the effect of the feme oxide. 

3. It is possible to gain an approximate idea of the fusibility of the 
clay from the total fluxes present, and also to see whether it is the 
weaker or more powerful fluxes that are present. 

4. A very high silica percentage generally indicates a sandy clay. 

5. Clays high in alumina and combined water as a rule shrink con- 
siderably in burning. 

There are, however, many physical properties which the ultimate 
analysis does not explain, because they are dependent largely on the 
mineralogical composition. 

It frequently happens that two clays show very close chemical com- 
position, but act entirely unlike, and the explanation is almost self- 
evident, viz., that the elements present in both clays are differently 

The following table of analyses illustrates this, viz. : 


1. That clays with the same ultimate composition may show a dif- 
ferent rational composition (see analyses a and b below). 

2. That clays may agree in both their ultimate and rational analysis 
(see b and c below), but this is not very frequent: 

Silica 47.60 

Alumina 34.00 

Ferric oxide 1.30 

Lime trace 

Magnesia .50 

Alkalies 3.00 

Loss on ignition 13.60 

Total 100.00 

Clay substance 88.34 

Quartz 8.95 

Feldspar 2.73 























100.02 100.00 100.00 

The practical bearing of the rational analysis has thus far been 
chiefly for those branches of the clay-working industry using mostly 
materials of considerable purity, as in the manufacture of porcelain, 
white earthenware, fire-bricks, glasspots and encaustic tiles; and its 
importance lies in the fact that two bodies having the same rational 
composition will usually act pretty much alike. That is to say, that 
other things being equal, they will, for instance, usually have the same 
shrinkage in burning. 

In the manufacture of porcelain the body generally consists of a mix- 
ture of kaolin, quartz and feldspar. Suppose that the mixture' has 60 
parts of feldspar and 200 parts of kaolin, the latter having the rational 
composition of the Wests Mill, 1ST. C, material, viz.: 

Clay substance, 83.39; quartz, 14.98; feldspar, 1.58. 

This would give us a mixture with rational composition of: 

Clay substance, 60.32; quartz, 11.40; feldspar, 24.30. 

If now for the Wests Mill kaolin we desired to substitute that from 
near Bostick having: 

Clay substance, 54.30; quartz, 43.85; feldspar, 1.S2, 

and used the same amount as we did of the Wests Mills material, we 
should get a mixture having: 

Clay substance, 41.77; quartz, 33.31; feldspar, 20.3<>. 


This mixture having less feldspar and clay substance, but more 
quartz, would probably show less plasticity and less shrinkage. Know- 
ing, however, the rational composition of the Bostick kaolin, it is per- 
fectly easy to add it in such proportions as will keep our mixture of the 
same composition. 

In the manufacture of tiles, where one clay body is pressed on to 
another, it is highly essential that the two should have the same shrink- 
age to prevent cracking during the burning and cooling. 

Experiments tend to show that if the two bodies have the same 
rational composition their shrinkages will be about the same, provided 
there is not much difference in the coarseness of their grain. In porce- 
lain and white earthenware manufacture the clays are ground so fine 
that this point does not come into consideration. 

A rational analysis has been made of all the I^orth Carolina kaolins 
tested, and in the other clays the insoluble residue (quartz and feldspar 
combined) was determined. 



These are fully as important as the chemical ones, and sometimes 
more so. In Germany the labors of Seger, Bischof, Olschewsky and 
others have brought forth the significance which the physical properties 
of clays have, and in this country the work of Orton and Wheeler has 
corroborated them in many details. 

Chemical analysis alone cannot be used as a basis of comparison, but 
the physical characters must also be taken into consideration. 

While the list of physical properties may be made of considerable 
length, there are a number which are of special importance and will 
be considered herewith. These are plasticity, fusibility, shrinkage, ten- 
sile strength, slaking, absorption, density. 


This is one of the most important properties of clays, for it permits 
their being molded into any desired form, which they subsequently 

Plasticity in clays is exceedingly variable. Those possessing little 
plasticity are called " lean/ 7 while those which are highly plastic are 
known as " fat " clays. 

The cause of plasticity was for a long time supposed to be directly 
■connected with the hydrated silicate of alumina, or kaolinite, and clays 
high in kaolinite were said to be very plastic and vice versa. This is 
plainly not so, as any series of clays tested will demonstrate. 

Pure or nearly pure kaolins are very lean, while clays low in alumina 
may be highly plastic. ) This may be shown by a few examples drawn 
from the North Carolina clays tested, mentioning first that the tensile 
strength of a clay (as will be explained later) is closely related to its 

The examples to illustrate this point are as follows : 

Tensile strength in 
Per cent, of pounds per sq. in. 

Alumina. Average. Maximum. 

Lower clay, Roanoke Rapids (3) 16.09 200 218 

Washed kaolin (53) 40.61 20 22 

Clay, Spout Springs (17) 32.51 24 29 

Prof. G-. H. Cook 1 considered that plasticity was due to a plate struc- 

1 N. J. Geol. Survey, Kept, on Clays, 1878. 


ture present in the clay, the plates sliding over each other and thus 
permitting mobility of the mass without cracking. As kaolinite is prac- 
tically the only plate-like mineral omnipresent in the clay, the simple 
plate theory does not seem entirely sufficient. 

Olschewsky' 1 was probably the first to suggest that the plasticity and 
cohesion of a clay were dependent on the interlocking of the clay par- 
ticles and kaolinite plates, and in this connection used the briquette 
method of testing the plasticity or rather obtaining a numerical expres- 
sion for it, by determining the tensile strength of the air-dried clay. 

The more recent experiments of W. Aleksiejew and P. A. Cremiats- 
chenski on the Russian clays 2 show that plasticity is not only due to 
the interlocking of the clay particles, but also varies with the fineness 
of the grain, the extreme coarse and fine ones both having less plas- 

In this country Wheeler's work on the Missouri clays has substan- 
tiated these views. 3 

Experiments by the writer on the Alabama clays* 4 corroborate these 
results still further, and the tests of the Xorth Carolina ones also point 
in the same direction. The clays southeast of Spout Springs, for ex- 
ample, which are very fine-grained, plainly show the lessening effect 
on the tensile strength. 

Whether, however, the greatest tensile strength depends on the pres- 
ence of particles of certain size, or a mixture of different sizes, and, if 
so, within what limits these sizes must be, is still to be determined. 

Plasticity, whatever may be its exact cause, is an important property 
from a commercial standpoint, for it facilitates the molding or burning 
of the wares without cracking. 

The amount of water required to develop the maximum plasticity 
varies. If too little is added, the clay cracks in molding and is stiff and 
hard to work. If too much water is used, the paste becomes soft and 
retains its shape with difficulty. Lean clays usually require less water 
to produce a workable paste than fat ones. 


To state that the plasticity of a clay is lean, fair, good, or high is 
necessarily only approximate and unsatisfactory, and a method by which 
the degree of plasticity can be expressed accurately is much to be pre- 

Various methods for testing the plasticity of a clay have been devised, 
but as most of them are practically useless, if for no other reason than 

1 Topf . w. Zieg\. 1882, No. 29. 

2 Zap. imp. russk. techn. obschtsch., 1896, XXX, pt. 6-7. 

3 Mo. Geo!. Surv., XI, 1897, p. 102. 

4 The Clay-working Industry in 1896, 18 Ann. Rept. U. S. Geol. Surv., pt. V. p. 1129. 


that they are largely influenced by the personal equation, their discus- 
sion need not be gone into here, and any one desiring to look them up 
is referred to C. Bischof's work, " Die Feuerfesten Thone." 

Two methods, however, approach the requirements: 

The first consists in forming the clay into a bar of known section and 
then noting the load required to crossbreak it. 1 

The second, devised by Olschewsky, 2 consists in molding the clay into 
briquettes of the same shape as those used in testing cement, allowing 
them to air-dry, and then pulling them apart in a cement testing ma- 
chine, noting the number of pounds pull required. Before breaking, 
the cross-section of the briquette must be carefully measured and the 
tensile strength per square inch calculated, as the clay shrinks in drying. 
This is a perfectly rational method and supposes that as plasticity is 
dependent on the interlocking of the particles, the tensile strength will 
naturally stand in direct relation to it. Even though it is not yet cer- 
tain that this is the cause of plasticity, still it is certain that with increase 
in plasticity there is a rise in the tensile strength. 

In the North Carolina clays the tensile strength varied from 5 lbs. 
per sq. in. in a Webster kaolin to 220 lbs. per sq. in. in a brick clay 
from Greensboro. 

The residual clays tested were all of low tensile strength. 

The clays were all ground to pass through a 30-mesh sieve before 
being molded into the briquettes. 


The variable shrinkage of clays in drying has already been mentioned 
in the discussion of water in clays. The amount of shrinkage depends 
somewhat on the amount of water absorbed or the porosity of the clays. 
But coarse-grained clays may absorb much water and yet shrink com- 
paratively little. Having larger pores, they will permit the water to 
escape more rapidly, and hence can often be dried quicker than fine- 
grained ones, from which the water on account of the smallness of the 
pores cannot escape so quickly. 

If fine-grained clays are dried rapidly, the surface shrinks quicker 
than the interior, and cracking may ensue, especially if the clay ha- a 
low tensile strength. 

The air shrinkage begins as soon as the clay is molded and set out 
in the sun or put in a hot tunnel to dry, and continues until the 
moisture is driven off. 

The fire shrinkage generally commences when the combined water 
begins to pass off, or about 1200° F. It varies just as the air shrinkage 

1 P. Jochem, Zeitscb. der Verein deutech. Trig., 18P5. - Topi". Zeit., 1882, No. -'•:. 


In the North Carolina clays the fire shrinkage was from 2-12$, with 
an average of 4-6$. 

The fire shrinkage is influenced by several conditions, viz. amount 
of combined water, organic matter, and sand. The fire shrinkage in- 
creases with the amount of organic matter and combined water in the 
clay. Sand diminishes the shrinkage. Lime has the same tendency 
and may even make the clay swell a little. Clays containing a large 
amount of feldspar, will, instead of showing a steady shrinkage up to 
the temperature of complete vitrification or sintering, often exhibit a 
temporary increase of volume when the fusing point of the feldspar 
(about 2300° F.) is reached. 

Between the points at which the moisture has ceased coming off and 
that at which the combined water begins to escape, the clay shrinks 
little or none at all. Consequently in firing a clay the heat can be 
raised rapidly between these two points, but above and below them it 
must proceed slowly to prevent cracking the ware. 


In the heating of a clay, or subjecting it to a gradually increasing 
temperature, it not only shrinks but begins to harden. After the 
moisture has been driven off the clay bears some handling and is mod- 
erately hard, but can be scratched by the finger-nail. 

Accompanying the second shrinkage of the clay, beginning at a dull 
red heat, there comes an increase in hardness and density, and at a 
temperature of from 1500° to 2100° F., depending on the clay, it becomes 
very dense, the individual particles are barely recognizable, and the 
clay cannot be scratched with a knife. It is still porous, however. This 
is the point of incipient fusion. With an increase in the temperature 
of from 50° to 200° F., depending on the clay, an additional amount of 
shrinkage occurs. The clay becomes hard, dense, impervious, the par- 
ticles are no longer recognizable, and the maximum shrinkage has been 
attained. This is the point of vitrification or sintering. "With a 
further similar rise in temperature the clay becomes viscous or flows. 

These three stages are not sharply marked, but with a little practice 
the eye can detect the condition which the burned clay has reached. 
With few exceptions, the point of vitrification seems to be midway 
between incipient fusion and viscosity. The difference in temperature 
between these two points varies from 75°-100° F. in calcareous clays, 
up to 400° or more in the purer ones. Indeed, the majority of clays 
show a difference of 300°-400° F. between incipient fusion and viscosity. 

The practical value of this property is at once apparent, for many 
clays require to be heated to vitrification, and the greater the margin 
between this point and viscosity the better, for a kiln cannot be man- 
aged within very narrow limits of temperature. 



It may be said in general that, other things being equal, the fusi- 
bility of a clay will increase with the amount of fluxes. 

This is only to be regarded as an approximate statement, for all the 
fluxing impurities do not act with the same intensity. 

If the fluxes are the same, a fine-grained clay will fuse at a lower 
temperature than a coarse-grained one, because in a clay with fine grain 
the particles are closer together, and can interact better chemically when 
they become softened by the heat. This fact may be brought out by a 
comparison of the pipe-clay from the first pit at Pomona and that at 
Spout Springs. 

The former is coarse-grained, and, though containing 5.10$ of fluxes, 
only vitrifies at 2250° F., while the latter, with only 3.81$ total fluxes, 
vitrifies at 2150° because it is very fine-grained. 

Several attempts have been made to express the relative fusibilities 
of clays numerically, but none of them are wholly satisfactory, as they 
do not give a series of numbers expressing the relative fusibilities of 
different clays, which stand in the same order as the fusibilities them- 

Until this can be done such formulae have no definite value, and, in 
any case, it is more satisfactory to know the actual temperature of fusion 
of a clay than to express it in relative terms. 

Bischof 1 assumed that refractoriness of a clay is directly as the square 
of the alumina and inversely as the silica and fluxes. He therefore 
deduced the formula in which F. Q. stands for " Refractory quotient." 

v n fAl 2 OsV 
1 -^- — Si0 2 XRO" 

This only holds good for comparing clays of the same fineness. When 
there is a variation in this the formula no longer holds good. 
Wheeler * has suggested the formula 

F. F. 

D + D' + C 

in which F.F. is called the Fusibility Factor. 

N = sum of non-detrimentals, or silica, alumina, titanic acid, water, 
moisture and carbonic acid. 

D = sum of detrimental impurities, or iron, lime, magnesia, alkalies, 
sulphuric acid, sulphur, etc. 

D'=sum of alkalies which Wheeler supposes to have twice the flux- 
ing value. 

The formula without C was not much more regular in its results 
than Bischofs. 

1 Die Feuerfesten Thone, p. 71, 1876. * Eng. and Min. Jour., LVIL, 1894, p. 224. 


Wheeler therefore adds the term C, which he makes 

C = l when clay is coarse-grained and specific gravity exceeds. . . 

C = 2 « 

CC U U U (C « 

" from. . . 

....2 to 2.25 

C = 3 " 

44 44 C£ It U (« 

" from . . . 

.. .1.75 to 2.0 

C=2 « 

" " fine-grained " " 

" above... 

r. .2.25 

C = 3 " 

<< 14 (C K 41 (( 

" from. . . 

.. .2 to 2.25 

C = 4 " 

(( 44 44 44 44 44 

" from . . . 

.. .1.75 to 2.0 

This gives better but still not regular results. The insertion of a 
term to account for fineness or coarseness is perfectly rational, but the 
specific gravity is dependent on the mineral composition of the clay 
and therefore indirectly connected with chemical constitution. 


There are various forms of pyrometers for determining the tempera- 
tures, depending, according to their principle, on the fusion of alloys 
or single metals, thermo-electricity, fusion, spectro-photometry, expan- 
sion, etc. Most of these are unreliable, and for their description one 
is referred to any good text-book. Two forms of pyrometer deserve 
detailed mention, the one on account of its extreme accuracy and 
adaptability in many places where a little care is used, the other on 
account of its very fair accuracy, cheapness, as well as ready applica- 
bility to practical use. 


Le Chatelier's thermo-electric pyrometer depends on the measure- 
ment of a current generated by heating a thermo-pile. The latter con- 
sists of two wires, one of platinum and the other of an alloy of 90# 
platinum and 10fo rhodium, twisted together at their free ends for a 
distance of about an inch, and the next foot or two of their length 
enclosed in a fire-clay tube, so that when the couple is inserted into the 
furnace only the twisted ends, which are held near the body whose tem- 
perature is to be measured, will receive the full heat. The two wires 
connect with a galvanometer, the deflection of whose needle increases 
with the temperature at the point where the free end of the wire couple 
is applied. 

For use the instrument has to be first calibrated, but this can be 
easily done with a little care. 

As at present put on the market, the thermo-electric pyrometer costs 
about $180, and this high price has always tended to restrict its use. 
There is no reason, however, why one should not be made for about $35. 

This pyrometer is accurate to within 5 or 10 degrees Fahr. 


These consist of different mixtures of kaolin and fluxes, which are 
compounded so that there shall be a constant difference between their 


fusing points. Seger's series were numbered from 1 to 20, and the dif- 
ference between their fusing points is 36° F. A later series, introduced 
by Cramer, runs from .01 to .022 with a difference of 54° F. between 
their fusing points. The higher numbers of the cones have also been 
extended up to 36. 

These pyramids have been recently recalibrated, and therefore the 
fusing points and composition of the different numbers are given here- 
with, being taken from the recently issued circular of the Thonin- 
dustrie Laboratorium, in Berlin, where these cones were first made. 


No. of 











Fusion Point 

0.5 Na.,0 ) 
0.5 PbO \ 

( 2 Si0 2 
( 1 B.O a 




0.5 Na.,0 
0.5 PbO \ 

0.1Al 2 O 3 

( 2.2 Si0 2 

( 1 B P:>, 



0.5 Na.,0 
0.5 PbO f 

0.2 A1,0 3 

( 2.4 Si0 2 
j 1 B 2 :j 



0.5 Na 9 ) 
0.5 PbO f 

0.3 A1 2 3 

( 2.6 Si0 2 
I 1 B 2 3 



0. 5 Na.,0 ) 
0.5 PbO \ 

0.4 A1 2 3 

(2.8Si0 2 

I 1 B A 



0.5 Na.,0 } 
0.5 PbO \ 

0.5 A1 2 3 

f 3.0 Si0 2 

1 1 B ,o 3 



0.5 Na.,0 ) 
0.5 PbO f 

0.55 A1 2 3 

J 3. 1 Si0 2 
I 1 B 2 3 - 



0.5 Na.,0 
0.5 PbO f 

0. 6 A1 2 3 

|3.2Si0 2 
1 1 B A 



0.5 Na.,0 
0.5 PbO j" 

0.65 A1.,0 3 

\ 3.3 Si0 2 
I 1 B 2 3 



0.5 Na.,0 V 
0.5 PbO / 

0.7Al 2 O 3 

J" 3.4 Si0 2 
1 1 B 2 3 



0.5 Na.,0 } 
0.5 PbO j" 

0. 75 A1 2 3 

\ 3. 5 Si0 2 
1 1 B 2 3 ' 



0. 5 Na,0 ) 
0.5 PbO f 

0.8 A1 2 3 

f 3.6 Si0 2 
I 1 B 2 3 



0.3 K.,0 ) 
0.7 CaO \ 

0.2 Fe.,0 3 
0.3 A1 2 "0 3 

j 3.50 Si0 2 
I 0. 50 B 2 3 



0.3 K.,0 
0. 7 CaO \ 

0.2 Fe 2 3 
0.3 A1 2 3 

j 3.55 SiO., 
\0.45 B 2 3 



0.3 K. 2 ) 

0. 7 CaO \ 

0. 2 Fe 2 3 
0.3 A1 2 3 

{ 3.60 Si0 2 
"(0.40 B,0 3 



0.3 K 2 ) 

0. 7 CaO J" 

0.2 Fe.,0 3 
0.2 A1 2 3 

{ 3. 65 SiO., 
} 0.35 B.,0 3 



0.3 K 2 ! 

0.7 CaO f 

0.2 Fe 2 3 
0.3 A1 2 3 

J 3. 70 SiO, 
\0.30 B 2 3 



0.3 K.,0 \ 

0. 7 CaO j 

0.2 Fe.,0., 
0.3 A1 2 3 

f 3. 75 SiO, 
\0.25B 2 O; 



0. 3 K.,0 ) 
0. 7 CaO J" 

0.2 Fe 2 3 
0.3 A1 2 3 

( 3.80 Si0 2 
"j 0.20 B,0 3 



0.3 K.,0 ) 

0.7 CaO / 

0.2 Fe 2 O s 
0.3 A1 2 3 

( 3.85 Si0 2 
"/ 0.1:, B 9 3 






Fusion Point. 

No. of 











0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 


0.2Fe 2 O Q j 
0.3 A1 2 3 J ( 

3.90 Si0 2 
0.10 B 2 3 




0.3 K.,0 
0.7 CaO 

0.2 Fe 2 3 \ 
0.3 A1 2 3 ( 

3.95 Si0 2 
0.05 B 2 3 



0. 3 K 2 

0. 7 CaO 


0.2Fe 2 O 3 f 
0.3 A1 2 3 \ 

4 Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

0.2 Fe 2 3 f 
0.4 A1 2 3 ( 

4 Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

0.05Fe 2 O 3 j 
0.45 A1 2 3 ( 

4 Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

0.5 Al 2 3 4Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

0.5 Al 2 O s 5Si0 2 



0.3 K,0 
0.7 CaO 

0.6 Al 2 3 6Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

0.7 Al 2 3 7Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

0.8 Al 2 3 8Si0 2 



0.3 K 
0.7 CaO 

0.9 Al 2 3 9Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

1.0 Al 2 O 3 10SiO 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 


1.2 Al 2 3 12Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

1.4 Al 2 3 14Si0. 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

1.6 Al 2 3 16Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

1.8 Al 2 3 18Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

2.1 Al 2 3 21Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

2.4 Al 2 3 24Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

2.7 Al 2 3 27Si0 2 


26 7S 

0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

3.1 Al 2 3 31Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 


3.5 Al 2 3 35Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

3.9 Al 2 3 39Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

4.4 Al 2 3 44Si0 2 



0. 3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 


4.9 Al 2 3 49Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0. 7 CaO 

5.4 Al 2 3 54Si0 2 



0.3 K 2 
0.7 CaO 

6.0 Al 2 O 3 60SiO 2 



0.3 K 2 

0.7 CaO 

6.6 Al 2 3 66Si0 2 






No. of i k 


™ 0.7 CaO j" '* ai 2 u 3 ^smu 2 

27 K 2 h on Aifl 200S1O 
-7 Q ? CaQ j. ,..U AI 2 U 3 -UU&lU 5 

28 Al 2 O 3 10SiO 2 

29 Al 2 3 8Si0 2 

30 Al 2 3 6Si0 2 

31 Al 2 3 5SiOo 

32 Al 2 3 4Si0 2 

33 Al 2 3 3Si0 2 

34 Al 2 3 2.5Si0 2 

35 Al 2 3 2Si0 2 

36 AL,(X2Si0 9 


sion Point. 

























"When these pyramids are placed in a kiln or furnace they begin 
to soften as the temperature is raised, and as it approaches their fusion 
point the cones bend over until the tip is as low as the base. "When 
this occurs the temperature at which they fuse is considered to be 

If it is therefore stated that a clay vitrifies at cone 5, it means that the 
amount of heat required to make cone 5 bend over is sufficient to vitrify 
the clay. In this report it has not been thought advisable to use this 
method but to give the actual temperatures. Comparisons can be easily 
made by looking up the number of the cone in the foregoing table. 

These cones are accurate to within 25°, which is entirely sufficient 
for practical purposes. In actual use the cones are set in the kiln at 
a point where they can be watched through a peep-hole but will not 
receive the direct touch of the flames from the fuel. 

It is well to put two or more cones in so that warning can be had of 
the approach of the desired temperature. 

In order to determine the temperature of a kiln, several cones of 
separated numbers are put in, as, for example, .07, 1, and 5. Suppose 
that .07 and 1 are bent over in burning, but 5 remains unaltered. 
The temperature of the kiln was therefore between 1 and 5. The 
next time 2, 3 and 4 are put in. 2 and 3 may be fused, but 4 remains 
unaffected. The temperature therefore reached the fusing point of 3, 
or 2174° F. If the cones up to about No. 2 are heated too quickly, 
they are apt to swell up, and prevent themselves bending over. 

Seger's cones are extensively used in Europe, and in America their 
application is extending. Their one great advantage is that they indicate 
not the actual temperature, but rather its action. Thus cone No. 1 does 
not bend over as soon as the temperature of 2102° F. is reached, but only 
when this temperature has penetrated the cone. It is not advisable to 


use a cone a second time, in case it lias not bent over in a previous burn- 
ing. Such cones are apt to bend at a lower temperature. 

In porcelain manufacture, cones of the same composition as the glaze 
on the ware are sometimes used. 

These cones can be obtained for about one cent each from Prof. E. 
Orton, Jr., Ohio State University, Columbus, O. 


"When a lump of clay is placed in water it begins to slake or break 
up in a more or less characteristic manner, depending on the nature of 
the clay. Some homogeneous clays split into a number of angular 
fragments, others into scaly particles, while still others break up com- 
pletely into their component grains. The rapidity of slaking varies, 
depending largely on the density and toughness of the clays. Some 
clays slake completely to pieces in two or three minutes, while others 
may lie in water for an hour or two and remain totally unaffected. 

This property is of practical importance in two ways. In washing 
kaolins or stoneware clays it is desirable that they should fall apart 
quickly when thrown into water, and thereby permit a quicker and 
more thorough separation of the impurities. 

Slaking is also of importance in tempering clays, for the easier they 
break up the easier and more thoroughly will they become mixed in the 


The other physical properties of clay, such as absorption, fineness of 
grain, taste, color, have been mentioned in connection with other prop- 
erties and need be but briefly referred to here. 


The absorption of clays varies of course, some taking up a large 
amount of water, which they give off again in drying, with the risk of 
cracking the clay unless dried very slowly. The presence of organic 
matter, ferric hydrate and ammonia may increase the absorptive power. 
The residual clays common throughout the western half of the State 
often absorb a large amount of water, without showing much plasticity. 
They are coarse-grained and very porous, and show the property not 
uncommon to many clays, in that they become more plastic as water is 
added up to a certain limit, but a slight addition over this causes the 
clay to become soft and decrease rapidly in plasticity. 


Fineness of grain, as already mentioned, has an important bearing on 
the fusibility of clays. It also diminishes the tensile strength, and, 


with few exceptions, requires the clay to be slowly dried, and in burn- 
ing to be slowly heated at first. In porcelain manufacture the particles 
of clay must be of extreme fineness, and this has often to be brought 
about by grinding. 


Tasting a clay will often give a clue to the presence of soluble salts, 
such as sulphates of iron or magnesia, which may impart a bitter, inky 
taste to the clay. The presence of grit may also be detected by grind- 
ing a lump of the clay between the teeth. 


The color of a clay serves only as an indication of its quality within 
very wide limits. 

Many high-grade clays which burn white are in their original or green 
state colored black by the presence of a small per cent of organic matter. 
The latter, however, may mask the presence of iron, as in those from 
Prospect Hall, which burn to a deep red. 

Iron may color a clay green, yellow, red, gray, brown or black, 
depending on the condition of its compound, whether ferrous or ferric. 
In surface clays it frequently exists in the ferric condition as limonite 
or hematite, and imparts a brilliant yellow or red to the clay. E"ot 
unfrequently the upper part of a clay bank is yellow or red, due to the 
presence of abundant ferric oxide, while the lower portion of it may 
be blue or gray from the iron being less oxidized. Many kaolins with a 
very small percentage of ferric oxide burn white in oxidizing fire, but in 
reducing fire burn gray, due to a reduction of the iron from the ferric 
to the ferrous condition. 

The colors imparted by the different constituents have been mentioned 
under the chemical properties. It should be remembered that in case 
the clay does not burn to a color which the analysis would indicate, that 
it may be due to the union of the elements in the clay with substances 
in the fire gases of the kiln. Many coals contain sulphur. In burning 
the sulphuric acid gases are apt to unite with the lime or other sub- 
stances in the clay, with formation of sulphates. 


The specific gravity of a clay varies with its mineralogical composi- 
tion, and may run from about 1.75 to 2.60. Thus far it is not known of 
itself to have any practical value. In the summary of tests at the end 
of the report will be found the specific gravities of the North Carolina 
clays here described, determined by Prof. F. P. Tenable. 



The clay deposits of North Carolina belong to two types, residual 
and sedimentary, which, with their varieties, may be grouped as follows : 

Kesidual : — Kaolins; tire-clays; and impure clays. 

('Coastal plain clays, of Cretaceous or Tertiary age. 
a j. . ! Sedimentary surface clays (for brick and pottery), mainly along 

y j the streams and low-lands, in the Piedmont plateau and moun- 
[_ tain counties. 

The accompanying outline map (Plate II) indicates the general dis- 
tribution of the geological formations in the State, except that no- 
attempt is made to separate those of the coastal plain region. 


These in general are to be found in any portion of the western half 
of the State, that being the area underlain by the granitic, gneissic, and 
schistose rocks from which they have originated by the decay in situ r 
as explained under the origin of clay. 

The eastern border of this area of crystalline rocks passes through the 
counties of Halifax, Eranklin, Wake, Chatham, Moore, Kichmond, and 

West of this line, which passes near Weldon, Raleigh and Rocking- 
ham, we find the residual clays forming an almost universal mantle over 
the surface. They are generally coarse-grained, red, brown or yellow 
sticky clays, frequently of a lean character. Their thickness varies from 
three to twenty or more feet, depending on the depth to which disinteg- 
ration of the rock has taken place and the amount of erosion of the sur- 
face that has occurred. In general, we may expect to find them of less 
thickness on the steep slopes than on the gentler ones or level areas. 

It not unfrequently happens that the clay has been little disturbed, 
and the banded structure of the gneiss or schist from which it originated 
may still be seen extending upward into the clay. As quartz decom- 
poses more slowly than most rock-forming minerals, the veins of this 
material are also to be seen at times traversing the clay. 

Residual clays commonly contain many angular grains and frag- 
ments of undecomposed or only partially decomposed mineral matter, 
and the relative amount of this depends on the extent of the rotting of 
the rock. 


The brickmakers are very prone to use these materials on account of 
their sandy nature, their lean character making them much easier to work 
by hand; at the same time their porous nature produces a porous, weak 
brick unless properly burned, and at the smaller brickyards the burning 
is seldom carried far enough. 

The composition of two of these impure residual clays is given below : 

Composition of Residual Clays. 

Dean's Yard, Greensboro 
Greensboro. Brk. & Tile Co. 

Moisture 1.90 1.64 

Silica 59.27 56.81 

Alumina 22.31 20.62 

Ferric oxide 6.69 6.13 

Lime 25 .65 

Magnesia 13 .58 

Alkalies 90 4.47 

Water (loss on ignition) 9.00 8.60 

Total 100.45 99.50 

Free sand 33.35 40.65 

Fluxes 7.97 11.S3 

The residual fire-clays found at Pomona and Grover are coarse- 
grained, sandy clays of a semi-refractory nature, with much intermixed 
quartz and mica. At times these two mineral impurities may become 
so abundant that the portions of the vein holding them have to be 
avoided in mining. 

As these semi-refractory clay deposits have been but little worked 
thus far, not very much can be said of their extent. Vein formations 
such as they result from are often apt to be of a pocket-like nature, but 
at times are very extensive, so that they should be well exploited before 
much mining is done. 

These residual clays are sometimes found such a short distance from 
their point of origin that they still practically possess their residual 
characteristics of leanness, coarseness, angularity of fragments, etc. 

The kaolins, which also come under this head, are of the greatest 
commercial value. They result from the decomposition of feldspar or 
granite veins, so abundant in the crystalline area of ISTorth Carolina. 
In width they vary from a few inches to 300 feet, and the kaolin 
extends from the surface to a depth of 60 to 120 feet, depending on the 
extent to which the feldspar has altered. Below this the fresh or par- 
tially altered rock is met. In their unaltered state these vein.- may 
serve as sources of feldspar or quartz, which, when of sufficient purity, 
are available for potters' use. 

The kaolin deposits at TTebster, N. C, have been worked for a num- 


ber of years to supply the potteries at Trenton, X. J., and East Liver- 
pool, Ohio. The field work and laboratory tests carried on in con- 
nection with the preparation of this report indicate additional ones of a 
very promising nature. 


The coastal plain deposits of North Carolina furnish the most exten- 
sive beds of clay to be found within the State. They have been classed 
as belonging to the Potomac (lower Cretaceous), Tertiary, and post- 
Tertiary (Columbia) formations. 1 

The former are best exposed along the Cape Tear river below Eay- 
etteville, and consist of dark-colored clays, at times very sandy and 
frequently containing an abundance of organic matter. 

The clay usually forms large lenses, and sometimes, by the increase 
of sand, passes into sand beds. One of the best exposures of these 
black Potomac clays is at Prospect Hall, 21 miles below Eayetteville; 
but they are exposed also in many of the river bluffs from 10 to 60 
miles below Eayetteville (p. 102). 

The Eocene deposits are best exposed along the western border of the 
coastal plain region in Moore and Harnett counties, lying near or at 
the summits of the sand hills and ridges. Their thickness varies from 
5 to 15 feet, or possibly more, and there usually is but little (2 to 6 feet) 
of sandy overburden. The best known exposures of these are on the 
Sprunt lands, 2 to 3 miles north of Spout Springs, and 2 miles southeast 
of Southern Pines on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. 

There are good exposures of clay in the cuts of the Cape Eear and 
Yadkin Valley P. R. between Spout Springs and Eayetteville, the age 
of which is not certain, though they are probably Eocene or Cretaceous. 

The composition of these latter clays (see table at the end of report) 
might lead one to assign a refractory character to them, but their 
extreme fineness of grain causes them to fuse at comparatively low tem- 
peratures. Their smoothness is marked, and they might be used for 
other purposes. 

Finely laminated clays of various colors are also to be found exposed 
in railway cuts and river bluffs in many parts of the coastal plain 
region, in some places associated with tertiary marls, and elsewhere 
overlying them. Along the western border of the coastal plain region, 
both in the river bluffs and on the divides between the streams, as are 
to be seen at intervals along the Atlantic Coast Line R. R. from 
Weldon to a few miles south of Eayetteville, are beds of finely laminated 
clays varying in color from yellowish to nearly black, and often mot- 
tled, which are believed to be a part of the Lafayette formation. None 

1 J. A. Holmes. " The Kaolin and Clay Deposits of North Carolina," Trails. Amer. Inst. Min. 
Eng. XXV, p. 929, 1896. 


of these clays has yet been fully tested, but the results of their exam- 
ination will be described in a later report. 

There is also to be found in the terraces bordering the larger streams 
for some miles above and below where they pass from the hill country 
into the coastal plain region, a series of red and brown loams, which, 
near Weldon, Goldsboro and Fayetteville, in North Carolina, and at' as 
many points similarly located in other Southern States, have been found 
to make good brick when properly manipulated. These " brick loams," 
as they have been designated, are of still more recent origin than the 
laminated Lafayette clays mentioned above, and they are classed with 
the youngest of our extensive geological formations, that known as the 

Many of the rivers farther inland, as they pass across the hill country, 
and even in the mountain region, are often bordered by considerable 
stretches of terrace which are underlain by brick or pottery clays, often 
of excellent quality. 

, The more sandy clays under these terraces are generally to be found 
close to the river, while the finer grained and smoother ones have been 
deposited nearer shore at the edge of the terrace, and when there are 
several terraces they are usually found under the upper one. 

Such terraces are abundant along the Catawba river near Morgan- 
ton and Mount Holly; along the Yadkin river, especially at Wilkes- 
boro and Elkin; along the Clarke river (south fork of Catawba river) 
at Lincolnton, where clay to supply some fifty potters is dug. 

It is from these terrace deposits of recent geologic age that some of 
the best clays in the State are to be obtained. In depth they vary from 
five to ten feet, and as some of these river valleys supply the lines of 
railroad with an easy passage through the mountain regions, the clays 
are well located for shipment either in their burned or unburned con- 

These river clays are also well developed along the French Broad 
river near Asheville; and ( at Biltmore they have produced excellent and 
extremely encouraging results. 

It not uncommonly happens that the river terrace is formed on the 
slope of some hill covered by coarse-grained, lean, residual clays, and 
by the gradual creep of the soil the residual material moves down on to 
the sedimentary clay underlying the terrace. Such conditions are not 
uncommon, and at first sight the section of this kind exposed in a clay 
bank presents a rather peculiar appearance. 

As mentioned above, the sedimentary clays are also well developed 
around Wilson, Goldsboro and Fayetteville. 

With proper treatment, as will be mentioned later, these clays are 
capable of excellent results, and yet by careless methods the product 
that is sometimes produced is not fit to use. 


Just as much care should be taken in the manufacture' of brick as in 
white ware. There is, unfortunately, too much disposition to regard 
a brick as so many cubic inches of burned clay that must be able to 
stick together and little more. 

The omnipresence of residual brick clays in the South has had an 
injurious effect on the clay-working industry, for when a large cotton 
mill or other building is erected the contractor generally digs up the 
nearest residual clay soil, the most siliceous he can find, and even then 
sand is sometimes added to it to permit its mixing with the minimum 
amount of labor. 

This clayey sand is then molded by hand and hurriedly burned in 
small scove kilns. The great amount of sand naturally tends to make 
a porous brick, and burning the kiln barely to incipient fusion, and 
never much beyond, prevents the clay from reaching its maximum 
shrinkage. The result is a porous, soft brick. 

The sedimentary clays generally make a smoother, denser brick, and 
one which burns at a lower temperature, but the residual brick clays are 
frequently capable of good results if properly handled. 

Clays for making good common and pressed brick are of as much 
importance in North Carolina as stoneware clays and kaolins, for prac- 
tically all the pressed brick now used in the State are shipped from other 


The products at present manufactured in North Carolina include 
stoneware, earthenware, fire-brick, sewer-pipe, flue-linings, drain-tile 
and building brick. 

Stoneware is manufactured by a number of small potters located 
chiefly in the western part of the State. The clays used burn to a dense 
hard body at moderate temperature, 2100° F., but the ware has a rough 
surface aue to the glazing material, which contains much grit. The 
same potters make red earthenware articles to a limited extent. "With 
the available clays there is room for much improvement in the character 
of the ware. 

Fire-brick are manufactured at Pomona, Guilford county, Emma, 
Buncombe county, and Grover, Cleveland county. In each case the 
clays are coarse-grained, sandy ones, with much quartz and mica. 
Those at Grover especially would probably make a very good grade of 
refractory material, but their application has thus far been limited. 

Sewer-pipe and flue-linings are only made at Pomona, Guilford 
county, but the factory located at that place is turning out a very good 
product, and it has recently been much enlarged. 

Common brick are manufactured at many localities throughout the 


State, but pressed brick have not passed beyond the experimental stage; 
although many of the clays are admirably adapted for this purpose, as 
those near Asheville, Buncombe county, at Wilkesboro, Wilkes county, 
around Goldsboro, Wayne county, and Raleigh, Wake county. 

Many of these towns are at the intersection of several lines of railroad, 
so that the product could be easily shipped. 

In visiting the various localities for the collection of samples for 
analysis and physical tests, this point has been borne in mind, and the 
areas most accessible have been especially examined. 



North. Carolina is one of the important producers of kaolin used by 
the manufacturers of white granite, C. C. (cream-colored) ware, and 
porcelain, at Trenton, East Liverpool and other localities in the United 
States, and the material produced stands second to none thus far mined 
in this country. 

All of the North Carolina kaolins thus far discovered are of a resid- 
ual nature, that is, the material is found at the point where it originated. 
They have resulted from the decay of veins of pure feldspar, pegmatite 
or granite, and vary in their initial impurity according to the number of 
foreign minerals which occurred in the vein from which they were 


Knowing thus the nature of their origin, it is possible to predict 
approximately the limits within which they can occur. As the feld- 
spar and granite veins are generally found cutting the gneisses, 
granites or hornblende and mica schists, the kaolin deposits can occur 
in any part of the central or western parts of the State, this being the 
area underlain by the crystalline rocks. Large deposits have thus far 
been recorded from Montgomery, Richmond, Cleveland, Burke, Jack- 
son, and Macon counties. 


The kaolin from most of these veins is a white, dense, soapy sub- 
stance, soft and easily picked out. Through this may be scattered scales 
of mica, garnet, quartz, etc. The mica is generally fresh in appearance 
unless it is an iron-bearing species. The garnet is almost invariably 
decomposed and forms rusty stains which can generally be eliminated 
in washing. The quartz is practically always undecomposed and in 
angular fragments. Its condition determines the necessity of its sepa- 
ration; that is to say, if the quartz were- extremely fine its presence 
would be harmless. If the vein was originally a coarsely crystalline 
mass of quartz and feldspar, the former remains in such large fragments 
that it is necessary to eliminate it by washing; but if the quartz and 


feldspar were intimately associated in a finely granular mixture, then 
the quartz may be scattered through the kaolin in the form of a fine 
siliceous powder, and if there are no other impurities with it, the quartz 
can be left in the kaolin. 

Indeed, it sometimes happens that there is so much finely divided 
quartz present that it is impossible to separate all of it by washing. 
This is the case with the kaolin from Troy. 

Depending, therefore, on the character of the quartz, the washed 
kaolin from different localities may show a very variable amount of 
clay substances. 

In the case of the Webster kaolin the quartz forms a large mass in 
the centre of the vein, and is left standing while the kaolin is mined 
away on either side. 

In Plate V, facing page 59, fig. 2 shows a bed of residual clay near 
Grover, and fig. 1 an extensive vein of residual kaolin near Webster. 


Kaolin of good quality is pure white when washed and dried, but 
often gray when wet. The purest North Carolina kaolin, and also other 
American kaolins, show on microscopic examination bunched and also 
isolated scales of kaolinite, plates and scales of white mica, grains of 
quartz, and apparently feldspar grains. 

The plasticity of kaolin is usually very lean, although some crude 
kaolins are appreciably plastic to the feel. The tensile strength is always 
low, and in the North Carolina kaolins varies on the average from 5 to 
20 lbs. per square inch. Most kaolins absorb considerable water in 
being worked into a plastic paste. They burn to a white body when 
little iron is present, and the hardness and density vary with the degree 
of temperature to which they are subjected, and also with the amount 
of quartz and feldspar which they contain. In the manufacture of china 
the kaolin is mixed with ball clay to give the mass plasticity, and feld- 
spar to act as a flux. Quartz is also added to prevent excessive shrink- 
age. It is in this connection that the value of a rational analysis is felt. 

The rational analysis considers a clay as being made up of quartz, 
feldspar, and kaolinite or clay substance, and shows the amount of each 
present in the clay. If now the potter changes from the kaolin lie bas 
been using to one from another locality, it will be possible for him, if he 
has a rational analysis of this new clay, to determine without endless 
experimenting how to vary the amount of quartz and feldspar whic 
adds to his mixture in order to produce one which, with the new ka< lin, 
will give as good results as the old one. 

The method of rationally analyzing clays is discussed under the 
"Chemical Analysis of Clay " (pp. 29-33), but a few points regardii g it 


may also be stated here. Clays may agree in their ultimate chemical 
composition, but disagree widely in their rational composition. Clays 
showing the same rational composition, will, other things being equal, 
usually have the same shrinkage. If they differ in the degree of fine- 
ness of their particles, they may show a different shrinkage, even though 
they analyze alike rationally. In porcelain and white earthenware 
manufacture the clay is generally ground so fine that this last point 
does not have to be considered. 

A rational analysis has been made of the kaolins of Xorth Carolina. 

The fact that a kaolin does not contain 98$ of clay substance need not 
cause the slightest uneasiness. The important requirement is a very low 
percentage of iron. If in addition to clay substance the clay contains 
quartz and feldspar, then just so much less quartz and feldspar will have 
to be added in making up the porcelain or other mixture. The cele- 
brated French kaolins which do not have to be washed sometimes con- 
tain 38^ feldspar. 1 

An examination of the following table shows that there is consider- 
able variation in the proportion of clay substance, quartz and feldspar 

Table showing variation in clay substance, quartz and feldspar. 
Percentage of clay substance, quartz, and feldspar in North Carolina kaolins. 


Locality. substance. Quartz. Feldspar. 

Sylva (washed), N. Ca. Min. & Mfg. Co. (57) 94.21 5.75 

Webster (washed), Harris Clay Co. (53)... . 96.81 0.07 3.12 

(unwashed), G. Springer (54) 66.14 15.61 18.91 

(washed), G. Springer (56) 93.24 ■ 6.60 

Bostick Mills (unwashed) (21) 49.30 41.50 9.20 

(22) 36.05 62.33 

« (washed) (20) 54.30 43.85 1.S2 

Troy, darker kaolin (64a) 14.71 83.94 1.91 

(64) (washed) 20.83 76.20 2.34 

" white kaolin (68) " 58.92 35.27 5.81 

Wests Mill, Macon Co., crude kaolin (69)... 83.39 14.98 1.58 

It will be seen from the above that the free sand or insoluble residue 
in the North Carolina kaolins is nearly all quartz. 

The variations in the total percentages of the washed samples is as 

follows : 

Variation in composition of kaolin, ivashed samples. 

Silica 44.08 to S6.03$ 

Alumina 6.46 « 41.70 

Ferric oxide 2S " 2. 97 

Lime 15 " .50 

Magnesia 09 " .20 

Alkalies 25 « 2.4S 

Water (loss on ignition) m 2.90 " 13.56 

1 Seger's Ges. Schrift, p. 552. 


The special point of interest in these analyses is the iron percentage. 
The per cent, of iron in the various washed kaolins and their color on 
burning are as follows : 

Table showing per cent, of ferric oxide in washed kaolin, and color on burning. 

Ferric oxide, Color of 

Locality. percentage. burned clay. 

( .28 

G. Springer, Webster " & 1 08 F O White. 

Wests Mill 1.18 White. 

Harris Clay Co., Webster 1.41 White. 

Sylva 1.86 White. 

( White, faint 

Bostick Mills 2.14 \ .. ' 

( yellow tinge. 

Dark kaolin, Troy 2.18 Light buff. 

White kaolin, Troy 2.97 Red buff. 

This affords an interesting series from which to determine the permis- 
sible limit of iron in a kaolin. It would seem from this that the extreme 
safety limit is 2$, but still under 1.5$ is more desirable. It should be 
remembered that there might be 2 or 3$ of ferric oxide without its pres- 
ence being noticed, provided there was also present 6 to 9$ of lime to 
bleach it. But still it is undesirable to have to count on this, and even 
if this condition existed the kaolin would burn yellowish white and not 
pure white. 


Kaolin is usually soft enough to be mined with a pick and shovel. 

If the kaolin deposit is large and broad, it can be worked as an open 
pit, digging out the material with picks and shovels and loading it into 
wheelbarrows or cars, which are drawn or pushed to the washing 
troughs, or, if the pit is deep, brought to the foot of an incline and then 
hauled up by means of a cable. 

Most of the North Carolina kaolin deposits are vein formations whose 
depth is comparatively great as related to their width. In such in- 
stances the method of sinking pits is adopted. This consists in sinking 
a circular pit in the kaolin about 25 feet in diameter. As the pit pro- 
ceeds in depth it is lined with a cribwork of wood, as shown in fig. 2 
of Plate III, which will be found facing page 56. This lining is ex- 
tended to the full depth of the pit, which varies from 50 to 100 or even 
120 feet. When the bottom of the kaolin has been reached the filling- 
in of the pit is begun, the cribwork being removed from the bottom up- 
wards as the filling proceeds. If there is any overburden it is generally 
a good plan to use this for filling in the pits. 

As soon as one pit is filled a new one may be sunk in the same manner 
right next to it. In this ,way the whole vein is worked out, and, if the 


deposit is large, several pits may be sunk at the same time to increase 
the output of the mine. 

The kaolin is taken from the pit in buckets, which are operated by a 
derrick. At the mouth of the pit it is discharged into barrows or cars. 

Two other methods of mining may be mentioned. 

If the deposit is deep and narrow, and the better portions of the kaolin 
are irregularly scattered through the vein, it may be cheaper to sink 
a shaft and run levels from this into the better parts of the bed. These 
levels generally have to be timbered and the shaft also requires lining. 

Hydraulic mining has been tried with success in some very sandy, 
loose-grained kaolins, but is not used in Xorth Carolina. The method 
as sometimes used consists in washing the clay down into the bottom 
of the pit, whence it is sucked up by means of a pump and discharged 
from the conveying pipe into the washing trough. 

It is sometimes necessary to have a scraper to stir or loosen up the 
clay in order to permit its being sucked up more easily. Where appli- 
cable, this is a cheap and rapid method, but most kaolins are too dense 
and not sandy enough to permit its being used. 

At the Harris Clay Company's mines, near "Webster, the mines are 
at a higher level than the washing plant, and the kaolin, after being 
trammed for a few hundred feet from the mouth of the pits, is dis- 
charged directly into a trough leading down the slope to the washing 
works. A current of water is pumped up the slope and discharged into 
the trough to wash the kaolin down. 

A kaolin bed to be of commercial value should not be less than 8 feet 

The workable depth depends on the distance below the surface to 
which the feldspar has kaolinized. 


Most kaolins are washed before shipment. This is done to eliminate 
coarse particles and substances such as iron, which would render the 
clay fusible or discolor it in burning. 

Two methods of washing may be used. The first consists in throw- 
ing the kaolin into large circular tubs or " blungers " filled with 
water; in these tubs there revolve arms which stir the mass up to a 
mixture of creamy consistency. By this treatment the fine kaolinite 
particles and some very fine quartz, feldspar and mica grains remain in 
suspension while the coarser particles drop to the bottom. The water, 
with the kaolin in suspension, is then drawn off to the settling tanks. 

A modification of this consists in the use of a large cylinder, closed at 
both ends. The cylinder is set in a horizontal position and contains an 
axis with iron arms, which as the axis revolves serve to break up the 


•clay. The latter is charged through a hopper, and a current of water 
passes into the end of the cylinder, while at the other end the water 
passes out with the fine clay particles in suspension, the coarser ones 
remaining in the cylinder. 

The amount of water used has to be regulated by experiment. If an 
excess is used, too much coarse material will be washed out of the cylin- 
der, and conversely if the current is too slow, the clay will not yield a 
sufficient percentage of washed material. The coarse sand remains in 
the cylinder and has to be removed from time to time, depending on the 
capacity of the cylinder and amount of coarse sand in the clay. \Vhen 
the water and suspended clay leave the machine they are conducted to 
the settling tanks. 

This method is little used in this country for the purification of the 
crude material, although it is extensively used abroad. 

The prevalent method of washing kaolin in the United States is by 
means of troughs, and the details of this method are as follows: 

As the kaolin comes from the mine it is generally discharged into a 
log-washer. This consists of a semi-cylindrical trough, in which there 
revolves a horizontal axis bearing short arms. The action of these arms 
breaks up the kaolin more or less thoroughly, depending on its density, 
.and facilitates the subsequent washing. The stream of water directed 
into the log-washer sweeps the kaolin and most of the sand into the 
washing troughs, which latter are about 15 inches wide and 12 inches 
•deep. They may be wider and deeper if the kaolin is very sandy; 
in fact, they should be. The troughing is about 700 feet long, and to 
utilize the space thoroughly it is broken up into sections (50 feet each 
is a good length), these being arranged parallel, and connecting at the 
ends, so that the water, with suspended clay, follows a zig-zag course. 
This trough has a slight pitch in the North Carolina plants, being about 
one inch in 20 feet, but this is a matter depending on the kaolin. If 
the kaolin is very fine and settles slowly, the pitch need not be so great, 
.and vice versa. A large quantity of very coarse sand in the kaolin is 
a nuisance, as it clogs up the log-washer and upper end of the trough 
more quickly, and causes so much more labor to keep them clear. As 
it is, considerable sand settles there, and, to keep the trough clear, sand 
wheels are used. These are wooden wheels bearing a number of iron 
scoops on their periphery. As the wheel revolves these scoops catch up 
a portion of the sand which has settled in the trough, and as each scoop 
reaches the upper limit of its turn on the wheel, it, by its inverted posi- 
tion, drops the sand outside of the trough. These sand wheels are a 
help, but it is very often necessary to keep a man in addition shoveling 
the sand from the trough. 

A general view of the kaolin-washing plant at the Harris kaolin mine 


near Webster is shown in Plate III, fig. 1. At the end of the shed 
on the right are the four sand wheels. Xext to these conies the trough- 
ing, while in the lowest part of the illustration in front of the house are 
the settling tanks. In the background along the foot of the hill are 
the drying racks. 

If the sand is finer it is not dropped so quickly, but distributed more 
evenly along the trough and does not clog it up so fast. 

The zig-zag arrangement of the troughing has been objected to by 
some, as it produces irregularities in the current, causing the sand to 
bank up in the corners at the bends, and also at certain points along the 
sides of the troughing. 1 

The effect of this is to narrow the channel, and consequently increase 
the velocity of the current, thereby causing the fine sand to be carried 
still further towards the settling tanks. 

This difficulty, which is not often a serious one, has been obviated 
either by