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I vS'V': .•:- '• j DUPLICATE 

TO BE K£f 






Professor of Economic Geologj' in the Univenity of Virginia 

J. P. Bill Coup* 



^AtrOR, UfiOX AMD 

• « • • • 
• • • 

• • •" • 

• • * . 
• • • 

• • • • * 

• •• :: 

• • • 
• • • •« 




Pbetaoe zzix 

Part I. Gknebal Geologt of VnomiA 1 

Geographic position of Virginia 1 

Surface features 1 

The Coastal Plain province 8 

Formations of Virginia Coastal Plain 4 

The Piedmont Plateau province 6 

The Appalachian Mountain province 7 

Diversity of resources 16 

Value of resources 16 

Past n. BuiLDiifG Stoitbs; Cemknt and CciixirT Materials; and Clatb.. 16 


Introduction 16 

Siliceous ciystalline rooks 17 


Definition 17 

Distribution of the granites 17 

Mineral composition 18 

Kinds of granite 18 

Description of granite areas 19 

The Petersburg area 19 

The Richmond area 21 

The Fredericksburg area 26 — ^ 

The Fairfax county area 28 

The Nottoway-Prince Edward counties area 20 

The Blue Ridge area 30 

Unakite 30 

2. SYENITE 81 


The Lynchburg area 88 

The Fairfax-Alexandria counties area 84 

Other gneiss areas 84 

4- ^aOA SCHIST 85 

Production 85 

*• ^prappean rooks 86 

Diabase and basalt 86 

Diorite 89 

Gabbro 40 

References 40 



6. SLATE 41 

Introduction 41 

The Buckingham-Fluvanna counties belt 42 

The Albemarle county belt 46 

The Amherst county ( Snowden ) belt 47 

The Fauquier county belt 49 

The Prince William-Stafford counties belt 61 

Production 51 

References 62 


General properties 52 

General statement 53 

The Coastal Plain region 54 

The Juro-Cretaceous sandstones 64 

Piedmont Plateau region 55 

The older crystalline quartzites 55 

The Newark ( Jura-Trias ) sandstones 58 

The Appalachian Mountain region 59 

Introductory statement 59 

The Cambrian sandstones 60 

The Silurian sandstones 61 

The Devonian sandstones 61 

The Carboniferous sandstones 62 

Mississippian group 62 

Pennsylvanian group 62 

Uses 63 

Production 64 

References 64 


General properties, composition, and occurrence 65 

Distribution in Virginia 65 

The Coastal Plain limestones 66 

The Piedmont Plateau limestones 66 

The older crystalline limestones 67 

General properties 67 

Distribution, occurrence, and general characters 67 

Marble 69 

Verd antique marble 70 

The Newark (Jura-Trias) limestones 73 

The Mountain province (Paleozoic) limestones 73 

The Shenandoah (Valley) limestone 74 

The Chickamauga limestone 76 

The Lewistown limestone 77 

The Greenbrier limestone 80 

Marble 82 

Cave (onyx) marbles 83 



Uses 83 

Production 84 

References 85 


Introduction 86 

Kinds of cement 87 

Distribution of cement materials 89 

Cambrian and Ordovician formations of northwestern Virginia 01 

Lower Cambrian quartzites, shales, and sandstones 03 

Shenandoah limestone group 93 

Stones river formation 95 

Chambersburg formation 96 

Martinsburg shale group 99 

Trenton shales 100 

Trenton limestones 100 

Utica shale 101 

Eden shales and sandstones 102 

Massanutten sandstime group 102 

General geography and stratigraphy of central western Virginia 103 

Details of localities in northwestern and central western Virginia.. 105 

Winchester 105 

Middletown 107 

Strasburg 107 

Woodstock and vicinity 109 

Harrisonburg and vicinity 110 

Wadesville 113 

Riverton and vicinity 114 

Mount Sidney and vicinity 115 

Staunton 115 

Lexington 120 

Geology of southwestern Virginia 123 

Major faults 123 

General distribution of Cambrian and Ordovician strata 124 

Stratigraphy 128 

Cambrian formations 128 

Russell shales 129 

Rutledge limestone 129 

Rogersville shale 129 

Maryville limestone 130 

Honaker limestone 131 

Nolichucky shale 131 

Cambro-Ordovician 131 

Knox dolomite 131 

Ordovician formations 133 

Chickamauga limestone 133 

Lenoir limestone 134 

Athens shale 134 



Holston formation 135 

Pttarisburg limestone 137 

Moccasin limestone 139 

Sevier shales 140 

Bays sandstone 141 

Clinch sandstone 142 

Details of localities 142 

Giles county 142 

Tazewell county 142 

Washington county 144 

Smyth county 146 

Scott and Russell counties 148 

Lee county 149 

Post-Ordovician cement materials 151 

Lewistown limestone 151 

General distribution . : 152 

Stratigraphy and analyses 153 

Details and localities 154 

Craigsville 154 

Covington 156 

Missippian limestones 156 

Greenbrier limestone 157 

Pennington shale 158 

Travertine deposits 159 

Natural cement 160 

Cement industry in Virginia 162 

References 165 

CULTS : 167 

Definition and properties of clay 167 

Origin of clay 168 

Classification of clays 168 

Rasidual clays 169 

Sedimentary clays 172 

The Coastal Plain clays 173 

Economic value of the Coastal Plain clays 173 

The Alexandria area and vicinity 174 

The Fredericksburg area 175 

The Wilmont area 176 

The Layton area 177 

The Milford area 177 

The Richmond area 177 

The Fort Lee area 180 

Summary 181 

The Curie's Neck area 181 

The Chester area 182 

The Bermuda Hundred area 182 

The Petersburg area 183 



The Broadway area 188 

The City Point area 184 

The Sturgeon Point area 184 

' The Oldfield area 185 

The Belfield area 185 

The Norfolk area and vicinity 185 

The Suflfblk area 186 

Western Virginia 187 

References 187 

III. Non-Mktalug Minerals 188 


Graphite 188 

(General character 188 

Occurrence 188 

Distribution and localities 188 

Uses 190 

References 190 


1. PTBITE 190 

Composition and properties 190 

Mode of occurrence 190 

Distribution and localities 191 

General geology of the Louisa and Prince William areas 191 

Character and structure of the rocks 191 

The ore 19$ 

General character and mode of occurrence 193 

Composition of the pyrite 19d 

Associated minerals 19d 

Genesis of the ore-bodies 197 

The Louisa and Prince William pyrite deposits 198 

Louisa county 19S 

Location 198 

Historical 198 

The Arminius mine 19^ 

The Smith mine 201 

The Sulphur mines •. 201 

Prince William county 202: 

The Cabin Branch mine 202: 

Methods of mining 204 

Milling 205 

Uses 206. 

Production 20«. 

References 207 

2. PTRRHOTITE . / 20a 

References 209* 



3. absenoptbits; misfigkel; ob absenioal ftbitbs 210 

Uses 211 

References 211 

All. HAIJDES 211 


The Mathieson Alkali Works 214 

References 215 


Uses 216 

References 215 


1. snjCA 216 

Quartz 216 

Chert 216 

Diatomaceous earth 216 

Origin and occurrence 217 

Distribution 218 

Uses 222 

References 223 


Corundum 223 

Emery 224 

Uses 224 

References 224 

3. OOHEB 226 

Definition and properties 225 

Distribution and localities 225 

Description of individual deposits 226 

Chesterfield county 226 

Loudoun county 227 

Page county 228 

Rockingham county 229 

Augusta coimty 229 

Rockbridge county 231 

Warren county 231 

Uses 231 

References 231 


6. BUTILE 232 

General properties and occurrence 232 

Distribution 232 

Milling process ^ 234 

Uses 234 

References 235 


6. mai7gane8e oxides 235 

Introduction 236 

General occurrence 236 

Kinds of ore 237 

The Ck)a8tal Plain region 238 

The Piedmont Plateau region 238 

Introduction 238 

Description of individual areas 239 

Amherst county 239 

Appomattox county 239 

Buckingham county 239 

Campbell county 239 

The Piedmont manganese mine 240 

Nelson coimty 242 

Pittsylvania county 243 

The Appalachian Mountain region 244 

Introduction 244 

Description of individual areas 244 

Page county 244 

Augusta county 246 

Rockingham county 250 

Botetourt county 251 

Frederick county 252 

Shenandoah county 252 

Rockbridge county 253 

Other Valley deposits 254 

Methods of mining 255 

Preparation of the ore 256 

Uses 256 

Production 257 

References 258 


Mineral waters 259 

Chemical analyses 261 

Production 267 

References 268 

Artesian waters 268 

Water horizons in eastern Virginia 269 

Potomac 269 

Pamunkey 270 

Chesapeake 270 

Wells in eastern Virginia 272 

References 275 





Composition and character 276 

Occurrence 276 

Distribution 276 

Uses 277 

References 277 

2. lacAS 278 

General character and composition 278 

Occurrence 278 

Distribution and description 279 

The Amelia county area 279 

Amelia court-house district 280 

General geology 280 

Mines 282 

The Jefferson mines 282 

The Rutherford mines 282 

The Berry mines 282 

The Pinchback mine 283 

The Jetersville district 283 

The Schlegal mine 283 

Uses 284 

Production 284 

References 286 

3. ASBESTOS 286 

General character and composition 286 

Occurrence 286 

Distribution 286 

Uses 287 

References 287 

4. GABIOCT 287 

Composition and properties 287 

Distribution 288 

Uses 289 

References 289 


Composition 289 

Occurrence and origin 290 

Distribution and localities 290 

Talc 290 

Soapstone 290 

Fluvanna and Buckingham counties 290 

Albemarle, Nelson, Campbell, Bedford, and Franklin counties.. 291 

Amelia county 291 

Louisa county 292 

Fairfax county 292 

oontbhis and s0hbic8 of olabbitioltion. xl 


QrtjKM county 292 

Carroll, Floyd, and Patrick oonntiM 293 

Henry county 2SS 

Albemarle- Nelson conntiea Boapatone belt SOS 

UiCB Z06 

Production S9fl 

References S06 

4. ruu^aa kaxtb 298 

Definition and propertiea 298 

Diatribution and localities 297 

Uaes 2K 

Referencea 897 

n. HiofiATEs ADD ronaBTATss 298 


2. BTPTUTB 298 


RefereacM 290 



Nelsonite (phoaphkta rock) 300 

Nelson county 800 

Roanoke county 301 

Pebble phoapliat« 302 


3. STBtnaiTE 303 

4. HONAZiiv 303 

Beferencee 303 

Tin. niSATEs 304 

I. niTEB; POTASSIUM lermiTK 304 

General propeitict and occurrence 304 

Distribution 304 

References 306 


1. KAKTK; heavy SPAS 306 

Composition and properties 306 

Hietorical 306 

Distribution 307 

General occurrencs 307 

The TriaBsic area 308 

The Piedmont Plateau area 809 

The Cam pbell-Pittay Ivan ia counties area 309 

Other prospects 314 

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The North River coal field 348 

Augusta county 348 

The North Mountain coal field 348 

Botetourt county 348 

The Montgomery-Pulaski counties field 349 

The Bland-Wythe counties field 352 

The Carboniferous ( Pennsylvanian ) coals 353 

Location and importance 353 

Geologic relations 363 

The age of the coal-bearing rocks 353 

Stratigraphy 354 

Structure 356 

Character of the coal 356 

The Pocahontas or Flat-top coal field 359 

Introductory statement 369 

Operations 359 

The coal 360 

Introduction 360 

Coals of the Pocahontas formation 362 

Coals of the Welch (Clarke and Quinnimont) formation 363 

Coals of the Dismal formation 364 

Coals of the Sequoyah and Tellowa formations 364 

The Big Stone Gap coal field 364 

Location and importance 364 

The coal 366 

Operations 367 

The eastern portion of the field 367 

Introduction 367 

The Edwards seam 368 

The Upper Banner seam 368 

The Lower Banner seam 368 

The Kennedy seam 369 

The Imboden ( ?) seam, so-called 369 

The Jawbone seam 369 

Coals in the vicinity of Big Stone Gap and the western 

portion of the field 370 

Introduction 370 

The Imboden seam 371 

Seam just beneath the Gladeville sandstone 372 

Coals of the Wise formation 372 

Methods of mining 373 

Production 375 

References 376 


References 379 

3. COKE 380 

Analyses of Virginia coke 381 






Distribution and localities 386 

Diamond 386 

Quartz (amethyst) 386 

Garnet 386 

Beryl 387 

Apatite 387 

Allanite 387 

Elyanite 388 

Fluorite 388 

Feldspar 380 

Microlite 380 

Columbite 300 

Helyite 300 

References 301 

8. SAITD 302 

Glass sand 303 

Molding sand 304 

Building sand 306 

Production 306 

3. XABLS 306 

Definition and properties 306 

Origin and occurrence 306 

Distribution and localities 307 

The Coastal Plain region 307 

Greensand marls 307 

Calcareous marls 308 

The Valley Region 300 

Uses 400 

References 400 


Production 401 

Past IV. Metaujc MnrEBALS qb obbs 402 

I. noir 402 

Historical 402 

Minerals and ores of iron 403 

Impurities of iron ore 406 

Origin of iron ore 407 

Classification of Virginia ores 407 

Oriskany ore 408 

Limestone limonite ores 410 

Blue Ridge limonite ore 414 

Fossil hematite 416 

Blue Ridge hematite 418 



^rite goAsan *^* 

Pyrrhotito goaaan and pjrrbotite *1* 

Piedmont iiiAgiietiU* *21 

Limutoue magnetite *** 

Titaniferous magnetite **2 

Qeologieal dietribution *^ 

Geographical distribution *^ 

Individual mines *** 

Counties west of tlie Blue Ridge <2» 

Frederick county **• 

CUrke county *» 

Warroi eonnty *W 

Shenandoah ooun^ *** 

Page county "' 

RockiDghain county *M 

Augusta county *** 

Rockbridge county *" 

Highland county *•« 

Bsth county *** 

AU^any county **8 

Botetourt county **2 

Craig county *** 

Roanoke county *** 

Montgomery county **' 

Giles county **t 

Pulaald county **8 

Wythe county 401 

Smyth coun^ **> 

Waahinglon county 481 

Bland county 488 

TaMwell county 46B 

Russell county 4M 

Scott county 4M 

Buchanan and Dlekeneon counties *M 

Wise county 463 

Lee county 466 

Piedmont counties 4M 

LoudouD coun^ 468 

Stafford county 468 

Spottsylvanla county 468 

Louisa county 469 

Alt)eniBrI« county 469 

Nelson county . .'. 469 

Buckingham county 470 

Mecklenburg county 4T0 

Amherst county 470 

Appomattox county 471 



Campbell county 471 

Bedford county 471 

Pittsylvania county 472 

Franklin county 474 

Patrick county 474 

Henry county 476 

Floyd county 475 

Carroll county 475 

Grayson county 476 

Coastal Plain counties 477 

List of iron mines in Virginia 477 

Methods of mining 479 

Ore dressing 486 

Uses 486 

Production 487 

References 488 

n. ooppElt 491 

General statement 491 

Distribution of the ores 492 

Geographic distribution 492 

Geologic distribution 492 

The Virgilina district 494 

Introductory statement 494 

General geology and petrography 494 

Kinds and occurrence of the ores 494 

The veins 495 

Description of the mines 496 

Historical 496 

Individual mines 496 

The Keysville area in Charlotte county 500 

The Buckingham county deposits 601 

The Albemarle county deposits 502 

Amherst county deposits 503 

The Blue Ridge copper deposits 503 

Location and history 503 

Geology 504 

Kinds and mode of occurrence of the ores 505 

Description of the mines 506 

Warren county 506 

The Bentonville-Overall district 507 

Rappahannock county 508 

Page county 509 

Madison county .' 509 

Greene county 510 

The southwest Virginia region 611 

The "gossan load" of Floyd, Carroll, and Grayson counties 511 

General statement 611 



General geology 611 

General character of the vein 612 

Description of mines 614 

Carroll county 614 

Grayson county 617 

Floyd county 617 

Franklin county 617 

The copper ores of the red beds of the Triassic 618 

Loudoun county 618 

Culpeper county 618 

Orange county 618 

References 610 

m. ZW AND LEAD 620 

Historical 620 

Distribution 620 

General geology 621 

The ores and associated minerals 623 

The lead ores 623 

Galenite 623 

Gerussite 623 

The zinc ores ^ 624 

Sphalerite 624 

Smithsonite 624 

Calamine 626 

"Buckf at" 626 

Associated ores 626 

Associated minerals 626 

Alteration of the lead and zinc ores 527 

Mode of occurrence 627 

The sulphide ores 627 

The oxidized ores 528 

Relation of the ores to geologic structure 529 

Origin of the ores 529 

Description of the mines 530 

The Great Valley region 530 

Roanoke and Botetourt counties 530 

Montgomery county 530 

Pulaski county 531 

Wythe county 531 

Smyth county 540 

Russell county 541 

The Piedmont region 542 

Albemarle coimty 542 

Methods of mining the ore 544 

Preparation and smelting of the ores 545 

The Bertha zinc smelting plant 546 

Spelter , 547 

References 547 



iv. gold and silver 549 

Historical 549 

Distribution 549 

General geology 551 

The country rocks 551 

The veins 551 

The gangue minerals 552 

Description of mines 553 

Fauquier county 553 

Stafford county 553 

Culpeper county 554 

Spottsylvania county 554 

Orange county 555 

Louisa county 557 

Fluvanna and Goochland counties 659 

Buckingham county 562 

Halifax county 563 

Montgomery and Floyd counties 564 

Production 564 

References 566 

V. TDX 567 

Mineralogical and chemical character 567 

Historical 568 

Occurrence 568 

Other localities 577 

References 577 


General statement 578 

The Floyd county area 580 

Reference 582 


Plate Faodto Paqb 

I. High and low wateb stages in Jahes biyeb at Richmond.... 4 

Fig. 1. — Flood stage in James river 4 

Fig. 2. — ^Low water stage in James river 4 

II. Granite quabries in the Petebsbubg and Richmond abbab .... 20 

Fig. 1. — Cook's granite quarry, north of Petersburg 20 

Fig. 2. — Granite quarry near Richmond 20 

III. Map of the Richmond granite abea showing location or 


IV. Granite quarries in the Richmond arba 24 

Fig. 1. — McGrowan quarry south of Richmond 24 

Fig. 2. — Granite quarry near Richmond, showing jointing 24 

V. Granite quarries in the Richmond arba 20 

Fig. 1. — Granite quarry near Richmond, showing joint structure 20 
Fig. 2. — McGowan quarry near Richmond, showing gneiss in- 
clusion 20 

VI. Granite and gneiss quarries 84 

Fig. 1. — ^McGowan quarry and dressing yard 84 

Fig. 2. — Gneiss quarry southeast limits of Lynchburg 84 

VIL Slate quarries, Arvonia, Buckingham county 42 

Fig. 1. — Slate quarry in the Arvonia area 42 

Fig. 2. — Slate quarry in the Arvonia area 42 

VIII. Slate quarries, Arvonia, Buckingham county 46 

Fig. 1. — Williams Slate Company's quarry, Arvonia 46 

Fig. 2. — Abandoned slate quarry, Arvonia 46 

IX. Slate quarries, Snowden, Amherst county 48 

Fig. 1. — Williams Brothers slate quarry, near Snowden 48 

Fig. 2.— Same as Fig. 1 48 

X. Crystalline schist and marble quarries 70 

Fig. I. — Quarry in crystalline schist, Faber, Nelson county 70 

Fig. 2. — Opening in marble, Grayson county 70 

XI. Map of the Greater Valley region or Virginia, showing dis- 
tribution OP Obdovician 01 

XII. Natural Bbidge, Rockbbidge county 94 

XIII. Anticlinal fold in Massanutten sandstone 102 

XIV. House Mountains and folded Massanutten sandstone 103 

Fig. 1. — House Mountains, Rockbridge county 103 

Fig. 2. — Fold in Massanutten sandstone 103 


Plate * FAcmo Pagb 

XV. OvurruHUST fault aih) liicestone decay 110 

Fig. 1. — Overthrust fault in Tuscarora sandstone, near Panther 

Gap 119 

Fig. 2. — Fields of residual decay near Natural Bridge 119 

XVI. Natural Bridge limestone 121 

Fig. 1. — Upper part Natural Bridge limestone weathering into 

chert bands 121 

Fig. 2.--Same as Fig. 1 121 

XVH. Lower Cambrian quabtzite and Sherwood formation 123 

Fig. 1. — Balcony Rock, composed of Lower Cambrian quartcite. 

Balcony Falls 123 

Fig. 2. — Cliff of Sherwood dolomite, near Sherwood, Natural 

Bridge station 123 

XVIII. BuENA Vista shales and Lewistown limestone 149 

Fig. 1. — Buena Vista, Virginia 149 

Fig. 2. — Quarry in Lewistown limestone, Longdale 149 

XIX. Anticlinal fold in Lbwistown limestone 152 

XX. Portlaivd cement plant, Fordwick, Augusta county 163 


Fig. 1. — Weathering of limestone, near Christiansburg 169 

Fig. 2.— Oldfield Brick Go's plant, Oldfield 169 

XXII. Kaolin pit and washing plant, Henrt county 170 

Fig. 1. — Kaolin pit near Oak Level, Henry county 170 

Fig. 2. — Kaolin washing plant near Oak Level, Henry county. . . 170 

XXIII. Map of the Virginia Coastal Plain, showing clay localities 174 

XXrV. The Powhatan Clay Manufacturing Co's plant, Clayville.. 178 

XXV Clay bank and brick yard on Appomattox river 183 

Fig. 1. — Heeler's brick yard at Broadway on the Appomattox 

river 183 

Fig. 2. — Heeler's clay bank at Broadway on the Appomattox 
river 183 

XXVI. Washington Hydraulic Press Brick Co's works, Virginia 186 

XXVII. Pybite mines in Virginia 200 

Fig. 1. — Arminius pyrite mines, near Mineral City 200 

Fig. 2. — Cabin Branch pyrite mine, near Dumfries 200 

XXVIII. Pybitb lenses, Louisa county 201 

Fig. 1. — Exposure of pyrite ore-body at the Sulphur mines, Louisa 

county 201 

Fig. 2.--Same as Fig. 1 201 

XXIX. Pyrite mines in Virginia 206 

Fig. 1. — Sulphur mines, near Mineral City 206 

Fig. 2. — Shaft and dump at Sulphur mines, near Mineral City.. 206 



Plate Faoih g Paqb 
XXX. Ptrrhotite mine, "Great Gossan Lead," Carboll ooumr 208 

XXXI. Map of workings, U. S. Arseihc Miiocs Co., Rewalo, Flotd 


XXXII. Arsenic and nickel mines, Floyd county 211 

Fig. 1. — ^Milling plant and mines, U. S. Arsenic Mines Ck)., near 

Terry's Fork 211 

Fig. 2. — Lick Fork nickel opening, near Hemlock, Floyd county 211 

XXXIII. Salt wells and Saltville 212 

Fig. 1.— Salt wells, Saltville 212 

Fig. 2. — Saltville, Washington county 212 

XXXIV. Mathieson Alkali Works and salt wells, Saltville 214 

Fig. 1.— Mathieson Alkali Works, Saltville 214 

Fig. 2.— Salt wells and valley at Saltville 214 

XXXV. Diatomaceous earth, Wilmont 221 

Fig. 1. — Diatomaceous earth overlain by Pleistocene clay at Wil- 
mont 221 

Fig. 2. — Bluffs of diatomaceous earth southeast of Wilmont 221 


Fig. 1. — Openings for rutile along Tye river, Roseland 234 

Fig. 2.— Same as Fig. 1 234 

CrIMORA manganese milling plant AND MINES, AUGUSTA COUNTY 246 

Fig. 1. — Crimora manganese milling plant, Crimora, Augusta 

county 246 

Fig. 2. — Crimora manganese mines, Crimora, Augusta county . . . 246 

Mineral springs in Virginia 259 

Fig. 1. — The New Homestead, Virginia Hot Springs, Bath county 259 
Fig. 2. — Buffalo Lithia Springs, Mecklenburg county 259 

XXXIX. Sections indicating water-bearing horizons in eastern Virginia 268 

XL. Map of eastern Virginia, showing distribution of underground 

waters 269 

XLI. Mica mine and dump, Amelia county 283 

Fig. 1. — Pinchback mica mine, near Amelia court-house 283 

Fig. 2. — Dump of scrap mica, near Amelia court-house 283 

XLII. Map showing location of soapstone quarries in Albemarle and 

Nelson counties 293 

XLIII. Soapstone quarries. Nelson county 294 

Fig. 1. — Soapstone quarry. Nelson county 294 

Fig. 2. — Soapstone quarry, Nelson county 294 

XLIV. Soapstone quarries. Nelson county 295 

Fig. 1. — Schuyler Soapstone Co's plant, Nelson county 295 

Fig. 2. — National Soapstone Co's quarry. Nelson county 295 

















Facivo Pagb 

soapstoxe quarkies dc auftmablk comt 296 

Fig. 1. — Alberene soapstone qumrry, Albemarle eoimty 296 

Fig. 2. — Alberene soa|>5tone qumrrj, Albemarle coimtj 296 

SoAPSTo?nc a:^) umestoxe quasbies nc Vmccoa 297 

Fig. 1. — A recently opened soapstone quarrr in Nelson county. . 297 
Fig. 2. — Limestone quarry of the Mathieaon Alkali Works, near 

Saltville " 297 

Barite mhtes, Prijtce Whjxam couxtt 308 

Fig. 1. — Barite mine near Catlett station 308 

Fig. 2. — Shaft at barite mine near Catlett station 308 

Barite aivd gypsum miites ix Virginia 314 

Fig. 1. — Bennett's barite mine, Pittsylvania county 314 

Fig. 2. — Gypsum opening, near salt plant, Saltville 314 

Barite mill at Bristol 324 

Barite mux. at Richla:«)s 326 

Gypsum mutes ai?d mill, Washi>'gton county 328 

Fig. 1. — Saltville valley at Plasterco, showing mined gypsum 

masses 328 

Fig. 2. — Buena Vista Plaster and Mining Go's plant, Plasterco.. 328 

Map of the salt and gypsum deposits in southwest Vxroinia. . 330 

Map of the Richmond coal basin 340 

Goal mines and breaker of the Virginia Anthracite Goal Gom- 

pany, near Ghristiansburo 361 

Generalized sections from differfnt p<MrnoNs of the Big Stone 

Gap coal field 355 

Geologic structuhe sections, southwestern and northern Vir- 
ginia 366 

Block of coal, Pocahontas coal field, Tazewell county 360 

Goal incline and tipple. Big Stone Gap coal field 364 

Fig. 1.— Clinchfield Coal Go's incline, Dante 364 

Fig. 2. — Granes Nest Goal and Goke Go's tipple, Tom's Greek... 364 

Seaboard Goal Go's tipple. Seaboard 368 

Goal mining plant, tippue, crusher, and coke ovens. Big Stone 

Gap coal field 371 

Fig. 1. — Stonega coal mining camp 871 

Fig. 2. — Coal tipple, crusher, and coke ovens, Stonega 371 

Goal tipple and coke ovens, Big Stone Gap coal field 380 

Fig. 1. — Gsaka No. 1 coal tipple 380 

Fig. 2. — Goke ovens, Osaka 380 















Fagiito Page 

Coke ovens. Bio Stone Gap goal field 382 

Fig. 1. — Coke ovens, Stonega. 382 

Fig. 2. — Coke ovens, Imboden 382 

Map of pabt of Viboinia, showing location of pbinoipal ibon 
mines, etc 429 

Ibon iones in the Blue Ridge region 436 

Fig. I. — Buena Vista iron mine 436 

Fig. 2. — Dixie iron mine 436 

Ibon obe outcbops and washeb, Blue Ridge beoion 443 

Fig. I. — Adams Peak looking southwest, etc 443 

Fig. 2. — The Gnibb iron mines washer 443 

Ibon (hematite) mines, Blue Ridge begion 445 

Fig. 1. — Wood iron mine 446 

Fig. 2. — Arcadia iron mine 445 

Ibon Gate gap and Obiskant ibon mine, Alleghany county .... 446 

Fig. 1. — Iron Gate gap of Jackson river through Rich Patch 

Mountain 446 

Fig. 2. Oriskany iron mine 446 

Mining bt milung, New Riveb-Cbippu: Cbeek ibon ore abea . . . 450 

Fig. 1. — Locust Hill iron mine 450 

Fig. 2. — Reed Island iron mine 450 

Hydraulic mining in New Rtvbb-Cbipple Cbeek ibon obe abea . . 455 

Fig. 1. — Hematite mine! 455 

Fig. 2. — Rich Hill iron mine 455 

Ibon mines, Pittsylvania county 473 

Fig. 1. — Shaft house of the Barr magnetic mine, near Pittsville 473 
Fig. 2. — Barr limonite mine, near Pittsville 473 

CoppEB ore, Virgilina district, Virginia-North Carolina 495 

Fig. 1. — Copper ore (chalcocite and bomite in quartz) Virgilina 

copper district 495 

Fig. 2.— Same as Fig. 1 495 

Map of the nobthebn Blue Ridge coppeb distbict, showing loca- 

CATioN of mines 503 


Fig. 1. — Shaft house, ore dump, and basalt cliffs, Madison county 509 
Fig. 2. — Shaft house, Virginia Consolidated Copper Co's mine, 
near Ida 509 

Blue Ridge and shaft of coppeb mine 510 

Fig. 1. — Blue Ridge from Virginia Consolidated Copper Co's mine, 

near Ida 510 

Fig. 2. — Shaft No. 3 High Hill copper mines, Halifax county. . . . 510 


LXXV. Ptbehoiite mhibb cxmvtainikg ooenx. '"(^cat Gobbak Iau)," 

Casboll cjormr 516 

Fig. 1. — Bhaft at Betty Baker mine, west nde of Toad 516 

Tig. 2. — Open cat at Betty Baker mine, CSairoll eonnty 516 

LXX VI. LnixsToia. wbathzbing. zinc lONEb. Wtthf cxjunty o2B 

Fig. 1, — ^Limestone "chinmeys'" at Bertha xinc mines 52fi 

Fig. 2. — Open cut shoiviog limestcnie **chiiiiiieyp" at Bertha sac 
mines 526 



Fig. 1. — ^\eatheTed limestone surfaee in open ent, Bertha zinc 
mine> 632 

Fig. 2. — A\eathered limestone surface. Anstinville zinc and lead 
mine?< S32 

LXXVIII. Zinc muxjnc. plant anp uicBflTONE **(»iinfEYs." Wtthe oouftt 536 

Fig. 1 . — Zinc milling plant at Atwtinvilte 536 

Fig. 2. — ^Weathering of limestone into pinnacled surface. *'chim- 
nevF" 536 

LXXIX. 2iN(^ auEXTiNCi plant and niKNACt, PniASKi frC7 

Fig. 1 . — Zinc smelting plant of Bertha Mineral Oo 547 

Fig. 2. — Dismantled ainc furnace 647 

LXXX. Map Oft principal ooid belt in Viboinia, showing nEfenxmunoN 

oi mines 563 

LXXXi. C«nu»-iiKAaiN<; qi;abt7 veins, Obange oouim 566 

Fig. 1. — (nitcrov of gold-hearing quartz vein on the former **ClaTk 

lYact" 556 

Fig. 2. — fiold-hearing quartz veins, s portion of **&noke-Hoiiee 
lifidgr" 665 

JJCXXIJ. ftou» ani» coppKit-maAaiNCi vKiNts ant> cmx., Okanqi: oditntv 666 

Fig. 1. — lOxpoAUTo of gold and copper-hearing veins. ** American 

Trurt" 566 

Vi^' • — (iciU\ and copper- hen ring quart.? ore 666 


r<»i NTI1«>^ 661 

Fig I --Hughp« gold niitUng pUni. near Fork Union. Fluvanna 

ri unity 661 

I' ir '.' opci) ml. 41 tov ff^t i^mith of the old Virginia Mining 

( ■(• «■ xiiiifi 661 


Figure Page 

1. Sketch map of Virginia showing physiographic provinces 2 

2. Diagrammatic section illustrating relationship between the Piedmont and 

Coastal Plain formations 3 

3. Generalized section of area covered by the Harper's Ferry folio 8 

4. Generalized section of area covered by the Staunton folio 9 

5. Generalized section of area covered by the Tazewell folio 11 

6. Generalized section of portion of area covered by the Bristol folio *. 13 

7. Map showing location of granite quarries in the Petersburg area 10 

8. Relations of blue to gray granite at the Netherwood quarry 22 

9. Map showing location of granite quarries in the Fredericksburg area 27 

10. Map of the Arvonia slate area, Buckingham county 43 

11. Map showing location of Snowden slate quarries, Amherst county 47 

12. Map of the Fauquier county slate area 49 

13. Structure section from the Blue Ridge to Little North Mountain 106 

14. Structure section across Massanutten Mountain syncline 106 

15. Structure section from Strasburg to 1 mile west of Strasburg Junction. .. 106 

16. Map of cement materials of northwestern Virginia 108 

17. Map of Valley of Virginia from Woodstock to Staunton Ill 

18. Structure section from the Blue Ridge to Little North Mountain, about 

latitude of Harrisonburg 112 

19. Structure section in the vicinity of Lexington 112 

20. Map of Valley of Virginia from Staunton to Natural Bridge 116 

21. Structure section south of Stokesville 120 

22. Structure section in the vicinity of Zack, and Little North Mountain 120 

23. Structure section from Holston Mountain west to Cumberland Mountain . . 125 

24. Structure section from Glade Spring to Saltville 125 

25. Map of cement materials of southwest Virginia 143 

26. Structure section from Bristol east to Holston Mountain 146 

27. Structure section from Powell Mountain to Cumberland Mountain 145 

28. Map of cement materials of New River district 147 

29. Sketch map of Virginia showing pyrite and pyrrhotite belts 192 

30. Plan of pyrite lenses in Louisa county 193 

31. Plan of pyrite lenses at Sulphur mines, Louisa county 194 

32. Plan of pyrite lens, showing pyrite stringers in the hanging- wall 195 

33. Plan of portion of pyrite lens in Cabin Branch pyrite mine 196 

34. Map showing location of pyrite mines in Louisa county 199 

35. Plan of pyrite lens on the 620-foot level, Arminius mine 200 

36. Map showing location of Cabin Branch pyrite mine 203 

37. Plan of part of pyrite lens at Cabin Branch pyrite mine 204 

38. Map showing location of rutile and nelsonite. Nelson county 233 

39. Section showing occurrence of manganese ore in residual clay 237 

40. Ground plan of manganese deposits, Crimora, Augusta county 247 

41. Sections through Crimora manganese deposits 247 

42. Map showing location of mica mines in Amelia county 281 

43. Section showing relations of nelsonite to the enclosing schists 301 

44. Sketch map of Virginia showing worked areas of barite 306 

45. Map showing location of barite mines in Piedmont Virginia 310 


Figure Paqb 

46. Columnar section at Bennett barite mine, near Toshes 312 

47. Section in Bennett barite mine, near Toshes 313 

48. Structure section at Saunders manganese and barite mines, near Evington, 

Campbell county 318 

49. Section showing occurrence of barite in limestone residual clay 321 

50. Map and sections of the Russell-Tazewell counties barite belt 323 

51. Section across the Holston and Saltville valleys 320 

52. Map of Virginia showing the coal areas 337 

53. Geologic section of Richmond coal basin 341 

54. Map showing location of principal coal mines in the Montgomery- Pulaski 

counties coal field 350 

55. Diagram showing panel system of coal mining 373 

56. Cross section of Alleghany Mountain anticlinal showing Oriskany ore, etc. 409 

57. Diagram illustrating the occurrence of "mountain ores'' in the New River- 

Cripple Creek area 411 

58. Diagram illustrating the relations of the New River-Cripple Creek limonite 

to the lower beds of the Shenandoah limestone 412 

59. Diagram illustrating occurrence of limestone limonite in southwest Vir- 

ginia 413 

60. Section showing the occurrence of Blue Ridge limonite ore 415 

61. Diagrammatic cross section of the "'Great Gossan Lead" 420 

62. Generalized columnar section of Paleozoic strata showing distribution of 

iron ores 424 

63. Generalized section across the Valley and Alleghany Mountains in Virginia 

showing position of iron ore, etc 426 

64. Sketch map of Virginia showing the principal iron ore areas 427 

65. Profile of part of the Blue Ridge at the Dixie iron mine 437 

66. Section showing the geologic relations of the iron ore in the Holston mine 462 

67. Geologic structure section across Poor Valley Ridge, etc 465 

68. Diagram of the Ewing iron mine 467 

69. Section in the Barr magnetite mine 473 

70. Diagram illustrating milling of iron ore from face of slope 480 

71. Diagram illustrating milling of iron ore (first stage) 481 

72. Diagram illustrating milling of iron ore (later stage) 481 

73. Section showing geologic relations of Oriskany ore and method of working 

deep-lying ore 483 

74. Diagram illustrating method of mining in steeply dipping beds, etc 484 

75. Diagram illustrating method of mining in flat- lying beds, etc 485 

76. Map of Virginia showing distribution of copper areas 493 

77. Diagram illustrating vein structure in the Virgilina copper district 495 

78. Diagram of High Hill vein at shaft No. 4 496 

79. Map of the Virgilina copper district, showing location of principal mines 497 

80. Concentrating system at the Durgy mine, Virgilina copper district 499 

81. Brecciated epidotized basalt with ore and quartz, Stony Man peak 504 

82. Part of basalt shell filled with epidote and rimmed with ore, Warren 

county 505 

83. Quartz with native copper, Fletcher, Greene county 506 


Figure Page 

84. Asbestiform serpentine with native copper, Ida, Page county 506 

85. Profile of "Gossan Lead," Carroll county, from Betty Baker mine to the 

Kirkbride mine 512 

86. Pyrrhotite interleaved with talc. Chestnut Yard, Carroll county 513 

87. Pyrrhotite with columnar hornblende. Chestnut Yard, Carroll county 513 

88. Map of Carroll county pyrrhotite area, showing location of mines 515 

89. Map showing distribution of lead and zinc ores, Virginia and Tennessee. . 521 

90. Section of the Bertha zinc mines, showing geologic relations of the ore and 

rocks 533 

91. Section at the Bertha zinc mines, showing the mode of occurrence of the 

ore and the method of mining 534 

02. Section at the Austinville lead and zinc mines, showing geologic relations 

of the ore and rocks 535 

93. Sketch map of the Austinville lead and zinc mines, Wythe county. ...... 537 

94. Limestone breccia zinc ore from Cedar Springs, Wythe county 538 

95. Limestone breccia zinc ore from Cedar Springs, Wythe county 539 

96. Zinc-lead ore from Sugar Grove, Smyth county 640 

97. Zinc-lead ore from the Albemarle zinc and lead mines, near Faber 542 

98. Map of Virginia showing the principal gold ore areas 550 

99. Map showing location of nickel and arsenic mines, Floyd county 579 

100. Groimd plan showing location of nickel openings, near Hemlock, Floyd 

county 580 

101. Section showing structural relations of the rocks at the nickel mine in 

Floyd county 581 



This volume, Mineral Resources of Virginia, authorized by the (Jovernor 
of Virginia and the Virginia Jamestown Exposition Commission, has 
been published in order to direct attention to the economic value, location, 
and commercial possibilities of Virginia's varied mineral wealth. The 
evidence here presented shows that the State is well supplied with a great 
variety of mineral resources, many of which are being rapidly developed. 
There is probably no state in the Union of the same area as Virginia that 
can show a greater diversity in geologic resources. This most important 
fact taken in connection with the mildness of the climate, which permits 
of a long season of outdoor work, and the cheapness of labor, are conducive 
to a very extensive mining industry. The total value of production of the 
mineral resources of Virginia for the year 1906 has been estimated at 

At the July (1906) meeting of the Virginia Jamestown Exposition 
Commission, it was agreed that a handbook illustrative of the vast mineral 
resources of Virginia was a necessity. The writer was accordingly authorized 
to prepare a handbook setting forth, as completely as our present knowledge 
permitted, the vast and varied mineral resources of the State. He was 
further authorized to devote several months in the field to a studv of the 
mineral resources in those portions of the State where information was 
most needed for the purpose of collecting the necessary data for this 
volume. The work has proved far more exacting than was at first con- 
templated, in that the widely scattered literature on the geology of Virginia 
liad to be overhauled in the preparation of the volume. 

The principal sources of information, forming the basis of this volume, 
are "A Reprint of the Geology of the Virginias," by Professor William 
Barton Rogers, State Geologist of Virginia from 1835 to 1841, inclusive; 
'The Virginias," a monthly journal edited by Major Jed Hotchkiss from 
1880 to 1885, inclusive (six volumes) ; the numerous excellent publications 
of the United States Geological Survey; and the published and unpub- 
lished reports of the recent Geological Survey of Virginia conducted jointly 
for two years by the Board of Visitors of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute 
and the State Board of Agriculture. In addition to the above publications 
mnch valuable information has been obtained from general treatises on 
special geologic subjects, such as from Merrill's "Non-Metallic Minerals," 


careful field study of the areas by the authors, made possible by the recent 
(Geological Survey of Virginia in cooperation with the United States 
Geological Survey, especially in the study of the Cement and Cement 
Materials by Doctor Bassler, and of the Iron Ores by Professor Holden. 
The contribution on Clays by Professor Eies was extracted by him from 
his report on the Virginia Clays published as Bulletin No. II of the 
Geological Survey of Virginia. 

The general interest manifested in the work by many people in the 
State, especially the mine and quarry operators, and by many residing 
outside of the State but who have mining interests in Virginia, aided 
greatly in the preparation of this volume. To all of these the writer is 
under deep obligation for many courtesies extended. Acknowledgments are 
also due to Messrs. Joel H. Watkins and Henry F. Day, former students 
in geology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, for valuable services 
rendered. Mr. Watkins prepared the line drawings and maps illustrating 
this volume. Mr. Day assisted the writer in the field during a part of the 
summer of 1906. 

To Governor Claude A. Swanson and the members of the Virginia 
JamestowB Exposition Commission, especially Hon. W. W. Baker of 
Chesterfield county, who made this work possible and have rendered every 
assistance during its preparation, the writer makes most grateful acknowl- 

With a full realization of the deficiencies in this volume, it is published 
with the hope that it will supply a widespread and increasing demand 
among our people and among others for information on the mineral resources 
of Virginia. 

Thomas Leonard Watson. 

University of Vtr^inta, Charlottesville, 
September SO, 1907, 




The State of Vir^nia is situated on the Atlantic slope of the Appalachiair 
Mountains, halfway between Maine and Florida. It is included between 
the parallels 36° 31' and 39° 27' north latitude, and between the meridians 
75° 13' and 83° 37' west longitude, and extending from the sea-coast west- 
ward beyond the Great Valley to the Alleghany Front. The extreme 
length of the State from the Atlantic border to Kentucky is 476 miles, and 
greatest width from north to south is 192 miles; its area is 42,450 square 
miles. Of this area 2,325 square miles are covered with water, giving 
40,125 square miles of land surface. Its principal inland waters are the 
Chesapeake and Mobjack bays, Hampton Roads, and Lake Drummond. 
Except in the eastern section no navigable streams traverse the State, and 
transpori;ation is necessarily limited to railways. 


Considered with reference to its surface features — physiography — Vir- 
ginia is divided into three major provinces: (1) An eastern plain region 
usually designated the Coastal Plain or Tidewater region; (2) a central or 
plateau region, designated the Piedmont Plateau; and (3) a western or 
mountain region, designated the Appalachian Mountain province. The 
boundaries of these provinces are indicated on the map, forming figure 1. 

As is indicated on map, figure 1, the western or Mountain province i<i 
divided into three well-marked physiographic belts, which extend the entire 
length of the province in the State from northeast to southwest. These 
are, named in order from east to west, (a) the Bluo Ridge, (b) the Great 
Valley or Valley of Virginia, and (c) the Alleghany Ridges, known alsa 
as the Alleghany Mountains. 

The three larger well-defined topographic provinces of the State 
dijfifer markedly in the nature and origin of surface features, and in the 
age and kinds of rock. They are intimately related to the geologic 


stnicttire and heoce have an important bearing apon the mineral reeonrces 
of the State. These are therefore considered in order below. 

The Virginia Coastal Plain province, the moat easterly of the three 
larger physiographic provinces and comprising approximately one-fourUi 
of the total area of the State> is separated from the higher-lying Piedmont 
Plateau province on the west and the deep Atlantic Ocean basin on the east. 
The boundary of the Coastal Plain to the eastward is marked by the steep 
slope of the continental shelf which lies from 30 to 50 miles east of the 
present shore line. The western limit of the Coastal Plain is defined by 
the belt of metamorphic crystalline rocks known as the Piedmont Plateau 
province. Figure 2 shows ilie relations of the Coastal Plain :<cdim(?ntB 
along its western margin to the Piedmont crystalline rocks. The Virginia 

Fig. 2. — Diagraminatic section illustrating the relatioaahip between the Pied- 
mont Plateau and the Coastal Plain. A. Crystalline rocks of the Piedmont 
Plateau. I, II, III, IV, and V. Coastal Plain formations. 

Coastal Plain region is more than 100 miles wide and includes approxi- 
mately 9,500 square miles of territory or about one-fourth the area of the 

Because of marked geologic differences in the two provinces, most of 
the largest streams and many of the smaller ones, are characterized by 
fall" or vjpids where they itoss the western margin of the Coastal Plain, 
and they always show a marked decrease in the velocity of their currents 
from this point eastward. For this reason, the name "fall-line" has been 
given to this boundary, the position of which is marked on the accompany- 
ing map, figure 1. The position of the "fall-line," near the head of 
navigation and the source of water-power, has been an important factor in 
determining the location of many of the towns and cities of the Atlantic 
Coast. In Virginia, the "fall-line" passes near to or through the following 
important cities or towns : Washington, D. C. Fredericksburg, Richmond, 
Petersburg, and Fmporia. As indicated on the map, figure 1, the line 


drawn through these places approxiinatelT separates the Coastal Plain from 
the Piedmont Plateau. Outliers of the Coastal Plain are frequent along 
the eastern margin of the Piedmont proTince. and the older cr]rstalline 
rocks of the Piedmont can be followed al<xig the Talleys of the larger 
streams for some distance into the Coastal Plain sedimcntSy where the 
mantle of the latter has been cut through. 

The Coastal Plain region, characterized by broad, level-topped stretches 
of country of low relief, gradually declines in slope from tfie Piedmont 
Plateau border to the shore line. In the vicinity of Washington d.evations 
of over 400 feet are reached. Southward the western margin gradually 
declines in altitude to less than 200 feet in the southern portion of the 
State. BecauA? of these differences in elevation the topogra|^y is more 
diversified in the northern than in the southern portion of die State. 
Passing from these elevations along the '^all-line'' or western margin, the 
Coastal Plain declines in slope eastward to searlevel elevations along the 
Coastal border. Probably the average elevation of the Virginia Coastal 
Plain is but slightly more than 100 feet above tide. 

According to Professors Clark and Hi Her. the formations comprising 
the Virginia Coastal Plain are given in the followinjr table: 

Formations of Virymia Coaatal 
CKifZOlC : 


^ Talbot. ) 
Pteitttociiae ^ Wicomico, - Columbia group. 

^ SumKirUndt ) 

Pi;«^«^ ' Lafayette. 


Yorittown, I 
Calvert, J 

E^^ntj \Aquia!"*'^ ^ Pamunkey groups 



Lower r«taceoii2» Patapeco* 1 

J I1PAHM.C *' 

Lpp«r Jura««c? X Pwu.Wt. J 

The deposits of the "ou^jcdj Plain consist ciiiedy of unconsolidated 
beds of sand, sfravel, clav. and marl, which tnav be locally isdozsted hr 
a •-•fmenc either ">f iron oxida or carbonate of lime. These indurated 


'iew from RichmoDil-Manchmter bridge lonkinf; doim the JaiuM 
n IIoih]. Urinite boulilerg anil reeb nol entirel; coTered hj tlie high 

Fig. 2.— View from R{chi 
during low wit 
■picoously ihowi 



ledges in the vicinity of Acquia creek and, in places, southward along the 
western margin representing the oldest formation of the Coastal Plain 
series, have afforded sandstone suitable for building purposes. The beds 
strike in general from north to south, although some variation occurs, 
with a low but variable easterly dip. Although not actually horizontal, 
except locally, the beds generally appear so in any given section, because 
of this relatively low dip. Figure 2 is a diagramniatic section, which illus- 
trates the relations of the Coastal Plain beds to each other. In age the 
Ooastal Plain beds range from Lower Cretaceous to Quaternary. 

The broad and deep estuary of the Chesapeake Bay, which crosses the 
Coastal Plain region, finds an outlet seaward between the Capes Charles 
and Henry. This sheet of water affords unparalleled transportation 
facilities, and its principal tributaries, the Potomac, Rappahannock, York, 
and James rivers, give access to vessels as far westward as the Piedmont 
border— the "fall-line." 


The Piedmont Plateau province lies between the Coastal Plain and the 
Appalachian Mountains. It extends from the eastern slope of the Blue 
Ridge eastward to the western margin of the Coastal Plain, and it widens 
southward (map, figure 1). Its width increases from about 40 miles 
in the northern portion along the Potomac river to nearly 175 miles along 
the Virginia-Carolina boundary. The nearly horizontal and unconsoli- 
dated sediments of the Coastal Plain lie across the bevelled edges of the 
highly crumpled crystalline rocks of the Piedmont, presenting such marked 
stratigraphic and lithologic contrast that the geologic boundary between 
the two provinces is sharply defined (figure 2). The transition on the 
west is less sudden and well-marked. 

The Piedmont province contains a greater variety of mineral resources 
than that of either of the other two provinces. In general, the surface 
of the plateau has a gentle southeastward slope from an average altitude 
of 1,000 feet along the western margin to from 200 to 400 feet on the 
east, where the plateau rocks pass beneath the Coastal Plain sediments. 
The western border of the region is an irregular one, marking the change 
to the steeper slopes of the Blue Ridge and its outliers. The topography 
of the plateau is much older and more varied, and its geology more 
complex than of the Coastal Plain. Its topography is of a more or less 
smooth, broadly rolling or undulating upland, of moderate elevation into 
which the streams have rather deeply sunk their channels. Scattering 
hills and ridges — unreduced residuals — rise in some cases several hundred 

MiKZKiLL ££boi:k:s Of 

fem ahoipe ^le genermi le^ of ibe ixdimhc szrfiff of mt PisiBUL. Below 
ife uplind serf mre, deep sue narrciv ?*^^^^?^ ^^ci^ nes. la^iuI bj i3be 

The drainas^ of ihr Tenon is ir liit 
ud tiie sugar 5T?e«in< irtiich ira T grsp tjk Pi 
bumoek. .lam^s. and B<>anok^ Tiv-;r 
wxiboiQi the aT«u and. iriir liw ^jR^eiciiK o: 
their Twe w^js; o: Uie Brot Ridst. ' 
ana and lie henreai the mi^ rrT-r; 
drreethr into ihf Oh^saMtt:^ Ba^. 

ar Ifsss deifr nx^v ott<^*s. and lanie ramc pcTsn^ a!^ iar aE ihe 
Ws'dcr of ^te IVdmonr Fiart-an, wh^^^ iheT aeamaet or ti> ^he Coastal 

a irene^^ ^itsorii^rK^. o' *^ j^?*V'>£-r a: ir?^ ithv:- Tise tocss com- 

Hflis^xQC ihe ^"cor art: ;h(r a-s>es: -r iS :^»ise sad. toawcH g ihe areas of 
Ni?wari J^ura-Trtas^ rwSKk ihe;- i.> al .r-.-s^alhiK. TS^ KHCiinse both 
4«dixB«tiZKr^ arc i^rt^tNUis nia:^:^^ 5c c•v»I^* ah:*?*?!: fruHL msaniorxihiT^iu 
AirfT mrvuurh r^?vi!5si:n" and ^^-^-sraLrrtar-i-^iL !»: ^ajairr of ^hem bear 
hat sihcht -r^semjUanvV ro Tht- ->^\c^r^ r;asft«e*> T^^ iR-*^ aLiau LT)i ta gni has 
UKhxc^. •^iH>\r.^s^ *.>:';*TN\r :: -S^ ^xsfc> ^^ ar-aarrr^ ibf mnieral con- 
>riTm*nTs altUii: -k>nn'^» ^^i* ^^^^ -.** "r»t^- '^^ -r-a^t^v i>- fnl»tw«i of which. 
It m5U»^ vtfcfe'v. h«?tiTs :*r*k tv re ^*-ai:N>r * '"^^ T-irJB^ bpodmc planes 
us niar> (V :,v ^5*\liTtK*r."5*"^ Tn*ss^«s 

T*hi^ TUr;*ai. "^yv^r ^ nvauV t:r x' :i .Mc:r*'. • •' -^•h^^rs. g ngia e ^^ and 
yranm*?^ %i:h. :v :v^:«^»k *r^*a^ >\^ 5^*?!:\ c^s*"^'*- arc ':a i ! * <m iie- Tlii? 

mjj;. A^ f»^ *N ihi^x Siin- N\'c: ^*ij»*W,. %* -S -^^a».>is; v ^^:n*_ and saWiroic 
rvt^'*^ To {Hi^ .»^>t. .>.:* "IV*". . r 'N \-"*»»?r:-- -^a.'^cT'v'Tt TWFTrrsr. of the 

nV^iUv r> aj; .•j*>\i .* ';*'.>v >^*\>fc'^'. ^X*<^9- -^t?;??*?"-^;. — WtLr^T* €Kiendb 

iVv^ th«* i-^tecfr 'f. Tvv ^.»'-r. >»j' -^ ^^v >;.•,• S'^r: **i^'^v::^^ «f "dit- P>pd- 
ltt«^li hTi* JlTtiHN o N.^xas -N -*;-■><■ *.^^*i3fev 0;.s.. . -;»•!•. rSs*:?ips;\ 

ami, »>i '«u*ii>*- .» *. i ^'i-iv v *. ^ ^ *• XN^ 

>»aTHiK %iI!mi' '-hiV^ h-.', " *► \ V oi >-^f->«'r :*f »ad '*•"' and. in 

»>• *. »• 


cases, steeper, sometimes almost or quite vertical. In general they strike 
approximately northeast and southwest. Variations, however, in both dip 
and strike are frequent over the region. 

The age relations of the rocks of the region are largely unknown. 
Excepting the areas of Newark rocks, the crystalline rocks were regarded 
as Archean by the older geologists, and they were so mapped by Professor 
Rogers. More recent studies, however, based in part on fossil evidence, 
reveal the fact that a part of them are as late as Ordovician in age. 


The Appalachian Mountain province embraces the western portion of 
the State. Its eastern boundary, the southeastern slope of the Blue Ridge, 
forms in places not a gradual transition but an abrupt change from plateau 
to mountain conditions, and is reasonably well-defined. In other places 
the change is not so abrupt and the boundary is less well-defined. The 
western limits of the province are artificially drawn in the western boundary 
of the State. This province, like the Piedmont Plateau and Coastal Plain, 
extends northeast and southwest far beyond the limits of Virginia. 

The topography of the Appalachian province is varied and picturesque, 
and on the basis of topographic types represented, three subdivisions of 
the province are recognized which, named from east to west, are: (1) 
The Blue Ridge; (2) the Great Valley; and (3) the Alleghany Ridges. 
The limits of these subdivisions are indicated on map, figure 1. 

The Blue Ridge, which forms the eastern boundary of the Appalachian 
province, maintains an uneven and knobby crest entirely across the State, 
in a northeast-southwest direction, and has an average elevation of not 
less than 2,000 feet above tide-level. At Harper's Ferry the altitude of 
the Blue Ridge above tide is less than 1,000 feet, but southward through 
Virginia the ridge becomes higher and broader, and opposite Luray, Stony 
Man, and Hawks Bill, 4,031 and 4,066 feet respectively, are the highest 
summits of the Blue Ridge north of North Carolina. Plate LXV, figure 1, 
and plate LXXIV, figure 1, indicate the uneven, knobby crestline of the 
Blue Ridge at different points in Virginia. 

The Blue Ridge is composed largely of pre-Cambrian rocks, represented 
in part, at least, by various igneous types, but sandstones and shales of 
Cambrian age are exposed along the western slope. It is a natural 
dividing line between the Paleozoic sediments comprising sandstones, 
limestones, and shales on the west, and the pre-Paleozoic and other rocks 
on the east. Figure 3, adopted from the Harper's Ferry folio of the 

* - •& 

«.- t .. 


J* : 

. ■ ■ ^1 i1»^fc— ■ -> 



f m m m 


r • 

^ In 

r ,l¥- 

f > - 

r — •• ^- 

-^ ; . ^ •JT'. • 





.1/^ ... f^^^ii^nKri.ikt^kt^ Mcr^tq: 

t UPS. cwno. :ir za- Jticxfe- 

X ^ 

,^:.^ ,^.t#v-.*it; r. ^•'.♦rtii-fr; ^'nrnnii jon ^^Tut^m Iir^^iiKi. nE^inaim: 

.'*/*-U**: ^ !**• ifvo- ii^4^- 



The James and Roanoke rivere flow eastward through the Blue Btdge 
from the All^hany Ridges, while the New river heads east of the Blue 
Ridge in North Carolina and flows northwest in Virginia across the Blue 
Ridge, the Alleghany Ridges, and the Alleghany Front, into the Ohio. 

The two most westerly sub-provinces, the Valley and the Alleghany 
Ridges, bounded by the two principal ranges, the Blue Ridge and the 


Allegfaany Front, on the southeast and northwest, respectively, are here 
treated together under the Greater Valley region. These two bounding 
nearly parallel ranges are separated in Virginia by a distance varying 
from 75 to more than 100 miles. Considered broadly, the Greater Valley 
region is composed of narrow valleys and linear ridges arranged in more 
or less complex relations. Some of the ridges, rising to considerable 
elevations, are narrow, of even crestlines, and of great length. Others 
are less persistent and have less regular crests, while others still, which 
make up the minor irregularities of the surface, sudi as, the hills, knobs, 
and lower ridges, are of lower elevations. 

At Harper^s Ferry on the Potomac the Valley proper is less than 300 
feet above tide, but it gradually rises southwestward until it reaches the 
height of 1,700 feet in southwest Virginia. It will average from 20 to 
30 miles wide and is higher along the western side next to the Alleghany 
Ridges than on the eastern side. The Alleghany Bidges vary in average 
elevation from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above tide. Many of the ridges exceed 
3,000 feet in height, and Elliots Knob, 20 miles west of Staunton, has 
an elevation of 4,473 feet. 

Ordinarily the ridges are imsynmietrical, one slope being much steeper 
than the other. In some cases the two slopes are more nearly equal and, 
in cross-section, the ridge approaches that of symmetry. 

The Greater Valley region is composed throughout of Paleozoic sedi- 
ments, which range in age from Cambrian to Carboniferous. The prin- 
cipal rock-types include limestone, shale, and sandstone. Four generalized 
sections, adopted from the Geologic folios of the U. S. etiological Survey, 
in the northern, central, and southwestern portions of the Greater Valley 
region, are shown in figures 3, 4, 5, and 6. These include formation name, 
columnar section, thickness in feet, character of rocks, and character of 
topography and soil. The principal formations of the Greater Valley 
region or western Virginia, especially those of the Cambrian and Ordovician 
systems, are described in some detail by Dr. Bassler under Cement and 
(cnient Materials on pages 86-167. to which the reader is referred. The 
distribution of the formations over the Greater Valley region are shown 
oil the accompanying color geologic map, and in part on the section maps, 
flguroK K), 17, 20, 25, and 28, and on plate XVII. 

The simple horizontal arrangement of alternating hard and soft beds 
of the Greater Valley region which prevailed at the time of deposition, 
have l)een greatly complicated by folding and faulting. The present 
nttiiiKi<* of the beds indicates that in general they have been arched into 



: f:^a« 

f*x-T:^x xx^TLTT^'i f>r tbr rxi3 T^ ':r^ ?^!^«^7 s^^— Tb? saher or JesB 
:: Tvvk? .li^ s::a1'* tzji -i3ia?C3iif irir? jr-^^gr^c jDore npidlT by 
air iSc 'nirSri: izd 2^rc^ ret^csGar: rxss Jik» sKZr^staDs, benee the 
fnr=>*r rx-k? jlt^ :r i^Ks^ril rtll^-^-siaizax VriW ib* Lmer ire ridge- 

w^r±^ r: ▼::.:>. Str^iiji nr tb: ^'"^■^r-T»*g^ zl r^ rrcassMB Mac the angle 
iC iiT- As 4 :^e<..ilT .-^f :bf rtfoiiix ^r*:^ grbfs la&i trcsiiis of the beds 

jc tie iSrwirsr Vil>T rv^tJ-^c^ 


As ::2>rj.'*T;^£ :r :^sf revv-i: <r*c :f :**f ->«*3fir TaZsiST renm of 
T^£^2LaL ^fZTXz ,* -^rrtir',^< -T "i^ ^2*:r:L '-^*--*-'^ ^^ ^^ ^ei"--?tt an? shown. 

rr^ 4:r«*. 5a.v,.:':"ii>*icerT ir^^Kv Iz. -Jjai^: rif "^isse ^be geologic 

^ £:.5-?< :.' :5cc&f ;rx:^-t* itc "ir^ >r-i>,nrr i> TCTcrassiTeiT more 

.•vcTUfx scc^irv^srwxri TV rii^^rsoosi Ji -rnfsif -ai^* tr^as- ar^ diacassed 

■ rv?' X lie x^fT :%\* >7 :^ws«cc ."if r:^^sc ~:i:<^ j;:i*£ i ^MfrLr rasg faults. 
Scz«£7 -v TSf '>fK*,^ir <iv^s :2:jb: x :s^ irxr'*r«*i ~jr i i»rr±iM5C-^s>aihwest 
izrivo,*tt :;» rvM in^^ :^*jLr 3^iv«r -rf^xrr '^x'^s i3£ :; a xxiL>:r ^f siinor 
«!!«:^ rSf -rrj^v^ ^xTss^ i>,. -rdiJirvv :2 ^r-V- "^Jm. i«gc tr WW?:: (1) 
TSf H.^ofC^'e i:r>,: 1r*,^ V,\::r x ^ '>^— . : :2\; '5't^«r X:<rT,a~^ famt; 

V* '^t'^ ; >' v>; V» 1 vrr \ i S^- **:!". i:^: ^ r^* Y^xt VjlI^^ faultSw 

rS* v:rix,i^ '-,»>4.x-irs ,-. .\ ^a.<^ .-. r>i: ;--^!f«rv«r Ttll*;^ r^sion in 
Yr;^,:t^ii jL'v vV*^ ^ N.-%v *-\ -%.v-. vcr^s ci too^> l •y^ Hi. I:?;\ 1:^5, and 

t^^ ^ :V rv^\^ %*:^ ,v: :\ >»iv a^v:;;^, XTjL* la aroiua* r^itD<?c lo the 
^I^^Kt^t^ .^:f ; V >X-^x 

lll^ <iHWyw>w»i:FXv xsrw »r«4./ivn'-it ,. i .i.^xi >ur'^"«> ▼•nta i!X3M9ed for 


Vig. 6. — Generalized fiection for the portion of the area south of Clinch 
Mountain covered by the Bristol folio, U. S. Owl. Survey. (After M. R. 


a guflScient length of time are attacked and gradually lowered in elevation, 
not equally but unequally, some areas more rapidly than others and some 
parts of the same area more rapidly than other parts. All conditions being 
equal, that area which has been continuously above water for the longest 
time has suffered the greatest effects from the atmospheric agents. 

Accordingly an examination of the surface rocks over all parts of 
Virginia shows some effects from atmospheric action. Of the three major 
provinces of the State described above, the Coastal Plain, on account of 
its very recent geologic history, has suffered the least. The remaining 
two provinces, on the other hand, Piedmont Plateau and Appalachian 
mountains, bear striking evidence over all their parts of profound decay 
and erosion, which have resulted in the removal of vast quantities of rock 
material. Just how much of their surface has been lowered or what 
vertical thickness of material has been removed from these land areas and 
carried seaward, would probably be very difficult to say, but that it has 
been large cannot be doubted. Because of its greater geologic age and 
the vast length of time it has been a land area, the Piedmont Plateau has 
probably suffered the removal of the greatest thickness of material, which 
contributed in part to the building of the Appalachian province on the 
northwest, and to the Coastal Plain on the southeast. 

Through this process of degeneration — weathering — which has been 
going on for many thousands of years, a mantle of varying thickness of 
decayed rock material overlies the still fresh or sound rock, except where 
the erosive action has not been too excessive and the slopes too steep for 
its accumulation. This decayed product is loose and porous or incoherent, 
consisting usually of clay, sand, and gravel, and on the iminediate surface 
forms soil. On depth it passes by imperceptible gradation into the hard 
and fresh unaltered rock. The thickness of this mantle of rock decay in 
Virginia varies from a few inches to 50, 60, and, in extreme cases, 100 
feet. Over many parts of the State, so profound ' is this decay, that 
exposures of the hard rock are rare except along the stream courses where 
the mantle has been cut through by erosion. 

This process of rock decay is of very great economic importance. 
Apart from the consideration of the great variety of soils resulting there- 
from, which forms perhaps Virginia's most valuable asset, workable ore- 
deposits have been formed by it from sparsely disseminated and non- 
workable mineral matter in the original rocks. This is best illustrated 
in the manganese deposits, in a part of the iron and zinc deposits, and in 
other ore-deposits described in the following pages of this volume. 



There is probably no state in the Union of the same area as Virginia, 
that can show a greater diversity in geologic resources. This is confirmed 
by the actual exploitation thus far made; and it might be naturally 
inferred from the position which the State occupies with reference to 
disturbed and undisturbed areas as described above. As indicated above 
and from an examination of the geologic map, the State stretches 
from the Atlantic Coast westward nearly entirely across the Appalachian 
Mountain System. Within this area are found rocks ranging in geologic age 
from pre-Cambrian to Recent, and representing all the principal divisions of 
geologic time. Equally as great a variety of rock-types, both sedimentaiy 
and igneous, of structure which characterizes both profoundly disturbed 
and undisturbed rock masses, and of topography, is shown. 


The total yearly value of production in mineral resources of Virginia 
for 1902 to 1906, inclusive, has been estimated as follows: 

Year Value 

1902 $10,600,000 

1903 12,633,000 

1904 12,606,000 

1906 21,762,000 

1906 30,000,000 

The above figures have been compiled from the most authoritative 
sources, but they must be regarded only as approximate. They probably 
represent under- rather than over-estimates of the true total value of 
Virginians mineral production. The figures of production for 1906 are 
based on those of 1905, and when the exact value of the mineral production 
for 1906 becomes available it may show some variation in either direction 
from the estimated value given above. A very striking feature in th(^ 
above compilation is the enormous increase in the value of mineral pro- 
duction for the years 1905 and 1906 over the preceding years. In 1905 
the production nearly doubled that of 1904, and for 1906 a marked increase 
is shown over that for 1905. 

saiL^nHn .^NQ ixfMM:Bsr:2£. 


3iAENT JtSU ZSaaiESm ^A/r^=™nu-^^ 

«« mm 


.1 :ie "^tacEL. an o^ cm:r i -^jn» TZTrmcfe ttiasisaasLr jthttUl 

.tut .7i\-rr jQiidrnz 3. "wisunnTia. _ .r::- trrfcT \jiu ; - jammauf • c -as- 

Tat I " *f''TIt=^ 

■^ i'lc-ffin^- 

7. it^ 

\ rrrtiu "^TfH 





.1 .cmiuu 



i: : i«> 

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< -m^^a» 


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. *...,;.■* 

:i.K 1^ 




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5.: 22 





•ii ::.;<» 


. VJ, .' -i 

» :."W 




The ?etenbiiig Area. 

The Petersburg granite aroA inclndee the extreme northeast 
part of Dinwiddle county acd the contigoons Boathe&st comer 

ng. 7. — Map showing locitioo of sraoiM quairiea in the Pelenburgam. 

Baaed on the Bermada Hundrad and Petcnbarg lopcwraphic si 

Sait, ( inch eqnaU 1 mile, approzinutel;. Contoar it 

iDdicRl«d b7 hmfj doU. 

. 0«oI. Borrcf. 
iterral, 20 feet. 

of Chesterfield. Granite quarriee are opened and operated about 
2 miles west of the city of Petersburg and at a similar distance north of 
ihe city. The principal qnarriea, shown on the map, figure 7, include the 
Lasetter and the Petersburg Granite Company's on the west side of Peters- 
burg, and the Cook quarry on the north side of the city. 

The rock from these quarries is a closely similar biotite granite, of 

t^ jCIS£Ltl iUi^jrjiiriJi -07 Tnn^m 

Tfti»r> ;abiv.uCi» : "uU^- ?'>?MS3ii'u^ £Rft: 't lisM- BnmrmMi'^ apesft: and (3) 
fU&A f^^sCivnv'Lftiv-^-^i: «.*'*«. Tijfi }^23Li!spL 'Vanmtxet fxmpnmf time iiiw 

?.:Mwt *(:i^^ «j% ift-i>?%. g,t iij'.f 4i:?»sifc»- tsiMf aaun^ viaidit aae thow of 
t^rUiz, ynajfjt Z^vsr^. F.u^jiTiTa a&d Asoiien: n w inlifft TSiae ore 
'C<HiuipKii«.>< X£;jju'/f 4iff«tt fjLjfi}- 'MnQHSKr of isiie jAck -of dcivkniiDaii in Aem. 
hfiUttU: '^:\^n ji 'Xiii*!? PkibauoDS coinuitt tmz h imt hoc wi bfcn qamied. 

1 M • I J 

III U^, KKAT. .''tjx.^mIiu': «ft««. ^.W Vc^gmia gmusci ne ndzmrs of 
tM4iifi^e. ''■'jtifanz. aii^c ViK/l:^, vitL nFoaLj mort or kfli of the vfaiie miei, 
MiiiMfV*-t;ri^. If.'yrLi.r^^n/O^ » «r ianponass ooiMtitiiaii in o put of die 
^Mi';ru^ ;£. r<rj^ f ftjji Ci!iij<r± ilpm, near WafihinglUBL in Faiifix eoonty. 
fj^t^i^, A 4 yns^ri'/iL ^^^XifelriiKTZit in the Tmrierr of gramte knovn as 
tuutk'M:. yyti'^r. ^ }</ti£^c Mar Liaraj in Fife and Hadiann oonntia, and 
:uwr l^if/viryici^ ,:: Or%v«<a ooiuxtj. In addition to the principal feUipary 
y^iv«Jitf»»^ w^-ji".-?^^:,:!^ ^SA piagaociase occur in vidtij rariafale amonnta. 

ti^oM^sk -'>.i* A^/MraiiX mentioned, tbere occur apatite, liroon, wf^beat^ 

Jkr44in,-< vi .»v v^i ar^-: r.rv/iiir*r ibr** t^pes of granite occur in 

/,4»«fi t *-*r..7'.<r. •. jtr ;rr«Lr!:V«: ^2> porphvritic granites; and (3) 
^4^\^'vn.^^ v 'v 4 /•/ /-»;."■•■■*• jfrarjit^-gneisfies. Based on mineral com- 
yy^i- *yj\ ifi t*:* .t ^v, TYpes of Virginia granite: (1) Biotite 
^laj.u. wi.'tv,. r •..:•. a ::.x//r,'.y of the granites of the State may be 
^,Mi..y.v ;: 4 •.!«', V f.t /;*.'..>; (?,) hornblende-biotite granite ; and (4) 

♦ I,* ,".u .*,', '. ,'•» »/.;,.•.. /yf liichmondj Petersburg, and Fredericks- 
lit* > ... ' ^« it.vp V. y/***;.?'., *?^/>norrucally, in the State, and they best 
i!.i4*...i.. -y*., v" .\'.,.'x '/r^fi'iU:. I have elsewhere discussed these 

... '.• .:•*' .' y -r* M; The Hic'hmond-Fredericksbnrg light 

^••v ' -'^ 1' *^.' •'.v..^ >^•^/:i«^•i'kllblJ^g dark blue-gray; and (3) the 
i '...-■., .• /i« . ':-, •r,<-i'rf. arrj added the Falls Church daric 
, .- . • .1 . .-'. • A ;-..t, */.'j i\ti: yellowish green and pink epidote 

'/•</.. *-(•« found but not quarried in other parts 
• v'.;^ v. './.a- *tr the other of the above t3rpe8. 

I » ,\ 

t ■ ■ ) •« 


The Petenbn^ Amu 

Tbe PeterebiiTg granite area includes the extreme northeaat 
part of Dinwiddie county and the ctmtignonB southeast comer 

Fig. 7. — Map shoving location of Kimoiu qnarriw ia the PeieraburgareiL. Quarriea indicated b^ hw 
8«Md on the Benunda Hundred and Petenborg topc«raphic iheets, U. S. Q«ol. Barre^. 
Scale, 9 inch aqnals 1 mile, approzimatel;. Contoor interral, 20 feet. 

of Cheeterfield. Granite quarries are opened and operated about 
2 miles west of the city of Petersburg and at a similar distance north of 
the city. The principal quarries, shown on the map, figure 7, include the 
Lassiter and the Petersburg Granite Company's on the west side of I'etera- 
burg, aud the Cook quarry on the north side of the city. 

The rock from these quarries is a closely similar biotite granite, of 


WBtb-^tmA direction, abxig libe euKni border of tiie PiediiMHit regiMi. 
Tber iaehade (1^ ^ INefersbin;^ ofoa: i^t the RirhTTinnH am; and (3) 
die FTedencksbuT^ aret. The pnncpil conmitt campaang these areas 
are Dinwiddie* Cbe^Te^fie}d, HenrxKx and S^MCXs^^^raaia. In addition to 
x^Mse diere are several minor aiiea^. ciiief among vbich are tiiofie of 
Fur&x, Prince Bdwai>l FhcTuma. and Aic^xm onwnim These are 
df5^pia»d mines' anias cSiii^T beicaiae of liie jack ci deTri<«zanent in them. 
Giaxd'^ ^>cirxi7S in Mbn- Piedmom ccwnixs )«xn ii baf not m been quarried. 

In liie mof^ imionani aT«is. ib^ Vsrixoa iiraniies ai« mixtures of 
feUkmr. risanx. anc r^kciie. ^rrdi ns^iLaUr mfio^ osr Iok of id« viaite mica, 
iiniscvvritie^ H<»mb]«ni3e is an izD|iOiruni ooatfctneni in a part of die 
^ncutes in liie Falk C2iii:^ a3>ai» near Wadiingnm. in Fairfax eoonty. 
EuidfOie is a phncdpt: c(m«^Taent in dke Taj36nr of cracite knovn as 
imiliiK^ K^ikih i< foixinc neu- licnT in Fige ana HafHwm csontieEv and 
near TNorrdaj^' tc Grftx^sion oosnrr. In additkai tx^ Tb^ ptrrndpal feUipor, 
orduiRias^ mkr^riline an3 plapoclasie wicker in widecr TariaUe amoenta. 

Besdes ^ mineral meniionfid. d)«?e dcmu aMiai«^ zimvu qihene, 
maTMcrie^ ani M^i^ir Ac^oasi^mal iOm^ 

«n TtrniTx aT)£ ^rxK^xi* iJri^w- t^7«^ cd rrKnir* «xtct in Vii^ginia : 
il ' VaRsri%. <«wi«?ftT;T4laT rrKnin^: <$' TiwrTiiiyriTir paniies: and (3> 
schisa^ij^r «- f^hiT<»J: frr^rr'rs' — ^rfcTiir^riKMSsies^ Ra»ftc on mincn} com- 
jMifdnmL "we >iavc- tljf fi^k-ii'inr i:i?« «f TiT^nia p^iniTe: <1) Biodte 
gTKX£it(-^ UTiBer v^->ch a Tr>^i*>r:;7 ^f rbf rn-XiiTi^ nf the- Sjait* max be 
rri«np<^: it^ Tr.TKw^riTf rrfcTiW; J^ ■ >)nnihjni»»'if-Mf«437f rraniw^; and i4t 

Th^ |!!Tiai:i«. iX rihr Tv.rri} cd T^K->i7nrtn«v TfO/c^jaoiTx:, anc F^wierkis- 
btR^ a:^' tJjc tijar: mwrtanr^ <ip«DOTni«aLh. in the Sraifc. anfl dier besat 

dK^ fh:?<V' fWi)f''trmc niv^ : . l Yh( T^u'hTnftnc-'F'yeidcnriaftiiny light 
i ii^ 'Att ^kiAatifmi^TTt^Sitiru^kAnrr^ d&ri hm^rrraT : and i^\ the 
VtoBffmisii<a^ "h^^R ^^riiy T^* r>«v art a/»n<v: rbf Falis OhnTT^j dark 

t(||it» lnMf«% ^ :tma)rr»i. tvr^bniti^ frrnnr. ha: da: tiiiarrmc in rosier jmris 


The Fetenbo^ Ana. 

The Fetenborg granite aree includee the extreme northeast 
part of Dinwiddie count; and the contiguous aontheaet comer 

'H- '- — Hap (bowing location of ftnniu qiiarriea in the Petcnburg am. Quarries indicated bj hMTj doti. 
Baaed on the Bermoda Hundred and Petenbarg topuraphic sheets, D. S. Oeol. Sane;. 
Scale, I Inch eqaaU 1 mile, apprazimatelj. Contour itit«r*al, 20 feet. 

of Cheeterfield. Granite quarriee are opened and operated about 
2 miles weet of the city of Petersburg and at a similar distance north of 
the city. The principal quarries, shown on the map, figure 7, include the 
Lassiter and the Petersburg Granite Company's on the west side of Peters- 
burg, and the Cook quarry on the north side of the city. 

The rock from these quarries is a closely similar biotite granite, of 


SM&X2C i«xnii«. iz>c cTiT oQtlisr. 1^ ^Txxme fnxm &e Cook qoMrrj eon- 

tftizts Jess znSci (bxKiiTr) ihun tbsx from the ires sde {jiairrieB. and is 
•MCuriiii^jT liiit^' in owot. Tbe suom: from lirtse q-narraes i» of ex- 
<xilieDi nftlirr 4z»d is m^ f cr all purposes madf of rraadseL It ia of 
bcBDrt^KDeMr^ t-r^::^- ircod Tiermanean ooJor. asd ramajns bo hannful 
zniT^ffTfil The ;:iii:-T*l£Des a:^ iriatiiT sparied. readilT a dnulUp g of tbe 

Onitt iruam, — Tii* cTiarrr i? iC»aa.T£»d aibain 5 mikt nordi of Peters- 
imn:, iiLDft5:£T<CT an tie* vest sot of ih*- Seai»oard Air line RaSvar, and 
▼tiiiii .^'iH'' fefc fu the CTOfisimr of thnf Toad 1»t libe Bdt Lum*. Some 
^sxa» ir«j; cT;£rr}ei as afcr.y a? InoT, :.ii: frffifanatje qTiaTrnii|r vas not 
r»fycx XI3TU iJ^T, riax* II. irnrf 1, if a -new of iliif cfMcny. 

Thi sr^iiDi -if aiiL:rL:.h acifcTced to the ixses madt- of iL iriiScii are for 
toiiiiM T'urposes, ir sirert work of all farm& tnrfhaifiTg llock^ and 
niTti>:ii£: SlDi CTz&ht<. st-cme: and in 'valL lihdi^EL. and c^cl^en voik in die 
TOuA and dr^f^xtd srax&. A rmsber is operated at the qiiaiTT for vorldng 
HT' tlx- OTarrr-irasj*^ naainjj foe oanoreK pnrpoaes. The laitpe^ siae wa^ 
is made inTf TiiT3ir >uix*fc&. tihe «eoond into miibie piling, and lie balance 
is PTDidM^d foe concTfW vorn. Tne rraniie froxL this qnanr is s^pjKd 
^r the prinrf.pal points*, inolndinf X^ir York and as far wesi as CiBcannad. 
ftiwbrjilh no shirnnffnT* m^ made <»oinii of Tirrinia 

• * ^ 

Tkf Lasfti^-fT audffrritai. — l%es^ cmarne^ are looarad Atna 1-5 mikB 
ves: of Pet^^r.xrx:, iirimodia:<?!!T or. the oar line of the Ti-cmia Fasenfcr 
and Pffwfc iTomTifinT^ and vivihin a onarrer of a mile of die OiaihfiiiJ Air 
I/.ne l^iVftT . T^.r» or f :itT openings arf made oJoae T.opsdier nAida wwe 
f.TSi worked. m:*re t>iI.i. ^C< ^'ca-ts aco. Tnirinr th£ janmner of ISK^ S of 
xh£ maxdiurs iw-rr h&n^ opfirfiw. >t spparaTe partifia. ^Rie L flj w t ow of 
l5M»e ^fp» operate": >'X C. M. V^lsh of Par^cshnri:. cxdhaOThr fcr 
m*!i>». B«v^ **0 fM5 and morr in itmpn. are ocmsOKDtlT teii^ 
frmr. the Vals>. opcLinr. Thi rran:re is of iitf flim i irrar ocUn, Ae Md- 
fiT«rs of v>.i;*> >tt.T( t dexi.w. 7>.nkish oasc^ Ii ip^i^ inJD jmBer iht 
httUimfT ttnd is wrs^oerrnritrje of i; >iurV. t^olish. li is snsnai^^ aoal in Ifce 
mmnrmtnn M)d hx^.^rliTir trade^ T»r*nc^^Tialh in the farmsr. Tie fBsrrr 
watcM is iirrikftL t.t and imod for m>ihie. As uumamsaBkl Mbmjt 13tm 
fTUtil^i' is mfcTknred ovor * 1*^rtf tcr^iT^orr, ahipmams ^im^ made ais far 

T^Kr PfTt-p^hfT'c vhanUt Coffivofn. f wa^-^S^^. — The OQKnvff «ff diia 
^amtipaEtT ■inolnAf rvf. lar^ opf^jTurs fipvara. htmfired j«rfls ^qaffL, locattd 
•toii»edM:T^f> M/»7ig thf -.UT :.m o: zhi Pcwsrsbcrx: PasKai|f8r aoad IVa«r 




Company, 2 miles west of Petersburg and a half mile west of the Lassiter 
quarries. The 2 openings are designated as Quarry No. 1, known as the 
Asylum quarry, and Quarry No. 2, known aa the Dibble quarry. The 
openings are large and are made in flat surface exposures of the granite. 
About 5 feet of stripping, comprising sand emd gravel of the Coastal 
Plain and decayed granite, must be removed before the quarrying of fresh 
granite can be carried on. ^., . ^ 

During the summer of 1906, Quarry^Np. 1 was being operated under 
lease by Baltimore parties, and the stone was being used almost exclusive- 
ly for building purposes in Petersburg. Some of it is used for coping iv 
cemetery work. Quarry No. 2 has not been operated for four or more 
years. A large quantity of stone has been quarried and used for the various 
purposes made of granite. The joint-planes are widely spaced and 
dimension stone of almost any size can be readily obtained. 

The Petersburg Passenger and Power Company's quarry. — ^During the 
snnmcier of 1905, the Petersburg Passenger and Power Company was 
operating a quarry at the dam across the Appomattox river, 7 miles west 
of Petersburg. 

The Biohmond Area. 

The Richmond granite area, covering parts of Chesterfield and Henrico 
counties, in the immediate vicinity of the cities of Richmond and Man- 
chester, is the largest producing area in the State. The quarrying of 
granite in this area dates back to the early part of the last century, and 
a large number of quarries have been worked from time to time. These 
are opened largely in the granite bluflEs along the James river, extending 
in a general westerly direction from the city of Richmond for a distance 
of more than 5 miles. To a smaller extent quarries have been opened 
to the north and south of Richmond in the low granite ledges exposed 
along smaller streams and in the flat surface exposures on the inter-stream 
areas. Many of the quarries are very extensive openings, and have been 
worked to a depth of nearly 200 feet, from which an enormous quantity of 
excellent stone has been obtained. In some of the larger quarries, the 
depth reached in quarrying is below that of the river level. The quarries 
opened are well located with reference to transportation facilities, and 
admit of easy working. 

The location of this granite area at the head of navigation in the 
James river affords cheap transportation of the stone by water north and 


xixnuL ssEorsi:n2& or tis^ixul. 

ITOCL ics? :o r::^ win grai::ilir 'jz t^xtz^^ *z.-i frrci iark :o light gray in 
vxv:r. Xear Miilo-thian. lo ni'f* ttsc cf E:±=i':-L *&£ extending for m 
ronrtfc-^soc^h vi:>:arv.>f oi ix-^: f^> niLcs. i* & ]>r4:r:i5il coarse, porphrritic, 
::cci:if j:t:iz.::c\ vh:v']i his rx j^ :e^ crArrt-^c :c %zj extent. 

/oi:r:iruc :> :i>uil> w^H i--TTl:T^ in ib* iTi^:e5 'r:n the planes 
jTik:^ r^:^.c:;^ci:*; far itilt: :^ iinr: :f i!zi«»": inj 5^ scone being 
c^4rr:«c. r=vTr.i:::e T^ir^ .^7 iii-^s. .^-ar^e :rr5calIisi::-X5 of quartz and 
fi£^ispir. in* r.o.: jv^c:---:.- -:ir::'rr:-> :^' .'4:2?e v-ise iz. ^rzarrrinz. 

T^»v ir»i^ :f tI--- rnziiic xcir jzj£ ir« ::Ltrr>r«i. m? a £i!ss^grained 
cjLri ':I'-:^-z^7 rxk ■•x:c-->:Ttl7 -i^tc i* r::z.:izjc-': >::•:■£. ±«r :cber a coarse 

' ^* N^^-' 

i.7»- c^*\:' -i ^.vi I*- -^: >;-r;f»i frf r^:. '.-.^^ T-xTTC^sfs^ Boch are 

.T •^■ss>* -:- K?f y ,;■ -. ^ x.^'*>* *•; ^ -.'.•■■i.*^ r^t*i;"j:nj5 SfCv^sen the 
■T'* ^•^■' .-* <-* ■wi'ti"'- ■• ^- \ *'■-"% .-^T* ;^ vf^ :t 3^i;*h3icc<c. The 

y-i^-'-rrrt' ;-i ' .>i f-»; -. -.-v ^■* <; •• :r u : i.>%j*fs .*: ▼^rck is. which 

V :\''<L3-:r7 aad the 

•-•. .t • 



; * s; -*• 



-s '". 

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s « •■ "*• 1 ■ 

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. '4 

.-i • • 


"■P ot the Ridnnond gr«i 
■liMt, U. S. GeoL Sun 
BJcbmosd sheet, 20 f 



The quarried granites are feldspar-Kjuartz-biotite rockB, which tbtj 
from fine to medium granular in texture, and from dark to light gray in 
color. Near Midlothian, 13 miles west of Richmond, and extending for a 
north-south distance of about 20 miles, ie a beautiful coarse, porphyritic, 
biotite granite, which has not yet been quarried to any extent. 

Jointing is usually well developed in the granites but the planes are 
spaced sufficiently far apart to admit of almost any size stone being 
qnarried. Pegmatite veins or dikes, coarse crystallizations of quartz and 
feldspar, are not sufficiently numerous to cause waste in quarrying. 

Two grades of the granite occur and are quarried, one a fine-grained 
dark blue-gray rock extensively used as monument stock, the other a coarae 

and lighter gray rock admirably suited for building purposes. Both are 
homogeneous even-granular granites, possessing good working qualities. 
The fine-grained dark blue-gray granite is susceptible of high and per- 
manent polish and is a superior nionunientaJ stone, possessing as it does 
that strong contrast in color between the polished and unpolished rough 
or dressed surface. Figure 8 shows the structural relations between the 
two granites as exposed in the \ctherwood quarry west of Richmond. The 
Kicliniond granites are thoroughly suited for all classes of work in which 
granite is used. 

Prohiibly the most elaborate giiiniti; structuie in the country and the 
most important building yet constructetl of the Virginia granites is tha 
State, War, and Navy building in Washington, built of the Richmond 


^Pot tbe Bichmond a 

/ /;;^^ 7 






The following is a list of the principal quarries in the Richmond area : 

Belle Isle Quarry, 

Donald Quarry, 

Granite Development Company's Quarry, 

Hawkins Quarry, 
Krim Quarries, 
McCloy Quarry, 
McGranigan Quarry, 

McGowan Quarry, 
Mcintosh Quarries, 
Middendorf Quarries, 
Netherwood Quarries, 

Old Dominion Granite Company's Quarries 

Philadelphia Quarries, 

Richmond Granite Company's Quarries, 

Smith Quarry, 

Tidewater Quarry Company's Quarry, 

Westham Quarries, 

Winston and Company's Quarry, 

Wray Quarry, 


Belle Island, above Richmond — ^Manches- 
ter bridge. 

Half mile £. of Belt Line Railway, & 
side of James river. 

One-eighth mile E. of Granite, S. side of 
Southern Railway. 

North side of So. Railway at Granite. 

Three-eighths mile S. W. of Granite. 

One-quarter mile W. of new reservoir. 

One-eighth mile VV. Belt Line Railway, 
on James river. 

Two miles S. of Manchester. 

Half mile S. W. of Granite. 

One-quarter mile S. W. of Granite. 

Two miles W. of Richmond, on S. side 
of James river. 

One-fourth mile N. 30'' E. of Granite. 

East end of Settling Basin, on N. side of 

James river. 
4.5 miles N. of Richmond, near R. F. 

& P. Railway. 
Canal locks W. of Richmond, N. side of 

James river. 
Two- mil^ S. E. of Manchester, on James 

4 miles \V. of City Hall in Richmond, on 

' S. side of James river. 
North side of James river, at Settling 

Three miles W. of Richmond, on S. side 

of James river. 

Of these, the following quarries were being operated during 1905 and 
1906 : McCloy, McOowan, Mcintosh, Middendorf, Netherwood, Richmond 
Qranite Company, Winston and Company, and Wray. Some of the others 
have not been operated for some time, and in part they include the most 
extensive openings in the area. This is particularly true of the Westham 
quarries out of which stone the War, State, and Navy building in Wash- 
ington was constructed, and the quarries of the Old Dominion Granite 
Company, known at present as the Middendorf quarries. Only those 
quarries which are mentioned above as operating during 1905 and 1906 
will be described. The other quarries are equally as impori^ant and are 
capable of producing unlimited quantity of excellent stone, but many of 
the openings were partially or entirely filled with water at the time of 
iny examination and were not entirely open to study. Map, plate III, 
shows the distribution and location of granite quarries in the Richmond 

I ; 




■■ I 







1 1 
■ 1 
. I 



McCloy quarry, — The McCloy quarry is opened in a flat surface ex- 
posure of granite, located about 300 yards from the James river branch of 
the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac railroad, and about a quarter 
of a mile west of the new reservoir. The quarry opening includes about 1 
acre of ground. At several places about the edges of the opening the 
granite is decayed to a depth of 3 or 4 feet, which must be stripped before 
fresh stone can be obtained. The rock is cut by several well-defined sets 
of joints which vary in direction, from N. 6® to 86** W. and N. 10* to 
76** E., and in dip from vertical to 66** N". W. The rock is a very fine- 
' ; grained and even-textured, dark blue biotite granite, admirably suited for 

monumental stock, The principal uses made of it are for monuments 
and building, and for street purposes as blocks and curbing. The quany 
waste is crushed and utilized for street concrete or cement work. It is 
marketed in a number of states, including Virginia. 

McOowan quarry. — This quarry has been worked for about 10 years 
exclusively for monumental stone. It is located 2 miles south of Man- 
chester, about 300 yards east of the Petersburg turnpike, and 600 feet west 
of the Seaboard Air Line Eailway, with which the quarry is connected 
by a spur track for shipping. The opening, which is a large one, is made 
in a flat surface exposure of granite, and the average depth of stripping; 
including soil and partially decayed granite, necessary to the quarrying of 
fresh stone, is about 5 feet. It is a fine-grained dark blue-gray biotite 
granite, of uniform texture and color, and a most desirable monumental 
stone. The quarry waste is utilized largely for paving purposes. It has an 
extensive sale in the monument trade in many states, including Virginia. 
Views of this quarry are shown in plates IV, V, and VI. 

'Mcintosh quarry, — Tho Mcintosh quarry, formerly known as 'Mat- 
lock,** is probably the most extensive working granite quarry in the State. 
It is located near Granite, a station on the Southern Eailway, 6 miles west 
of Richmond. A spur track for shipping connects the quarry with the 
Southern Railway at Granite. It has been operated for about 15 years. 
About 2 acres have been stripped from the fiat ledge exposure to a depth 
of 37 feet. The fresh rock is exposed at the surface and no stripping of 
decayed material is necessary. All work is done by compressed air 
machinery. The stone is of excellent quality and is used for all classes 
of building and monumental work, and for all purposes for which granite 
is handled, except in the form of crushed stone. The principal directions 
of jointing are N. 10** W. and N. 65° E. All the approaches, steps, etc., 
to the new Capitol building in Richmond are from the granite of this 
quarry. It has an extensive market in and out of Virginia. 


Fig. 2. — Granite qunrry near Rirhmond, showing jointing na in Kig. 1. 






Middendorf quarry. — The Middendorf quarry is located on the Belt 
Line Bailway west of Manchester, and 760 feet north of the crossing of the 
Petersburg turnpike by the above railroad. The rock is a banded biotite 
granite-gneiss, penetrated by many pegmatite dikes and veins which vary 
in width from a fraction of an inch to several feet. Directions of jointing 
are N. 65** E. and N. 45° W. Strike of the gneissic structure or banding 
is N. 65** E. Several acres of the gneiss have been stripped to a depth 
of about 25 feet. The stone is used for ballast and paving blocks, largely 
the former. 

Netherwood qucurry, — This is one of the most extensive quarries in the 
Bichmond area, and it is reported as having been worked as early as 65 
years ago, although operated under the present management for about 8 
years. The quarry opening is made in the high granite bluflf on the south 
side of James river and immediately on the Southern Bailway, about 2.5 
miles southwest of Bichmond. The greatest depth reached in quarrying is 
65 feet of fresh granite covered by about 2 feet of red clay on top. The 
ledges of granite average from 20 Ao 22 feet in thickness. Two grades of 
granite are produced, a medium coarse light gray for general building 
purposes, and a fine-grained dark blue-gray for monumental purposes. 
Neither joints nor pegmatites are too closely spaced nor too numerous to 
prevent the quarrying of dimension stone — ^any size blocks of both the 
gray and the blue stone being readily obtained. It has an extensive 
market in and out of the State; and is used for general constructional 
and monumental purposes, curbing and blocks for paving, and crushed 
stone for all purposes made of granite. Its principal use, however, is for 
building and city (street) work, which comprises mostly the light gray 
coarse granite. 

The Richmond Granite Company's quarries. — The quarries of this com- 
pany, owned and operated by Copeland and Brown, are located 4.5 miles 
north of Bichmond, near and on the east side of the Bichmond, Fredericks- 
burg, and Potomac Bailway. It was first operated about 15 years ago. 
The dimensions of the principal opening are 500x100 feet and 50 feet 
deep. A spur track is operated between the opening and the Bichmond, 
Fredericksburg, and Potomac Bailway. Two principal sets of joints, 
spaced at distances of 2, 6, 8, and more feet apart, intersect the granite, 
with directions varying from N. 10° to 70** W. and N. 30** to 35** E. 
These dip from the vertical to 35** S. E. The rock is not sheeted but is 
perfectly massive, and is an excellent grade of biotite granite. Pegmatite 
dikes or veins varying in width up to 8 feet occur, but are not numerous 


and do not interfere with the quarrying of dimension stone. A crusher is 
operated at the quarry for working up the quarry waste for the various 
uses made of crushed stone. The principal uses made of the granite are for 
street work in the form of blocks and curbing, for building and monu- 
ments^ and for crushed stone in its various forms. 

Winston and Company's quarry. — This quarry, formerly known as the 
Mitchell and Copeland quarry, under whose management it was first 
opened and worked for 12 years, many years ago, is located west of Rich- 
mond at the city settling basin, just completed. The quarry is opened in 
the granite bluff on the north side of James river, and is of large dimen- 
sions. The present operators, Winston and Company, contractors for the 
construction of the settling basin, began working the quarry about 3 years 
ago to supply crushed stone (concrete) and rip-rap for building the 
settling basin. The stone was quarried by blasting. The principal joints 
strike N. 6** W. and N. 30° to 70** E. Pegmatites are not numerous. The 
granite is sheeted to the entire depth of working, the sheets being thickest 
at the bottom and thinnest at the top. 

Wray quarry. — This quarr}-, operated since 1895 for monumental stock 
exclusively, is opened in the high granite bluffs on the south side of the 
James river and inunediately on the Southern Railway, about 3 miles 
southwest of Richmond. The stone is of the excellent dark blue-gray 
biotite granite, of uniform color and texture, and is admirably suited for 
the use made of it. The joint-planes are widely spaced, admitting of almost 
any size stone being quarried. The working face in 1905 had a depth of 
about 75 feet. Occasional pegmatites not exceeding 3 inches in width occur 
in the granite but give no trouble in quarrying. Its sale is practically 
limited to the principal cities in the State for monumental stock. 

The Fredericksburg Area. 

The Fredericksburg area includes the region to the west and north of 
the city, in Spottsylvania county, in which granite quarries have been 
opened. The granite exposed along the Rappahannock river north of 
Fredericksburg extends into Stafford county, but no quarries have yet 
been opened in that county. 

Two types of granite have been quarried in the Fredericksburg area, 
one a very light gray, medium-textured, muscovite granite, the other a dark 
blue-gray, very fine-textured, biotite granite. In texture and composition, 
the latter is identical with the fine-grained dark blue-gray granite quarried 
in the Richmond area and so extensively used for monument stock. The 



Fredericksburg granite is a shade darker in color tb&ii the Bichmond stone 
and it is a superb monumeiital stone for which it has a wide usage. Map, 
£gure 9, shows the location of the qnarries in thie area. 

Fig. 9. — Hip showing location of granile qouriei in the Fredaricksbarg 
Qa«rri«t iodicated hj beSTj dots. Basad on ihe Fredericksburg 
topographic iheet, U. S. Ueol. 8arvej, Scale, | inch eqaali 
1 mile, approiimatAly. Contour inMrval, 60 feet. 

Hazel Run light gray granite. — A very light gray muscovite granite 
of medium texture is exposed along Hazel Run,. a tributary of the Rappn- 
hannock river, and about 1 mile west of Fredericksburg. It somewhat 
resembles the Stone Mountain light gray muscovite granite 16 miles east 
of Atlanta, Georgia, which is so extensively used for general constructional 
purposes. In the spring of 1879 an opening was made in the flat ledge 



immediately on the south side of Hazel Run, about 1 mile west of Fred- 
ericksburg, and enough stone quarried to build the Presbyterian Memorial 
Chapel in Fredericksburg. No stone has been quarried since. The joint- 
planes are widely spaced, two sets of which strike N. 75** W. and N.-S. 

Cartwright and Davis quarries. — The quarries of Cari^nright and Davis, 
located along the Rappahannock river 3 miles north of Fredericksburg, 
are the only ones operating at present in Spottsylvania county. The 
quarries comprise 8 openings, 6 of which are made in the granite blufib 
along the south side of the Rappahannock river, for a distance of neariy 
half a mile. The granite, an excellent grade of monumental stone, is a 
massive uniform dark blue-gray colored and fine-textured rock. It is 
intruded into an irregular banded gneiss of similar mineral composition. 
Strike of gneissic banding or schistosity is N". 26** to 40° E. The granite 
is cut by several sets of joints so spaced as to admit of any size blocks 
of stone being quarried. The principal joint-planes strike N.-S. with a 
dip of 40° E. ; N. 60° to 80° E., dipping 10° to 30°, and N. 20° to 80° W. 
In places, pegmatites are abundantly developed in the granite, which occa- 
sion at times considerable waste in quarrying. 

No dimension stone is sold in the rough but it is all worked up at the 
"yards** located in the northern limits of Fredericksburg, and is used ex- 
clusively in the monument trade. The yards are commodious and well 
equipped with the necessary modern machinery for all grades of polish and 
dress work. The stone is conveyed from the quarries to the yards, a dis- 
tance of 3 miles, by canal. A crusher is operated at the yards for sizing 
the waste which is utilized for local purposes. 

The monuments made from this granite have an extensive market in 
and out of the State. 

The Fairfax County Area. 

Granite has been quarried in Fairfax coimty at the following localities : 
South of Falls Church and west of Annandale. The quarried rock is similar 
in the two localities and is taken from less schistose portions of the 
granite mass. It is homogeneous, of even texture and good color. It is 
not materially effected by schistosity, and works out readily in stones of 
moderate, size. Some of the beds in the Falls Church area are colored by 
pink feldspar. Many portions of the granite-gneiss furnish good material 
for foundations and similar rough work. This stone is schistose and con- 
sequently not obtained in large masses. It is ea^ to quarry and is strong 
and durable. Many portions contain pyrite, which unfits it for ornamental 
use. Many of the more massive beds of mica-gneiss are suitable for 


bxdlding and resemble the more schistose portions of the granite mass. 
They are used locally in the construction of dams and foundations. From 
the thinner and more micaceous beds flagstone can readily be obtained. 

The granite quarried in the Fairfax county area has been used entirely 
for local purposes. 

Falls Church area. — The granites in the vicinity of Falls Church are 
of two varieties. One is a medium- to fine-grained crystalline rock and is a 
biotite granite carrying a variable quantity of muscovite. The other, a light 
and dark speckled rock, is a fraction more coarsely crystalline and is a hom- 
blende-biotite granite. It is the only representative of a hornblende 
granite yet found in the State and it is closely associated with diorite 
masses on the one hand and with foliated mica-granites on the other. 

The Trip quarry, located about 1 mile south of Falls Church, was first 
opened about 1872, and has supplied considerable stone for local purposes, 
principally for foundations and buildings. The granite is massive, of 
medium texture and of variable light gray color, depending upon the 
amount of mica present. Several sets of joints are developed which usually 
cut the granite at close intervals and limit the size stone that can be 
quarried. The directions of these joints vary from N. 10** to 80** E., and 
N. 10^ to 80** W. 

The Presbyterian and Catholic churches at Falls Church were built of 
the granite in the rough from this quarry. 

AnnandaJe area. — The Hoffman and Miller quarry, located about 2 
miles west of Annandale, directly on the west side of Accotink creek, has 
not been operated for 12 or 13 years. The opening is made in a boulder 
ledge exposure on the above stream and at water level. A stripping of 8 
to 12 feet of soil and red clay is necessary for the quarrying of fresh 
granite. The rock is a massive biotite granite of uniform medium texture 
and light gray color. Good dimension stone can be readily quarried. The 
joint-planes strike K-S. and N. SO'' to 80° W. 

The Nottoway — ^Prince Edward Counties Area. 

In the northwestern comer of Nottoway county and in the adjacent 
portion of Prince Edward county is a very promising area of massive gray 
granite of fine texture and uniform color, which has been opened and a 
little stone quarried for local use at a single point in both counties. The 
granite is exposed at the surface in flat-doming masses and as boulders. 
This area lies close to the Southern, and the Norfolk and Western Railways. 


The Wimgo qujury in Xottovav country locmtBd 3i» miks north of Jen- 
nings and 2.5 mileB south of JeteTsriUe^ on the east ode of the Sonthem 
Bailw«\\ was operated s<Hne years ago for ballast. The rock is a fine- 
gnjJDfed massive, medinm gray, biotite granite^ of nniform textnre and 
color. It is a desirable stone and can be nsed for any purpose made of 

In ti^ Ticinit}' of Rice's £>epoc« Prince Edward connty, granite was 
qoarried some years ago for use in bridge construction along the Norfolk 
and Western BaihraT. 

Granite^ suitable for general building and other purposes, occurs in 
ocher counties of the crystalline armu but in none of these has it been 
derdi^wd. A beautiful coarse-grained granite is found in Buckingham 
co«intT« near the Court-House^ but no quarries hare been (qpoied. lakewise 
a coarse-grained light gray biotite granite occurs 3 miles west of Thaxton. 
a station on the Norfolk and Western Bailway. A red granite, well suited 
for omamoital and g^ieral building purposes, but underdoped, is reported 
from Saxe in Charlotte countr. 

The Btie Biice Area. 

In :he mountain district of Loudoun county, extending northward 
across the INxoniae into Maryland and southward into Fauquier county, 
Tirgtnia. granite is widely distributed in long belts up to six mfles wide. 
Tbe outcropt? incDEMse in extent and number southward from the Potomac 

rn Tirginia. 

According to Keith, the minerals compo^ing the granites are chiefly 
quartz* and ortKvlase and plagtcclase feldspar; besides biotite, garnet, 
epi^e* and blue quartz occur, fonuing four types of granite in different 
arcft^. The iranite :s Itrfir ^^rav in color and has been extensively altered 
by pressure. .Xceorviiui: to the dirtsree o{ alteration the rock is a granite, 
gneiss, or qtiarti >chist. Nv> quarries have been opened in the granite, 
but wher^ K>ulder? could be obcarued without mudi labor local use has 
been made of the granite. 


The name ucakite whs prv^iv^sevi tor a unique rariety of granite, com- 
pot?ev' of the essential minerals^ vellow-green eprdote, pink feldspar, and 
quart 5. frvnr the Unaka rangv of the Great Smoky Mountains, in North 
Carolina. The eff^vt of the rvvk in ei:her rock-faced or polished work is 


quite pleasing and it might be used to good effect in certain forms of 
ornamental work. 

Unakite occnrs in two localities in Yirginiay namely, near Luray, at 
Milam^s (}ap in Page and Madison counties, in the Blue Bidge; and about 
2.5 miles south of Troutdale along the Marion-Jefferson public road, in 
Grayson county. 

Hie Milam's Gap unakite is a moderately coarse but irregular crys- 
tallization of red feldspar, quartz, and green epidote. Irregular crystal- 
lization of the rock is shown in the variation of masses composed of more 
than two-thirds of the red feldspar through all gradations to masses 
composed of quartz and epidote without feldspar. Thin sections of the 
unakite from Milam's Gap show epidote, orthoclase, quartz, iron oxide, 
zircon, and apatite. The epidote is secondary, replacing pyroxene and 
feldspar, both plagioclase and orthoclase. The unakite from Grayson 
county shows deeper colored feldspar and epidote than that from Milam's 

As shown by the analysis below of the Milam's Gap unakite, made by 
Phalen, the rock is relatively basic for a granite : 

Per cent. 

Silica 68.32 

Alumina 15.77 

Ferric oxide 6.66 

Ferrous oxide 0.89 

Magnesia .09 

Lime 11.68 

Soda 0.32 

Potash 4.01 

Water 1.73 

Phosphorous pentoxide 48 

Manganese oxide 13 

Zirconia trace 

Total 09.98 


Under the name syenite is included a crystalline granular rock which 
consists essentially of orthoclase, with or without one or more of the 
accessory minerals, mica, hornblende, or augite. It is sold on the market 
as granite and is used for the same purpose but differs from granite only 
in the absence of quartz. Most of the known areas of syenite in Virginia 


contain hornblende as tbe chief locessonr minertl, and the rock is accord- 
in^lr a hornblende srenite. 

In Charlotte connty, an exposnie of hornblende srenite has been traced 
from Drakes Branch, a station on the Southern Bailway, to within 2 
mileB east of Charlotte conrt-honfe. a disttnce of abont 5 miles. The rock 
is entirelT maf^ve. Tarring from gra\ to deep pink in color, and in texture 
from medium to coarse-grained. It vould make a desirable stone for the 
TarioQs nses to which granite is pot. No attempt has been made to quarry 
this rock. 

In Carroll cotintj, eit-aiding northward frwn the northwest edge of 
STlvatus, is an area of hornblende svenite. the exnosures of which show 
pronounced crushing and shearing from pressure nn^amorphisnu The 
rock in this Ticinitr cotild only be used for the rougher grades of work. 
Xortheastvard fTX)m Sylratus along the Carroll county line and on Big 
£eed Island creek, an area of coarse-grained pink homblende-biotite 
STCTiite^ carrring more or less quartz, oocure. Study of this area will 
probably show the rock to grade into a true granite. 

Along the west side of the Blue Ridge and topographically bdow the 
basalt, a coarse-grained, massive, dark gray syenite has beoi obeerved in 
Warren. Madison, and Greene counties. This rock has been found along the 
west side of Dickey's Hill. 4 miles south of Front Bo;al in Warren county ; 
at Milam's Gap in Madison county where it forms the unakite-bearing rock; 
and between Elkton and the High Top Copper Company's mine, in Greene 
county. Where obseired, the syenite appears entirely maasiTe except at <me 
or two points in the Greene county locality, where a sdiistose structure has 
been developed in it. In the Warren county area the rock Taries from 
medium to coarse texture. The svenite of the above localities has nowhere 
been qt2arricd. but it should prove a desirable stone for general construc- 
tional work and many other purposes for which granite is employed. 

According to Phalen, the syenite of Milam's Gap, Madiaon county, the 
unakite-bearing rock, a hypersthene-quarti-diallage syenite, is a coarse- 
grained dark grayish-green aggregate of essentially fddflpars and black 
pvroxenes. The microiscope shows the following minerals: Orthoclase, 
])lagioclase, orthorhombic and monocline pyroxeiie, qnaxiZi microdine^ 
iron ore, apatite, and zircon, with the alteration products e|»dote, dilorite, 
and sericite, Phalen gives the following analysis of fte syoiite frtHft 
Milam's Gap: 


Per cent. 

Silica 60.52 

Alumina 16.99 

Ferric oxide 60 

Ferrous oxide 6.53 

Magnesia 1.59 

Lime 4.68 

Soda 2.83 

Potash 3.91 

Water 88 

Phosphorus pentoxide 74 

Manganese oxide 25 

Chromium oxide trace 

Zirconia trace 

Totol 99.42 

A syenite oecumng in the northwestern comer of Floyd county on Lick 
J ork and Flat Eun, and closely similar to the northern Blue Ridge rock, has 
recently been described by me. The area is a large one, and the rock, both 
in hand specimens and' in thin sections, is strikingly similar to the syenite of 
Warren, Madison, and Greene counties. The microscope shows the follow- 
ing minerals: Orthoclase, plagioclase, microcline, pyroxene, biotite, horn- 
blende, garnet, quartz, and some minor accessories. The rock is typically 
exposed in the nickel openings on Lick Fork. 

Additional areas of syenite are referred to by the older writers in a 
number of other counties in the crystalline area. Although admirably 
suited for many uses, practically no development of the syenite areas in 
Virginia has been made. 

The Lynchburg Area. 

On the north and east sides of the city of Lynchburg is an extensive 
belt of gneiss cut across by the James river and lying partly in Amherst 
and partly in Campbell county. Excellent exposures of the gneiss are 
found along the James river and some of its tributaries, near the city, 
and numerous quarries have been opened and stone supplied for general 
building and street purposes in Lynchburg. The quarries are located along 
the north side of James river, in Amherst county, opposite Lynchburg, 
where the river has cut directly across a broad anticline of gneiss; and 
to the east of Lynchburg, in Campbell county, along the tributaries of the 
James river. 

The stone is a fine-grained dark blue-gray biotite gneiss well suited 
for the uses made of it. It splits out readily into slabs of any desired 

■ ■ I 

; -i! 

1:1 ' 






thickness, is hard but easily dressed, and very resistant to atmospheric 
agents. Plate VI. figure 2, is a view in one of the quarries east of Lynch- 

The Fairfax-Alexandria Counties Area. 

Extending southward from the Potomac river and covering much ol 
Fairfax and Alexandria counties, are two extensive belts of gneisB, one ol 
which is a metamorphosed granite, the other of doubtful origizL The 
former rock, known as granite-gneiss, is of fairly uniform color and 
texture; the latter, which is of doubtful origin, is quite irregular both in 
color and texture, and composition as well. The granite-gneiss has been 
quarried quite extensively from time to time for local use, from the ledgec 
along and on the south side of the Potomac river. 

When fresh the rock is a dark bluish-gray gneias of rather fine but 
uniform texture. The principal minerals are quartz, orthodaae, plagio- 
clase, muscovite, and biotite, with frequently small amounts of garnet, 
chlorite, hornblende, tourmaline, and pyrite. 

The gneiss of doubtful origin has been designated by Keith, the Carolina 
gneiss, and is composed of alternating layers of gneiss and schi&t of a 
prevailing gray color, dark bluish-gray when fresh. The bands vary ii 
thickness. Quartz and mica are the predominant minerals in the schist; 
and quartz, feldspar, and mica, in the gneiss. So far as I am aware the 
Carolina gneiss has not been quarried in this area. 

Other Gneiss Areas. 

Gneisses of graniiie composition form one of the most widespread rock- 
types in the Virginia crystalline area, and large areas occur in many oi 
the Piedmont counties of the State. like their granite equivalents, from 
which they have been derived in part, at least, they are usually of the bio 
tite type, although hornblende occurs in the gneisses of the Bidmiond and 
Fredericksburg areas. Structurally the jrneisses vary from irregular banded 
rocks like those of the Kiehmond and Fredericksburg areas described abovC; 
to regular banded forms like the gneiss of the Lynchburg area. Texturallj 
they var}' from fine- to coarse-grained rocks. The more r^ularly banded 
ones of uniform textun* and color are suitable for general building pur 
noso^. and all of the Virginia gneisses are well adapted to the roughei 
graile>5 of work, such as for all forms of street work, for concreting and 
i^illast, rt^tainiiiL^ wall-, and foumlatious, and as metal for road construc- 






In addition to the quarries of gneisa opened in tbe Lynchburg area, 
gneiss has been quarried in Fluvanna, Bedford, and Pittsylvania counties. 
A gray biotite gneiss has been quarried at Columbia is Fluvanna county, 
and a large area of dark gray biotite gneiss is exposed for some distance 
Jilong the Norfolk and Western railroad at Bellevne. A similar gneiss in 
color, texture and composition, has been quarried near the depot at Chatham, 
on Cherrystone creek, in Pittsylvania county. 


Mica schist is probably the most abundant type of crystalline rock 
occurring in the Virginia Piedmont region. It^ iB^Usually thinly foliated, 
composed essentially of mica and quartz with or wiUiont feldspar, and is 
quite variable in character. Because of its thinly foliated and irregular 
character, its uses are limited to the lover grades of constructional work. 
Ordinarily the rock is more or less deeply decayed and fresh expoauree of 
it are not very common. It has been quarried in several localities in the 
Piedmont region for strictly local use. 

One of the best grades of mica schist yet quarried in the State is in 
the vicinity of Rocky Mount, Franklin county. Quarries have been opened 
in the schist belt, near Bocky Mount, which yields a gray rock well adapted 
for flagging and other purposes. The stone can be quarried in smooth 
slabs of any desired thickness. It has been used in Bocky Mount and to 
some extent in the city of Boanoke for street work. The strike of the schist 
is 40° east of north, with a dip of 80° to the southeast. 


Value and uses of granite prodttred in Virginia from 1900 to 1906 







» s 








f 21 1,080 



98, MI 
































T»Rfi:I &u£ nant for sit airt. ±iiaT cn^sftlrnf, i£3iEsin$ lodL Scnne 
Kf tbt r/iri? :i2j£ii5e£ laiosr ^ii« rifiiiir.ii£ cf^ cmcrnac xnc kaovn com- 
mercialrr ^5 Kia^i rrtn:'K. 7bt nrcmtrr rrxi rwi. sdA as iJstt com- 

r:tad» «ii£ tltm* :ix rvVi^Tr frnn. ocri rrsnr "a^rroui atri pwrn 10 almoet 
iiia;^ It i? C3:w*ftrn^c> i»i:r£ dt Txaui. bti£ al Acrnxnc a-f 13 xmriiDeeB 

Ix u&«3ar Tr isi^ 129^ i^^ 7nft£ mfs&L :zr£j nr msMse f (rm? an ex- 
rfujfoa nutmnal fnr w'^^w: nJiK^ sxi£ ^foier&l nxziiaizir acii£ ansamental 
'ip/ci^ XDnhi.^-iu: iD^TTinnmcil riCTirews^ i^nur rr -nif iari rf dsfiiite rift 
:ixi ^us: jT^? li rA:^ i^ifor rinr;7ian; TxsrniTt jsnc iisrmiaB. i^ift can, as a 
tucl. 1^ irnrir^^ nL>t v*::^. &ihrx£jrT iai£ xtsaairT si m. earn. £3«aser tiian 
Ak: /c rr$a::;7f:. T>imia^ ha^. iwwY^r, rif ifii£ vac? caxDk imp "man general 
i»r 5nr Tifc^Tru: tccttikiWv iai£ «:X TUfrt Tftwoit^ inr lazuciiir and momi- 

T'TW /IT iijiiu^f AivncT^ it*io*0^ £ti5cri2it;ii»£ n^«£r iikts nf ibe Bine 
l^iow ian£ tW rr^^u.'.i.Ttf tr^. il T^-rr^TiU^ 1: ftrrrrrrT ir rrsai ai<iii>daiiee 

:m^ *vi)itr xriv»'/TCv^ 7nt.T^ «>£ it ^-^irTj'^N. dkfi? 7%RXi{crBz:izif liit cader 
rhcis^ ri 7Ji\( :ry^-$,\:mt urns*, Thf ti^ijrr«' n. zxv /tcra-TriK aiiaiak filled 
%''iiy i;i^iftjVv Ji'Tf .*r<Kxtrr ;t r^wir. sanMcmw* inlkmrnic md 

-^/r TTtfcT^ Tr. W rr. fv;'^PTm <'9rsf!< jt. ti^t f! '^-r.r.^nr. fi* Thnr* T?rai£ a3>c they 
xrK-*» it. %'^4^ \ -^nrt *. -i'V :TV'hfs lit ^r <u^'^ir^. \^in\t^L 5«C- 1>Iif ^rf the 

T^i-?2f^'-^^Ti* .\M 1 . 'Thr ^'w ^ ^-^/^^-^r. »•• T.hf Tua tl-^bt la Xmpolis 
imr Vt^.f- 1/ f,r^: T< rrn<>^4-' twitV T-$4'*r **mr ihr rrvnr ac Ti«»riiie along 
rW Sai' W^-T '^vir *^T.^ r/ tj-n; N -Anr >^-*<-*ttiPfrrf S^tttrvm. a fistaaee of 
Ti>A^-r i)*ur ^l n .^^ .^.ivo- 4-!tv\> n: tju siom matsnfiL jcnd acaalQT as 



large as the Pittsylvania county dike are found in other counties of the 
crystalline area. 

The following analyses made by me of the rock from the Pittsylvania 
county dike, and from nearby smaller ones west of Chatham depot, show 
their composition: 


Olivine Diabase 
Per cent 

Olivine Diabase 
Per cent 

Quartz Diabase 
Per cent 




















F©rric oxide 

16 97 


MflinifflifL TTTT'-,'- 

6 01 








100 13 

Specific grayity 


In the Blue Eidge region of northern Virginia, extending from the 
Potomac river southward through parts of Loudoun, Clarke, Fauquier, 
Warren, Page, Madison, and Greene counties, are extensive sheets or flows 
of basalt and diabase. The basaltic rock is dense, heavy and dark-colored, 
and varies texturally from a basalt to a diabase, parts of which are usually 
altered and sometimes schistose. According to Keith the schistose character 
prevails in the Harper^s Ferry region, and the rock is known as catoctin 
schist on account of its great development in Catoctin Mountain in Mary- 
land. The schistose character of the rock further south in Virginia, from 
Front Royal southward, is much less well-defined. As a whole it appears 
more massive than schistose, though in places it is sheeted vertically from 
close jointing along shear zones. 

Two varieties of the basic rocks are recognized near Harper^s Ferry 
by Keith, a lower diabase sheet, and an upper basaltic sheet, both altered, 
with the upper one largely epidotized. Thin sections of the rock show 
variations from fine-grained basalt to, in the coarser varieties, diabase 
with pronounced ophitic or diabasic texture. The principal minerals are 
augite, plagioclase, magnetite, some olivine, much secondary epidote and 
chlorite, and in many of the sections leucoxene. The following analysis 

11 i 


made hj C. H. Henderson of fpedmen^ of the rock from South Mountain, 

Maryland, shows the chemical ccaoipostion: 

Silicm 41.280 

AlizMiiitt IS.4S0 

oziiie »-«0 

Lime TiMO 

* .' 

Sod* X523 

FotMsh ±208 

IgnitJOB 2.740 

ToUl IWJSr: 

The silica was determined bv George Stcig» of the U. S. Geological 
Survey in 2 samples of the basaltic rocks, collected from the following 
localities in Virginia: 6 miles southeast of HarpeFs Ferry, and east 
of Browntown. The results were 45.66 per cent, and 46.04 per cent., 

According to Campbell and Brown« about 3 miles north of Bapidan, 
a station on the Southern Bailwav, are to be seen two rounded knolls of 


similar shape and size, forming rather conspicuous objects in the landscape. 
These are sometimes called the *Twins,'' although known by other names 
in the neighborhood. On top of the knob nearest to the raflroad, 
beautiful perpendicular, pentagonal and hexagtnial basaltic columna form 
the face of a cliff. Some of these columns are 60 feet high and from 20 
to 25 feet in diameter. The stone from the side of the ^'Twins" is quarried 
under the name of granite, but it is in reality a hypersthene diabase. 

Along the railroad, between Bapidan and Mitchell stationsy for a mile 
or more, the same rock appears in the cuts. A few miles east of Culpeper 
coort-houae, Mount Pony, an isolated peak, stands out so prominently that 
it has been used as a signal station upon various occasions. The greater 
part of this peak is composed of rock of the same character as the **Twins.'' 
Other knobs and dikes of diabase occur in this region. 

I The composition of the diabase from the quarry on the "Twins,'' and 

ft froifi a dik^? in the railroad cut not far from the **Twins,'' is shown in 

i\ii: following analyses, made bv W. G. Brown: 

I n 

Per cent. P*r cent. 

Hilirni 51.31 50.88 

Ahiniina 13.64 13.17 

f>ff»r oxi'Jli 0.52 1.11 


Manganous oxide trace trace 

Lime 12.41 10.19 

Magnesia 12.73 13.05 

Potaah 0.32 0.31 

Soda 1.40 1.17 

Titanium oxide trace 

Phosphoric cxide trace 

Ignition 0.14 

ToUl 100.82 99.67 

Specific Gravity 3.09 3.10 

I. Hvperathene diabase from the "Twins" quarry. 

II. Oiivine-hypersthene diabase from dike m railroad cut not far from the 

Notwithstanding the wealth of diabase of excellent quality found in 
Virginia, only a few quarries have as yet been opened. The principal 
quarries opened in this rock are in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Culpeper 
counties. In the former county, Loudoun, diabase has been quarried 
near Goose creek, about 3 miles from Leesburg. Excellent stone was found 
at the surface and few natural joints appear, the rock splitting with ease 
in any direction. Its texture is coarse and uniform, but it is darker in 
color than ordinary granite. The stone from this locality has been found 
to stand a pressure of 23,000 pounds per square inch, and, according to 
Merrill, the stone undergoes no change on an exposure of 25 years, other 
than a slight and in no way objectionable darkening of color. 

In Fauquier county, near the Prince William county line a short dis- 
tance east of Catlett, a station on the Southern Railway, diabase has been 
quarried. The rock is of coarse texture, dark gray color, very strong, and 
apparently durable. 

As yet the stone quarried at the above localities has only been used 
for paving purposes and for bridge abutments, although it is apparently 
well adapted to all kinds of work for which its color and hardness qualifies 

In other parts of the crystalline area surface boulders of diabase 
have been worked up for strictly local use. Apart from the utilization 
of this stone in the better grades of work for which it is well adapted, 
it should have an extensive use, on account of its general excellence, as 
road metal, in the construction of permanent good roadways over the 
crystalline area. 


Diorite is the name given to a granitoid igneous rock consisting 
essentially of plagioclase feldspar and hornblende. More or less black 

4^ xonmAi. MEBOirscEB of nacasn.!. 

micii iLjoniie) is pnesaDt. aikd quartz i^ a ecDsraaatt ia die more add 
TBjafiias viKB die rock is caBed gvorts-iicmu^ 

Itiotiie oorms easi of the Blue Ib&gt m i^ cz^ncaLizhe area in the form 
of 'diket <^f rairing widi^ peDeirai±D^ i^ cry^ttaThmf rodEX. It ia less 
mbnxkdasBt in TiigiiiSa liiaii diabase. T^ cniiT }oc&]liiT is de Suite known 
to liie wii^ET TKhert tios rodt lia§ 'heai cizarried ax aD is in the T^ini^ 
^ ^uTttmrtaV aaad Falls CSmrdi in Fairfax ccnnaj. 7^ qnarrjing of 
dSsrite in t^is loealitr has liaen exireaDtiy YnnnfA, altboo^ it readily 
irarlkS mn inm Uoelrs on acrv^nni of its jDort or leas gprnrnd ftrQcture. 

1^ word gahbro is tsmplofyeA to destgiaa^f a granixood igneotos rock 
compQBBd isf plapoelase feldspar and prroxeDe. As ^et penr little is 
knopvn of ihe oocnrrenoe of ihis rod: in Tiiginia. like diorite it ia limited 
in its •opnnTBDce to tbe crrstailine area «aflt of ihe Ktne Ridge. It has 
^een icnmd in Ambersi. oo^nntr, «as$ of Lrndiimig. xai in the noidiwestem 
eoTDsr of Fiord ooonrr, hst do far as the writer is aware it has not been 
^narriod mi but podnt in the SxaXif. 

Cazcpltell &nd Brown. Compositioii c^ Oerrjdn lledoso)^ Igneona Bods 

of Tiiginia. Bnlledn, Gookipcal Sooetr of Am- 
erica, 1891, n, s»^4$L 

Banou- X. H. On ih*- Oorarrence of Basah Diifes in the Upper 

Pa]«>zic Series in Centra] Appaladiian Yiiginia. 
With noires on the PetroirraphT hj J. S- Diller. 
American Journal of SoeDce, ISSH^I XXXJX, 269- 

l^^^loirir Atlas of thr Fnited Stat<L Fn^derieksbnrg 
Folk Xo. 1,^, r, &. Geological Smrey, 18M. 

Ban on, X. H. hnS. Keirh, A. On IMkis of Ff»]f*ophTT^ and Basalt in 

Paleozoic Bodes in CVntral Appaladiian Viiginia. 
American Journal of Science, 1S9S, Yl, 305-315. 

^■W^olopc Atlas of the Fnit^^d States^. Washington 
Folio, Xa TO. F. S. Geolodcal Smrev, 1901. 

Kf-hyi, A. i^xV'Og} of the Catortin Beli^ 14ih Annual Report, 

r. S- Gwiodcal Snixer, lS5^2-.J*a, Part IL 2S5-395. 

Gi^oiopc Atlas of The Fnit^^a Stares, HarpePs Ferry 
Folivx Xo. 10. r, S, Goolorical SnTreT, 1J594. 


Merrill, G. P. Stones for Building and Decoration. New York, 

1897. For Virginia granite, see pages 263-264. 

Phalen, W. C. A New Occurrence of TJnakite. Smithsonian Mis- 

cellaneous Collections, 1904, XLV, 306-316. 

Rogers, W. B. Gteology of the Virginias. (A Reprint of the Annual 

Reports and Other Papers on the Geology of the 
Virginias.) New York, 1884. 

Watson, Thomas L. Weathering of Diabase near Chatham, Virginia. 

American Geologist, 1898, XXII, 86-101. 

Some Further Notes on the Weathering of Diabase 
in the Vicinity of Chatham, Virginia. American 
Geologist, 1899, XXIV, 356-369. 

Occurrence of TJnakite in a New Locality in Virginia. 
American Journal of Science, 1906, XXII, 248. 

Lithological Characters of the Virginia Graijites. 
Bulletin Geological Society of America, 1906, 
XXVII, 523-640. 

Williams, G. H. General Relations of the Granitic Rocks in the Middle 

Atlantic Piedmont Plateau. 15th Annual Report, 
U. S. Geological Survey, 1895, 657-684. 

Geology of the Crystalline Rocks. Washington Sheet. 
Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia. U. 
S. Geological Survey. Gnide to Washington, pre- 
pared for the International Congress of Geologists, 
5th Session, Washington, 1891. 

6. SLATE. 


Slate suitable for roofing and other purposes is found in many localities 
in Virginia, and quarries have been opened and worked in Buckingham, 
Albemarle, Amherst, and Fauquier counties. Slate of commercial value 
but of which no producing quarries have been opened is found in Prince 
William, Stafford, Fluvanna, and Craig counties. Along the northeastern 
base of Massanutten Mountain in the upper or northern part of the Shen- 
andoah valley a little prospecting in the Paleozoic black shales encourages 
the possibility of obtaining a reasonably good grade of black slate. Of 
the slate areas worked, that of the Arvonia belt in Buckingham county is 
the most important. The several slate belts are separately described in 
some detail below. 


The Bnddnghaai-IlmTBUift Caaxtici Bdt. 

In his aimual reports of the YirginiA Smrej from 1835 to ISil, 
Professor W. B. Bogers called attention to the slate depomta east of the 
Blue Bidge in BnckiDghaiD. FliiTaniia, and Fanqnier countieB. His 
reference to the Buckingham-Fluvanna slate belt foUows: ^Tliia [roofing 
slate] makes its appearance on both sides of the James river, dipping east 
at an angle of about eighty degrees with the hofriaooL In Buck- 
ingham the hed is largely exposed in the neighbourhood of New Canton on 
Slate river. ... In tt-Ature^ density and capacity of resisting atmoqdieric 
agents, it can scarcely be excelled by a similar material in any put of the 
vorld. This quarry was iirst oj»ened to procure slate for roofing the 
capitol: and notinthstanding it has been thus long knovn, and its Tslne 
established, but little further use has been made of it, until the actiTity of 
the present proprietor has again brought it into notice. Hie buildings of the 
ITniversity vill soon be furnished with a complete covering of slate from 
this qi^arry." 

Map, figure 10. in part adopted from Dale, shows some of the important 
feaiurfs of this l»oiT. The belt i> crossed bv the James nver a short 
distance vest of Brcmo and lies partly on the north side of tbe river in 
Fluvanna couniy ami partly on the south side in Buckingham county. On 
the north side of the river the belt is approximately 1.5 miles wide and 
strikes X. 20"" E. On the south side of the river at Arvonia. in Bnddng- 
ham countv, the t»elt of commercial slate is less than 1 mile in widA and 
strikes X. 35 "" E. 

On the nonh and south sides of the river the slate belt is limited on 
ihe east by a micaceous quan^ite interbedded in places with thin leaves 
of slate. Slate also occurs on the east side of the qnartzite. Hie strike 
o' the quartzite is X. 1^' to So*' E, and dips 65*^ t^ 90 * E. On tlie west 
side of the belt at Virginia mills there are schists largely diloritic, sericitic 
and quartzose in composition, which strike X. 25 *" E, and dip 90*. The 
belt is fr(*queTitlT traversed by dikes of olivine diabase whidi range in 
thickness up to 1$ feet. Several of these larger dikes are exposed in some 
of the larirer onarries at Arvonia. 

The f.ndini! of fossils (chnoids, brachiopods, and triloibites) in the 
slate by Dart on at some of the Arvonia quarries shows it to be of Ordo- 
vician a^. ririch roferrei^ the slate on the above fossal evidence to the 
Tpper Ordo\icifin. The dikes of vviabasf- are of Mesozoic 


Fig. 2. — Slate quarry in the Arvonia area, Buckingham county. 

!l ■ 

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I -I 

I- I 


■ ; :>• 


Fig. 10. — Hap of the Arronia ilaU area, Buckingham counl;. Qnairiea 
ahown bj bcav^ doti; atrike of commercial slale b; arrows. Baaed on 
the Palmyra topographic ahect, U. H. Oeol. Survey. Scale, } inch 
equali 1 mile, approximatcty. COatour interval, 50 feet. 

i;..M;iiAL iii;s>>i.u>.t:.-i' ur vikgima 

- Uilli«iu-> MliiiM UiiupMiy''- quarrici u i 

EVt-KlNt,H.UI cxtrN-n". VIRCnOA. 


micaceooB and the more quartzose beds are ciyBtals, lenees, and particles of 
pyrite, Dumbering about 25 to each square millimeter and measuring np 
to 0.09 millimeter, rarely 0.15 and 0.43, with their longer axes parallel 
to the deavage. These probably inclnde a little magnetite. There are 
also biotite scales transverse to the cleavage, about 22 per square millimeter, 
and measQiing np to 0.12, rarely 0.2 millimeter. Almost, if not quite, as 
abundant are plates and rhombs of carbonate. There are occasional scales 
of chlorite interleaved with muscovite, a few grains of plagioclase feldspar 
0.047 millimeter, rarely one of zircon, some tourmaline prisms 0.014 
millimeter long, much extremely fine graphitic (or carbonaceous?) material, 
a few particleH of hematite, and some rutile needles. Sections parallel to 
the cleavage are unusually brilliant in polarized light, owing to the abun- 
dance of quartz, biotite, and carbonate." 

Becent tests made by Professor Merriman on the slate from the Williams 
and Pitts quarries are given by Dale as follows : 

Color ud 

1 S 













W 1 
W 2 
W 8 
















A.L. ntu 




















Althon^ Dale's results on the microscopic study of the Aivonia slates 
■how the presence of some carbonate, an appreciable amount of ferrous 
carbonate cannot be present, for the use of these slates on buildings in 
Richmond more than 60 years ago, and on buildings near the quarries for 
more than a century, show no discoloration whatever. Strength and dura- 
bility would naturally follow from the highly crystalline character of this 


Bremo. — Slate has been prospected at several places north of the James 
river several miles west-northwest from Bremo in Fluvanna county. The 
strike and dip of the slate are approximately the same as south of the 
river at Arvonia — ^the strike being N. 18° to 23° E. and dip nearly 90°. 
A dike of olivine ddabase about 10 feet wide cuts the slate about 2 miles 
northwest of Bremo. 

The slate from near the surface is dark gray, which color will probably 
prove darker on depth. It differs from the Arvonia slate in finer texture, 
possibly lighter shade, and slightly increased pyrite; but less biotite and 
no carbonate. It contains a little graphite, does not effervesce in cold 
dilute hydrochloric acid, is sonorous, and very fissile. Arranged in order 
of abundance the chief constituents are, according to Dale, muscovite, 
quartz, pyrite, kaolin, chlorite, graphite (or carbonaceous material), rutile, 
with accessory tourmaline, zircon, biotite, and hematite. 

A microscopic examination of this slate by Dale gave: "There are 
abundant quartz grains up to 0.09 by 0.03 and 0.13 millimeter long, the 
larger ones surrounded by secondary quartz, radiating along the cleavage; 
about 50 lenses and crystals of pyrite per square millimeter, measuring up 
to 0.09 by 0.02 (exceptionally the lenses are 1.6 millimeter long), with 
their longer axes in the cleavage. There are also square and rhombic 
spaces lined with secondary quartz, measuring up to 0.6 millimeter, left 
by the dissolution of cubes or distorted cubes of pyrite. In some speci- 
mens there are 65 such cavities to the square inch, in others none. There 
are lenses up to 0.56 by 0.11 millimeter, consisting of quartz and musco- 
vite or of these and chlorite and pyrite, or of chlorite and muscovite, the 
folia of muscovite and chlorite lying across the cleavage; also muscovite 
scales up to 0.09 by 0.02 millimeter. Throughout the matrix much dark 
gray material occurs in exceedingly fine dots (graphite?). There are 
also some dots of hematite. Rutile needles are not very plentiful up to 
0.01 millimeter long; also a number of very irregular particles of rutile up 
to 0.05 millimeter, consisting of a network of cr}'stals ("sagenite twin- 
ning*') forming angles of 120° and 60°. A few fragments of zircon, an 
occasional crystal of dark tourmaline up to 0.05 by 0.02 millimeter, rare 
flakes of biotite, no carbonate.'* 

The Albemarle County Belt. 

The Albemarle county slate belt lies about 20 miles west-northwest 
of the Arvonia belt. It is reported as being crossed by the James river 
at Manteo, a station on the Chesapeake and Ohio Eailway, and near the 



Nelson &ud BaddDgham county line. It has been opened at Keswick, Eb- 
mont, and Back Island creek. At the latter place the Albemarle elate 
qiiam«s were operated many years ago. Slate bas recently been prospected 
near Keswick. During the summer of 1906 a company begun operating a 
quarry near Esmont. Slate of black, green and red colors is reported from 
tbe Esmont qnarry. 

The Amherst Coont; (Snowden) Belt. 

An extensive belt of slate is fonnd on the southeast side of the Blue 
Bidge, in the vicinity of Snowden station in the southwest part of Amherst 

Fig. II. — Mip ahoTrinfi location of Snowdwi alite <]a«rriea, Amherst conntj. 
QnarrieB ihowa by black dota; rtrike of commercial slate br arrovs. Baaed 
on the Lexington typographic sheet of the U. S. Oeol. Surrey. Scale, | 
iDch eqtiala 1 mile, approzimately. Contour iat«rval, 500 feet. 

count)'. The belt has been prospected in a number of places in the 
county but only one quarry was operating during 1906, located about 3 
miles north-northwest of Snowden. It is known as the Williams Brothers 
slate qnarry on the property of the Virginia Slate Mining Company. 
The quarry is further situated on the southwest side of Rocky Row 
Mountain just under Saddle Gap and about 1,200 feet above the James 
liver, as shown on the accompanying map, figure 11. The slate strikes 


X. 65° E. and has quartzite southeast of it which has been referred to the 
Cambrian. The structure, a flat-topped anticline^ indicates a possible 

The Williams Brothers' quarry was opened in 1880. The production 
was steady from 1893 until the burning of the mill in October, 1904. 
Rebuilding of the mill was in progress during the summer of 1906 and 
the production was expected to begin by September of the same year. The 
cleavage strikes N. 45° E. and dips 30° S. 60° E. The bedding is strongly 
marked by finely plicated ribbons of quartz and calcite several inches wide 
and is cut by the cleavage at an angle of 45° and more, as shown in figure 
1, plate IX, Joints are well developed, striking N. 16° to 20® E. and 
dipping about 70° W., and a second set intersecting the first at approxi- 
mately right angles, and dipping at about 65° east. 

The slate is very dark gray, has a minutely granular texture, moderate- 
ly smooth cleavage, but with little luster. It resembles the Arvonia slate 
in not effervescing with cold dilute hydrochloric acid and in being quite 
sonorous, but differs from it in not being graphitic nor magnetitic. Ar- 
ranged in order of abundance, the chief constituents of this slate are, 
according to Dale, muscovitc (sericite), quartz, chlorite, kaolin, pyrite, 
carbonate, rutile, and carbonaceous matter. It is used exclusively for 
roofing and is a superior slate though less cr}'stalline than the Arvonia 

Dale gives the following results of a microscopic examination of this 
slate: ''Under the microscope it shows a matrix of muscovite (sericite), 
with aggregate polarization not very brilliant owing partly to the coarse- 
ness of many of the other constituents. Quartz fragments measure up 
to 0.08 millimeter; chlorite scales and lenses up to 0.28 in length, lardy 
0.42 by 0.2 millimeter, numbering about 6 per square millimeter; also mus- 
covite scales up to 0.09 millimeter ; some carbonate, but in exceedingly min- 
ute rhombs and plates ; grayish carbonaceous (?) matter; about 66 spherules 
tind pyritohedrons of pyrite per square millimeter, measuring up to 0.005 
millimeter; abimdant rutile needles, and occasional fragments of zircon.*' 

Slate was prospected some years ago on the Thompson propert}', less 
than 2 miles northeast of the Williams Brothers quarry. The slate closely 
resembles that of the latter quarry. According to Dale the strike of bed- 
ding is N*. 58° E. and dips 20° E., with cleavage nearly horizontal; strike 
of joints N. 38° E. and dips 20° W. 




The f aaqnur Cosaty Belt 

Ab shown on the accompanying map. figure 12, elate haa been quarried 
to the north and south of White Sulphur Springs on the Bappahannock 
tiTer, about 6 miles southwest of Warrenton. In his "Reprint of the 
Virginiaa" Profeseor Bogera referred to the quarrying of this slate as 
early as 1837. The slate outcrops about 1 mile south of the springs and is 

traced northward for a distance of 2 miles, and has a minimam width of 
a half mile. The strike of the cleavage over most of the belt is N. 25° to 
30° E., with a reported change in strike to an east-west direction about 
three-quarters of a mile south of the springs. The slate is associated with 
a mnscovite quartzite and with altered emptives of the homblendic and 
epidotic types. 

Openings have been ma'Ie at a number of places which are indicated on 
the map, figure 12. At the two openings northeast of the springs the 

,. I 





strike of the cleavage is N. 25** to SO** E., with dip to the west of 20** to 26" 
Two sets of joints cut the slate in the opening nearest the springs; on( 
set, strike joints, strike about N. 15° E. and dip about veri;ical; the othei 
set, dip joints, strike N. 70° to 75° W., within most cases, neariy vertica 
ii The slate is black, of moderately fine texture, and has but little luster 

It varies from a clay slate to a mica slate. According to Dale it is ver 
carbonaceous, shows much pyrite, has no magnetite, does not effervesa 
with cold dilute hydrochloric acid, and has an argillaceous odor. In th( 
northeasterly opening Dale gives the chief constituents of the slate, ar 
ranged in the order of abundance, as carbonaceous matter, quari;z, musco 
vite, feldspar, pyrite, and chlorite. In the opening nearest to the springs 
the same author gives the chief constituents of the slate as muscovit< 
(sericite), quari;z, carbonaceous matter, and pyrite. 

At the opening about half a mile south of the springs, the cleavage 

of the slate strikes about N. 80° E. and dips south at about 15^. Th< 

I , slate is bluish-black, has a coarsely crystalline texture, and a wrinkb 

Jl| surface. 

According to Dale this slate is properiy a graphite-quari;z-muscovite 

schist, the chief constituents of which, arranged in the order of abundance 

M :: I are carbonaceous matter and graphite, quari;z, muscovite, kaolin, pyrite anc 


Dale further says that this slate has very little luster, is carbonaceoui 
or graphitic, shows pyrite, has very little magnetite, does not efifervesa 
in cold dilute hydrochloric acid, has an argillaceous odor, and is ver 
sonorous. After a microscopic examination of this slate Dale remarks 
"Under the microscope it shows a matrix of carbonaceous or graphitii 
material, quari:z, and muscovite. As the first two predominate the aggre 
gate polarization is quite faint. The cleavage is serpentine, owing to th( 
many large quartz grains (up to 0.14 millimeter) and the cubes and lense! 
or distorted cubes of pyrite already referred to, most of which seem tc 
be partial pscfudomorphs of quartz and graphite after pyrite, the remaining 
pyrite having been oxidized and dissolved. There are some plagiocla« 
feldspar grains almost as large as the quartz grains, with graphite inclusiooF 
parallel to the multiple twinning. There are veinlets of quartz and lenses 
of secondary quartz usually about or on either side of the cubes and lenses 
of pyrite; rare grains of zircon. No carbonate or rutile detected.'* 

The pjnritiferous character of all the Fauquier county slates is a 
ted feature. 



I >'■' 


The Prince William — StKflord Conutiei Belt. 

A narrow belt of black Blate, to which the name Qnantico slate has been 
given from the cre^ by that name, is exposed along the "fall-line" in 
Stafford and Prince William counties. This belt of slate belongs to the 
crytalline rocks of the Piedmont region, and in its soathem portion in 
Stafford county the elate is in contact on the east and west sides with 
granites and gneisses. North of Accokeek creek in Stafford county, the 
belt forms the easternmost rocks of the Piedmont ctystallinea. Accord- 
ing to Darton the slate appears to grade on the west into siliceous mica 
Bchist or gneisses of greenish-gray color. 

In Stafford county, the Quantico slate ia exposed in the "fall-line" gorge 
at Acqnia creek, northeast of Garrisonvillc, and on Austin nver; they 
outcrop on the road a mile east of Garrisonville ; and they reappear a 
mile and a half east, and half a mile south of Mountain View. Darton 
gives the average width of the slate belt in Stafford county as three- 
quarters of a mile. 

The Quantico slate is exposed to the northeast of Dumfries in Prince 
ATilliam county, along the stream courses and wagon roads, and aloug the 
narrow-gauge railroad of the Cabin Branch Pyrite mine. On the west 
about 1 mile east of the Cabin Branch mine, the slate is in contact with 
crystalline schists. Large and small quartz lensce and stringers are inter- 
leaved with the slate. The width of the slate belt at Dumfries cannot 
be less than three-quarters of a mile. The cleavage strikes N. 10° to 20° E. 
and dips from 64° to 90° N, W. The slate is highly graphitic in places. 

The Quantico slate has not been quarried to any extent and, so far 
as I am aware, it has not been tested. Lithologically it resembles the 
roofing slate quarried at Axvonia in Buckingham county. 

Prodvetion of slate in Virgmia by years, from 1897 to 1906. 





































in, 357 
























































































Campbell, J. L. (Jeology of the Blue Bidge, near Balcony Falls, Vir- 
ginia. American Journal of Science, 1884, 
XXVIII (3. 8.), 221-223. 

Campbell, J. L. and H. D. The Snowden Slate Quarries. The Virginias, 

18S4, V, 162, 163. 

Dale, T. Nelson. Slate in Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont (Northern), 

Virginia and West Virginia. U. S. Geological Sur- 
vey, Bulletin No. 260, 1904-05, 486-488. 

Slate Deposits and Slate Industry of the United 
States. U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 
275, 1906, 154 pages; Virginia, pp. 111-119. 

Darton, N. H. Fossils in the "Archean" Rocks of Central Piedmont, 

Virginia. American Journal of Science, 1892, 
XLIV (3. 8.), 50-52. 

The Geologic Atlas of the United States. Fredericks- 
burg Folio No. 13. U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Rogers, Wm. B. A Reprint of Annual Reports and Other Papers on 

the Geology of the Virginias. On the Roofing 
Slate of Buckingham County, Virginia, 78, 79; 
on that of Fauquier County, 460, 461. New York. 



Sandstones are sedimentary rocks, composed of grains of sand bound 
together by a cementing material. With the sandstones are here included 
certain rocks of similar origin but which, through the deposition of 
siliceous cement, have become partially recrystallized and are known as 
quartzites — ^metamorphosed sandstones. The so-called Potsdam sandstone 
occurring along the western base of the Blue Ridge is a good example. 

The sand grains in standstone may vary in size up to small pebbles 
and may be angular or more or less rounded in form. The cementing 
material varies greatly in composition, the usual ones being silica, iron 
oxide, and calcium carbonate. The color of the rock and its adaptabilily 
depends more perhaps upon the character of the cementing material than 
upon the grains themselves. If silica alone is present the rock is light 
oolozed, hard, and among the most durable of rocks, but hard to work. 

«i composed largely or entirely of iron oxide, the stone is red or brown 


and usually works readily; and when calcium carbonate is the cementing 
material the stone is light-colored or gray, soft^ and easy to work. Many 
sandstones contain little if any cementing material, but they owe their 
tenacity to the pressure to which they were subjected at the time of 

All sandstones are not composed entirely of quartz grains but fre- 
quently they contain a variety of minerals, such as feldspar, mica, and 
other mineral species common to sedimentary rocks. These accessory 
minerals often give character to the rock and form a basis for a division 
into feldspathic, micaceous, calcareous sandstone, etc. Sandstones are of 
a variety of colors, the various shades of gray, buff, brown, and red being 
the most conmion. They occur in beds of greater or less thickness and 
are said to be thick-bedded or thin-bedded. 

In age sandstones occur from Algonkian down to the most recent, 
although the quarrying of them at present for building purposes m this 
country does not include any of later age than Cretaceous. 


Sandstones and quartzites are found in workable quantily in each of 
the three larger divisions of the State. Quarries have not been opened, how- 
ever, in these rocks except in a few of the more favorably situated localities. 
Consequently there are large areas of stone of good quality in which there 
has not been any development. 

In many areas of the Piedmont province, more or less remote from 
transportation facilities, small openings have been made from time to 
time, from which stone was obtained to supply an immediate local need. 
Most, if not all of these, are now abandoned. Practically the only sandstone 
formations in the State from which stone has been quarried for building 
purposes and shipped beyond the limits of the State are the Newark, and 
Jura-Cretaceous systems. Of these the latter has been much the most 
extensively quarried. 

The principal sandstone and quartzite formations in the State are 
separately treated below under (a) the larger divisions of the State, and 
(b) in order of geologic age beginning with the oldest. 

Coastal Plain 1. Jura-Cretaceous sandstones along the ''fall-line." 

T»' J i. T»i * (2. Older crystalline quartzites of the Piedmont. 

Piedmont Plateau | 3 Newark (Jura-Trias) sandstones. 

Appalachian Mountains 

4. Cambrian sandstones. 

5. Silurian sandstones. 

6. Devonian sandstones. 

7. Carboniferous sandstones. 



I Jura-Cretaceous Sandstone. 

IP - 

Sandstones of various degrees of coarseness are found in many places 

along the eastern outcrop of the crystalline rocks and extending for some 

I distance below the head of tide. Large exposures of these rocks arc 

seen near Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock river. Other exposures 

are noted at Falmouth, at the head of the Pamunkey, at a short distance 

below Richmond, in the neighborhood of Petersburg, and at several othei 

points in Chesterfield county, in the upper part of Greenesville countyi 

, and over a considerable portion of Brunswick county. 

This rock is described by Professor Rogers as a rather loose mixture 
of quartz and feldspar, the feldspar often decaying rapidly on exposure. 
In size the rounded grains vary from birdshot up to several inches ir 
diameter. In certain localities the sandstone has a fine dose texture, 
and has been employed to a considerable extent in building. The quarries 
in the neighborhood of Fredericksburg and Acquia creek show beds ol 
I considerable thickness of a homogenous rock of light gray or buff color, 

which has had extended use in buildings in Washington, Richmond, and 

: elsewhere. 


; The Acquia creek quarries were purchased by the United States Grov- 

■ ernmcnt in 1791 for the purpose of using the stone in the construction 

I of the public buildings in Washington. The material from these quarries 

was used in the construdiion of all the important public buildings that 

were commenced in Washino^ton prior to 1837. The list includes the 

! Executive Mansion or White House, begun in 1792, the central or old part 

of the Capitol building, the old portion of the Treasury building, the old 

portion of the Patent Office building, and the foundation of the Citjr 


The quarrying of this rock has been discontinued largely, it is said, 
because of its unfitness for exposed work. 

Among the most extensive quarries of this sandstone formerly worked 
in the vicinity of Acquia creek and on the Rappahannock river near 
Fredericksbu;rg are the Stone, Gidlahom, Towson, Beard, and Addi^ 
situated near the head of Austin's Run ; the Wallace, Brooke, and Edwin- 
ion adjoining Acquia creek; and the Fitzhugh and Taliaferro on the 
l»appanhannock river. According to Professor Rogers, the thickness of the- 
strata exposed at these localities is very considerable, varying from 20 to 50 
or more feet, presenting in the different beds of rock marked varieties of 


texture and composition. The sandstone quarried is light in color, nearly 
white, and of uniform texture. The beds lie nearly in a horizontal position 
and blocks of any required size are readily obtainable. 


The Older Crystalline Qnartzites. 

Excepting the areas of Newark sandstones described below, the quartz- 
ites and sandstones found east of the Blue Ridge, in the crystalline area, 
are of unknovm age. A great abundance and variety of this type of rock 
occur within the limits of this area. Variation is from fine- to coarse- 
grained and conglomeratic siliceous quartzites; and from thin to heavy 
bedded rocks of usually some shade of gray color. In some areas, more or 
less epidote occurs and imparts more or less of a greenish-yellow cast 
to the rock. Feldspar and mica are frequent associates, the latter impart- 
ing a dark color to the rock when present in any considerable amount. 
Gradation is from true quartz schists on the one hand to true mica 
schists on the other. 

The rock has been quarried in many places in years past for use as 
a general constructional material; and at present, quarries are operated 
principally for crushed stone to be used for ballast and concreting. The 
stone ordinarily is firm, hard and compact, highly siliceous, very durable, 
and is admirably adapted to the many uses that have been made of it. 

Distribution, — Quartzites of variable texture and structure are found 
at various points along the James river between Scottsville and Lynch- 
burg in association with micaceous schists and limestones; and as far 
southwestward as Leesville, in Bedford county. To the east of Scottsville, 
belts of a similar rock, largely conglomeratic in places, are found on both 
sides of the James river in Buckingham and Fluvanna counties in the 
vicinity of Bremo, New Canton, and Johnson. On the eastern edge of New 
Market, in Nelson county, a fine to coarse granular white to red quartzite 
is found. At the mouth of Owens creek near Greenway the beds dip to 
the southeast and have a thickness of from 2 to 4 feet. 

The area along James riv»er in which this type of rock is found com- 
prises the following counties: Fluvanna, Buckingham, Albemarle, Nelson, 
Appomattox, Campbell, and Bedford. In the southern part of the latter 
county, Bedford, at Lees Mountain about 1 mile west of Leesville, the 
principal rook is a fine granular slaty quartzite, which readily breaks out 
into masses or slabs of any regular thickness and length. Its dip is 

■. ■ I 

■I- 1 

hi I- 



1, . 





'I I 



generally to the southeafit 60° to 80°. Some layers are hard, others ai 
soft. The summit of the ridge or hill is composed of the white silieeoi 
rock in nearly vertical layers and it has been quarried in many place 
The rock consists of nearly pure quartz without feldspar and mica, an 
it possesses beauty and durability as a building stone. 

In Albemarle county two approximately parallel belts of quartzil 
occur. The most westerly one of these is on the immediate west side ( 
Green Mountain extending in a southwest direction toward Boekfis 
river and in a northeast direction a little west of Charlottesville. Tl: 
second belt occurs in Findlay's Mountain extending northeastward. Fa 
Hill Mountain, Applebury Mountain, and near Charlottesville in Bagge 
Mountain, and crossing the turnpike in a belt more than half a mile wid 
The rock is subject to great variation over the belts, that of the eastei 
belt being usually of finer grain than that of the belt west of Charlotte 
ville. In many places large slabs and masses of the stone are easil 
quarried and it is said to possess great durability as a building material. 

According to Professor Rogers, quarries were opened many years aj 
at the following localities: On the western flank of Green Mountaii 
openings at various points were made and the stone was used in the coi 
struction of the locks and culverts of the James river canal. The bee 
dip steeply to the southeast and are from 3 to 4 feet thick. The gtoi 
is quite uniform, easy to quarry in large blocks, and it dresses readil; 
It is of light gray color, hard and siliceous, and contains only a fe 
scales of mica. On Sucker's Bun in the gap of Warwick's Mountain 
similar rock has been quarried. This stone is described by Professc 
Bogers as a hard siliceous sandstone of gray color containing both felc 
spar and mica, and is intersected by cross-joints. The beds dip to tl 
southeast. At the end of Fall Hill Mountain on the east side of Boekfis 
liver, quartzite has been extensively opened and used in the constructio 
of the James river canal. The principal opening, situated at the end ( 
the mountain, exposes a hard, siliceous, light^colored sandstone containiu 
some mica and pyrite. Professor Bogers describes the layers as being f roi 
10 to 12 feet thick, of uniform texture, and well adapted for architectun 
purposes. His description follows: 'TSeds of grey and yellow sandstoi 
occasionally present thanselves among the darker rock and these are un 
lonnly of a coarser texture, and in many cases are rapidly decomposed b 
ezpoiiiie to the air and weather. Quarries of the dark greenish and bluis 
xodk have been opened in many places, and furnish a material for buildin 


which can hardly be excelled either for strength or pennanency under 
exposure. Much of this rock, however, is so hard as to prove diflBcult of 
separation in the quarry. This is remarkably the case with the green 
variety, which occurs very abundantly for a mile or two east of Men- 
weather's bridge on the Bivanna. 

"The grey and yellowish-red sandstone, occurring in beds sometimes of 
considerable breadth, and traversing the country in the general range of 
rocks to a considerable distance, are found in many places to furnish 
quarries of very valuable building material. Such of these beds as are 
intersected by frequent veins of quartz, are found to be by far the hardest 
and most valuable. In the same bed examined at points some distance 
asunder, a great difference in the hardness and consequent value of the 
material, may frequently be observed. Thus, the bed which on the eastern 
flank of Peter's mountain, near Gk>rdonsville, yields a building stone which 
comes from the quarry in long quadrangular blocks of great hardness and 
durability, presents at the distance of several miles to the south a crumbling 
mass. . .'' 

In Prince William county a schistose quartzite traceable for many 
loiles is described as occurring in Bull Bun and Pond Mountains and in 
Baldwin's Bidge. Some of the layers are reported to be from 2 to 4 and 
more feet thick, are highly micaceous, and separate with great regularity 
into slabs of large size. 

A gneissoid sandstone of light gray color is found in Orange county. 
Some of the stone has been quarried and used for steps, sills, and other 
purposes in the neighborhood. Exposures of the rock are seen at inter- 
vals along the eastern base of Southwest Mountain. The rock is penetrated 
by regular joints which facilitate the quarrying of large and thick slabs. 

In Fauquier county less than 1 mile east of Warrenton a somewhat 
similar rock to that described above in Orange county is exposed over a 
considerable area and has been quarried for local use. Again, 4 miles 
west of Warrenton at the western base of Watery Mountain is a gray sand- 
stone which has been quarried for local building purposes and for flagging. 

In Nelson county at Fabers and Eockfish, stations on the Southern 
Bailway, quarries opened in an irregular micaceous conglomerate are ex- 
tensively operated at present for crushed stone used as ballast. 


The Newark (Jnra-Trias) Sandstones. 

Seven areas of Newark rocks of Mesozoic age are distributed ovc 
the er}^stalline region east of the Blue Eidge. These are shown on th 
accompanying geologic map and are here designated as follows: 

(1) The Xew York-Virginia area. This represents the southern poi 

tion of a continuous belt of l^Iesozoic rocks which extends south 
westward from New York into Virginia, crossing the Potoma 
river from Maryland, west of Washington, and comprising part 
of the following counties in Virginia: Loudoun, Fauquiei 
Prince William, Culpeper, and Orange. 

(2) The Richmond area, located about 13 miles east of Richmond ani 

including parts of Amelia, Chesterfield, Henrico, Powhatan 
and Goochland counties. 

(3) The Danville area, which extends northeastward throng 

Pittsylvania county into Campbell and Appomattox counties. 

(4) The Farmville area in Prince Edward, Buckingham, and Cumbei 

land counties. The greatest length of this area is 22 miles an 
its greatest width is about 4 miles. 

(6) The Scottsville area, lying mostly in Albemarle count}', but co^ 
ering small parts of Buckingham and Nelson counties. 

(6) The Barboursville area in Orange county. 

(7) The Taylorsville area in Hanover county. 

The general shape and size of these areas are shown on the necom 
panning geologic map. The main portion of the beds forming these area 
is composed of conglomerates, breccia, sandstone, shale, and slate. Of thea 
sandstone and shale are by far the most abundant. Besides these chere ar( 
a few thin limestone layers, and deposits of coal. The rocks are usuall; 
more or less disturbed by faulting and with two exceptions they show i 
persistent dip to the west and northwest at angles varying from 15° u] 
to 70** in extreme cases, with an average much nearer the former. In th 
central portion of the Richmond area the rocks have a nearly horizouta 

The greater part of the .sandstone of the Newark system in Virginij 
is brown or brownish-red, although occasional layers of gray sandstone 
occur with yellow and mottled sandstones found in some of the areas. Th( 
beds show considerable variation in thickness up to many feet with grada- 
tion into thin ferruginous shales. Likewise, wide variation in texture it 
shown but in many places the beds are sufficiently thick and compact anc 
uniform in color and texture to afford valuable building stone. It is 


the same reddish-brown sandstone of the Newark system that has been so 
extensively quarried in some of the northern and eastern states, and used 
so extensively for architectural purposes in the Atlantic Seaboard cities 
under the name brown stone. 

A few quarries of this sandstone have been opened and worked in 
Virginia, which yielded a stone that could be used with pleasing effects 
in a variety of combinations, and in quality not inferior to any of that in 
the more northern and eastern states. The principal quarries so far worked 
in this sandstone are in the vicinity of Manassas on the Southern Railway, 
and were opened about 1868. The stone is fine-textured, light reddish- 
brown in color and is said to closely resemble the lighter varieties from 
Seneca creek in Maryland. The beds vary in thickness from 1 to G feot, 
with the usual thickness of 5 to 6 feet, and are separated by a greenish- 
colored shale. Blocks 40 by 20 by 4 feet in thickness have been loosened 
in the quarry, and a block containing 88 cubic feet was shipped. Accord- 
ing to Dr. Merrill the quarries are located near the top of a low eminence, 
the strata being nearly horizontal, but with a slight dip toward the south. 
Only the surface of the ledge has been quarried and to a depth not ex- 
ceeding 40 feet. Up to the time of the taking of the Tenth Census some 
400,000 cubic feet of the stone had been removed. 

In Loudoun county, the red and brown Newark sandstones have been 
quarried east of Leesburg, and to the south of Leesburg and east of Oat- 
lands. The sandstone beds are separated by frequent beds of shale. Quarries 
can be readily opened and the stone has been tested by long exposure 
and does not deteriorate. 


Introductory Statement. 

The Paleozoic sediments comprise a vast thickness of rocks, principally 
sandstone, shale, and limestone, which make up the Mountain province 
west of the Blue Ridge. An abundance of sandstone of variable composi- 
tion, color, texture, and structure, is widely distributed over many 
parts of the province, but up to the present time no special in- 
\estigation has been made of the qualities of the sandstones as 
to their adaptability and desirability for general building and construc- 
tional purposes. Stone has been quarried in places over the region to meet 
an immediate and strictly local need. 

The various sandstones and quartzites of the Mountain province are 


discussed below, so far as we have knowledge of them, under the geologic 
systems to which they belong, beginning with the oldest. These systems 
are the Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous. 

The Cambrian Sandstones. 

The Potsdam sandstone (quartziie), — The so-called Potsdam sand- 
stone or quaxtzite of Cambrian age, formation No. I of Rogers, is largely 
confined in distribution to the western slope of the Blue Bidge, and the 
narrow belt of rugged hills and mountains which extend westward and 
northwestward to the commencement of the Shenandoah or Valley lime- 
stone. According to Keith a belt of Weverton sandstone, which is an 
equivalent pari; of the Potsdam, occurs on the east side of the Blue Bidge 
in Loudoun county, extending across the Potomac from Maryland into 
Virginia in a slightly west of south course, passing a short distance west 
of Leesburg. 

In general the Potsdam sandstone consists largely of a compact, close- 
grained, white or light gray rock, containing in some places, beds of a 
rather coarse conglomerate of white siliceous pebbles. A brownish, slaty 
sandstone occurs in places near the bottom alternating with the former, 
and towards the top it passes into reddish, brownish and olive-colored 
argillaceous slates or shales. 

Its white or light gray color, the closeness and fineness of grain, and 
the almost exclusive siliceous composition, make it generally well adapted 
for a durable building material. In many places, the joint-planes, of 
which there are several sets cutting the rock, are very closely spaced, sub- 
dividing it into somewhat rhombic forms, do not permit of dimension stone 
being quarried. Where spacing of the joints does not prevent the quarrying 
of any size stone, the rock is so highly siliceous, compact, and close-textured, 
that it is difficult and expensive to quarry. So far as the writer is aware, 
stone for local consumption only has been quarried from the beds of 
this horizon. 

When crushed, the Potsdam sandstone is admirably suited for ballast 
and concrete work. The closely-spaced joints in many places where the 
rock is found serve to break the stone into small sizes, much of which doe? 
not require further crushing. In Augusta county, about one mile east of 
Basic, an extensive quarry is in operation in this formation along the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Bailway for crushed stone. The stone at this 
localify la broken by nature into sizes sufficiently small as not to require 


The Silurian Sandstones. 

An examination of the accompanying geologic map> will show 
the distribution of Silurian rocks in Virginia. As there indicated 
these rocks are limited in their distribution to the area west of the Blue 

The formations comprised within this system of rocks in Virginia 
are made up in considerable part of sandstones. Two of these formations, 
the Medina and Clinton, are represented by a considerable thickness of 
sandstone, in many places, in the region west of the Blue Bidge. Accord- 
mg to Darton and Campbell, the equivalent of the Medina formation com- 
prises at least three different sandstones in places, each of which is 
designated and mapped by a separate name. 

The Silurian sandstones show much variation in color, texture, and 
structure. In color, variation is from red ferruginous through various 
shades of gray to nearly white; in texture, from fine to coarse and con- 
glomeratic; and in structure, from thin to massive and heavy-bedded rocks. 
In many places where these sandstones are found their quality is sufficient 
to make them valuable for general constructional purposes, but as yet the 
demand has not been sufficient to lead to their quarrying except for 
immediate and local needs. 

The Devonian Sandstones. 

The principal sandstone of the Devonian age found in Virginia is the 
Monterey or Oriskany which, so far as known, has its greatest development 
in the middle portion of the province west of the Blue Ridge, extending 
northeastward, and also recognized in places further southwestward. Darton 
gives the following description of this rock: *^The prevailing material 
is a hard, fine-grained, calcareous sandstone of dark bltie-gray color, 
which weathers to a dirty buff, porous, sandy rock of varying hardness.^' 

The thickness of the sandstone in the Monterey folio, which covers parts 
of Bath and Highland counties, is estimated by Darton to vary from 50 
to 200 feet, and over the greater part of the area it is between 100 and 
165 feet. Coarser grained phases of this sandstone occur in places. In 
composition, it varies from a rock composed very largely of sand grains 
on the one hand, to a limestone containing but few sand grains on the 
other, with nearly all gradations between these extremes. 

So far as the writer is aware, no quarries have been opened in this 
sandstone. The rock is generally too friable to make a good building 


The Carboniferous Sandstones. 

The Carboniferous comprises much the greatest total thickness of sand- 
stone of any geologic system in the State. The distribution of the rocks 
belonging to this system is entirely limited to certain parts of the region 
west of the Blue Ridge. For convenience of description the sandstones of 
this system may be treated separately under two divisions: (1) The 
Mississippian or Lower Carboniferous sandstones, and (2) the Fennsyl- 
vanian or Coal Measures sandstones. Like the sandstones of the preceding 
systems, those of the Virginia Carboniferous have not been investigated as 
to possibilities for constructional or building material. 

The Mississippian group, — As is shown on the accompanying geologic 
map, the rocks of the Lower Carboniferous or Mississippian group 
are distrubuted along the middle and western portions of the Valley 
province, as single isolated, usually low, ridges, from Frederick county on 
the north to Smyth county on the southwest. In the southwestern part of 
the State the ridges are found near the middle portion of the Valley extend- 
ing parallel to the Valley axis, while farther northward they are found on 
the west side of the Valley as smaller and less numerous areas. (Jeographi- 
cally, these rocks are found to some extent in the following counties: 
Smyth, Wythe, Bland, Pulaski, Montgomery, Roanoke, Craig, Botetourt, 
Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Frederick. 

The group comprises a variable thickness of sandstone, conglomerate, 
and shale. A piincipal member of the group is the Price sandstone, which 
attains a thickness of as much as 300 feet in places. It varies from a 
fine- to coarse-grained rock, of yellow to dark gray and greenish color. 
In places, it is too badly fractured and otherwise intersected by closely 
spaced joints to permit of dimension stone being quarried. In other places 
the joints are suflBciently widely spaced to admit of quarrying stone of any 
desirable size. The rock apparently possesses those qualities in some 
localities which make it a desirable stone for building purposes. So far as 
I am aware, it has been used only occasionally and to a very limited extent 
for this purpose. It has been quarried in Pulaski county and used to a 
limited extent for building material in the town of Pulaski. 

The Pennsylvanian group, — This group of rocks comprises a vast thick- 
ness (about 3,000 feel) of alternating beds of essentially shales and sand- 
stones partly conglomeratic, with beds of coal. The rocks are limited in 
their distribution to the southwest comer of the State along the Kentucky- 
West Vir^nia line and include the whole or parts of the following ooontieB: 
Lee, Scott, Russell, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan^ and TaxewelL 13ie *«Wt 


lies west of the Valley region and forms the eastern portion of the Cumber- 
land plateau. Its eastern and southern border portions occupy the transi- 
tional zone between the disturbed — folded and faulted — rocks of the 
Valley region and the nearly horizontal rocks of the Cumberland plateau. 
Excepting the more or less disturbed marginal zone, the rocks of the re- 
maining and larger part of the area are almost flat^lying, observing a 
general northwest dip, as may be seen from the sections, figures 1, 2, 3, and 
4, of plate LVI. 

The several subdivisions of this group of rocks adopted by the TJ. S. 
(Geological Survey for different parts of the Virginia area which are 
sandstone-bearing are given under Coal on pages 336-378. Also the 
character of each horizon is given in the same tables. 

Sandstone is one of the principal rocks of the area. Variation in the 
sandstone is from fine to coarse grain in texture, thick massive-bedded to 
thin-bedded in structure, and from white to gray in color. Not all the 
sandstones of this area are desirable for constructional purposes, but some 
cf them are sufficiently even-textured and of uniform color, over con- 
siderable areas, to render them economically important and valuable for 
building purposes, as well as for other forms of constructional work. As 
yet they have been but slightly quarried, owing largely to a lack of demand 
for the stone and to the lack of ample transportation facilities. Tliey have 
been quarried, however, in places for strictly local use as a building stone 
and for heavy masonry. 


As indicated in the table of production below, the uses made of the 
sandstone quarried in Virginia are as a building material in the rough 
and dressed state, and as crushed stone for railroad ballast, concrete work, 
and road-making. From the description above of the various sandstone 
formations, it will be observed that the State possesses a great abundance 
and wide distribution of this type of stone, admirably suited in many cases 
for the uses made of it. With the recent creation of the new State Depart- 
ment of Highways and the increasing demand for stone in concrete work, 
a substantial increase in the production of crushed stone in the State 
may be reasonably expected. Many of the sandstone formations described 
above are capable of producing stone desirable in all respects for concrete 

The quarrying of sandstone-conglomerates in Virginia for grindstones, 
and the mining of sand for the various uses, are not included here but are 
discaased elsewhere under the respective headings "grindstones" and "sand," 
to which the reader is referred. 




Value of sandstone produced in Virginia from 1899 to 1905. 

Tear Value 

1899 $ 8,000 

1900 6,000 

1901 6,303 

1902 2,600 

1903 4,471 

1904 13,622 

1905 2,000 

Campbell, H. D. 

Campbell, M. R. 

Darton, N. H. 

Fontaine, W. M. 

Heinrich, 0. J. 

Merrill, G. P. 

Bogers, W. B. 
Bnssell, I. C. 


The Potsdam Group East of the Blue Bidge at 
Balcony Palls, Virginia. American Journal of 
Science, 1885, XXIX, 470-474; The Virginias, 
1885, VI, 99-100. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Estillville Polio 
No. 12. U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Pocahontas 
Folio No. 26. U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Tazewell Foho 
No. 44. U. S. Geological Survey, 1898. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Bristol Folio 
No. 59. U. S. Geological Survey, 1899. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Staunton Folio 
No. 14. U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Monterey Folio 
No. 61. U. S. Geological Survey, 1899. 

Notes on the Mesozoic Strata of Virginia. American 
Journal of Science, 1879, XVII, 25-39, 161-157, 

Mesozoic Formations of Virginia. Transactions 
American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1878, 
VI, 227-274. 

Stones for Building and Decoration. New York, 1897. 
For Virginia, see pages 336-337. 

A Beprint of the Virginias. New York, 1884. 

Correlation Papers. The Newark System, U. S. 
Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 85, 1892. For 
Virginia, see pages 83-94. 




Limestone is the name commonly applied to that group of rocks which 
consists essentially of calcium carbonate. The rocks belonging to this 
group differ in color, texture, structure, and origin. They are often quite 
impure, the more common accessory constituents being silica, magnesia, 
clay, iron, and bituminous matter. These may be present in amoimts 
suflBcient to give character to the rock when it is designated as siliceous, 
magnesian, dolomitic, argillaceous, ferruginous, or bituminous. Likewise, 
they give rise to a variety of colors among which water-blue, green, yellow, 
pink, red, and shades of gray to black are common. 

In chemical composition the limestones show great variation. Magne- 
sium carbonate may be present from traces up to the full percentage of a 
typical dolomite; and silica may range from a trace up to the limit where 
the stone becomes a calcareous sandstone. Such silicate minerals as mica, 
talc, serpentine, tremolite, etc., are of frequent occurrence in the more 
crystalline limestones. 

Variation in texture, strength, and durability is as great as in com- 
position. They may be fine, medium or coarse-grained, and crystalline or 

Those crystalline granular limestones which are susceptible of a fine 
polish and are adapted to decorative work are grouped as marbles. Ordi- 
narily, the term marble is restricted to those limestones in which the sedi- 
ments have been so altered and metamorphosed a? to have a crystalline 

Limestones are found in stratified beds, among rocks of nearly all 
ages from the pre-Cambrian to the most recent. Most of those used for 
building and ornamental work belong either to the Cambrian, Silurian, 
Devonian, or Carboniferous ages. 


Limestone has wide distribution in the State, and is found in each of 
the three larger divisions, namely, the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, 
and the Appalachian Mountain province west of the Blue Ridge. It is 
not equally distributed in the three larger divisions or provinces, nor is 
it of the same degree of purity. It has greatest distribution in the province 
west of the Blue Ridge, where it is one of the dominant rock-types. Four 


principal limestones of considerable commercial importance are prominent- 
ly though unequally developed in this province. 

The limestone of the Coastal Plain region is of the impure eiathy form, 
and in this respect it is unlike that of the Piedmont and Mountain prov- 
inces. As a rule, the limestone of the Piedmont province differs from 
that of the other two provinces in being more crystalline. 

For convenience of description the limestones of the State may be 
treated separately under (a) the larger" divisions or provinces, and (b) 
according to geologic age. On this basis we have the following classification 
of the limestones which is observed in the descriptions below: 

I. The Coastal Plain limestones. 
II. The Piedmont Plateau limestones. 

(1) The older crystalline limestones of unknown age. 

(2) The Newark (Jura-Trias) limestones. 
III. The Mountain province or Paleozoic limestones. 

(1) The Shenandoah (Valley) limestone of Cambro-Ordovician 

(2) The Chickamauga limestone of Ordovician (Lower Silurian) 

(3) The Lewistown (Helderberg) limestone of Silurian age. 

(4) The Greenbrier limestone of Lower Carboniferous age. 


The Teritiary limestones called "marls'' occur abundantly in eastern 
or Tidewater Virginia. They are unconsolidated or at best partially con- 
solidated, impure earthy limestones in no wise suited for a building stone. 
Their distribution and compositon are but partly known at present, but 
they have been extensively used for agricultural purposes, and on investi- 
gation will probably prove to be of considerable value for the manufacture 
of Portland cement. A further description of these deposits is given under 
the heading Marls on pages 396-400. 


The most abundant and commercially important limestones of the 
Piedmont province are the older and highly crystalline ones of unknown 
geologic age. More or less impure limestones of limited extent occur in 
th6 JnrarTrias area of the Piedmont region, but so far as known, they are 
€i doubtful commercial value. 


The Older Crystalline limestones. 

Oeneral properties. — ^The crystalline area or Piedmont province, ex- 
tending eastward from the Blue Bidge, includes numerous areas of pure 
and impure crystalline limestones, much of which is of workable grade 
marble. The limestone beds of this area show much yariation in color, 
texture, structure^ and composition. Blue, gray, white, and pink, are, in 
the order named, the commonest colors. Texturally, variation is from 
fine- to coarse-grained, and from thin-bedded or schistose to massive in 
structure. In composition the beds vary from nearly pure limestones, 
calcium carbonate, through magnesium limestones to pure dolomites, 
calcium-magnesium carbonate. 

The limestones of this area are associated with crystalline schists, 
largely of the micaceous, talcose, and steatitic types. They do not form 
continuous belts as in the Valley region and are therefore not persistent or 
continuous, but form greatly drawn out lenses intercalated with the schists. 
The calcareous rock is sufficiently pure to be well adapted to the manu- 
facture of lime, for architectural and other purposes, and in many places 
possesses the requisite properties of a desirable ornamental stone, for which 
uses the rock has been quarried in the past. 

Distribuiion, mode of occurrence, and general characters, — In Albe- 
marle and Orange counties, a belt of slaty rocks containing embedded de- 
posits of limestone occurs to the west of Scottsville in Albemarle county, 
and extends in a northeasterly course, showing at intervals the limestone 
masses on Buck Island, Limestone, and Meechump, creeks. According to 
Professor Eogers, the limestone at Meechump contains 83.2 per cent, of 
calcium carbonate. 

Exposures of the limestone are again shown about one and a half miles 
east of Gordonsville, in Orange county, and also on the road from Gordons- 
ville to Orange court-house. According to Professor Rogers the limestone 
beds at these localities are dark blue and slaty, presenting smooth talcose 
surfaces and occasional thin veins of carbonate. West of and between the 
last locality and Montpelier is foimd a bed of fine-grained marble, which 
bears a striking resemblance to that extensively exposed on the James river 
opposite Warminster, in Nelson county. The width of the exposure ia 
about 90 feet. The rock is white, shaded with pink, and contains occa- 
Bional green talc. 

Doctor Henry Froehling gives the following analysis of limestone from 


the Buford property, near Manteo station, on the Chesapeake and Ohio 
Bailway, in the vicinity of Wanninster, Nelson county : 

Per cent. 

Calcium carbonate 54.833 

Magnesium carbonate 33.524 

^^^^^^^^ I 3.600 

Iron oxide j 

Silica 5.500 

Phosphoric oxide 170 

Organic matter 827 

Water 1.240 

ToUl 99.704 

Exposures of a similar rock, some of considerable extent, are found on 
the Eapidan river, nearly in the general line of bearing of those referred 
to above. The westernmost of these occurs nearly opposite the mouth of 
Summerduck creek. The rock is pinkish, sometimes gray, fine-textured, 
and parted into thin layers of from 1 to 2 inches thick. It bums into 
white lime and has been used for domestic purposes and for building. 
Two other ledges of limestone of considerable extent are found lower down 
the river; the uppermost one, about 1 mile above the mouth of Brooke's 
run, is mostly blue, fine-granular with little or no quartz, mica or other 
impurities, and exists in layers several feet thick. The strike is between 
northeast and north-northeast with a steep southeast dip. Width of the 
exposure on the river is about 60 feet. About 300 yards further east is 
another bed about 120 feet thick where exposed, of blue and pink shades 
intersected by white veins of carbonate. The beds are separated into thin 
layers which have the same general dip as those above. 

In the same general direction, limestone shows near the mouth of and 
on Mountain creek, in Culpeper county; and on the Rappahannock river 
at the mouth of Marsh run, in Fauquier county. The rock is slightly tal- 
cose and micaceous, of bluish color, veined with carbonate and of slaty 
structure. It has been quarried and burnt for lime in both counties. Simi- 
lar interrupted limestone beds appear in Fauquier and Loudoun counties, 
associated with slaty and gneissoid rocks. One of the most extensive of 
these is traced along the western base of Eappahannock Mountain and 
thence to the vicinity of White Plains. The rock is of variable color and 
texture, sometimes light blue and coarse-grained, and sometimes light gray 
with films of talc. It has been quarried at several points and burned for 

Further towards the northeast, a narrow bed of limestone occurs near 
Dover Mill on Little river, about 2 miles west of Aldie, in association with 


micaceous and argillaceous slates. Beyond this and in the same direction 
are several exposures north of the road leading from Aldie to Snickers 
Gap in the Blue Ridge. More or less extensive exposures are found to the 
northwest and near Goose creek. The rock is fine-textured, of blue color, 
about 20 feet wide, and has been quarried quite extensively at several 

Marble. — Calcareous masses occur at Taylortown in Loudoun county en- 
closed in greenish, slaty talcose rocks. West of this are several layers of beau- 
tifully white marble of fine and uniform texture, free from veins, and can be 
obtained in blocks from 1 to 2 feet thick, and several feet long. Both the blue 
and the white crystalline limestone of these localities appear to be suscepti- 
ble of good polish. 

Concerning the marble of the Goose creek area in Loudoun county, 
Doctor Merrill says: **White and pink marbles of excellent quality also 
occur in the vicinity of Goose Creek, in Loudoun county. I have seen 
samples of the white, which for purity of color, fineness of grain, and gen- 
eral excellence, are not excelled by any marble now quarried in the United 
States, but the extent of the deposit is as yet unknown." 

Concerning the limestones of Loudoun county which Keith groups as 
of Cambrian age, he says : **The limestones occur in the form of lenses in 
the slate, and are developed along two lines, one being the axis of South 
Mountain, the other lying immediately west of Catoctin Mountain. Those of 
the eastern line are thicker and more continuous. Most of the outcrops have 
been worked for lime but the chief value of the limestones lies in the beds 
of marble along the line of their eastern outcrops. The marbles are inter- 
bedded with slate and schists, sometimes in one bed, sometimes in two, but 
the beds are generally too small to work. At Goose Creek the marble bed 
is about 62 feet thick and has been worked to a considerable depth. The 
varieties there shown are chiefly white, but there occur also, banded blue 
and white, serpentinized white and green, pink and white, and green and 
white. These beds are pure, and the stone is of great beauty, and takes a 
good polish; thus far, however, the lack of transportation has prevented 
extensive quarrying. Farther south along its range the limestone is less 
metamorphosed into marble and increases in thickness. 

"Ornamental stones of great beauty are worked in the Newark con- 
glomerate and Loudoun marbles. The Loudoun marbles have not been de- 
veloped for commercial use, but for beauty and variety they compare favor- 
ably with any in the country." 

An analysis of a medium crystalline, pure white, marble from Mr. 


Henry Fairfax's place, in Loudoun county, gave Mr. J. B. EofE, Jr., in the 
laboratories of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the following results: 

Per cent. 

InsoluhU? iiiiitter 2.12 

Alumiua ) g^g^ 

Iron oxide j "'^ 

Lime 44.26 

Magnesia 8.10 

Lime equivalent in calcium carbonate 79.00 

Magnesia equivalent in magnesium carbonate... 17.01 

Verd Antique Marble, — Concerning some of the beds of marble in the 
vicinity of Goose creek, in Loudoun county. Doctor Merrill says: 'These 
same beds also produce a green or very antique marble of great beauty. The 
stone is an impure magnesian limestone, admixed with a large amount of 
serpen tinous matter. The prevailing hue is green but the stone is streaked 
and blotched in various shades and often brecciated. It is well adapted to 
interior work but the presence of abundant pyrite renders it unfit for ex- 
ierior application.^' 

In Grayson county, near the North Carolina line, a belt of coarsely-crys- 
talline white to pink limestone (marble) is traceable in a southwest direction 
for several miles. The belt as exposed will average several hundred feet 
wide in places and the stone has been quarried at several points and used 
for making lime and as a building stone. It is quite freely streaked with 
large and small enclosures of a greenish silicate, which on a polished sur- 
face should give a pleasing effect and could be used to advantage as an 
ornamental stone and for the same purposes as the true verd antique mar- 
ble. Figure 2, plato X, is a view in one of the openings made in this belt of 

Extending from Mount Athos, 5 miles east of Lynchburg, in Campbell 
county, northeastward to Eiverville, in Amherst county, is an extensive belt 
of sedimentary rocks known as the "James River Iron Belt," composed of 
alternations of quartzites, micaceous, talcose, and chloritic schists, and 
limestones. Parts of Campbell, Amherst, and Appomattox counties are 
included in this belt, which has a general northeast direction. Within this 
belt have been located a number of different limestone beds having an ag- 
gregate thickness of more than 1,200 feet. The stone is crystalline-granu- 
lar of white, gray and darker colors, and usually contains more or less 
magnesia in its composition. It was largely quarried and used as a flux in 
the old furnaces once in operaton in that section. It has also been quarried 
and used to some extent for making lime. 


Fig. 2. — View in opening of marble in Grarson oounly. 



Samples of the limestone from Campbell and Appomattox counties 
were collected and analyzed by J. B. Britton with the following results : 


Per cent 

Per cent Per cent 

Per cent 

Per cent. 

Galdnm carbonate 77 67 

Magnesium carbonate 3;78 

Silica 15.88 

Alumina 0.97 

Iron oxide 1 . 16 

Manganese oxide 0.07 

Iron sulphide 

Pbosphoric oxide 0.003 

Water 0.27 

Total ' 99.803 















L Blue limestone from nearly vertical stratum, about 3 feet wide, on the 
north side of the Norfolk and V astern Railway. Supposed to be an 
outcrop of a stratum 40 feet wide exposed in the bed of a branch to the 
south of the railroad. 
n. Light blue limestone from stratum about 26 feet wide, about 300 yards 
from railroad bridge, 7 miles from Lynchburg. 
m. Same as II but of dark blue color. 
IV. Blue limestone from stratum about 50 feet wide exposed in branch a little 

south of the railroad. 
y. White crystalline limestone from stratum about 40 feet wide. 

To the east of the Southwest and Green Moimtains, in Albemarle 
county^ the belt of rocks including beds of limestone exposed on Mee- 
chump's creek and at other places is traced with but little interruption in 
a general southwestward course through several counties. 

Professor Rogers gives the following analyses of limestone found below 
Raccoon ford at the end of Southwest Mountain : 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent 

Oalciom carbonate 

Magnesium carbonate. 
Alumina ) 

Iron oxide j 















Deep pink limestone with gray white spots, compact and crystalline. Qibson 

Gibson quarry, south side of the Rapidan river. Grayish-blue, compact, 

semicrystalline limestone, cut by white veins. 
Deep blue compact limestone from Rapidan river, 300 yards east of Gibson 






At Warminster, in Nelson county, the structure of the limestone is more 
. or less slaty and the general color of the stone is bluish-gray, frequently 
veined with white crystallized carbonate. At this locality the limestone is 
associated with talcose schist and a white and hard siliceous rock of fine 
texture. According to Professor Rogers: "Near the mouth of Tye river 
and on the Rockfish, a true marble is found of beautiful whiteness, and of 
a texture which renders it susceptible of a fine polish, as well as being 
readily wrought by chisel. A few miles from Lynchburg, in Campbell 
county, a good marble is likewise found, and limestone is abundant in the 
same neighborhood." The limestone at Warminster contains according to 
Professor Rogers 81.4 per cent, of calcium carbonate. 

About 2 miles east of Evington, on Captain Saunders* place, on the 
waters of Back and Troublesome creeks, are several parallel beds of medium 
granular crystalline limestone, which are traceable in a general southwest- 
erly direction through Campbell county into Pittsylvania, in the vicinity 
of Toshes and Sandy Level. 

This rock is associated with fine- and coarse-grained micaceous schists 
and in the Evington portion of the belt a hard- and fine-grained quart;. 
schist. Valuable deposits of an excellent grade of barite described on 
pages 309-318, are directly associated with the crystalline limestone in both 
Campbell and Pittsylvania counties, and extensive mines of the mineral 
have been operated at various localities in the two counties. 

The limestone beds vary in thickness up to 60 and more feet. The 
stone is fine to coarsely granular, beautifully white with pink and darker 
shades shown in places, and contains in some places more or less black 
mica and greenish tremolite. Some pyrite and chalcopyrite disseminations 
occur in the stone in many localities. In structure the stone varies from 
schistose to massive, and it has been quarried in places to a limited extent 
for making lime. 

The following analyses of this stone made by Dr. Walter B. EUett of 
the Virginia Experiment Station shows its composition to be: 

Per cent 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Insoluble matter 

Barium sulphate .... 

Barium oxide 

Alumina 1 

Iron oxide j 



Ghldiun carbonate... 

'^•viMiliim carbonate. 

p iQ)|iliide 













ine limaatone from the Hewitt mine, Campbell county. 
Oline limestone from the Ramsay mine, Pittsylyania 


Newark (Jura-Trias) lomestones. 

Some of the rocks of the Newark areas in the Piedmont area east 
of the Blue Eidge, include thin layers of deposits of impure limestone, 
but up to the present time no use has been made of the limestone. The 
doubtful quantity and quality of this type of rock in the Newark areas 
render it of little or no commercial value. 

In describing the Newark formation in Loudoun county, Keith says: 
'They [Newark rocks] consist for the most part of red and brown sand- 
stone and shale, beds of gray sandstone and conglomerate and limestone 
conglomerate being present in smaller amount. The limestone conglomerate 
is made up of worn pebbles of limestone of various colors usually blue, 
interbedded in a reddish, calcareous matrix. Rarely pebbles of slate and 
gray sandstones also occur with those of limestone. The pebbles were 
deposited in their matrix in a very irregular manner, and in sharply 
hmited areas.^* 

The limestone conglomerate has been quarried on the Maryland side 
east of Point of Eocks and extensively used for interior decoration under 
the name of "Potomac Marble,'' and is of great beauty. 


The Paleozoic series of rocks comprises a vast thickness of sedimentary 
types which make up the entire Virginia area. Mountain province, west of 
the Blue Ridge. The principal rock-types are limestones, shales, and sand- 
stones. Of these, limestone forms one of the most important rocks in each of 
the larger geological time divisions, represented in the area. A variety of 
texture, structure, and color, is shown, which are brought out in the 
separate description of the individual limestones below. 

There are inexhaustible supplies of limestone in the Mountain province 
of Virginia suitable for the various uses made of this rock. It has been 
extensively quarried over many parts of the area for use as a furnace flux, 
for lime-making in building and agriculture, for building stone, for road 
metal and ballast, and for the manufacture of cement, both Portland and 

The Umestones which have been quarried to a greater or less extent over 

the area west of the Blue Ridge and used for one or more of the purposes 

enumerated above, are the Shenandoah, Chickamauga, Lewistown, and 

'■^cnbrier. The geographical distribution of these is given in the follow- 

^S "escrfptions and in the order of geological succession, from the lowest 

^ ^Ae highest. 


The Shenandoah (Valley) Limestone. 

The Shenandoah limestone, Formation No. II or Valley Limestone < 
Rogers, is the most persistent limestone formation in the State. It is ti 
nnderlying or basement rock of the Great Valley (Shenandoah) of Vi 
ginia, which extends from the Potomac river on the north to the Tenness 
boundary on the southwest, and lying immediately west of and parallel 
the Blue Eidge. It includes parts of the following Valley countie 
Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Eockingham, August 
Eockbridge, Botetourt, Eoanoke, Montgomery, Pulaski, Wythe, Smyth, ai 
Washington. Besides these it is found in Lee, Scott, Eussell, Tazewe 
Bland and Giles counties, in southwest Virginia. The Knox dolomite < 
eastern Tennessee is the correlative of a part of the Shenandoah limestoE 

In its normal development the Shenandoah limestone is probably n 
less than 4,000 feet thick and in places it is much thicker. It is separab 
into several different members, which are described in some detail by B 
Bassler under "Cement and Cement Materials'^ on pages 93-99. Profess 
H. D. Campbell makes 6 distinct divisions of the Shenandoah limestone 
the middle Valley portion of Virginia. These are : 

Period. Name of fonnation. Thickness in feet. 

- _ . . (Liberty Hall limestone 1000 ifc 

Ordovician | j^^^at limestone 100—160 

Natural Bridge limestone 3500+ 

p . . ( Buena Vista shale 600 — ^900 

uamonan ^ Sherwood limestone 1600—1800 

According to Darton, the eastern portion of the Staunton quadrangle 
imderlain by the Shenandoah limestone, which comprises several membei 
The lowest of these is described as a thick series of dark magnesian lira 
stone, grading upward into a series of lighter colored beds, which conta 
nodules and layers of chert irregularly distributed. The upper memb 
of the limestone is described as a purer and more thickly bedded formatio 
having a thickness of from 200 to 350 feet and very fossiliferous. Accor 
ing to Campbell, there appears to be no way of distinguishing the top fro 
the bottom of the Shenandoah limestone where exposed in the Byist 

The Shenandoah limestone shows considerable variation in charaetc 
It usually contains much chert in the form of nodules and layers irregular 
distributed through the limestone, and in some beds the chert is entire 
absent. The chert varies much in color and texture. The limestone 
much folded and crushed in places, when it is usually interlaced with i 
numerable vein-like lines and knife-edge stringers of white crystallizi 



calcite and dolomite. The rock has been frequently crushed and broken 
along certain lines into smaller masses and fragments and recemented as 
a limestone breccia. 

Variation in the Shenandoah limestone is from a fine-granular, dark- 
Wue, nearly black rock, to a fine and fairly coarse crystalline light-gray, 
nearly white limestone. In places there appear bands of a homogeneous 
compact and dense-textured, light-gray limestone within the formation. 
The formation is marked in other places by bands or streaks of a nearly 
pure limestone well suited for the making of lime, for which it has been 
quarried at many localities. The principal member of the Shenandoah 
limestone, named by Professor Campbell the Natural Bridge limestone, is 
usually a heavy-bedded, dark-blue to gray magnesian limestone, frequently 
dolomitic. This is the most important member of the Shenandoah lime- 
stone for the production of building stone. Quarries have been opened in 
it in many places through the Valley region, especially in southwest Vir- 
ginia, and the stone used locally for building purposes. On account of its 
high magnesian content this member of the formation has no value as a 
material for the manufacture of Portland cement. The other members of 
the formation contain desirable material for cement manufacture, and, for 
this purpose, they are discussed on pages 93-99. 

The following chemical analyses serve to indicate the general character 
of the magnesian member of the Shenandoah limestone in Virginia : 

Insoluble residue 

Silica (SiO.) 

ntaninin oxide (TiOa) 

Alumina (AlA) 

Ferric oxide (Pe,0,) 

Feirons oxide (FeO) 

Manganese oxide (MnO) . . 

Lime (CaO) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Baryta (BaO) 

Potash (K,0) 

Soda (Na^) 

Water (H/)) lOO^^C— ) . ... 

Water (H/)) lOC^C.-f- 
Carbon dioxide (00,) 
Phosphorus pentoxide (PsOs) 
Sulphuric anhydride (SO.) 


Per cent 






Per cent 















Per cent 



Per cent. 













Per cent 













I. Limestone. Massive, grayish-black, fine-granular, crushed and recemented 
with stringers of white calcite. Two and three-quarter miles southwest of 
Roanoke City, Roanoke county, Virginia. Dr. VV. E. Barlow, analyst. 
II. Limestone. Grayish white and moderately close crystalline. From the 190- 
foot level in the Austinville Zinc and Lead mines, Wythe county, Virginia. 
Dr. W. E. Barlow, analyst. 

III. Limestone. V^'llite. coarsely crystalline and crushed. Bottom of open-cut 

in the Austinville Zinc and Lead mines, Wythe county, Virginia. Dr. 
W. E. Barlow, analyst. 

IV. Limestone. White and medium crystalline. Bottom of open cut in the 

Austinville Zinc and Lead mines, Wythe county, Virginia. Dr. W. K 
Barlow, analyst. 
V. Limestone. Staunton, Augusta county, Virginia. George Steiger, analyst. 
U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 228, p. 306. 

Numerous analyses made of specimens of the limestone, collected by 
Dr. R. S. Bassler, throughout its extent in Virginia, are given under 
Cement and Cement Materials, pages 93-99, of this volume. 

The Chickamanga Limestone. 

Above the white argillaceous limestone at the top of the Knox dolomite, 
the equivalent of the Shenandoah limestone except the basal portion of 
the latter, is a series of blue, flaggy limestones, known as the Chickamanga, 
named from Chickamanga creek in Walker and Catoosa counties, Georgia, 
where the rocks of this formation seem best developed. The limestone is 
of Ordovician age. Dr. Bassler discusses the stratigraphic sequence and 
limitations of the Chickamanga limestone in Virginia on pages 133-137. It 
becomes heavier bedded toward the base and at times is, with 
difficulty, separated from the underlpng Shenandx)ah limestone. 
Campbell states that its base is generally marked by a heavy blue bed 
carrying black chert which serves to fix the boundary in many places. 

The Chickamanga limestone in Virginia is confined to southwest Vir- 
ginia and to the counties on the west side of the Valley. So far as it has 
been studied, the Chickamanga limestone occurs in the following southwest 
Virginia counties: Lee, Scott, Russell, Tazewell, Smyth, Washington, and 
Bland. The average thickness of this limestone for southwest Virginia is 
probably less than 1,000 feet. 

The chief economic importance of tho Chickamanga limestone lies in 
the fact that it is the great marble-producing formation of the South. It is 
this formation that carries the famous marbles of East Tennessee. The 
marble of this formation (Holston) in Virginia has received little or no 
attention as yet and the developments are very meagre. 

Along the northern base of Clinch Mountain, in Scott county, the 
Chickamanga limestone (Holston) carries near the bottom a variable bed of 


gray and red mottled marble. The marble is extremely variable in character 
and in thickness. In places it is highly crystalline and of good color. No de- 
velopments have been made in this belt. At the northern base of Big Walker 
Mountain, Bland county, in the great bend between Bland and Sharon 
Springs, the Chickamauga limestone carries marble of coarse crystalliza- 
tion and of light gray color. It is found in massive beds and should prove 
to be a desirable building stone. It has not been developed except for local 

A coarsely crystalline marble of light color, collected by Bassler from 
the base of the Holston formation at Speer Ferry, Virginia, gave Mr. J. 
H. Gibboney on analysis : 

Per cent. 

Insoluble residue 0.86 

Alumina | , ,^ 

Iron oxide ] ^'^^ 

Lime 55.00 

Magnesia .08 

Calcium carbonate 08.21 

Magnesium carbonate 0.17 

Total.... 100.34 

Concerning the marble beds of the Chickamauga limestone in the Bris- 
tol folio, Campbell says: "A marble of this age [Chickamauga] is found 
in the Bristol quadrangle in the vicinity of Moccasin Creek, near the west- 
em margin of the quadrangle. It is the eastern extension of a belt of gray, 
coarsely crystalline marble which is particularly well shown in the vicinity 
of Gate City. Its texture is so coarse that it can be used only for structural 

"In the great syncline south of Clinch Mountain there occur, in the 
carboniferous limestone, one or two narrow bands of red or mottled marble 
which greatly resembles the red marble of East Tennessee. Much of this 
Carboniferous rock is merely red, earthy limestone, but some bands are 
highly crystalline and full of fossils, like the best Tennessee marble.^ 


The Lewistown Limestone. 

The Lewistown limestone, the equivalent of Professor Rogers' Forma- 
tion VI, and the Lower Helderberg, Salina, and Niagara, of the older 
geologists, has wide distribution in the Mountain province of Virginia, 
west of the Blue Ridge. It can probably be traced entirely across the State 
in an approximate northeast-southwest direction, developed for the most 
part at the present time along the west side of the Valley, although found 
well within the limits of the Valley proper in many places. Further 



distribution and description of the Lewistown limestone are given on pages 
151-156. In southwest Virginia, Campbell has described and mapped the 
Lewistown limestones under the names, Giles, for the area covered by the 
Pocahontas and Tazewell folios, and Hancock, for the area covered by the 
EstillviUe and Bristol folios. 

The Lewistown limestone is usually a pure, thickly bedded, fossilifer- 
ous limestone, containing some cherty members and occasional sandy beds, 
^tnd calcareous shales. It is especially fossiliferous in iis middle beds and 
in thickness varies up to 400 feet It has its greatest development in Vir- 
ginia in the middle Valley or Clifton Forge district, and thing considerably 
to the northeast and southwest of this district The thinning appears to be 
greatest towards the southwest. It weathers rapidly on the outcrop and 
exposures of the fresh limestone are comparatively few. Geologic sections 
and chemical analyses of the Lewistown limestone for different parts of the 
State are given on pages 151-156. 

The two following sections, in Alleghany county, were measured by Mr. 
R. J. Holden at Clifton Forge and at the ford of Potts cred:: 


Clifton Forge Section, Alleghany Count]/, 


Thin bedded Sandstone. 

Lewistown << 

Good limestone 

SandT limestone 

Good limestone 

Limestone with chert nodules 

IJmestone with Brvozoa 


Limestone, residual clay with probable limestone. 

Thin bedded shalv limestone 


Limestone, shalv 


Thirimww in feet 






Section at ford of Potts Creel' , 0,5 mile above Aritts, Alleghany County. 

Devonian. Shale 

Oriskany. Sandstone 

( Pure limestone (sandy in upper layers) 
ChertT limestone 

Lewistown < 

Massive sandstone 

Coarse reddish limestone, 

Thidmesa in fMt 






Concerning the Lewistown formation in the Monterey folio, covering 
parts of Bath and Highland counties, Darton says : *^The formation consists 
of limestones which are cherty, shaly, and sandy above, more massive in the 
middle, and thin-bedded or shabby below. The proportion of chert in the 
npper beds diminishes to the south, but the presence of a cherty member at 
the top of the formation is always characteristic. Next below there are 
usually alternations of shaly limestones, which to the southeast contain 
some very sandy layers. There are also included some thicker layers of 
purer limestone. The middle members are irregular in character and vary 
greatly from place to place. A very characteristic member near the center 
of the formation is a dark-blue, wavy-bedded, massive limestone 50 to 60 
feet thick, merging upward into harder, sandy limestone and hard, massive 
limestone with thin streaks of chert. At its base there is usually a distinct 
coralline bed. The lower half of the formation consists of slabby limestone 
merging downward into an irregular series of alternations of calcareous 
shales and impure limestones. . . The series of flaggy beds which con- 
stitute so large a portion of the formation are quite pure limestones, dark 
on fresh fracture, but weathering lighter on exposure. The beds are 
mainly from one-half to 2 inches thick, with smooth surfaces, along which 
the layers readily separate. To the southeast the upper part of the forma- 
tion includes, just below the cherty beds, a very pure, massive, fossiliferous, 
semicrystalline limestone.^' 

"The thickness of the Lewistown limestone averages about 900 feet over 
the greater part of the Monterey quadrangle, but to the extreme southeast 
it decreases to about 600 feet.'' The limestone includes abundant fossils. 

Along the western base of Little North Mountain, in Augusta county, 
a complete cross-section is opened near Ferrol exposing, according to Dar- 
ton, 200 feet of pure limestone, and farther north at BuflFalo the same au- 
thority states that there are several partial exposures in which about 150 
feet of thickly bedded, pure limestone is seen. 

In southwest Virginia, Campbell describes the Hancock limestone (Lew- 
istown) in the Bristol folio as follows: "Along the southern slope of 
Clinch Mountain the Rockwood (Clinton) formation is overlain by a blue 
or gray cherty limestone which is generally regarded as the uppermost 
member of the Silurian series and which is named from Hancock county, 
Tennessee.'^ It is very thin as a rule but reaches in several places where 
measured a thickness of 30 and 175 feet. 

In the Pocahontas and Tazewell Folios of southwest Virginia, Campbell 
describes the Lewistown limestone as the equivalent of a part of the Giles 



formation, names from Giles county, Virginia. He describes the Giles 
formation in the Pocahontas folio as consisting of shaly limestone, mas- 
sive limestone, chert, and coarse yellow sandstone. The geographic dis- 
tribution of the beds is uncertain, as they are generally covered on their 

According to Darton, both the Shenandoah and Lewistown limestones 
in the area covered by the Staunton folio are often suitable for marble, 
but the only attempts at its production has been in the Lewistown lime- 
stone at Craigsville and Bells Valley in Augusta county. The quarries at 
Craigsville were moderately extensive but the marble there was found to 
be too short and broken for profitable working. 

Doctor Henry Froehling gives the following analyses of the Craigsville 
marble, in Augusta county: 

Per cent 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Calcium carbonate 

Magnesium carbonate. . . . 
Alumina 1 

Iron oxide j 


Water and organic matter 














Per cent 






I. Light gray marble. 

II. Dark marble. 

III. Dark foesiliferous marble. 

IV. Red fossil if erous marble. 

In many places the Lewistown limestone possesses the requisite quali- 
ties of a desirable building stone, but its principal use up to the present time 
has been as a fluxing material in the iron furnaces. It has been and ia 
still somewhat extensively quarried in the Clifton Forge district and used 
for flux. It is also quarried and used for the same purpose in Shenandoah 

The Greenbrier Limestone. 

The Greenbrier limestone, Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) in age, 
is the limestone portion of Professor Rogers' formation No. XI and was 
subsequently named by him the Greenbrier limestone. Campbell mapped 
and described a Mississippian limestone in the EstillvDle and Bristol 
quadrangles as the Newman limestone, named from Newman Ridge in 
northern Tennessee. As yet full details concerning composition and local 



distribution of the Jilississippian limestones in Virginia are not known, 
^rheir general distribution so far as known is given on the accompanying 
map. Description and analyses of the Greenbrier and Newman limestones 
are given on pages 157-158. 

The distribution of the Greenbrier limestone in the State is limited to 
southwest Virginia, chiefly to those counties west of the Valley region 
proper, which m part border on the West Virginia line. These include, so 
fa/ as known at present, Lee, Scott, Wise, Washington, Smyth, Bland, Taze- 
well, and Wythe counties. It has greater distribution in West Virginia 
where ii roughly parallels the Virginia boundary. 

In Virginia, one of the principal lines of outcrop of the Greenbrier 
limestone is along the border of the coal field. It generally consists of 
heavy blue limestone, cherty at some horizons, grading upward into thin 
beds of a light blue color, becoming decidedly shaly at its upper limits, and 
is abundantly fossiliferous. It varies in thickness, ranging according to 
Campbell, from 900 to 1,000 feet in the Tazewell quadrangle; from 1.200 
to 1,700 feet in the Pocahontas quadrangle; and approximately 1,000 feet 
in the Bristol quadrangle. At Big Stone Gap, Wise county, the formation 
is 930 feet thick, composed in its upper part of calcareous shale, grading 
downward into shaly limestone and hard blue cherty limestone. In the 
Clinch syncline, Campbell estimates its thickness to be at least 1,500 feet. 
It is, so far as its composition is known, a non-magnesian limestone, a fact 
which renders it especially desirable for certain commercial purposes. 

The Greenbrier limestone has only been utilized to a small extent in 
Virginia and strictly for local purposes. At Big Stone Gap, Wise county, 
the lower layers of the limestone are quarried and used for flux in the iron 
furnace at that point. Lime in abundance could be produced from many 
of the beds of limestone should the demand be sufficient to warrant the 
working of quarries. It will probably prove to be in the future an impor- 
tant source of material for cement manufacture in southwestern Virginia. 

The following are analyses of the Newman (Greenbrier) limestone from 
near Cumberland Gap, quoted by E. C. Eckol in Bulletin No. 285 of the 
United States Geological Survey: 

Per I Per 
cent, cent. 

Per Per 
cent. ' cent. 






CaOO,. . . . 
MgCO,. . . . 



94.57 94 85 











1 . 50 

















Marble is partly described above under the diflferent limestones with 
which it is associated west of the Blue Hidge. The localities are given 
above so far as they are known. Under the present heading is assembled 
in r^<um6 form, with some description, the principal varieties of marble 
found west of the Blue Eidge, chiefly from color standpoint. 

Bands occur in some of the limestones of this region, especially the 
Shenandoah and Chickamauga, of a color and texture adapted to orna- 
mental purposes. There are according to Professor Bogers and other more 
recent geologists numerous varieties of these marbles which are distin- 
guished chiefly by their color. The special varieties mentioned are: 

(1) A dun-colored marble of homogeneous and coarse texture, and sus- 
ceptible of fine polish. According to Professor Rogers, this is perhaps the 

most abundant marble of good quality found in the northern and middle 
counties of the Valley. It is met with near New Market and Woodstock, 
rnd on the opposite side of Massanutten Mountain, in Page county, and 
has been traced for some distance both north and south. 

(2) A mottled bluish marble which occurs a short distance west of 
New Market and may be traced for many miles. It is described aa being a 
somewhat coarser grained rock than the dun-colored marble. 

(3) A gray marble occurring some three-quarters of a mile southeast 
of Buchanan near the contact of the Potsdam sandstone and the Valley 
limestone. It is of variable color, ranging from white to gray, and is a 
massive, ^viupaet. tine-grained rock. As exposed in Stone Run the bed is 
about 50 vards wide. 

{A) A white marble of exquisite color and fine-texture occurs about 5 
miles from Lexington, in Rockbridge county. Professor Bogers says that 
the marble of this particular locality can scarcely be excelled in suscepti- 
bility of jH>lish, fineness and evenness of grain, and purity of color. Marble 
of similar a>lor but not so abundantly nor of such excellent quality, occurs 
at other localities in the Valley. 

^5) A rt\l marble o^vurs in several of the southwestern counties. 
|>v>fessor Roi^ers dt»s^Til>eil a n\l marble from near the base of Angel's Bed 
Mountain, in iiile^ county, and one of the same here in the neighborhood 
of i'haf>tnan*s tVrrv. In Sinnt ^'ounty a mottled marble occurs in con- 
•uliTttblo quant UY a sliort Jistamv to the we?t of the Court-House. In the 
VhIU\ |»oriu>n v^t ihi> r\*^ion the dun-<\>lored variety of marble and others 

^t'o \ <h<uK\l inarl»!<« is fouuvl in Kov*kingham county, which is said to 


be compact^ susceptible of a beautiful polish, and of a yellowish-gray and 
slate color. This variety is a compact, fine-textured rock, susceptible of 
a good polish, has been opened and to a small extent worked in Bocking- 
ham county. 

(7) A black marble is found several miles northwest of Blacksburg in 
Montgomery county, which is a very compact, fine-textured, homogeneous 
rock and is susceptible of a good polish. It is found in considerable 
quantity outcropping on a number of adjoining farms and has been opened 
in a small way on Dr. Kibble's place, but systematic quanting has not been 
attempted. The rock is beautifully homogeneous in color, and, unless the 
thin knife-edge seams of calcite do not prevent the quarrying of dimen- 
sion stone, it should prove to be a most desirable ornamental stone. 

Cave (onyx) marbles, — The stalactitic and stalagmitic deposits and 
crusts on the walls and floors of the limestone cave and caverns, so 
abundantly developed in places through the Valley region of Virginia, 
west of the Blue Bidge, furnish, when cut, occasional fine pieces of the so- 
called onyx marble. Of these, the Luray caverns, in Page county, are the 
largest and best example in the State. As Doctor Merrill remarks, the 
stone from this source is too easily fractured and too uneven in texture 
to be worked economically, even though the deposit were of suflicient 
extent to warrant the opening of quarries. Concerning the cave marbles 
in general. Doctor Merrill says : *^ut at best the cave marbles of America 
must rank as 'uniques' rather than objects of commercial value. They 
will never become regular sources of supply. There is too much waste 
and too much uncertainty regarding amount and quality.'' 


An examination of the table given belo\^ of production of limestone in 
Virginia, shows the varied uses made of the stone. All purposes for 
which limestone is used are shown. These include : 

(1) Building stone. Limestone is one of the popular building stones 
▼here it is convenient to market and possesses the requisite quality and 
color. Marble, the crystalline variety of limestone, is the most valuable 
variety. The limestones found west of the Blue Bidge in Virginia have 
keen used to a considerable extent locally for building purposes. Each 
«f the principal limestone formations described above has been utilized 
fa) some extent for building. 

(2) Boad material and ballast. Nearly all varieties of limestone are 
used for road material and ballast, but those which combine good wearing 
qualities with cementing properties are the most desirable. Considerable 



limestone has been used in places in the Valley region for this class of 
work. It is probable that a substantial increase in the quarrying and 
crushing of limestone for this grade of work will be shown in the future 
in the Mountain region of Virginia. 

(3) Concrete. Limestone, crushed to gravel size or for special grades 
of work to flour, is used with cement for concrete. The utilization of 
limestone in the State for this purpose has only begun. Inexhaustible 
supplies of stone suited for this purpose are found west of the Blue Ridge. 

(4) Lime and cement. Limestone of proper composition is used in the 
manufacture of lime for building and agricultural purposes and in the 
manufacture of both natural and Portland cement. Large quantities of 
limestone are quarried over portions of the Valley region and burned for 
lime. Natural cement is made from an impure argillaceous limestone, of 
which large supplies of this grade of rock occurs in Virginia and has been 
and is being quarried for the manufacture of natural cement. For the manu- 
facture of Portland cement a pure limestone or one containing a mini- 
mum amount of magnesium carbonate is essential. A good grade of Port- 
land cement should contain in the finished product not more than 3 per 
cent, of magnesia. Inexhaustible supplies of limestone of excellent grade 
for the manufacture of Portland cement are found in the region west of 
the Blue Ridge. Only one plant, however, has yet been established in 
Virginia for the manufacture of Portland cement, namely, the Fordwick 
Portland Cement Company at Craigsville, in Augusta county. The cement 
materials and cement industry in Virginia are discussed in full elsewhere 
on pages 86-167. 

(5) Furnace flux. Limestone is extensively quarried west of the Blue 
Ridge and used for fluxing material in the iron furnaces over the region. 
Each of the principal limestone formations described above yields some 
material for this purpose. 


Value of the production of limestone in Virginia hy years from 1900 to 

1905 inclusive. 









Made into 

sold to 


stone, etc. 


5 070 



"i,*665 * 









> Includes West Virginia. 

* Includes 42,750 for other purposes. 

* Includes 22 for riprap. 

* Road-making' included under crushed stone. 
< Includes 11,818 for other purposes. 

* Includes 105 for other purposes. 



Britten, J. B. 

CampbeU, H. D. 

Campbell, M. B. 

Darton, N. H. 


Analyses of Campbell and Appomattox County, Vir- 
ginia, Iron and Manganese Ores and Limestones. 
The Virginias, 1881, II, 170-171. 

The Cambro-Ordovician Limestones of the Middle 
Portion of the Valley of Virginia. American 
Journal of Science, 1905, XX, 445-447. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Bristol Folio 
No. 59, U. S. Geological Survey, 1899. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Pocahontas 
Folio No. 26, U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Tazewell Folio 
No. 44, U. S. Geological Survey, 1897. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Estillville Folio 
No. 12, U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Franklin Folio 
No. 32, U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Monterey Folio 
No. 61, U. S. Geological Survey, 1899. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Staunton Folio 
No. 14, U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Nomini Folio 
No. 23, U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Fredericksburg 
Folio, No. 13, U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Harpers Ferry 
Folio No. 10, U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

McDonald, Marshall. Report of a Geological and Mineral Examination of a 

Portion of the James Eiver Iron Belt. The Vir- 
ginias, 1880, I, 10-12. 

Merrill, G. P. The Onyx Marbles: TheLr Origin, Composition and 

Uses, Both Ancient and Modern. Annual Report 
U. S. National Museum, 1893, 541-585. 

Stones for Building and Decoration, New York, 1897. 
For Virginia, see pages 117-119. 

Rogers, W. B. A Reprint of the Geology of the Virginias. New 

York, 1884. Contains a wealth of information on 
the Virginia limestones and marbles. 

Russell, I. C. Correlation Pajpers, Newark System. U. S. Geologi- 

cal Survey, Bulletin No. 85, 344 pages. 

Keith, A. 


i. : ■•■.: 1. Tf* »-,Tir 


vr.*". \lv.*".;r.-.. «r..> 

. ,- 

;f- * JL".^^ :T;.y>:<\; 

Of these. :be*::;:*?* lul siitl'f* :f iV5r' '.-m.^ uc-: i."^ :w JW» 
promisinr ce s:o:::^: :: ii-plt u.tafiLii.'f.. tiStkc:*: :.s:-m:;'M^ »?s 
venallT faroTir'.e iierij.-al ;-.Tn :«.ifiT3.-c. ri>f '<^-jiff,'TT ^.tm^b-vom » tiJ^ 
used in the mt^^iinz^ ::' rrc-itui .■xEpfci t: v'~i.i>-' •.'-. ^liJ;•^KS» 
conntT. and the Gre-;-":r«r -^Msr.-cjf ■»-..". 7-T.Vit:C^ rw.-,.— •; *t TtTV<-rAM 
sonrce of cenieiLj ^iz^zC :i ftMni-rwri'-:. V-.T-i-r*. 

This anic'e :? "r-tst-i -7'-"i^ i'*-- »tt-£ :■ :>* *r«- A;-r.; "i; <.-.7T.TMrt 
of 1905 and IfC't.. .:2.:er -j* fnsrs^:* .-: ■;:.•€ V- 5^ i^vO-v,"*^ >^."«f;i *t»?. 
fte Viiginia Gecli-'j-.^-il s^xttji. a :Ti.-.-f ,vi':*:>5 tw^-- : v.-.\-(r, :Sf s»-w* 
tnbject will shonlj >* T-^i'-iiiii; ij t. B'^V.rt.r. .-f ;>f V-,?y.T t t^*>A'-.x; ■,■»'. 

Most of the U]a>s^ izx*-: -^ 0» ff.-"«.r.£ Ttt<rt-s *(^ Tn*."f b\ V- 
._ H. Gibboney of the V:rr'^-i r.-.T-.iv'r.-^^- 1- 
r ftmuhed by lir. W.r: TssiJS .--i :hi V. * 
'. Ghsrliia Catlrti rf ?-;iz=;.-7.. V-.-r.=.:*. 7i 

lofeBaor H. P. r»n:p:«ci; cf Wtsh-.::^:,-! ir..-. Ijo-. V- ii-ts:> ;>t vsv:;-* 
1 ^hcrtMKraiihi of Inc*!:::;* in i>i.:nl ineSfTa Y.rj: r.>. Tr:;' Y-,t^*,t;-,* 

1 of their |-lact. 

xms or cxMEiT. 

Pt tlie nmnerfua V:ecs of .rn-.eE:;ii^ tna;*':-.*.*. v'n">- :hiv«> wh-,.h «•; 

l^intiiri that i*. hjdraclic oemems. art- ui bo .vnsi.Wrnv. ;n !V.c ;>t*«'«5 

Wlit^u rtiBiparatiTely pure lini«ii>iii' is b.cai^:. ^arivn i!;**\'aV 

Loff end ijnick lime results. This, as is »re':l snown. «;" slsi.f 

iddilios of water. If, however, the oriirinal limwiowe i.w.i*;ni\l 

IddIim, and iron oiide. in certain pro^vrt ions, the i^>s«'.t5iij; hurmxl 

B affected bv water only when i;nely invxind; and ihis jH'wdor 

[■ cement. 

■ Or grfinps of hydraulic wmont are n>i.\^jn>i»>l. «»d n>rtl.- 

inofactare occur in Virginia. Theso thrw class^'s, m tin* 

biportance, are: (1) Portland cement, (?> ntiniral n-mont. 

i cement. 

rture of Portland cement, a fim>ly gnmiiil mi\iinv is>ii- 

, alniaina, and iron oxide, in cxadly liolorniiniM (woimr- 

la temperature approaching S000° F. 'riiii" bwniiiijt jm*- 

masB called "clinker," which, as a Ins) nlop in thr 

etnre, must be fineK- ground. The thttm'tit'iil mixtnri- 

|rcoasists of 75 per cent, of I'Hictnm ■•iirlniiiiitc, V'H 



By R. S. Bassler.* 

The growth of the cement industry in the United States during the 
last ten years has been equalled by that of no other non-metallic structural 
material. This remarkable growth still persists and bids fair to continue 
because of the ever increasing building operations of the country. The 
recognition of cement as a most valuable structural material, and its ad- 
vantages over many other building materials in the matter of cheapness 
and durability, will always cause it to be regarded as a staple article of 
manufacture. A region, therefore, containing the natural materials from 
which cement can be made, has economic resources which, Sooner or later, 
will prove of great value. In this respect Virginia is pre-eminent. The 
Appalachian Valley and the various mountains and valleys westward, a 
tract 350 or more miles long, and averaging 50 miles in width, contains 
limestones and shales apparently equal in value and abundance to those of 
any other region. 

Geographically the state of Virginia may be divided into three parts, 
the first being an eastern division commonly known as the Coastal Plain, 
the second, a large, plateau-like central area bounded on the west by the 
Blue Ridge Mountains, and the third, a western portion including the 
Valley of Virginia and the various valleys and ridges westward to the 
State line. Considered geologically, these same divisions may be main- 
tained. Cenozoic and more recent rocks underlie the eastern portion of the 
State; the very ancient crystalline rocks, with a few comparatively small 
basins containing Mesozoic deposits, are exposed in the central area, or 
Piedmont plateau, while all the main divisions of Paleozoic strata are tQ 
be found in the western part. Raw material suitable for the manufacture 
of cement occurs in both the eastern and western divisions, but the nature 
of this material in the two areas is so different that it has been deemed best 
to consider them separately. The present report deals only with the lime- 
stones and shales of the larger western area. 

Four prominent sources of cement material obtain in western Vir- 
ginia. In geologic order these are: 

4. Greenbrier (Mississippian) limestone. 

3. LewifttoHTi (Helderberjrian) limestone. 

2. Ordovician (Trenton, etc.) limestones and shales. 

1. Cambrian — impure limestone and shale. 

^Published by permission of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 


Of these, the limestones and shales of Ordovician age are the most 
promising on account of their abundance, widespread distribution, and 
usually favorable chemical composition. The Lewistown limestone is now 
used in the manufacture of Portland cement at Craigsville, Augusta 
county, and the Greenbrier limestone will probably become an important 
source of cement material in southwestern Virginia. 

This article is based upon field work by the writer during the summers 
of 1905 and 1906, under the auspices of the U. S. Geological Survey and 
the Virginia Geological Survey. A more detailed report upon the same 
subject will shortly be published as a Bulletin of the Virginia Geological 

Most of the analyses quoted in the following pages were made by Mr. 
J. H. Gibboney of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, but a few were 
kindly furnished by Mr. Wirt Tassin of the U. S. National Museum, and 
by Mr. Charles Catlett of Staunton, Virginia. The writer is also indebted 
to Professor H. D. Campbell of Washington and Lee University for notes 
and photographs of localities in central western Virginia. The Virginia 
Portland Cement Company has also kindly furnished cuts and notes on the 
operation of their plant. 


Of the numerous kinds of cementing materials, only those which set 
Tmder water, that is, hydraulic cements, are to be considered in the present 
connection. When comparatively pure limestone is heated, carbon dioxide 
is driven off and quick lime results. This, as is well known, will slake 
upon the addition of water. If, however, the original limestone contained 
silica, alumina, and iron oxide, in certain proportions, the resulting burned 
mass will be affected by water only when finely ground; and this powder 
will be a hydraulic cement. 

Three classes or groups of hydraulic cement are recognized, and mate- 
rials for their manufacture occur in Virginia. These three classes, in the 
order of their importance, are: (1) Portland cement, (2) natural cement, 
^d (3) Puzzolan cement. 

In the manufacture of Portland cement, a finely ground mixture con- 
taining lime, silica, alumina, and iron oxide, in exactly determined propor- 
tions, is burnt at a temperature approaching 3000** F. This burning pro- 
duces a semi-fused mass called "clinker,'^ which, as a last step in the 
process of manufacture, must be finely ground. The theoretical mixture 
employed for burning consists of 75 per cent, of calcium carbonate, 20- 


per cent, of iron, alumina, and silica, and 5 per cent, allowed for mag- 
nesian carbonate and other substances. This ideal composition is seldom 
realized in nature, and, as a rule, an artificial combination is made by mix- 
ing limestone or marl with clay or shale. In this case, one part of the 
clayey materials is generally added to three parts of pure limestone. 

The following are the more important particulars in which natural 
cements differ from Portland cements: 

(1) Natural cements are made from the rock as it occurs in nature and 
not from a tinely ground artificial mixture. 

(2) The natural cement rock is burned at a considerably lower tem- 

(3) Natural cement is usually of a different color and of lighter weight 
than the Portland. 

(4) The natural cements set more rapidly than the Portland but do 
not have so high a tensile strength. 

Puzzolan cement is simply a mechanical mixture of powdered slaked 
lime with either a volcanic ash or a blast furnace slag. This mixture when 
finely ground will act like an ordinary hydraulic cement. In view of the 
materials in Virginia suitable for the manufacture of Portland and natural 
cements, Puzzolan cement is of slight consequence and is not discussed 
further. Again, Portland cement has become of so much greater impor- 
tance than natural cement, that the few pages toward the close of this 
contribution devoted to the latter are deemed sufficient. 


It is the writer's intention to discuss only the more important cement 
materials of western Virginia and to indicate their distribution. 

The most important materials in western Virginia for the manufacture 
of Portland cement are pure and argillaceous limestones, shales, slates, 
clays, and marls or calcareous tufa. 

A theoretically pure limestone is 'composed entirely of calcium car- 
bonate, but, as might be expected, limestones, as quarried, differ more or 
less widely from this composition. The principal impurities of limestone 
are magnesia, silica, iron, and alumina. Magnesium carbonate often occu- 
pies the place of part of the calcium carbonate and in that case a more or 
less magnesian limestone results. Should the magnesian carbonate be pres- 
ent in quantities over 5 or 6 per cent., the rock is of no value as a Portland 
cement material. The impurities silica, alumina, and ircn, however, when 


combined in the form of clay, are often favorable components of a lime- 
stone to be used for making cement. 

Shales, slates, and clays are essentially compounds of alumina and silica 
with iron oxide and other impurities. Shales are clays hardened by pres- 
sure while slates differ only in having an even, parallel cleavage developed 
by the same means. As cement materials, these are of value for mixture 
with the purer limestone in order to bring the rock to the proper composi- 
tion for burning. 

The marls or calcareous tufa of the Appalachian Valley are usually 
carbonate of lime deposits from spring water. Such material has been 
used in the manufacture of Portland cement, but in view of the more 
abundant limestones and shales, it can hardly be considered here as of 
economic importance. 


The most important cement materials of western Virginia are found in 
the pure and argillaceous limestones of Cambrian and Ordovician age, and 
in the calcareous and argillaceous phases of the Ordovician shales. These 
shales and limestones have a wider distribution and are usually more ac- 
cessible than such other cement rock horizons of the State as the Lewistown 
of Helderbergian age and the Mississippian or Subcarboniferous Green- 
brier limestone. In general the entire Valley of Virginia is underlain by 
the Cambrian and Ordovician limestones, while the shales usually outcrop 
along the base of the mountains bounding it. In a similar manner, many 
of the valleys west of the Great Valley show these limestones and shales, 
higher formations occurring on the separating ridges. 

A study of the Cambrian and Ordovician rocks of Virginia has shown 
that the State may be divided into three more or less well defined areas, in 
each of which the geologic sequence differs to some extent. Considering all 
cf the State west of the Blue Ridge as western Virginia, these three areas 
may be designated as the northwestern, central western, and southwestern 
portions of Virginia. According to this somewhat arbitrary division, 
northwestern Virginia embraces that portion of the State north of the 
southern border of Rockingham county, while central western and south- 
western Virginia are divided by the southern and southeastern borders of 
Roanoke and Craig counties. 

The major portion of northwestern Virginia is included in the Valley 
of Virginia. Almost all the cement materials of the area are confined to 


ontcrops in the Yaller and to foothills of the mountains whidi bomd 
The Blue Ridge on the east is made up of qnartxites and other 
suited for cement manufactniey while North and Shenandoah 
oeenpying the portion of the State west of the TaUer, are com p oee d 
strata of sandstones^ qnartzites, and diales of Silurian and Detonian 
also xmsuitable for this purpose. 

In a general way the geologr of this portion of the State is quite 
Xorth of Strasburg the Taller is broad, rather lerd, and Aaws two 
of limestone separated by a belt of shale, which aTerages 4 miles in 
and occupies the central portion of the Valley, its western edge p^RJ^g 
east of Strasburg and Winchester. A structure aectiim across die Vi 
from the Blue Bidge to little Xortfa Mountain, about the latitude 
Winchester (see page 106) illustrates the relati<m of the limestGoe 
shales in this area. Maasanutten Mountain occupies the ooitzal pcRticn dt^ 
the Taller south of StHgbiBng.*ejte9ding southwest as far as the latitefRri- 
of Harrisonburg. , Here aUo the general geology is quite simple and 
shown by the structure section on pace 106. 

The geologic feature of'^ihis area, mo>i important from an enuMaatf - 

standpoint, is the gceat downfold of strata occupying die central part of tiki 
Talley. North of Strasburg* the strata enclosed in this downfold 4|, « 
syncline have been worn down to the general lerel of the Talley« but ^odUt, * 
of this town, a deep sag in the syncline brings the more resistant Mat* 

sanutten quartzites below the general level of erosion of the nei^iboix^g 
mountains. Thus when, as a result of subfe^^uent erosion, the Great TallBJ 
was forme«i. Massanurten Mountain, on accoTint of its hard quartzites, 
left as a rid^re di Tiding the Shenandoah Tallev. On account of the 
tion of Massanurten Mountain to this downfold. this syncline has 
called the Massanutten Mountain syncline. 

Pure and argillaceous OrdoTician limestones are brought to the s 
alonr the eastern and western sides of the Massan.itten Mountain si 
hence its economic importance. Along the wesrem side, the normal 
quence of strata is usually exposed, but on the easrem side. OTerthmid 
faulting is not uncommon. This faulting is usuallv sui^cient to cut out tiha 
limestones which are of economic imr»ortance, the dolomitic strata 
thni-?! upon the Upi>?r Onlovician shales, 

A A. 4. 

The .-.'nx narrow area lying between the Massan^^rren Mountain 
ani the Bl-e Ridge is oc^iipitxl by dolomitic limestones and shales 
ar^ •:■'. n*. :n::.>ortance as a source of Portland cement rock. Just west of ttt 
jT-'Mt ^vrclin**. pure and artr^laceous limestones occur in co: 


abundance, but the central portion of the western half of the Shenandoah 
Valley is again occupied mainly by the less valuable dolomitic limestone. 
The latter strata continue to the foothills of Little North Mountain, where, 
when faulting has occurred, they may be found resting upon the Ordo- 
yician shales or upon still higher formations. 

When the structure is normal along the western edge of the Valley, 
essentially the same sequence of strata may be observed as farther east, with 
the exception that here the Trenton formation is composed mainly of lime- 
stone instead of shales, as in the more eastern localities. In addition to 
the Massanutten Mountain syncline, a few smaller synclincs exposing 
the Ordovician shales and limestones have been noted in the Valley, but 
these are usually of slight consequence. The most important of these 
minor synclines lies just west of Harrisonburg. 

In central western Virginia^ the more'' important areas of outcrop of 
cement materials are: (1) a narrow strip following the Massanutten 
Mountain syncline which terminates, iji this area, (2) a considerable out- 
crop of argillaceous limestone itt tfei vicinity of Lexington, and (3) a 
rather broad band of limestones and ' shales " just east of Little North 

From a geological standpoint, southwestern Virginia may be considered 
as composed of elongated, narrow, northeast-southwest blocks, in each of 
which strips exposing favorable cement materials are found. The location 
of these strips and description of their contained cement materials are 
given later on. 


Nearly all of the sedimentary rocks exposed in northwestern Virginia 
are of Cambrian and Ordovician age. The economic importance of the 
younger strata and of the area occupied by them is so small that they are 
not considered in the present description of the stratigraphy. Four well 
defined groups of these rocks have been recognized in this part of the State, 
namely, the sandstones, quartzites, and shales of Lower Cambrian age, 
the Shenandoah limestone belonging in part to the Cambrian and the 
Ordovician, the Martinsburg shales of the Middle and Upper Ordovician, 
and the Massanutten sandstones hitherto regarded as Silurian. Of these 
four main divisions the Shenandoah limestone and Martinsburg shales 
only are of economic interest in cement manufacture, and, therefore, their 
subdivisions will be considered more in detail. The relations and general 
character of these formations are expressed in the following table : 


by Professor Campbell as the Sherwood limestoEC, cODsists of white cry 
line dolomites with heavily bedded light blue and gray magneaiaQ 1 
stone and occasionally more argillaceous limestones and shales. It i 
the latter occurrence that the formation may prove of some value. 1 
argillaceous limestones and shales have a composition which will t 
of their use, particularly in the manufacture of natural cement, 
principal outcrops of the Sherwood limestone are to be found aloi 
rather narrow strip just west of the Cambrian quartzites and shales. 

The succeeding formation, the Buena Vista shales, is of econi 
interest because limestones suitable for the manufacture of natural cei 
alternate with the shales, especially in the lower part. This formRti< 
the source of the rock used by the natural cement plant near Bal' 
Falls, Virginia. 

The hoa^'}'•beddod gray and light blue limestones, distin^ished 
Prof. Campbell as the Xatural Bridge formation, compose the : 
persistent formation of the Appalachian Valley. The strata are ab 
invariably dolomitic and upon wealbering leave a mantle of chert J 
ments. This chert is especially abundant in the upper beds, wl 
geologically, are the equivalent of the Knox dolomite of Tenneaaee. St 
and shaly layers are often found in the lower third. Economically 
sidered, the Natural Bridge limestone is of little importance. Thi 
especially true in regard to its use as a cement rock, the magnenan 
tent- lieing too high, as the following analypis will show: 

Analysis of l^alural Bridge limestone, just west of Strtuiburg 
Junction, Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyrt) 

Per MUt. 

Insoluble lO.M 

Iron o-tide (FeJD,) and ahiinina 1.\Ih(),) 1J)0 

Lime (CaO) 28.W 

Cali-iiim <';irlHmnte (l'n<'<),) .11.07 

MagnwiR (MgO) 18J)0 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOi) 37.80 

Total M.03 

Following the Natural Bridge formation is a series of limestt 
which, economically considered, are of greatest importance. These I 
stones arc of Middle Ordovicinn age and are composed in large par 
argillaceous and highly calcareous strata. The succession in this pai 
Virginia is most clearly shown in a section commencing west of Strasi 
Junction, Shenandoah county, and extending eastward to the vicinit 



n ■ 

> ^ 


StrasbxLTg. Here the western side of the syncline forming Massanutten 
Mountain brings up the strata in regular order and excellent exposures may 
be found along the Southern railroad between the two places mentioned 
and in the neighboring quarries and creeks. This section is as follows : 

Oeologic section in the vicinity of Strashurg, Virginia. 

4. Martinsburg shales (Trenton, Utica, Eden). Gray and black shales, 
calcareous at the base, then more argillaceous, passing upward into 

sandy layers 2,000 

Z. Chambersburg (Black River) formation. About 400 feet of blue and 
argillaceous limestone arranged in the following order: 
(i) Earthy gray limestone and calcareous shales with numerous fos- 
sils, TretaspiSy Christiania, and several species of Pleotambonites 

occurring most abundantly 40 

(h) Light gray earthy limestone, no fossils observed 30 

(g) Massive dove limestone holding numerous specimens of a large 

species of Nidulitea 65 

(f) Rather thin bedded dove limestone with NiduUtes rare 60 

(e) Thin bedded dark gray argillaceous limestone 52 

(d) Thin bedded argillaceous black .limestone 22 

(c) Nodular argillaceous dark blue- limest^^ t«1th numerous fossils 
of which Solenopora^ severaf "Speoiea of VKifilopfirina, Echinospw — 

rites, and Christiania, are especially abunttant . « .. 3i> 

(b) Crinoidal limestone 10 

(a) Crystalline blue limestone, cherty in the upper part but pure 
in lower part, bryozoa abundant but a species of Subulites is 
especially characteristic of this bed 80 

Total thickness of Chambersburg formation 398 

2. Stones River formation. About 900 feet of more or less pure and 
magnesian limestones, the upper 100 feet consisting of heavily bedded, 
pure dove limestone (90 to 97 per cent. CaCO,) with occasionally a 
black layer. In the vicinity of Strasburg Junction these beds are 
extensively quarried for lime. The remaining strata consist of 
heavily bedded, alternately arranged layers of pure and magnesian 
limestone. The presence of abundant gastropoda of Stones River 
types and the characteristic fossils Tetradium cellulosum and Leper- 
ditia fabulites in the uppermost layers determines the age of this 
1. Typical Natural Bridge dolomitic limestone weathering into character- 
istic chert. 

Stones River formation. — The Stones River rocks in northwestern 
Virginia are, in general, heavy-bedded dolomitic layers alternating with 
purer limestone strata. In color and texture, the rock varies from fine- 
grained dove to a dense black with dove-colored rock predominating. 
Many of the layers run as high in magnesia as the underiying Natural 
Bridge limestone, but the Stones River formation differs in that at least 
a few pure limestone layers are found in almost every exposure. Another 
method of distinguishing the two formations lithologically lies in the 
<jharacter of the soil to which each gives rise on weathering. The soil 



resulting from the decomposition of the Natural Bridge limestone is of 
a deep red color and generally contains a considerable number of chert 
fragments scattered through it. Stones Eiver rocks, on the other hand, 
give very little chert, on weathering, and areas underlain by them may 
often be distinguished further by the fact that the resulting soil seems to 
be particulariy suited to the growth of cedar trees. Indeed, the presence 
of a considerable number of cedar trees in an area of Ordovician strata is 
quite a reliable sign that the underlying rocks are of Stones River age. 

Although the analyses of the Stones River rocks show a considerable 
variation in lime and magnesia, still the strata can be divided chemically 
into two general classes, the purer and the dolomitic limestones. The purer 
limestones are generally of fine-grained texture and of a dove color, al- 
though darker strata are sometimes interpolated. These dove and dark 
layers occur most frequently near the top of the formation so that this 
portion may generally be depended upon to furnish the purer rock. Strings 
of calcite often penetrate this dove limestone and give the characteristic 
^'birdseye" markings. With the exception of number II, all of the analyses 
in the table below are of samples from the upper portion. The lower strata 
of the Stones River formation often show a high percentage of magnesia 
and silica. Their value in the present connection is, therefore, corre- 
spondingly small. 

Analyses of Stones River limestones in northwestern Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


AljOj and FeA 




Per cent. 





Per cent. 



99 . 90 


Per cent. 






Per cent I Per cent 









I. Pure dove limestone, upper part of Stones River, Strasburg, Va. 

II. Siliceous limestone, lower part of Stones River, Woodstock, Va. 

III. Compact black layers in upper part of Stones River, Riverton, Va. 

IV. Black limestone in upper part of Stones River, Riverton, Va. 

V. Dark blue splintery limestone, Stones River, Mt. Horeb Church, Va. 

Chambersburg formation. — About 400 feet of more or less pure and 
clayey limestones intervene between the top of the Stones River formation 
and the base of the Martinsburg shales in the vicinity of Strasburg. Al- 
fhongh these strata correspond in position to the Black River formation 


of New York, their lithologic and faunal differences were found to be so 
great that the new name, Chambersbiirg, was proposed by Stose* for 
their reception. The rocks of this formation are well exposed in north- 
western Virginia, particularly along the Massanuttcn Mountain synclino, 
but the most detailed section is to be had at Strasburg. By reference 
to the section on a preceding page, it will be noted that 9 beds are dis- 
tinguished, these varying in lithology from siliceous blue limestone through 
purer blue and dove limestone to argillaceous strata, and finally, at the top, 
calcareous shales. 

As stated before, the detailed section exposed so well at Strasburg can- 
not be made out in its entirety at many, if at any, other places, and there- 
fore the follov^nng generalized section is introduced for the recognition of 
the rocks in any part of northwestern Virginia. The thicknesses given in 
this section are those observed at Strasburg where the rocks are believed 
to be well developed. Therefore it must be remembered that in other 
localities considerable departure from these figures may be observed. 

Generalized section of the Chamhershurg formation in northwestern 


(Martinsburg shales of Trenton, Utica, and Eden age at top) 


4. Gray earthy limestone with numerous fossils in upper part 70 

3. Thin bedded and massive dove limestone Jiolding Nidulites in more or 

less abundance 125 

2. Xodular and thin bedded gray argillaceous limestone with numerous fos- 
sils in lower third 104 

1. Pure limestone with cherty portions 90 

The more persistent members of the (^hambersburg formation are the 
massive dove and crystalline limestones holding Nidulites in abundance 
(bed 3), and the argillaceous limestones in which Tretaspis and Christiania 
are especially characteristic fossils (bed 4). These two divisions may be 
recognized in almost ever}' section, but the otlier members are seldom so 
well shown as at Strasburg. 

Bed 4 was recognized at practically every outeroj) of the Chambersburg 
formation and was found as far south as Fort Defiance in Augusta county, 
where the thickness had apparently diminished greatly. Moreover, at this 
locality it rested upon the Murat limestone, which, in turn, overlapped 
upon a thin bed of Stones River rock, thus indicating the relations between 
the rocks of northwestern and central western Virginia as here subdivided. 

Mourn. Geol., XIV. 1906, p. 211 




Portions of bed 4 approach a cement rock with an ideal chemical composi- 
tion more nearly than any of the other divisions of the Ordovician lime- 

The southernmost exposure of bed 3 noted was at Harrifionburg, but 
more careful search will probably reveal its presence south of this city. 
The comparatively low dip of the rocks, forming the eastern limb of the 
syncline just west of Harrisonburg, causes the exposure of bed 3 in this 
region to be relatively wide. Along the western side of the Massanutten 
Mountain syncline the dip is steeper and the width of outcrop is therefore 
much less. From the viewpoint of cement manufacture, these dove lime- 
stones can be relied upon to furnish the purer rock for mixture. 

A considerable variation in the composition of the various strata com- 
posing the Chambersburg fonnation is to be expected because of their 
diverse natures. Still these strata in general terms may be divided into 
(1) more or less pure, dark or dove-colored compact limestones, and (2) 
into dark, argillaceous limestone. Upon this classification, the analyses 
of these rocks in northwestern Virginia have been arranged and presented 

Analyses of more or less pure, compact limestone , Chambersburg formation, 

northwestern Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Per ct. 




Per ct 


Per ct 




Perct i Perct 



























81. W 

16.32 4.04 

Al/>,A Fe,0, 















99.95 100.39 





I. Unusually pure blue limestone, lower part of formation, Strasburg, Va. 
II. Siliceous blue limestone, lower part of formation, Strasburg, Va. 
Ill and IV. Dove limestone, middle part of formation, Strasburg, Va. 
V. Dark blue limestone, lower part of formation, Woodstock, Va. 
VI and VII. Dark blue compact limestone, Harrisonburg, Va. 
VIII and IX. Semi-crystalline limestone, Harrisonburg, Va. 
X and XI. Dark blue limestone, Mt. Horeb Church. Va. 

These analyses and those following are here brought together for com- 
pariaon of the chemical constituents of these and other strata. 



Analyses of dark, argillaceous limestones, Chamhershurg formation, 

northwestern Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibbonej, Analyst) 

Per Ct. 

Pfer Ct. 

Ter Ct. 

Pfer Ct 


Pfer Ct 

Per Ct 

Per Ct 

Per Ct 

Per Ct 


Al^, and Fe,0, 































I and II. Gray, argillaceous limestone, middle and upper part of formation, 
Strasburg, Va. 

III. Argillaceous limestone, upper part of formation, Woodstock, Va. 

IV. Argillaceous limestone, Mt. Jackson, Va. 
V. Argillaceous limestone, Riverton, Va. 

VI. Argillaceous limestone, 5 miles east of Woodstock, Va. 
yil. Argillaceous limestone, Harrisonburg, Va. 

VIII. Argillaceous limestone, 3 miles west of Montevideo, Va. 
IX. Knotty, argillaceous limestone, Mt. Horeb Church, Va. 

Martmsbnrg Shale Oroup. 

No sharp break occurs between the argillaceous limestones and calcareous 
shales forming the upper part of the Chambersburg formation and the 
overlying Martinsburg shales. From an economic standpoint, no arbitrary 
lines of separation need be given, since the lowest beds of the Martinsburg 
shales are as highly calcareous aa the topmost part of the preceding forma- 
tion. Paleontologically, however, the two divisions may be separated by 
the total absence of the characteristic Chambersburg fossils in the succeed- 
ing shales. 

In general, it may be said that the lowest deposits of the Martinsburg 
shales are fine, calcareous to argillaceous shales, dark drab in color when 
fresh, and yellowish when weathered. Higher up in the series, brown or 
black micaceous shales are encountered, while toward the top, the rocks 
become more siliceous. The thickness varies considerably, but in this part 
of Virginia, 700 to 2,000 feet expresses their variation, although in other 
regions as much as 3,000 feet have been measured. 

Three divisions of the geological time scale are represented in the 

Martinsburg shales. These are, in ascending order, (1) Trenton, (2) 

Utica, and (3) Eden. Although the actual lines delimiting these diviaiuna 

Me difiBcult if not almost impossible to determine, yet in a general way 

it may be stated that the lower calcareous portion is of Trenton age, the 



brown or black shales are XTtica, and the upper gray and buff shales, or 
siliceous portion, belong to the Eden. 

The Martinsburg shales weather into a yellow and brown clay soil 
which is in marked contrast to the red soil of the limestone areas. 

Trenton shales. — That portion of the Martinsburg shale group, of 
Trenton age consists of calcareous and argillaceous strata of a dark drab 
color and with a thickness as yet undetermined. This thickness is probably 
over 100 feet and less than 300, but undoubtedly varies considerably in 
different areas. Considered from an economic standpoint, the Trenton 
phase of this shale group need not be distinguished from the underlying 
Chambersburg shales and argillaceous limestones, as both wnll prove of 
use in cement manufacture. 

The main outcrops of the Trenton shale are parallel with and contiguous 
to the Chambersburg formation. The main exposures in northwestern 
Virginia are therefore along the flanks of the Massanutten Mountain 

The following analyses of shales from the Trenton portion of the 
Martinsburg group show such a high percentage of lime that the rock, 
chemically at least, may be considered as an argillaceous limestone with a 
higher silica content than usual. These analyses also indicate a close 
similarity in composition to rock from the same geological horizon but 
from distant localities. 

Analyses of calcareous shales, Trenton horizon of Martinsburg group. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe^Os) and alumina (AlsO,). 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOj). 

Magnesium carbonate ( MgCO,) 


I. Strasburg, Va. 
II. Harrisonburg, Va. 

Per cent 


3 44 


Trenton limestones. — Along the western side of the Appalachian 
Valley in northwestern Virginia, the Chambersburg formation is followed 
by thin-bedded limestones w^ith interbedded dark shales instead of the 
dark calcareous or argillaceous shales just described. The surface of 



these limestones is often covered with fossils characteristic of the typical 
Trenton formation of New York. The rocks themselves, moreover, are 
very similar to the corresponding New York strata so that there is every 
reason to believe that they are identical. 

The development of limestones and shales instead of shales alone, 
along this portion of the Valley, is of importance in that an additional 
cement rock is furnished. Unfortunately, the geologic structure and 
transportation facilities are such that at present little development of 
this rock could be expected. Moreover, the dolomitic limestones are 
generally thrust upon the Martinsburg shales or higher formations along 
the western side of the Valley, thus cutting out the strata of economic 
value. Still this limestone must be accounted as one of the cement re- 
sources, and analyses of the rock are therefore introduced below : 

Analyses of Trenton limestone a/nd shale, Mt. Horeb Church, Va. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent 

Per cent 


Iron oxide (Fe^Os) and alumina (Al^Og). 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOs) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) 







I. Shale band. 
II. Thin bedded, compact limestone. 

Utua shale, — This and the succeeding Edon shale are two of the most 
constant divisions of the geologic succession of western Virginia and, with 
careful search, the characteristic fossils of both may be found in almost 
every section exposing the upper two-thirds of the Ordovician shales. 

In comparison with the preceding shales, the amount of calcareous 
niatorial in the Utica shale has been greatly diminished, so that, except for 
mixture, the rock will probably never prove of much use as a cement 
material. In view of the large amount of calcareous and argillaceous 
strata underlying the Utica shales, the necessity for the use of the latter 
need not arise, and there is no occasion for considering the formation as a 
source of cement rock. However, an analysis is introduced at this point 
for comparison with the associated strata. 



Analysis of Vtica. shah, Mt. Horeb Church, Va. 

(J. H. Gibbonay, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Insoluble 43.04 

Iron oxide {Fefi,) and alumina (AlA) 6-18 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOi) 49.93 

Magnesium carbonate (AlgCOi) 0.07 

Total M.1K 

Eden shales and sandstones. — Following the few feet of shales 
Cincinnati, Ohio, holding cliaracteriBtic Utica foBsilB, are 250 feet of I 
limeptanes and shales before strata of Lorraine age are reached. 
these (lie term Eden, defined by Orton in the firat volume of the "Geol 
of Oliio," is used in the Cincinnati area. These beds contain great numl 
of lirvozoa and brachiopods and are essentially thin blue limestones 
i-hales. Proceeding eastward, these beds become more arenaceous n 
in the Appalachian Valle}' sandy limestone and shales have taken the p 
of the purer limestones of the west. On account of the Intervei 
Appalachian coal field, this thange cannot bo traced continuously, but 
relations of the strala and their fossil contents prove the correctDess of 
correlation beyond a doubt. Because of the high silica content, the G 
shales of the Appalachian Valley are of no value as a source of cen: 

Uauanntten Sanditone Oroop. 

At many places the crest of Ma.=sanutten Mountain is composed of : 
yellow, and wjiite sandstone and quartzito, which, on account of tl 
conspicuous occurrence along this mountain, were named as above. ' 
Slassanutten sandstone is divisible into two numbers, corresponding i 
general way to the Bays sandstone and Clinch sandstone of the soutti 
Appalachians. The lower member is 200 or more feet in thickness ; 
consists of micaceous sandy shales, coarse sandstone, and conglomer 
Portions of this division contain ihe characteristic Bays sandstone tot 
which indicate the Lorraine ape in terms of the general time scale. 1 
lower division has been mapped in Virginia and Pennsylvania under 
name of Juniata sandstone. Kragnvnls from the cliffs of the overh 
(]uarti^ite generally obscure this member so that good exposures are J 
One of the localities where fossils may be found is at Buzzard's Roosl 
Ihc northeast end of Massanutten Mounlnin. 

The upper or Tuwarora member of the Massanutten sandstone is ni 
ii|> of coarse conploin crates and (lunrtzilcs, varying greatly in thieki 


but reaching a total of at least 500 feet. Fossils are scarce, although the 
characteristic Atihrophycus alleghaniensis may be found upon careful 


The general geology of this division, although somewhat similar to that 
of northwestern Virginia, begins to assume the complexity of the area 
farther south. The great faults of southwestern Virginia are found in its 
southern part, while the Massanutten Mountain syncline and the structure 
along the western edge of the Valley in the northwestern part of the State 
may be traced through the northern part of the division. In the inter- 
mediate zone, namely, in Rockbridge county, the Ordovician limestones 
are so situated as a result of faulting, folding, and erosion, that a con- 
siderable area is underlain by them. 

The principal features eoneerned- in. the exposure of the Ordovician 
strata are indicated on the ac^oippaiiyihg structure sections. The Massa- 
nutten Mountain syncline enfdrs the district from Rockingham county and 
occupies a portion of Augusta county, thus bringing these limestones and 
shales to the surface as far soiith as Greenville. The faulting along the 
western edge of the Valley becomes less and less in Augusta county until 
the structure becomes practically normal. As a result, the cement lime- 
stones are more abundant in this part of the Valley than northward along 
the same line. In the vicinity of Lexington, the argillaceous limestones 
are found over a considerable area, and on account of close folding, seem 
to be of great thickness. 

South of Rockbridge county, the principal Ordovician outcrops follow 
the bases of the mountains and are thus exposed usually at some distance 
from railroads. Moreover, on account of the unusually steep dip of the 
strata, the outcrops are in long, narrow areas. 

The regions of outcrop thus far noted are in the Appalachian Valley 
proper. West of this, namely in Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties, 
anticlines are found, exposing these shales and limestones as their lowest 
strata. With the exception of the vicinity of Hot Springs, these anticlinal 
areas have no railroad facilities. 

With a few exceptions, all of the geological divisions described previously 
tor northwestern Virginia may be found well developed in the central 
western part of the State. These exceptions are the Stones River and 
the Chambersburg formations. The interval between the top of the Natural 
Bridge limestone and the base of the Martinsburg shale is here occupied 
almost invariably by the Murat and Lflberty Hall limestones. 


-ntnii w-«T*t<TTi \'ir<rinia. the Stones River rocks are practically 

:;"i^rtr. \ -w :irf'Hs <ho\v a .flight development, but as a source of cement 

■i;U:*r':ii *:.»• '••rniation may Im? neglected. The succeeding Murat and 

..»»*r-" ri.i:i .•rii»*>tf)nesi correspond in a general way to the Chambersburg 

f'lirttinn oi r\w u\nrv northern parts of the Valley, although lithologi- 

1.. '. :'i) rniubif will be encountered in separating these different divisions. 

1 .'av\ . iiiTtv \m\s of the Natural Bridge limestone are usually 

.• tiwwi .IV it ma>>ive t^ray. coarsely crA'stalline pure limestone to which 

•..^.oottjif 4 Hiii|»i)eil has applieti the name Murat from its occurrence along 

^uXMft r.r«Kik ai Mural, Virginia. The limestone, as a whole, runs very 

■jui -u ' i«a:iuiti rarl>onate and, for this reason, it is the source of the lime 

.'4/,4«t.; *w <!*:%ei'ttl |M>iuts in central western Virginia. The lower portion 

...*;• ^...**4 »U*-A'i nodules upon weathering, and it was from this part that 

L. : 4. ..,,•*:« Ill rhc following table giving a high silica content were 

.'.t.t .^-.: AiHiui r^5 feel of the Murat limestone are exposed at its type 

.^.i... i; ,..1 Jr*'i|Ui.'iJtly ihe thickness is not so great. 

. 1 tuUyses of Murat limestone, 
(J. H. Gibbonej, AnalTst) 






i'vr ccuU 
1 HO 

l*>Br cent. 




'H » 





/, /,' i.L': Ai/>. 






























. ,• ■*■ 

oii 4y 






0\ V««.'f I • ■ 

. . ...:aiii. \ ii;!iiiia. 
♦ ... li.Jiin.'if ami Ohit) Railway, northeastern edge of Staunton, 

.. ..J .' >liiii Sjuiii^rt, \ ir^iniu. 
...." ;■,!.. ..-I 4if (iitH'ii villi*. Virginia. 

/-^-. .;.;.'! M. V ii^riiiia. 

,inj>;iiali\i*ly \n\iv Murat limestone is a succession 
, . ,. "h.tla possibly KOOO ftn-t in thickness. This is the 

,M hull WiiM M) named by Professor Campbell because 
. . . . ,. ii«Mr Lfxinulon constructed on and of this rock. 
..... iiaia niak(^ up the lower third of the formation. 

',..- Imiihtoue occurs in the middle third, chang- 

I...I. • .11 ibe toj)niost division. After long exposure 
, . i.!l« .iiid up|HT divisions appear shaly at the surface. 

«t|-«i-Eil or VIRGINIA 

i"i„\r»: XIV 

;. 1. — Hou»e MountaiiiK, RiH-kbriiljit- iimnty, Vi*w Iriiiii Kk-h Hill. Imikhi); 
acTOM valley!) o( LilxTty Hall liiiivittune and hilla of Xutiirnl Ilriilgf Uni«- 
■tone. Thp mountains arc i-apiied by the Massnniiltm quarltil* and the 
^opM shnv the Martinsbiirp ahnW. 

Fiff. 2.— t'uM ij> Ma~^aii 

11.^. f. & It. milr,.a.l. KaKl.- MoimlxiTi. 



In Central woritcrn Virginia, the Stones River rocks are practically 
absent. A few areas show a slight development, but as a source of cement 
material tlie formation may l>e neglected. The succeeding Miirat and 
Liberty Hall limestones eorresjwnd in a general way to the Chambersburg 
formation of the more northern parts of the Valley, although lithologi- 
cally, no trouble will be encountered in separating these different divisions. 

The heavv thertv beds of the Xatural Bridge limestone are usually 
followed by a massive gray, coarsely crystal line pure limestone to which 
Professor Campbell has ap|)lied the name Murat from its occurrence along 
Buflfalo creek at Murat, Virginia. The limestone, as a whole, runs very 
liigh in calcium carbonate and, for this reason, it is the source of the lime 
burned at several points in central western Virginia. The lower portion 
often shows chert nodules upon weathering, and it was from this part that 
the samples in the following table giving a high silica content were 
obtained. About 125 feet of the Murat limestone are exposed at its type 
locality, but fn^quently the thickness is not so great. 

Analyses of Murat limestone. 
(J. H. GibboDej, Analyst) 

l*er cent. 



Per cent. 























FejOjand AljO,— 














I. Eagle Mountain. Vir;:inia. 

II. Cut along HaltiiiKire and Ohio Railway, northeaatem edge of Staunton, 

III. Railroad cut. Mini Springfl. Virginia. 

IV. 4 miles norllicMst of (Jreenville, Virginia. 
V. N>ar Lexington. Virginia. 

Siiccrecling ihi> (M)in])}iralively pure Murat limestone is a succession 
cf more arg:illac'('<nis strata poKsibly 1,000 feet in thickness. This is the 
LilKM'tv Hall linicstoiH' which was .^n named by Professor Campbell because 
of tJK* oUl historic ruin near Lexington c()nstructed on and of this rock. 
Fine-grained dark blue strata make up llie lower third of the formation. 
I>ark<'r, more argillaceous limestone occurs in the middle tliird, chang- 
ing into calcareous <halos in the topmost division. After long exposure 
to the weather, the nuMdle and upiHM' divisions appear shaly at the surface. 


Fig. 1. — HonH lIuunUhiM, KorkbridfiC cuuntj. View from Kich Hill, luuking 
BcroM valleys nf Liberty HhII linientone and bills of Natural Bridge lima- 
■tone. The niountaina urc capped by tbe MamaQutteii quartxite and the 
slopes Bhon- the Mnrtinebiirg shale. 

Vig. 2. — Fold in Musnanulteii Handstune, ('. A O. railriiad. Ka)[b- Mountain. 



Numerous brachiopods, trilobites and ostracods occur in the lowest beds, 
but the higher divisions are seldom fossiliferous. The general distribu- 
tion of both the Murat and Liberty Hall formations is indicated on the 
accompanying map, figure 17 (page 111). Analyses showing composition 
of the Liberty Hall formation are given below. 

Analyses of Liberty Hall limestone.^ 
(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per ct. 


Per ct. 



Per ct. 

Per ct. 



AI A and Fe,0, 






























































I. Compact black argi11aceou» limeHtone. Eagle Mountain, Va. 

II. Gray compact limestone, Eagle Mountain. Va. 

III. Dark siliceous limestone. Eagle Mountain, Va. 

IV. Shaly limestone. Mt. Sidney, Va. 

V. Coarsely crystalline limestone, Mt. Sidney. Va. 
VI and VII. Fine-grained, dark blue limestone. Staunton. Va. 
VIII. Subcrystalline limestone, eastern foothills. Little North Mountain, Augusta 
Co., Va. 



Under this caption the writer wishes to discuss briefly only the more 
favorable localities in northwestern and central western Virginia showing 
good exposures of the pure and argillaceous limestones. It is to l)e under- 
stood, how^ever, that unless otherwise stated, all discussion of these rocks 
refer to their use in the manufacture of Portland cement. Analyses of rock 
from other localities than those discussed arc given, since a knowledge of 
the composition of the rock is most essential. 

Winchester, — ^The geologic structure at Winchester and north to the 
state line is somewhat complicated by faulting, but two sources of cement 
material have been noted. These are: (1) a band of Stones River pure and 
dolomitic limestones passing through Winchester and thence northeast 
and southwest; (2) a strip of argillaceous limestone a short distance east 


of this band. The Stones River strata here are especially characterized 
by the growth of cedar trees along their outcrop. The purer portion of 
this formation is made up of dove or bluish limestones often showing 
outlines of small gastropods upon worn surfaces. The argillaceous 
materials are very similar to those described later in the Strasburg section, 
and, as the analysis shows, have a favorable composition: 

Analysis of argillaceous limestone, just east of Winchester, Va. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Insoluble 14.78 

Iron oxide (Fe,Oa) and alumina ( AlaO,) 2.72 

Lime (CaO) 44.94 

Calcium carbonate (GaCOs) 80.25 

Magnesia (MgO) 0.34 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCX3s) 0.71 

Total 98.46 

Middietown, — ^This and the neighboring towns of Stephens City and 
Meadow Mills are favorably located so far as transportation facilities and 
abundance of cement materials are concerned. The following section taken 
along the street west from the depot at Middletown gives the sequence of 
rocks in the region. 

Section of Ordovician rocks in the vicinity of Middletown, Virginia. 

9. Mainly covered but apparently all calcareous shale 100 

5. Mainly covered but showing traces of earthy limestone 150 

7. Partially covered, with bluish limestone at the top and earthy or nodular 

limestone at intervals 100 

6. Nodular limestone with specimens of Echinosphwrites near the base 20 

5. Arenaceous shale 20 

4. Unexposed 30 

3. Dark gray to black limestone with chert 38 

2. Massive dove limestone, apparently the same bed as that quarried for lime 

at Strasburg 40 

1. Mainly magnesian limestone but with a few layers of pure limestone 30O 

This section then continues westward, the magnesian and pure lime- 
stones of the Stones River formation being shown in a small anticline 
between Middletown and ^Meadow Mills, until in the vicinity of the latter 
place, the higher pure and argillaceous limestones are again exposed 
in a small syncline. 

Strasburg, — The abundant pure and clayey limestones in the vicinity 
of Strasburg combined with the railroad facilities, makes this one of the 
most promising sites for cement manufacture. As shown on the map,. 


figure 16 (this pajrt'). tlio lino of outcrop of Martinsburg shales passw 
through Strasburg so that to the east of the town an ahundance of shale 
may be found, while fo the west occur the various limestones. The roeka 
of economic importance outcrop between the town and Strasburg Junction, 
a mile or more to the west, where the upper part of the Stones River 

Ordovidan ebtlm 

Fig 16 — Map showing distribution of cement materiaU of northwestern Virginia. 

formation i- biiii.' i|iiarricd ami liurneil into liuic. The section printed 
• in ]iage 106 !■• fmmil esposieil mainly between the two localities mentioned^ 
iiltlinu^'li the lnw(r beds of the Stom's ltiv<T and the Natural Bridge 
iloloTriUcfi outcrop wi'sl of Strasliurg .hinition. The rocks dip to the 
oast and arc cTUOiintcroil in ascend inn order as Strasburg is approached. 



The Strasburg section is «o complete that it has been employed as a 
type section for northwestern Virginia. For this reason, the various 
strata likely to be employed as cement materials were carefully sampled 
and analyzed. The results of these analyses are given in the following 

Analyses of limestones and shales, vicinity of Stnisburg, Virginln. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

1 : II 

Per ct. i I'er ct. 

Ill , IV 

Per ct. I Per ct. 

Perct. Perct. 



Iron oxide ( Fe,Oj) 

Alumina (Al^O,) 


Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Ma^eMia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) 








43.601 19.78 


6.60' 1.88 







41.601 47.40 
74.28 84.64 


























I. Blue limestone, lower part of bed 3a, Chambersburp formation. 

11. Siliceou.s blue liniefttone, upper part cf bed 3a. Chambersburp formation. 

III. Dark gray, argillaceous limestone, bed 3e, Chambersburg formation. 

IV'. Thin bedded dove limestone, bed 3f, Chambersburg formation. 

V. Massive dovoi limestone, bed 3g, Chambersburg formation. 

VI. Gray earthy limestone, bed 3i, of Chambersburg formation. 

VII. Calcareous shales at base of Martinsburg shales. 

Woodstock and vicinity. — About 350 feet of argillaceous limestones 
of the Chambersburg formation may be found exposed just east of Wood- 
stock before the Martinsburg shales are encountered. These limestones 
and the overlying shales dip at an angle of about 40° southeast. Practi- 
cally the same thickness of cement rock is exposed to the northeast and 
southwest of Woodstock, but although the outcrops are not as good as those 
noted in the Strasburg area, essentially the same section may be found. 
As this line of outcrops is paralleled by the Southern Railroad, which is 
at no place more than 2 miles distant, favorable sites for cement plants are 
offered. The most promising location, however, is in the immediate vicinity 
of Woodstock, since here the cement rocks outcrop on the western side of 
the Xorth Fork of the Shenandoah river. Farther south the river flows 
between the railroad and the cement rock outcrop, and the cost of a spur 
line would thus be greatly increased. 

Pure limestones for mixture with the cement rock can be found in 
the immediate vicinity, west of the line of the outcrop of the argillaceous 



rock. Limestone strata, high in calcium carbonate and low in magnesia, 
were found interbedded with the dolomites west of Woodstock, and more 
extended search would no doubt reveal an ample supply. The following 
analyses are of the pure and argillaceous limestones in this vicinity: 

Analyses of limestones, Woodstock, Virginia. 
(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe^Os) and alumina (Al^O,) 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOj)^ 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOj) 










Per cent. 
















I. Siliceous limestone, Stones River formation. 
II. Argillaceous limestone, upper part of Chambersburg formation. 
III. Dark blue limestone, lower part of Chambersburg formation. 

Harrisoniurg and vicinity, — A syncline showing the argillaceous lime- 
stones and Martinsburg shales occurs just west of Harrisonburg and extends 
northeast-southwest for a distance of some miles. The cem«it rock is 
especially well shown along the street just west of the Southern Bailroad 
depot, but exposures of the shales and underlying argillaceous rocks may 
be seen along the country roads going northwest, west, and southwest 
from the town. The thickness of the argillaceous limestones in this 
vicinity could not be ascertained with certainty because of the lack of 
continuous exposures, but it probably does not fall short of 200 feet 
F'ossils indicating the Chamber«burg age of the strata were not uncommon 
in the rocks shown along the western edge of the town. 

Purer limestone deposits are found in considerable quantity east and 
southeast of Harrisonburg. Exposures of this rock may be seen in a cut 
on the Chesapeake and Western Railroad just east of the crossing with the 
Southern Eailroad. Here a rather pure gray limestone occurs, having the 
composition shown in analysis No. I of the table on page 113. 

From 75 to 100 feet of argillaceous limestones and calcareous slates 
are exposed in a cut on the Chesapeake and Western Bailroad southwest 
of Harrisonburg and just west of the Southern crossing. Samples from 
this cut were analyzed by Charles Catlett with the result shown in analysis 
No. XL 


About 1.5 miles north of Harrisonburg the Southern Railroad passes 
through a cut about 20 feet high and 400 to 600 feet in length, exposing 
comparatively horizontal slaty Umeetone with a composition shown in 
analysis No. TV. 






Partial analyses of cement material in the vicinity of Harrisonburg, 


(Charles Catlett, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe.0,) and alumina (AI^O,) 

Magnesia (MgO) « .... 

Lime (CaO).. 




Per cent 

Per cent 

Per cent. 














Per cent 



I. Pure gray limestone, cut on Chesapeake and Western Railroad just east of 
crossing with the Southern Railroad. 

II. Calcareous slates, exposed in cut on Chesapeake and Western. Railroad just 
west of crossing with the Southern Railroad. 

III. Dark, friable limestones, exposed at crossing of railroads just south of 


IV. Calcareous slates, cut along Southern Railroad 1.5 miles north of Harris- 


All of the localities so far discussed are west of Massanutten MouDtain 
and have good railroad facilities. East of this mountain the same lime- 
stone would normally occur, since the mountain itself is made up of a great 
downfold of strata or syncline. Here, however, the railroad facilities 
are not as good and moreover the pure and argillaceous limestones are often 
cut out by overthrust faulting. The best localities showing the complete 
geologic succession and with transportation facilities are at Wadesville and 

Wadesville, — The Middle Ordovician limestones exposed along the 
eastern edge of the Massanutten Mountain syncline are crossed by the rail- 
road at Wadesville. For a short distance north of this place, the line of out- 
crop is not far from the railroad, and to the south and west for 1.5 miles 
the two parallel each other, so that this locality affords an abundance of 
suitable limestones within short distances of transportation facilities. The 
black argillaceous limestones are especially well shown along the road 
just east and w«est from the railroad station. The following section was 
observed along this road on the farm of John M. Lock, starting about 
half a mile east of Wadesville and ending at Opequon creek on the west. 
The strata dip at an angle of about 40** northwestwardly. 


Geologic section, WadewUle, Virginia. 


6. Martinsburg group, gray, black, and olive shales 

4. Dark blue and black, compact, argillaceous limestone 400 

3. Coarsely crystallice grayish blue limestone 70 

2. Stones River formation: Gray, dolomitic limestone with intercalated pure 
dove-colored layers, base not observed. These Stones River limestones 
have much the same character described for the formation in other sec- 
tions of this part of Virginia. The only strata of economic importance 
are the intextsalated dove-colored pure limestones. The rock may be 
identified by its numerous ''birdseye" markings and by the presence of 
the ostracoda Leperditia fahulites. 
1. Natural Bridge dolomite: Gray, dolomitic cherty limestone. These strata 
show comparatively few outcrops in this particular section but the 
presence of the rock can be detected by the more or less numerous chert 
fragments left upon weathering. 

Beds 3 and 4 of the above section fonn the Chambersburg formation 
and are of the most importance in the present consideration, as they will 
be the sources of whatever rock may be used for Portland cement. Bed 3 
is a massive, rather pure limestone with some of the layers crowded with 
the peculiar organism Strephochetus. The same strata occur at the base 
of the Chambersburg formation in the Strasburg section, figure 15 (see 
page 106), and, as analyses of that rock indicate, the lime content is high. 
These particular strata therefore, together with the dove limestone of 
the underlying Stones Eiver formation, can be relied on as a source of 
pure limestone for mixture with highly argillaceous rock. Bed 4 embraces 
the typical cement rock of Ordovician age and is a uniform, dark, compact 
argillaceous limestone. The lower portion is massive but the upper part 
is less 80 and weathers into a shaly rock. The latter may be distinguished 
from the succeeding Martinsburg shales, which it somewhat resembles 
when weathered, by the higher percentage of lime as well as by the fossil 
contents. As in other sections, the ball cystid Echinosphcerites is the 
characteristic fossil of this bed. At Wadesville specimens occur sparingly 
throughout the bed but are most numerous in the upper part. 

Riverton and vicinity, — Three distinct bands of cement rock outcrop? 
are found at this place and in the immediate vicinity, on account of a fold 
in the Ordovician rocks east of the Massanutten Mountain syncline. As 
shown on the map, figure 16 (page 108), Riverton itself is built upon the 
Martinsburg shales which form the highest beds of thia more eastern 
syncline, but just to the east and to the west of it, the strata of the 
Chambersburg and Stones River formations may be seen. The latter 
formation is being extensively quarried at a locality just northeast of 


Mount Sidney and vicinity. — From Staunton to Monnt Sidney and 
thence for several miles northeast, the Valley Branch of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Bailroad either closely parallels or cuts through the belt of argilla^ 
ceous limestone brought up on the western flank of the Massanutten 
Mountain syncline. The same rocks reappear on the eastern flank, 3 to 4 
miles distant. The intervening country is occupied by Martinsburg shales, 
all of the younger rocks found on Massanutten Mountain having been 
removed by erosion. The favorable composition of the rock and the 
proximity of these two belts to railroads — the western to the Baltimore and 
Ohio, and the eastern to the Norfolk and Western — cause them to be worthy 
of attention. The following analysis of specimens from the eastern belt 
in the vicinity of Weyers Cave shows more magnesia than the average. 

Analysis of argillaceous limestones near Weyers Cave, Virginia, 

(Wirt Tassin, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

SiUca (SiO,) 14.62 

Alumina (AlaOa) and iron oxide (FesOg) 6.00 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO.) 67.92 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOs) 4.69 

Water (H,0) 3.94 

ToUl 98.07 

The section exposed along the railroad at Mount Sidney is as follows : 

Geologic section. Mount Sidney, Virginia. 


6. Tjrpical Martinsburg shales 

6. Calcareous shales and shaly limestone with few fossils 200+ 

4. Brown shalee with graptolites 60 

3. Gray coarsely crystalline limestone yielding some chert upon weathering 70 

2. Haavily bedded dark blue limestone lOO-j- 

1. Ddomitic limestone 

Staunton, — East and northeast of this city the argillaceous limestones 
are well developed, and, together with the shales and pure limestones 
near bv, offer abundant raw material for the manufacture of cement. The 
railroad facilities at Staunton are exceptionally good, for here a plant could 
obtain coal and ship its products over several lines. Ordinarily coal could 
be had on the most favorable terms over the Chesapeake and Ohio, but 
in times of labor disturbances in the New River field, the fuel supply could 
still be obtained from the Fairmont region. The purer limestones in the 
vicini*^y of Staunton, as a rule, run unusually high in lime, so that shales 



or clays for mixture vitb them will be neceBsary. Unlimited quantitiee 
of Bhale may be found in connectiou with the limeBtone, but deposits of 
good clays are not so common. In this region, the lover part of the shalea 
are unusually calcareous, as the following analyses will show, but hi^^er 
up in the seriea the percentage of lime is very small : 

Haninaburg shale 

and overljing 


Fig. 20. — Map of rhe Vallej or VirginU frani SUuDton to Natural Bridge. Arcs 
marknJ by diagaaal broken lineB includee Matarat Bridge uid UDdenTing for- 



Analyses of Martinsburg shales and Liberty Hall limestone, vicinity of 

Staunton, Virginia. 
(Charles Catlett, Analysl) 


Per cent 

Per cent 

Per cent 

SiHca (KO,) 

Alomina (A 1,0,,) and iron oxide (Fe,0,) 

Lime (CaO) 

MaipieMa (M^) 

(krboD dioxide (00,) 



















I to III. Calcareous shales showing variation in composition. 
rV. Liberty Hall limestone. 

The Ordovician section in the vicinity of Staunton is best seen along 
the Baltimore and Ohio Bailroad tracks and the road beyond the ice factory 
on the northeastern side of the city. Here it will be noted that the r^on 
is much folded and faulted but through the aid of several sections, the 
following succession can be determined : 


Geologic section, Staunton, Virginia. 

4. Martinsburg shale. Brown and yellow shales, calcareous at base 

3. Liberty Hall limestone. Fine-grained, argillaceous, unfossiliferous lime- 
stone 325-h 

2. Murat limestone. Gray, coarsely crystalline limestone crowded with 

Solenopora and bryozoa 100 

1. Natural Bridge limestone. Gray dolomite strata with a few layers of 

purer limestones 

All of the above formations of the Staunton section furnish cement 
materials but the most important and abundant rock is to be had from 
the Liberty Hall limestone. Analyses of the various divisions are given 

The Cambrian dolomitic limestone forming the lower part of the 
Natural Bridge formation grade upward imperceptibly into another series 
of strata having essentially the same composition but differing in that 
extensive layers of chert are interbedded with the usual dolomites. The 
area occupied by this division may usually be recognized by their topo- 
graphic features, for the chert gives rise to conspicuous hills or ridges. 
Chestnut Ridge, Sugar Loaf and Betsy Bell are examples of this topog- 
raphy in the vicinity of Staunton. The age of this portion, whicli is 
especially well exposed about Staunton, has been determined as Beek- 
mantown from the gastropod and cephalopod remains found at various 
points in the Valley, but particularly in the vicinity of Lexington, Virginia. 







Analyses of Liberty Hall limestone, vicinity of Staunton, Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 




Orgmnic matter. 

Iron oxide (Fe,0,) and alomina (AlsO,) 


Galcinm carbonate (CaCXDg) 

Magnesia (MgO).... 

Magnenum carbonate (MgOOs) 










Analyses prepared by Mr. Catlett from samples of the lower part of 
the Martinsburg shales have been given on a previous page. These 
indicate that this division of the shales in the vicinity of Staunton agrees 
with the same horizon elsewhere in chemical composition, the high amount 
of lime being the noteworthy feature. The higher members of the shales 
in the region east of Staunton show the same lithologic and other char- 
acters described for central western Virginia in general. 

Western edge of Valley, north of 8ta/unton. — The outcrops of the 
Ordovician limestone along the western edge of this part of the Valley 
are in general so remote from railroads that, in spite of the excellent rock 
shown at a few places, exploitation of this region is at present useless. 
Furthermore, throughout a considerable portion of this region the argil- 
laceous limestones are cut out by overthrust faulting, the magnesian lime- 
stone resting upon the shales of still higher formations. But a single 
area can be mentioned in which the cement rocks are exposed within 
a reasonable distance of a railroad. Several miles north of Stokesville, 
the terminus of the Chesapeake and Western Railroad, and a few miles 
K>uth of Little North Mountain, good outcrops of the rock are encountered. 
The quantity and quality of these limestones are such that, with the 
railroad facilities so near at hand, the rock will undoubtedly prove of 
economic importance. Shales are at hand for mixture with the cement 
rock when its percentage of lime is too high, while pure limestones, to 
increase the percentage when necessary, are found in sufficient quantity 
in the Valley just to the east. Indeed, even with the present facilities, this 
is one of the most promising cement localities in the Valley. 

F'ig. 1. — OverthniBt fault in Tuscanira sandstone, near Panther Gap, Vir^nia. 
Figr. 2. — Fields of residual decay in Shenandoah Valley, near Natural Bridge, Virginia. 


Fig. 2.— Sum.' Hi Ki^-. I. 


limMtone in this eastern area of outcrop^ are overturned to the west so 
fhat the strata show a fairly uniform eastward dip. This folding like- 
wise causes the rocks to have apparently a great thickness, but a careful 
examination will show the repetition of similar beds in regular order. In 
addition, the core of an anticline or syncline may be occasionally observed, 
and whenever it is possible to get a continuous section, a maximum thick- 
ness not exceeding that given by Professor Campbell is found. This 
close folding also involves the underlying Murat limestone, but because of 
the few and relatively unimportant exposures of this formation at the 
surface, it has been differentiated on the map only along the western 
border of the Ijexington area where its outcrops are of most importance. 

The general features of the geologic section at Lexington have been 
pointed out by Professor Campbell, but the following more detailed section 
is offered to show the variation in these strata : 

Geologic section, Lexington, Virginia, and vicinity. 

in. Black Biver limestone including Liberty Hall, Murat, and underlying 
8. liberty Hall formation: 

(d) More or less thin bedded argillaceous limestone and calcareous 

shales 600^ 

(e) Fine-grained, dark, massive argillaceous limestone with an 

obscure conchoidal fracture 250 ± 

(b) Argillaceous knotty limestone with many fossils, brachiopods 
and trilobites particularly numerous. Ampyx and Agnostus 

characteristic fossils *. 40 

(a) Crystalline and eubcrystalline limestone full of bryozoa, 

sponges, etc. Often absent from sections 10 

2. Murat formation: 

Massive gray crystalline limestone weathering into a red, clayey 

soil oomparatiyely free from chert 100 

1. Massive, somewhat cherty limestone, seldom ehown and of slight 

thickness. Fossils nuiiierous 

IL Stones Biver limestone. 

Massive dove limestone. Seldom present in the section and thick- 
ness slijifht when present 

I. Natural Bridge lime^^tone. 

Gray and light blue magnesian limestone weathering into chert. 

Conspicuous beds of chert near the top 

Of the different divisions distinguished in the section, the Liberty Hall 
and Murat are the only formations worthy of consideration as a source 
of cement materials, the former as a cement rock itself, and the latter 
as a more or less pnre limestone which could be used in mixture. 

Mr. Charles Catlett has analyzed a series of samples from the Lex- 
ington strata, but the particular strata from which they were derived was 



not noted. In all probability, No. I of the subjoined table was from the 
Murat limestone, while Xos. II and VI represent various phases of the 
Liberty Hall beds. 

Analyses of limestones from Lexington, Virginia. 

(Charles Catlett Analyst) 











Alamina ( A1,0„ ) and iron oxide ( Fe^O, ) 


Maenesia (MffCO) 

Carbon dioxide ( CO,) 



























The analyses presented in the following tabic were made from sample? 
selected by the writer: 

Analyses of Murat and Liberty Hall limestones, vicinity of Lexington, 


(J. H. Gibbonej, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe|0,) and alamina 



Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,)... 


Per cent. 






























I. Compact white limestone, Murat formation, Reservoir Hill, Lexington. Vir- 

II. Subcrystalline limestone, base of Liberty Hall beds, near Lexington, Virginia. 

III. Dark argillaceous limestone, Liberty Hall fonnation. Spring Cave Hill, Lex- 

ington, Virginia. 

IV. Compact gray limestone, Liberty Hall formation. Spring Cave Hill, Lexing- 

ton, Virginia. 

The analyses given below indicate the composition of the rocks in other 
parts of central western Virginia : 






'^ ■'■*'""-^ 





■rtiv ' ■ . ' 

lie. iiciir ShcnviKJi]. XHtiiral Dridge >itnttiiii 
LOWER CAMUKI.W fjlAltrZITK AXn siikiiwood j-ormation. 



Anaigses of limestones and shale, central western Virginia, 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent 

■ • • 




Orguiie matter 

Inm oxide {FmSKi \ 

Alomina (AlA) i 

lime (CW) i 40.24 

CUdmB eartmiate (OaOO,) ' 71.86 


MagDeria (MgO). 

Magneeiom oarbooate ( MgOO,). 



Per c^nt 








Per cent 









Per cent. 



L Murmt formation, near Rockbridge Baths, Virginia. 
IL Compact siliceous limestone, Li^rty Hall formation, Kerrs creek, Virginia. 

III. Argillaoeoiui limestone, upper part of Liberty Hall formation, 5 miles west 

of Rockbridge Baths, Virginia. 

IV. Hiflfaly calcareous shales, basal beds of Martinsburg group, 2 miles west of 

Rockbridge Baths, Virginia. 


In the discussion of northwestern and of central western Virginia, the 
writer has indicated no great differences in the stratigraphic succession 
or the lithology of the Ordovician strata in various parts of the Valley. 
In southwestern Virginia, however, a new factor in the study of these 
same strata is introduced. Ordinarily rocks deposited synchronously in 
comparatively small areas show no great differences either in lithological 
aspect or in their fossil contents. In the division of the State now to be 
discussed the Ordovician strata, particularly, differ in various areas in 
both of these respects. For example, the eastern portion of the Oreat 
Valley shows a development of Ordovician limestones and shales totally 
different from that found in the westernmost part of the State. In the 
stady of the various sections, these differences in strata of apparently the 
same age were encountered in traverses made across the Valley and ridges 
to Ae west, while little difficulty was experienced in correlating the rocks 
in directions paralleling the length of the Valley. 

Major Faults. 

When compared with the two divisions discussed previously, the geology 
of sonHiweBtem Virginia is complicated by grent folds and overthrust 
faults. The region is traversed in a northeast-southwest direction by at 


least 7 major faults and a number of minor breaks. The easternmost 
jf these major faults passes along the base of the Holston and Iron 
mountains, where a sandstone of Lower Cambrian age is faulted against 
the dolomitic limestones. Sandstone^ shale, and impure limestone outcrop 
east of this fault, but on account of their unsuitable chemical composition 
are not considered here. 

The 6 major faults west of this eastern break have been described and 
named by Professors Lesley and Stevenson in the articles mentioned in 
the bibliography (page 166). These are, in order going westward, (1) 
the Walker Mountain, (2) Saltville, (3) Copper Creek, (4) Hunter 
Valley, (5) Wallen Valley, and (6) Poor Valley faults. These 7 major 
faults divide southwestern Virginia into 6 rather narrow areas, in each 
of which a belt of Ordovician limestones and shales is usually exposed. 
The general distribution of the cement^making materials in these areas 
is indicated on the maps of southwestern Virginia (pages 143 and 147). 
The relation of these faults to one another and the arrangement of the 
strata in each of the areas is shown in the accompanying structure section, 
figure 23. 

Oeneral Distribution of Cambrian and Ordovician Strata. 

The study of numerous sections including the Ordovician rocks in 
this part of the State brought out the fact, as mentioned before, that 
similar successions of these strata are at present exposed in long narrow 
areas bounded by the major faults. The differences of sedimentation in 
these various areas may perhaps most readily be shown by an outline 
of the stratigraphic succession in each. In both cases the well known 
Knox dolomite serves as a basal datum line and the identification of the 
various formations rests upon their fossil contents as well as their litho- 
logic characters. 

In the easternmost area, namely the region between the Blue Bidge 
and the Walker Mountain fault, or the Bristol area of the accompanying 
table, the following succession of Ordovician rocks may be observed: 

3. Thin bedded sandstones and sandy shales (Tellico). 
2. Blue to black calcareous and sandy shales (Athens). 
1. Knox dolomite. 

Ix)cally, a thin, somewhat raagnesian, blue limestone, the equivalent 
of the Lenoir limestone of eastern Tennessee, occurs between the Knox 
anH the Athens. 

The narrow strip between the Walker Mountain fault and the Salt- 
ville fault, the Walker Mountain area of the table, shows an overlapping 

* If 





I i 







..-^ " 





-V "^ 

tf /-s 






»■! = 


5 ► 
•58 "-5 

c 3 «M 


of the formations of the next western band upon sediments of the one 
just described. This section, which is most clearly shown along the rail- 
road from Glade Spring to Saltville, is as follows : 

7. Red sandy shales and thin bedded sandstone (Bays). 

6. Yellow and dark colored shales with thin bedded blue limestone at base 

5. Red calcareous shales and impure red limestone (Moccasin). 

4. Beds of marble with calcareous shales (Holston). 

3. Blue and black calcareous shales (Athens). 

2. Thick bedded, ff^Jt slightly magnesian limestone (Lenoir). 

1. Knox dolomite. 

Beds of marble belonging to the Holston formation immediately 
follow the Knox dolomite in the Clinch Mountain area, namely the region 
between the Saltville and Copper Creek faults. Here, with the exception 
that the Lenoir limestone and Athens shale are wanting, the section, a^ 
shown below, is essentially the same as the preceding one: 

6. Heavily bedded white quartzite and sandstone (Clindi). 

5. Red sandy shales and thin bedded sandstone (Bays). 

4. Yellow and dark colored shales with thin bedded blue limestone at the base 


3. Red calcareous shales and impure red limestone (Moccasin). 

2. Marble at base followed by thin bedded limestones and shales (Holston). 
1. Knox dolomite. 

The marbles of the Holston formation are particularly well developed 
in Tennessee. In Virginia, the northernmost occurrence of the fauna asso- 
ciated with these marbles was noted at the foot of Clinch mountain, south 
of Tazewell. 

The strip bounded by the Copper Creek and Hunter Valley faults, 
here called the Copper Creek area, contains the Knox dolomite, the 
Moccasin, Sevier, Bays, and Clinch formations, but in place of the marbles 
and thin-bedded limestones of the Holston, heavily-bedded, gray and dark 
blue limestone is found. The difference between this and the Holston 
formation may be seen in cuts along the Virginia and Southwestern 
Railroad, near Speer Ferry and Clincliport. The exact equivalents of this 
massive limestone have not yet been determined, but, the new name, Pearis- 
burg limestone, is here instituted. 

The westernmost and most different sequence of the Ordovician in 
Virginia is found in the valley of Powell river, where the arrangement 
of the rocks, with the exception of the Clinch sandstone, is exactly the 
same as that obtaining in southwestern Ohio, central Kentucky, and 
central Tennessee. In Virginia, these rocks are known to occur through- 
out the Powell river vallev eastward to the Wallen Vallev fault, and in 


all probability the narrow strip between this fault and that of Hunter 
valley is also occupied by them. The formational names employed below 
for the rocks in this area are, with the exception noted before^ those used 
in the Ohio Valley Ordovician: 

10. Heavy bedded white quartzite or sandstone (Clinch). 

0. Red and yellow limestones and shales (Lorraine). 
8. Yellow arenaceous shales and limestones (Eden). 
7. Olive and yellow^ shales (Utica). 

6. Thin bedded blue limestones and blue or vellow shales (Trenton-Cathey). 

5. Dark blue crystalline limestone (Trenton-Bigby). 

4. Yellow and olive shales (Trenton-Hermitage). 

3. Thin bedded dove limestones and yellow shales (Tyrone). 

2. Massive dove limestone (Stones River). 

1. Knox dolomite. 

On account of the variation of the rocks in these diflferent areas, the 
importance, from an economic standpoint, of delimiting their boundaries, 
is apparent. In the maps accompanying this article, it has been possible 
to show only the general areas of outcrop of the purer Ordovician lime- 
stones and of their associated strata. 

The theories for this distribution of strata in separate areas need not 
be entered npon here more than to state that TJlrich and Schuchert, in their 
Paleozoic Seas and Barriers, have advanced the apparently well founded 
idea that the area of the Appalachian Valley during Ordovician times was 
divided longitudinally into several narrow troughs which were more or less 
effectively separated from each other; and that the observed differences 
in sedimentation and life characterizing the several troughs arc attributable 
to this separation. 

The general relation of the Cambrian and Ordovician formations and 
the more important cement rock horizons are indicated in the following 
correlation table: 



Cambrian and Ordovician formations of southwest Virginia. 

General time scale 

Bristol area 

Walker Mt. 

Clinch Mt 

Copper Creek 

Powell Val- 
ley area 

(Upper Ordovician) 












Mohawk ian 
(Middle Ordovician) 





Stones Rivei* 


(Lower Ordovician) 
(Upper Cambrian) 

• Knox 






(Middle Cambrian) 



( Mary ville 
• Kogersville 
( Butledge 

Mary ville 


(Middle Cambrian) 





'Horizons of cement materials. 


Instead of considering each of these areas of depoflition separately, it 
seems best in the present connection, because of lack of space, to give a 
short description of the various formations, and to present the analyses 
in tabular form. The geographic distribution of the formations and the 
assignment of each analysis to its proper place in the section, must, there- 
fore, be left to the reader. 

Cambrian Formations. 

Russell shales. — The oldest strata outcropping in soutliwestem Vir- 
ginia northwest of Holston Mountain, are sandy shales, thin-bedded sand- 
stones, and brown argillaceous shales, found in the valleys of Copper creek 
and Clinch river. The sandy beds make up the greater part of this 
formation, and therefore, as a whole, the Russell shales are of little value 
from an economic standpoint. Argillaceous shales occur somewhat 
sparingly in the upper third and might prove of value for a mixture with 
pure limestones in the manufacture of cement. The great range in the 
chemical composition of these shales is indicated in the following analyses: 



Analyses of Russell shales, vicinity of Clinchport, Virginia, 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide {Fefit), alumina (AljOs).. 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOi) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOi) 

Per cent. 







Per cent. 



I. Brown argillaceous shales, upper part of formation. 
II. Sandy shaleB, several hundred feet from top of formation. 

Ruiledge limestone. — Impure magnesian limestones 200 to 300 feet 
in thickness follow the Sussell shales. Their composition varies con- 
siderably but the magnesia content appears too high in all the samples 
examined to make the rocks of use. 

Analyses of Ruiledge limestones, vicinity of Clinchport, Virginia, 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe,0|), alumina (Al/)a).. 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOi) 

Magnesia (MgO ) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOa) 


Per cent. 



I. Gray limestone near base of formation. 
II. Dark limestone near top of formation. 

RogersvUle shale, — Separating the impure Eutledge limestone from the 
purer limestone of the succeeding formation — the Maryville limestone — 
is a blue calcareous shale named from Rogersville, Tennessee. This shale 
is abundantly fossiliferous and contains a fauna of Middle Cambrian age. 
The shale persists as such over a large area in northeastern Tennessee, 
but in southwestern Virginia it disappears from a shale formation toward 
the east. Along the western side of the Valley the formation often changes 
to a dark, siliceous limestone which cannot be separated from the under- 
lying Rutledge limestone. 



Analyses of Rogersville shale, vicinity of Clinchport, Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe,Os), alumina (Al,Oa).. 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOi) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium caii^nate (MgCOa) 


Per cent. 



Per cent. 



I. Calcareous shales, upper part of formation. 
II. Sandy shales, lower part of formation. 

MaryvUle limestone. — Of all the Cambrian formations, this is the most 
promising from an economic standpoint, because it is a comparatively 
pure limestone which, in a combination with associated shales, might 
make a good cement rock mixture. Wherever these strata occur as a 
well defined formation, they are heavily bedded, blue limestones^ varying 
in thickness from 500 to 650 feet. The type locality is at Maryville, 
Blount county, Tennessee, but typical exposures are found in southwestern 
Virginia northwest of a line following Moccasin Bidge. 

Analyses of Maryville limestone, vicinity of Clinchport, Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (FcjOj), alumina (AlaOj) 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOj) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) 





Per cent. 

Per cent 

Per cent. 






















I and II. Cherty black limestone. 

III. Blue crystalline limestone. 

IV. Grayish, subcrystalline limestone. 

Per cent. 




IlonaJcer limestone, — Southeast of a line paralleling Moccasin Eidge, 
the Maryyille limestone, the Sogersville shale, and the Butledge lime- 
stone, cannot be distinguished as separate formations but form a lithological 
unit for which the name Honaker limestone is employed, because of good 
exposures at Honaker, Eussell county, Virginia. This formation is of 
blue and gray limestone with a maximum thickness of 1,400 feet. It 
seems worthy of exploration only as a source of natural cement rock. 

Nolichucky shale. — This formation, the second shale horizon of 
economic importance, overlies the Honaker limestone in the Valley proper 
but follows the Maryyille limestone west of Moccasin Bidge. The shale 
deriyes its name from the Nolichucky river in Tennessee and carries a 
fauna of Middle Cambrian age. As a whole, the formation is composed of 
calcareous shale and shaly limestone reaching a maximum of 400 feet in 
thickness. West of Copper Bidge tiie Nolichucky shale is greatest in 
thickness, but eastward it diminishes until just east of Bristol it disappears 
altogether. At a few localities in this portion of Virginia, the Nolichucky 
shales contain limestone lentils of considerable thickness, which, with 
the associated shales, furnish the necessary raw material for cement manu- 
facture. The most important of such occurrences is in Carter Valley, 
where a lentil of blue limestone with a maximum thickness of 550 feet 
is found. 

Analysis of Nolichucky shale, vicinity of Clinchport, Virginia, 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Insoluble 38.68 

Iron oxide ( FejO,) , alumina ( Al,Oi) 5.28 

Lime (CaO) 29.46 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO.) 62.61 

Magnesia (MgO) 0.80 

Magnesium carbonate (MgOO,) 1.69 

Totol 98.26 


Knox dolomite. — Succeeding the Nolichucky shale is the great lime- 
stone formation of the Valley — ^the Knox dolomite. In southwest Vir- 
ginia this formation varies from 2,000 to 3,000 feet in thickness, a con- 
siderable diminution from the 4,000 feet exposed in the typical localities 
in Knox county, Tennessee. The Knox is generally a heavily-bedded 
gray magnesian limestone or dolomite with comparatively few natural 
outcrops. The line of outcrop is usually indicated by the heavy mantle of 
residual chert. These cherts occur in the limestone as nodular, dense 



masses of a white color, although often they appear as a porous sandstone. 
At some places the top of the formation is marked by a white argilla- 
ceous limestone which, if developed in sufficient quantity, and easily 
accessible, would prove of value economically. The reference of thia 
limestone to the Knox is doubtful and the exact position of these strata 
cannot be determined until more paleontological evidence is at hand. 

The Kjiox dolomite is one of the sources of the ridges of southwefctorn 
Virginia, but only when its strata are inclined at a considerable angle- 
In tho process of weathering, the soluble dolomite is washed away, leaving 
the insoluble chert to maintain the ridge. In this area the most promi- 
nent of such ridges are Copper and Moccasin Ridges, Walker Mountain, 
and Chestnut Ridge. 

Tlie lower part of the formation is generally unfossiliferous, but from 
evidence found elsewhere in the Valley, this portion is of Upper Cambrian 
age. The cherts in the upper part of the Knox dolomite are sometimes 
fossiliferous and contain a fauna of Beekmantown age. As this fauna 
has been found 1,000 feet below the top of the Knox, the Beekmantown 
portion has a thickness of at least that amount. 

Considered as a source of cement material, the Knox is of little, if 
any, importance. 

Analyses of Knox dolomite, 
(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (FejO,), alumina(A],0,). 


Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magnesia ( MgO ) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) . . . . 






Pr. cent. 

Pr. cent. 

Pr. cent 

Pr. cent. 























1 42.61 





Pr. cent 




Iron oxide (Fe,0|), alumina ( Al,Os). 

Lime (UO) 

Oalcinm^ carbonate (CkOO,) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnodnm oarixmate (MgOOy) ...- 

Total - 






Pr. cent 

Pr. cent. 

Pr. cent. 

Pr. cent 

Pr. cent. 































105 09 



Pr. cent. 







L Purer limestone Beam from thick bedded strata (Upper Cambrian), lower 

portion of formation, 2 miles south of Saltville, Virginia. 
IL Dolomitic limestone (Beekmantown), middle portion of formation, 4 miles 
south of Saltville, Virginia, 
in. Dolomitic limestone (Beelmiantown), upper part of formation, 4 miles south 

of Saltville, Virginia. 
IV. Knox dolomite, Lyon Gap section (Bed 1), Smyth county. 
V. Knox dolomite, Lyon Gap section (Bed 2), Smyth county. 
VL Dove-colored purer limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Gilea county. 
VII. Arenaceous limestone, 800 feet below top of formation, near Goodwin Fstrry, 

Giles county. 
Vni. Bluish-gray limestone, lower part of formation, vicinity of Clinchport, Vir- 
IX. Gray dolomite limestone, upper part of formation, vicinity of Clinchport, 

X. Less dolomitic layer in upper part of formation, vicinity of Clinchport, Vir- 
XI and XII. White argillaceous limestone, top of formation, Speer Ferry, Vir- 

OrdoYioian Formations. 

The most promising sources of supply for cement materials in this 
part of Virginia, as elsewhere in the Appalachian Valley, are of Middle 
Ordoyician age. On account of the variation in the Ordovician formations 
noted before, various names have been applied to the several lithologic 
units. These names, as well as the sequence of formations in tbi different 
areas of outcrop, have been indicated in the table on page 128, where a 
name hitherto most commonly applied to the purer Ordovician limestones 
of the southern Appalachians has been omitted. Explanations regard- 
ing this formation, the Chickamauga limestone, are therefore in order. 

Chickamauga limestone. — The Ordovician limestone exposed in the 
westernmost outcrops of the Appalachians show a considerable thickness 
when compared with limestones of the same age farther east. 
To this thick limestone formation the name Chickamauga was ap- 
plied and has been employed on the maps of many of the Valley folios. 
The separation and delimitation of this purer limestone from the great 
underlying dolomitic series was a distinct advance in mapping, and the 
name was snbsequently employed for any or all of the purer Ordovician 
limestones following the Ejiox dolomite. As mapping proceeded, eastward 
and northward from the typical area, other Ordovician formations were 
distinguished. In these cases the term Chickamauga was restricted to the 
pore limestone immediately following the Knox dolomite. Thus while its 
lower boundary was thought to be constant, the upper wa9 regarded as 


At fhe typical Chickamauga outcrops along Chickamauga creek, in 
QwrptL, and east of Chattanooga, Tennessee, this limestone appears to 



contain representatives of most of the geological formations of the general 
time scale between the top of the Knox dolomite and the base of the Silu- 
rian. With this explanation in mind, a glance at the table of geologic 
formations will indicate that in the type locality the Chickamanga in- 
cludes representatives of not only the Ordovician limestone, but also of the 
succeeding shales and sandstones of Virginia localities. In the eastern 
part of the Appalachian Valley the term was applied to the strata to which 
Safford long before gave the name Lenoir limestone; farther west, the 
Holston marbles and limestones have been mapped as the Ghickamauga, 
while in Powell Biver Valley, the generally quite distinct or different 
Stones River, Black River, and Trenton strata have been grouped under 
the same name. 

Lenoir limestone, — A gray, slightly magnesian limestone usually mapped 
as the Ghickamauga succeeds the Knox dolomite in the more eastern por- 
tions of the Valley in Virginia and Tennessee. To this, Safiford and Kille- 
brew applied the above name from its occurrence at Lenoir, Tennessee. 
In Virginia a maximum of 200 feet is reached in the Glade Spring region, 
but the usual thickness is much less than this amount. The Lenoir lime- 
stone is of particular interest paleontologically on account of its typical 
Chazy fauna. 

Analyses of Lenoir limestone. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Insoluble 4.(>0 

Iron oxide (FcaO,) , alumina ( AlaOs) .24 

Lime (CaO) 51.90 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO.) 02.68 

Magnesia (MgO) • 1 .06 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOt) | 2. 32 

Total 99 84 



Per cent. 

Per cent 

7 34 








3 07 


6 45 



98 46 

I and II. Slightly magnesian limestones, 4 miles south of Saltville, Virginia. 
III. Argillaceous limestone, Lyon Gap section. (Bed 3), Smyth county. 

Athens shale. — ^Resting either upon the Lenoir limestone, or, when this 
18 absent, upon the Enox dolomite, are dark and blue calcareous shales 
named from Athens, M cMinn county, Tennessee, where they are well de- 
veloped. In Virginia, these shales attain a maximum thickness of 1.000 
or IjSOO feet The lower strata are black carbonaceous shales passing into 



blue calcareous shales, which, as the top of the formation is approached, 
become more and more sandy. In folio No. 59 of the TT. S. (Jeological Sur- 
vey, the more important Athens shale areas of Virginia are shown. The 
composition of all the samples selected for analysis is given below. These 
analyses, which are of only the lower and middle divisions, indicate the 
value of this shale as a cement material. 

Analyses of Athens shale. 

(J. H. Qibbonej, Analyst) 


Organic matter 

Iron oxide (Fe^O,) alnmina 



Calcium carbonate (CaCO,). . 

Magnesia ( MgO) 

Magnenium carbonate( MgCO,) 








ToUl 99.85 







































Per ct. 






I. Calcareous shale, 2 miles south of Abingdon, Virginia. 
II. Shalj limestone, 3 miles east of Bristol, Virginia. 
III. Limestone band, 4 miles east of Bristol, Virginia. 
IV and V. Dark shales about 5 miles south of Saltville, Virginia. 
VI. Dark shales (Bed 4), Lyon Gap section, Smyth county. 
VII. Dark blue shales (Bed 4), Lyon Gap section, Smyth county. 

Holsion formation. — The Ordovician limestone mapped by the U. S. 
Geological Survey in the vicinity of Knoxville, Tennessee, as the Chicka- 
mauga, contains beds of marble in its upper part, distinguished as the 
Holston marble. These marbles and thin shale beds accompanying them, 
hold a fauna of bryozoa, crinoids, cystids, and sponges so different from 
other Ordovician formations that this Holston division or its equivalent can 
easily be recognized elsewhere. In some parts of Virginia and Tennessee, 
these shales and marbles immediately follow the Knox dolomite; elsewhere 
they rest upon the Lenoir limestone or its equivalent, as at Knoxville, 
Tennessee; again, in more eastern belts where the marble is comparatively 
thin, either the Athens shales or both the Athens and Lenoir may inter- 
vene. Therefore in view of the characteristic lithology, the peculiar fauna, 
and the fact that it occupies a definite position in the stratigraphic column, 
the name Holston is herein accorded the rank of a fonnational name. 



The Holston fonnation is probably best developed along the nortl 
em edge of Clinch MouDtain in both Tennessee and Virginia. At '. 
Hill, west of Morristown, Tennessee, the variouB strata making u 
formation are well exposed, and this pnction us well as any other aloi 
same line of outcrop, may be taken as typical for the Holston. In i 
west Virginia, a good section may be observed at almost any point be 
Speer Ferry and Gate City. The railroad cuttings and the natun 
poBures about Speer Ferry show the following succession of rocks: 

Geologic sectum, Speer Ferry, Tirginia. 

5. Clinch Bandstone. Co&ne, white, niasbiTe quartzit« and randBtone, out- 

cropping at crest of Glineh Mount.iin 

6. Bays i&ndstone. Red sandy shales and sandstone containing numeroua 

Lorraine fossils 

4. Sevier shales. Yellow or blue shales, calcareous in lower part especially 
8. Moccasin limestone. Red argillnraoua limestone with a few drab-«olDr«d 

2. Holston (ormation. Marble, limestone and shales in the following order: 

(d) Yellow shales irith thin argillaceous blue or dove limestone break- 
ing up into nodular masses upon weathering 

(c) Blue and graj coarsely crystalline limestone, masaiTe when un- 
weathered but splitting up into layers 2 to 4 inchea in tliickneM 
when exposed 

(b) Blue, drab, and yellow shales with numerous fossils 

{a] Pink and gray marbles with coarsely crystalline limestone 

1. Knox dolomite: 

(b) White, flne-grained argillaceous limestone (Knoxl) 

(a) Cray, magnesian, cherty limestone 

Although the Holston formation contains a variety of diverse i 
still all of them are low enough in magnesia to be considered as o 

Analt/ses of Holston marble and shale. 
(J. H. Gibboney, Analyat) 


Inaoluble. - 23. M 

lion oxide (Pe,0,), alumina (AljO,' 


Calcium cubonate <CbCO,) 


Magnesium carbonate (HgCO,) 




Total ... 

Per ct. j Per et 'pr. ct 

Pr. ct 



23.64 '. 0.S6 .39. &2 


10.60 10.10 i 

3.62 I l.IO 5.64 




39.86 ; 66.00 28.44 

36 14 

48 06 


71.18 : 98.21 60.70 




0.88 1 0.08 i 0.R8 




1.78 0.17 , 1.86 1 1.38 


100.02 1 100.34 .97.71 







Iron oxide (Fe,0,), alumina ( AljO,) 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) 





Per ct. 


Pr. ct. 






















Pr. ct. 









97.97 101.23 


47. 1» 


I. Calcareous shale interbedded with Holston marble, 5 miles south of Salt- 

ville, Virginia. 
II. Light-color^, coarsely crystalline marble, base of formation, Speer Ferry, 

III. Blue shale, succeeding marble, in lower part of formation, Speer Ferry, 


IV. Drab ehales, middle portion of formation, Speer Ferry, Virginia. 

V. Bluish argillaceous limestone, upper part of formation, Speer Ferry, Virginia. 

VI. Dark argillaceous limestone, upper part of formation, Speer Ferry, Virginia. 

VII. Heavily bedded argillaceous limestone, 3 miles north of Mendota, Virginia. 

VIII. Dove limestone, 3 miles north of Mendota, Virginia. 

IX. Thin bedded argillaceous and crystalline limestone (Bed 6), Lyon Gap 

section, Smyth county, Virginia. 
X. Blue argillaceous limestone (Bed 6), Lyon Gap section, Smyth county, 

XI. Gray argillaceous limestone (Bed 6), Lyon €kip seetion, Smyth county, 

XII. Dark argillaceous limestone. Gate City, Virginia. 
XIII. Blue argillaceous limestone, Gate City, Virginia. 

Pearisburg limestone. — In the table of formations on page 128, the 
Pearisbnrg has been indicated as a formation between the Knox dolomite 
end the Moccasin limestone in the Copper creek area of southwestern Vir- 
ginia. This is a new fonnational name introduced for the limestones 
occupjdng this interval, and particularly for the rocks at Pearisburg, Qiles 
county, where the following type section for the formation is exposed. 

Oeologic section, Pearisburg, Virginia. 


4. Sevier shales 

3. Moccasin limestone. Purple calcareous shales and argillaceous limestones 

with seams of impure aove limestone 200 

2. Pearielmrff limesUme: 

(f ) lAffit gray compact limestone with gastropods abundant in the lower 

beds and numerous ostracoda in the upper part W 

(•) Fine-grained dove limestone 20 

(d) Imbeoded magnesian limestone 25 

(e) Li|^t to dark gray moderately fine-grained limestone in lower part 

and masfire oberty beds in upper division 65 


(b) Dark bluiBh-gray limestone, Buhcryatalline or earth;- in the upper 
part and alightly chertj in the lower beds. A Qtrvanetla lees than 

0.6 inch in diameter very abundant SO 

(a) Dark gray mottled massive limestone leaving a deep red chert upoi 
weathering. Fossils numeroua, bryozoa, braebiopods, and Solmtopora 

being particularly abundant 250 

Knox dolomite. Magnesias limestone weathering into reddish chert 

Analyses of Pearishurg limestone, vicinity of Pearisbvrg, Virginia. 
(J. H. Oibboney, Analyst) 




' Pr. ct. Pr. et.| Pr. ct. Pr. cL Pr. ct. Pr, 




Inioluble 6.14, 

Organic mailer 

Iron oiide (Fe,0,), alumina (A1,U,] .. 

Lime (CaO) 60.30 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 89.82 

Magnesia (MgO) 1.57 

Hagneuum oarbonale (MgCO,) 3 " 



.00, 1.00 
48.00 51.36 
85.72 91.71 


2.16, O.dS' 0.38 

50.30, 51. S4 

e0.82| 91.50 

3.62' 3.66 

7.60 7.68 






Iron oiide {Fe,0,'),"il,iuiaVna (aV,6,').'' 

Lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magnesia ( MgO) 

Haguesium carbon ste (MgCOi).. 

Tot«d. .. 


6.64 6.04 

0.80 n.S4 

60. SO 61.80 

90.71 91. 4S 

1.04 0.80 

3. 18 1.S7 









XVI 1 
Pr. ci. 

-i Villi XIX XX 
Pr. cl-'pr. ct.iPr. ct 




Organic mattet 

Iron oiide (Fe,0,), alumina (AJ.O,) ■ 







1.35 5.60J 1.50 

!43' 0.78 0.68 

1 51.40 64.70 

06.04| 91. SO 97.78 

0.72 0,15 

1.7S 1.52 0.31 



Calcium carbonate (CaCo,) 

Magnesia MgOl 

94.46 91.88 


2.05j 5.52 



100.11 99.99 


99.97 99.70100.17 




I. Dark gray limestone (Bed 2a), Pcarisburg, Virginia. 
II. Dark blue limestone weathering into chert (Bed 2a), Pearisburg, Virginia. 

III. Subcrystalline limestone (Bed 2b), Pearisburg, Virginia. 

IV. Lig^t gray, massive limestone (Bed 2c), Pearisburg, Virginia. 
V. Dark, massive limestone (Bed 2c), Pearisburg, Virginia. 

VI and VII. Laminar, unfossiliferous limestone (Bed 2d), Pearisburg, Virginia. 
Vin. Fine-grained dove limestone (Bod 2e), Pearisburg, Virginia. 
IX. Semi-mottled limestone (Bed 2f), Pearisburg, Virginia. 
X. Coarsely crystalline gray limestone, near Qoodwin Ferry, Virginia. 
XI. Compact, dark argillaceous limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 
XII. Dark, argillaceous limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 

XIII. Dark, compact limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 

XIV. Crystalline limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 
XV. Dove limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 

XVI, XVII, XVIII. Massive limestone from lower part of formation, Ripplemead, 
Virginia. Dr. Henry Froehling, analyst. 

XIX. Compact, massive limestone, lower part of formation, vicinity of Narrows, 
XX. Thin ^ded blue limestone, middle portion of formation, vicinity of Nar- 
rows, Virginia. 

XXI. Dove-colored compact limestone, upper part of formation, vicinity of Nar- 
rows, Virginia. 

Analyses of Pearisburg limestone, vicinity of Tazewell, Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Insoluble ■ 

Iroo oxide (Fe,0,), alumina (A1,0,). 


Caldam carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magnema (MgO) 

Magoesiom carbonate ( MgCO,) 








Per ct. 

Per ct. 

Per ct. 

Per ct. 

Per ct. 

Per cL 














61 . 20 

























Per ct 



I. Massive, finely crystalline limestone, base of formation, Tazewell, Virginia. 

n. Blue, coarsely crystalline limestone, base of formation, Tazewell, Virginia. 

III. Thin bedded dove limestone, middle portion of formation, Tazewell, Virginia. 

IV. Massive dove limestone, top of formation, Tazewell, Virginia. 
V. Granular blue limestone. Five Oaks, Virginia. 

VI. Thin bedded shaly limestone. Five Oaks, Virginia. 

VII. Dove limestone. Five Oaks, Virginia. 

Moccasin limestone, — East of the Powell river valley the various 
Middle Ordovician limestones are followed by an argillaceous red limestone 
named as above from its occurrence along Moccasin creek in Scott county. 
Along Clinch Mountain in both Virginia and Tennessee, the best develop- 
ment of this impure limestone occurs, with an average thickness of 500 
feet The following table gives analyses of samples from various points in 
Bonthwestem Virginia, which indicate a rather uniform composition for the 



Analyses of Moccasin limestone. 

(.1. H. <.Tiblx>iU'y, AiuilvHt) 



Pr. ct Pr. c't 

Pr. <'t 

Pr. vt 




Pr. ct Pr. ot l*r. ct Pr. ft Pr. ct Pr. rt 

Iron oxidf (Ke3(>3),{iliiinii)a ( AlgO^) l.isi 

liirne (('«(>) 40. ;« 

Calcium «irlx>iiat«.' ((;«(■( >3i 7J.04 

MapD(>slii (MifO) 

MaKDt'siumeurlMinaU' (MjrCT^Ja) 1.74 

S.2S 24.7J. l:l.JO I1.7H 7.66 

1.72 ;{.»4i J.W 1.4S .K2 

;iS.4'*i 40.40 47.7>< 60.;{S 

««.71 HI. 07 85.:t> «».96 

0.rt4j 0.K7. .24 .35 

l.:ttl'll ./W .76 






Total JiS..>4 



W.72 iW.76 W.ll; «».20 

I I 

6.90: ai.iS. .'^.24 
1.24! 4.96; 4.oO 

uO.lO 31.J!W :».«'. 

8SI.48 56.92 60.61 
0.75 0.68' 0.25 
1.67; 1.44. 0.5:1 

W.lft ir7.60 JC.JU 









I. Argillaceous limestone about 5 miles south of Saltville, Virginia. 

II. Impure drab limestone. Tazewell county, Virginia. 

III. Impure red limestone. Five Oaks, Virginia. 

IV. Dove-colored, argillaceous limestone, Five Oaks, Virginia. 
V. Granular blue limestone, Five Oaks, Virginia. 

VI. Red clayey limestone, Pearisburg, Virginia. 

VII. Red limestone, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 

VIII. Red shales, vicinity of Speer Ferry, Virginia. 

IX. Red shaly limestone. Gate City, Virginia. 

X. Red shaly limestone, 3 miles n«»rth of ^Icndota, Virginia. 

Sevier shales. — In Sevier coTinty, Tennessee, the Tellico sandstone is 
followed by a great shale formation of Middle and Upper Ordovician age. 
Although fossils are rare in these shales, sufficient evidence has been found 
to indicate that the strata are of Trenton, XJtica, and Eden age. The 
Sevier shales are, therefore, apparently only a southern extension of the 
Martinsburg shales of more northern localities. The lithological features 
of the Sevier are also quite similar to the Martinsburg, so that a detailed 
description is unnecessary. The lower strata are of calcareous shale and 
interbedded limestone, the middle portion is more argillaceous, while the 
upper beds are quite sandy. The lower and middle portions, therefore, are 
of value as a source of cement rock. All the various horizons of the Sevier 
are represented in the table of analyses below, but most of the samples were 
obtained from the more important lower portion. 

Analyses of Sevier limestones and shales. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe,Oa), alumina (A]«0^) 

lime (CaO).. 

Galdom oarbonate (OtOO^) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magneunm oarbonate (MgOC^) 


Xotai ••••••••••■■••■•■•••■••••«• ■• •■■■•• 

















/ 2.02 
\ 1.30 








































Iron oxide (Fe,Os), ftlnmina (A1,0,) 

Lime (CaO) 

Caldom carbonate (CaCOs) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Ma^esimn carbonate (MgCO,) 







Per ct 

Per ct. 

Per ct. 

Per ct 

Per ct. 




































Per ct. 





Iron oxide (Fe,0,), alamina ( A1,0,) 

Lime (CaO) „ 

Oalciam carbonate (CkCO,) 

Magnesia (MgO) - 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) 







Per ct 

Per ct 

Per ct 

Per ct. 

Per ct 





































Per ct 












Limestone band, lower part of formation, about 6 miles south of Saltville, 

Calcareous shales, lower part of formation, about 6 miles south of Salt- 

ville, Virginia. 
Compact, black limestone, Trenton horizon, Tazewell, Virginia. 
Calcareous shales, Trenton horizon, Tazewell, Vir^nia. 
V. Compact argillaceous layers, lower part of formation, Five Oaks, Virginia. 
VI. Limestone bands, lower part of formation. Five Oaks, Virginia. 
VII. Caleareoufl shales at base of formation. Five Oaks, Virginia. 
Vni. Sandy shales, upper part of formation. Five Oaks, Virginia. 
IX. Calcareous shales, northern part of Wythe county, Virginia. 
X. Thin bedded blue limestone, lower part of formation (Trenton), near 

Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 
XI. Calcareous shales, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 
XII. Sandy shales from Eden horizon, near Goodwin Ferry, Virginia. 
XIII. Thin bedded black limestone, Trenton horizon, Speer Ferry, Virginia. 
XTV. Calcareous shales, Trenton horizon, Speer Ferry, Virginia. 
XV. S«ndy dudea, Eden horinm, Speer Ferry, Virginia. 
XVL Cftleareous shales, basal portion of formation. Gate City, Virginia. 
XVn. Upper part of formation, Gate City, Virginia. 
XVin. CaleueouB shale, 3 miles north of Mendota, Virginia. 

Bays sandstone, — ^In the Bays mountains of Tennessee^ the Sevier 
duQes are overlain by red sandy shales grading upward into red sandstones 
which have been mapped as a separate formation. This, the Bays sand- 
stone^ oontains fossilB of Lorraine age and is one of the more widespread 
fiirmationa in bo& Tennessee and Virginia. Its outcrops are generally 
near the smmnits of the Valley ridges, but the strata are usually concealed 
by Mra from the lormationB above. 


Analysis of Bays sandstone, near Glade Spring, Virginia. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Insoluble 90.18 

Iron oxide (FeaOs) , alumina ( AlgOj) 5.72 

Lime (CaO) 0.64 

Calcium carbonate (CaCOa) 1.14 

Magnesia (MgO) 0.03 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,) 0.07 

Total 97.11 

Clinch sandstone, — All the more prominent Valley ridges owe their 
existence to this heavy sandstone. Tlie Clinch is a massive, coarse, white 
sandstone or quartzite 200 to 300 feet thick, and is prominently displayed 
along Clinch Mountain, the most conspicuous of the Valley ridges. The 
sandy nature of both the Clinch and the underlying Bays prevent their use 
as cement materials. 

Details of Localities. 

Although a variety of cement rocks outcrop in southwestern Virginia, 
the railroad facilities are such that the strata are accessible at compara- 
tively few points. In the present article, only the more important areas in 
counties with transportation facilities, are mentioned, leaving a detailed 
account to a more extended work upon the subject. 

Giles County. — The portion of Giles county occupied by Ordovician 
strata is so large when compared with most other counties of southwestern 
Virginia, that a special map based ujmn a manuscript map by Mr. M. R. 
Campbell, is introduced. As indicated on this map, there are four impor- 
tant areas of these limestones and shales, and, further, each area is either 
crossed by or is within short distance of a railroad. The cement materials 
occur in the Pearisburg limestone and the lower portion of the Sevier 
shales. Analyses and a detailed section of the Pearisburg limestone in this 
area are given on pages 137-138. 

Tazewell Cotmty. — This county has the advantage over many others in 
Virginia in having large outcrops of cement-making materials in close 
proximity to a railroad. Between the stations of Cedar Bluff and Tiptop, 
through the valley of Clinch river, the Norfolk and Western Railroad 
paaaes over Fearisburg limestone for almost the entire distance. A second 
li«!> of outcrop of the same rock is found southeast of Paint Mountain, a 
third occurs about Morris Knob and extends northeastward, while a fourth 
may be found along the foothills of Clinch Mountain. Of these, the first 
is of most importaace on account of railroad facilities, and the analyses 


are mainly from samples collected along this strip. All the analyses of 
Pearisburg limestone from Tazewell county are assembled in the table on 
page 139. 

Sections showing the structural geology and a detailed map of the 
general geology of the greater part of the county are given in the Tazewell 
folio of the XJ. S. Geological Survey. The succession and average thick- 
ness of the Ordovician rocks in this county are^ in ascending order, a» 

follows : 

Average thickness 
in feet 

6. Clinch sandstone 200 

5. Bays sandstone 300 

4. Sevier shale 1,200 

3. Moccasin limestone 300 

2. Pearisburg limestone 900 

1. Knox dolomite (upper part) 1,200+ 

Numerous exposures showing the purer and argillaceous limestones 
may be found in the vicinity of Tazewell, but continuous sections exhibit- 
ing all the subdivisions are not so common. The following detailed section 
of the Pearisburg limestone may be observed along the road following 
Plum creek, just north of Thompson valley, abont 4 miles southwest of 
Tazewell, Virginia. 

Geologic section, just north of Thompson Valley, Virginia. 

III. Moccasin limestone: Feet 

Red and drab impure argillaceous limestone 

II. Pearisburg limestone: 

6. Thin bedded, mottled, dove limestone with red and drab shales in 

the lower part. Fossils numerous 130 

5. Drab shales with bands of thin blue limestone crowded with crinoid 

stems 30 

4. Thin bedded dove limestone with rather numerous fossils 00 

3. Heavy bedded dark blue impure and argillaceous limestone 120 

2. Shaly mottled limestone with few fossils 160 

I. Coarsely crystalline crinoidal limestone, yielding some chert upon 

weathering 180 

I. Knox dolomite: 

Heavily bedded magnesian limestone 

Washington County. — In this county, the outcrops of Ordovician lime- 
stones and calcareous shales are found in two areas separated in a general 
way by Walker Mountain. In each of these areas the geological succession 
is somewhat different. East of Walker Mountain the dolomitic limestones 
of Cambrian and Ordovician age are succeeded usually by a bine to black 
Galcazeoofl and aandy ahale formation, which, in the Bristol folio of the 
U* 8. Gedlogical Siirvej^ haa been mapped as the Athens shale. The main 



outcrops of these shales, which here are from 1,000 to 1,200 feet in thick- 
ness, occur east of Bristol and Abingdon. As the more eastern parts of the 
Valley are approached, the Athens shales become more sandy and cannot 
be regarded as a possible source of cement material. 

West of Walker Mountain only a few and generally unimportant areas 
are occupied by Ordovician rocks. This region is also without railroad 

Smyth County. — The Walker Mountain fault passes through Smyth 
county along a southwest-northeast line, dividing it into southeastern and 
northwestern portions of nearly equal dimensions. This fault traverseB 
the western part of the Valley of Virginia and brings the Knox dolomite 
or older limestones in contact with the Carboniferous gypsiferous shales. 
East of this fault line, the strata arc limestones or shales generally unsuited 
for cement material. The important cement rocks are Ordovician lime- 
stones and shales outcropping along the western foothills of Walker Moun- 
tain. With the exception of the vicinity of Saltville, this strip is every- 
where at such distance from railroads that the material cannot at present 
be considered of much value other than for local use. In the valley west 
of Walker Mountain the Knox dolomite and underlying Cambrian lime- 
stone are exposed, but proceeding westward, these strata are found to be 
faulted against the Carboniferous gypsiferous shales similar to the fault- 
ing east of the mountain. This second fault is well shown at Saltville and 
has received its name from that town. The Cambro-Ordovician section 
exposed between these two faults is essentially the same throughout the 
county and therefore only a single section is given. 

The following section is exposed along the road through Lyon Gap, 
northeast of Glade Spring, Virginia, starting at the cross roads near Mc- 
Henry creek, west of the Gap. The section concludes with the Clinch sand- 
stone forming the crest of Walker Mountain. 

Geologic section, Lyon Oap, Virginia. 


11. Clinch sandstone. White quartzite and sandstone 

10. Bays sandstone. Yellow and red sandy shales and sandstones with 

arenaceous limestone in lower portion 300 

9. Sevier (Eden) shale. Yellow enales with thin arenaceous limestone 

layers 1,000 

8. Sevier (Trenton and Utica) shale. Brown to yellow shales 600 

7. Moocaain limestone. Purplish shales and impure reddish limestone 400 

4. HolsioD limestone. Blue and gray argillaceous limestone 50^^ 

5. Holsten limestone. Thin bedded argillaceous and crystalline limestones IOC 

4. Athens shale. Dark blue calcareous shales 400 

5. Lenoir limestooe. Compact dark argillaceous and magnesian limestone 200 
SL Knox dolomite. Compact gray clayey limestone weathering into shales 30 
1, Kaoz dolomite. Magnesian limestone weathering into chert 



Scott and Russell Counties. — Geologically, these two counties are so 
similar that in order to ?ave repetition, they are treated together. 

On account of faulting, two strips of Ordovician strata traverse both 
counties. The first line of outcrops is along the western slope of Clinch 
Mountain, and the second occurs^ similarly just west of Moccasin Ridge. 
The eastern line of outcrops terms a portion of the section bounded on the 
east by the Saltville fault traversijig-the western part of Washington count}'. 
The geologic section conlmenceson the east with Carboniferous rocks and 
continues westward -exposing* the various formations in descending order 
until in the vicinity of Copper creek, the Cambrian limestones are found 
thrust upon Ordovician rocks. 

The geologic structure and character of the limestone of economic im- 
portance in these counties are well shown along the Virginia and South- 
western Railroad between Clinchport and Gate City. As this railroad cuts 
across both of the strips of Ordovician strata mentioned above, the section 
of the rocks along this line is given below. Starting with the Russell shales 
exposed just north of Clinchport, and proceeding south, the sacceeding 
Cambrian and Ordovician strata are seen until the Copper Creek fault is 
encountered, with the Pearisburg limestone and the Russell shales in con- 
tact. The sections then continue southward without interruption to Clinch 
Mountain, capped by the Clinch sandstone. As this section illustrates the 
general structure and sequence of rocks in both Scott and Russell counties, 
samples for analysis were taken from most of the formations. 

Geologic section, exposed along the railroad, Clinchport, Virginia, south to 

Clinch Moun tain . 

(Thickness approximate) Feet 

1. Russell shales (exposed just south of Clinchport). Sandy shales and 

sandstones with brown shales at top 

2. Rutledge limestone (exposed at Clinchport). Impure mottled lime- 

stones; thin streaks of dove limestone alternating with impure black 
bands 200 

3. Rogersville shales. Blue to brown calcareous shale 100 

4. Maryville limestone. Massive gray limestone, lower part crystalline, 

upper part dove with bands of dolomite 000 

5. Nolichucky shale. Brovni to yellow calcareous and arenaceous shale. . . 600 

6. Knox dolomite. Gray magnesian limestone, sandy in the middle part 

and eherty toward the top 2,100 

7. Pearisburg limestone. Heavily bedded crystalline and argillaceous dank 

blue limestone. Fault 

8. Russell shales. 

9. Rutledge limestone. 

10. Rogersville shale. 

11. Maryville limestone. 

12. NoUehudky ihmle. 

\ ■. 

• • / - . 




Fig. 2. — Quariy in Lewistuwn limestODe. Lonitdkll!, 


13. Knox dolomite. Beds S to 13 have eaM&ually ihr ?^nnie litholo^- and 

thickne9« a> beds 1 to C* rcspeinively. 

14. Holiton fomuitiaiL Hiin bedded blue limestone and yellow shalen with 

lenses of red marble toward the base 1 .i>00 

15. Ifoccaain limestone. Bed argillaceous lime^tono .'tOO 

Itt. Scrier shale. Yellow and blue calcareous shales 1 .5(X> 

17. Bays sandstone — — 

18. Clinch sandstone — 

Lee County, — Tiro horizons in I>ee countr furnish raw uiatorial suit- 
able for cement manufacture. The first and more important of these occu- 
piei fhe intenral betreen the Knox dolomite and the Clinch sandstone, the 
aeoond is the Hancock limestone of Silurian age. On account of greater 
extent and more accessibility, the Ordovioian limestones are bv far of 
greater importance and are therefore discussed more in detail. The Han- 
eock limestone outcrops generally in small patches along the fault lines and 
la often cat out altogether. When well exposed it is seen to be a blue lime- 
atone high in lime but becoming cherty toward the top. The maximum 
♦hMpM^ff* in the Powell Valley region was found to be 275 feet. 

In this coimtj. the Ordovician rocks of value for cement purposes occur 
in two well defined areas. The less important of these is a strip brought 
up by the Wallen Valley fault and following the western slope of Powell 
Mountain along which these limestones and shales outcrop at a number of 
places. Although these rocks occur in quantity and usually hare the proper 
chemical constitution of cement material, the distance of their outcrops 
from the railroad and their otherwise gi»neral inaccessibility, cause them to 
be, at present, of little economic importance. 

The second and more important area is bounded in a general way by 
Wallen Bidge and Cumberland Mountain, thus embracing the valley of 
Powell river. This valley in I^ee county shows numerous outcrops of 
afaales and pure and argillaceous limestouts of Ordovician age along its 
edges, the central portion being occupied mainly by the Knox dolomite. 
Along fhe northern edge of the eastern half of the Valley, the dove lime- 
stones immediately succeeding the Knox dolomite are faulted against De- 
Tonian black shale, all the inteneniufr fomiations being thus cut out. In 
the western half along the same side, faulting becomes less and less until 
fioally the full sequence of strata may be observed. All along the southern 
edge, however, the succession of rocks seem? to be normal so that the full 
development of Ordovician limestones and shales! may Ive found. The 
central portion of the valley occupied by the Knox dolomite averages several 
miles in width, but between this strip and Wallen l^idge is an area of 
Ordovician shales and limestones of equal widtli. 


In Powell valley, the strata are of such composition that cement ma- 
terials of some nature may be obtained from almost any part of the rocks 
occurring between the top of the Knox and the base of the Bays sandstone, 
a thickness of at least 2,500 feet. The general geologic section of the 
Ordovician rocks of Powell valley is therefore quite different in the nature 
of its sediments from the rest of southwestern Virginia, The following 
section exposed along the railroad, at Ben Hur and vicinity, is typical for 
the region. 

Geologic section, vicinity of Ben Hur, Virginia. 
Rockwood. Feet 

17. Dark red shales with thin sandstone beds toward the top 100 

16. Red sandstones and shales with beds of fossil if erous iron ore 90 

15. Red and greenish shales and sandstones 100 

14. Thin bedded sandstone with some red shale. 50 

Clinch ( ?). 

13. Heavy bedded quartzite 10 

Lorraine (Bays). 

12. Green and red shales with occasional thin beds of sandstone 17 

11. Dark blue nodular shales crowded with Hehertella sinuate^ Other 

fossils are Pterinea deniissa and other pelecypods 30 

lOi Red to yellow and dark blue arenaceous limestone and shale with 
Modiolopsis modiolaria, Bellerophon oapax, Platystrophia Ijfnx, and 

Orihorhyncula linneyi 200+ 

Eden (Sevier in part). 

9. Dark blue to yellow shales passing upward into impure arenaceous 

limestone; holds numerous bryozoa and Zygospira modesta 300 

Utica (Sevier in part). 

8. Olive to yellow shales partly covered 300-h 

Trenton (Chickamauga in part — Cathey of Tennessee). 

7. Thin bedded yellowish and blue argillaceous limestone and yellow 
shales with numerous fossils, Rafinesquina altemata and ConsteU 

laria teres being particularly abundant 50 

Trenton (Chickamauga in part — Bigby of Tennessee). 

6. Thin bedded dark blue to black crystalline and argillaceous limestone 
with numerous bryozoa large crinoid columns, Plectamhonites seri- 

c€U8 and other fossils 300 

Trenton (Hermitage shales of Tennessee). 

5. Shales mainly covered 300 

Black River, Tyrone of Kentucky and Stones River (Chickamauga in part). 
4. Heavy bedded limestone below, passing upward into light blue and 

dove limestone with yellow shales. Numerous bryozoa in upper part 230 

3.' Hard calcareous shales and dove or argillaceous limestones 130 

2. Thin bedded dove limestones and yellow shales. Surface of limestone 

bands often crowded with small ramose and bifoliate bryozoa 35 

1. Heavy bedded dove to light blue limestone weathering into beds two 

to four inches thick and tilled with a species of Oamarocladia 50+ 

Lack of space prevents a consideration of the various limestones and 
shales of this area at the present time. Lithologically and paleontologically 
the Ordovician portion of the section with the exception of the Clindi 
sandstone is so similar to that of central Kentucky and central Tennessee 



that little doubt is entertained in regard to the correctness of correlation in 
the foregoing section. Samples of some of the limestones were analyzed 
with the following results : 

Analyses of Ordovician limestones, Ben Hur, Virginia. 

(J. H. Qibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (Fe,0„ ),alamina ( A1,0,) 

lime (CaO) 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO|) 

Magnepia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (Mg(X>s) 







Per cent 

Per cent 

Per cent 










36 40 



















Per cent 



I. Black crystalline limestone. Bed 6 (Trenton). 

II. Blue argillaceous limestone, Bed 7 (Trenton). 

III. Pove limestone, Bed 1 (Stones River). 

IV. Dove limestone, Bed 2 (Stones River). 

V. Heavy bedded limestone. Bed 4 (Tyrone formation). 

Fost-Ordovician Cement Materials. 

In consideration of the Portland cement materials of western Vir- 
ginia, the Ordovician limestones and shales are of prime importance on ac- 
count of their abundance and, usually, more favorable location and com- 
position. Two other limestone formations suitable chemically for cement 
manufacture obtain in this part of the State, namely, the Lewistown lime- 
stone of Helderbergian age, and the Greenbrier limestone of the Missis- 
sippian series. However, their areas of outcrop are comparatively few, of 
little extent, and are generally situated so far from transportation facili- 
ties that, with the exception of a few localities, the rock at present has 
little economic value. 

Lewistown Limestone. 

Immediately overlying the Silurian sandstones and shales, and pre- 
ceding the Devonian shales in this part of the Appalachian district, ma^ 
sometimes be found limestones varying in thickness up to 1,000 feet. 
These limestones are of Helderbergian age but have been mapped under 
several names. In northwestern and central western Virginia, these strata 
have been designated fiie Lewistown limestone, while limestones occupying 
the same position in the southwestern part of the State have been called 


tlie Hancock limestone. In Giles and neighboring counties of southwestern 
Virginia, these limestones form a part of the Giles formation. The Lewis- 
town limestone is well known as a source of cement material, and therefore 
all of these Helderbergian limestones are here considered under that name. 

The litliology and thickness of the Lewistown formation varies con- 
siderably even in small areas, in general, these limestones are thin bedded 
below, massive in the middle portion, and cherty above; consequently the 
lower and middle portions are of most importance as a cement rock. The 
cherty upper beds are massive and give rise to ridges, but the lower mem- 
bers are sometimes more favorably located, although much of the Lewistown 
area lies u])on steep mountain slopes. This occurrence is illustrated in the 
accompanying photograph, plate XIX. The middle beds are made up of 
light-colored, coarsely crystalline, fossiliferous strata and a few shaly 
limestones, while the lower beds contain, for the most part, flaggy lime- 
stone, the individual layers of which readily separate with smooth 
surfaces. The formation as a whole, therefore, is seen to be composed of 
argillaceous and calcareous strata, of which nearly all might be employed in 
the manufacture of cement. The basal flaggy limestone is usually of 
greater thickness than the other members combined, and this fact, together 
with its favorable composition, causes it to be of most importance as a 
cement rock. 

General distribution, — The more extensive areas of Lewistown lime* 
stone are located in the western part of central western Virginia.. A por- 
tion of this area is mapped in detail in the Monterey, Staxuiton, and Frank- 
lin folios (numbers 61, 14, and 32, respectively) of the XJ. S. Geological 


In northwestern \'irginia, two occurrences of these strata may be noted. 
The easternmost is a narrow strip brought up by the Massanutten Mountain 
syncline. This has been mapped in detail by A. C. Spencer, The western 
area occupies portions of Shenandoah and Frederick counties in flie vicinity 
of North and Little North mountains. 

Narrow strips of the Giles and Hancock formations are found west of 
the Appalachian Vallev in southwestern Virginia. These outcrops gener- 
ally follow the mountains or are brought up along the great faults. In 
either case the outcrops, almost without exception, are so far from trans- 
portation facilities, or the rock is of such poor quality, that the Helder- 
bergian limestone in southwestern Virginia cannot be regarded as a very 
promising future source of cement rock. The Giles and Hancock forma- 



the usual lithology of the Lewistown limestone in this part of the State- 
The lower sandy strata of this section, however, belong to the Salina for- 
mation, which, at the time of publication of the folio, was not differen- 
tiated in Virginia. 

Section on road from Warm Springs to Mountain Orove, Virginia, west 

of Jackson River. 


At top, alternations of impure and shaly limestone, fossiliferous 460 

Wavy-bedded, massive limestone with coralline bed at base ? 

Slabby limestone 400 

Calcareous shale 25 

Massive fine-grained sandstone, weathering light buff; probably cement rock.. 15 

Sandstone 4 

8haly material tO 

Sandstone and sandy beds 20 

At bottom, buff shales and thin, dark, semi-crystalline limestone layers 100 

Reference to the two folios mentioned will show the distribution of 
these limestones so that detailed descriptions of these areas need not be 
given. Samples from the upper beds of this formation were collected for 

Analyses of Lewistown limestone, Wami Springs, Mountain Orove section, 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Per cent 


Iron oxide (Fe^Og) aud alumina (Al^Os). 


Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOj) 
















I. Impure fossiliferous limestone. 
II. Shaly limestone. 

Details of Localities. 

Craigsville. — Commencing at Pond Gap and continuing for some miles 
southwest, the Lewistown limestone outcrops either very close to the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio Railroad or is crossed by it. This region therefore is of 
particular importance, and the favorable location of good cement rock 
and railroad facilities have been taken advantage of in the establishment 
of a Portland cement factory at Craigsville. This plant, the property of 
the Virginia Portland Cement Company, is of note in that it is the only 
well established Portland cement manufactory in the State. The following 




section and analysis of the limestone and shale at this place have been 
published by Catlett in bulletin No. 226, of the IT. S. Geological Survey, 
pages 460, 461. 

Section near Craigsville. 


Layer hea\'y fossiliferous limestone passing into sandstone — 

Very dark slaty siliceous limestone 10 

Gray fossiliferous limestone 10 

Daxlc, irregular siliceous magnesian limestone 2 to 20 

Gray, soft, highly fossiliferous limestone 30 to 50 

Dark, close-grained limestone of varying thickness and carrying vary- 
ing quantities of flint — 

The most important beds of this series and the ones which would be 
used in the manufacture of Portland cement are (3) and (5). The princi- 
pal facts to be determined are the extent and composition of the super- 
imposed layers, and therefore the ease and cheapness with which (3) and 
(5) can be secured. The black slates of the Devonian everywhere fill the 
valleys in this section and afford very excellent material to combine with 
the limestone. The following analyses are of the limestones and shales 
taken from the property adjoining that of the Virginia Portland Cement 
Company : 

Analyses of limestone and shale from near CraigsvUle, 

(Charles Catlett, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 



Iron oxide 


Magnesia .... 
Volatile matter 


Other analyses of the limestones and shales at Craigsville, quoted from 
the Cement Industry, are as follows: 

Analyses of cement materials used at Craigsville, Virginia. 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiQ.) 

Iron oxide (Fe,0,) ) 

Alumina (A1,0,) J 

Lime (CaO) 

Masnesia (MgO) 

CartKm dioxide (CO,) 7 

Water f 

Per cent. 


24 47 




Covington. — The more sandy portions, particularly of the Lewistown 
limestone, are exposed at a number of places along the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railroad and vicinity between Covington and Clifton Forge. Some 
of these strata show a fair composition according to the first analyde 
quoted below, but others again contain too much areDaceoos material to 
be of use. The rock in this vicinity would therefore require carefol adec- 
tion. Shales for mixing are abundant throughout the area. 


of Lewistown Hnieslone, Covingtot 
(J. H. Oibboney, AnalfBt) 




Ifl 32 
44. -W 






Iron oxide (Fe,0,) and alumina 


Mafineaium carbonate (MgCO,) . 



HiMiiHippi&n Limeitonea. 

The particular portions of Virginia occupied by MlealBaippian (Sub- 
carboniferous) limestones are small when compared with the outcrops of 
the strata previously discussed. They consist of rather narrow strips oc- 
CQiTing mainly in the southwestern part of the State. The longest and 
also widest of these strips lies just southeast of Clinch Moontain and ex- 
tends from the State line on the south, northeastward to the vicinity of 
Bland court-house. Throughout the greater part of its length this strip is 
either closely paralleled or traversed by the North Fork of the Holston 
river. The second important area is somewhat less than the preceding 
in length and follows the western slope of St(nte Mountain from the 
southern boundary of the State northward to Little Stone Oap, where it 
bends and circles a portion of Powell Mountain. This area haa railroad 
facilities close at hand since Stone Mountain is paralleled by the Lonit- 
ville and Nashville llailroad, while llio Virginia and Southwestern Rail- 
road closely approachea, and at one point crosses the Powell Mountain 
line of outcrop. The other occurrences in southwestern Virginia are 
emaM and otherwise unimportant. The Estillvilie, Pocahontas, Tazewell. 



and Bristol folios of the U. S. Geological Survey (Nos. 12, 26, 44, and 
59, respectively), contain maps showing the larger portion of these areas 
in detaiL On account of the unequal development of Subcarboniferous for- 
mations in the northwestern and southwestern halves of this general re- 
gion, the limestones of this age in the former portion have been mapped 
as the Greenbrier, and in the latter as the Newman limestone. 

Oreenbrier limestone, — This well known limestone formation is best 
developed in Greenbrier county. West Virginia. In general, the Greenbrier 
consists of massive dark blue limestone, often cherty in the lower part, 
purer in the middle, and becoming shaly toward the top. The shales of 
the upper portion are quite calcareous and pass without any noticeable 
break into the less calcareous shales of the succeeding formation. 

Probably the best and most detailed section of the Greenbrier lime- 
stone in Virginia may be seen along the Norfolk and Western Railroad near 
Lunch, in Giles county. Here, all of the beds are fairly well expo^d and 
the section may be considered as typical for the region. For this reason 
all of the variations in the strata at this point were noted and samples 
taken for analysis. The section observed here is, in ascending order, as 
follows : 

Geologic section, Oreenbrier limestone, vicinity of Lurich, Virginia. 

1. Dark blue to black heavily bedded liinestx)ne with many small chert 

nodules. ProductuSt ZaphrentiSf and Fenestella observed 176 

2. Drab and yellow calcareous shales with occasional bands of compact blue 

limestone 180 

3. Massive blue and argillaceous limestone with a few shaly beds in the upper 

part 00 

4. Dnib and blue shales SO 

5. Compact blue-black, fine-grained limestone alternating with coarsely cryn- 

tafline fossiliferous strata, with blue limestone and yellow shales in 
upper part 160 

6. Compact blue to black argillaceous limestone in thin flaggy layers, much 

fractured 1 79 

7. Thin bedded blue limestone with beds of blue and yellow shale 400 

Analyses of Oreenbrier limestones and shades, Lurich, Virginia, section. 

(J. H. Oibboney, Analynt) 

I 11 
Pr. ct Pr. ct 

Pr. ct 

Inaolable. , 8.38 31.82: 48.80 

lion oxide (Fe.O,) and alum-, , I 

ina(Al,0,) ' 1.20 1.80! 4.52 

LUne (OrO)..... i 49.24 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) j 87.93 

34.W)! 23.80 

62.32. 42.86 29.53 

(MgO) 0.80 1.43; l.lOl O.aS 

3.80 8.24 

0.681 1.04 
52.74 48.52 
94.18, 86.64 

0.401 1.87 


Pr. ct 

41.38! 8.42 

Magnesium carbonate (BlgCO,) I 1.67' 2.99 2.31 1.75 0.84' 3.^)2 







Pr. ct Pr. ct Pr. ct 


1.00 1.66 

48.66 61.22 

86.71 91.46 

1.82 0.51 

2.77 1.08 

16.10! 23.06 
1.461 2.74 









Total I 99.18' 98.931 98.49 99.20| 99.60 99.84' 99.24 08.90 98.56 99.18J 98.19 



I. Dark blue limestone from strata free from chert nodules. Bed 1. 

II. Dark limestone from usual cherty layers. Bed 1. 

III. Drab calcareous shales. Bed 2. 

IV. Yellow shales. Bed 2. 

V. Blue fossiliferous limestone. Bed 2. 

VI. Bluish-black compact limestone. Bed 3. 

VII. Drab shale. Bed 4. 

VIII. Compact, bluish-black limestone. Bed 5. 

IX. Coarsely crystalline crinoidal limestone. Bed 6. 

X. Flaggy black limestone. Bed 6. 

XI. Thin bedded blue limestone. Bed 7. 

Newman limestone. — Following the sandy Devonian and MiBsissippian 
shales in southwest Virginia, is a limestone formation varying from 1.000 
to 2,600 feet, to which the name Newman limestone has been applied from 
its outcrop on Newman Ridge in Tennessee. The principal areas of out- 
crop in Virginia have been indicated under the discussion of the Missis- 
sippian limestones of the southwestern part of Virginia, The more mas- 
sive strata of the Newman limestone are characteristic of its lower part, 
while higher in the formation considerable calcareous shale deposits are 
found. Chert, likewise, is most abundant in the lower strata, although a 
considerable portion of the limestone layers are free from it. Several 
miles southeast of Mendota, Virginia, the area of outcrop south of Clinch 
Mountain is traversed by the Virginia and Southwestern Bailroad, and 
here for a distance of 3 or 4 miles, exposures of this limestone may be 

Analyses of Newman limestone. 

(J. H. Gibboney, Analyst) 


Iron oxide (FejOj) alumina ( AljOg) 


Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 

Magrnesia ( MgO) 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCO,). . . . 






Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 




































T. Massive blue limestone, 2 miles southeast of Mendota, Virginifk. 

II. Dove-colored limestone, 2 miles southeast of Mendota, Virginifk. 

III. Dark blue limestone, vicinity of Horton Summit, Scott county, Virginia, 

IV. Dark blue limestone, 1 mile north of Big Stone Gap, Lee county, Virginia, 
V. Massive blue limestone, Ollinger Gap, Lee county, Virginia. 

Pennington shale, — Succeeding the Mississippian limestones of south- 
western Virginia is a shale formation which, in the event of the use of the 


limestone as a cement material, would be found of importance for mixture. 
This shale, which in one part of this region has been mapped as the Pen- 
nington shale, and in another as the Bluefield shale^ is, in general, cal- 
careous at the bottom and sandy in its upper part. The lower portions 
only, therefore, are of importance in the present connection. 

The Pennington shale, named from Pennington Gap in Lee county, is 
about 1,000 feet thick in its typical area of outcrop. It is made up of 
calcareous and argillaceous shales with beds of heavy sandstone. The cal- 
careous portions are limited mainly to the base, while the top of the forma- 
tion is composed of red and purple shales. The formation is well exposed 
at Big Stone Gap as well as at Pennington Gap. 

In the typical areas of Greenbrier limestone, the upper or shaly member 
of this formation passes gradually into a shale formation named from 
Bluefield, Mercer county, West Virginia. like the Pennington, the Blue- 
field shale is composed of calcareous and argillaceous shales with sandstone 
beds; similarly, the more calcareous beds are at the base and the sandy 
layers are most abundant at the top. Between these extremes is found 
every variation in composition. The thickness of the Bluefield shale is 
usually about 1,300 feet. 

Travertine Deposits. 

Many of the numerous springs of western Virginia contain carbonate 
of lime in solution. These have been and are still depositing considerable 
quantities of calcareous tufa or travertine. Small deposits of such ma- 
terial have been noticed in various parts of this region, and these, if 
favorably located and in suflBcient quantity, would undoubtedly be of value 
in cement manufacture. Such materials have been used in the making of 
Portland cement, although with the abundant limestone of western Vir- 
ginia, their use is less likely. A noteworthy example of the use of such 
material in cement manufacture is at the plant of the Pacific Portland 
Cement Company in Selano county, California, where travertine and clay 
are the ingredients mixed. In certain portions of Staunton. Virginia, as 
noted by Mr. Catlett, the foundations of the houses have been cut in a 
calcareous marl or travertine 10 or 12 feet deep. An analysis of this 
deposit is presented below. The surface indications of these travertine 
deposils are usually not sufficient to estimate the quantity or extent of iiie 
lock, and drilling would be necessary to determine these points. 


Analysvi of travertine deposit, Stminton, VirginuL 

(Charles Catlett, Analyst) 

Per cent. 

Insoluble 5.92 

Iron oxide (FCjO,) and alumina (AI2O3) 62 

Lime (CaO) 50.62 

Calcium carbonate (CaCO,) 90,40 

Magnesia (MgO) 30 

Magnesium carbonate (MgCOj) .63 

Total 97.57 


The relation of natural cements to other cements has been briefly noted 
on a previous page. An extended and valuable treatise on this subject is 
presented by Mr. Eckel in his ^'Cements, Limes and Plasters." In the 
present article, the writer wishes to point out briefly the distribution of ihc 
limestones suitable for this kind of cement, to give analyses, and to indi- 
cate the present status of the natural cement industry in Virginia. 

Under ordinary circumstances the value of natural cement is too 
small to allow it to be shipped any distance with profit. Therefore, the 
manufacturer must have a home market and little competition. The raw 
material is an argillaceous limestone carrying from 13 to 35 per cent, of 
clayey material, of which about 10 to 22 per cent, is silica, while alumina 
and iron oxide together may vary from 4 to 16 per cent. Unlike Portland 
cement rock, the percentage of magnesium carbonate may run high, the 
reason for this being, that in natural cements the magnesium and lime are 
regarded as interchangeable. The hydraulic properties do not depend 
upon the percentage of lime but upon the clayey materials, which therefore 
are the important factors to consider in the rock analysis. Limestones 
having a composition within the limits just indicated are more or less 
abundant at several horizons in western Virginia, but probably the only 
one which will meet all the requirements and prove of economic importance 
is the argillaceous magnesian limestone of the lower part of the Shenan- 
doah group. This rock, although often very similar in lithologic characters 
to the dolomitic limestone found higher in the Shenandoah, can be recog- 
nized as containing argillaceous matter by the clayey odor given forth when 
breathed upon. 

These limestones (Sherwood) and shales (Buena Vista) have been de- 
scribed on page 94, where their use in the making of natural cement was 
noted. These strata may be found at various points along the eastern side 



of the Appalachian Valley so that a considerable supply of the necessary 
materials should be available. 

The clayey magnesian Cambrian limestone used by the James Biver 
Cement Company at Balcony Falls, Bockbridge county, Virginia, in mak- 
ing natural cement, gave the following results upon analyses : 

Analyses of natural cement rock, Balcony Falls, Virginia. 

Silica (8iO,) 

Alumina (AU),) "i 

Iran oxide (Fe,0,). / 

Lime (CaO) 

MagDeeia (MgO) 

Carbon dioxide (CO,).. 

Per cent 







Per cent. 




Per cent. 


I. E. C. Boynton, analyst. Gillmore, "Limes, Cements, and Mortars/' p. 125. 
XL C. L. Allen, analyst. "The Virginias," vol. 3, p. 88. 
III. Average of preceding two analyses. 

This same belt of magnesian limestones and shales of Cambrian age 
crosses Virginia into West Virginia and Maryland. Several small natural 
cement plants have been established in this district at various times, par- 
ticularly near Antietam, Maryland, and Shepherdstown, West Virginia. 

Analyses of natural cements, Shepherdstovm^Antietam District, West 


Silica (SiO,) 

Iron oxide (Ke,0|) 
Ume (CaO) 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Alkalies {Kfi, Na,0). 
Salphar trioxide (SO,) 

Garbon dioxide 



10.04 \ 




n. d. 









Per cent. 


/ 10.44 \ 

I 3.25/ 



n. d. 



Per cent. 




n. d. 



I. Shepherdstown, W. Va. Quoted by Cummings. "American Cements," p 36. 

II. Shepherdstown, W. Va. C. Richardson, analyst. Brickbuilder, vol. 6, p. 229. 

III. Antietam, Md. C. Richardson, analyst. Brickbuilder, vol. 6, p. 229. 

IV. Antietam, Md. C. Richardson, analyst. Brickbuilder, vol. 6, p. 151. 

Limestones suitable for the manufacture of natural cement occur in 
«)uthwe8tem Virginia, particularly along the eastern half of the Appa- 



lachian Valley. Greologically, these succeed the siliceous deposits of Lower 
Cambrian age and form the base of the great Shenandoah limestone group. 
Geographically, however, these particular areas cannot be indicated with- 
out detailed mapping, requiring long field work. During the progress of 
his work on the lead and zinc deposits of Virginia, Dr. T. L. Watson col- 
lected samples of these limestones for analysis. The results were published 
in Bulletin No. 1 of the Virginia Geological Survey, and analyses selected 
from this publication are quoted below. 

Analyses of Shenandoah limestone. 

Insoluble residue.. 











H,6 J00°C- \ 
H,0 100«>Ct /- 






Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent 
































































I. Limestone. Massive ^ayish black fine granular, crushed and recemented 
with stringers of pure white calcite. Martin property, two and three- 
quarter miles southwest of Roanoke City, Roanoke county, Virginia. 
Dr. W. E. Barlow, analyst. * 

II. Limestone. Grayish white and moderately coarse crystalline. Specimens 
taken from the 100-foot level in the Austinville zinc and lead mines, 
Wythe county, Virginia. Dr. W. E. Barlow, analyst. 

III. Limestone. White, coarsely crystalline, and crushed. Specimens taken from 

the 80-foot level at bottom of open cut, in the Austinville zinc and lead 
iiiine.s, Wythe county, Virginia. Dr. W. E. Barlow, analyst. 

IV. Lime'vtonc. White and medium crystalline. Specimens taken from the 80- 

foot level at bottom of open cut, in the Austinville zinc and lead mines, 
Wythe county, Virginia. Dr. W. E. Barlow, analyst. 


Although the cement industry may be said to be in its infancy in 
western Virginia, yet the manufacture of this important economic pro- 


duet bu been carried on for many yeare at one locality, and for a less time 
•t UkOtlMr. Natural cement has been burned near Balcony Falls, Bock- 
bridge connty, for over half a century. The demand for a cheap and trust- 
worthy cement for uee in the conatmctiou of masonry, locks, and vails on 
tKe Jamea BItct Canal, led to the discovery of the hydraulic properties of 
tite rode osed at this plant. Since that time a natural cement has been 
manafictiired at this locality almost continuously, the James River Cement 
ConqMny operating the plant at the present time. The rock used ia a steel 
Uoe, ugillaceouB limestone of Jjower Cambrian age, with an average thick- 
sen of twelve feet. For a description and history of this cement plant, the 
Mtder ia referred to an anonymous article published in the Engineer, 
September 29, 1899. 

Bot a single plant for the manufacture of Portland cement is in opera- 
tioB in Virginia, namely, that of the Virginia Portland Cement Company 
at Cniffinlle, Augusta county. The geologic section at Craigsville and 
^aal^pBB of the rock employed have been given on a previous page. As Ihc 
j aBfl>odi employed by the Virginia Portland Cement Company are those 
ol a ^MTgBf modem plant, a description of the process of manufacture is 
baw introduced. 

"Big materials used in the manufacture of the Old Dominion cement 
lit Lawirtows limeetone and shale. The principal limestone quarry is lo- 
ttttAtUBjUe and one-eighth from the plant, and the shale quarry three- 
q aa rt n w of a mile. 

- Ibe diale is crushed at the quarry and brought dovn on a standard 
pap track to the scale house, where it is elevated into bins over the 

The limestone is brought to the scale house on a narrow gauge track 
in care containing about 3,000 pounds of limestone. The limestone cars 
are weighed and the proper percentage of s^halc is dropped from the bins 
onto the limeatone, and the narrow gauge car is then picked up by a cable 
and carried to i 7-^ Gates crusher, through which the limestone and 
shale paes together. 

The output of the crusher goes throu^ a revolving screen and the 
' TejectiouH from the screen are passed through a No. 3 crusher. From the 
cruahers, the rair material is elevated on a belt conveyer to 12 tanks con- 
taining about 70 tons each. The material is drawn from the bottom of 
' I thwe tanks into a belt conveyer, which carries it to the rotary dryers, i 
in nnmber. From the dryers, the material is carried on a belt conveyer to 
" " atatiil mill, where it receives ita preliminary grinding in ball 


mills^ and its fine grinding in pebble mills. The outfit of this raw material 
mill consists of 3 Erupp ball mills^ 2 Smidth kominnters^ 3 Kmpp pebble 
mills and 3 Smidth pebble mills. 

The ground material is conveyed by means of belt conveyers, elevators 
and screw conveyers to tanks over the kilns, and is fed into the kilns by 
conveyers in the bottom of tanks. The rotary kilns are 10 in number, 60 
feet long, 6 feet in diameter, slightly inclined from the feed end to the 
discharge end. Powdered coal is used as fuel for burning the raw ma- 
terial. It is blown in by a low pressure blast of air and ignites instantly. 
The heat generated is about 2,600°. The coal is first dried in rotary dryers 
and passed through pebble mills similar to those used for grinding the raw 

The material passes from the kilns in the form of clinker and is ele- 
vated into coolers through which a blast of air is forced. Prom the bottom 
of the coolers, it is drawn by means of a belt conveyer to the clinker storage, 
where it is allowed to age for about three weeks. Underneath the floor of 
the clinker storage are belt conveyers, which convey the clinker to the 
cement mill. 

The process in the cement mill is a repetition of that in the raw mate- 
rial mill. The cement grinding machinery consists of 2 Krupp ball mills, 
3 Smidth kominuters, 2 Krupp pebble mills, and 4 Smidth pebble mills. 
From the cement mill, the finished cement is conveyed by belt conveyers to 
the 2 stockhouses, where it is stored in bins until such time as it is shipped 
out. The cement is drawn from the bins into screw conveyers, elevated 
into bins over the bag packers and barrel packers. The bag packers are 
operated by hand and the barrels are packed by power. 

The storage capacity is 100,000 barrels. The present output of the 
plant is between 1,800 and 1,900 barrels per day. Construction work is at 
present under way to increase the capacity of the plant to 3,000 barrels 
per day. 

The power equipment of the plant includes 8 Sterling water tube boil- 
ers, 1 Hamilton Corlis engine of 750 H. P., 1 Cooper Corlis engine of 
1,100 H. P., and 1 Westinghouse engine of 250 H. P. Electric generators 
located in the power house furnish current to motors which operate the 
kilns and a large part of the conveying machinery. The grinding ma- 
chinery is belted to shafting. 

As the mill is located so far away from any city, it was necessary for 
the company to provide homes for its employees. The company has ac- 
eoiii2nodati0nB for some 200 families, runs a commissary store, village 



water works, etc. The company employs a physician, maintains a hos- 
pital, and close attention is paid to sanitary inspection. The number of 
employees is about 425. 


Beports treating of the limestones and shales of Virginia with refer- 
ence to their use as cement materials have been few. Numerous papers 
treating of the geology of Appalachian Virginia, particularly of the south- 
western part, have been published, but few of these have direct bearing 
on, or are of use in, the location of cement rock. Those which may be 
found of value in this respect are noted in the following bibliographic 

The U. S. G^logical Survey has mapped all of western Virginia geo- 
graphically, this area being included in 27 quadrangles. However, only 
8 folios of the Geologic Atlas of the United States touching this region 
have been published. These are the Harper's Ferry folio for northwestern 
Virginia; the Staunton, Franklin, and Monterey folios for central western 
Virginia; and the Pocahontas, Tazewell, Bristol, and Estillville folios for 
southwestern Virginia. These folios contain topographic sheets, areal and 
economic geologic sheete, and structure sections of the areas studied, with 
text descriptions of the geology and mineral resources. However, only the 4 
last mentioned give maps in which the argillaceous and pure limestones of 
Ordovician age are separated from the impure Cambro-Ordovician series. 


Eckel. E. C. 

Bassler, B. S. 

Catlett, C. 
Vredenburg, W 

Natural Cement. 

James River, Virginia, Cement Co. Engineer (Lon- 
don), September 29, 1899. 

Natural cement resources of Virginia. IT. S. (Jeologi- 
cal Survey, Bulletin No. 225, 1904, 457-461. 

Portland Cement. 

Cement materials of the Valley of Virginia. U. S. 
Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 260, 1905, 531-534. 

Portland cement resource of Virginia. U. S. Geolog- 
ical Survey, Bulletin No. 243, 1905, 212-323. 

Cement resources of the Valley of Virginia. U. S. 
Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 225, 1904, 457-461. 

The Virginia Portland Cement Company's Works, 
Craigsville, Va. Engineering Record, July 28, 
1900. Cement Industry, 1900, 132-141. 



Analyses of the rocks, references, maps, or descriptions of the limestones 
and shales of western Virginia are given in the following works: 

Boyd, Charles R. The Mineral Resources of Southwestern Virginia. 

Wiley and Sons, New York, 1881, 381 pages. 

Campbell, H. D. The Cambro-Ordovician Limestones of the Middle 

Portion of the Valley of Virginia, American 
Journal Science (4), 1905, XX, 446-447. 

Campbell, M. R. Paleozoic Overlaps in Montgomery and Pulaski 

Counties, Virginia. Bulletin Geological Society 
America, 1894, V, 171-190. 

Campbell, J. L. Silurian Formations in Virginia. American Journal 

Science, (3), 1879, XVIII, 16-29, 119-128. 

Campbell, J. L. and H. D. William B. Rogers' (Jeology of the Virginias. A 

Review. American Journal of Science (3), 1886, 
XXX, 367-374; 1886, XXXI, 193-202. 

Darton, N. H. Notes on the Stratigraphy of a portion of Central 

Appalachian Virginia. American (Jeologist, 1892. 
X, 10-18. 

Eckel, E. C. Cement Materials and Industry of the United States. 

U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 243, 1906. 

Cements, Limes and Plasters. Wiley and Sons, New 
York, 1906, 712 pages. 

McCreath, A. S., and d'lnvilliers, E. V. The New River-Cripple Creek 

Mineral Region of Virginia. Harrisburg, Pa., 1887. 
18, 24, 40, 51, 54-68, 70-76, 82, 89. 

Rogers, W. B. Reports of the Progress of the Geological Survey of 

the State of Virginia (1836-1841). 

A Reprint of the Geology of the Virginias. New York, 

Spencer, Arthur Coe. The Geology of Massanutten Mountain in Virginia. 

Washington, D. C, 1897. 

Stevenson, John J. Notes on the Geology of Wise, Lee and Scott Counties, 

Virginia. Proceedings American Philosophical 
Society, 1880, XIX, 88-107. 

A Geological Reconnaissance of Parts of Lee, Wise^ 
Scott and Washington Counties, Virginia. Pro- 
ceeding American Philosophical Society, 1881, 
XIX, 219-262. 

CLAYS. 167 

Notes on the Geological Structure of Tazewell. 
Bussell, Wise, Smyth and Washington Counties of 
Virginia. Proceedings American Philosophical 
Society, 1885, XXII, 114-116. 

A Geological Reconnaissance of Bland, Giles, Wythe 
and portions of Pulaski and Montgomery Counties, 
Virginia. Proceedings American Philosophical 
Society, 1887, XXIV, 61-108. 

Stose, G. W. The Sedimentary Rocks of South Mountain, Pennsyl- 

vania. Journal of Geology, 1906, XIV, 211. 

Watson, Thomas L. Lead and Zinc Deposits of Virginia. Virginia 

Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 1, 1905, 166 pages. 



Clay is one of the most curious and least understood of our common 
mineral products^ and various investigators have spent much time in 
attempts to discover the causes of its peculiar properties. In some cases 
they have partially succeeded; in others it must be admitted that while 
they have partly solved the problem, they are nevertheless still very far 
from a complete and satisfactory interpretation of the phenomena dis- 

Man at a very early period in the earth's history discovered the 
peculiar qualities of the common substance known as clay. That its use- 
fulness has steadily increased is evidenced by the fact that in 1904, the 
value of clay products made in the United States alone exceeded $130,- 
000,000, which was greater than the value of other important products such 
as gold, silver, copper, and petroleum, and was only outranked by iron 
and coal. This being the case, we can justly regard clay as one of our 
most important mineral resources, although up to a few years ago it was 
quite neglected by both government and state surveys. 

To the unaided eye, clay usually appears so fine-grained that most of 
its component grains cannot be identified, although some particles of 
quartz, or small scales of mica are not infrequently recognizable. Micro- 
scopic examination, however, reveals the presence of a number of small 
mineral grains, many of which are under one one-thousandth of an inch in 
diameter. In addition to these there are particles of organic matter as 


well as other small bodies of non-crystalline character, which are classed 
as colloids, and may be of either organic or inorganic origin. The mineral 
fragments making up the bulk of the clay represent a variety of com- 
pounds in all stages of decomposition, but their properi;ie8 and eflPect on 
the clay will be left until a later page. 


So far as we know clay results primarily from the decomposition of 
other rocks, and very oft«n .fTom.rojpks containing an appreciable amount 
of the mineral, feldspar! 'There We sopfie rocks, however, that contain 
practically no feldspar which, on weathering, yield a most plastic clay. In 
all of these clays there is found a variable amount of the mineral kaolinite, 
which is of secondary origin, i. e., it is derived from other minerals by 
decomposition. This is termed the clay base. 

In order to trace the process of clay formation, let us take the case 
of granite, a rock which is commonly composed of three minerals, namely, 
quartz, feldspar, and mica. When such a mass of rock is exposed to the 
weather, minute cracks are formed in it, due to the rock expanding when 
heated by the sun and contracting when cooled at night; or there may be 
joint-planes formed by the contraction of the rock as it is cooled from a 
molten condition. Into these cracks the rain water percolates and, when 
it freezes in cold weather, it expands, thereby exerting a prying 2)ction, which 
further opens the fissures, or may even wedge oflP fragiiicnts of the 
stone. Plant roots force their way into these cracks and as they expand 
in growth, supplement the action of the frost, thus further aiding in the 
breaking up of the mass. This process alone, if kept up, may reduce the 
rock to a mass of small angular fragments. 


The state of Virginia contains a variety of clays, which are adapted 
no doubt to a wide variety of uses, but many of the deposits have remained 
undeveloped, because little is known regarding them, the only ones which 
have been systematically* studied being those of the Coastal Plain or the 
Tidewater belt. 

In discussing the clays of Virginia it might perhaps seem more prac- 
tical to group them according to kinds, but since one type of clay may be 
often used for the manufacture of several types of clay-products, such a 
mode of treatment does not form a satisfactory basis and therefore a 
grouping by formations is adopted. 

MINintAl. HKSMCItiKS nr VlliiilMA 


■*■'«' ^'-A--.-. ■■\W 


CLAYS. 169 

The clays of Virginia can be divided into two groups, namely, residual 
and sedimentary. The residual clays have been formed by the weathering 
of rocks, involving processes of disintegration and decomposition. As a 
result of this we find the residual clay overlying the parent rock from 
which it was derived, plate XXI, figure 1, These deposits are of 
variable thickness depending partly on the depth to which the rock has 
been changed, and partly on the amount of erosion which they have suflEered 
since their formation. Knowing this we should expect to find heavier 
deposits on a flat surface, than on a sloping one where the rain-wash is 
more active. 

The sedimentary clays represent deposits which have been laid down 
under water, one layer on another, the materials composing them consisting 
of the products of rock decay, which have been removed by erosion from 
the land surface, and washed down into the lakes, or seas, where they have 
finally settled. 

Eesidual Cla3rs. 

These predominate in the belt underlain by the crystalline rocks. 
The crystalline rocks, consisting of granite, gneisses, and schists, with 
some intrusives, extend across the State from north to south in a belt of 
increasing width, whose western boundary follows approximately a linp 
running from Harper^s Ferry, southwestward. The eastern edge coincides 
somewhat closely with the "fall-line." Residual clays are not uncommon 
throughout this area, but they are usually quite ferruginous and therefore 
red-burning. Their main use is for the manufacture of brick and drain 
tile, and some of the smoother deposits have been employed for making 
smoking pipes. 

Here and there the decomposition of pegmatite veins has yielded clays 
of high grade, free from iron, and sometimes suflBciently white to be used 
for the manufacture of white-ware products. Deposits of this type known 
as kaolins have been found in Henry, Nelson, Patrick, and other counties 
in the Piedmont region. In the former county, Henry, a kaolin deposit 
is being worked near Oak Level station, by John Sant and Company of 
East Liverpool, Ohio. (Plate XXII.) The clay occurs as a series of 
veins, catting across the schists of that region. It is mined by circular 
pits and, before shipment to market, it is put through a washing process 
in order to free it from grains of sand, mica, and other mineral impurities, 
^hich are present in small quantities. 


Tho following analyses give the composition of the crude (1) and 

washed (II) kaolin from this locality: 


Per cent. Per cent. 

Silica (SiO,) 60.82 46.70 

Alumina (AlA) 24.00 39.18 

Ferric oxide (FcaO,) 94 .78 

Lime (CaO) 28 .44 

Magnesia (MgO) 11 .06 

Potash (KaO) 2.59 1.78 

Soda (NaiO) 10 .20 

Titanic oxide (TiO,) 12 .28 

Water (H/)) 5.52« 12.09* 

Total 100.64 100.50 

O Includes 1.98 per cent, of moisture. 
(*) Includes 2.00 per cent, of moisture. 

A deposit of refractory residual clay is said to occur at Bon Air, 
J) miles west of Eichinond, and is well exposed in the cut of the Southern 
Railway. The following analysis of a washed sample is given by Dr. 
Froehling : 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiO.) 40.71 

Alumina (AlA) 37.02 

Ferric oxide ( FeA) MO 

Lime (CaO) 25 

Magnesia (MgO) 14 

.Alkalies (NaA K,0) trace 

Loss on ignition 14.10 

Total 99.02 

This deposit is said to have been worked for several years. 

A bed of refractory clay has also been exploited near Clayville, but 
tlie deposit is now exhausted. 

A second deposit reported by Dr. Froehling occurs on the land of F. B. 
Deitrick, at Lorraine, in Henrico county. This clay is said to be quite 
fnM3 from grit, very plastic, and to have an air and fire shrinkage of 12 
and 7 \yeT cent., respectively. It burns to a dense hard brick of bright 
red color at 1750^ Fahr. The same analyst gives its chemical compoa- 

tion as follows: 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiO,) 02.80 

Alumina (AlA) 21.30 

Ferric oxide (Fe^O,) 4.80 

Lime (CaO) 54 

Magnesia ( MgO ) 57 

Potash (KaO) 2.35 

Soda (Na,0) 83 

Loss on ignition 7.00 

Total 100.19 


,. • --n 

I " 

...l-,- I 

■ • I. . 



Additional localities are given by the same analyst as follows: A 
deposit of crude kaolin occurs on the property of the Kaolin Mining and 
Manufacturing Company near Abbeyville, Mecklenburg county. The 
deposit is said to be of considerable size, and is in 3 layers, separated by 
thin bands of ocher. The following analyses give the composition of the 
individual layers: 

Ist layer 2nd layer Srd lav«r 

4 feet thick. 2 feet thick. SO feet thick. 

• Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Silica (SiO,) 69.40 69.01 60.36 

Alumina ( AlA) 20.85 20.97 24.82 

Ferric oxide (Fe,0,) 1.40 1.36 1.60 

Lime (CaO) .14 .11 .40 

Magnesia (MgO) trace trace .43 

Potash (K,0) 2.03 2.01 2.60 

Soda (Na/)) 7?» 1.19 4.72 

Titanic oxide (TiO,) 66 .66 1.01 

Loss on ignition 4.70 4.62 3.93 

ToUl 99.96 99.92 99.87 

The clay is stated to be of low plasticity, with 2.6 per cent, air shrink- 
age, and 2.5 per cent, fire shrinkage at 2250'' F. It bums to a cream 

Another deposit of kaolin is reported on the land of Carroll Brothers, 
near Lynchburg, in Campbell county. The analysis given shows: 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiOs) 45.13 

Alumina (AljO,) 37.06 

Ferric oxide (FeA)* 24 

Lime (CaO) 85 

Magnesia (MgO) 23 

Soda (Na,0) 52 

Potesh (K,0) 31 

Water and loss 14.60 

Sulphuric oxide (SOg) 01 

Phosphoric oxide (PjOg) .06 

Total 00.00 

At the same locality there is said to be found a yellow clay used for 
bright red brick and a blue clay adapted to pottery manufacture. 1'he 
composition of the two is given as follows: 


Yellow clay. Blue clay. 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Silica (SiOa) 61.76 44.70 

Alumina (AlA) 21.46 36.69 

Ferric oxide ( Fe,Og) 6.76 3.46 

Lime (CaO) 66 1.76 

Magnesia (MgO) 33 .12 

Soda (Na,0) 87 .16 

Potash (K,0) 73 JI7 

Water and loss 7.22 13.66 

Sulphuric oxide (SO.) 02 .08 

Phosphoric oxide (PjOb) .06 

Total 99.86 99.79 

About a half mile north of Roseland^ Nelson county, the Pittsburg 
Kaolin Company mined kaolin on a very extensive scale for many years, 
from altered pegmatite dikes. An extensive plant was erected at the mines 
at a reported cost of $50,000, for preparing the product for market It 
was used in paper making. The mill was elaborately equipped with 
machinery for crushing, screening, and drying the kaolin by steam. 
Mining is said to have commenced in 1890 and was suspended about 10 
years ago. 

A deposit of residual clay, 7 miles southwest of Sherando at 

Waynesboro, was analyzed by Dr. Frochling with the following result: 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiO,) 47.90 

Alumina (Al/),) 39.86 

Ferric oxide (Fe,Og) 24 

Lime (CaO) 23 

Magnesia (MgO) 19 

Alkalies (Na,0, K,0) 1.55 

Loss on ignition 9.85 

Total 99.82 

The Cambro-Silurian shales and limestones yield an abundance of 
impure residual clay, which clay is well adapted to brick manufacture. 
These clays, which are likely to be used throughout the Great Valley 
region, are chiefly red-burning, so far as known. In addition to being 
adapted to brick manufacture they can also be employed for mixing with 
limestone to make Portland cement. 

Sedimentary Clays. 

These are abundant in both the Coastal Plain area, where they are 
usually of unconsolidated character, and west of the Blue Ridge, in which 
region they are mostly of a hard and shaly nature. They are widely dis- 
tributed geologically, and the geological distribution agrees also somewhat 
closely with the geographical range. 

CLAYS. 173 


The deposits of the Coastal Plain consist of a series of unconsolidated 
beds of sand, gravel, clay, and marl, which may be locally indurated by 
the presence of a cement of iron oxide or lime carbonate. The strata 
have in general an easterly dip, which varies from 30 feet per mile in the 
lowest formations to less than 6 feet per mile in the highest ones. The 
effect of such a low dip is to make the beds appear almost horizontal. 
Qood sections, such as are usually afforded along the valleys and hill sides, 
are scarce, because the Coastal Plain is an area of low relief that slopes 
gradually from the Piedmont hill country to the ocean border. The few 
good sections that exist are to be found in the low bluffs bordering some 
of the more important rivers, such as the James. 

Since the formations dip southeastward the oldest ones will outcrop 
at the western edge, and any bed outcropping at this point will be found 
at a much greater depth near the sea coast. Or again, if a formation were 
found at sea-level at a point midway between the coast-line and the *'fall- 
line " its dip would carry it higher up if it were followed inland, or lower 
down if followed toward the coast. 

The Coastal Plain formations range in geologic age from Jurassic ( ?) 
to Qnartemary, but of these only the Eocene and Miocene beds of the 
Tertiary, and the Pleistocene of the Quaternary, have thus far proved to 
he of marked value to the clay-worker. The others contain scattered beds 
of clay, but sands are the predominating materials in most of them. 

The Eocene clays are best developed in the region south of Stafford 
court-house, where they form rather promising outcrops, but have not yet 
I'^n developed. 

The Miocene clays are best known south of Richmond, in the vicinity 
of Curie's Neck, and Bermuda Hundred. This same formation also carries 
extensive beds of diatomaceous earth or clay, which is well exposed at 
Hichmond and along the Rappahannock river. 

The Pleistocene clays occur as more or less basin-shaped deposits, 
which are widely scattered over the surface of the Coastal Plain region, 
*^d rest on top of the other formations. 

Economic value of the Coastal Plain clays, — Nearly all the clay de- 
P^^ts noted in the Coastal Plain area, whatever their geological age, are 
°' lenticular or lens-shaped character. The majority are red-burning, 
^® only a few are buff-burning. No white-burning clays have thus 
^ been found; but even though they lack in variety, so far as their 


color-burning qualities are concerned, it is probable that their possible 
uses are more numerous than is now supposed. 

The localities from which samples of the Coastal Plain days were 
collected by the writer and subjected to laboratory study, the results of 
which are given in the table opposite page 175, are shown on the accom- 
panying map, plate XXIII. The characters of the clays in the more im- 
portant areas are separately discussed below. 


The Alexandria Area and Vicinity. 

This area is the most important brick-making district in the Virginia 
Coastal Plain region. It cannot be said that this marked local expansion 
of the clay-working industry is due to the more abundant occurrence of 
clay at this point, but rathej to the fact of its nearness to an active and 
important market, namely^ the city of Washington. Nearly all the brick 
yards of the area here described are situated so close to the city, that the 
product is hauled across the.riyer by teams, and the daily continuous 
procession of wagons loaded with brick indicates the demand for the 
Virginia product. ►"./" •' 

The clays used in the Alexandria district are the Columbian loams, 
which underlie the low hills around Alexandria, Arlington, Addison, 
Riverside, etc. They are all sandy loams of variable color, yellow, red, 
brown, and bluish-gray, and are frequently of a mottled character. Most of 
the clays burn to a red brick, but certain ones show a tendency to fire buff, 
and since these lighter burning parts are oftentimes tougher, they do not 
mix readily with the red-burning clay when the run of the bank ia used, 
so that the buff spots show in the brick after burning. At the yard of 
the Washington Hydraulic Pressed Brick Company, the several clays are 
carefully separated and burned alone, thus giving several different shades 
of product. 

The ftvms in o[)eration in this region are: Washington Hydraulic 
}^r(^sed Brick Company — a view of the corapany^s plant is given in plate 
XXVI; Jackson-Phillips Company; Potomac Brick Company; Virginia 
Brick Company; Estate of Charles Ford; Walter Brick Company; West 
Brotliers; Alexandria Brick Company; Washington Brick and Terra Colta 
Company: and American Hy^rienic Brick and Tile Company. The last 
is located near Riverside. 

mhhbal bbboubcbs of i 





, -■ r" 

GLAT8. 176 

The Fredericksburg Area. 

The most prominent clays in the region around Fredericksburg are 
those belonging to the Eocene formation. While these no doubt underlie 
a considerable area between Fredericksburg and Stafford to the north, still 
prominent outcrops of them are not very abundant. 

The nearest of these to Fredericksburg is located along the road from 
Fredericksburg to the Davis granite quarry on the hill leading up from 
the canal. This material, which is of a bright red color, is known, locally, 
as paint clay, and is said to have been used by the Indians for that pur- 
pose. How extensive the bed is can 6nly be determined by boring, for no 
outcrops of it are seen, except along the road, but there it is exposed in 
the ditch at the roadside for several hundred feet at least. Tests of this 
clay (No. 1356) are given in the appended table, facing this page. 

Following the road from Fredericksburg to Stafford, there are a 
number of indications of bluish-white Eocene clay in the ditches along the 
roadside but most of these are topped bjr a heavy bed of sand. About 6 
miles east of north from Fredericksburg, a heavy bepl of the clay is found 
on top of a ridge. 

The section here involves : 


Surface sand and soil 1-2 

Pink clay, laminated 12 

Whitish clay 4 

The pink clay (Lab. No. 1350) is distinctly stratified and in its upper 
part contains some scattered crusts of limonite. The physical and chemical 
properties of this clay are given in the table opposite this page. 

The clay, although burning to a good color, is not a dense-burning one ; 
^ ^act, it does not yield as tight a body as some of the Pleistocene clays. 
Its main use should be for common brick, pressed brick, or drain tile. 
The outcrop mentioned is somewhat distant from the railroad for cheap 
^ploitation, but the extension of this bed should be found to the west- 
ward, nearer lines of transportation. 

The whitish clay (Lab. No. 1352), which underlies the pink clay, is of 
buff-burning character and burns to a good body. It would no doubt make 
* good light-colored pressed brick by either the wet method repressed, or 
the dry-press process. Its analyses and physical tests are gi\en in the 
table opposite this page. 


The Wilmont Area. 

This is practically the only locality along the Rappahannock river 
where the Pleistocene clays are worked, and the quality of those developed 
at this point would make it seem desirable to prospect further for other 

At the brick works at Wilmont the following section is exposed : 


Soil 1 

Blue clay ( so-called ) 5-6 

Gravelly sand (variable thickness) 6-15 

Diatomaceous earth 10 

Green sand clay 4 

The blue clay, which is of Pleistocene age, is mixed with either the 
diatomaceous clay, or with clay .from another surface deposit not far dis- 
tant. The green sandy clay,' which is the same as that tested from Layton, 
lies below the level of the. jiard.' Plate? XXXV, figure 1, shows the Pleisto- 
cene clay overlying the diatomaceous e^arth. 

Another deposit "-ol-./^istoeeBe/rfay, known as the House clay, is dug 
about one- fourth mile nortbeaBt I6i the brick works. Here the clay runs 
from 9 to 13 feet in thiclpiess and is underlain by sand. Still another 
deposit has been located o^ernalf mile northwest of the brick yard. Only 
the House clay (Lab. No. 1365) and that at the brick yard (Lab. No. 1362) 
were tested. Their properties are given in the table opposite page 175. 

Although these clays are both surface clays, and occur in the same 
formation at no great distance from each other, still they are quite dis- 
similar in many respects. 

No. 1362 is a red-burning clay which burns to a good bright color. 
Its air shrinkage is not excessive and its fire shrinkage is low. It con- 
tains some coarse grit which shows up clearly on the fractured surface of 
the burned bricklet. At cone 8 portions of the clay become viscous. This 
is not a fire clay, but it works well for brick and fireproofing. 

No. 1365 is a gritty, light-burning clay which does not burn steel- 
hard until cone 5, and even at 8 still shows a rather high absorption. 
Its low air shrinkage and low tensile strength are characteristic of sandy 
clays. The material can be classed as a low-grade fire clay, such as is 
used in terra-cotta manufacture, or for boiler-setting brick. It is the 
most refractory of the series tested from the Coastal Plain area. 

The brick works at Wilmont produce fireproofing, boiler-setting brick, 
and some front brick. In each case a mixture of the Pleistocene clays, or 
of these with diatomaceous earth, is used. 





*. / 

. '-£■.. 

CLAYS. 177 

The Layton Area. 

Along the shore of the Kappahannock river, about 1 mile south of 
Layton, there is a long outcrop of gritt}- greenish clay, of Miocene age, 
which is evidently part of a rather extensive deposit. The material is 
well shown in the river bluff, and its smooth vertical surface stands out 
in marked contrast to the overlying sand. 'The bed as here exposed is not 
less than 9 feet thick, and is overlain by 6 to 8 feet of sand, which iiiay 
be adapted to molding purposes. The clay (Lab. No. 1354) in table 
opposite page 175, evidently underlies the diatomaoeous earth which 
crops out farther down the river, and both are overlain by tlie sand referred 
to above. This same clay is seen inland from the river, behind the mill 
at Occupacia post-office; it also underlies the diatomaeeous earth at 
Wilmont, and is seen at several other, points. along the river bank. 

It is exceedingly sandy, as cattiUe ji&td. py the feel, and seen from the 
analysis (silica, 85.72 per cent.). vlWyirinkage is very low and it burns 
to a very porous body, so that St would seem .undesirable to use it for even 
common bnck. *' ,V .•.- -'r* " ' 

Overlying this at Occupacia ^post-office is a whitish sandy clay (No. 
1367) of table opposite page 175, which, although quite different in ap- 
pearance from the green clay, resembles it closely in both physical and 
chemical properties. One might suppose, judging from its color, that it 
was a fire clay, or at least semi-refractory in its character, but it is not. 

The Hilf ord Area. 

Along the road from Milford to Bowling Green, and about three- 
quarters of a mile from the former locality, there is a promising deposit 
of yellowish brown Pleistocene clay, 10 to 12 feet thick. The bed is under- 
lain by sand, but has very little overburden. Its characters are given in 
the table opposite page 175. (No. 1353.) 

This is a red-burning surface clay, which becomes steel-hard at OS, 
but is too gritty to use for any purpose except common-brick manufacture. 
It would probably work on a dry-press machine. 

The Bichmond Area. 

Richmond, next to Alexandria, is the most important clay-working 
center in the Coastal Plain region of Virginia, there being a number of 
yards engaged in the manufacture of common and in some cases pressed 
brick. Most of these are located on the edge of Richmond and in the 


suburbs of Manchester and Fulton, while a few are located near the reser- 
voir and race track. 

The output of these is not sufficient to supply the demand, and Bome 
outlying towns are also drawn upon. The better grades of pressed brick 
in Eichmond are not made in the Coastal Plain area. Some are obtamed 
from Clayville, Powhatan county, Virginia, but most of them come from 
points outside of the State. 

There are four yards in operation in Manchester, all of them being 
located in the vicinity of Knight and Maury streets. All of these are 
engaged in the manufacture of soft-mud brick and a few of them also 
produce a small quantity of pressed brick. The clay used is a more or less 
mottled, gritty, yellow or reddish clay, which ia covered by a thin layer 
of sandy soil and commonly imderlain by a bed of sani. At only one 
point, namely, the yard of Green and Harrison, is an underlying crystalline 
rock encountered. The clays in general are very tough and plastic, some- 
times quite sandy, and they contain a variable quantity of stony material 
which ranges in size from small pebbles up to large boulders, most of these 
being of crystalline character. This stony material is not found to be 
uniformly distributed through all the beds, but seems to run rather in 
streaks, the ^eatest quantity of it having been observed in the bank of 
W. J. Ready, and Green and Harrison. 

At G. E. Redford's yard, the clay shows an average thickness of 12 feet 
with a maximum of 17 feet, and is underlain by a hard bed of sand and 
gravel. It is a mottled ^itty clay with scattered mica fragments and many 
limonitc stains running through it; and it contains also many decom- 
posed pebbles of (tryst al line rock. The clay pit is a large shallow excavation 
lying to the south of tiio yard and the working face has a height of from 
G to 8 feet. The material is red-burning, and for the manufacture of 
bricks the run of the bank is commonly used. This is necessary because 
the clay seems to vary somewhat in its physical character. 

Thus, for instance, it is not safe to use that found in the north end 
of the pit alone, because it is very tough and cannot be used without 
cracking. It is mixed therefore with the more sandy portions of the bed. 

Adjoining the yard of Redford on the west is that of W. B. Davis. 
This pit, which is a large shallow excavation, lies to the south of the yard, 
and has a working face of from 6 to 7 feet in height. The clay is similar 
to that in Red ford's bank, but seems to contain fewer stones. 

Adjoining Davis' yard on the east is that of W. J. Ready. The clay 

■ .".J 

CLAYS. 179 

pit which lies to the northwest of the yard is much deeper than the neigh- 
boring excavations and also lies at a slightly lower level, for the upper 
surface of the clay is uneven and slopes towards the river. The clay in 
general is somewhat similar to that found at the two preceding yards but 
contains more stones and boulders than are found in either Bedford's or 
Davis* bank. The thickness of the clay is said to be at least 18 feet, and 
it is probably underlain by sand. Here in a working face of perhaps 2')0 
feet in length they recognize three different kinds of clay, only one of 
which they claim can be used alone. If either of the other two is used by 
itself, it results in an imperfect product. The physical and chemical 
characters of these three clays are given in the table opposite page 176. 

A plant is also operated by W. J. Ready near the West End yard and is 
located a quarter of a mile west of the track near the reservoir. The ma- 
terial is the usual mottled surface clay which is worked to a depth of about 
7 feet, although a total thickness of 20 feet is claimed for it. 

The yard of the Fulton Brick Company, which is commonly spoken of 
as Westford's yard, is located west of the Chesapeake and Ohio Bailway 
round house. The clay used here is the ordinary surface clay and does 
not seem to run over 10 feet in thickness. It also contains many cobble 
stones. Underlying this is a fine sand which is at least 8 feet deep and is 
used for sanding the brick molds. 

The Baltimore Brick Company operates two yards at Rockett, a suburb 
of Richmond. The yards are located near the intersection of Ohio and 
Williamsburg avenues. The clay is tempered in ring pits, molded by hand, 
and burned in dutch kilns. Some 12 years ago the company tried making 
soft-mud machine brick but gave it up for some unknown reason. The clay 
is obtained from imder the surface at several points in the vicinity of the 
yard and averages from 15 to 18 feet in thickness with an underbedding of 
sand. The material is quite similar in character to that at Manchester, 
but lacks the stones and boulders. 

Ma3rnard and Powers operate a pit lying to the southeast of the Balti- 
more Brick Company's excavation. The working face here is about 12 
feet high and shows a sandy, mottled, yellowish-brown and gritty clay 
similar to that occurring in the other pits in this vicinity. The company 
claims that its clay runs 20 feet in depth and is underlain by a bluish-gray 
Sand. The chemical and physical properties of this clay (No. 1300) are 
given in the table opposite page 175. 

A clay very similar in appearance to that on the Ball property, 6 miles 
south of the city, and probably of the same age is also found outcropping 


on the Williamsburg road leading to Stagg^s Mill, about one-half mile to 
the west of where the road crosses the railroad. The clay is exposed on a 
sloping hillside, and in such position that a large quantity can be removed 
without having to take off much overburden. It is also well located for 
shipment. As far as could be ascertained the bed is not less than 20 feet 
thick. It (Lab. No. 1330) is a grajdsh clay, which slakes slowly and works 
up with 27.8 per cent, water to a mass of high plasticity. Its air shrink- 
age, 12.6 per cent., is somewhat high; so also is the average tensile 
strength, namely, 300.9 pounds per square inch. 

This is a very plastic clay which becomes steel-hard at cone 05. It 
gives a light red color up to cone OS, but at cone 1 gives an excellent dark 
red color. Its point of vitrification is apparently reached at about cone S, 
and at cone 6 it was well passed vitrification and had swelled considerably. 
It is not as good a clay as that described from near Bermuda Hundred 
(Lab. No. 1317) or Curie's Neck (Lab. No. 1314). 

The Fort Lee Area. 

At Fort Lee on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, about 2 miles south 
of Richmond, there is a group of yards operated, respectively, by C. H. 
Oliver, J. M. Davis, and the Fulton Brick Company. The general run of 
the clays is not unlike those used around Richmond, but none of the pits 
show stony material, such as is found in some of the Richmond clay banks. 

The most southern of this group of yards is that of C. H. Oliver, which 
is located one mile west of Fort Lee. The clay here is found immediately 
underlying the surface and the bank shows 12 feet of clay, although the 
total thickness of it is said to be 20 feet. Underlying it is a pit of gravel 
and sand of unknown depth. For making bricks the run of the bank is 
used. The general physical properties of this clay (No. 1202) are given on 
page 176. 

Adjoining Mr. Oliver's yard on the west is that of J. M. Davis. The 
clay used is similar to that employed at Oliver's pit described above. It i8 
nolded by hand, dried on pallets, and burned in Dutch kilns. A few 
hundred feet up the track and on the north side of it are two yards operated 
by the Fulton Brick Company. The brick yard adjoins the clay bank on 
the west and the material is practically the same as that seen at the Davis 
place, but the methods used for winning the clay are more improved. 

The dark-colored clays, similar to those described from south Chester, 
outcrop at several points around the base of Government Hill, especially 
alodig ihe Qovenixnent road leading down from the top of the hill, but in 

0LAY8. 181 

nearly every instance they are covered with too much overburden to permit 
of their being profitably worked. 

Summary. — ^It may be well to make a comparative summary of the 
clays found in the Richmond area. Those found near the city, and those 
which are worked at Manchester, Fulton, and near the reservoir, are to be 
classed as good common-brick clays, which bum to a good color, and also 
make a fair grade of front brick when repressed. They are too gritty and 
stony as well as too irregular in their character to be used for drain tile, 
hollow blocks, or red earthenware. The methods used for working them are 
usually crude, and therefore the yards are of limited capacity. The manu- 
facturers claim, however, that owing to difficulties with labor, it is impracti- 
cable to use more improved methods, such as machine molding. Some also 
maintain that the hand-molded brick sells better on the local market. 

The clays found at Fort Lee appear to be less stony and even less sandy 
than those occurring at Richmond, and they are susceptible of being worked 
by more improved methods. Of the yards located at Fort Lee one used a 
8oft-mud machine, and another a stiff-mud machine. Even these clays 
however, are somewhat siliceous for any use other than brick, although it 
is probable that drain tile or hollow brick could be made from them. 

Apparently the best clay in the Richmond area is that described from 
near Stagg^s Mill on the Williamsburg road. This is more plastic, denser 
burning and less sandy, than any of the clays now being worked either 
around Richmond or Fort Lee. The deposit being located so close to the 
city, as well as close to a railroad line, should be investigated by clay manu- 

Large areas have already been dug over in the brick-making districts 
around Richmond, because the deposits are comparatively shallow, and the 
output of the yards has been large. Each manufacturer naturally ex- 
cavates the clay nearest to his yard first, so that as year after year goes by 
the pit face recedes, and the clay haul becomes longer and longer. As the 
city of Richmond and its suburbs are growing, it will not be many years 
before building will encroach on the brick yards, and the latter will have 
to be moved. Being, as it were, temporarily located, there is therefore not 
much inducement for establishing an extensive plant. 

The Curie's Neck Area. 

About 1 mile north of Curie's Neck and 6 miles south of Richmond, 
there are a number of exposures of clay along the road, and also on the 
fann on the west side of the road, at a locality pointed out by Mr. W. A. 


Ball, of Richmond. This material has been usually spoken of as fullers 
earth, and some sample car-loads have been shipped to cotton oil factories 
in order to test it for bleaching purposes. The material, however, is very 
plastic and on inspection one would be likely to form the opinion that it 
was a clay suitable for the manufacture of some red-burning ware. In 
fact it is stated that at one time a small stoneware pottery was in operation 
at this point and there is considerable evidence of this in the numerous 
fragments of stoneware which are scattered around in the field near the 
farmhouse. Three samples, Nos. 1314, 1315, and 1316, were tested from 
this locality, the results being given in the table opposite page 175. 

The Chester Area. 

There are no brick yards in operation at this locality, but a number of 
outcrops of clay are to be seen in the railroad and trolleyroad cuts in the 
vicinity. None of them, however, are suited to the manufacture of brick. 
About 2 miles south of Chester along the Atlantic Coast line Railway 
there are several cuts, which show outctops of a sandy, bluish fossiliferous 
clay. The material is not uniform in character, certain layers being highly 
fossiliferous, others very sandy, and still others very plastic. The exact 
thickness of the deposit is not known, but from the exposures, it is evidently 
not less than 30 feet thick. No attempts have been made to use it. 

The general characteristics of the clay may be summed up as follows: 
Red burning, low fire shrinkage, and low fusibility. DiflBcult to bum. It 
is not to be recommended for anything but common brick, and even for 
this purpose it should be avoided if something better can be found. 

The Bermuda Hundred Area. 

Much clay is exposed at a point along the railroad from Chester to 
Bermuda Hundred and about 1 mile from the railroad station at the latter 
locality. The same material is also seen in the gullies in the neighboring 
fields. This clay is at the same level as that which is worked at Broadway, 
on the Appomattox river, and it is probable that the deposit extends in 
that direction, but they do not belong to the same formation. 

The exposures in the railroad cut show a thickness of not less than 10 
feet, and a thickness of 49 feet was proved by boring in one place. Al- 
though the clay along the railroad track does not show much variation 
on inspection, it is stated that at the northeastern end it is brick clay, while 
at the southeastern end it is tile clay. The properties of the Imck clay 
(No. 1306) is given in the table opposite page 176. 




I'iK- :;. — Kwiltr'- uliiy bunk iit Uromiwiiy uii llie Appuniattox river. 

0LAY8. 183 

Judging from the dense body of this material it would be worth ex- 
perimenting with for paving brick, or perhaps pipe. The most serious ob- 
jection to it is its high air and fire shrinkage. 

This clay has been dug and shipped, occasionally, to the works of the 
Powhatan Clay Manufacturing Company, at Clayville, near Richmond. 

The Petersburg Area. 

There are three yards in operation near Petersburg. Two of these, 
operated^ respectively, by W. R. Turner, and Brister and Harrison, are 
located in Ettricks, across the river from Petersburg; the third, that of the 
Chesterfield Brick Company, is situated about 2 miles from Petersburg 
^ near the line of the Petersburg-Richmond trolley road. They all make an 
exceUent grade of red brick. The properties of these clays are given in 
the appended table opposite page 175. 

The clay is molded on a plunger stiff-mud machine, dried on pallets 
and burned in scove kilns. The local contractors state that the supply of 
bricks from the yards around Petersburg is entirely sufficient to meet the 
demand in that city. 

The Broadway Area. 

The only brick yard in operation at this locality is that of Keeler and 
Son, which is located immediately at the foot of the bluflE along the Appo- 
mattox river. The clay deposit lies about 75 feet above the river and the 
clay is being dug at a point in the terrace about 300 feet south of the yard. 
It is a tough, mottled material with a thickness of at least 15 feet, the upper 
2 feet of which are weathered. Overlying this is about 18 inches of gravelly 
sand similar to that which occurs immediately under the surface throughout 
this region, on both sides of the river. The clay is underlain by a coarse, 
gravelly sand which extends down to the river level and probably below it. 
The pit, however, is not over 7 feet deep, plate XXV, figure 2. 

The day bums steel-hard at mne 05 and at either this temperature or 
cone OS it makes an excellent red brick. If burned to this cone, or better 
still, to cone i, the material would probably make a good pressed brick. 

This is an excellent red-burning clay which could probably be used for 
making front as well as conmion brick, provided it ia thoroughly pugged. 
At the present time it is utilized for making common brick and the run 
of the bank is used, leaving out the overburden of gravelly sand. 


The City Point Area. 

The Pleistocene clays outcrop in the bluff along the James river, about 
one-eighth mile south of City Point landing. Their distribution is evi- 
dently irregular, for in the first cut of the railroad after leaving City Point, 
there is nothing but sand exposed, although the bottom of the cut is not 
as high as the upper part of the clay along the river shore. I was informed 
that borings made to the south of the railroad cut had revealed the presence 
of the clay under the surface sand. Along the shore the clay is not less 
than 20 feet thick, but it contains occasional streaks of sand. There is also 
about 4 feet of sandy overburden. No brickyard is located at this point, 
although the deposit is at the water's edge and the product could be easily 
shipped. Occasional car-load lots have, however, been dug and shipped to 
the smoking pipe factory at Pamplin City. As for this line of ware, a 
small quantity of clay will go a long way, so that the amount that has been 
dug has produced little impression. 

The characters of the clay (No. 1339) are given in the table opposite 
page 175. The main advantage of it is, that it is conveniently located for 
shipment by rail, an advantage not possessed by most deposits along the 
James river. 

The Sturgeon Point Area. 

W. C. Mayo and Sons operate a common-brick yard at this locality. 
The plant is located along the river's edge at the base of the bluff, while the 
clay is obtained from near the top of the bluff. The section at this point 

involves : 


Loam Ito 2 

Clay 7 to 8 

Sand 2 

Mottled clay with iron streaks 9 

Sand 20 to 30 

Blue clay 3+ 

The sand mentioned in the lower part of the section extends down to 
the river's edge, and at that point it is underlain by a bed of dark bluish- 
gray, highly plastic clay, which is about 3 feet in thickness. The upper 
layer of clay was formerly worked and a considerable quantity of it has 
been dug. It was found, however, that it was so variable in its character 
and burning qualities that it was undesirable to use it, and consequently 
the raw material for the yard is now taken from the middle clay bed given 
in the section which yields a more uniform product. 

It is claimed that this deposit of clay extends more or less continuously 
lor at least 12 miles back from the river. 

CLAYS. 185 

The Oldfield Area. 

This locality lies about 4 miles south of Sturgeon Point and on the 
same side of the river. There is one yard in operation here, namely, that 
of the Oldfield Brick and Tile Company, plate XXI, figure 2, which is 
engaged in the manufacture of common brick. The clay here, as at Stur- 
geon Point, underlies the terrace which borders the river, plate XXI, 
figure 2, and the brick yard itself is located at the base of the terrace 
escarpment on the river's edge. It may be said that the materials under- 
lying the terrace consist of dense or altematmg beds of sand and clay over- 
burden, and an upper bed of loamy clay imderlain by a siliceous clay, whicli 
weathers to a whitish color acd contains many cylindrical limonite concre- 
tions. The upper bed has an average thickness of about 3 feet, and this is 
first removed and utilized for the manufacture of common brick. The 
under bed seems to be variable in its thickness, but where Dest exposed at 
the south side of the deposit and nearest to the yard, the thickness is at 
least 7 feet. It is imderlain by a tough sandy clay which is not used and 
which passes downward into a bed of loamy sand containing streaks of 
pebbles. The two kinds of clay are worked separately, the upper clay being 
used for conomon brick, and the lower clay, with the limonite concretions, 
known as the tile clay, being used for tile or extra hard biick, termed paving 
brick. A sample of each of these was tested and the tests given in the 
table opposite page 175. 

The Belfield Area. 

This town, which adjoins the better known one of Emporia, has one 
yard, whose product consists entirely of common brick, and which is oper- 
ated by Dr. Wood, of Emporia. The soil is quite sandy around Belfield, 
and the surface fiat, so that there are very few clay exposures. At the 
brick yard the clay extends nearly to the surface and averages about 5 feet 
deep, being bottomed on a coarse, whitish sand, which is not mixed in with 
the clay, as it does not seem to improve its quality. The clay burns to an 
excellent red color and makes a good common brick. 

The Norfolk Area and Vicinity. 

The cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News, are among the 
most important in the Coastal Plain area of Virginia, and in all, building 
operations are being carried on quite extensively. There is here conse- 
quently a good market for building brick, either common or pressed, and 
the supply is drawn from a number of points. 

There are several yards in the immediate vicinity of these cities which 
<^eserve mention. E. W. Face and Son operate a yard on North Avenue, 


Atlantic City. The raw material is brought from a pit of Pleistocene clay 
on the Nansemond river, near Suffolk, and in its general character resem- 
bles that worked at the brick yards around Suffolk. It is a red-burning clay 
of excellent plasticity, which yields a good product for structural work. 
Before molding, the clay has a small quantity of fine coal mixed in with it, 
to help in burning, a practice somewhat unusual in the Coastal Plain area. 
It is molded on an end-cut auger machine, dried on hot floors, and burned 
in up-draft kilns with permanent side walls. 

The plant of the Builders Supply Company is located on Middle street, 
Chesterfield Heights. The clay is a light-colored sandy material averaging 
about 3.5 feet in thickness. There are only a few inches of soil over it, 
and the clay is free from stones or shells. 

6. A. Stephens' brick yard is located on the Princess Anne road near 
Godfrey Avenue. It is also working a surface clay, which, however, is 
somewhat different in its appearance from that at the preceding plant. 
The clay which immediately underlies the soil is a bluish-black, very stiff 
red-burning clay. 

C. H. Phillips and Brothers operate a yard at Hampton, near Newport 
News, and here a reddish, sandy, surface clay is used, for making common 
soft-mud brick. 

At Morrison, 1 mile north of the station, is the yard of the Booker 
Brick Company, whose product goes mostly to Norfolk. This is a shallow 
Pleistocene deposit, 3 to 4 feet in depth and underlain 'by sand. The ma- 
terial is red-burning and used only for the manufacture of common brick. 

The Suffolk Area. 

Four brick yards were visited at this locality, namely, those of the 
Standard Brick Company, Horrell and Company. Suffolk Clay Company, 
and West End Company. 

The Standard Brick Company's yard is located about one and a half 
miles south of Suffolk along the Southern Railway. The surrounding re- 
gion is underlain by a deposit of sand, often of coarse grain and variable 
thickness. Somo of it might servo for molding sand, and much of it no 
doubt would answor for the manufacture of sand-lime brick. At the pit 
of the Standard Rriok Conipmy, thort^ is a little stripping to be done before 
ihe clay is reaoluxl. The hoii has a depth of about 6 feet, the lower two 
to throe U\'\ boinji a dark bluish-gray and the upper half discolored by 
woathoriuir. Tho lowor clay gives a harder brick but has a higher shrinkage 
than tho top olay. 

Tbo yards of the Suffolk Clay Company, and the West End Company, 










CLAYS. 187 

are located west of SuflEolk and on adjoining properties; in fact, the clay 
deposits worked at the two are probably continuous at the yard of the West 
End Company. The clay deposit varies from 5 to 15 feet in thickness with 
very little overburden. It is underlain by a bed of black sand, which in 
places is quite clayey, but is not mined with the brick clay. The clay 
has been traced horizontally for at least 200 yards, and contains few stones. 
No sample of this was tested. The clay is worked up in a stiflE-mud ma- 
chine, and dried in 24 hours in steam-heated tunnels. 

At the bank of the SuflEolk Clay Company, the section shows : 


Top soil 1 

Yellow clay 3 

Blue clay, lower foot sandy 9 

Limonite sand 1 

Sand 8 

Blue marl 20 

For brick making the run of the bank, including the sand layer, is 
used. The blue clay is not safe to use alone by any process of wet -molding, 
but it gives a harder, denser body. The properties of the brick mixture 
(No. 1345) and the blue clay (No. 1344) are given in the table, opposite 
page 175. 


This part of the State (Mountain province, west of the Blue Ridge) 
no doubt contains clay resources of great value, which however are, as yet,, 
but little developed. Associated with the coals are many beds of shale, 
some of which appear very promising, but up to the present time these have 
been but little utilized. These different shale deposits are indeed worthy 
of a careful and complete investigation and, when fully developed, will no 
doubt become a valuable source of revenue. 


Fontaine, W. M. The Potomac Formation in Virginia. U. S. Geologi- 
cal Survey, Bulletin No. 145, 1896, 149 pages. 

Hies, H. The Clays of the United States East of the Missis- 

sippi Eiver. U. S. Geological Survey, Professional 
Paper No. 11, 1903, 298 pages. 

A Preliminary Report on a Part of the Clays of Vir- 
ginia. (Jeological Survey of Virginia, 1906, 18.*^ 

Clays: Their Occurrence, Properties, and Uses with 
Special Reference to those of the United States. 
New York, 1906, 490 pages. 

Rogers, Win. B. A Reprint of the Geolog}' of the Virginias. New 

York, 1884, 832 pages. ^ 





General character, — Graphite, known also as plumbago or black lead, 
is a steel-gray to iron-black mineral having metallic lustre and a greasy 
feel. Chemically, pure graphite is composed of carbon but it is often 
impure from the presence of such mineral substances as those mentioned 
below. It is opaque and soft with a hardness of from 1 to 2, and a 
specific gravity varying from 2.09 to 2.23. Its most distinguishing 
features are its softness, greasy feel, and the property of soiling whatever 
it comes in contact with. 

It is usually found in embedded foliated masses, scaly, or slaty, 
sometimes granular to compact, and at other times decidedl} earthy. It 
has a perfect basal cleavage similar to mica; is a conductor of electricity, 
and is combustible only at very high temperatures. 

The variations in color, hardness, and specific gravity, noted above 
are due to mechanically admixed impurities, such as iron oxide, clay, 
silica, mica, etc. The workability of the mineral depends largely upon 
the character of the impurities and the extent and accessibility of the 

Occurrence. — Graphite occurs principally in the crystalline metamorphic 
rocks, both siliceous and calcareous, as embedded masses, scales, streaks, 
and fine-disseminated grains. Its occurrence is most frequently noted 
in granitic rocks, gneiss, mica schists, and crystalline limestones. It is 
rather widely distributed in nature and is found in many localities, but 
it occurs in only a few deposits of such character as to be of economic 

Distribution and localities, — From the nature of the occurrence of 
iiraphite noted above the Virginia region in which the mineral may be 
foimd, is the Piedmont Plateau or the crystalline area, east of the Blue 


Ridge. It is rather widely distributed through the Piedmont area, occur- 
ring chiefly in the schists and gneisses but as yet no actual production 
of the mineral has been reported. 

Extensive developments and preparation for mining and marketing the 
mineral have been in progress for some months in Albemarle and Orange 
counties at the mines of the Naylor-Bruoe Graphite Company. The 
property of this company, comprising 624 acres of land on which graphite 
appears, is situated at the base of the foot-hills of the Blue Ridge, partly 
in Albemarle, and partly in Orange county. The graphite is reported as 
occurring in veins which vary from 13 inches to 8 feet in width, and 
dipping at an angle of 45 ** E. The associated rocks are gneisses and 
syenites. The graphite "veins" are sharply defined from the foot- and 
hanging-walls by clay selvages. The graphite is of good quality and 
single blocks weighing several hundred pounds are easily extracted. An 
analysis of the crude mineral made by Proehling and Robertson, of Rich- 
mond, gave 76.28 per cent, of graphitic carbon. Numerous openings have 
been made and a plant for refining the product is in course of erection. 

Near Sommerset station, in Orange county, on the Somers place, a 
large exposure of graphitic schist occurs, and at the same place much 
graphite is reported mixed with pyrite of a pyrite vein. In Louisa county, 
near Green Spring, specimens of graphite of considerable purity are found. 
Good specimens of the mineral have also been obtained on the road from 
Drake's Branch to Saxe's in Charlotte county. Tt is reported from near 
Jefferson post-office in Powhatan county. 

In Amelia county, about 2.5 miles north of Amelia court-house, 
a small opening was made some years ago on a reported good show- 
ing of graphite. Because of the long standing of the opening and the 
resulting filling nothing could be seen at the time of my \isit in July 
1906. On the Hubbard place in Nelson county, about 2 miles southwest 
of Roseland post-office and within a half mile of Tye river, a promising 
surface exposure of graphite occurs as disseminated scales in a gneiss of 
granitic composition. This property has not been opened hut large masses 
of the rock are heavily charged with graphite. 

Graphite has also been reported by Professor Rogers from Buckingham 
county, and by Professor Dana from Loudoun county. In addition to 
these occurrences of graphite in Virginia, graphitic schists, which in some 
places are worthy of consideration, are quite freely distributed over 
parts of the Piedmont region. Except the mines of the Naylor-Bruce 
Graphite Company described above, attention given the graphite at the 


numerous localities in the State has not progressed beyond the prospect- 
ing stage, and at many the only knowledge of the mineral is from surface 

Uses, — The uses made of graphite are numerous and varied. One of 
the principal uses of the miD<»ral is in the manufacture of crucibles^ retorts, 
and other refractory apparatus. It is also used in the manufacture of 
lead pencils, lubricants, stove-polish, paints, foundry-facings, glazing, 
elect retyping, steam-piping, etc. For some of these uses, especially the 
manufacture of refractory apparatus, the crystalline variety of graphite 
is essential, while for others the amorphous form is equally as good as the 


Merrill, G. P. Non-MetalUc Minerals. New York, 1904, 4-12. 

Pratt, J. H. Graphite. Mineral Resources of the United States, 

1904, 1167-1167. 

Unsigned Graphite in Virginia. Engineering and Mining 

Journal, 1906, LXXXI, 768. 

3ee also the various volumes of the Mineral Industry, especially II, 1893, 

335; XI, 1902, 343; XII, 1903, 183. 




The mineral pyrite, disulphide of iron corresponding to the formula 
FeSj and known also as iron pyrites, occurs in sharply defined cubes and 
their crystallographic modifications, or in granular masses of a brassy- 
yellow color. When eliemically pure, pyrite contains iron, 46.6 per cent, 
and sulphur, 53.4 per cent. As mined, however, the ore is never chemically 
pure but contains admixtures of other metallic sulphides and, at times, 
considerable quantities of the precious metals, especially gold. Ordinarily, 
pyrite can be readily recognized by its hardness, color, crystalline form, 
and irregular fracture. 


Pyrite is one of the most widely disseminated of minerals and it is 
found in rocks of all kinds and of all ages. It occurs as disseminated 
grnins through the rock mass; in contact positions between rocks 


of different kinds, especially between eruptive and sedimentary masses; 
as irregular concretionary masses in sedimentary rocks; as fissure 
veins ; and as lenticular bodies, sometimes of immense size, lying conform- 
able, or nearly so, with the structure (foliation) of the enclosing rocks. 

The worked deposits of pyrite in Louisa and Prince William counties, 
Virginia, are grouped under the latter occurrence, as they form huge lenses 
which conform »?omewhat closely to the structure of the enclosing crystal- 
line schists. Extending downward from the surface to approximately 
local water-level, the pyrite is altered by oxidation and hydration, form- 
ing the iron-cap or gossan of limonite, which is frequently mined as 
an ore of iron. The gossan of the pyrite ore-bodies in Louisa county, 
Virginia, was extensively mined as an ore of iron prior to the mining of 
the unaltered pyrite, and fumaced in the immediate locality. 


Pyrite has wide distribution in Virginia, it being detected either in 
traces or in larger amounts in nearly every formation represented in the 
State. Seldom is it found, however, sufBciently concentrated to yield 
workable bodies of ore. Thus far, only two counties are known in Vir- 
ginia to contain workable deposits of this mineral. These are Louisa and 
l*rince William counties, situated in the eastern Piedmont region. Map, 
figure 29, shows the principal pyrite belt in Virginia. The pyrite mines 
of these two counties are probably the largest and most extensively 
developed in the United States and the product from them constitutes 
more than 50 per cent, of the total output of pyrite in the United States. 



Character and structure of the rocks, — The belt of rocks in Louisa 
and Prince William counties in which the pyrite ore-bodies or lenses are 
enclosed shows unmistakable evidence of sedimentary origin. They were, 
in many places, largely limy or calcareous sediments, as evidenced by the 
thin bands and stringers of pure and impure limestone which appear, 
and by the large development of lime-bearing silicate minerals that are 

The rocks have been extensively metamorphosed and are now thoroughly 
■crystaUine schists, chiefly micaceous, with more or less hornblende 
and garnet developed in places. The normal rock is a mica-quartz 
schist where fresh and unaltered. Nearlv all varieties are to be found 




including mica schists without quartz largely altered to chlorite^ quartz- 
sericite schists^ talcose and chloritic schists, and homblendic schists. In 
many places these various varieties of schist are gametiferous, in others 
garnet is essentially or entirely absait. The impure limestone bands carry 
both black lustrous folia of biotite and large fibrous crystals of green- 
black hornblende. 

The schists are completely and thinly foliated, so much so that the 
straighter thin-banded ones are locally called slates. Certain varieties 
of the schist, especially the highly micaceous ones, are frequently more 
or less distinctly crinkled. In the Prince William county area, a wide 
belt of true slates lies a short distance to the east of the ore-bearing 
schist series. Darton has designated this belt of slate the Quantico 
slate and it marks the position of the ''fall-line'^ to the east of the Cabin 
Branch mine between the overlapping of the Coastal Plain sediments onto 
the crystalline rocks of the Piedmont region. 

Fig. 30. — Plan of pyrite lenses in the Louisiana county area. a. Pyrite lens; 

b. Micaceous schists. 

The general strike of the schist belt is N. 10° to 20° E. In Louisa 
county the schists dip from 60° to 65° southeast with flatter dips shown 
in places. In Prince William county, at the Cabin Branch mine, the dip 
of the schists is to the northwest, varying from 25° to 64°. The rocks, 
as well as the ore-bodies, are penetrated by several well-developed sets 
of joints and in the Cabin Branch mine cross-faulting is observed. 


Oeneral character and mode of occurrence, — As mined the pyrite 
consists of massive-granular ore which varies in texture from very fine- to 
moderately coarse-grained. The very fine ore is ordinarily composed of 
minute irregular grains without crystal boundaries but may be admixed 
with much or little pyrite in distinct crystals. On the other hand, the 



coarser types of ore are made up chiefly of pyrite cubes and their crystal- 
lographic modifications. Some of the ore is very hard and non-friable, but 
much of it is quite friable, and in some mines practically all of the ore is 
of the latter type. Much of the ore contains little or no admixed small 
crystalline grains of white calcite and quartz distributed through the 
mass, but usually more or less of these two minerals is present, the cal- 
cite greatly preponderating, and nearly all gradations are traceable from 
much calcite and less pyrite to practically all pyrite with little or no 
calcite and quartz. The associated metallic minerals are mentioned below. 

Fig. 31. — Plan of pyrite lenses at Sulphur mines, Louisa countj. 

The ore-bodies consist of a series of lens-shaped bodies conformable 
to the structure of the enclosing schists. (Figures 30 and 31.) The 
lenses follow each other in the direction of strike, and may or may not be 
connected by thin and lean stringers of ore. The spacing between 
the ends of lenses is variable. In a few instances, a partial overlap of 
the lenses has been observed as shown in figure 30. The lenses vary 
much in size. In the Louisa county mines, they usually measure several 
hundred feet long (700 feet being the longest one yet known) and in 
thickness as much as 60 to 80 feet. At the Cabin Branch mine, in Prince 
William county, the maximum thickness is probably 10 feet and one 
lens had the enormous length of approximately 1,000 feet. 

As developed by the extensive mining operations, the ore-bodies are 
marked in places by rolls and swells and by pinching and narrowing. 
In the change from flatter to steeper dips, no indication was shown of 
unconformity of the lenses to the structure of the enclosing rocks or 
suggesting a vein that unmistakably cuts the rocks. 

In the Louisa county deposits, the strike of the ore-bodies is N. 10® to 
20** E. with an average dip of 60° to 65° to the southeast. In several 


places, measaremeiits showed dipB ae flat as 36° on the 630-foot lerel in 
the Arminius mine. In Prince William county, at the Cabin Branch mine, 
the general strike of the lenses is the same as for those of Louisa coun^, 
bnt the dip is toward the northwest varying from 25" to 55°. 

Fig. 32. — Plan or pjrite lens, showio^ BlriuKers of pjrite ioterleaved with 
■chiiiU on the hangiDg-wall. a. PyrM; b. CrTttallioe mIiUIb, chieflv mica- 
ceona. AmuDiuB mine, Loaisa counlj, Virgioia. 

The contact between the ore-bodies and the wall-rock is usually sharply 
Mned but some grading into the coontry-rock by the ore is noted at 
thnea. Parallel interleaved thin stringers of solid ore, and of lean ore, 
to the large lenses characterize the walls of all the mines and are especially 
marked in the hanging-wall, as shown in figures 38, 33, and 36. Some 
post-mineral movement is shown in the ore-bodies, especially those of Loaisa 
county, in the highly polished and slickened-sided surfaces along some of 
the fracture planes. 

Fig. 33.— Portion of pjrile lens in Cabin Branch mine, Prince William conntj, 
■howing p7rit« ilringers int«rleBTed with RchisU on hangiDg-wall, and in- 
cloaarei of iheet masRMin thelens. a. P7rlte; b. Mica schist. 



Composition of the pyrite. — ^The following analyses will show the 
general character of the Louisa county pyrite: 

Sulphur (S) 

Iron (Fe) 

Iron oxide (Fe,Og) 

Iron sulphide (FeS,) . . 

Silica (SiO.) 


Sulphur trioxide (SO,) 
Copper (Cu) 1 

Arsenic (As) j * 

Zinc (Zn) 

Lime (CaO) ) 

Magnesia (MgO) ) ' ' 

Per cent. 






Per cent. 


Per cent 




Per cent. 


Per cent. 








I. Dr.. A. Volcker, analyst. 

II. Sulphur mines reported by W. H. Adams. 

III. Dr. W. H. Taylor, analyst. 

IV. Charles Tennant and Company, analjrets. 
V. Arminius mine reported by W. H. Adams. 

Adams reports that many analyses of the Louisa county pyrite ores 
give results from 46 per cent, to 51.5 per cent, of sulphur, copper from 
0.6 per cent, to 9.72 per cent., and traces of gold and silver, but no 
arsenic. I am reliably informed, however, by the present management 
that analyses of the ore mined at present show traces of arsenic. Accord- 
ing to Adams, there are easily traceable quartz veins in the hanging- and 
foot-walls in all of the properties, which are gold-bearing to the extent of 
from $4.00 to $15.00 per ton; but these veins are always narrow, ranging 
from 3 to 7 inches in thickness. 

More or less copper, usually a small fraction of 1 per cent, in the 
form of chalcopyrite, is invariably present, inextricably intermingled with 
the pyrite. This is obtained from time to time from the mine water as 
cement copper by precipitation upon scrap iron and is dried, screened, 
and barreled for market. Lead and zinc are present in traces at times 
and occasionally they are appreciable in small masses of the ore. The 
form in which these are present is mentioned below under associated 

The average in sulphur content of all ore shipped from these mines 
ranges from 43 to 45 per cent. 

Associated minerals. — The mineral species associated with the pyrite 


lenses or ore-bodies include both metallic and non-metallic com- 
pounds. Named in the order of their importance the metallic minerals 
are blende (zinc sulphide), chalcopyrite (copper-iron sulphide), galena 
(lead sulphide), pyrrhotite (magnetic iron sulphide), and magnetite 
(magnetic iron oxide). Some of these are only occasionally met with and 
are limited more to some mines than to others, failing entirely in one 
or two, while others are usually present to some extent in all. 

The two commonest non-metallic minerals are calcite and quartz, the 
Bmall grains and crystals of which are intimately admixed with the crystals 
of pyrite, forming a more or less friable type of ore. Both minerals 
are occasionally met with filling fractures and cavities or vuggs in the 
massive-granular ore and in such cases are clearly of post-mineral forma- 

In addition to these two, dark green hornblende and red garnet are 
extensively developed in some of the mines. As a rule, these are not 
found to any extent in the ore-lenses proper but are usually found near 
the margins of the pyrite bodies in the wall-rock. Garnet was observed 
in every instance in the latter position, while hornblende does occur in 
the ore-bodies proper, but more often is found as the garnet. Garnet is 
less common than hornblende and in the Cabin Branch mine, in Prince 
William county, it is but rarely met with. It is always in perfect large 
and small rhombic dodecahedrons of deep red color. 

In the Arminius and Sulphur mines, in Louisa county, thin layers 
of a grayish- white limestone occur in the walls and in places is close to 
the ore-body, as evidenced by masses on the dump with stringers of pyrite 
attached to them. This limestone is banded with the dark ferromagnesian 
bilicates. principally hornblende. Similar conditions are observed in the 
Cabin Branch mine in Prince William county. The limestone is impure, 
consisting of purer bands of limestone, an inch or more in thickness, 
interlaminated with bands of mica-schist and containing scattered 
crystals of hornblende. 


Without entering into a discussion in this volume of the evidence 
for or against any particular theory as to the genesis or origin of these 
ore-bodies, it may be stated that the facts gathered by me from a careful 
study of the belt strongly suggest a replacement of limestone by the 
sulphides. This is discussed at length by me in a paper shortly to be 
published elsewhere. 



Louisa County. 

Location, — The pyrite deposits of Louisa county are situated near 
Mineral City, fonnerly known as Tolersville, a station on the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Railway, and include three mines, two of which are extensively 
operated at present. (Map, figure 34.) The mines are located N. 20 "* E. 
from Mineral City at a distance of from 1.6 to 3.5 miles. Named in the 
order of their nearness to the station these are: the Arminius, Smithy and 
Sulphur mines. 

The pyrite belt is crossed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to 
the west of Mineral City and has been prospected for pyrite for a distance 
of 10 miles southwest of the Arminius mine, or about 8.5 miles southwest 
of Mineral City, Nothing, however, that seemed profitable in pyrite 
concentration has been found south of the railroad. A goodly number 
of gold mines have been worked at dififerent points in the belt. 

Historical — The Louisa county pyrite mines were worked at different 
times for iron, copper, and pyrite. They were first opened and worked 
for iron in 1834 when the gossan or limonite cap, overlying the pyrite 
to a depth of from 40 to 60 feet, was mined for iron-making in the local 
furnaces. The gossan at the Arminius mine was practically exhausted in 
1861, but that at the Sulphur mines was worked during the Civil War. The 
gossan ore mined on the Arminius property is reported to have been 
fumaced in the old Rough and Ready furnace, located about 1.5 miles 
north of Tolersville, now Mineral City; that from the Sulphur mines 
was fumaced in the Victoria furnace situated on the present mines 
property. Both of these furnaces are now entirely destroyed. 

According to Adams the Arminius mine was opened for copper as 
early as 1847. It was operated for copper at a later date and prior to 
the mining of pyrite by the Virginia Central Copper Mines Company; and 
at a still later date, by the Arminius Copper Mine Company. The total 
production of copper from the Louisa coimty mines is reported as not 
being large, and represented chiefly ores of secondary enrichment be- 
neath the gossan and at the surface of the pyrite. 

According to the same writer the Arminius mine was first opened for 
pyrite mining in 1865. It was purchased in 1865 by a New York Com- 
pany which worked it until 1877 for copper and pyrite. In 1883, it was 
purchased by W. H. Adams and was continuously worked for pyrite 
until June, 1894, when the present company assumed control. 



ThiB mine is located about 1.5 miles N. £0° E. of Mineral City and 
hag been variouely worked for iron, copper, and pyrite since 1834, Pyrite 
mining -waa begnn at a much later date, 1805, after the working off of 

Fig. 34. — Map ihowiDg location of p;rite minvt in Louiw county. Minec 
cated by heavj bl«ck dota; strike of schigtosilj by utovb. Based o 
topojp^phic ebwii, U. S. Geol. Sarrey. Scale, | inch equals 1 mil 
proiimatelj. Contour Interval, 50 feet. 


the iron-cap or gossan ore. The mine has been eoastantly worked for 
pyrite for 23 years. 

The ore-bodies are quite extensive and they confonn to the Btmcture 
of the enclosing Bchists, with local clianges noted in both Btiike and dip 
of the ore-leuBes and the rock. Both hard lump and friable ore are mined, 
only the latter being milled, which is sold as "fine." The lump ore is 
cobbed but not milled. The ore is masslTe-granular, the individaal pyrite 
grains largely possessing crystal form, cubes and their CTyBtallographic 
modifications. White granular calcite is the most abundant gasgne 
mineral, with some quartz and less dark green hornblende. 

Sphalerite, chalcopyrite and galena, named in the order of their 
abundance, are frequent accompaniments in small amonnts of the pyrite. 
Some pyrrhotite and much magnetite are admixed with the pyrite locally. 
The ore is reported to contain traces of arsenic, gold, and ailTer. Of the 
associated metalliferous minerals, only copper is saved and this only occa- 
sional iy. 

Fig. 36. — Plan of pjrite lent oa l!20-foot IstcI, ArmiaiuB niiiie, Louiw coantj, 
showing FeatheriDK out at Dorth«ast end bv inlerlMTing of pjrite and Mhitt. 
a. Pyrite: b. Schist. 

The pyrite lenses vary in size but are usnally very Urge, the largest 
onp yet found measuring 61 feet wide by 700 feet long. The lensei 
will usually average about 30 feet wide and several hundred feet long. 
The mine has produced large quantities of ore; is developed by 4 inclined 
shafts worked on more than 8 principal levels run from opposite sides 
of the shaft and following the direction of the lenses. The slope of the 
shafts will average about 63° to the southeast. Of the 4 shafts, 2 were 
working during the summer of 1004; No. 3 shaft which has reached a 
depth of S75 feet, and No. 4 shaft which has reached a depth of S50 feet 
The property has been extensively tested beyond the working area by much 
diamond drilling. 

The lenses do not follow each other along an entirely straight line, bat 
nre off.=et Imth northeast and southwest without real overlapping, except 






' ' '-.;%■■ v^tV^V.i 



,1 ; 

IS Fit;, I, uliuviiiii; crvslalline seliist 


in one or two cases. Figure 36 shows feathering out of one of the ore- 
bodies at the northeast end, on the 620-foot level, by interleaving of the 
pyrite and schist. 

The surface plant of the Arminius mine, shown in plate XXVII, figure 
1, is large and commodious, and is well equipped with all necessary 
modem machinery for the mining and milling of pyrite. The total output 
of ore from this mine is utilized for .the manufacture oi sulphuric acid. 
The average sulphur content of the ore shipped from this mine is from 
43 to 44 per cent. 


The Smith mine, now owned by the Mining Department of the United 
States Fidelity and Guaranty Company of Baltimore, Maryland, is located 
three-quarters of a mile N. 20° E. from the Arminius mme. At the 
time of my visit to this mine, in the summer of 1906, operations were 
suspended pending litigation. The mine is reported to have been first 
opened about 20 years ago. It has been developed by 3 shafts and numerous 
drifts, the deepest being 300 feet, the other two 100 feet and more in depth. 
Ore has been mined on the following levels : 100, 160, 200, 250, and 300 feet. 

The ore is of the friable type and of excellent quality, of which a 
large total output has been produced. The surface plant comprises a 
mill and all necessary machinery for pyrite mining and milling. 


The Sulphur mines are located 2 miles northeast of the Arminius 
mine and 3 miles northeast of Mineral City, a station on the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Railway. The mines are connected with the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railway at Mineral City by a broad-gauge steam road, built in 1884. 
The gossan or limonite cap was first mined and furnaced prior to the 
Civil War in the old Victoria furnace on the present companjr's site, which 
was closed in 1877. Mining of pyrite was begun in 1882. 

The property is developed by 8 shafts, 3 of which were working ai 
the time of my visit in August, 1906. The greatest depth attained in 
the working of these shafts is 720 feet. The method of mining the ore 
is closely similar to that employed at the Arminius mine. 

Many old cuts are now exposed from which the gossan ore was early 
mined. Several of these afford opportunity for observing the ore-bodies 
and their relations to the enclosing rocks as shown in plate XXVIII, figures 
1 and 2. Careful measurement of the direction of strike of the lens in one 
of the largest and longest of the old gossan cuts gave N. 20° E. and dips 


ranging from 65"* to 76° south 20° east, with an average dip of 66®. 
Entire conformity with the foliation of the enclosing rocks was noted 
at every point where observations were made. Here, as at the Arminius 
mine, slight local changes in the degree of strike and dip are noted while 
the general direction of each remains constant. 

The ore-bodies, lenses, average from 40 to 50 feet in thickness and 
several hundred feet in length. The old gossan cuts, which are now badly 
caved, confirm these dimensions. The ore-lenses on this property lie ap- 
parently west of those at the Arminius mine, which gives an average 
width of the ore-bearing schist zone in Louisa county of from 800 to 1,000 

The mineral associations are the same here as at the Arminius mine. 
Judging from a careful examination of the dumps chalcopyrite, pyrrho- 
tite, and probably magnetite, are somewhat more abundant than at the 
Arminius mine, and calcite seems to have considerably greater develop- 
ment at the Sulphur mine. 

Both hard and friable ore are produced, the latter existing in largest 
quantity. At present, only the low grade ore is milled. The milling schonc 
is closely similar at the two mines except at the Sulphur mines trommels 
and tables are used. The fine and coarse ore are separated at the tipple 
and all ore goes to the washer. The concentrates average 42 per cent, of 
sulphur. Three sizes of ore are shipped, all of which is used in the manu- 
facture of sulphuric acid. 

The Sulphur mines surface plant is very large and commodious and 
is well equipped with all necessary machinery for handling the ore in the 
mines and at the mill. Preparations were in progress during the summer 
of 1906 to enlarge and otherwise improve the present mill. 

Prince William County. 


Only one producing pyrite mine has been developed in Prince William 
county. This mine, known as the Cabin Branch mine, is located about 
1.5 miles northwest of Dumfries. (Map, figure 36.) Some prospecting 
for pyrite has been done both to the southwest and to the northeast of the 
Cabin Branch mine. Two small operations, separated by a distance of 
several miles from each other, are reported opened about 12 miles southwest 
of the Cabin Branch mine, in Stafford county. 

The Cabin Branch mine was first opened in 1889, but it was not con- 
tinuously operated until several years later. It is developed by 3 shafts, 


the deepest one of which, is 1,000 feet oo an incline which Tariee from 
25° to B5°, the dip of the ore-body. The ore-body is worked on all 
lerels from the surface to the depth of the shaft, 1,000 feet. This lens 
averages from 5 to 10 feet in thickness and is approximately 1,000 feet 
bng. Unlike the pyrite ore-bodies of Louisa connty, those developed 
at the Cabin Branch mine dip to the northwest willi cioss- 
f suiting, ordinarily of slight displacement. Yariations in dip of 
the lenses here are much greater than for thoBe of Louisa county. The 

Fig. 3G. — Hap showiDS localion ot Cabin Branch pyrite mine, Prince William 
county. Mine indicated br heavf dot. Based on tbe Mt. Vernon topo- 
graphic Bheel, U. 8. Geol. Survej. Scale, | inch = 1 mile, approii- 
mabel J. Contour interval, 60 feet. 

mineral associations are similar to those of the Louisa county mines. 
Chatcopyrite, a little pyrrhotite, and occasional galena and blende, are 
interraingled with the pyrite. Galena and blende are present in much 
smaller quantity than in the Arrainius and Sulphur mines of Louisa 
county. Traces of gold are reported in the pyrite. No attempt is made 
to sBTc any of these in the mining of pyrite at the Cabin Branch mine. 
Of the non-metallic minerals, calcite and quartz occur as at the other 
mines. Hornblende ia found, but a careful examination of the dumps 
showed only an occasional red garnet. 


The ore is closely similar to that of the Louiea county mines in 
general character and excellence, and similar grades of ore are marketed. 
The surface plant is extensive and modem and well equipped for handling 
the ore. Plate XXYII, figure 2, shows the Cabin Branch pjrite mine. 

A narrow-gauge road is operated between the mine and Barrow Siding 
on the Bichmond, Fr^ericksburg and Potomac Bailway, distant about 
6 miles. The company also controls its own wharf on the Potomac lint 
which is connected with the mine by the above narrow-gauge road and 
offers magnificent facilities for* ore-shipping by water. 


FiK' 37. — 'PIbh of portion of pyrite Icdb at Cabin Branch miDe, Prince WiUiMn 
county, Hhowing interleaved lenses nr pyritr, quarti and caldte on huiEing- 
wall, with minor folding. Inclosurva of quiru and caldte in pyrite lou. 
ThcM fill fracluraa in some cowa and are Bubiequent. 


The methods employed in mining the ore at the different mines is, 
in general, closely similar, differing only in minor details. Since the 
ore-bodies dip from 25° to 65° the geDcral practice is to develop them by 
inclined shafts sunk in the direction of dip. Levels are then run out from 
the shaft on the two sides in the direction of strike of the lenses and at 
convenient dlslancos above each other. In the Louisa county mines, 
Btopes are opened up by driving levels along the lens at intervals, which 
are connected by raises, and the ore broken down by overhand stoping- 
The walls are comparatively strong and but little timbering is necessarj'. 
At the Cabin Branch mine, in "Prince William county, the conditions are 
somewhat different from those at the Louisa county mines and the methods 
i'm|)l()yf?d differ slightly in details. At this mine,, the lenses show a greater 
viiriation in di[i, are eross-faulteii, and the wells are apparently softer, 
which require more timbering. At all the mines the ore is raised by 
inclimil cnl>lc and curs. 

1 1, 


Dear Mineral City, 




The ore is prepared and marketed in 3 sizes, lump, spall, and fine. 
The lump lepresents the first grade ore as broken in the mine and is 
free from all date and lean material. Spall is clean limip ore broken to 
pass a 2.5 inch ring and is freed from finer material by screening. Fine 
ore is aixed to pass a %-inch screen and is usually washed or jigged to 
bring it up to grade. The ore is sold on a basis of sulphur content at a 
yariaUe price per unit. 

The following description of the milling practice at the Virginia pyrite 
mines has been abstracted from a published paper by Painter, in the Engi- 
neering and Mining Journal for July, 1905. The larger part of the output 
from the Louisa county mines consists of the grade ^^fine'' ore. One mine 
turns all of its ore into "fine.** At this mine, the skip dumps upon a grizzly 
of railroad iron set 3 inches apart. After picking and forking the slate 
from the 2 sizes^ these go to their respective crushers at the head of the 
mill. The ore is reduced to jig size by crushing with breakers and rolls 
and screened by trommels, when it is fed by a distributer to the Hartz jigs. 
Jigging through a bed of cast-iron balls is employed, and the hutches dis- 
charge upon a belt^conveyor of ascending grade, which delivers to the stock 
piles where the ore soon drains. 

At another mill the skip dumps upon a similar grizzly; the oversize 
is sorted into No. 1 lump for shipment. No. 2 lump to the mill, slate to 
the waste; the undersize falls upon a floor, where the slate is eliminated, 
the remainder going to the mill in a separate car by rope haulage. Usually, 
the better grade of lump goes to a jaw-breaker set to make spall ore, a 
fine-bar grizzly cutting out that under 114-iiich size, which goes to the mill. 
After being inspected and the slate thrown out, the spall ore is loaded in 
box cars. The mill is arranged to crush the ore by successive steps in Blake 
crusherSy roll-jaw crushers and rolls, with repeated screening to jig size. 
The same practice of jigging through a bed of cast-iron balls is employed ; 
but the jigs discharge into a de-watering device which feeds a belt-conveyor 
deliyering to the stock pile, bins or hearth drier, depending upon the 
weather. Tables are being installed to treat the overflow from the de- 
watering tank. 

At the Cabin Branch mine, the skip dumps upon a 2.5 inch grizzly. 
The oversize goes to the lump-ore storage-bin, from which it is drawn off 
at intervals and sorted. Slate goes to the dump, first-class lump to the 
spalling floor and the remainder to a roll-jaw crusher at the head of the 


fine-jigging annex. The No. 1 lump is all spalled by hand to burner size 
and forked into measuring chutes delivering to the cars. The spalling is 
done by hand with long-handled hammers of 2-pound weight upon a thin 
layer of ore on the floor. The resulting ^^fine" is small in amount and is 
screened into the fine bin. The undersize from the grizzly goes to a re- 
volving screen with 1.5-inch round holes, through which the ore is worked 
into the pebble-ore jig. The oversize goes to a slate-picking chute de- 
livering upon a spalling floor. The pebble-ore jig is a 3-compartment 
Hartz jig fitted with No. 2 mesh. No. 8 iron-wire screens. It discharges 
from the spouts, clean pebble and middling; from the hutch, clean, fine 
middling and waste. 

The clean pebble ore is elevated to a screen delivering to a skipping 
chute; the small ore is returned to the roughing rolls. The dean ^^fine" 
ore runs into the fine bin which is heated by exhaust steam. The fine 
middling is elevated to the roughing rolls. After passing through rough 
rolls, the crushed ore meets the No. 2 lump which has passed the roll-jaw 
breaker, and the product from the fine-crushing centrifugal rollsy and is 
elevated to a 2-unit centripact screen. The upper screen is 2%-inche8 
aperture, and the oversize goes to the roughing rolls; the second screen is 
^-inch, and the oversize goes to the fine rolls; the through size goes to 
the 2-compartment fine jigs. 


Pyrite is utilized chiefiy for the manufacture of sulphuric add. It is 
also used in the preparation of the iron salt known as green vitriol or 
copperas (iron sulphate). Very small amounts of the mineral are util- 
ized in the preparation of Vermillion paints and occasionally for jewelry. 
The entire output from the Virginia mines is reported to be consumed in 


The total production of pyrite in the United States is distributed 
among less than 10 states, of which Virginia produces more than one- 
lialf. On this basis, the following figures which represent the annual pro- 
duction of pyrite in the United States will afford some idea of Virgim'a's 
yearly output. The production of pyrite in Virginia for the years 1904 
and 1906 was 120,671 and 123,153 long tons respectively, valued at $440,- 
753 and $426,008. 



Production of pyrite in the United States from 1882 to 1906 inclusive. 

(Long tons.) 









$ 72,000 



$ 363,134 
































































1905 i 



a Im 

dudes production of natural 



Adams^ W. H. 

Pontaine, W. M. 
Martyn, Wm. 
Merrill, G. P. 
Nason, P. L. 

Painter, B. H. 

Wendt, A. F. 

The Pyrites Deposits of Louisa County, Virginia. 
Transactions .^erican Institute of Mining Engi- 
neers, 1883, XII, 527-535 ; The Virginias, 1884, V, 
74, 80-81. 

Notes on the Sulphuret Deposits of Virginia. The 
Virginias, 1882, III, 154-155. 

Pyrites. Mineral Eesources of the United States. 
United States Geological Survey, 1883-84, 877-905. 

The Non-metallic Minerals. New York, 1904, 

Origin of the Iron Pyrites Deposits in Louisa County, 
Virginia. Engineering and Mining Journal, 1894, 
LVII, 414-416. 

Limestone Associated with Pyrites and Pyrrhotite of 
the Appalachian System. Engineering and Mining 
Journal, 1906, LXXXII, 172-173. 

Pyrite Mining in Virginia. Engineering and Min- 
ing Journal 1905, LXXX, 148-149. 

Pyrites Mining and Milling in Virginia. Engineer- 
ing and Mining Journal, 1905, LXXX, 433. 

The Pyrites Deposits of the Alleghanies. Engineer- 
ing and Mining Journal, 1886, XLI, 407-411, 
426-428, 446-447; Ibid. 1886, XLII, 4-5, 22-24; 
School of Mines Quariieriy, 1886, VII, 154-188, 
218-235, 301-322. 



Pyrrhotite or magnetic pyrites, known also as mundic, is found in 
many of the crystalline or Piedmont counties of the State, but the largest 
concentration of this mineral vet kno^Mi is that of the "Great Gossan 
Lead" in Floyd, Carroll, and Grayson counties, in southwest Virginia. 
(Map,. figure 29.) Considerable prominence has been given to this "lead'' 
in past years in the mining of secondary iron and copper ores derived from 
the alteration of ihe original sulphides, pyrrhotite, containing some chalco- 
pyrite, of tlie surface portion of the vein. The importance of the '^ead'^ 
as an iron-producer is discussed under Iron on pages 419-421, and as a 
coppor-producer under Copper on pages 511-517. The general geolog}' and 
character of the vein are given at some length under Copper on pages 
511-513, and need not be repeated hen*. 

Where found in Virginia, the pyrrhotite bodies occur as lenses in the 
crystalline schist.-? and as well-defined veins, the best example of which is 
that of the "Great Gossan Load" in southwest Virginia. This '^cad," a well- 
(lofiiKKl vein of pyrrhotite, varying in width up to 100 feet, strikes southwest- 
ward from Floyd county, through Carroll into Grayson county, a distance 
of more than 20 miles. Map, figure 88, shows the position of the '*lead,'' 
and plates XXX and LXXV are views of mines located on the "lead." 
Further description and illustrations are given under Copper, pages 4IU- 

According to Moxham, an analysis of a sample of the mundic (pyrrho- 
tite) given as coming from the surface of the "load'' shows: 

Per cent. 

Sulphur 34.06 

CJopper 0.8(56 

Iron 63.16 

FhosphoruB no trace 

Manganese 0.306 

Silica 2.99 

Before the Betty Baker mine, located near Sylvatus, was closed down 
in 1900, 1,800 tons of the pyrrhotite were ahippt»d to the Southern Chemi- 
cal Company at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where it was used for 
acid-making. The ore contained 33 per cent, of sulphur and after roast- 
ing carried 58 per cent, of iron. 

As Moxham states, whether the large amount of snlphur in this de- 
posit is utilized or not, the main value will not be effectively realized until 
a process is developed by which the sulphur may be extracted from the 
ore upon a large scale, at such cost that the residue or '^lue Billy" will 
be available for the making of pig-iron. 


' I 






I- I 





A considerable amonnt of sulphur can be driven off by pile-burning 
of the mnndic as is shown in the following tests given by Moxham : 

Lump ore. Fine ore. 

Roasted Percent. Roasted Percent. 

Iron 65.50 Iron 48.99 

Sulphur 7.69 Sulphur 5.51 

The importance of the solution of this problem to the iron manufac- 
turers need hardly be pointed out, as it would yield an ore containing 
approximately 60 per cent, of iron, with low silica and manganese, and no 
phosphorus — an ideal Bessemer stock. 

In recent attempts to mine the ore for copper, the percentage of copper 
in the output of the mines was found to be too small to permit the work- 
ing of the vein alone for copper. The future value of the "Gossan Lead" 
apparently lies mainly in the unworked iron ores and the utilization of the 
pyrrhotite, magnetic pyrite, for both acid- and iron-making. 

An eirtensive plant, operated by the Pulaski Mining Company, has re- 
cently been completed at Pulaski for the purpose of utilizing the pyrrho- 
tite of the "Qossan Lead" for both acid- and iron-making. For supplying 
this plant with ore, the pyrrhotite is being inirfed on the southwest end of 
the *lead,*^ near Chestnut Yard, in Carroll county. Plate XXX is a 
^ew of the vein opened at this point. 


^yd, C. E. Utilization of the Sulphur Ores of Virginia in Mak- 

ing Superphosphates. Engineering and Mining 
Journal, 1885, XL, 200. 

The Utilization of the Iron and Copper Sulphides of 
Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Transac- 
tions American Institute of Mining Engineers, 
1885-86, XIV, 81-84. 

Fontaine, W. M. The Sulphuret Deposits of Virginia. The Virginias, 

1882, III, 154-155. 

Notes on the Geology and Mineral Resources of the 
Floyd, Virginia, Plateau. The Virginias, 1883, IV, 
167, 178-180, 185-192; 1884, V, 8, 12. 

Moxham, Edgar C. The "Great Gossan Load" of Virginia. Transactions 

American Institute of Mining. Engineers, February, 
1892, 6 pages. 

"^tson, Thomas L. The Copper Deposits of Virginia. Engineering and 

Mining Journal, 1906, LXXXII, 824-826. 

^^ and Watson. The Virginia Copper Deposits. Economic Geology, 

1906, I, 309-330. 



The mineral arsenopyrite, a double sulphide of arsenic and iron, FeAsS^ 
has been noted in quantity at two localities in Virginia, one of which has 
recently been developed and has produced some arsenic. The localities are 
in Bockbridge and Floyd counties. 

In the extreme northeast corner of Bockbridge county, in the Blue 
Bidge, arsenopyrite is found in association with pyrite and cassiterite in 
quartz-greisen tin-bearing veins, which penetrate coarse granite and are 
described at some length on pages 567-577. No attempt has been made to 
work the arsenopyrite at this locality. 

Near the summit of the Blue Bidge in Floyd county at Bewald poefc- 
ofBcc, about 17 miles from Christiansburg, and at an elevation of about 
3.200 feet above sea-level, a series of "veins'^ (lenses) of arsenopyrite in 
quartz-sericite schist. occhpSj which outcrop in places on the surface. A 
second principal rock-type is abifltite gneiss, closely associated with the 
ouartz-sericito schist, but. its relations to the schist and to the ore-bodies 
are unknown. The principal lens is reported to be 3 feet thick at the sur- 
face but it widens to a thickness of 14 feet at a depth of 120 feet 
Numerous lenses are reported found* over a distance of some 7 miles. The 
location of the mine is shown on the map, figure 99. 

In 1903, the United States Arsenic Mines Company of Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania, capitalized at $500,000, began to exploit the Floyd 
county arsenopyrite deposits. A 215-foot adit was driven into the 
mountain side, supplemented with a 55-foot drift extending to an 8-foot 
"vein" of arsenopyrite, of 25 per cent, arsenic. It is estimated that the 
arsenic ore can be mined at a cost of 75 cents per ton. The underground 
workings are shown in plate XXXI, a blue-print copy of which was kindly 
furnished by the company. 

According to a writer in the Mineral Industry for 1903, the ore as 
mined is conveyed to a Blake crusher, from which it passes by gravity to 
rolls, where it is finely pulverized. It is then charged into Howdl-White 
furnaces where ihe metal is volatilized, the vapors precipitated aod fuTther 
purified by .sublimation. The plant comprises a building 300 by 70 fast 
for tlie mill and furnaces, besides dwelling-houses, shop, labQntocy, oflks 
and other structures. Plate XXXII, figure 1, is a view of fhe millisi^ 
plant. Tlu> ('(|iii[)nirni consists of a l:^5-h. p. Westing^oose eB^piiBy . B Mh 
h. ]). boilers, 4 dynamos, a 10- by 20-inch Blake crusher, a 87«CMlt 
AVliite calcining furnace, a set of rolls for pulverizing, eto« 



1^^ ^J^W YORK 




Flu of the nudtrgnmnd 4 




. 'N 








HALIDE8. 211 

The above plant for refining the product was started in October 1904, 
and shipped sample lots until January 1905, when the monthly capacity 
of the plant was increased to 90 tons of pure white arsenic. Operations at 
these mines are temporarily suspended at present, December, 1906. 

Uses. — ^Arsenic is used in the form of arsenious oxide in dyeing, calico 
printing, in the manufacture of various pigments, fine-grade glassware 
and special enamels, in arsenical soaps, in the preparation of other salts of 
arsenic, and as a preservative. 


Cowan, J. L. The Arsenic Mines at Brinton, Virginia. Engineer- 

ing and Mining Journal, 1904, LXXVIII, 105-106. 

Fontaine, W. M. Notes on the Sulphuret Deposits of Virginia. The 

Virginias, 1882, III, 154-155. 

Hotchkiss, J. Mispickel. The Virginias, 1883, IV, 168. 

Stmthers, Joseph. Arsenic. Mineral Besources of the United States 

for 1903, 327-334. 

Unsigned. Arsenic. The Mineral Industry for 1903, XII, 19-21. 



Salt biineB and rock salt both occur in the Holston valley in association 
with gypsum. The salt and gypsum deposits are confined to a narrow 
nor&east^oathwest valley of the North Fork of the Holston river, ex- 
tending from Flasterco on the southwest, to within 3 miles of Chatham Hill 
poBt-offioe on the northeast, a distance of about 16 miles. The interbedded 
salt and gjrpsum shales with beds of rock salt and gypsum are regarded as 
of lOaaiaaippian (Lower Carboniferous) age. The geology of the valley 
and its deposits is described under Oypsum on pages 327-335. A general 
idea of the valley may be gained from plates XXXIII and XXXIV. 

In 1871, Jefferson, in his "Notes on Virginia" mentioned the occurrence 
cf salt brine in the Holston valley, but it was not until 1840 that rock 
salt was discovered. In 1840, a shaft was sunk which struck a bed of rock 
salt at a depth of 210 feet. This shaft was sunk with the idea of securing 
salt water, but as the operators had no knowledge of rock salt at that 
time, or at least did not appreciate its value for saturating purposes, and 
as the shaft was practically a dry one, they considered their efforts and 
money as having been wasted, because they failed to find what they started 


after, that is salt water. The shaft was located about 200 feet up the 
*lick/* that is southwest of the old brick office-building in the upper eid 
of the valley. It is reported that this was the first discovery of a bed of 
rock salt in the eastern United States. 

Eckel reports an anal3r8is of the rock salt as follows : 

Per cent. 

Sodium chloride 99.084 

Calcium chloride trace 

Calcium sulphate 0.446 

Iron, alumina, etc 0.476 

In the early '70's, operations were again begun in the bottom of the 
old shaft sunk in 1840, and the depth was increased about 20 feet in the 
bed of fine white rock salt. A drift was started from the bottom of the 
shaft in a due south course and continued for a distance of about 98 feet, 
when a second shaft was sunk from the surface down to the end of the 
drift, the idea being to run water down the second shaft and pump brine 
out of the first one. The foreman's advice was not followed and the drift 
was run too near the top of the rock salt, which resulted in the roof being 
soon dissolved, and the overlying loose rock fell in and completely blocked 
the drift. 

The first borings for salt in this valley were in the old swampy lake- 
covered area near the present site of the town of Saltville, which was 
drained before the sinking of the wells. Mining of the rock salt has not 
yet been attempted, the entire salt product coming from the salt brines of 
the wells. The entire salt industr}' is, at present, confined to the imme- 
diate vicinity of Saltville, and is controlled by the Mathieson Alkali Works. 

As indicated in plate XXXIII, figure 1, a large number of wells have 
been sunk over the area, the earliest of which were about 200 feet deep and 
passed through clay, gypsum, and shales. Hayden reports that 6 wells 
had been put down by 1842, only two of which at the time of his writing 
were in operation. The more recently bored wells are much deeper than 
the earlier ones and they show considerable variation in depth, since the 
beds indicate a strong dip. The average depth of the present wells is not 
loss than 1,000 feet, and some are 1,400 feet. These begin to strikd salt 
at a depth of from 250 to 300 feet, parsing through a mixture of salt shale 
and rock salt. The greatest depth attained in any one of the wells was 
2,380 feet. There are 24 producing wells at the present time. Map, 
plate LII, will show the present salt-producing area. 

In the early history of operations and, indeed, imtil within recent years, 
the product marketed was salt^ which for many years amounted to between 

]jiM::tAL KKHorucKs ok viucin 

■I.ATK X.\X1II. 

Fig. 2. — Genernl vk-w of Siiltvillf. WiiHhiiiKinn connly, 

«. ^ 

^ •• 

HALIDES. 1213 

a half million and a million bushels of salt per year. At the present time;, 
no salt is made^ the brines being utilized at the Mathieson Alkali Works 
at Saltville for the manufacture of sodium carbonate and caustic soda. 
It is reported that in 1842, two establishments were producing salt, with a 
total annual production of about 200,000 bushels. Analyses gave: 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Sodium chloride 98.540 98.146 

Calcium chloride .016 .034 

Calcium sulphate. . . . ,-«i^ — ..^.^^^ L444..^ 1.820 

• • ■ .. . V . . ; 
The following analyses of * the. rock .salt-, attd;' of the salt brines, the 
latter of which are of a very high degree of purity, show the general char- 
acter of the Saltville, Virginia, materlalr ^ 


Percent. Percent. 

Sodium chloride 99.084 93.05 

Calcium chloride trace 

^fagnesium chloride 

Calcium sulphate 0.446 2.40 

Magnesium sulphate 0.07 

Alumina, silica, and iron 0.470 3.64 

Water 0.30 

I. Quoted from C. B. Hayden. 
n. Quoted from Thomas Raddiffe. 

Analyses of brines from ScUtvUle, Virginia. 


Per cent. Per cent. 

Sodium chloride 97.792 98.39 

Calcium chloride 033 

Calcium sulphate 2.17 1.22 

Magnesium sulphate .39 

Alumina, silica, and iron. trace 

Percentage solids in brines ......... 24.60 26.40 

Specific gravity 1.198 

I. Quoted from C. B. Hayden. 
n. Quoted from G. H. Cook. ... 

Analyses of the commercial salt from Saltville, Virginia. 


Per Per Per Per Per Per Per Per 
cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. 

Bodhun ehloride 98.540 98.146 98.45 99.01 99.18 99.11 98.61 98.80 

^Idum chloride 016 .034 .95 .20 .27 .68 1.02 

Jjusneihtm diloride .20 .09 .05 .11 .27 

^mm sulphate 1.444 1.820 

Water .40 .70 .50 .10 .10 

I tod n. Quoted from C. B. Hayden. 

m to Vm indusive. Quoted from G. H. Cook. 


The Mathieson Alkali Works, — The Matliieson Alkali Works^ a cor- 
poration organized under the laws of the State of Virginia for the manu- 
facture of salt^ alkali^ and caustic soda, is located at Saltville, Smyth 
county, Virginia, on a branch of the Norfolk and Western Bailway. The 
process used is that known as the Ammonia or Solvay, a process first made 
a practical working success by Ernest Solvey of Liege, Belgium, and is 
now almost exclusively used by all manufacturers of alkali. The Mathie- 
son Alkali Works are not manufacturing salt at the present time, having 
closed down this portion of the operation in October, 1903. The manu- 
facture of salt, however, will probably be resumed in the near future on an 
extensive scale. The particular product made by this plant is, and has been 
from the beginning, sodium carbonate, commercially known as ''Soda Ash." 
This product is made in large quantities and in all of the different tests 
known to the trade. Caustic soda and bi-carbonate of soda are also manu- 
factured, the former in strengths known as 60, 70, 74, and 76. 

The first product turned out of the plant was in Jime, 1896 ; three years 
later, June, 1898, the company began the manufacture of bi-carbonate or 
cooking soda. This product has been of superior merit from the start, and 
because of this fact, a large and growing trade has been acqxdred. Plate 
XXXIV, figure 1, is a general view of the plant. 

The company operates its own limestone quarry (plate XLVI, figure 
2), which is located about 3 miles from the plant, the stone being conveyed 
from the quarry by means of an aerial tramway. The following are 
representative analyses of limestone from this quarry: 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Calcium carbonate... 97.03 97.03 97.15 96.96 96.73 

Magnesium carbonate 1.24 1.15 0.91 1.12 1.37 


Alumina V 1.04 1.57 2.00 2.00 1.80 

Iron oxide 


The Mathieson Alkali Works through their ownership of the Gastner 
Electrolytic Alkali Company of Niagara Falls, New York, are the largest 
manufacturers of bleaching powder in the United States. They are also 
the only large manufacturers of chemically pure caustic soda, which is 
produced in large quantities at the Niagara plant in connection with the 
manufacture of bleaching powder. 

All products are handled through the firm of Arnold, HofFman and 
Company, Sales Agents, with offices in Providence, New York, Boston, 
and Philadelphia. 

HINKKAL KEiiorui :):» OP Vlltlii: 


FiR. 2.— Gpnetal vifw nf s.ill wells 

I' 1 


BepresentiitiTe analyses of the Saltville, Virginia, salt brine made in 
1906 diow the following results, expressed in grains per liter : 

Sodium chloride 2»IM 286.00 291.00 

Caldnin sulphate 5.18 4.71 4^1 

Calcinin chloride 0.83 0.97 1 .06 

Hmgneunin chloride 0.53 0.23 0.19 

Badcliffe, ThcHnaa. Analysis of Saltville, Virginia, Bock Salt. The Vir- 
ginias, 1884, V, 138; Chemical News, Na 1038. 

• • 

Taylor, S. DiscoTery in Virginia of the Begular Mineral Salt 

Formation. American Journal of Science, 1840, 
XTiT, 214-215. 

Bogers, Wm. B. A Beprint of the Geology of the Virginias, New 

York, 1884. 

For other references on Virginia salt, see under Oypsum, page 335. 


The mineral fluorite, known commercially as fluorspar, a fluoride of 
calcium (CaF,), is sparingly found associated with the ores of lead and 
zinc in the Cambro-Ordovician limestone of southwest Virginia^ in the 
same limestone in Clarke and other counties of the Valley region in north- 
em Virginia; in the mica mines of Amelia county; and as the principal 
g&ngue mineral at the zinc and lead mines in Albemarle county, near 
Faber, a station on the Southern Bailway. 

As yet known, the occurrence in Albemarle county is the only one of 
fluorite in the State where the mineral is found in quantity sufficiently 
large to make it of commercial value. Its occurrence in Albemarle county 
is described in some detail on pages 542-544. It is obtained in the Albe- 
marle county mines as a by-product of the lead and zinc. The increasing 
demand for fluorite should make the Albemarle county deposit of some 

Uses. — The principal uses made of fluorite are in the glass trade for 
enameling, in the manufacture of steel and iron, and in the manufacture 
of chemical compoimds of fluorine. 


Watson, Thomas L. Lead and Zinc Deposits of Virginia. Virginia Geo- 
logical Survey, 1905, I, 156 pages. 

Lead and Zinc Deposits of the Virginia-Tennessee Re- 
gion. Transactions American Institute of Mining 
Engineers, 1905, British Columbia Meeting. 




Quartz. — The mineral quartz, corresponding to the formula SiO, when 
chemically pure and easily recognized by its hardness, glassy luster, lack 
of cleavage, and insolubility in acids, is one of the most common and 
widely distributed of minerals. Quartz crystallizes in the hexagonal sys- 
tem, crystals of which are frequent in occurrence. Its common form is 
massive-granular occurring as veins in the older crystalline rocks. 

Quartz has wide distribution in the State. It occurs as an essential 
tjonstituent of granite, gneiss, and mica schist of the crystalline area; as 
the dominant constituent in the sandstones, quartzites, and conglomerates 
of the Piedmont and Valley regions; and in the form of sand in portions 
of each of the three larger divisions of the State. A principal occurrence 
of quartz in Virginia is as a chief constituent of the numerous p^matite 
dikes and quartz veins penetrating the older metamorphic rocks of the 
crystalline or Piedmont region. 

Quartz has been mined in Virginia in association with mica and feld- 
spar from the large pegmatite dikes near Amelia court-house, in Amelia 
county ; and from a bedded deposit in crystalline schists near Falls Church, 
in Fairfax county, where the quartz forms a hard and beautifully white, 
fine granular quartzite. A beautifully white and pure crystalline quartz 
occurs three-quarters of a mile west of Wirtz post-office, in Franklin coim- 
ty. Preparations are being made to mine the fine grade of white quartz 
sand in Catawba valley, Roanoke county, for glass manufacture. 

Uses. — The purer clear grades of quartz are used to some extent for 
making lenses, and in dieap jewelry. Its principal uses, however, are as 
an abrasive, either as quartz sand or as sandpaper, and in the manufacture 
of pottery. The purer grades of quartz sand are used for glass manu- 

Chert. — Chert, known also as hornstone, a term applied to any impure 
flinty rock, including the jaspers, is a chalcedonic variety of silica. Chert 
has wide distribution in certain beds of the Shenandoah or Valley lime- 
stone of the Valley region, in the form of irregular nodular masses of 
light nearly white, red, brown, and black colors. No special use has yet 
been made of the Virginia chert. 

BUtomaoeoQi earfh. — ^When pure, diatomaceous earth is a soft, pul- 
varokn^ ailioeoiUy day-like material, very fine and porous in texture. 



somewhat resembling chalk and kaolin in its physical properties^ and of 
white, yellow, or gray color. It is very light in weight. Its predominant 
siliceous character is shown in the analyses given below. 

Origin and occurrence, — Deposits of diatomaceous earth are formed 
from the shells and tests of certain aquatic microscopic forms of plant life 
known as diatoms, which have the power of secreting silica in the same 
manner as mollusks secrete lime-carbonate! These low forms of organ- 
isms have a wide range of adaptability and are entirely aquatic, living 
both in salt and in fresh water under different conditions of depth and 
temperature. On the death of the organisms, the siliceous tests accumu- 
late on the bottom of the lake, pool, or pond which they inhabited, forming, 
in the course of time, beds of more or less thickness. Although formed at 
various geologic periods, the beds of known commercial importance of 
diatomaceous earth, both in America and in Europe, are of Tertiary age, 
a period which was apparently particularly adapted to the growth of these 

When examined under the microscope, the material from these earths 
always shows the remains of diatoms or rather similar species, composed, 
principally of silica with varying amounts of water. The deposits are 
frequently rendered impure from the admixture of clay and at times are 
discolored by organic matter. The siliceous nature of diatomaceous earth 
is shown in the analyses given below quoted by Merrill: 

Per cent. 

Per cent 

Per cent. 



Iron oxide 




Water and organic matter. 

L From Lake Umbagogae, New Hampshire. 
n. From Morris county, New Jersey, 
m. From Pope's creek, Maryland. 






6 04 

An analysis of diatomaceous earth from Eichmond, Virginia, gave Mr. 
J. M. CabeU: 



Per cent. 

Silica 75.86 

Alumina 9.88 

Ferric oxide 2.92 

Lime 0.29 

Magnesia 0.69 

Soda 0.08 

Potash 0.02 

Nitrogenous matter 0.84 

Water 8.37 

Total 98.95 

The description of the sample of earth yielding this analysis follows: 
"Sample was procured from the middle of the exposed bed of this earth 
just below the colored normal school on President Hill in Bichmond, 
Virginia. Without any previous treatment the specimen proved to be 
almost exclusively of distinguishable infusoria. It is white with a tinge 
of yellow and feels a little harsh." 

Analyses of diatomaceous earth collected from different points in Tide- 
water (Coastal Plain), Virginia, by Dr. Heinrich Hies, made in the labors^ 
tories of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, at Blacksburg, and published 
in the Clay Report, Bulletin No. II of the Virginia Survey for 1906, 

Per cent. 


Per cent 



Ferric oxide . . . , 

Lime , 




Titanium oxide 




























Weathered diatomaceous earth from 7th street, near Richmond Locomotive 

Works, Richmond, Virginia. 
Diatomaceous earth from along the Rappahannock river, south of Layton. 
Diatomaceous earth from Wilmont, on the Rappahannock river. 

Distribution. — The first bed of diatomaceous earth of any extent dis- 
covered in this country was in the Richmond, Virginia, area. It is com- 
monly known as the Richmond bed, the limits of which are from Herring 
Bay on the Chesapeake, Maryland, to Petersburg, Virginia, and probably 
beyond. It is not less than 30 feet in thickness, in places, though very 

OXIDES. 219 

impure at times. It is of Miocene age and is exposed along the numerous 
streams close to their crossings from the crystalline rocks onto the sedi- 
ments of the CJostal Plain. 

In the Eocene and above it, at a depth of about 558 feet, in the deep 
artesian well at Fort Monroe a stratimi of diatomaceous earth was reached, 
which on critical examination by Samuel Wells yielded abimdant diatoms, 
nearly all of which were identical with those of the Eichmond bed. 

The following detailed description of the Richmond bed of diatoma- 
ceous earth is quoted from Professor Wm. B. Rogers, in "^ Reprint of 
Annual Reports and Other Papers on the Geology of the Virginias," 

"The material in question [diatomaceous earth], composing a thick 
stratum lying between beds of sand and clay, is more or less mingled with 
them, particularly in the vicinity of its bounding surfaces. But through- 
out most of its thickness, it presents a very fine texture, admitting of 
being bruised by the fingers into an almost impalpable powder, and singu- 
larly free from gritty particles. Its colour in the present specimens is a 
very light grey or white, but the fragments into which it spontaneously 
divides at the exposed surface of the stratum often present externally 
a slightly ochreous tinge. It is decidedly, though sometimes indistinctly, 
laminated, the planes of the thin flakes or sheets being horizontal. When 
moistened, it displays considerable tenacity, and hence has hitherto been 
r^arded as a fine clay or fuller's earth.'* 

"Of all its peculiarities, however, capable of being readily discovered, 
its great lightness is the most extraordinary and characteristic. When 
quite free from moisture, a pure specimen has a specific gravity of only 
0.334, that is to say, only one-third the weight of water, bulk for bulk.'' 

"In adverting to the curious and astonishing fact of its being com- 
posed almost entirely of the shells and other appendages of former races 
of animalculffi, it was also mentioned that unlike the microscopic remains 
composing the chief mass of chalk or the larger fossils of our marl beds, 
these minute relics consist entirely of siliceous instead of calcareous mat- 
ter. For this reason it is, that the Leaf Tripoli, or Polir Seheifer of 
Bohemia, as well as other analogous Infusorial products, have so long 
been found valuable in giving a polish to metallic surfaces. Our Infu- 
sorial matter, when properly selected, is capable of being employed for 
this purpose vnth no less advantage, and from the trials I have made, I 
feel assured that when exempt from grit, it may be very usefully substi- 
tuted for the finer varieties of the Tripoli or rotten stone of the shops.'' 


"Of the minuteness of these objects, some idea may be formed from 
the following statements:'* 

"The cylindrical bodies of the medium size are from l-300th to l-400th of 
an inch in length, and from l-1200th to l-1600th in width, but many fall 
greatly short of these dimensions." 

"The rings, which are found separate in great numbers, are usually 
from the l-1500th to the l-2000th of an inch in diameter.*' 


"The circular discs and convex bodies, reticulated with cells, vary 
from 1-lOOth to l-600th in diameter. In each of these are himdreds, and 
even thousands, of beautifully wrought cells. The predominance of these 
flattened forms appears to be the cause of the laminated texture already 
mentioned as exhibited by the Infusorial earth. It is obvious from these 
facts, that the number of such fossils comprised in each cubic inch of 
the material, can only be reckoned in millions or hundreds of millions, and 
that a bushel measure would contain a number of these skeletons and 
shells of former races or animalculse, far exceeding the entire population of 
the globe *' 

"The valley of Shockoe creek, lying between Shockoe hill and Church 
hill, affords numerous favourable opportunities of observing the position 
of the Infusorial bed, and the strata with which it is associated by explora- 
tions along the sides of the bounding hills and the deep ravines by which, 
in many places, they are abruptly trenched." 

"The middle of this valley is occupied by coarse gravel, rarely dis- 
covering any materials in situ. Beside the stream, a little to the left of 
the crossing of Shockoe hill Main street, as continued over towards Church 
hill, a patch of primary is displayed, consisting of Gneiss containing some 
Hornblende, and intersected by several veins of Felspar." 

"At the base of Shockoe hill, a short distance up the principal ravines, 
the felspathic sandstones and conglomerates may be seen, forming the 
channels of the little rivulets flowing in these hollows, and rising, when 
best exposed, to a height of about five feet above the bottom of the ravine. 
Of course, near the outlet of the hollow, the heavy diluvium from the 
upper part of the hill conceals or replaces ever}'thing else, and neither 
the felspathic sandstone nor overlying beds can be seen, until we enter 
bonio depth into the ravine. We may thence trace it upwards, until, in 
conscMjuence of the slope of the surface, we reach a higher level than the 
up])C'r limit of this rock, when it disappears from view. This stratum 
consists of the felspathic sand in irregular layers, loosely cementing 

. . / 




OXIDES. 221 

pdJJ cB of Tamils dimensions from 1 to 4 or 5 inches, some of which 
bdoaDtg to formation I. An analogous material is still more extensively 
exposed in the mill race at the mill, higher up the creek, and composes 
the low knoll on which the mill is placed. Here we find the felspathic 
eandBtone in goieral much stained with ferruginous matter, overlain by 
m bed of very coarse conglomerate of an ochreous stain and unusual 
hirdncBB, Similar sandstones and conglomerates are displayed at various 
pointo along the margin of the stream, for a thickness of several feet 
above its surface.^' 

**BBBtTHg upon this sandstone and conglomerate, we meet with beds of 
sand and sandy clay of a dark greenish and lead colour, and of a light 
grey, mottled with yellow, containing Sharks' teeth and Eocene Carditas, 
Tonitellas, Crassatellas, etc., in the form of casts, together with vague 
T^etabk remains in a carbonized condition. The contact of these Eocene 
strata with the underlying sandstone, is well displayed at numerous 

The diatomaceous beds of eastern Virginia are capable of supplying 
an unlimited quantity of excellent material, but as yet they have received 
only slight attention. 

During his study of the Virginia Coastal Plain clays for the Virginia 
Survey in 1905, Professor Heinrich Ries gave some attention to the 
diatomaceous beds around Richmond. The description of these beds 
given below is taken from Ries' clay report. 

Beds of diatomaceous earth outcrop in great thickness in the embank- 
ment along the tracks by the Richmond Locomotive Works, as well as 
along the sides of the valley to the west. The general character of the 
earth is that of a silty, porous clay, which breaks out in irregular lumps. 
In places, it is traversed by vertical fissures, which are filled with limonite. 
Along the Rappahannock river there are long exposures of the diatoma- 
ceous earth. In places, it forms great bluffs of a yellowish-white color, 
which stand out prominently in the sunlight and can be seen for a long 
distance (plate XXXV, figures 1 and 2). This earth appears to be purer 
and lighter than that around Richmond, but still in places it passes into a 

Samples were collected from several localities and examined with 
some care. Microscopically examined they proved to be somewhat dis- 
appointing for the reason that most of them contained very few diatoms, 
and in some, which to the feel appeared like diatomeceous earth, hardly 
any diatoms could be found. This is due to the fact that the diatoms 


are not uniformly distributed through the deposit, but are found chiefly 
in certain layers. The results of the physical and chemical tests are given 
in the table opposite page 175. 

The analyses of the earths given in the table, opposite page 175, 
collected from different points, show their chemical composition. 

The location of the samples of the Virginia earths collected by the Pro- 
fessor Eies and analyzed in the laboratories of the Virginia Polytechnic 
Institute, is as follows: 

No. 1322. W.eathered diatomaceous earth from 7th street, near 
Eichmond Locomotive Works, Richmond. This, after burning, 
closely resembles the diatomaceous earth from along the Bappa- 
hannock river, near Layton. It seems to be vitrified at cone 5 and 
at cone 8 is viscous. 

No. 1323. This sample was also collected from the same locality 
as No. 1322, but farther from the surface. It is quite impure, and 
shows a high air shrinkage. It bums red and becomes steel-hard 
at cone 05, It is vitrified at cone 5, and nearly viscous at cone 8. 

No. 1358. Diatomaceous earth from along the Rappahannock 
river south of Layton. This burns fairly dense at tiie higher 
cones, and gives a clean color, but is quite porous at the lower 

No. 1363. Diatomaceous earth from Wilmont. This bums to 
a very porous body as can be seen from the absorption figures. 
It has a low air and fire shrinkage. 

It will be seen from an inspection of the chemical analyses (opposite 
page 175), that these earths show much variation in their chemical 
composition. All are quite siliceous, and one of them highly so. Nos. 
1322 and 1323 represent the fresh and weathered parts respectively of 
the same bed. The weathered material is more siliceous and contains 
a lower quantity of fine particles and soluble substances, due probably to 
the leaching action of water filtering through it from the surface. The 
higher silica content seems also to affect its porosity and shrinkage in 
burning. It will also be noticed that the most siliceous one, namely. No. 
J 363 from Wilmont, is exceedingly porous after being burned. 

Uses, — The chief use of diatomaceous earth is for polishing powders 
and scouring soaps. Its porous character renders it an excellent absorbent 
and it has been utilized to mix with nitroglycerine in the manufacture 
of dynamite. As a non-conductor of heat, it has been used for steam 
boiler packing, for wrapping steam pipes, and for fire-proof cement. It 
has also had a limited use in the preparation of the soluble silicate known 
as water-glass. 



Bailey, J. W. 

Cabell, J. M. 
Coryell, Martin. 

Hotchkiss, Jed. 

Fontaine, W. M. 
Hies, H. 

Bogers, Wm. B. 

Stodder, Chas. 


Fossil Infusoria of Virginia and Maryland. I'he 
Virginias, 1881, II, 56-57; American Journal of 
Science, 1844, XLVIII. 

Analysis of Infusorial Earth, Richmond Virginia. 
The Virginias, 1885, VI, 3. 

Diatomaceous Sands of Richmond, Virginia. The 
Virginias, 1881, II, 6-7; Transactions American 
Institute of Mining Engineers, 1876, IV, 230-232. 

The Infusorial Deposits of Virginia in the Fort 
Monroe, Artesian Well. The Virginias, 1882, III, 

The Artesian Well at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The 
Virginias, 1882, III, 18-19. 

A Preliminary Report on a Part of the Clays of Vir- 
ginia. (Jeological Survey of Virginia, Bulletin No. 
II, 1906, 141-144. 

Infusorial Stratum and Associated Tertiary Beds in 
the vicinity of Richmond, Virginia. The Virgi- 
nias, 1881, II, 58-59. Virginia Geological Survey 
Report for 1840. A Reprint of the Geology of the 
Virginias, 1884, 449-453. 

On the Infusorial Earth from the Tertiary of Vir- 
ginia and Maryland, and the Geological Relations 
of the Strata. Boston Society of Natural History 
Proceedings, 1861, VII, 59-64. 

Infusorial Deposits of Virginia in the Fort Monroe 
Artesian Well. A Reprint of the Geology of the 
Virginias, 1884, 733-736. The Virginias, 1882, III, 

The Fossils of the Richmond, Virginia, Infusorial 
Deposit. The Virginias, 1882, III, 159; Boston 
Society Natural History Proceedings, 1875-6, 
XVIli, 206-209. 

2. coEvin)irH Ain) eheey. 

Conindiun. — Corundum, the oxide of aluminum corresponding to the 
chemical formula AljOg, has been noted in two coimties in the crystal- 
line area, east of the Blue Ridge. These are Louisa and Patrick. From 
the first of these, Louisa county, a large deep blue crystal of corundum 
was found some years ago by Mr. Louis Zimmer, in the soil, but the 
exact locality is not known. 


Genth has described the occurrence of comndmn in Patrick county, 
about 2 miles from Stuart, the county-seat, in mica schists on a knob of 
Bull Mountain. The mica schists are partly gametiferous, and are inter- 
sected by granite. The corundum is found associated with andalusite, 
kyanite, chloritoid, and mica, in rough crystals and nodules up to 1 inch 
in length and half an inch in diameter. In color, it is grayish-white 
to white and colorless. It also occurs in finely divided microscopic grainB 
in the mass of associated minerals. According to Pratt, the corundum' of 
this locality is readily cleaned, and tests made for the cleaned product show 
that it is well adapted for the manufacture of the vitrified wheel. 

Emery. — Emery, a granular corundum of black or grayiah-black color, 
and containing intimately admixed magnetite or hematite, is found in 
considerable quantity about 1% miles west of Whittle station on the 
Southern Railway, in Pittsylvania county. It is found on the land of 
Keatts, Craddock, Hargrave, Nance and Yeates, but the only place where 
any attempt has been made to exploit it, is on the Keatts farm. Two 
openings about 300 feet apart and 20 feet deep have been made on 
apparently parallel "veins." Numerous smaller openings are made 
nearby. The rocks enclosing the emery are probably altered amphibolites 
or pyroxenites. 

Miller describes the emery from the Pittsylvania locality as a black 
crystalline mass, magnetic, polar; with a specific gravity of 4.205, and a 
hardness of 8. An analysis of the emery gave Miller : 

Per cent. 

Alumina 56.74 

Ferric oxide 15.50 

Ferrous oxide 20.77 

Silica 0.68 

Titanic oxide 1.86 

Soda 3.96 

Uses. — The principal use made of corundum is as an abrasive. The ruby 
and sapphire corundums are highly prized as gems. 


Genth, F. A. Contributions to Mineralogy. On a New Occurrence 

of Corundum in Patrick County, Virginia. Amer- 
ican Journal of Science, 1890, XXXIX (3. s), 

Miller, W. W.,"Jr. Analysis of Emery from Virginia. American Chemi- 
cal Journal, 1900, XXII, 212-213. 

Pratt, J. H. Corundum and Its Occurrences and Distribution in 

the United States. U. S. Geological Survey, 
Bulletin No. 269, 1906. 

OXIDES. 225 

3. OCHEB. 


As ordinarily used, the term ocher is applied to the earthy and pulveru- 
lent forms of the minerals, hematite and limonite (the anhydrous and 
hydrous oxides of iron, respectively), which are almost invariably rendered 
more or less impure through the presence of other metallic oxides and 
argillaceous or clayey matter. Ocher rarely occurs in nature sufficiently 
pure for immediate use, and it is usually necessary to prepare it by wash- 
ing and grinding in order to free it from the common impurities. 

Natural ochers show a variety of colors which depend in general 
upon chemical composition. Thus the hematites usually give ochers of red 
color, while the limonites give yellow or brown; each of these colors 
being subject to shade variations according to the amount and kind of 
impurities. More directly the natural colors of ocher depend on the degree 
of hydration and oxidation and the kind and amount of impurities. Both 
the red, yellow, and brown ochers are found in Virginia. According to 
their natural colors or sources, various varieties of ocher are distinguished. 


The wide variation in the mode of occurrence of ocher in different 
localities indicates similar variation in its origin. Ocher may result from 
the leaching action of percolating waters and subsequent deposition; as 
residual products, formed by the removal on solution of the soluble parts 
of the original rock leaving the insoluble portions, clay and iron oxide, to 
form the different ochreous colored clays ; from the decomposition of rocks 
rich in iron-bearing silicate minerals ; from the oxidation of pyrite ; from 
the alteration or decomposition of hematite; and from the alteration of 
the more compact forms of limonite. Lastly, as in the Cartersville district, 
Georgia, ocher may result from the molecular replacement of the rock in 
which the deposits are found. 


Ocher of more or less purity is found, and to some extent has been 
mined, in each of the principal geologic divisions of the State, namely, 
the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, and the Valley region. It has 
been mined at the following localities in Virginia: In the extreme 
eastern part of Chesterfield county, near Bermuda Hundred, on the Appo- 
mattox river; in the Little Catoctin Mountain, near Leesburg in Loudoun 


county; near Bedford City in Bedford county; in the vicinity of Marks- 
ville, in Page county; near Keezletown, in Bockinghain county; from the 
western base of the Southwest Massanutten Mountain; and in Page 
and fioddngham counties along Naked creek^ about 5 miles southeast of 
Shenandoah station on the Norfolk and Western Eailway. 

In addition to these^ equally as good ocher deposits are found rather 
widely distributed over parts of the Valley and Piedinont regions, and 
lo some extent the Coastal Plain, which have not been worked. In the 
Valley and Piedmont regions, the ocher deposits are frequently more or 
less closely associated with beds of iron ore. Deposits of ocher which 
vary from red, yellow, and brown in color, and which seem particularly 
promising but not yet developed, are foimd in Campbell and Bedford 
counties; near Bon Air, in Chesterfield county; near Fairfield, in Kock- 
bridge county; near Waynesboro, in Augusta county; and near Bearing 
Run, in Craig coimty. 

In his '^Reprint of the Virginias/' page 49, Professor Itogers states that 
occasional layers of a beautiful yellow ocher are foimd with the beds of 
argillaceous clay of the Miocene in Tidewater, Virginia; and again on 
page 54, in the Miocene beds exposed along the Pamunkey river rests a 
thin ochreous clay as brilliant in. its tint as the first chrome yellow. 
This ocher is of the most impalpable texture when dried, and would be 
found very valuable in coloring. 

In Buckingham county, on Stonewall creek, near the Ross furnace, 
yellow ocher is reported by Professor Rogers in association with beds of 
iron ore, which occur in the micaceous and talcose schists. Also, it is 
found in similar association and traced for many miles sonthwwtward 
from the furnace near New Canton. 


Chesterfield County. 

In the extreme eastern part of Chesterfield county, near Bermuda 
Hundred on the Appomattox river, an excellent grade of yellow ocher has 
been extensively mined. This bed of ocher is associated with the Tertiar.* 
clays and sands of the Coastal Plain. 

The property was purchased in 1872 by the Bermuda Ocher Company 
of New York, which had an investment in the enterprise of $60,000.00 
and employed a force of 40 men. The product was offered on the market 
in 1872 at 2^4 cents per pound in competition with the Rochelle ocher 
which was selling at 3% cents per pound. The effect of this competition 

OXIDES. 227 

was to further reduce the price of both ochers, that of the Rochelle 
ocher to V/^ cents per pound in large lots, and that of the Bennuda ocher 
to 1% cents per pound. The consumers freely admitted their preference 
for Bermuda ocher yet they insisted that it should be sold at a less price 
than the foreign article. 

Volume XV of the Tenth Census for 1880, page 844, states that the 
Bermuda Ocher Company^s mine produced in that year, 1,000 tons of 
ocher valued at $22,000.00 ; that the total number of hands employed was 
30, and the total amount paid in wages was $10,500.00. 

A writer in the Mineral Eesources for 1885 says: ''The crude ochre 
is washed, dried, and then ground into an article which in fineness of 
quality and in adaptation to all the purposes for which a light-yellow 
cchre is used, is unexcelled by that from any other deposit known in this 
country. Three grades are made, all of the same tint but of different 
degrees of fineness, namely, single washed, double washed, and extra 
floated. At the shipping point in Virginia these grades have a value, 
respectively, of $18, $21, and $27 per ton.'* 

Loudoun County. 

B^inning about 1 mile north of Leesburg, in Loudoun county, and 
traced for a distance of about 3 miles northward, ocher has been found 
at numerous points along the eastern base of Catoctin Mountain. Keith 
mapped and described these deposits in 1894 in the Harper^s Ferry folio 
of the United States (Jeologic Atlas. He says : 

^'Ocher has recently been found at several points along the eastern 
base of the Catoctin Mountain in connection with the surface wash. The 
deposits occur beneath the surface of the peneplain at an elevation of 
about 350 feet. They are usually covered by a bed of gravel and sand 
from 2 to 8 feet thick, and lie under the bottoms and slopes where the 
mountain streams deposit their load of sand and gravel. The ocher 
appears to represent the iron taken in solution from the Catoctin schist 
and precipitated where it encounters calcareous solutions from the Newark 

"The ocher thus far prospected is very fine and free from impurities. 
After the lighter part has been floated off, the small residue consists 
of grains of magnetite, ferric hydrate, and sand. The particles floated 
off are ferric hydrate and hydrates of alumina and magnesia. The natural 
colors of the ocher range from yellow into orange and gray; when mixed 
with oil, they change materially and give a great variety of reds, yellows, 
browns, and greens. 


"In the same basins with the ocher, beds of reddle are developed, 
chiefly in the eastern part of the other areas. These are less unctious 
than the ocher, but very fine and tenacious. They are reddish-brown, 
and become darker when mixed with oil. 

"The amount of the ocher deposits is apparently very great, though 
they have not been prospected over a wide area. Inasmuch as the Btreams 
and bottoms along Catoctin Mountain are similar to those already ex- 
plored, it seems quite likely that most of them will be found to contain ocher. 
The depth of the ocher in the larger areas exceeds 30 feet.*' 

Page County. 

About 3 miles south of the village of Marksville, in Page county, and 
near the western base of the Blue Ridge, where the Shenandoah Valley 
Railway crosses Stony Run, ocher has been mined for some years. The 
Oxford Ocher Company of Detroit, Michigan, begun operations here on 
30 acres of land, located on Stony Run, where the ocher was exposed in 
the bluffs along the stream. The company subsequently added 20 more 
acres. A plant for milling and preparing the ocher for market was built 
and, in 1876, 200 tons of ground ocher were shipped. 

In 1877, the production amounted to 350 tons, and since then, about 
1,000 tons per year have been produced. During the early years of 
mining, the product was hauled 18 miles in wagons to New Market and 
shipped over the Baltimore and Ohio Railway. Since then the ocher has 
been shipped from a nearer station on the Shenandoah Valley Railway. 

The ocher is of very light brown color and occurs in the iron-bearing 
shales of Formation No. I, the Primordial (Cambrian) of Rogers. The 
deposit is an extensive one, as all the wells sunk between the company's 
mine and Marksville have gone through the ocher. It is of good quality 
and finds a ready sale. 

Excellent ocher in the same geological horizon is reported further 
southwest along the western base of the Blue Ridge. According to Volume 
XV of the Tenth Census for 1880, 875 tons of ocher were produced in 
1880, valued at $82,500.00. These mines are producing at present. 

According to the Mineral Resources of the United States for 1885, 
an analysis of the ocher mined near Marksville in Page county, Virginia, 

gave: Per cent. 

Iron peroxide 39.00 

Alumina 16.00 

Silica 33.00 

Alkalies 50 

Water 11.50 

IMml 99.00 

OXIDES. 229 

Roddngham County. 

Along Naked creek, about 5 miles southwest of Shenandoah Station 
c»n the Norfolk and Western Eailway, ocher occurs and has been mined, 
partly in Rockingham, and partly in Page county. The ocher occurs in 
the Potsdam (Cambrian) in close association with the brown iron ores 
worked by the Shenandoah Iron Company. The ocher beds are cut across 
by Naked creek which marks the boundary between the two counties. On 
the William Merica place in Rockingham county, both yellow- and orange- 
colored ochers occur. The ocher was first opened by the Virginia Mining 
and Manufacturing Company of Alexandria, and it was proposed that 
the crude ocher be shipped to Alexandria to be ground and prepared for 

According to Volume XV of the Tenth Census for 1880, page 44, the 
production for the year 1880 was 112 tons, valued at $2,240.00. 

Near Keezletown, in the same county and near the western base of 
Massanutten Mountain, brown ocher has been mined. The ocher at this 
locality was first operated by French, Richards and Company of Phila- 
delphia. The ocher occurs near the contact of the Valley or Shenandoah 
limestone of Cambro-Ordovician age and the Hudson River slates of Ordo- 
vician age. It is of very fine texture, of brown color, and good body. An 
analysis by Professor J. L. Campbell dried at 212° F. gave: 

Per cent. 

Ferric oxide 52.28 

Manganese oxide 1.16 

Clay with some Band 40.22 

Water combined 6.35 

Specific gravity 2.82 

Augusta County. 

Professor Fontaine has described in some detail the occurrence of 
several kinds of different-colored ochers on the Samuel Steele place, 2.5 
miles a little northwest from the town of Waynesboro. The ocher occurs 
in the Shenandoah limestone of Cambro-Ordovician age, which rock is 
penetrated by a dike of diabase trending northeast-southwest and traceable 
for a considerable distance. Professor Fontaine says: 

"A band of yellowish clay runs through Mr. Steele's land in a N. E. and 
S. W. direction following the strike of the strata as it seems, and forming 
apparently one of the more decomposable argillaceous layers interstrati- 
fied with the limestone. The limestone next to this is, in places, ver}' 


cherty and seems to have been disturbed. The clay is associated with a 
peculiar yellowish, to dark brown rock, that graduates from a nearly 
pure compact silica to an umber or ocher. Near Mr. Steele's house and for 
a short distance to the S. W., the rock is very siliceous and is accompanied 
by a dark to black wad of impalpably fine texture. This material seems 
to be composed of very fine manganese powder, clay, and iron, with some 
graphite. The manganese and graphite give its character to the rock. 
Sometimes it is purplish in spots, but the most of the mass is nearly 
black, or a very dark brown. It has a soapy or greasy feel, and clings 
most tenaciously to any object touched by it. The deposit of wad varies 
from 10-30 feet in thickness, and in length has been proved for several 
hundred yards, while in depth, the excavations show that it descends more 
than 30 feet. There is clearly an immense supply of it. Frequently lumps 

cf manganese are found in it, sometimes as large as one^s first The wad 

has been tried as a fireproof paint on boilers, and is reported to act finely. 
It mixes well with oil, and has so much "body,^' that little white lead is 
needed to mix with it: From all that I could see I consider this to be 
a valuable material, and I am surprised that it has not been utilized. 

"A little to the N. E. of the deposit of wad, and apparently in the 
prolongation of it, we find no longer the wad, but the siliceous rock has 
become argillaceous, and decayed to a handsome ocher. This varies from 
a rich yellow to a dark brown. The dark brown ocher makes up much the 
larger part of the deposit. There are two beds of it lying in clay. The 
upper one shows a thickness of about 2 feet, and is separated from the 
lower one which is 3-4 feet thick, by 3 feet of clay. Some of this ocher 
is firm and looks like a rock, but it may be easily crushed. The yellow 
ocher occurs replacing a portion of the brown. Both of these appear to 
be suited for paint. This deposit of ocher appears to continue some 
distance to the N. E. and S. W. I was informed by Mr. W. B. Alexander 
that at Red Bank, about 7 miles N. E. of Waynesboro, and on a line 
bearing 40° E. of N. from Mr. Steele's place, similar brown and yellow 
ochers occur. Fauber's umber mine occurs some 4 miles to the S. W., 
in the prolongation of this line of deposits, and is, I think, the same 
material. There is little doubt that a series of ochers of various colors and 
excellent quality could be selected along the outcrops of this material. 
All of the ores and ochers thus far described, lie within a short distance 
of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, and the Shenandoah Valley Rail- 

OXIDES. 231 

Sockbridge Connty. 

According to Professor Fontaine, red ocher of good quality is found a 
half mile from the village of Fairfield in Rockbridge coimty. He describes 
it as being very fine-grained, rather firm in texture, decidedly gritty in 
feel, and most tenacious in its coloring properties. It is found on the land 
of Major DeVines and is reported in large quantity but has not been 

Warren County. 

In Warren county, about a half mile east of the Shenandoah Railway, 
umber has been opened up near Major OveralFs house. Tests are reported 
to have indicated an excellent grade of material. McCreath gives the 

following chemical analysis of it: 

Per cent. 

SUica 31.640 

Alumina 13.510 

Ferric oxide 34.000 

Manganese seaquioxide 6.209 

Lime 720 

Magnesia 1.657 

Alkalies and undetermined .... 3.390 
Water 8.870 

McCreath reports about 100 tons of the umber shipped to Pennsyl- 
vania markets prior to 1884. 


The principal use of ocher is in the manufacture of paints for ex- 
teriors of buildings, the rolling stock of railways, bridges and metal 
roofing. They are used as a pigment for coloring mortars and in the 
manufacture of linoleums and oil-cloths. They have been used to 
produce desirable colors in earthem ware when mixed with a certain 
proportion of manganese oxide. In addition to these, there are certain 
minor very limited uses made of ocher. 


Fontaine, W. M. Notes on the Mineral Deposits of Certain Localities 

on the Western Part of the Blue Eidge. The 
Virginias, 1883, IV, 45-46; 58. 

Hotchkiss, Jed. Hamilton's Metallic Paint. The Virsrinias, 1880, 

I, 33. 

The Oxford Ocher Companv. The Virginias. 1880, 
I, 173. 

The Bermuda Ocher Companv. The Virginias, 1882, 
III, 145. 


Keith, Arthur. Geologic Atlas of the United States. Harper's Ferry 

Folio. U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Prime, Frederick, Jr. The Mineral Eesources of the Page Valley. The 

Virginias, 1880, I, 35-36. 

Rogers, W. B. A Beprint of the Geology of the Virginias, 1884, 49, 

54, 311. 


Ilmenite or menaccanite, known as titanic iron ore, is an opaque, 
iron black mineral, having submetallic luster and differing from mag- 
netite, which it re.s4^'nibles, by its crystalline form and weak magnetic 

The mineral occurs in granular form admixed with white apatite in 
extensive dike-like masses near Roseland and Bryant, in Nelson county, 
and about 4 miles east of Roanoke, in Roanoke county. The rock occur- 
ring at the above localities and composed of the two minerals, apatite and 
ilmenite, is described at more length under Phosphates, on pages 300-302. 
For location of the Nelson county ilmenite deposit, see map, figure 38. 

The mineral ilmenite though abundant and cheap has as yet proved of 
little economic importance. Should the mineral iind an extensive use in 
the future, the Virginia localities noted above will prove to be of con- 
siderable commercial importance. 



Entile is a titanium oxide corresponding to the formula TiOj and con- 
taining theoretically 60 }ht cent, of titanium. It has a hardness of 6 to 
6.5; specific gravity 4.18 to 4.25; metallic adamantine luster, and is 
generally opaque, rarely transparent. Its usual color is reddish-brown 
to red and it is insoluble in acids and is infusible. It occurs chiefly in 
the older crystalline granitic rocks, schists and gneisses, but it is also 
found in niotiiniorphic limestones and dolomites. 


The only locality in Virginia and indeed in the southeast 
Atlantic states where rutile has been mined is near Roseland, Nelson 
county, about T miles northwest from Arrington, a station on the Southern 
Railway. ( Map. figure :^8. ) The de]>osit lies on both sides of Tye river near 

Itoeeland poBt^<^ce, and is owned and operated by the American Rutile 
Company. The entire limiis ol the deposit are yet unknown but comprise 
sereral hundred acres at least on both sides of the river. The country 
rock is a pronounced foliated gneiss, penetrated by an occasional diabase dike. 

Nelsonite Hg^ Rutile 

rig. 38.— Hi 

ooBDty. „ , 

mite. Contour intsTTil, 600 feet 

•■ - ■ '.'■>. r-rr.Ar-- — -r.i; •;;: - - - riATTZ- TLfr "ZiiiaDa" 

'■ ■■■-.= •; . '-r.-' . - -'-.■.- .;.t.*i- n -stw-siuLi. sec I 

■ ■ •' . . .• ff.t.ih-'.vv. , r-.oT iTui vcur- m^r x '.1= 

I I •■../: I -^ .-..-• \: . TTn ^flWBT«-TPT»nig. aH- 

■ •.«•« j/".-.ti ,- :) !.^ "r**.. '. . .-.:.: "'.-^ i" " J-5 TI 
• . » .i ■.! I •!•■ •.tnitiJkilv 

tf f J/» >U4r385l 

.: 4.C.- .J .■ ■■•'.-»:• I'"- "he TT^ "Li"^*^ 

1. . . t .■•■^f. vr /M.n^j 750 pfmncb *?.'.::. 

. :■. .•■.:...;.■. •< '»r -.'•» in4»s Til ii;i.*.- ;::-.- 

. • -t . '•- .. ..-■. ■•-r A.^norlina ■ "h= 

.... : vv^. ...■;: ■.■ "'. ^^ >' :'.#>r iftcr. ritiit*. T^:- 

; ..■..,*•.. : ■ ^r. : ■.;i.:ici*ri '.n ioiibie *ni':s jl 

:;-....■.: ■:.-;! /^ U^iTv, 00 to 33 pcT ^"^nr. 


■ ;'., .i .-•. ,".\. ■':■: I' or pr^aent uses mar- :: 



Fig. 2. — Same as Fig. I, bill Inken from a ditTerpnl (iliicc in the area. 

• ■ • > 

I . ■ 

4 , 



alloys and certain grades of steely for the manufacture of artificial teeth^ 
and of porcelain ware, serving in both as a pigment. Up to the present 
time, the demand for rutile in the United States has not exceeded 200 to 
300 pounds annually. The Nelson county plant is capable of producing 
from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds per day. 


Merrill, G. P. Rutile Mining in Virginia. Engineering and Mining 

Journal, 1902, LXXIII, 351; Science, 1902, XV, 

The Non-Metallic . Minerals : Their Occurrence and 

Uses. New York, 1904, 109-110. 

Snelling, W. 0. Titanium Ores. Mineral Resources, U. S. Geological 

Survey, 1901, 271-278 ; Virginia, 277-278. 

Watson, Thomas L. On the Occurrence of Butile in Virginia. Economic 

Geology, 1907, II, 493-504. 



Elementary manganese is found in nature in the form of oxides, car- 
])onates, and silicates. Of these, only the oxides are of importance in Vir- 
ginia. The principal known oxides are, pyrolusite, (MnOj) ; psilomelane, 
(H^MnOg) ; hausmannite (MnO-MuaOg) ; braunite (SMnjOg.MnSiOg) ; 
polianite (MnOj); niaDganite (MnjOg.HjO) ; and wad, probably an 
impure earthy form of psilomelane. Except when well crystallized, it is 
often diflBcult to discriminate between the different oxides, as they are 
found admixed in nearly all proportions. Usually the well-defined species 
can be separated from one another by their physical and chemical 
properties as tabulated below : 









3.7 -4.7 














Iron black to steel 

Iron black to dark 

steel gray 
Dark steel gray to 

iron black 
Light steel gray 

Brownish black to 

steel gray 
Brownish black 


Black or bluish 

Brownish black 

Reddish brown to 

nearly black 

Same as color 

Chestnut brown 

or hydrous 








separated, but they usually occur admixed in varying proportions. Tbe 
ore is usually partially or entirely crystalline, of a dark steel-blue color, 
and the nodular type, which prevails nearly always, displays the complete 
or partially layered or concentric structure of concretionary masses. 


Manganese has been found in small pockets at several localities in the 
Virginia Coastal Plain area. Near City Point, in Prince George county, 
a deposit of manganese was worked which produced some hundreds of tons 
of ore before it was exhausted. Other deposits are reported to have been 
worked. It is not improbable that other deposits of small extent and 
similar to those mentioned above will be found in parts of the Coastal 
Plain area, but deposits of the extent of some of those worked in the 
Piedmont and Valley provinces of the State, cannot be expected in the 
Coastal Plain area. 



The rocks of this area are crystalline schists, gneisses, and granites. 
They are derived in part from original sedimentary, and in part from 
original igneous, masses, by metamorphism. Manganese-bearing minerals, 
principally silicates, frequently enter into the composition of the meta- 
morphic crystalline rocks of the Piedmont region which, when broken down 
by atmospheric decay, the manganese is liberated in simpler chemical 
form, usually the oxide, and is concentrated in the residual clays derived 
from the rocks through chemical and physical means, sufficient to afford 
workable deposits of manganese. 

Because of the widespread occurrence throughout Piedmont Virginia, 
of rocks composed in part of manganese-bearing minerals, manganese is 
likely to exist, to some extent, in the residual clays derived from these 
rocks over much of the area, but not necessarily in sufficient quantity 
and concentration to be always workable. Workable deposits of manganese 
ores of good quality are found in the following counties of the Virginia 
Piedmont province: Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham. 
Campbell, Nelson. Pittsylvania, and Spottsylvania. In some of these, 
mines yielding a larp^e production of manganese ores have been operated 
for many years. 

OXIDES. 239 


Amherst County. 

At Stapleton Mills in the southern part of Amherst county a manga- 
niferous iron ore is found, which has been mined only to a limited extent. 
As indicated by the analysis below the quality of this ore is such that 
the deposit merits more serious consideration than it has apparently had. 
The quality of the ore is shown in the following analysis quoted by Weeks 
in the Mineral Resources of the United States for 1885. 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 34.56 

Iron (metallic) 22.67 

Phosphorus 08 

Another deposit of manganese is reported from Walker's Ford Station, 
in Amherst county, but, so far as known, it has not been developed, 

Appomattox County. 

Deposits of good manganese ores are known to occur in Appomattox 

county, but, so far as the writer is aware, they have received little or no 

attention. Southeast of Mount Athos in the vicinity of Concord, several 

recent openings have been made exposing good ore. Froehling and 

Bobertson report the following results on analysis of two samples of ore 

from these openings: 


Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 66.60 52.92 

Iron (metallic) 28 2.53 

Phosphorus 174 .002 

Silica 99 10.53 

Buckingham County. 

Deposits of manganese ores are reported in Buckingham county in the 
vicinity of Willis Mountain and Spiers Mountain. No developments have 
been made, but good surface indications are present in these localities. 

Campbell County. 

In the northeastern and the middle western portions of Campbell 
<'ounty, near Mount Athos, Evington, and Lynches to the east and soutii 
of Lynchburg, respectively, large deposits of manganese ores have been 
worked for many years. The principal mines operated in the county are 


the Piedmont Manganese Company's mine (formerly known as the Lemer 
mine) and the Leets mine near Mount Athos, the Saunders mine near 
Evington, and the Bishop mine near Lynches. In 1883, a small pocket of 
manganese ore was opened at Leesville in the vicinity of Lynches, which is 
reported to have yielded about 30 tons of ore. Prospecting for manganese 
ore has been in progress during the year near Lynchburg and Evington, 
with encouraging results at both places, and preparations are now being 
made to mine the ores. 

The Lrets mine is located about 7 miles east of Lynchburg and about 
1.5 miles south of Mount Athos, a station on the James river at the cross- 
ing of the Norfolk and Western and the Chesapeake and Ohio railroads. 
Its production of high grade ores has been very large, probably rank- 
ing next to the Crimora mines, in Augusta county, in quality and quantity 
of ore produced. The ore is of the nodular or kidney t}T>e. The individual 
nodules show considerable variation in size and shape, and are generally 
assembled in the form of nests and pockets in a residual clay derived 
from a dark-colored micaceous schist. The ore is associated with iron. 
Analyses (^f the ore from this mine gave the following result : 

I II in 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic)... 43.58 45.87 44.18 

Iron (meUllic) 5.24 5.34 6.64 

Phosphorus 316 .267 .274 

Silica 7.15 7.77 7.73 

Ore of much better quality than is indicated in the above analyses 
was mined; and during the early period of mining the ore was of 
such superior quality that most of it was shipped to England for use in 
chemical purposes. Weeks gives the following annual production of ore 
from this mine, from 1880 to 1885, inclusive: 

Year Long Tons 

1880 104 

1881 50 

1882 130 

1883 40 

1884 76 

1885 600 

The Piedmont Manganese mins is located about 8 miles east 
of Lynchburg. It was formerly known as the Oxford Furnace Tract 
and was worked by the Lemer Mining Company, which mined from 2,000 
to 3,000 tons of ore. The Piedmont Manganese Company recently ac- 
quired the propeirty and is actively engaged in mining the ore on a large 

OXIDES. 241 

scale. Mining has reached a depth of about 75 feet with no indications 
of the ore giving out. The ore is of excellent grade as shown in the 
analyses given below, and it is suitable for chemical, steel, and brick 
manufacturing purposes. 

Analyses of the ore kindly furnished me by the President, Mr. D. W. 
Meyers, and made by Ricketts and Banks, are: 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 54.50 50.18 

Iron (metallic) 2.70 

Silica 4.00 8.58 

Phosphorus 25 .15 

Sulphur 03 

Water 6.26 

The analysis in column II was made from average samples of a car of 
lump ore, which was poorly washed, and the sample dried at 212° F. A 
large mill is operated at the mines, equipped with all necessary machinery 
for grinding and preparing the different grades of ore for the market. 

At Lynches, a station on the Southern Railway, the Bishop mine pro- 
duced 13 tons of manganese ore in 1885, which was shipped to England. 
The ore was of the same general character and quality as that mined at 
the Leets mine near Mount Athos, and the two mines were operated by 
the same party. 

The Saunders mine, located about 1 mile east of Evington, a station 
on the Southern Eailway, may be taken as a typical example of the manga- 
nese mines in the crystalline area or Piedmont Virginia. This mine was 
first worked about 20 years ago and it has yielded to date a total pro- 
duction of between 6,000 and 7,000 tons of ore. The rocks strike N. 30° E. 
and dip 66*'-74° S. 60° E. The main rock is a thinly foilated mica schist 
composed largely of mica. The underlying rock on the northwest side, 
locally called "foot-wall," is a quartzite more or less schistose. The 
manganese ores occur in the residual clay derived from the decay of the 
mica schist. This decay is usually yellowish in color, often red, and at 
times is of lighter hues. The ore occurs in the form of irregular pockets, 
stringers, and reniform-shaped nodules. Also, it is found as stringers 
and thin sheets or crusts filtered in and downward along the foliation 
planes of the schist Only the oxides occur, pyrolusite and psilomelane. 
It is partly crystalline and of excellent grade. 

The property has been extensively developed by shafts, tunnels and 
open-pitB. The greatest depth reached in mining will not exceed 150 feet, 
and the main tunnel, which produced large quantities of excellent ore, is 


900 feet in length. This tunnel was begun a few feet above local stream 
level and driven from the base of and directly into a prominent north- 
east-southwest trending ridge. 

On Wiley^s Mountain, about 1% miles N. 80° E. of Evington, manga- 
nese ores have been worked by shafts and open-pits to a limited extent. 
The first work was done about 25 years ago and a shaft 106 feet deep 
was operated. In the valley adjacent to Wiley^s Mountain on the north- 
east, a small amount of manganese ore has been mined on the Phillips, 
Martin, and Mortimer places. Some recent prospecting has been done 
on Wiley^s Mountain, and the occurrence of the ore is quite similar to 
that described above at the Saunders mine. It is found in mica schist 
decay confined between two schistose quartzite bands. Strike of the 
schists is N. 40° E., dip N. 70° W. Other recent prospecting has been 
done on some of the adjacent ridges with, in some instances, encouraging 

Nelson County. 

In past years, several deposits of manganese ores have been somewhat 
extensively worked in Nelson county, although the ore is not mined to the 
writer^s knowledge at any point in the coimty at present. The ore occurs 
in the southeastern portion of the county, located about 2 miles north of 
the James river, and in the vicinity of Warminster, and Midway Mills, 
stations on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. The occurrence of the ores 
is in the form of pockets in the residual clays of the crystalline schists. 
Four mines have produced considerable ore. These are the Cabell, Bugley, 
Simpson, and Davis. The Cabell mine, located within two miles of War- 
minster, has not been worked since 1871. In 1868 and 1869, 5,000 tons 
of ore were mined and shipped to New Castle-on-Tyne. A reported analysis 
of this ore shows 82.25 per cent, of manganese peroxide. Two other 
analyses of ore from this mine are reported by Weeks in the Mineral 
Resources of the United States for 1885 as follows : 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 43.30 43.02 

Iron (metallic) 3.67 4.24 

Phosphorus .243 .182 

Silica 17.46 18.61 

The Bugley mine, located about a half mile southwest of the Cabell, 
was worked about the same time and is said to have yielded about 2,000 
tons of ore. 

• Southwest of Warminster, at Midway Mills, the Simpson mine was 
worked in 1882, which produced about 12,000 tons of high grade ore, 

OXIDES. 243 

shipped to Liverpool, England. The mine was developed by a shaft 150 
feet deep winch had to be abandoned on account of flooding from water. 
The grade of ore is reported as having improved on depth; that above the 
water-level yielded 70 per cent, of manganese oxide, and that below the 
water-level gave 80 to 85 per cent. 

The Davis mine, operated in the early eighties, is said to have pro- 
duced 1,000 tons of ore. Weeks quotes the following analysis made of a 

selected sample of this ore : 

Per cent. 

Manganese dioxide 90.42 

Iron seequiozide 2.24 

Alumina 1.13 

Lime 1.22 

Magnesia 2.28 

Silica 1.12 

Phosphoric add 43 

Water 1.26 

Manganese (metallic) 57.16 

Iron (metallic) 1.56 

Phosphorus 188 

An analysis of manganese ore from Monticello gave Mr. Charles 

Per cent. 

Manganese 46.99 

Iron 2.60 

Phosphorus 0.464 

Sulphur 0.21 

Silica 1.68 

Pittsylvania County. 

Deposits of manganese ores are known at several points along the 
Southern Eailway in Pittsylvania coimty, but no attempt at mining them 
has yet been made. About one-quarter of a mile from the Southern Rail- 
way and on Boanoke river, in the northern part of the coimty, a deposit 
of manganif erous iron ore is f oimd, samples of which gave on analysis : 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 24.78 27.86 

Iron (metallic) 29.86 28.14 

Phosphorus 362 .347 

Silica 7.02 4.32 

Becent openings in this vicinity indicate a good deposit of high 
grade ore. Other localities where manganese ores exist are in the vicinity 
of Sycamore and Toshes, stations on the Southern Railway. No develop- 
ments have been made and the extent and quality of the ore are unknown. 




Under this division is included all those counties lying west of the 
Blue Ridge and embracing the Valley proper, and the area west of the 
Valley known as Appalachia. The principal sources of manganese ores 
produced in Virginia, and indeed in the United States, have been from 
the mines of the Valley region of Virginia, also known as the Shenandoah 
Valley. The principal manganiferous ore belt of this region lies along 
the western base of the Blue Ridge and on the eastern side of the Valley. 
This belt has a length of 300 miles in Virginia, and workable deposits of 
manganese have been found in each of the 12 counties bordering on the 
western base of the Blue Ridge. 

Along this belt are foimd the large bodies of iron ore which are asso- 
ciated with the so-called Potsdam, or formation No. I of Rogers, and the 
ores of manganese are associated with those of iron. The manganese ores 
are usually found embedded in residual clays derived by decay from 
Cambrian ferriferous shales, which overlie the Potsdam quartzite. In 
other places over the Valley region, manganese ores occur similarly em- 
bedded in residual clays derived from limestone. Manganese and mangani- 
ferous iron ores are also found in this region associated with other rocks 
than those of the Potsdam and the Cambro-Ordovician limestones; espe- 
cially have they been noted in the basal member of the Devonian, the 

Located in the Valley region of Virginia is the famous Crimora mine 
of Augusta county, which has produced more ore than all other mines in 
the United States combined. The principal operations in the Valley 
province are described below by counties. 


Page County. 

On the lands of the Shenandoah Iron Company near Milnes, a station 
on the Shenandoah Valley railroad, a large quantity of manganiferous ores 
were mined as early as 1884. In 1884, 208 tons of manganiferous ore 
were shipped from these mines, and in 1885 the production amounted to 
2,155 tons. Weeks gives the average of analyses of these ores to be: 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 28.00 

Iron (metallic) 17.00 

Phosphorus 0.15 

OXIDES. 246 

The ore is associated with brown hematite in a wash deposit that 
is irregular and uncertain. Specimens of ore, collected by Mr. McCreath 
from a deposit on the Garrison tract, the top of which is described as a 
fine ore, but becoming coarser and harder on depth, gave the following 
results on analysis 

Fine Ore. Lump Ore. 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 52.691 53.656 

Iron (metallic) 2.325 1.537 

Phosphorus 0.324 0.237 

Silica 2.795 1.965 

Three miles east of Milnes station, a manganiferous iron ore has been 
\7orked at the Kimball mine. This is developed by 2 openings known 
as the Atwood and the Bolan, the largest proportion of manganese being 
found in the Atwood opening. According to Weeks, a mixed sample of the 
ores from 2 openings, in the proportion of two-thirds from the Atwood 
and one-third from the Bolan, gave on analysis: 

Per cent. 

Iron (metallic) 40.857 

Manganese (metallic) 7.349 

Phosphorus 0.084 

Siliceous matter 15.440 

Weeks quotes a second analysis of the ore made by Bowron as follows: 

Per cent. 

Iron sesquioxide 70.00 

Manganese oxide 13.31 

Phosphorus trace 

Silica 4.73 

Alumina 0.86 

Water 11.03 

Mr. E. A. Schneider reports the following analysis made of manga- 
nese ore from the Round Head tract, near Marksville: 

Per cent. 

Manganese 51.46 

Iron 2.94 

Phosphorus 0.23 

Silica 4.17 

Water 4.97 

Two miles southwest of Marksville good surface indications of man- 
ganese occur over a considerable area. A sample of the ore was analyzed 
by Booth, Garrett and Blair with the following results : 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 49.613 

Iron (metallic) 1.050 

l^hoephorufl 0.310 


Auguita County. 

This is the most important manganese producing county in the country, 
because largely of the famous Crimora mines, which have produced more 
ore than all other mines in the United States combined. lTiima:oiiB 
other mines have been operated in Augusta county, which have been 
opened up near and along the Shenandoah division of the Norfolk and 
Western Railway, near Lyndhurst, Stuarfs Draft, Vesuvius, and Waynes- 

The most important mine in this county and indeed in the United 
States, is the Crimora, located 2.5 miles southwest of CrimKMra, a station 
on the Shenandoah railroad, with which it is connected by a brandi road. 
A stock company bought the land containing this mine in 1867 aod mining 
was continued until 1869, when it was alternately idle and work^ until 
1882. In 1882, the mines were leased and systematic productdon of ore 
on a large scale was begun. The ore is localized in an'elliptical-ehaped 
basin about 500 feet wide and 800 to 900 feet long of Potsdam quartzite, 
which is a very hard and dense, light-colored rock. 

Figure 40 shows the ground plan of the immediate vicinity of the 
mine. Figure 41 represents cross-sections along the lines marked in 
figure 40. On the east side the quartzite dips to the westward along 
the line AA in figure 40. CC marks the position of an anticline the 
beds of which dip both toward the west and the east, forming a syndine 
to the east, the axis of which is indicated by the line BB. 

The basin is filled with a clay derived by decay from an overlying 
Cambrian shale. The clay has been preserved from erosion throu^ sharp 
synclinal folds. The ore, which is largely psilomelane, is irregularly 
assembled in the clay in the shape of nodular lumps and masses from the 
size of a small pebble to those weighing a quarter of a ton or more. In 
places, the ore seems to be distributed through certain layers of the day 
more than through others, but, wherever found, its distribution is irregular 
and it does not conform to the bedding. The mine is shown in plate 
XXXVII, figure 2. 

The clay filling the basin, through which the ore is distributed, is 
covered with a variable depth of drift, derived by wash from the adjacent 
mountain slope. This drift is composed of admixed clay and large and 
small quartzite fragments, and has a probable depth of 15 feet, which 
requires to be stripped from the ore-bearing clays imdemeath, before 
working. In color, the ore-bearing clay is yellow, buff, and of lighter 



Fig. 2. — Crimora iiianHnnfue iiiinpfi, Augusta county. Virginia. 

* ' 



Fig. 41. — 8«ctioQB throQfth Grimon mtngsnese deposits. (After C £ Hall) 


shades. The ore is further assembled in this clay in the form of nests, 
pockets, and stringers, which may or may not be connected. 

The ore is principally psilomelane, with some pyrolusite, and wad. 
Quite a good proportion of it is crystalline in texture. A commodious 
mill for preparing the ore for shipping is operated at the mine and is 
shown in plate XXXVII, figure 1. At present, about 16 per cent, of the 
ore requires jigging and practically all of it is washed to free it from 
adhering clay. The ore, mined to date, will probably average 48 per cent, 
of metallic manganese, 1.5 to 2 per cent, metallic iron, phosphorus 0.05 
per cent., and silica 7 to 8 per cent. The ore is characterized by uniformlj 
low phosphorus, the highest not exceeding .112 per cent. In the jigged 
ore, silica will give a higher average than quoted above, sometimes exceed- 
ing the limit, 10 per cent. 

McCreath gives the following complete chemical analysis of lump man- 
ganese ore, comprising 228 pieces from which the sample was prepared, 

from the Crimora mine: 

Per cent. 

Binoxide of manganese 81.703 

Protoxide of manganese 7.281 

Sesquioxide of iron .533 

Cobalt oxide .364 

Nickel oxide 096 

Zinc oxide 623 

Alumina .896 

Baryta 829 

Lime 880 

Magnesia .630 

Phosphoric acid .171 

Alkalies 467 

Water 3.405 

Silica 2.132 

Manganese (metallic) 57.291 * 

Iron (metallic) .373 

Phosphorus .075 

Weeks reports the following analyses of manganese ore from the 

Crimora mines: 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 48.530 50.541 48.162 44.641 

Iron (metallic) 1.985 1.957 4.568 3.263 

Phosphorus 0.103 0.095 0.087 

SiUca 10.20 10.12 10.30 14.00 

According to McCreath an analysis of the best grade of ore from 
the Crimora mine gave as above : 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 67.291 

Iron (metallic) 373 

Phosphorus 076 

OXIDES. 249 

Fifty-six acres of ground have been tested by 700 drill-holes put 
down to a depth of 160 feet. The underlying quartzite is reached by 
drilling at a depth of 212 feet. The greatest depth reached in working 
the ore is 198 feet. The total area of worked ground is about 12 acres. 
Of this acreage, the American Manganese Company worked about 8^^ 
acres; the additional 3 acres have been worked by the Crimora Manga- 
nese Company of New Jersey, which is operating at present. The worked 
area has been stripped to a considerable depth and is further developed 
by numerous pits, entries, and shafts. 

Adjoining the Crimora mine on the south, is the mine of the Old 
Dominion Manganese Company, A number of openings were worked many 
years ago close to the line of the Crimora mine, but these are now entirely 
filled in and hardly any indication of them remains. A shaft has recently 
been sunk in a reef of hard quartzite near the old openings and near the 
line, from which both the Crimora Manganese Company and the Old 
Dominion Manganese Company are working. The former company is 
operating a drift from this shaft at the 186-foot level which passed through 
2,800 feet of the quartzite before penetrating the clays. The Old Domin- 
ion Manganese Company is operating a drift from the same shaft at the 
176-foot level. 

In 1859, Siberi; opened a mine on Bear creek, 2 miles southeast of 
Lyndhurst station, and close up to the western base of the Blue Ridge. 
A shaft was sunk which struck the ore at a depth of 45 feet. A drift 20 
feet long was run from the bottom of the shaft and it is reported that 
250 tons of ore were mined from the drift and shaft and shipped to 
London. Analyses of the ore taken from this mine made by J. Blodgett 
liritton, gave: 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese peroxide 93.06 80.77 

Iron peroxide trace 2.98 

Silica 18 3.98 

Alumina 91 2.81 

Baryta 2.81 .31 

Water 2.75 2.93 

A new shaft was sunk in 1885 and 1886. 

Manganese ores were mined by Sibert before the War on the Kennedy 
tract at the foot of the Western Blue Ridge, 3 miles from Stuari;'s Draft, 
a station on the Shenandoah Valley railroad. It is reported that 100 
tons of ore were mined here in 1859. Both manganese and manganiferous 


iron ores are reported on this property. An analysis of the manganese 
ores made by Professor F. P. Dunnington from the Kennedy tract gave: 

Per cent. 

Aianganese (metallic) 43.30 

Iron (metallic) 3.88 

Sulphur 083 

Phosphorus 52 

Barium 6.93 

Silica, water, etc 17.69 

Manganese and manganiferous iron ores have been mined from a 
number of places in the vicinity of the old Cotopaxi and Vesuvius furnaces, 
near the line between Augusta and Rockbridge counties, and close to the 
Shenandoah Valley railroad. The principal mines are, the Blue, Faubefy 
Newton, Kelly, and several others, on Big Mary creek. It is reported 
that Sibert mined 75 tons of nodular masses and lumps of psilomelane 
at the Fauber mine. Weeks reports an analysis made by McCreath of a 
sample of ore comprising 143 pieces, taken from along the face of the 

open-cut at the Newton mine, as follows: 

Per cent. 

Iron (metallic) 41.125 

Manganese (metallic) 8.221 

Phosphorus 265 

Siliceous matter 14.830 

Tlie Kelly mine is in Eockbridge coimty and is a part of the old 
Vesuvius furnace property. Both iron and manganiferous ores are found, 
the latter occurring nearer the Potsdam than the former. 

Tn the summer of 1906, the Raymond Mining Company was operating 
a property 4 miles east of Stuart^s Draft on the Shenandoah Valley 
railroad. Manganese mining near Lyndhurst station was also in progress 
in 1906 by Kendall and Flick. 

The above mines at Vesuvius and Lyndhurst have recently been ac- 
quired by the Manganese Corporation of Virginia and preparations are 
being rapidly made for the extensive mining and shipping of ore. The 
ore is reported to be of excellent quality, that from the Vesuvius mines 
showing from 45 to 47.72 per cent, manganese, and as low as 0.065 per 
cent, of phosphorus. 

Rocking^ham County. 

In 1894, the Kendall and Flick mine, near Elkton, in Rockingham 
county, is reported to have produced the largest amount of ore in the State. 
The production is given at 1,190 tons and the ore averaged from 48 to 
49 per cent, of metallic manganese. It contained a small excess of silica 

OXIDES. 251 

but was within the limits in phosphorus. This mine continued operations 
in 1896 but is not now producing. An analysis of the ore gave : 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 48.25 

Ir<m (metallic) 2.70 

Silica 10.60 

Water 4.00 

Professor F. W. Clarke reports the following analysis of manganese 
ore from the Church Mountain mine. A noteworthy feature is the high 

cobalt : 

Per cent. 

Insoluble matter 22.11 

Iron and aluminum oxides 5.14 

Manganese 39.20 

Cobalt 2.48 

IgnHion 11.30 

Manganese ores, analyzed by Mr. Charles Catlett, from near Elkton, 

Rockingham county, gave: 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese 43.94 49.66 48.75 

Iron 3.43 8.53 2.79 

Phosphorus 0.166 0.076 0.085 

Sulphur 0.07 0.089 trace 

Silica 15.88 1.80 15.08 

Botetourt County. 

The most extensively worked manganese mine in Botetourt county is 
the Houston, located about 1 mile from Houston, a station on the Shenan- 
doah Valley railroad. The manganese deposits at this mine are situated 
well up on the west slope of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of about 400 
feet above the drainage level of the surrounding country. Manganese ores 
are here found over a distance of nearly 1 mile extending in a N. 35° E. 
direction. Many openings have been made from which large quantities of 
ore have been taken. The rock associations here are apparently the same 
as those described above at the Crimora mine in Augusta county. The rock 
imdemeath the clays is the Potsdam quartzite. 

The ore comprises manganiferous iron and manganese in close associa- 
tion. In the eighties, the Houston mine was the principal producer of man- 
ganiferous iron ores in Virginia. The manganese ores occur in a tough 
yellow clay assembled as nests and pockets, which yielded in some cases 100 
to 150 tons of high grade ore in lumps the size of an egg and smaller, and 
sufficiently clean to require no washing. The pockets of manganese 
ore are sometimes found next to the iron ore. According to Weeks a 


selection of 116 pieces representing the iron ore, and 68 pieces represent- 
ing the manganese ore, gave McCreath on analysis: 

Iron Ore. Manganese Ore. 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 7.277 44.312 

Iron (metallic) 47.150 12.325 

Phosphorus 061 .101 

Siliceous matter 8.030 5.470 

A selected sample of the manganese ore from the same mine gave: 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 59.870 

Iron (metallic) 600' 

Phosphorus .049 

Silica 2.300 

The production of ore from this mine for the years 1883 to 1885, 
inclusive, was 4,810 long tons proportioned as follows: 

Long ton**. 

1883 2,900 

1884 828 

1885 1,082 

An analysis of manganese ore on the Champman property south of the 

Houston mines gave : 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 45.80 

Iron (metallic) 3.06 

Phosphorus 164 

Frederick County. 

The Paddy Mills manganese mine in the southwest comer of Frederick 
county has produced about 2,000 tons of manganese ore, mined mostly 
before the War. The mine occupies a conical -shaped hill about a square 
mile in area and rises to an elevation of about 150 feet above the drainage 
level of the surrounding country. The ore is pyrolusite associated with 
limestone. It averages about 50 per cent, metallic manganese, 4 per cent, 
metallic iron, and from .09 to .10 per cent, phosphorus. The greatest 
depth reached in mining is 50 feet. 

Shenandoah County. 

Manganese ores were somewhat extensively worked and shipped before 
the War at Van Buren furnace, in Shenandoah county. The ore is reported 
as having occurred in pockets that were more or less continuous and could 
1 e traced on the surface for a distance of more than 3 miles. The principal 

OXIDES. 253 

mine was located at the western end of Cupola Mountain, although good 
indications are reported in the broken hills to the southwest of this 
mountain. The washed ore is reported to have analyzed upwards of 70 
per cent, manganese oxide. 

At Powell's Fort on the northeast Massanutten Mountain, in Shenan- 
doah county, manganese ores were mined at different times for many years. 
More than 1,000 tons of ore were shipped from this property prior to 1886. 
It was developed by 3 or more shafts of considerable depths. The ore is 
described as being remarkably clean; almost entirely free from foreign 
matter, and is a good grade of soft crystallized pyrolusite. According to 
Weeks, analyses of the ore jdelded J. B. Britton 94.30 per cent, of manga- 
nese oxide in one sample, and G0.6G per cent, metallic manganese in 
another sample. A sample of ore taken from the mine of the Manganese 
and Iron Company's property was analyzed at the laboratory of the Albany 
and Rensselaer Iron and Steel Company, Troy, New York, with the follow- 
ing results: 

Per cent. 

Manganese 50.302 

Iron 0.844 

Phosphorus 0.190 

Silica 1.500 

An analysis made of a specimen of manganese ore from Powell's Fort, 
east end of Massanutten Mountain, Warren county, gave Mr. Charles 
Catlett : 

Per cent. 

Manganese 48.59 

Iron 3.07 

Phosphorus 0.349 

Sulphur 0.12 

Silica 9.20 

Rockbrldg^e County. 

On Guy Run, about 6 miles south of Goshen, a station on the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Railway, an extensive deposit of manganese associated with iron 
has been worked at several different times. The manganese ores are 
embedded in clays in the form of pockets and are found in close proximity 
to the brown iron ores of the Oriskany horizon. An analysis of the man- 
ganese ore from this locality gave: 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 64.59 

Iron (metallic) 3.01 

Phosphorus .55 


An analysis of manganese ore by Chatard from Harts Bottom gave : 

Per cent. 

Aianganese 41.69 

Iron 2.18 

Phosphorus 0.22 

Sulphur 0.12 

Other Valley Deposits. 

Along the Cripple Creek extension of the Norfolk and Western Bailway, 
numerous openings are made in Pulaski, Wythe, and Smjrth counties, from 
which manganese and manganiferous iron ores have been mined. 

Four miles east of Radford furnace, in Pulaski county, on Mack's 
Moimtain, manganese ore associated with brown iron ore, occurs. An 
analysis made of a sample of 132 pieces of the ore by McCreath gave: 

Per cent. 

Iron (metallic) 39.976 

Manganese (metallic) 14.785 

Phosphorus 1.074 

Siliceous matter 5.840 

Four miles southwest of Max Meadows, in Wythe county, and at the 
Noble furnace in the same county, manganiferous iron ores have been 
mined, which showed on analysis 49 to 51 per cent, metallic iron, and 3 
to 5 per cent, metallic manganese. 

At the Razor bank on the South Fork of the Holston river, in Ryj 

Valley; on Chestnut Eidge, 6 miles from Seven Mile Ford Station; and 

near Marion, Smyth county, manganiferous iron ores have been opened. 

An analysis of a sample comprising 133 pieces of the ore from the Razor 

hanJc gave McCreath : 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 10.181 

Iron (metallic) 40.100 

Phosphorus .536 

Siliceous matter 10.520 

Likewise a sample of the ore from near Marion, Smyth county, gave 

on analysis: 

Per cent. 

Manganese (metallic) 9.91 

Iron (metallic) 45.32 

Phosphorus 086 

Silica 1.76 

Many outcrops and other indications of manganese ore are found in 
Qnag, Oiles, Bland, and Tazewell counties. Some of the ore has been 

OXIDES. 255 

mined to a limited extent in different places, but as yet no extensive develop- 
ments have been made. These ores are usually associated with those of 
iron and are reported largely from the Oriskany horizon. 

Seven manganese deposits have been opened on Gap Moimtain^ in 
Craig county, and the analyses given below of the ore from these open- 
ings show its character: 


Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganeee (metellic) 45.00 52.42 49.48 53.06 50.50 

Iron (metalUc) 6.83 1.82 4.81 

Phoephorus 085 .303 .063 .058 .026 

Silica 4.70 .46 2.63 1.67 .58 

I and II. Analyses by T. T. Morrell, Cambria Iron Company. 
III. Analysu by 8. P. Sharpless. 
IV and V. Analyses by Vulcan Steel Works, Saint Louis, Missouri. 

Analyses of manganese ore from Lick Mountain, near Wytheville^ 
Wythe county, gave Mr. Charles Catlett the following results : 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Mi&nganese 41.89 57.67 51.05 44.60 

Iron 2.57 1.98 2.92 3.96 

Pbosphonis 0.036 0.009 0.161 0.46 

Sulphur 0.09 0.067 tract tract 

Insoluble matter 4.05 1.85 4.32 15.81 

Analyses of manganese ore from Cripple creek, 8 miles from Wythe- 
ville, W3rthe county, gave Mr. Catlett: 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Manganese 24.86 32.65 

Iron 2.72 3.61 

Phoephorus 0.05 0.097 

Sulphur trace 0.030 

Silica 47.30 27.86 


The nature of the manganese ores mined in Virginia is one of irreg- 
ular distribution, in the form of nodules and pockets, through residual 
clays, which range in thickness from a few feet up to several hundred 
feet. The ore distribution varies considerably, and the deposits are limited 
both vertically and laterally; hence the methods for operating in one 
place will necessarily vary somewhat in detail from those in another. 
The method of mining will depend largely upon the location of the deposits 
and their depth helow the surface. Open-pit and cut, shaft and tunnel, 
work are employed. These are often used together to advantage in the 
same place, especially where the ore begins at or near the surface and 
continues irregularly to some depth below. In such cases, open-pit and 


cut work is used, and from the bottom of the open work shafts are sunk 
and drifts are run at different levels from the shafts. Tunnelling be- 
comes necessary in most of the steeper slope deposits. In the lower or 
flat-lying deposits, shafting is most advantageously employed. In most 
cases of tunneling and shafting in the larger operations, timbering is 
necessary on account of the liability of caving of the clays. 


The occurrence of the ores in the clay mean, usually, more or less 
admixture of the ore with clay. Usually, the only treatment of the ore 
necessary before shipping is to free it from adhering clay. Crushing and 
jigging are necessary in the spongy or porous type of ore, the numerous 
cavities of which are filled with the clays; also in those ores containing 
considerable free quartz grains and cemented fragments of the rock. 
Washing will usually suffice for cleansing the bulk of the ore. In the 
crushed and jigged ore, subsequent washing is also necessary. 

For washing the ore the ordinary log-washer is used similar to that 
used for cleansing brown iron ores. Briefly, the log- washer consists of a 
long and stoutly built box, of sufficient length and depth to contain the 
log. The box or trough is elevated at one end. A log or central shaft 
25 to 40 feet long, carrying heavy iron flanges, spirally arranged the 
length of the log, revolves lengthwise in the box or trough. The ore is 
led at the lower end of the box and is gradually forced by the revolving 
lo^^ to the u])per end, where it passes out. A constant stream of water plays 
on the ore in the box. The constant agitation and beating of the ore by 
the log and the washing by water frees it from adhering clay. Steam 
is the motive power. 


Penrose divides the various uses made of manganese and its 
compounds into three classes: (1) Alloys; (2) oxidizers; and (3) color- 
ing materials. Each class includes the application of manganese in various 
manufactured products or as a reagent in the different metallurgical and 
chemical processes. The more important of these are given below: 

f Spiegeleisen ) ^jj ^^ manganese and iron. 
I Ferromanganese j -^ » 

. ,j ^ J Manganese bronze — Alloys of manganese and copper with or without iron, 
oys. ^ ^ j^ alloy of manganese, aluminum, zinc, and copper with 

Oliver bronze | ^ ^^^.^j^^ quantity of silica. 
Alloys of manganese with aluminum, zinc, tin, lead, magnesium, etc. 


OXIDES. 267 

' Manufacture of chlorine. 
Manufacture of bromine. 

As a decolorizer of glaas (also for coloring glass, see below). 
As a drier in yamishes and paints. 
LeClanche's Battery. 
Preparation of oxygen on a small scale. 
Manufacture of disinfectants (manganates and permanganates) 

r Calico printing and dyeing. 

Coloring J Coloring glass, pottery, and brick. 

Materials \ p„. ^^ i Green. 

I ^*'"^ \ Violet. 

In addition to these^ a certain amount of manganese is used as fiui. 
in the smelting of silver ores, and its various salts are employed in chemical 
mannfacture and for medicinal purposes. In the manufacture of glass, 
the manganese is used to remove the green color caused by the presence 
of iron and to impart various colors to the glass, particularly the violets, 
browns, and blacks. Manganese finds its principal use in the manu- 
facture of iron and steel, chiefly in the production of steel and of a 
pig-iron rich in manganese for use in cast-iron car-wheels. 

According to Weeks in the 16th Annual Report, United States Geologi- 
cal Survey, Part III, page 394: "It has been found in recent years that 
a chilled cast-iron car-wheel containing a percentage of manganese is much 
tougher, stronger, and wears better than when manganese is absent. For 
this reason large amounts of manganiferous iron-ores are used in the 
manufacture of Lake Superior charcoal, pig-iron intended for casting 
into chilled cast-iron car-wheels.^^ 


Virginia is the largest producer of manganese ores in the United 
States, and, with but 6 exceptions, has ranked first among the 
manganese-producing states in the United States for the past 26 years. 
The table below gives the production of manganese ores in Virginia from 
1880 to 1906. The chief production of manganese in Virginia has been in 
the Shenandoah Valley. In this Valley, southwest of Roanoke, there are 
veiy promising indications of ore, but no great amount of ore has yet been 
raised. In addition to the ore produced in the Valley and in the Piedmont 
r^on, manganiferous iron ore has been produced in places in the Blue 
Ridge mountains proper. 



Annual production of manganese and manganiferous iron ores in Virginiii 

from 1S80 to 1906. 



. Manganifgfow 





ous iron 


Long ton8 

Long tons 

Long tons 

Long tons 















































































Ferceniaye of the total annual production of manganese ores in the 

United Staies, produced by Virginia,* 











1 889 . 




Per cent. 














Per cent. 

111 hs8y and 1890, the Crimora and Houston mines produced nearly 
all the ore. During the same years the Leets mine near Mount Athos pro- 
duced some high grade pyrolusite which was used in the manufacture of 
glaa.s and bromine. 


OiiiiiiiiigLon, F. P. On The Formation of Deposits of Oxides of Manga* 

nese. American Journal of Science, 1888, XXX VI. 

*'J UiiiMi (uileulations are based on the total production in Virginia and the total 
f;i«/<lii< f iou in the United States by vears as given in the Minenl Reeources of thf 

I ^ • r » 

'.•.:•. Ji. ^ 





W. M. 

■-^- • . 


IbBill, O. P. 

American Manufacturer. The Grimora Manganese Mine of Virginia. 

Engineering and Mining Journal, 1890, XIAX, 

Hally C. E. Geological Notes on the Manganese Ore Deposits of 

Crimora, Virginia. Transactions American Institute 
of Mining Engineers, 1892, XX, 46-49: Engineer- 
ing and Mining Journal, 1891, LII, 94. 

Crimora Manganese Deposits. The Virginias, 1883, 
IV, 44^6. 

Notes on the Mineral Deposits at Certain Localities in 
the Western Part of the Blue Ridge. The Virgi- 
nias, 1883, IV, 21-22, 42-47, 56-69, 73-76, 92-93; 
1884, V, 43. 

The Non-Metallic Minerals. New York, 1904, 119- 

PenroBe, B. A. F. Manganese: Its Uses, Ores and Deposits. Annual 

Report of the Arkansas Survey, 1890, I. 

Weeks, J. D. Manganese. Mineral Resources of the United States, 

1886, 303-356. 

Manganese. Report on Mineral Industries in the 
United States at the Eleventh Census for 1890, 

Manganese. 16th Annual Report, U. S. Geological 
Survey, 1896, Part III, 329-467. 

Manganese. Mineral Resources of the United States, 
1892, 169-226. 

Each Tolume of the Mineral Resources of the United States from 1882 
to date, oontaina some information on the Virginia manganese deposits. 
See also the yolumes of the Mineral Industry. 


XiiMral Waten. — ^The mineral waters of Virginia are an important 
souroe of reronue. Virginia has a very large number of spring resorts 
and a greftt Taiiety and abundance of well known commercial waters. 
Indeed, Yixginia is par excellence a mineral spring state, occupying among 
the Sonih Atlantic States the same position New York does in the North 
Atlantic sectioiL Virginia is second only to New York in the number 
of apringB that are utilized commercially, and exceeds New York in the 
number of resorts. The Hot Springs of Virginia, in Bath county, are 
among the most celebrated in the country. (See plate XXXVIII.) 


Most of the best known springs in the State are located in the Monntain 
region, which includes the Blue Bidge and the Alleghanies. Many excel- 
lent springs occur in the Piedmont region, east of the Blue Bidge, and 
the waters from some of these are among the most celebrated in the 

All classes of mineral waters are found in the State. They are naturally 
divided into (1) those containing mineral salts in such proportion as to 
give them medicinal value, and (2) those approximately pure waters 
which are sold extensively for table or domestic use. The thermal springs 
are entirely confined to the Mountain region. 

Out of the total of 59 mineral springs credited to Virginia, 43 reported 
sales during the years 1904 and 1905. These were: 

^tna lithia Springs, Boanoke, Boanoke County. 
Alleghany Spring, Alleghany Springs, Montgomery County. 
Augusta White Lithia Spring, near Augusta Springs, Augusta 

Basic Lithia Spring, Basic City, Augusta County. 
Bath Alum Springs, Bath County. 
Bear Lithia Spring, near Elkton, Bockingham County. 
Beaufont Lithia Spring, Beaufont, Chesterfield County. 
Bellfont Lithia Spring, Manchester, Chesterfield County. 
Berry Hill Mineral Spring, near Elkwood, Culpeper County. 
Blue Eidge Spring, Blue Bidge Springs, Botetourt County. 
Buffalo Lithia Springs, Buffalo Lithia Springs, Mecklenburg Comity- 
Como Lithia Springs, East Bichmond, Henrico County. 
Crockett Arsenic Lithia Spring, Crockett Springs, Montgomeiy 

Diamond Spring, 5 miles east of Norfolk, Norfolk County. 
Farmville Lithia Spring No. 2, Cumberland County, near Farm— 

ville, Prince Edward County. 
Fonticello Lithia Spring, near Bichmond, Chesterfield County. 
Golinda Lithia Spring, Augusta County. 
Harris Anti-Dyspeptic and Tonic Springs, Burkeville, Nottoway 

Healing Springs, Healing Springs, Bath County. 
Hume Spring, Bancroft, Alexandria County. 
Hunter Pulaski Alum Spring, Walkers Valley, Pulaski County. 
Jeffress Lithia Silica Spring, Jeffress, Mecklenburg County. 
Kayser Lithia Spring, Staunton, Augusta County. 
Lone Jack Spring, Lone Jack Station, Campbell County. 
Magee Chlorinated Lithia Spring, Clarksville, Mecklenburg County- 
Massanetta Springs, Harrisonburg, Rockingham County. 
Mecklenburg or Chase City Mineral Springs, Chase City, Meckleii' 

burg County. 

OXIDES. 261 

Montvale Hygeia Springs, Montvale, Bedford County. 

Nye Lithia Springs, WytheviUe, Wythe County. 

O'Connell Lithia Spring, near Stribling Springs, Augusta County. 

Otterbum Lithia and Magnesia Springs, Amelia, Amelia County. 

Paeonian Spring, Pseonian Springs, Loudoun County. 

Bockbridge Alum Springs, Rockbridge Alum Springs, Rockbridge 

Rockingham (Virginia) Springs, near McGaheysville, Rockingham 

Seawright Magnesia Lithia Spring, Staunton, Augusta County. 
Seven Springs, near Glade Spring, Washington County. 
Shenandoah Alum Springs, near North Mountain, Shenandoah 

Stribling Springs, near Staunton, Augusta County. 
Sublett's Lithia Springs, near Danville, Pittsylvania County. 
Virginia Lithia Springs, Osceola, Chesterfield County. 
Virginia Magnesian Alkaline Spring, near Staunton, Augusta 

Wallawhatoola Alum Springs, near Millboro Spring, Bath County. 
Wyrick Spring, Crockett, Wythe County. 

Chemical Analyses. 

It is only possible to give analyses of water from a few of the repre- 
sentative mineral springs in the State. The analyses of the springs repre- 
sented have been selected with the view largely of indicating the variety 
of mineral waters in the State, which are of commercial value. Waters 
from some of the most important springs in Virginia are not included 
in the list for the reason that representative analyses were not available. 

The following is an analysis of the Alleghany Springs water near 
Shawsville, Montgomery county, made by Dr. P. A. Gtenth: 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Calcium carbonate 3.61 grains 

Maffnesium carbonate 0.36 ** 

Litnium carbonate trace 

Strontium carbonate 0.06 " 

Barium carbonate 0.02 " 

Magnesium carbonate 0.06 " 

Iron carbonate 0.16 " 

Cobalt carbonate trace 

Zinc carbonate trace 

Copper carbonate trace 

Lead carbonate trace 

Sodium sulphate 1.72 " 

Calcium sulphate 116.29 " 

Magnesium sulphate 50.88 ** 


Potaftsimn BulpbAte 3.70 grains 

Magnedum nitimte ZJiZ ** 

Aluminium nitrmte 0.56 " 

Aluminium phosphate 0.03 ** 

Aluminium silicate 0.21 " 

Sodium chloride 0.28 - 

Calcium fluoride 0.02 " 

Antimcmium oxide trace 

Silica 0.88 

Crenic acid trace 

Aprocrenic acid trace 

Organic matter 2.00 



183.06 grains 

Carbonic acid 0.56 cubic inches 

Sulphuretted hydrogen trace 

The following is an analysis of the Beaufont Lithia Spring water 

located in Chesterfield county, near Eichmond, made by Froehling vai 
Bobertson : 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Magnesium bi-carbonate 38956 grains 

Calcium bi-carbonate 35282 " 

Sodium bi-carbonate .34923 ** 

Iron ( ferrous) bi-oarbonate 04741 ** 

Manganous bi-carbonate trace 

Potassium sulphate 13646 " 

Potassium chloride 12947 ** 

Sodium chloride 35749 " 

Sodium iodide 00412 " 

Sodium bromide trace 

Sodium arsenate trace 

Sodium phosphate 00332 " 

Lithium chloride 02799 " 

Alumina 02099 " 

Silicic acid 96691 " 

2.78577 grains 
Carbon dioxide free (gas) 8.5 cubic inches 

An analysis made by Froehling and Roberi^on of the Blue Edge 
Springs water, Botetourt county, gave: 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Magnesium sulphate 47.01306 grains 

Calcium sulphate 100.13201 " 

Sodium sulphate .36740 

Potassium sulphate .65724 

Magnesium carbonate 1.21885 " 

Calcium carbonate 3.96562 " 

Strontium carbonate .29509 " 

Barium carbonate .02566 " 



OXIDES. 268 

Manganese carbonate .01749 grains 

Nickel and cobalt carbonate trace 

Iron (ferrous) carbonate .10847 " 

Lead carbonate trace 

Copper carbonate trace 

Sodium diloride 1.25967 " 

lathium chloride 03732 " 

Sodium arsenate 00210 " 

Sodium iodide 00026 " 

Sodium bromide trace 

Calcium fluoride .00146 " 

Magnesium nitrate .35574 " 

Ammonium nitrate .02814 " 

Aluminium phosphate .01576 " 

Aluminium silicate 15279 " 

Silicic acid 1.36298 " 

167.00710 grains 
Carbon dioxide combined 2.57648 " 

159.58358 grains 

Carbon dioxide 38.2 cubic inches 

Hydrogen sulphide 3.00 " * 

The following analysis of spring No. 2, by Professor Wm. P. Joury of 
the Buffalo Idthia Springs water^ Mecklenburg county, shows its composi- 
tion to be: 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Magnesium sulphate 0.88 grains 

Aluminium sulphate 9.07 ** 

Calcium sulphate 33.06 " 

Potassium carbonate 29.30 " 

Calcium bi-carbonate 14.96 " 

Lithium bi-carbonate 2.26 " 

Iron bi-carbonate 0.30 " 

Buyta bi-carbonate 1.75 " 

Sodium chloride 4.92 " 

Silica chloride 1.87 " 

Phosphoric acid trace 

Iodine trace 

Organic matter small amount 

98.36 grains 

Sulphuretted hydrogen . . 8.30 cubic inches 

Carbonic acid 60.20 *' 

An analysis of the water from the Crockett's Arsenic Lithia Springs^ 
Shawsville, Montgomery county, by Froehling and Robertson gave: 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Manganese carbonate 1.18 grains 

Calcium carbonate 5.90 " 


Strontium carbonate 0.09 grains 

Barium carbonate trace 

Lithium carbonate 0.07 " 

Copper carbonate trace 

Lead carbonate trace 

Zinc carbonate trace 

Manganese carbonate trace 

Magneeium sulphate 3.04 

Calcium sulphate 2.26 

Potassium sulphate 1.26 " 

Iron sulphate 0.04 " 

Sodium sulphate 1.86 " 

Sodium chloride 1.23 " 

Sodium bromide 0.01 " 

Sodium iodide trace 

Sodium arsenate 0.02 ** 

Aluminium phosphate trace 

Aluminium silicate 0.12 " 

Ammonium nitrate trace 

Silicic acid 1.29 " 

18.35 grains 
Carbonic anhydride combined with monocar- 

bonates to form bi-carbonates 2.23 '* 



21.68 grains 

The analysis of the water from the Fonticello Lithia Springs, in 
Chesterfield county, near Richmond, by Dr. Henry Froehling, shows the 
following composition: 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Magnesium bi-carbonate. . .' 21636 grains 

Calcium bicarbonate 48054 " 

Sodium bi-carbonate 31196 " 

Ferrous bi-carbonate 06205 " 

Manganese carbonate trace 

Potassium sulphate 20001 

Sodium sulphate 05715 " 

Sodium chloride 47704 " 

Lithium chloride 03207 " 

Sodium phosphate 00309 " 

Soilinni arsenite trace " 

Sodium bromide trace 

Sodium iodide 00302 " 

Silica 81645 " 

Alumina 00898 " 

2.66992 grains 
Carbon dioxide combined with monocar- 
bonates 27526 " 

2.94518 grains 
Carbon dioxide free 9.96 cubic inches 

OXIDES. 265 

J following analysis by Professor J. W. Mallett of the water from the 
letta Springs, near Harrisonburg, Sockingham county, shows its 
dtion to be : 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Calcium carbonate 12.10 grains 

Magnesium carbonate 5.78 " 

Iron carbonate 3.12 " 

Manganese carbonate 0.43 " 

Sodium carbonate 0.93 " 

Lithium carbonate trace 

Ammonium chloride trace 

Potassium chloride 0.13 " 

Potassium sulphate 0.09 " 

Oaldum sulphate 0.35 " 

Alumina 0.13 " 

Arsenious oxide (in salt) trace 

Phosphoric acid trace 

Silica 0.94 " 

Organic matter 0.40 " 

24.40 grains 
Carbonic acid united to carbonates as above 
to form acid salts 8.80 " 

Temperature of water 55° F. 

I analysis of the water from the Otterbum Lithia Springs, near 
a, in Amelia county, by Froehling and Robertson gave : 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Calcium carbonate 2.437G9 grains 

Magnesium carbonate 1.48827 " 

Iron (ferrous) carbonate 13646 " 

Sodium carbonate 26009 

Lithium carbonate 03615 " 

Magnesium chloride 05656 " 

Sodium chloride 40647 " 

Sodium sulphate 08572 " 

Potassium sulphate 08047 " 

Sodium iodide 00609 " 

Sodium bromide trace 

Alumina 03616 " 

SiUca 2.44352 " 

7.47455 grains 
Carbon dioxide combined 2.38812 " 

9.86267 grains 
Carbon dioxide free 18.4 cubic inches 

n analysis made by Froehling and Robertson of the water from the 


Swineford Arsenic Lithia Springs in Chesterfield county, near Richmond, 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Magnesium bi-carbonate 0.14813 grains 

Calcium bi-carbonate 0.11839 " 

Manganese bi-carbonate 0.0042O <* 

Iron (ferrous) bi-carbonate 0.02040 " 

Calcium sulphate 0.10031 " 

Potassium sulphate 0.16164 " 

Sodium sulphate 0.11314 " 

Lithium chloride 0.00385 " 

Sodium chloride 0.34116 " 

Sodium bromide trace 

Sodium iodide 0.00021 " 

Sodium arsenate 0.00723 " 

Sodium phosphate 0.00340 " 

Silicic acid 0.60067 " 

Alumina 0.01083 " 

Total mineral matter 1.64266 fprains 

Carbon dioxide free 12.40 cubic inches 

An analysis of the water from the Yellow Sulphur Springs, in Mont- 
gomery county, made by Professor William Gilham, gave : 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Calcium carbonate 8.64 grains 

Magnesium carbonate 1.38 ** 

Iron carbonate 62 " 

Calcium sulphate 63.30 " 

Magnesium sulphate 21.10 ** 

Aluminium sulphate 3.18 " 

Potassium sulphate 10 

Sodium sulphate 76 

Iron protoxide trace 

Calcium sulphate 01 

Magnesium phosphate trace 

Potassium chloride 10 " 

Sodium chloride 07 " 

Organic matter 3.73 " 

102.98 grains 
Carbonic acid 4.68 " 

107.66 grains 

The composition of the Wolf Trap Lithia Spring, at Wolf Trap 
Station on the Southern Bailway, in Halifax county, is indicated by the 
following analysis, made by Professor M. B. Hardin : 

One United States gallon of 231 cubic inches contains: 

Sodium carbonate 0.24027 grains 

Lithium carbonate 0.01726 " 





Ammonium carbonate 0.00128 grains 

Calcium carbonate 7.41222 

Magnesium carbonate 6.09221 " 

Strontium carbonate 0.38489 

Iron carbonate 0.06007 

Manganese carbonate 0.0134 " 

Copper carbonate 0.001234 " 

Sodium chloride 2.62956 " 

Sodium bromide 0.00630 " 

Sodium iodide 0.00066 " 

Sodium nitrate 2.62648 " 

Potassium sulphate 0.06366 " 

Sodium sulphate 0.06007 " 

Aluminium phosphate 0.04432 *' 

Silica 2.01780 " 

Barium carbonate trace 

Zinc carbonate trace 

Magnesium borate trace 

Calcium fluoride trace 

Titanic oxide trace 

Organic matter (yielding ammonia) trace 

20.66836 grains 
Carbon dioxide associated with the above 
carbonates in the so-called bi-carbonates 6.06682 " 


Carbon dioxide, free 12.38 cubic inches 

Nitrogen 3.60 " 

Oxygen 1.70 *' 

17.68 cubic inches 


Of the 43 springs reporting sales, nearly four-fifths of the water Is 
used for medicinal purposes. About half the total number of springs are 
used as resorts, having accommodations for several thoufiand people. At 
a number of the springs the water is used for bathing purposes. Among 
the most celebrated waters on the continent for bathing purposes, are 
those of the Warm Springs, in Bath county, a view of which is shown in 
plate XXXVIII, figure 1. 



Number of springs 


Product in 






The literature relating to the mineral springs of Virginia is very ex- 
tensive; only several of the more important ones are here noted. 

Froehling and Robertson. A Hand-Book Prepared for the Virginia Com- 
mission to the Saint Louis Exposition. Richmond, 
Virginia, 1904, 97-159. Contains a large mimber of 
analyses of Virginia iniueral waters. 

Peale, A. C. Mineral Springs of the United States. Bulletin No. 

32, U. S. Geological Survey, 1886. 

The Natural Mineral Waters of the United States. 
14th Annual Report, U. S. Geological Survey, 1894, 
Part II, 53-88. 

See also the annual volumes of the Mineral Resources 
of the United States, published by the U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey. 

Rogers, Wm. B^ Mineral .Springs of Virginia. A Reprint of the 

Geology -of the Virginias. New York, 1884, 549-566. 

, > •. • • . • 

Artesian. Waters. *--The underground or artesian waters are treated 
only for onie province of the State, namely, the Coastal Plain or Tidewater 
region, for the reason, that, unlike the other two larger provinces, there are 
no large supplies of portable surface water found within the region. The 
rivers which traverse the region are either tidal estuaries or are widely 
bordered by swamps, and the water of their local branches is often of bad 

Tidewater Virginia extends eastward of a line passing through Alex- 
andria, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg, and Emporia, and com- 
prises an area of about 9,500 square miles. The general structural rela- 
tions in Tidewater Virginia, so far as they are known, are shown in the 
sections on plate XXXIX. The Coastal Plain formations which outcrop in 
the State are as follows : 

Formation. Characteristics. 


Columbia ; Loams, sands, and gravels in terraces 

Lafayette...... Orange sands, loams, and gravels 

Chesapeake Clays, sands, diatomaceous earth, and marl. 

Pamunkev Glauconi tic marls and sands 

Potomac. Sands, sandstone, and clays 


Pliocene (?) 



Early CreUceom. 

'Compiled from various j)apers published by N. H. Darton and M. L. Fuller. The 
water resources of the Virginia Coastal Plain are being carefully studied by the U. 
S. Geological Survey and a report formulated. This report, when published, should 

(•ontniii mucli u-^eful information Ihat is of practical value. 




' - I 

! • 

After X. H. Diin.iii.. 

OXIDES. 269 


According to Darton, the greater part, if not all, of the Coastal Plain 
r^on of Virginia is underlain by water-bearing strata, of which, to the 
eastward, there are several horizons. The failures to obtain the higher 
water in some of the wells near the bay indicate that in this area at least, 
there are no good water supplies in the higher horizons, but the waters 
of the lower horizons have not yet been fully developed. The success 
of the new well at Fort Monroe definitely proves the existence of one of 

The principal water horizons in eastern Virginia are the Chesapeake, 
Pamnnkey, and Potomac formations, shown on map, plate XL. 

Potomac. — There is more or less water in all of the coarser sand beds 
of the Potomac fonnation, but the principal supplies may be expected from 
the sands and gravels of the basal members, lying on the basement floor 
of the crystalline rocks. This horizon has been well explored about Wash- 
ington and Alexandria, in most cases with great success, and was probably 
reached by the 210-foot well at Quantico. South of Quantico for some 
distance it does not appear to have been reached by any of the wells except 
one at Walkerton, on the Mattapony river ; but from the general character 
of the formation as exhibited in its outcrops, and its productiveness of 
water northward, Darton says there is reason to believe that it is a great 
water-bearer throughout a wide extent. Its general relations are shown in 
the sections on plate XXXIX. How far eastward the coarse materials extend 
in the basal beds of the Potomac formation is not known, for they lie 
deeper than any of the wells appear to have penetrated. The North Point 
well is reported to have reached granite and found no water supply in the 
basal beds, but as elsewhere explained by Darton, the record and conduct 
of this well do not afford conclusive evidence either of the actual absence 
of water or of the presence of granite at the bottom of the boring. Tlie 
well, no doubt, reached the Potomac formation, and it may have penetrated 
far into it. The water at the Chamberlain Hotel at Fort Monroe is 
fhonght to be from upper Potomac but the evidence is not conclusive as 
to the precise horizon. 

Water occurs at various horizons in the Potomac formation above ihc 
basal beds, in sands intercalated amiong the clays. This water is an im- 
portant source of supply in the District of Columbia, and it also affords 
a large yield at the well at Barrow, near Quantico. Only one of the wells 
aoufh of Fredericksburg has penetrated to these waters so that their 
ioiifheastem extension has not been well explored, but there is a fair 


possibility of finding one or more of them in that region. The 600-foot 
boring at Gloucester may have reached the Potomac beds, and even pene- 
trated them for some distance, without finding water, but as this boring 
missed the higher waters that probably underlie Gloucester, it cannot be 
regarded as a decisive test for any of the waters. 

Pamunkey. — The coarse gravel and sand at the base of this formation 
appears to extend far to the east, and it is a water-bearer throughout its 
extent. It was reached by the deep well at Naylor's Wharf at a depth of 
386 feet, where sands with rock layers yielded a large flow of water which 
rose to 45 feet above tide-level. At Chapel Point, Maryland, at 237 feet, 
in the several deeper wells at Colonial Beach, at Lester Manor, at a depth 
of 200 feet, and at White House at a depth of from 180 to 230 feet, it fur- 
nishes a large supply of fine water under considerable pressure. These 
wells indicate a wide extent of the waters in a r^on which probably 
comprises the western half of the area indicated by a distinctive pattern 
for Chesapeake and Pamunkey waters on the map, plate XL. This horizon 
is about 260 feet below the Chesapeake water. The meager supply of water 
in the Clay Bank well and the failure of the deeper borings at William«- 
burg and Gloucester probably indicate the limits of the horizon as a 
water-bearer to the eastward. It may extend under all of the region south 
of the James river, but none of the wells appear to have been bored suffi- 
ciently deep to reach it and higher waters are utilized. The experience of thi 
unsuccessful boring to a depth of 386 feet at Dendron is not conclusive, 
for it probably did not reach the horizon, and if it did, may not have prop- 
erly tested it; still, it is in line with the experience at Williamsburg and 
Gloucester. The latter criticism applies also to the North End Point well 
It is to be expected that to the eastward the materials of this horizon fi- 
nally become too fine-grained to carry water, and the eastern limits of 
conditions favorable for water-bearing appears to be at Clay Bank on 
York river. 

Water also occurs in sands in the Pamunkey formation about 90 feet 
above its base aa indicated by the water at 160 feet at Colonial Beach, and 
at 276 to 325 feet at Naylor^s Wharf; but as it has not been further ex- 
plored by other wells its extent cannot be discussed. 

Chesapeake, — Lying between the clays, marls and fine sands of the 
Chesapeake formation and the top of the Pamunkey formation, there is a 
series of sands and gravels which may be regarded as the basal bed of the 
Chesapeake formation. To the eastward, this series contains thin inter- 
stratified rock strata which do not appear in the surface outcrops. In this 

OXIDES. 271 

series and in another similar one not far above, there is a large volume of 
water at a horizon or horizons which appear to be of wide extent in eastern 
Virginia. These waters have been explored by many wells and been found 
to underlie a belt of country about 20 miles in widths lying cast of a nearly 
strai^t line extending from Mathias Point on the Potomac river to Em- 
poria on the Atlantic Coast Line Bailway. This belt has been indicated on 
the map, plate XL, by a distinctive pattern, and the relations of the waters 
are shown in the sections on plate XXXIX. The wells which reach 
these horizons in Virginia are given in the foUowing list : 

Locality Depth Remarks 

Richmond County Feet 

Naylor's Wharf 135 

Sharps' Wharf 236 

Lanoasteb Gountt 

Monatico Creek 250 

Whealton 230 


Laneaater 250 

Garten Creek 830 

Weema 260 

T^ndmill Point 450 Well blocked by breaking of tools. 


Coles Point 220 

Bagged Point 225 

Sandy Point 235 

Northumberland Countt 

Kinsale 235 

Lewisetta 317 

Cowart 238 Water also at 270 feet. 

Fairport 393 

I>7mer Creek 443 

Mattapony River 

Littie Plymouth 168 

Sheppards Warehouse 160 

York Riter 

Dudleys Ferry 175 

West Point 160 

Plum Point 168 

Gables Mill 226 

Bellevue 212 

Puritan Bay 215 

Jambs Riter 

Williamsburg 280 

Homewood 290-317 

Jamestown 248 

Courtland 160 Horizon doubtful. 

Arringdale 78 Horicon doubtful. 


The horizon of the waters at 130 feet at Franklin, 161 feet at Zuni, 
and 190 feet at Mount Carmel is not certainly known, but it is thought 
to be in the Chesapeake fonnation considerably above its base. The Ar- 
ringdale well at 76 feet and the Courtland wells at 160 feet are doubt- 
fully referred to the basal Chesapeake beds, but the former may be do^ 
to a lower horizon. 

Basal Chesapeake waters were apparently absent in the North End 
Point, Fort Monroe, Dendron, Clay Bank, and Gloucester wells. 

There are several higher horizons of water in the Chesapeake forma- 
tions and it is believed that the wells at Franklin, Zuni, and Mount Cannel 
are from Chesapeake beds about 100 feet above the base of the fonnation. 
The water of the Bowlers Wharf well at 143 feet is from about the same 
horizon, but water reported at 240 feet in the Djrmers Creek well is some- 
what higher than the others. 

The salty water at 606 feet at Lambert Point and at 599 feet at Fort 
Monroe, and the ferruginous water at 662 feet at Money Point, all near 
Norfolk, are from somewhat higher horizons. The waters at 140 feet at 
Onancock on the eastern shore and at 70 feet at Virginia Beadi are at 
still higher horizons. Darton states that he is not inclined to r^ard any 
one of these upper Chesapeake horizons as widespread, and with our pres- 
ent meager knowledge they cannot be predicted with safety. 


Reference to the map, plate XL, will show a reasonably large number 
of wells in eastern Virginia most of which have obtained abundant sup- 
plies of water at very moderate depths. Numerous wells have been pot 
down in the area since the publishing of this map in 1896, the records of 
which have not been available to me for this book and hence are not in- 
cluded on the map. 

The following is a list of deep wells in eastern Virginia published by 
Darton in 1896. 



Partial List of Deep Wells in Easieni Virginia, 


; Depth. 

AlexAndiia Brewery ... 
Alexandria Ice Works 

Airlngdale, 2 wells 


Belteme, 2 wells.. 


Bowlers Wharf... 

Oftrters Creek 

Clay Bank.. 

Ooan, Swells. 


Coles Point. 

Colonial Beach, 5 wells 

Coartland, 30 weUs. 



Dendron „ 

Dudleys Ferry, A wells 
Dymer Creek 


Fort Monroe 

Fort Monroe, Cham- 
berlain Hotel 

Franklin. 16 wells 

Qabel's BIIU 

Oloncester Ct. House 

Homewood, 5 wells.. 


King and Queen. 


























Capacity per 



Flows 10 


Flows 15-20 



Flows 2 
Flows 10-12 
Flows 2H 


Flows 2 
Flows 2 
Flows 10 
Flows 7 

Flows 2 

Flows 50 


Flows 20 


Flows 50 

Fair supply. 

Flows ^ 
Flows 1 


to which 


rises, a. 




+ 7 


+ 4 





+ 6 
4to 6 

4 to 6 



+ 2 



Basal Potomac 

Granite (?).. 


In Potomac. 

Basal Chesapeake 




Basal Pamunkey 


Basal Chesapeake 



Basal Pamunkey. 


Basal Chesapeake 

Basal (^hesapeake 
Basal Pamunkey.. 

Basal Chesapeake 



Basal Chesapeake 
Pamunkey (?) 

Basal Chesai>eake 


Basal Chesapeake 
Basal Pamunkey 
Basal Chesapeake 


Soft water. 
Poor water at 300 

Slightly alkaline 

No water below 
148 feet. 

Soft water. 

Water also at M> 

Water also at 160 

feet; water also 
at 240 and 464 ft. 

Soft, good water. 

Slightly saline 

Stopped at rock 

Fine water 64©; 

water at 270 ft. 

Fine water 68o. 

a +, feet above the surtbce; — , feet below the surflEu«. 


List of Deep Wells 




ppr minuto. 





















Flows 12 


Bual Cli«Bpatk< 

Letter Mraor. 8 welLi 



+8 to +12 



Flows S 

BosbI (niaiaii^iat 


Flows 1) 

Flows » 

Mows 10 

Flows 10-12 
Flows 10-12 

+ 2 

Mount Csnnel Church.... 



t S 





Sr^'SJil"'" " 







FlSwB 1W2 




Flows ia.% 

K™i%;i;it;: . .■■:■.;■,■.■....■,■..■ 



Bherwood PBrk." 1 mile 


BnaHy Polnl; 

RilrtUi County .'.' 

Bhartf. Wlwrf. 


No wntM Wlo« 

ShepiHrd'B Wawhouw. 



ChesapeBke '. 

Knlr supply 




"Wert PoiHt, 200 wel'li' 


Average li 





Flows 2 

OXIDES. 276 


le following list includes the principal publications which bear on 
Qderground waters of eastern Virginia: 

n, N. H. Artesian Well Prospects in Eastern Virginia, Mary- 

land and Delaware. Transactions American In- 
stitute of Mining Engineers, 1906, XXIV, 372-397. 

Artesian Well Prospects in the Atlantic Coastal Plain 
Region. Bulletin, TJ. S. Geological Survey No. 
138, 1896, 162-190. 

Preliminary List of Deep Borings in the United 
States. Water Supply and Irrigation Paper, TJ. 
S. Geological Survey No. 61, Part II, 60. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Fredericksburg, 
Virginia Polio, No. 13. U. S. (Jeological Survqr, 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Nomini Folio, 
Maryland and Virginia, No. 23. U. S. Geological 
Survey, 1896. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States. Norfolk Folio, 
Virginia and North Carolina, No. 80. U. S. Geo- 
logical Survey, 1902. 

and Keith, A. Geologic Atlas of the United States. Wash- 
ington Folio, District of Columbia, Maryland and 
Virginia, No. 70.. U. S. Geological Survey, 1901. 

and Fuller, M. L. Underground Waters of Eastern 
United States. Water Supply and Irrigation Paper 
No. 114, U. S. Geological Survey, 1905, 127-135. 



Composition and Character. 

le feldspar group includes a number of mineral species which 
chemically, silicates of aluminum with varying amoimts of 

and the alkalies, potash and soda. The species belong- 
9 the feldspar group are alike in having two easy cleavages along 

they split with even, smooth, and shining surfaces, and are inclined 
5 another at right (90**) and oblique angles. In color they vary from 


colorless through white, gray, pink, red, and green; and they vary from 
transparent through translucent to opaque, the latter being the more fre- 
quent. They crystallize in the monodinic and triclinic systema. In hard- 
ness, they vary from 6 to 6.6, and in specific gravity from 2.6 to 2.9. 


Of the nine known species of feldspar only a few are of com- 
mercial value; the principal ones being the potash varieties, oithodase 
and microcline, and the soda variety, albite. The commonest species of 
feldspar is orthoclase, and it is the one commonly used by potters in this 
country. It is the most infusible member of the feldspar group. The 
feldspars are common constituents of certain types of rocks such as the 
granites, gneisses, and syenites, but as such they have no commercial value. 

Commercially valuable feldspar occurs associated with quartz and mica 
as coarse crystallizations in pegmatitic dikes or veins, cutting graniteB, 
gneisses, and crystalline schists. In addition to quartz and mica, a great 
variety of rarer minerals are associated with the feldspar in the pegmatite 
dikes a list of which, for the Amelia coxmty, Virginia, area, is given on 
page 282. 


Pegmatitic dikes, containing feldspar as an important constit- 
uent, are quite widely distributed through the Virginia crystalline 
or Piedmont area, east of the Blue Ridge, where they are found pene- 
trating the principal types of the older rocks of the area. Hardly a 
county within the Piedmont area is without them. Notwithstanding the 
abundance of these dikes in the middle province of Virginia, many of 
which contain commercially valuable feldspar, the attempts to mine this 
mineral are comparatively few and as yet the production is small. Up to 
the present time, the principal area in the State in which feldspar has 
been mined is in Amelia county, in the vicinity of Amelia courfc-house. 
Here the feldspar has been mined in connection with mica and a full de- 
scription of the Amelia county pegmatite masses is given under Mica on 
pages 280-284. 

In the feldspar-mica pegmatite dikes of Amelia county the potash 
varieties, orthoclase and microcline, and the soda variety, albite, occur. 
These are in large masses, usually of a high d^ree of purity, and white in 
color, though green is not uncommon. The following analyses of samplfiB 
of these three varieties of feldspar from the Amelia county area show their 
composition to be : 




Per cent 

Per cent. 

SiUea (SiO,) 

Alumina ( Al,Ot) 

Iron oxide {Yefit) . . 

Lime (OaO) 

Magnenia (MgO) 

Potash (K.0) 

Soda (Na,0) 


Spedflc gravity 
























I. Ortboclase. E. B. Sloan, analyst. 
II. Microcline (Amazonstone). C. C. Page, analyst. 
IIL Albitei Bobert Robertson, analyst. 

Mining of feldspar^ in an extensive p^matite, was recently b^^ on 
Otter river, about 3 miles southeast of Bells, in Bedford county, by the 
Bine Bidge Kaolin Company. The product is shipped to East liyerpool, 
Ohio, ioft use in pottery manufacture. 


The chief use made of feldspar is in the manufacture of pot- 
tery, wall and floor-tiles. For pottery-making, the feldspar is mixed in a 
finely pulverized condition with the kaolin or clay. It is also utilized to 
some extent in the manufacture of wood-fillers, scouring soaps, and glass. 


Musgrave, B. N. 

Page, C. C. 

Robertson, R 

Sloan, B. E. 

Analysis of Beautifully Crystallized Albite from near 
Amelia Court House, Virginia. Chemical News, 
1882, XLVI, 204. 

Amazonstone from Amelia County, Virginia. The 
Virginias, 1886, VI, 24-25. 

Albite from Amelia County, Virginia. The Virginias, 
1885, VI, 25. 

Analysis of the Feldspar Accompanying Microlite in 
Amelia County, Virginia. Chemical News, 1881, 
XUV, 207 ; The Virginias, 1882, III, 4. 


2. HICA. 


Under the mica group is comprised a nnmber of distmct 
mineral species which are alike characterized by highly perfect 
basal cleavage, parting readily into very thin, tough, and more 
or less elastic, sheets that are translucent to transparent. In most 
cases, they are chemically orthosilicates of aluminum with principally hy- 
drogen and potassium or sodium, lithium, magnesium, and iron. Of the 
seven species of mica, only two are of commercial value, though a third 
one, lepidolite, may be a source of lithia salts, but it is not used for any 
of the purposes of a conmiercial mica. The other two micas, muscovite 
and phlogopite, comprise all the commercial mica that is marketed; and 
in the United States only muscovite is mined, because there are as yet no 
known commercial deposits of phlogopite. Muscovite is the white potash 
mica and phlogopite is the pearl gray magnesian mica. 


Muscovite, the white mica, and biotite, the black mica, are 
very widely distributed and are among the commonest constitaents of 
many of the crystalline and sedimentary rocks. It is only when muscovite 
occurs in blocks or masses of size that will split into sheets an inch or more 
in diameter that it has commercial value, which increases with the size 
of the cut sheets. Usually the commercial deposits of mica are found in 
pegmatitic dikes or veins of coarse crystallization, which penetrate gran- 
ites, gneisses, and crystalline schists. In small veins the mica is fre- 
quently too small in size to have commercial value. 

Quartz, feldspar, and muscovite are the principal minerals composing 
the pegmatite dikes. As a rule, these minerals are not uniformly distri- 
buted through all parts of the dikes, but, on the contrary, their distribution 
is very irregular, with first one and then another of the three minerals 
predominating in different parts. Besides the three principal minerals 
mentioned, there are large numbers of rarer minerals found in the pegma- 
tite dikes, some of which occur only sparingly, others more abundantly. 
Some of these have commercial value as gem material, such as garnet and 
beryl, which occur in the Amelia county, Virginia, dikes and have been 
used for gem purposes. 

Likewise, the quartz and feldspar of the pegmatite dikes are of value 
and are sometimes mined with the mica and utilized in the manufacture 
of pottery and for abrasives. Both the principal and accessory mineraU 

8ILI0ATB8. 27^ 

enumerated above have been mined and marketed from the Amelia county, 
Virginia, area. In addition to these, the Virginia dikes have been a source 
of some kaolin, derived from the decay or kaolinization of a part of the 
feldspar in that portion of the dikes above the level of local groimd water. 


From the description given above of the occurrence of mica, it 
follows that the distribution of this mineral in Virginia must be 
limited to the crystalline area or Piedmont Plateau, east of the 
Blue Bidge. Pegmatite dikes containing mica are somewhat abun- 
dantly developed over the Virginia crystalline area and many ex- 
cellent surface indications for mica occur, but as yet prospecting and min- 
ing have been limited. Of the large number of counties in the Virginia 
area, mica has been either prospected or mined in the following: Amelia,- 
near Amelia court-house, and near Jetersville; Bedford county, near New 
London on the John P. Thompson place; Goochland county, near the 
court-house where it was mined in a small way but afterwards abandoned 
on account of the influx of water; Pittsylvania, south of Chatham; Am- 
herst; Henry county, at Bidgeway; and Hanover county, near Hewlett^s 
biation. The Hanover mine near Hewlett^ s has not been worked since 
1872. In addition to the above, surface indications are noted in Powhatan, 
Cumberland, Caroline, Buckingham, Spottsylvania, and Franklin counties. 
Mica occurs in Franklin county in Snow creek valley on the south side of 
Chestnut Mountain. 

At Bidgeway in Henry coimty, the Pittsburg Mica Company is engaged 
in developing a mica property. A commodious plant has been built and the^ 
development work comprises an open cut about 100 feet long and 40 feet 
deep, and about 1,000 feet of cross-cuttings. The dike is about 8 feet 
wide. The company expects to begin shipping mica not later than Sep- 
tember, 1907. 

Of the many localities where mica is found in Virginia only one has 
yet been seriously mined, namely, near Amelia court-house and near 
Jetersville, in Amelia county. Because of the prominence of the Amelia 
county area, it is here described in some detail. 


Mica mines have been opened at two localities in Amelia county, both 
of which are in close' proximity to the Bichmond and Danville division of 
the Southern Bail way. These are (1) in the vicinity of Amelia court- 
house, and (2) near Jetersville about 8 miles south of west from Amelia 


court-house. The general topography of the two areas and location of the 
mines are shown on the map^ figure 42. 

Amelia Conrt-House District 

Openings from which mica has been mined and smaller pits are abun- 
dantly developed over an area stretching northeast from Amelia court- 
house for a distance of 2 or more miles. So far as the writer can ascer- 
tain, the first mining of mica in this district was begun about 1873 on the 
Jefferson property described below. Mining has continued at intervals 
from 1873 to date, but in the summer of 1906 only one mine, the Pinch- 
back, was operating. 

The principal mines in this district which have produced mica are the 
Jefferson, Rutherford, Berry, Winston, and PinchbacJc, Most of these 
have been idle for the past 10 or 12 years and many of the openings which 
are reasonably large had been abandoned for so long a time at the time 
of my visit in July, that they had largely fallen in and were partially 
filled with water. The deepest would probably not exceed 100 feet, the 
work having all been surface mining, comprising cut and pit excavations. 

Both sheet and scrap mica were produced at these mines. Some of 
the sheets measured after cutting as much as 12x14 inches. No sheets 
were cut smaller than 2x2 inches in size and all mica under this size was 
marketed as scrap. 


As may be seen by reference to the map, figure 42, the 
surface of this district is a moderately undulating one without con- 
spicuous elevations or depressions. The principal rock is a biotite gneiss 
of thin foliation not infrequently showing a distinct "augen** texture. It 
is quite dark in color from the presence of much biotite and is fine-grained 
in texture. Its origin is yet undetermined, whether an original igneous or 
sedimentary mass. 

The mica occurs as a constituent of the pegmatite dikes whidi inter- 
sect the biotite gneiss of the district. It is found as a coarse crystalliza- 
tion with feldspar and quartz. The openings made on these dikes show a 
•very variable ratio of the three principal minerals, mica, feldspar, and 
«qiuurtz. In places, the three occur in nearly equal amount; in otfaers, domi- 
aumt feldspar and mica with very little quartz; and others still show 
daminant quartz and mica with little or no feldspar. The feldspar of 
ikas indude the potash varieties, orthoclase and microcliney and 


the soda variety, albite, description and analyses of which are given on 
pages 276-277. 

In addition to the three principal minerals, a large number of rarer 
minerals have been noted in the Amelia county p^matites. These are 
microlite, fluorite, columbite, helvite, monazite, allanite, spessaritite (ga^ 
net), apatite, beryl, tourmaline, and zircon. 

The rocks are everywhere mantled by a considerable depth of residual 
decay. Accordingly outcrops are rare, and since the openings, on account 
of long standing, show much caving from the sides, exact measurements 
of the dikes could not be made. As nearly as could be determined, the 
larger pegmatite dikes will measure more than 50 feet across, and they 
usually cut across the foliation of the enclosing or country rock. These 
dikes are not schistose but entirely massive and are cut by jointing. 

The mica occurs as thick highly cleavable blocks and masses of vary- 
ing size. That found on the dumps is invariably of light, white color, 
but in some of the openings the mica is very dark in color, nearly black. 
For a description of the feldspar and quartz contained in these dikes see 
pages 275-277. 


The Jefferson mines, — These were the first mines opened in the dia* 
trict and a large number of openings have been worked, the extreme north- 
east ones being about 2 miles N. 30° E. from Amelia court-house. Some 
of these openings are among the largest made in the district, and none of 
them have been worked for many years. 

The Rutherford mines. — The Butherford mines are located 1 mile 
N. 30*" E. from Amelia court-house and are reported to have been first 
opened about 24 years ago. Two openings were worked, aligned in a nearly 
north-south direction, and are separated by a distance of about 100 yards. 
The last work done is reported to have been about 12 years ago. Mud 
green feldspar occurs though the bulk of this mineral is white. The 
largest sheets of mica mined are reported to have cut 22x24 inches. 

The Berry mine. — This mine comprises one large and deep ronghly 
circular opening, immediately on the southeast side of the Southern Bail- 
way, about 1 mile northeast of Amelia court-house. No work has been 
clone for many years. 

The Winston mine, — The Winston mine is located on the north side 
of the Southern Railway about one and three-quarter miles N".70**E. froifl 
Amelia court-house. The principal opening is a large one and has not 
been worked in recent years. 


Hhowing width of 



Vi^i, 2. — View (if liunip iif scrap mien, near Amelia (-oiirt-liouse. 

8ILI0ATES. 283 

The Pmchhack mine. — ^This was the only mine operating in the county 
in 1906. It is located abont 2 miles northeast from Amelia court-house 
and about one-qnarter of a mile southeast of the extreme opening on the 
JeffenoQ place. It was first worked about 18 years ago. Some half dozen 
or more openings have been made, the most recent one of which was made 
in the spring of 1906, and in July it had been worked to a depth of 28 
feet Plate XLI, figure 1, is a view of this opening. As exposed by 
this opening, the dike is about 40 feet wide composed of white feldspar 
and quartz and dark-colored mica and an occasional beryl crystal. Be- 
tween the middle of the dike and the walling, the feldspar is entirely 
kadinized to the depth of working, 28 feet, and much high grade kaolin is 
being removed and shipped. The feldspar is all partially kaolinized 
throughout the depth of working, and it rapidly slakes on exposure to the 
air. It is all saved and shipped to Trenton, New Jersey, where it is util- 
ized in pottery manufacture. The largest sheets of mica taken out meas- 
ured 12x14 inches after cut. The average size is probably about 4x6 inches 
and much of it cuts only 2x2 inches. Both sheet and scrap mica are pro- 

The Tetersville District 

This area as shown on the accompanying map, figure 42, is 8 miles 
south of west from Amelia court-house. 

The SchlegcU mine, — Only one mine has been worked in this district, the 
Schlegal, which is located three-quarters of a mile N. 80® W. from Jeters- 
ville. It was worked by shaft and open-cut and was first opened about 24 
years ago, and was last worked about 5 years ago. The shaft was worked 
to a depth of 100 feet with several drifts run from it. 

The country rock comprises a gneiss of granite composition and a 
frheared, thinly schistose diorite. As measured at the top of the open work, 
the pegmatite dike containing the mica will not exceed 30 feet in width. 
The openings are apparently made in a curved or bent portion of the dike 
the two parts of which strike N.70°W. and S.20°W. The pegmatite cuts 
across the foliation of the country rock which at the openings strikes 
nearly north and south. 

About a half mile N. lO"* E. from the shaft, continuous exposures of a 
large pegmatite dike trending north-south are traced along the valley 
side of a small stream. No openings are made on this dike and it is re- 
garded as a separate one from that on which the mine is opened. 


A mill for grinding and crushing the feldspar which was shipped for 
use in pottery manufacture was operated at the mine. Blocks or masses 
of mica yielding cut-sheets of 8x12 inches are reported mined. The mica 
seen at the time of my visit in July was dark in color. In addition to the 
three chief minerals^ quartz, feldspar, and mica, all of which were marketed, 
numerous small crystals of red garnet occur. 


Until within recent years, almost the only use made of mica 
was as cut sheets of different sizes in the doors or windows of stoves and 
furnaces, and in other similar places where transparency and resistance to 
heat were the essential qualities. During this period the small pieces 
and waste in mining and in cutting the sheets could not be utilized and 
were thrown away. At the present time, however, the demand for mica 
for electrical purposes is great and much of the small pieces that were 
formerly thrown away are now cut into small circular disks and rectangu- 
lar pieces for insulation purposes in electrical apparatus. 

The large amount of scrap mica, 75 to 90 per cent, in mining, which 
was formerly thrown away is now saved and used in the form of groimd 
mica. The mica is usually ground to five sizes to pass through sieves of 
80, 100, 140, 160, and 200 meshes to the inch, respectively. This ground 
mica is now utilized for a great variety of purposes, the principal ones 
of which are in the manufacture of fire-proof materials, chiefly paint; as 
a nonconductor for steam and water heating; as a lubricant; for decora- 
tive purposes; and in the manufacture of paints. 


Almost the entire production of mica in Virginia has been 
from the Amelia county area. In some years the production from 
the mines of this area was quite appreciable but during the present year 
only one mine was in operation. Mica-mining in Virginia has been so 
irregular that accurate figures of producton are difiBcult to obtain. The 
years given below while not consecutive will probably afford some idea of 
the annual mica-production in the State: 

Year. Pounds. 

1886 1,500 

1887 3,600 
1900 16,000 
1902 96,000 



Campbell, J. L. The Steatite, Mica, Pire-Claj-s, Barytes, Etc., of James 

River Valley. The Virginias, 1882, III, 160. 

Fontaine, W. M. Mineral Besources of Blue Ridge Plateau. The Vir- 
ginias, 1883, rV, 179. 

MerriU, G. P. The Non-Metallic Minerals. New York 1904, 163- 


Pratt, J. H. Mica. The Mineral Besources of the United States 

for 1904, 1175-1184. See also other volumes of 
the Mineral Besources of the United States. 


Composition and General Character. 

The name asbestos was originally applied to a fibrous variety 
of the mineral amphibole, which is a normal metasilicate of cal- 
cium and magnesium, with frequently varying amounts of iron 
and manganese and, at times, smaller amounts of the alkalies. 
As now used, the term properly includes the fibrous varieties of 
the mineral serpentine, a hydrous magnesium silicate. These two miner- 
als, the fibrous varieties of amphibole and serpentine or chrysolite, form 
the present sources of commercial asbestos. They are similar in their 
physical properties but are distinct chemically. Though equal in their 
heat-resisting properties, chrysolite is superior in strength and elasticity 
of fibre to any of the amphibole asbestos. The most marked character of 
asbestos is its fibrous structure. Chrysolite asbestos is usually greemsh- 
white, yellowish to brownish in color, and has a pronounced silky luster. 
The amphibole asbestos varies from white to greenish and woody-brown. 
Its fibres are longer than chrysolite and are flexible and easy to separate. 


Asbestos occurs in those r^ons composed of the older eruptive 
and metamorphic rocks; hence the deposits of Virginia are lim- 
ited to the Piedmont or crystalline area, east of the Blue Ridge. The 
amphibole asbestos is usually found m granite or schistose rocks either in 
pockets or in more or less well-defined veins, a fact which considerably 
lowers the cost of mining it. The chrysolite or serpentine asbestos is 
always found in serpentine rocks not in regular veins but as irregular 
seams which necessitate the mining of a large amount of rock in order to 
obtain a small amount of the mineral. Amphibole asbestos is less valu- 


able. It is more easily mined, and where the strength of fibre is not essen- 
tial it is as satisfactory as the more expensive and rarer chrysolite asbestos. 
In Albemarle county, Virginia, asbestos is found in thin platy masses 
along slickensided zones in steatite (soapstone from altered pyroxenite), 
the fibres of which are parallel to the direction of movement. 


So far as is known the asbestos found in Virginia is of the 
amphibole variety. It occurs in many of the Piedmont counties of the 
State and in a few it has been prospected and mined. Bedford is the 
only producing county at present. In Amelia county about 7 miles north 
of west from Mattox station, asbestos has been mined near the Appo- 
mattox river. A very promising grade of the mineral was opened some 
years ago in this vicinity on the Ligon place. It is found in the vicinity 
of Whitehall, and Willis Mountain in Buckingham county; and at several 
points in Powhatan and Gfoochland counties, although it has not been de- 
vdoped in any of these localities. 

About 2 miles east of Rocky Mount, in Franklin county, asbestos of 
excellent grade has been mined to a limited extent. It is associated with 
soapstone in the form of pockets, is of the amphibole variety, and has a 
long and white silky fibre. 

The only producing property at present in the State is that of the 
American Asbestos Company near Chestnutford post-oflBce, in Bedford 
county. A number of veins or seams varying from 8 to 50 or more inches 
wide are worked. The company has recently completed a 40-ton plant 
erected for the purpose of crushing and separating the asbestos. A con- 
siderable amount of the crude rock has been mined. 

Asbestos has also been noted in Floyd, Grayson, and Fauquier counties, 
hut, a5 yet, it has not been worked in either of these counties. As stated 
alfovt it is found in Albemarle county in thin platy masses in the soap- 
SrWne of the Alberene lead, and is of the amphibole variety. Professor 
B. L. Packard analyzed a specimen of the amphibole asbestos from Albe- 
xoark county, which gave: 

Per cent. 
Silica (SiO,) 56.26 

Alumina (A1,0«) 181 

Iron oxide (FeO) 6.40 

Manganese oxide (MnO) trace 

Lime (CaO) 11.98 

MagiMaia (MgO) 20.85 

Ignition 2.65 

Total 99.96 

siucATfis. 287 

Doctor Merrill gires the following aiial3r6is» made bj Packard, of an 
amj^bole asbestos from Boanoke county, Virginia : 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiO,) 55.81 

Alumiiim (AlA) 106 

Iron oxide (FeO) 6.81 

LiiTO (OtO) 12.74 

Magnfia (MgO) 21.09 

Ignition l.Sl 

Total 99.92 


The uses of asbestos are many and varied and are constantly increas- 
ing. Where the chief requirement to be met is non-conductivity of 
heat, the amphibole asbestos is ordinarily used, but where strength of the 
fibre is an essential as well as non-conductivity of heat, the chrysolite va- 
riety is used. Amphibole asbestos is largely used as an ingredient in 
fire-proof paints for wall plasters, boiler covering, packing in the manu- 
facture of fire-proof safes, etc. The chrysolite variety is used in the manu- 
facture of cloth, rope, felt, boards, tubes, washers, etc. 


Campbell, J. L. The Steatite, Mica, Fire-Clays, Barytes, Etc., of James 

River Valley. The Virginias, 1882, III, 160. 

Fontaine, W. M. Mineral Resources of the Blue Ridge Plateau. The 

Virginias, 1883, IV, 178-180. 

Merrill, George P. The Non-Metallic Minerals. New York, 1904. 

Day, David T. Mineral Resources of the United States for 1900, 

1901, 1902, and 1904. 


Composition and Properties. 

The garnet group comprises a half dozen mineral species which are 
essentially silicates of alumina with iron or lime, magnesia, manganese, 
and chromium. They crystallize in the Regular or Isometic system usually 
in the form of 12- and 24-faced crystals, known as the dodecahedron 
and the trapezohedron, with a hardness of from 6.5 to 7.5, and exhibiting 
a variety of color, the most common among which is some shade of red or 
brown. The specific gravity varies from 3.55 to 4.30. Probably the two 
most prominent species of garnet are almandite, the iron-alumina garnet, 
and grossularite, the lime-alumina garnet. 


Garnet is a common mineral in many of the crystalline schists ai^^ 
gneisses, including those derived from sediments and from igneous rod^- 
It is ordinarily a subordinate constituent of these rocks although in 80X»^ 
cases it becomes a chief constituent. 


Garnet is a frequent constituent of many of the various types 
crystalline rocks composing the Piedmont area, east of the Blue 
Ordinarily it is only a minor constituent of the rocks in which it is fou: 
and, therefore, too sparsely disseminated to have commercial value. Ho 
ever, when of large enough size, or uniform color, and without fractuz^-^, 
it is of value as a gem. Very perfect and beautiful spedmens of gam^j^^si 
have been collected from the pegmatite dikes in which mica has 
mined near Amelia court-house, in Amelia county, and near 
station, in Hanover county. The former area has supplied a great 
garnets to the trade, the particular species being the manganese-alumi: 
garnet, spessartite. 

An analysis of the spessartite from the Amelia county area, made 

C. M. Bradbury, gave: 

Per cent. 

SiUca (SiO,) 36.34 

Alumina (A1,0.) 12.63 

Iron oxide (FeO) 4.67 

Manganese oxide (MnO) 44.20 

Lime (CaO) 1.49 

Magnesia (MgO).... 0.47 

Water (HaO) trace 

Total 99.70 

Specific gravity 4.20 

An analysis by F. W. Clarke of spessartite from the mica mines of tJ^^ 

same locality gave: 

Per cent. 

Silica (SiO,) 36.36 

Alumina (AlA) 20.41 

Iron oxide (FcjO.) 2.76 

Iron oxide (FeO) 1.76 

Manganese oxide (MnO) 38.70 

Magnesia (MgO) none 

Lime (CaO) 0.94 

Ignition 0.27 

Total 100.17 

In Nelson county, about 4 miles south of Arrington, an attempt htf 1^ 
recently been made to mine garnet in the high and steep bluffs along ^ 

northeast side of Tje mer. Sererml openings huTe been made in a 
gametifeitras seridtic schist. The garnet is of dull red color, in wdl^ 
defined crystals of small bnt TariaUe siae, and distributed irregnlarly 
through the sdiist. It is Terr abundant in some places and rather scant 
in others, a fact which seeminglj indicates that the garnet is confined 
or limited to particular layers of the rock and not disseminated through- 
out all parts of it It seems doubtful whether the garnet is sufficiti:itly 
concentrated in the rock at this locality to be of commercial importance. 
As a gem mineral, garnet is described on pages 386-387. 

Gramet is used chiefly as an abrasi?e in theform of a sand for sawing 
and grinding stone and for making sandpaper. Its inferior hardness 
renders it of less Tslue as an abrasiTe than corundum or emerv. It is 
also used eztensiTely as a gem, the use to which the Virginia garnet 

has been put. 


Clarke, F. W. Spessartite from Amelia County, Virginia. U. S. 

Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 60, 1890, 129. 

Bradbury, C. H. Garnet (yar. spessartite) from Amelia County, 

Virginia. The Virginias. 1885, VI, 25. 



Talc, a hydrous silicate of magnesia, is rather a widely distributed 
mineral but rarely occurs in large quantities. It is characterized by 
extreme softness, being readily cut with a knife or scratched with the 
finger nail, soapy feeling and entire freedom from grit. Ordinarily it 
is distinctly foliated and of white, gray or greenish color. 

The name soapstone (steatite an impure form of talc) is ordinarily 
applied to a dark bluish-gray, greenish rock composed essentially of the 
mineral talc. Like serpentine and talc it is a hydrous silicate of magne- 
sia. It is never chemically pure but usually contains varying propor- 
tions of the minerals mica, chlorite, amphibole (tremolite), pyroxene 
(enstatite), together with quartz, magnetite, pyrrhotite, and pyrite. The 
stone is soft enough to be readily cut with a knife and has a pronounced 
soapy or greasy feel, hence, the name. 


OCCUUtBHCB Ajrp o&ieiH. 

Talc is a secondary mineral representing the alteration product of €>tbet 
magnesia minerals snch as tremolite, actinolite, pyroxene, or ensta-i^i^e, 
and is frequently associated with talcose or chlorite schists, serpaitine^ 3.xd 
such basic igneous rocks as peridotite and pyroxenite. 

Soapstone occurs chiefly associated with the older crystalline roola 
In some cases, it has been derived from an altered eruptive rock ; in otli^TS, 
it has probably been derived from magnesian sediments by metamorph-is^i* 
According to Keith, the soapstone found in Fairfax county, Virginia, '^m 
probably derived from the eruptive rocks peridotite and pyroxenite. 

DisTBiBirnoH Ajrp localities. 


The pure form of talc has only been met with in commercial quaix"t-i^ 
at one point in the State, namely, near Wiehle, a station on the Rl^*^ 
mont branch of the Southern Railway, in Fairfax county. The mate^x^w 
is reported to be of a good grade of white foliated talc and is operated l:>y * 
private party with a reasonably good annual production. 


Soapstone, the impure form of talc, has on the other hand rather v^'XGe 
distribution in the State, being limited to the area of older crystaLXi*^^ 
rocks, which compose the Piedmont region, east of the Blue Ridge. X>^ 
posits of soapstone have been noted in the following counties : Albemarf^ 
Amelia, Amherst, Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Carroll, Fairf ^-^^ 
Floyd, Fluvanna, Franklin, Grayson, Henry, Louisa, Nelson, and Patricfc 
Many parts of the beds found in these various counties are of excell^^^ 
grade, and the stone has been and is being quarried in at least six of th^ 
above named counties. As is noted in the table of production given 
on page 296, the quarrj^ing of soapstone in Virginia has grown to be one of 
the important resources in the State, with every promise of greater expan- 
sion in the future. 


In Fluvanna and Buckingham counties soapstone occurs west of the 
slate belt and is exposed near the mouth of Hardware creek. It ^ 
quarried on a small scale at this locality many years ago, strictly i<^ 
Ideal use as healths, jambs, and other parts about chimneys. It ^^ 


also made use of further east in the southern part of Fluvanna county 
at Bremo. 


In Albemarle county, a little west of Green Mountain, is a belt of 
soapstone associated with micaceous schists, which is traced southwest- 
ward through Nelson into Campbell, Bedford, and Franklin counties. The 
belt widens in Nelson county and is associated with some serpentine. It 
passes thence as a narrow belt along the western base of Buffalo Ridge, 
in Amherst county, crossing the James river above Lynchburg, and is exposed 
about 2 miles west of the city on the road leading to Bedford City, and 
is exposed again 2.5 miles west of New London, in Bedford county. Con- 
tinuing in the same direction, the stone is seen again at the meadows of 
Goose creek, where it has been quarried to some extent. Continuing still 
further westward it is exposed in several nearly parallel belts, of which 
the most eastern makes its appearance near Pig river in Franklin county. 
A second belt occurs in the same vicinity near the eastern base of Jack's 
Mountain; a third still further west about one mile from Bocky Mount; 
and a fourth yet more to the west on the eastern slope of Grassy Hill. 
The stone has been quarried in a small way at several places in Franklin 
county, near Rocky Mount, and used strictly for local purposes. Exten- 
sive quarrying operations are in force in the Albemarle-Nelson counties 
portion of the belt which is described in some detail below. 


In Amelia county south of Chula and 4 miles N. 60° E. from Amelia 
court-house, occurs a belt of soapstone of good quality which was quarried 
quite extensively many years ago. A long opening was operated on 
the outcrop in the direction of the trend of the belt, which is N. 30° W., 
but is now fallen in and grown up in pine. Excepting huge boulders 
of the soapstone exposed in the bottom of the old opening, the rocks 
are entirely concealed beneath a heavy cover of decay. The width of the 
old opening, which probably represented the thickness of workable stone, 
vnll not exceed 50 feet. 

A second belt of soapstone of good quality is found in Amelia county 
about 4.5 miles north of Jetersville, a station on the Southern Railway. 
The soapstone is exposed in numerous places on the north side of Flat 
creek in several parallel belts having a general northeast-southwest 
direction. Exposures of the rock along the roadside show a thinly foliated 


homblendic schist, probably an altered diorite, and expoenres of diabase 
are found in close association with the soapstone. On the head-waters 
of Walnnt creek, a tributary to and on the north side of Flat creek, the 
soapstone has been quarried to some extent. Quarrying was begun in 
1 904, and during the summer of 1906, numerous smaller openings were pat 
down on the belt on top of the hill several hundred yards northeast of 
the quarry on Walnut creek. The property, including the quarry and 
other openings, are controlled by a Philadelphia Company and prepara- 
tions were in progress during the summer of 1906 to begin quanting on 
an extensive scale. 


A deposit of soapstone of very good quality occurs near Oakland in 
Louisa county. Some stone is reported to hi^ve been quarried but no 
systematic developments have yet been imdertidien. -' 


• •• 


In Fairfax county, there are numei'ous degosits* of soapstone and tal- 
cose schists, the former of which has been pfenfid ajid quarried in a num- 
ber of places. They form small bodies, of-sleirticular shape in close asso- 
ciation with eruptive rocks, especially tb0 basic ones, and are common 
around the gabbro areas. According to Keith the soapstone consisting 
chiefly of impure talc was probably derived from pyroxenite composed of 
plagioclase and pyroxene. He suggests that rocks of more complex 
original nature are perhaps represented by the talcose schists. 

The principal localities where these soapstone masses are found in Fair- 
fax county are: Two miles east of Annandale, which is the largest area; 
1 mile east of Tenley, the next largest body ; and in the area east of FaUs 
Church. All of these bodies have been worked to some extent and the 
stone used chiefly for local purposes. Considerable developments have 
been made in the large body east of Annandale and much stone has been 
quarried and sawed. The openings and outcrops show a thickness of 50 
feet of soapstone. The rock is of good quality, even-grained, and of 
uniform light bluish-green color, without seams and schistose plains 
developed in it. Blocks of desirable size can be readily quarried. 


In Grayson county, in the vicinity of Mink Bidge south of Qrant 
j»ost-oflfice, soapstone of good quality is reported. It is also found at other 


points in the county and preparations are being made to quarry it in 
one or two places. 

Professor Fontaine describes a belt of soapstone found 2.5 miles south- 
west of the Grayson Sulphur springs near the Carroll-Grayson counties 
line. It is reported to be of excellent quality, uniform composition, and 
compact texture. No foreign hard particles are contained in it and it 
may be planed and sawed with ease. It has a thickness of 8 feet, is 
traceable for 2 miles or more, and has been used locally about the fire- 
places in the dwelling-houses. 


Carrey mentions a thin seam of soapstone in Carroll county, ban- 
ning near Greeneville and extending north 54° east within 2 miles of Hills- 
ville; thence through Floyd within 2 miles of the court-house. It forms 
large ledges in places, is soft and cJasily worked. A thin stratum of 
soapstone is reported by Currey dh Colonel M. D. Carter's place in Patrick 
county, which, on account of its refractory nature, was used for hearth- 
stones and other local purposes. 


In Henry county, near Spencer's store, quarries of soapstone were 
opened some years ago. The material was of excellent quality and blocks 
of any required dimensions were reported to have been quarried. These 
were sawn out and then finished by planing. They were used in the 
foundations of houses and for other purposes. 


As described above, the Albemarle-Nelson Counties Soapstone belt lies 
a short distance west of Green Mountain and to the east, near and ap- 
proximately parallel to, Hawkins, Findley, Ball, and Appleberry moun- 
tains. It is distant from this western line of mountains from a quarter 
to a half mile, and it has a general northeast-southwest direction. It 
further roughly parallels the main line of the Southern Railway and is 
distant therefrom 3 to 5 miles. Quarries have been opened on the belt at 
numerous points with an extreme distance between the two end quarries 
on the northeast and southwest of nearly 30 miles. At many places where 
quarries are opened, the belt is apparently separated into several (three) 


parallel members locally called "veins". The spacing between the differ- 
ent members or beds is quite variable with a probable extreme of from 
500 to 800 feet. The deposits dip usually to the southeast in CQnfqimity 
with the enclosing rocks and at one point where the beds were favorable 
for measuring the dip was found to be 60°. 

So far as thev were measurable at the surface from the more or less 
altered rock and quarry openings the thickness of the separate pAialiel de- 
posits of soapstone varies from 30 feet to 1G5 feet. A few of the quarries 
are opened at the point of greatest thickness of stone but the entire thick- 
ness is not worked. The ratio of worked stone to the total thickneBS at 
several localities varices as follows: Total thickness 120 feet, working thick- 
ness 100 feet; total thickness 150 feet, working thickness 75 feet; total 
thickness 125 feet, working thickness 65 feet. The above figaree do not 
indicate that of the total thickness, only the width of the present work- 
ings represents the total workable stone, but that the present conditions do 
not warrant the working of a greater thickness. 

The stone varies from light bluish-gray to darker greenish-gray and 
from very soft to a hardness greater than that of scratching with the 
thumb nail. It is not penetrated by seams and the jointing is usually 
siifliciently far spacn^d to admit of any size blocks l)eing readily quarried. 
It is compact, of fine texture, and uniform, both in texture and color. 
A sj)rinkling of jiyrito occurs in places but it is rarely in sufficient amount 
to be liarmfiil to the stone. The stone is of excellent grade and is adraira- 
blv suited for the various uses made of it. 

The enclosing or associated country-rock is a variable crystalline schist. 
In mineral composition variation is from a typical mica-quartz schist of 
thin and irregular foliation to a micaceous sandstone or quartzite which 
may he close crinkled, or may be thin, or moderately thick and straight 
banded, in the Albemarle portion of the belt, a black graphitic schist i=» 
associated with the mica-<|uartz schist on the east side of the soajwtonc^ 
belt, and at several points further southwestward, the association is with an 
altered basic eruj)tive rock. 

This belt, whicli is iK'ing actively ojieratcd at the ])resent time, practi- 
cally composes the soai)stone industry in Virginia. .\s seen from the 
table of production given on ])age 296, the output in stone is large, and 
X'irgiTiia ranks as one of the largest soapstone-producing states. During the 
^^unlmer of llH)fi. there were 8 quarries producing and beginning to produce 
stone in this belt. Two of tlie most extensively worked quarries have 
reached dejah^ of T^^o and 130 feet, respectively. The quarries operating 



Fig. 2.— View in nunpnlone quarry in Nelson county. 




^- M 




■pSr ' 1^ 




'- fis- 




\-f - 



yj ,^ 









Fig. 2. — View in liie Nationol Soap.*lone Oimjmnj's quarry, XeUon pounly. 



in this belt beginning with the most southwesterly one in Nelson county 
are as follows: 

Name County 

The Piedmont Soapstone Company Nelson 

The Phoenix Soapstone Company 

The American Soapstone Cconpany 

The National Soapstone Company 

The Plumbers Soapstone Conipan^f ol America . .... 

Virginia Soapstone Company .. .\ .'...'............ . 

The Old Dominion Soapstonifi '.Cc^rporitjon ^ .. / .!'.... Albemarle 

Albemarle Soapstone Company " 

Map, plate XLII, shows the locatioiiV)f .the above quarries in the Albe- 
marle-Nelson counties belt. Plates XLIII, XLIV, XLV, and XLVI, 
show views in the various quarries located on this belt of soapstone. 

The larger quarries in this belt are well equipped with all necessary 
modem machinery for getting out the stone. Channelling machines are 
used in quarrying the rock. At each quarry is located a commodious mill 
for sawing, dressing, rubbing and polishing the stone and other machines 
for grooving and drilling holes. The entire product of one or two of the 
plants goes into the manufacture of laundry tubs, where polishing is un- 
necessary and hence polishing machinery is not installed. 

The excellent quality of the stone from this belt is adapted to a wide 
range of uses. The principal ones include laundr}^ tubs, sanitary purposes, 
electrical purposes, sinks, and cooking utensils. The mill of the Albemarle 
Soapstone Company, located 4 miles southeast of North Garden, is the 
most extensive in the South and it manufactures a much greater variety of 
products for utilization than any other. It has a very extensive stockyard 
where a large stock of the manufactured material is kept on hand. The 
product from this plant is marketed over the entire United States and in 
many foreign countries including Grermany, France, England, South Amer- 
ica, and Mexico. 



Soapstone is one of the most' durable of rooks> but on account of its 
sombre color, greasy or soapy feel and softness, it is undesirable for gen- 
eral structural purposes. Because of its ready workability due to softness, 
insolubility and heat-resisting qualities, it is suited for a considerable 
rMige of application. Most of the soapstone quarried at the present time 
is used chiefly in the manufacture of wash or laundry tubs, electric switch- 
boards and insulators, and laboratory sinks. It was formCTly used to some 
extent for the manufacture of stoves for heating purposes, and to some 
extent for fire brick, the well-seasoned stone being thoroughly fireproof, 


but in lecent years its use for these purposes has not been so great. The 
waste material from the quarries or, in some cases, the entiie output^ u 
pulverized and used as a lubricant. The principal use made of the Vir- 
ginia soapstone is given above. Much of it was formerly used in the 
manufacture of slate pencils but very little, if any, is now Hied for this 


The production of talc and soapstone in Virginia is given for the 

vears 1898 to 1906 inclusive. 

Quantity Value 

Year Short tons $ 

1S98 10,059 119,480 

1899 10,886 107,062 

1900 9,806 116,930 

1901 12,611 232,900 

1902' 13,221 372,168 

1903' 13,118 243,652 

1904* 17,625 339,928 

1906« 21,700 499,780 

(*) Includes Maryland. 

(') Includes North Carolina. 


Merrill, George P. The Non-Metallic Minerals. New York, 1904, 204- 


Stones for Building and Decoration. New York, 
1897, 46-63. 

Pratt, J. H. Mineral Resources of the United States for 1900, 

1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, and 1906. F. S. Geolog- 
ical Survey. 

Ries, H. Economic Geology of the United States. New York, 

1905, 201-203. 

Rogers, W. B. A Reprint of the Geologv of the Virginias. New 

York, 1884, 27, 79, 297,^ 314, 469, and 482. 


Definition and Properties. 

Under the term fullers earth is included a variety of clay-like materials 
which have the property of absorbing greasy substances. The materials are 
prevailingly greenish-white or gray, olive or olive-green, or brownish in 


e of the Albereiie nojip«toiii- i|Uiirn 















■--- *3CL. 

Fig. 1. — View in a rwentlj opened Hoapatone quarry in Xelao 

Fift. 2.— Limestone quarry nf the Matliiexon Alkali Workt. near Saltville. 

1 . 

r . 


color. They resemble clay superficially, but differ from it usually, by having 
lower plasticity and a higher percentage of combined water in proportion 
to the alumina content. Chemical analysis is usually of little value, and 
a practical test is necessary in order to determine its worth. 

Distribution and Looldities. 

Fullers earth has been reported from a number of localities in eastern 
or Tidewater Virginia (Coastal Plain) but as yet. it has not been investi- 
gated and very little is known of it in Vitgrhia: Dartonhag mentioned 
its occurrence in Westmoreland and Richmond counties, Virginia, and St. 
Mary's county in Maryland. He says: 

"Eastward in the Chesapeake formation the beds of infusorial or 
diatomaoeous remains are often sufficiently pure for commercial use as 
''fuller's earth". The largest deposits are near the base of the formation, 
and they are best exposed in the bluffs along the Potomac at the mouth 
of Pope Creek, Maryland, where at one time they were working for ship- 
ment. The deposits underlie the western part of Westmoreland, Richmond, 
and St. Mary counties and the southeastern part of Charles County, and 
they are exposed at many points along streams and in road-cuts. The 
purity of the material is diminished in some portions of the district by 
admixture with clay or sand, but over much of the area there are large 
supplies of relatively pure deposits." 

Professor Rogers refers to the beds of infusorial or diatomaceous earth 
in the Tertiary formations around Richmond as having been regarded as 
a fine clay or fullers earth. 


The material was formerly used chiefly by fullers for removing grease 
from cloths. It is now principally used in deodorizing and clarifying fats, 
oils, and greases. 

\ -m 


Darton, N. H. Geologic Atlas of the United States. Nomini Folio 

No. 23. U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Merrill, G. P. The Non-Metallic Minerals. New York, 1904, 248- 


Rogers, W. B. A Reprint of the Geology of the Virginias. New 

York, 1884, 449. 




The mineral eolumbite^ a niobate and tantalate of iron and manganese, 
occurs in the mica mines of Amelia county with microlite in fine crystals, 
but so far as is known not in sufScient quantity to be of commercial yalne. 
Except as mineralogical specimens and in the preparation of the salts of 
columbium and tantalium the mineral has but little demand. 

An analysis of the columbite from Amelia county gaye Professor Dun- 

nington the following results : 

Per cent. 

Nb,0, 31.40 

Ta,0. 53.41 

SnOs trace 

FeO 5.07 

MnO 8.05 

CaO 1.27 

MgO 0.20 

YA 0.82 

Total 100.22 

Specific gravity 6.48 


The mineral sipylite, the niobate of erbium chiefly with the cerium 
metals^ has been described by Dr. J. W. Mallett as occurring sparingly at 
the northwest slope of Little Friar Mountain in Amherst count}*. 

An analysis of the mineral from this locality bv Professor W. G. 

Brown gaye : 

Per cent. 

NbjO^ 48.66 

WO 16 

SnO, .OS 

ZrOj 2.01) 

ErA 27.94 

Ce^O, 1.37 

LhjOj 3.92 

1)1,0. 4.06 

UO 3.47 

FeO 2.04 

BeO 62 

MgO 05 

CaO 2.61 

Na.O 16 

K.O 06 

H,0 3.19 


LijO tr.iie 

Total 100.48 



The mineral wolframite, a tungstate of manganese and iron, occurs 
in the Blue Ridge in the extreme northeastern part of Rockbridge county 
at Irish creek, in association with the tin ore, cassiterite. It is not known 
whether the mineral occurs at this point in any quantity. The principal 
use made of the mineral wolframite, when foimd in suflScient quantity, 
is for tungsten, which is utilized chiefly in the manufacture of the so- 
called self-hardening steel. The material is introduced either as a ferro- 
tungsten or as the powdered mineral. 


Brown, W. Q. Analysis of A New Mineral containing Niobium from 

Amherst County, Virginia. Chemical News, 1877, 
XXXVI, 158-159. 

Occurrence of Wolframite at Irish Creek, Rockbridge 
County, Virginia. American Chemical Journal, 
VI, 185. 

Dunnington, F. P. Analysis of Columbite and Monazite from Amelia 

County, Virginia. American Naturalist, 1882, 
XVI, 611. 

New Analysis of Columbite and Mcnazite from 
Amelia County, Virginia. American Naturalist, 
1882, XVI, 611. 

Columbite, Orthite, and llilonazite from Amelia 
County, Virginia. American Journal of Science, 
1882, XXIV, 153-154; American Chemical Jour- 
nal, 1882-83, IV, 138-140. 

Mallett, J. W. On Sipylite, A New Niobate, from Amherst Count v, 

Virginia. American Journal of Science, 1877, 
XIV, 397-400; Ibid. 1881, XXI 1, 52. 



Like most of the mineral de|)osits of Virginia the phosphate deposits 
await investigation. So far as we have knowledge of these, three forms 
of phosphatic material are found, the first tyj)e of which occurs in the 
Coastal Plain region and inchides tlic phosphatic marls described on pages 
397-399; the second in the Blue Ridge region and includes a phosphatic 


rock composed of apatite and ilmenite ; the third in the Paleozoic sediments 
west of the Blue Bidge and includes a pebble phosphate. 

The Coastal Plain phosphatic material is discussed, so far as we have 
knowledge of it, under Marl on pages 397-399. 


A unique and interesting as well as extensive occurrence of phosphatic 
material is noted at two localities in the Blue Bidge region, namely, in 
Nelson and Boanoke counties. The rock is closely identical in the two 
localities; that occurring in Nelson county being known for many years, 
and has been extensively prospected on many farmfi, while that in Boanoke 
county has only recently been noted but actively prospected. For this type 
of rocks, I have elsewhere proposed the name Nelsonite, for the name of 
the county in which it was first found. 

Nelson Connty. 

The phosphate rock in Nelson coimty occurs in the foot-hills of the 
Blue Bidge, near Boseland, about 7 miles northwest of Arrington, a station 
on the Southern Bailway, and again 5 miles northeast of Boseland at 
Bryanfs post-office. (Map, figure 38.) It is found at a distance of from 
a quarter to a half mile west of Boseland on both sides of Tye river, and has 
been traced for a distance of 2 miles southwest of the river on the Giles 
place and in a northeastward direction to a point about half a mile east 
of Bryant, giving a total distance of about 7 miles along a northeast- 
southwest direction, as shown in figure 38, on page 233. 

When fresh, the phosphatic material is a hard rock composed of granu- 
lar white apatite and black ilmenite. It has been extensively prospected 
near Boseland and Bryant by means of pits, open cuts, and shafts; and 
near Boseland by numerous additional diamond drillings. The deepest 
shaft is reported to be about 65 feet and the drillings were put down to a 
depth of 150 feet and more. 

Open cuts made near Boseland and Bryant afford some information as 
to the mode of occurrence of the apatite-ilmenite rock. At both places, the 
rock exposed in the cuts shows dike-like characters in relation to the en- 
closing decayed gneisses and schists. As nearly as could be determined 
it conforms approximately to the structure of the enclosing schistose rocks 
with sharply defined contacts on the two sides. The greatest exposure in 



the cuts, vhich was at Bryant post-office, gave a width of the apatite- 
ilmenite rock (Nelsonite) from wall to wall of 8 feet. (Figure 43.) 
Greater widths than this are shown at places on the surface by the weathered 
ontcrops of the phosphatic rock. 

The rock is penetrated by several sets of intersecting, closely spaced 
joints, which break it into small blocks when struck with the hammer. 
The ratio of apatite to ilmenite is variable, ranging from a rock com- 
posed of dominant apatite to one composed of dominant ilm^te, with all 
intermediate gradations. 

The Virginia Phosphate and Paint Company was organized some years 
ago for the purpose of working the rock near Boseland for the phosphate 
which it contains. Should some extended use be found for tiie mineral 
ilmenite, these deposits will be of consid^nble commercial value both for 
the phosphatic mineral apatite as a source of phosphoric acid and the 
mineral ilmenite. 

Boanoke Coonty. 

Abont 3 miles east of Tinton and 4 miles east of Boanoke, a similar 
deposit of the apatite-ilmenite rock (Nelsonite) to that described above 
in Nelson county, is found occurring on the Valley side aod near the 
base of the Blue Ridge, at an elevation of abont 1150 feet above 
bea-level. like the Nelson county deposit, the Roanoke county masy 
shows similar dike-like characters and its traceable on the outcrop in the 
direction of strike for some distance. It occurs near the contact of the 
Valley limestone of Cambro-Ordovician age and the crystalline rocks of 
the Blue Ridge. 

Although found less than two years ago, the rock has been extensively 
prospected on a number of adjoiniTig farms by shafts, pits, and open cuts. 


for the purpose of ascertaining its valne as a source of phosphate. Speci- 
mens of the rock show a considerable preponderance of apatite over ihnen- 


Doctor R. S. Bassler, of the F. S. National Museum, noted, during some 
recent field studies in Virginia, the occurrence of phosphatic nodules at 
the base of the black shale (Romney) of Devonian age, at Clifton Forge. 
In a private communication to me, Dr. Bassler states that the noting of 
the occurrence of these phosphates at Clifton Forge was purely incidental. 
Thus far only the concretionar}' or conglomeratic phase of the phosphate 
has been noted in Virginia. Since no special search has yet been made for 
these phosphates in Virginia, it is not possible to predict whether commer- 
cial deposits of them exist or not. 

An analysis of one of the phosphate pebbles from conglomerate layer 
at the base of Romney shale, at Clifton Forge, Virginia, gave: 

Per cent. 

Insoluble matter 25.26 

Organic matter 32 

Ferric oxide 1.21 

Alumina 1.04 

Lime 30.86 

Magnesia 27 

Phosphoric anhydride 27.62 


The mineral dufrenite, an hydrous phosphate of iron, is found iii 
Rockbridge county where it forms radiated coarsely fibrous masses of « 
dark greenish brown color, forming an irregular bed of about 10 inches 
in depth, underlying limonite. 

Analyses of the dufrenite from Rockbridge county, made by Professor 
J. L. Campbell and Mr. Massie, gave the following results: 

Massie Campbell 
Per cent. Per cent. 

Ferric oxide ( Fe^,) 50.89 50.86 

Ferrous oxide (FeO) 6.30 6.14 

Phosphoric oxide {PA) 31.06 31.76 

Water (H,0) 8.35 8.63 

Alumina (Al,0,) 0.25 0.21 

Magnesia (MgO) 2.16 0.76 

Lime (CaO) 1.12 

Manganese oxide ( MnO ) 0.24 0.40 

Silica (SiO,) 0.20 0.12 

Total 100.05 99.89 



Dr. Koenig has described the mineral strengite, an hydrous ferric 

phosphate, as occurring in distinct crystals in cavities in dufrenite in 

Bockbridge county. He gives the following analysis of this mineral from 

Bockbridge couniy, Virginia : 

Per cent. 

Iron oxide (Fe,0,) 42.30 

Phosphoric oxide (P>0.) 39.30 

Water (H,0) 19.87 

Total 101.47 


Monazite^ essentially an anhydrous phosphate of the rare earths of the 
cerium group containing usually a variable amount of thorium, which 
element gives the mineral its commercial value, has been found only in 
one locality in the State, namely, Amelia county. The mineral occurs 
at the mica mines near Amelia court-house in large coarse crystals and 
masses in association with microlite etc., but not in commercial quantity. 
Analyses of monazite from Amelia county, Virginia, gave: 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Phosphoric acid 24.04 26.12 

Cerium oxide (Ge/),) 16.30 29.89 

lanthanum oxide (LasO,) 10.30 

Didimium oxide (DiA) 24.40 26.60 

Yttrium and erbium oxides* 1.10 

Silica (SiO,) 2.70 2.86 

Thorium oxide (ThO^) 18.60 14.23 

Iron oxide (FcaO,) 0.90 

Alumina (AlA) 0.04 

Ignition 0.67 

Total 98.38 100.42 

Specific gravity 5.30 

The principal use made of monazite is in the manufacture of electric 
and incandescent lamps. 


Campbell, J. L. On Dufrenite from Rockbridge County, Virginia. 

American Journal of Science, 1881, XXII, 65-67; 
The Virginias, 1881, II, 76. 

On Strengite from Rockbridge County, Virginia. 
Proceedings Academy of Natural Sciences, Phila- 
delphia, VII, 277-278. 



Dunnington, F. P. Analysis of Columbite and Monazitc of Amelia 

County, Virginia. American Naturalist, 1882, 
XVI, 611. 

New Analysis of Columbite and Monazite from 
Amelia County, Virginia. American Naturalist, 
1882, XVI, 611. 

Columbite, Orthite, and Monazite from Amelia 
County, Virginia. American Journal of Science, 
1882, XXIV, 163-164. 

Notes on the Occurrence of Ceri^ain Minerals in 
Amelia County, Virginia. American Journal of 
Science, 1883, XXV, 330-339. 

Notes on Monazite from Amelia Couri>-Hou8e, Vir- 
ginia. Proceedings Academy of Natural Sciences, 
Philadelphia, 1882, XXXIV, 15-16. 

Monazite from Amelia County, Virginia. American 
Naturalist, 1882, XVI, 423-424. 

Chemical News, 1880, XLII, 181. 

American Journal of Science, 1882, XXIV (3. s), 

Fontaine, W. M. 

Koenig, G. A. 

Penfield, S. L. 



General properties and occurrence, — Potassium nitrate, known com- 
mercially as niter, when pure, is white in color, subtransparent, and tastes 
saline, and cooling. It dissolves readily in water and deflagrates vividly 
on burning coals. Hardness, 2; specific gravity, 2.09 to 2.14. 

The mineral usually occurs in minute needle-like crystals and as 
crusts on the surface of earth and rocks; and scattered in the loose soil 
of limestone caves and similar dry and protected places. 

Distribution. — In Virginia, niter is limited to some of the numerous 
caves and caverns in the Shenandoah limestone of Cambro-Ordovician age, 
of the Valley province, on the west side of the Blue Ridge. It is found 
mingled with the earth in many of the caves of the Valley region and 
has been procured from time to time in considerable quantities from this 
source, although there is no actual production. As found in the Virginia 
caves, the niter is often of impalpable fineness and, at times, contains a 
considerable quantity of the lime salts. 

Concerning the origin of the niter earths in the caves of the middle 


end southern states. Professor Bogers states that the niter was chiefly 
derived from the overhanging and adjacent rocks and not from sedi- 
ment brought in to the cave by existing or former streams. This view 
has been confirmed by more recent study of the source of nitrates in cave 


Hess, W. H. The Origin of Nitrates in Caves. Journal of Geology, 

1900, VIII, 129. 

Bogers, W. B. A Eeprint of the Geology of the Virginias, New York, 

1884, 108, 763-764. 

Nitrates in Cave Earth. Proceedings of the Boston 
Society of Natural History, 1856, V, 334. 




The sulphate of barium, known as the mineral barite or heavy spar, is, 
when pure, a heavy white mineral with perfect prismatic cleavage, trans- 
lucent to transparent, and about as hard as common calcite, from which 
it can be distinguished by its greater weight and its not effervescing with 
acid. It is found in granular, compact and earthy masses, and in single 
and clustered, broad and stout crystals. In nature it is rarely pure, but 
ifi nearly always contaminated with other substances, the most common of 
which, in the commercial deposits, are manganese and iron oxides, limestone, 
sand, and clay. It is known commercially as barytes. 


Barite is found and has been mined for many years in various parts 
of Virginia. Probably the earliest mining of this mineral in the State 
was in Prince William county, within 200 yards of the Fauquier county 
line, about 4 miles south of east from Catlett, a station on the Southern 
Railway. It is claimed that the mineral was mined here as early as 1845. 

Developments in Campbell and Pittsylvania counties in the Piedmont 
region, and near Marion, in Smyth county, southwest Virginia, were be- 
gun since the close of the Civil War. Mining operations were begun in 
these two areas at about the same time, dating back about 30 years. Min- 
ing and milling of barite in Tazewell and Eussell counties on a commer- 
cial scale are more recent, and commenced about 15 years ago. 




Barite is found in a large number of counties in the State but the 
industry has been confined to only a few of them. (Map, figure 44.) The 
counties in which barite is found in the State, are (1) those which lie 
east of the Blue Bidge in the crystalline area or Piedmont province and 
include Bedford, Campbell, Pittsylvania, Nelson, Buckingham, Amherst, 
Orange, Louisa, and Prince William; and (2) those counties which lie 
IV est of the Blue Bidge and are in the Paleozoic sediments of the Mountain 
r^on and comprise Tazewell, Bussell, Bland, Wythe, Washington, Scoti, 
Smyth, Montgomery, Botetourt, Bockbridge, Warren, and Frederick. Of 
these, Bedford, Campbell, Pittsylvania, and Prince William, of the Pied- 
mont province; and Smyth, Tazewell, and Bussell of the Mountain province 
have practically yielded the entire production of the State. In 1906, 
operations were confined to five counties, namely, Bedford, Louisa, 
Pittsylvania, Bussell, and Tazewell. In Bedford and Louisa counties there 
was no production, the work being in the nature of development preparatory 
to shipping. 

Geologically, the barite deposits in Yirginia are grouped into three 
unlike areas: (1) Those deposits in the red shale-sandstone series of 
Triaasic age; (2) those of the crystalline metamorphic area; and (3) 
those of the Mountain region, associated for the most part with the Shenan- 
doah limestone or its residual decay. (1) and (2) compose the Piedmont 
province which stretches eastward from the Blue Bidge. 


Barite is a frequent accompaniment of metallic ores, but as such it has 
not proved of any value commercially. As a rule, the deposits which have 
been worked for barite alone are associated with limestone as pockets or 
lenticular masses, and it follows the structure of the rock with which it 
is associated. In the Yirginia localities which have yielded commercial 
quantities of barite, the mineral is associated with limestones, largely in 
the nature of a replacement. In southwest Yirginia and elsewhere in the 
Mountain region, where the barite occurs in the limestone, it is often found 
as superficially loose lumps and nodules of irregular shapes and sizes em- 
bedded in residual clays derived from the decay of the limestone. 

In Bedford, Campbell, and Pittsylvania counties of the crystalline area, 
a part of the ore has a similar occurrence in a dark manganiferous and 
ferruginous clay, locally known as umber, which is derived from the decay 
of the more or less impure calcareous rocks. At other points in Piedmont 



Virginia, the occurrence of barite is in siliceous crystalline rocks, remote, 
so far as known, from calcareous masses. One of the best illustrations of 
such an occurrence is near Thaxton, in Bedford county, where the barite 
fills an irregular fracture in a coarse-textured granite. The local differ- 
ences in the mode of occurrence of barite in Virginia are best brought out 
in the description of the three geologically unlike areas below, in which 
deposits are found. 


As yet only one deposit of barite of commercial importance has been 
developed in the somewhat extensive areas of Triassic rodca occurring 
east of the Blue Bidge. About 4 miles south of east from CaUett station, 
in Prince William county, and within 200 yards of the Fauquier county 
line, barite has been mined at different times since its opemng in 1845. 
It was last worked in 1903 with a production of 1,500 tens of ore. The 
opening of this deposit probably marks the first barite mining in Virginia. 

The property is developed by 3 shafts and a number of open cuts 
with the greatest depth reached in mining 108 feet. The grinding and 
preparation of the ore for market were conducted in a mill built for that 
purpose at the openings. This mill was afterwards burned, and in its 
place now stands a partly completed crushing-house, located near the main 
shaft, as shown in plate XLVII, figure 1. 

The geological position of this deposit is within the eastern margin 
of the red shale-pandslone series of the Triassic area, which crosses the 
Potomac river west of Washington and temdnates abruptly south of 
Culpeper, the Virginia portion of the New York- Virginia area as defined 
by Russell. The rocks of the immediate barite locality consist of ferru- 
ginous red sandy shales and a light-colored crystalline limestone. The 
measured dip at numerous places west of the mine gave 10** to 15** west 
of northwest. Between Catlett station and the mine, the shales are pene- 
trated by occasional diabase dikes. 

]\Iueh of the material composing the dumps at the mine is a lime- 
stone breccia, in which red shale fragments are cemented by an impure 
cr}'stalline limestone. Fractures are frequent and are filled with barite 
and occasionally with calcite crystals. These facts suggest that the barite 
deposit occupies a crushed or fractured zone in the Triassic rocks induced, 
probably, by faulting, although no evidence for such is apparent on the 
surface. The very gentle northwestward dips of the rock would preclude 
folding as a possible cause of the crushing. Faulting is a characteristic 
structure of the Virginia Triassic areas, and indeed of the same areas, 




' t 

, m I 

i^M ' I 




fmther north, and it seems reasonable to ascribe the brecciation in the 
Prince William county barite locality to faulting. 

The barite is associated with both the red shales and the impure lime- 
stone, usually as a deposition product from solution, filling fractures in 
the red shales. The widest of the barite-filled fractures are reported to 
be 4 to 8 feet and these form th^ chief source of the minable mineral. 
The barite also occurs as thin tabular cleavaUe masses in the limestone. 
It is of good white grade, both 'finely and coarsely crystalline massive, 
and judging from the ore on the dumps, quite free from most of the 
common impurities, especially manganese. It is reliably reported that the 
association of ore with limestone increases* in depth. 


Barite is reported found in the following counties of the Piedmont 
region east of the Blue Ridge: Campbell, Bedford, Pittsylvania, Xelson, 
Buckingham, Amherst, Louisa, and Orange. Also it is found near Mar- 
shall and XJpperville in the crystalline rocks of Fauquier county, west of 
the Triassic area described above. Practically the total production of 
barite in the crystalline area has been from 3 counties, namely, Campbell, 
Bedford, and Pittsylvania. In these counties the ore has been mined for 
30 or more years. Prospects in some of the other counties mentioned above 
in the crystalline area, where the mineral is known to occur, promise well, 
and, doubtless, further developments in the future will prove the existence 
of deposits of commercial importance. Exploitation of the mineral in 
the crystalline area should be especially directed in those localities where 
lenses or bands of limestone are found and indications of the mineral 

The Campbell-Pittsylvania Area. 

Beginning in the middle -western portion of Campbell county, a few 
miles east of Evington, a station on the Southern Railway, and about 15 
miles south of L)mchburg, a belt ol barite deposits is traced southwestward 
to 3 or more miles south of Sandy Level in the northwestern part of Pittsyl- 
vania county, a distance of about 30 miles. Numerous openings have been 
made at different points on the belt, many of which have been extensively 
worked and have produced large quantities of excellent ore. Figure 46 
is a sketch map of the belt showing the various openings made. It will be 
observed that the belt is near the Southern Railway for its entire distance, 
which offers abundant facilities for shipping the ore. At every point 
opened, the barite is reported to have outcropped on the surface. 


Fig. 46. — Uap ihowiiis location of the principal bftrit* mines in the Bedford- 
Campball-KttnlTipia countiea area. (Att^r WalwD, Tmi. A. I. H. B.) 


The most extensively worked deposits on the belt are grouped about 
two centers which occupy the northeast and southwest extremities of the 
belt, namely, Evington in Campbell county, and Toshes and Sandy Level 
in Pittsylvania count)*. Operations were begun in the two counties within 
a short time of each other, with probably the Hewitt mine in the vicinity 
of Evington the first to open, which dates back to 1874. The mines in 
the vicinity of Toshes and Sandy Level in Pittsylvania county were opened 
not less than 25 years ago. and in both counties, the mines have been 
operated almost continuously from the beginning to the present time. 

In Campbell county, the principal mines are the Hewitt, Saunders, 
Phillips, and Anthony grouped near together and within a few miles east 
and southeast of Evington. Of these the Hewitt has been the most 
extensively worked. It is located on the west side of Flat creek, about 
2.5 miles from Evington, and about the same distance from the Saunders 
and Phillips mines. It was worked almost continuously from 1874 until 
3 years ago, when it was abandoned on account of water. It is developed 
by numerous shafts and drifts with the greatest depth reached in mining 
about 160 feet. This is some depth below the local water-level, making 
it necessary to pump the water from the openings, which was trouble- 
some and finally led to suspension of work. At the openings the foliation 
of the rocks strikes N. 55** E. and dips quite steeply to the southeast. 
The limestone, with which the ore is associated, has a thickness of about 
60 feet and is underlain by a quartzite schist on the northwest side, locally 
designated the foot-wall, and overlain by a thinly foliated mica-schist on 
the northeast side, locally called the hanging-wall. As described above, 
here and elsewhere in this belt, the ore occurs as irregular bodies replacing 
the limestone, and as irregular rounded nodules and masses in a black 
manganiferous and ferruginous clay, locally called umber. 

The Saunders and Phillips mines are located on adjoining properties, 
opened on the crest of a well-defined northeast-southwest ridge on the 
east side of Flat creek and about 3 miles east of Evington. The develop- 
ments comprise shafts, pits, and tunnels, the deepest one of which does 
not exceed 100 feet. The first openings were made about 20 years ago. 
The rock associations are identical with those described at the Hewitt 
mine. Strike of the schist is N. 30^ E. and dip N. 60^-65^ W. About 
2 miles southwest of the Saunders mine is the Anthony mine, which has 
produced considerable ore. 

The barite area in the extreme northwest corner of Pittsylvania 
cotmty has been more entensively worked than that of any part of the 



belt It haa been developed by a large number of mines, which are grouped 
in two nearly parallel belta on either side of Pig riTer and just Bonth 
of its entrance into Boanoke river. Beginning at the northeast end of 
the eastemmost belt trending approximately northeast-Boathweet, it haa beoi 

> Residual red claj, 10 feet. 

I Umber (black mangatiiferouB and ferruginous claj) MoUini'V 
r barite nodulea 10 feet 

I Bante massive granular and white 10 feet 

le grained ThickneM >"' 

Fig 46 — Generalized columnar section at the Bennett bante mine, KttgjI""'* 
county (After Watson Trans A I M E) 

developed by the following mines which are aligned along the strike of 
the rock, Berger, Ramsey. Bennett, Parser, Thompson, and Drydtn ffrij*'' 
This belt ia three-quarters of a mile cast of Toshes, a station on the Bockj 
Monnt division of the Soutiiem Railway. The second or weBteramost bdt 


is developed by the Tom ttnghi mine 1 mile east of Sandy Level, a station 
3 tmlee weet of Toshes on the Southern RaIlna^ and by the Hatcket, 
Mease and Davix m*ne« southnest of Sandj Level The Davis mine is the 
moet Bonthwe«terIy one and is 3 mtles from Sandr Level. 

The Thompson mtne is reported to have been the first one opened in 
the area, followed h> the Parker, Berger Bennett and Ramsay, in the 
order named The first four of these were worked more than 25 yeairs 
ago and the production of hante from each mine was vry large and of 

A. I. M. E.) 

excellent grade. Except the Bennett, which is operating at present, they 
have all been idle for some years and very little could be seen at the time 
of my visit in September 1906. The ore from the Campbell-Pitteylvania 
area is shipped to the city of Lynchburg, Virginia, nearby, where it is 
cleaned and ground preparatory to shipping. 

The mines were developed by numerous shafts and drifts and some 
open work. The greatest depth yet reached in mining is 120 feet, the 
depth of the working shaft at the Bennett viine. A description of the 
Bennett mine, one of the most extensively worked in the district and the 
only one in operation in 1896, may be taken as typical of the area. 


The rock succession at the Bennett mine is shown in figure 46, which 
represents a vertical section made of the 120-foot shaft. As shown in 
this figure and also in figure 47, the wall rock is a eoarse-gniiiecl, thinly 
foliated mica schist intersected by pegmatite dikes, composed of coarse 
crystallizations of feldspar and quartz. The fresh mica schist is shown 
in the bottom of the shaft where it is penetrated for a depth of 20 feet, 
the overlying rock being a black manganiferous and ferrnginoiis day, thinly 
foliated, and derived from a calcareous schist in composition. A similar 
black clay also underlies the limestone occurring between it and the fresh 
mica schist. The limestone, which is a white coarsely crystaUine marble 
and charged to a small extent with both sulphide and silicate mineralsy 
is 40 feet thick and occurs between the two layers of black day. 

The ore, barite, is associated with both the limestone and the black 
clay, in part as a replacement of limestone and as inegolar ronndel 
masses and nodules in the over- and under-lying days. The 
largest concentration of ore is between the limestone and the schist and 
has an average thickness of about 10 feet. The contact between the 
barite layer and the limestone is very irregular, the ore often penetrating' 
far into the limestone, as sho^-n in figure 47. The lower contact be- 
tween the barite and the mica schist is sharply contrasted with that mad» 
with the limestone and is sharply defined and quite regular. The barite 
is massive granular, moderately coarsely crystalline, and of good white 
color. Five grades of the ore are made and marketed. 

Oihcr Prospects. — Openings have been made and some ore mined 
at the following localities between the two developed areas of this 
l»oh: One mile northeast of Motley's station on the Yanghan place; 
near Hurt station on Major John L. Hurt's place; about 3 ndles aouth- 
wesi of Hurt's on the Hamner place; one mile west of I>^ch's station. 
Also 3 miles southwest of the Hetntt mine, the Maddox mine was operated 
about one mile southwest of Otter River station. Bante of good quality 
and in largo quantity was mined here, but it has not been worked in 
nvont years on account of water, which makes the mining too expensive. 


At the various openings made along the Campbell-Pittsylvania belt 
the ore was exposed at the surface. Two characteristic occurrences of 
the barite are observeii. always in association and equally as strongly 
emphasized in v^ne part of the btlt as in the other. The first and principal 
Ov\nirrenoe is in intimate association with the crystalline limestone tf 
irresrular lenticular bodies or rockets, which measure 100 to 200 feet or 



Kifr 1.— The IVnnc-tt 

Fig. 2.~0|«'ning fmni wliMi ;;.v|.i.uim wa-. tiiinoci, neiir siiH plant. Hiiltville. 

: li 

W I' 



more, replacing the limestone. At the Hewitt mine, in Campbell county, 
some of the barite pockets were reported entirely enclosed by limestone. 
The ore observes the same coarsely crystalline massive structure as char- 
acterizes the limestone, and in several places gradation of the ore into the 
limestone has been observed. For the depths attained in mining imme- 
diately below and above the limestone is a variable thickness of a nearly 
black clayey mass, usually foliated and colored black from manganese oxide, 
derived from the decay of limestone schist. Through this black clayey 
mass is usually distributed in irregular fashion lumps and nodules of 
barite of large and small size. Occasionally barite stringers of slight 
thickness are formed along the foliation planes of the 6lay. Figures 46 
and 47 illustrate the different occurrences described above. 


The principal rocks of the barite belt in Campbell and Pittsylvania 
counties are crystalline schists with intercalated thin beds of coarsely 
crystalline limestone. Of the former, two distinct types are differentiated, 
namely, mica and quartz schists. The immediate rocks with which the 
barite is associated are marked by the essential absence of feldspar. The 
schists are composed of mica with minimum quartz, and they otherwise 
bear all the ear-marks of altered sediments, without the slightest suggestion 
of derivation from original igneous masses. Undoubted igneous rocks of 
basic composition occur near Toshes depot in the vicinity of the Bennett 
mine. Again, an irregular biotite gneiss of granitic composition is found 
within three-quarters of a mile northeast of the same mine; the origin of 
this gneiss, whether sedimentary or igneous, has not been determined. 

In the Evington portion of the belt, the underlying rock immediately 
in contact with the limestone masses on the northwest side is a fine-grained 
quartzite schist of considerable purity, and containing small brightly re- 
flecting scales of white mica developed mostly along the planes of schis- 
tosity. The rock immediately in contact with the limestone lenses on the 
northeast side is a variable mica schist always of fine texture and thinly 
foliated. Variation is from a moderately fine-grained muscovite-biotite 
schist at the Saunders-Phillips mines to a very fine-grained lustrous seri- 
cite schist at the Hewitt mine. A fine-textured mica schist, heavily charged 
with minute grains and crystals (octahedra) of black magnetite, forms an 
additional facies of the schist at the Hewitt mine. The mica schists are 
composed essentially of mica without feldspar. 

Those mines developed on the southwest end of the belt in the vicinity 


of Toshes, Pittsylvania county, indicate an enclosure of the limestone masses 
by a much coarser textured biotite-muscovite schist on the two sides. Feld- 
spar is only recognized as a scantily developed constituent of the rock, but 
thin stringers of quartz are interleaved at times with the schist and small 
dike-like bodies of a coarse crystallization of pink feldspar and quartz fre- 
quently cut across the foliation of the mica schist. The kaoiinized equiv- 
alents of these dike-like masses are found in the same position in the 
residual clays derived from the schist. (Figure 46.) 

Where exposed in mining this belt, the limestone is a coarsely crystal- 
line marble of considerable purity in places. In color it is generally 
white, occasionally pink, and sometimes greenish. It contains ferro- 
magnesian silicate minerals, especially biotite and tremolite, and is fre- 
quently charged with chalcopyrite and pyrite. Manganese and iron oxides 
are noted in places. The limestone widens and narrows alternately, fonn- 
ing lenticular masses with an observed maximum thickness of 60 feet, aid 
conforms in dip and strike to the structure of the enclosing schists de- 
scribed above. In composition the rock is composed essentially of calcium 
carbonate with small amounts of magnesium carbonate as shown in the 
analyses below, made by Dr. Walter B. Ellett, of specimens collected by the 

writer : 


Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Insoluble matter 1.66 0.87 1.10 

Alumina ) ^34 0.30 0.96 

Iron oxide { 

Calcium oxide 50.04 52.60 51.00 

Magnesium oxide 3.28 1.40 1.85 

Calcium carbonate 89.36 93.33 91.07 

Magnesium carbonate . . . 6.61 2.82 3.73 

Barium sulphate 0.62 0.65 1.62 

Copper sulphide trace trace 0.36 

I. White crystalline limestone from Hewitt mine, Campbell county. 
II. Same as I. 

III. White and pink crystalline limestone from Ramsay mine, Pittsylvania 

A third important type of rock, intimately associated with the ore 
and whose fresh equivalent is a limestone schist, is a black manganiferous 
and ferruginous clay, locally called umber. It is found at every opening 
made on the belt and its position is next to the limestone, occurring, as a 
rule, on both sides. Openings made near the outcrop usually penetrate a 
considerable thickness of the black clay but do not as a rule encounter the 
limestone. When followed down, however, for a short distance in the direc- 
tion of the dip, the limestone appears enclosed on either side by the dark 


clay which apparently thins on depth and ultimately disap}>ears. Like the 
associated schists, the hlack clay always contains the foliation planes of tlie 
original limy schist from which it was derived. 

Leached mica folia and small partially oxidized areas of light green 
tremolite are fonnd in the black clay of the Pittsylvania county mines. 
The relations of the clay to the limestone masses and the mica schist, to- 
gether with its structure and composition, reasonably support the belief 
that it has been derived bv decav from a calcareous schist, which was transi- 
tional between the well-defined and differentiated limestone on the one 
hand, and the mica schist on the other. The kaolinized equivalents of the 
pegmatitic dike-like forms found cutting the schists, are observed in similar 
position in the black clay, as shown in figure 46. Much good ore is mined 
from the black clav, in which it occurs embedded as nodular masses. 
Figures 46 and 47 make clear the above relations of the clay to the lime- 
stone and schist. 

Samples of the black clay collected by me from the Bennett mine in 
Pittsylvania county, and analyzed by Doctor Walter B. Ellett, gave the fol- 
lowing results : 

Per cent. 

IsBoluble residue 14.20 

Alumina 4.96 

Ferric oxide 32.40 

Manganous oxide 19.49 

lime 2.06 

Magnesia trace 

Barium oxide trace 

Copper trace 


Calcite in the form of the coarsely crystalline marble, with which the 
barite occurs, is much the most abundant associate. Pyrite and chalco- 
pyrite are frequently present as thin stringers and as disseminated small 
grains and crystals in some of the ore, but more especially in the associated 
limestone. These are usually intermingled, and in several instances a green 
staining of malachite has been observed from alteration of the chalcopyrite. 
Manganese and iron oxides are frequent associates, but, as a rule, they are 
not noticeable in the best grades of the ore. These are usually more 
abundant and, therefore, more troublesome in the ore mined from near the 
surface. A small amount of the ore from the Hewitt mine, in Campbell 
county, is reported to have been highly charged with manganese oxide, 
Tremolite has been observed in both the black clav and the marble and in 


places much biotito accompanies the tremolite in the limestone. 



The rocks are all schistose and preserve a general northeast strike 
with local variations which, so far as measured, range from N. 30** to 
65 °E. Greater variations are shown in dip. The pure limestone masses 
are usually more or less massive, becoming decidedly schistose with de- 
creasing purity. In the northern end of the belt near Evington, in Gamp- 
bell county, at the Saunders-Phillips mines, the schists dip N. 60*'-66® W. 
At the Hewitt mine, which is about 2 miles S.70®W. from the Saunders, 
the dip is to the southeast and quite steep, affording a distinct syndinal 
structure as shown in figure 48. Near the southern end of the belt at 
Toshes, in Pittsylvania county, the openings at the Bennett mine show a 
variable dip to the southeast, which is much flatter than in the Campbdl 


Fig. 48. — Section from Saunders manganese mine to Saunders barite 
mine, along a northwest-southeast course, near Evington. Length 
of section about 2 miles. (1) Crystalline limestone; (2) Ciystal- 
line schists, chiefly micaceous. (After Watson, Trans. A. I. M. E.) 

county area, the probable average being about 20°. Other large mines 
located nearby and on the same strike as the Bennett, had been abandoned 
for so long a time, that no reliable measurements were possible. However, 
outcrops of the schist in the vicinity of the mines show dips conformable 
with that at the Bennett. As indicated in these measurements the folding 
has not been of uniform intensity throughout, but at the northeastern end 
of the belt folding is steeper and of a more closed type, while at the sonth- 
westem end it is flatter and of a more open type. 

The Louisa County Area. 

Barite occurrence and mining in Louisa county are limited to the 
Walker place, 0.76 mile south of Mechanicsville, and 3 miles south of east 
from Lindsay, the nearest railway point. The openings comprise a number 
of test-pits and several shafts, the deepest one of which is between 70 and 
80 feet. Mining had been temporarily suspended for several months prior 


to my visit and the openings were filled with water, which prevented 
entering them for study of the ore- and rock-relations. 

The rocks are metamorphic crystalline schists of probable sedimentary 
origin. They are very thinly foliated micaceous schists, considerably 
altered, the foliation-planes of which are so regular and closely spaced as 
to be called, locally, slates. They strike approximately NE-SW, and 
observe a general southeast dip, with a probable average of about 45°. 
Exposures of the rock are rare because of the considerable depth of residual 
decay, chiefly gray and red clays. Quartz-fragments, both large and small, 
frequently litter the surface, indicating quartz-veins or vein-like masses 
interleaved with and cutting across the foliation of the schists. Careful 
search failed to indicate the presence of limestone and close inquiry further 
confirmed its absence. 

Examination of the ore was necessarily confined to the dumps. The 
ore is a moderately white grade of coarsely crystallized barite, remarkably 
free from impurities other than the usual discoloration from the red iron 
oxide. Several lumps of the ore showed cavities filled with nearly perfect 
quartz crystals. Drused surfaces of large tabular barite^rystals are 
abundant. The ore was traced from the surface downward in the openings, 
observing a general but variable dip toward the southeast. It is reported 
to be pockety in mode of occurrence, widening and narrowing sharply and 
frequently, but having a thickness of about 3 feet where worked in the 
deep shaft. 

Evidence is apparently lacking for regarding the ore as a replacement- 
deposit. It probably represents a filling of an irregular fracture in the 
crystalline schists, the bariimi salt of which was probably derived from 
some mineral or minerals composing the surrounding rocks. 

The Bedford County Area. 

Barite occurs and has been mined at a number of different points in 
Bedford county. Several mines near the Campbell county line yielded 
large quantities of the mineral. In the western part of the county, 
between Bedford City and Soanoke, a recent operation shows an interesting 
occurrence of the mineral. The deposit lies about 3 miles northwest from 
Thaxton, and is reported to have been first opened in 1866, when a small 
quantity of barite was shipped to Baltimore. It was re-opened again during 
tiie fall of 1906. The barite occurs in a completely schistose coarse-grained 
granite filling a fracture. Some distance away from the fracture the 
granite is entirely massive and porphyritic. 


As nearly as could be determined, the fracture has a N. 10** to 20° E. 
course, and dips about 60° southeast. An open cut about 20 feet deep has 
been made along the course of the fracture for a distance of about 450 feet. 
The granite in the vicinity of the fracture is deeply decayed, although 
the fracture is distinctly shown at one end of the cut where it carries 
no barite. 

The barite is crystalline, and varies in color from white to deep blue- 
gray. In places, much galenite in small grains and occasional sphalerite 
are disseminated through the barite. 



Barite is found in a number of counties in the middle and northern 
parts of the Greater Valley, but mining of it in this province has been 
largely confined to Russell, Smyth, and Tazewell counties in southwest 
Virginia. Within recent years mining operations have been limited to 
two of these counties, namely, Tazewell and Russell. Where found in the 
southwest region it is associated with either the Shenandoah limestone or 
its residual decay. 

Oeneral Ooourrence. 

In southwest Virginia, the barite of the several counties is in associa- 
tion with the Shenandoah limestone or its residual decay. It observes 
certain minor variations of occurrence from place to place. It fills in 
part, at least, fractures in the limestone and, in part, it replaces the 
limestone. In the southeastern part of Wythe county these occurrences 
in the limestone are fairly well shown. Here the mineral association of 
barite is with limonite, sphalerite, galenite, and occasional fluorite in 
certain openings named below, from which iron and zinc ores have beeo 
mined. In the Tazewell-Russell area the commoner associates are calcite 
and limonite, with some siderite, fluorite, and small greenish cherty masses. 
In addition to its occurrence in the fresh limestone the barite is found 
as small and large nodules irregularly distributed through the red clay, 
resulting from the decay of the limestone. (Figure 49.) The variation 
in local occurrence and in mineral association is brought out in the treat- 
ment of the individual areas below. 

Wythe County. 

In the southern part of the county, near the eastern margin of the 
Shenandoah limestone, barite is found in association with the metallic 



oreB in some of the zioc and iron mineB. No attention has been given 
to the mining of barite in this locality, nor is it known whether com- 
menuslly v&luable bante occnra In «cfor&l of the brown iron-ore pits 
at Ivanhoe, notably those of the New Itiver Mineral Company and the 
Painter, bante has been observed in some of the limestone chimneys (pin- 
nacles) as protruding irregular porous or cellular masses, intimately as- 
sociated at times with sphalerite and galenite These latter minerals, 
EolphideB, were noted in several instances as enclosures in the bante, and 
the bante replaces m part the limestone Northeast of Ivanhoe at the 
Bertha zinc mines, which have been operated for several years for iron ore, 
bante it found in places as loose nodules embedded in the red clav result- 

Fig. 49. — Section Bbowing mode of occuirenee of barite in days derived 
from IfmestMie. Taiewell-RiiSHell counties area. (After Wataon, 
Tnuu. A. I. M. E.) 

ing from the limestone decay. About a half mile northeast of Bertha at 
the Barren Springs iron-ore pits, barite is again found similarly occurring. 
The mode of occurrence and the associations of the barite in the above 
localities snggeet the introduction of the barium salt along fracture lines 
in the limestone and the partial replacement of the limestone by the barite. 

Smyth County. 

Barite was extensively mined some years ago near Marion, tlic county- 
seat of Smyth. The mining and shipping of barite in this county were 
begun about 1877 by Mr, Goodell, and the work was continued more or 
less energetically until about 1885. Some mining on a small scale has 
since been done from time to time. 

The mining of barite in Smyth county was largely confined to the west 


side aiifl at a distance of about :] miles from Marion, although some ore 
was mined on the east side of the town. Mining was largely confined to the 
lumps and nodules of barite embedded in the residual red clays derived 
from the Valley limestone. In some instances, mining operations extended 
into the fresh and hard limestone beneath the clays, but nowhere was a 
greater depth reached in mining than 100 feet. During the fall of 1906, 
2 car-loads of barite were mined and shipped from the W. M. Copenhaver 
property on the west side of Marion. During the period of active opera- 
tions in this county the barite was chiefly milled and prepared for market 
in Marion. A smaller mill was operated both on the east and we!=t sides 
of lyfarion. 

Washington County. 

About 4.5 miles northwest of Glade Spring and on the north side of 
and about a half mile from the Saltvillo branch of the Norfolk and Western 
Kailway. barite occurs in the red clay derived from the Valley Umestone 
on the Buchanan, McNew, and White places. No prospecting nor work 
for barite has been done in this county. 

Russell and Tazewell Counties. 

Russell and Tazewell counties are the largest producers of barite, at 
present, in the State. Extensive deposits of the mineral are found in 
both counti(»s. In its geographical distribution the mineral is limited 
chiefly to the southern slope of Kent Ridge and its prolongatioD both 
northeastward and southwestward along the valley of Clinch river, extend- 
ing from near North Tazewell on the northeast to near Lebanon on the 
southwest, a distance of more than 30 miles. Map, figure 60, shows 
the most productive portion of the belt. Barite has been mined at 
numerous points along this northeast-southwest belt, the principal ones 
being near North Tazewell; 3 miles south of Richlands; 3 miles from Hon- 
aker on the Clinch river ; and on the southwestern end of the belt in the 
vicinity of licbanon. 

The barite is found throughout this belt in the upper portion of the 
Knox dolomite and its residual decay. Sections AA and BB, figure o(K 
show the structural relations of the Knox dolomite and the adjacent rook? 
on the northwest and southeast," near Sword Creek and Richlands in Taze- 
well county. The barite occurs as small and large lumps of irregular 
shapes assembled in the residual clay of the limestone, and in pocket foru' 
and vein-like bodies filling spaces in the limestone, and in part replacmiT 
the limestone. 






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'Wi'fi- (« hi. r'Miiiji-i iin/iM o' 1**511 liMiif- aiit :t- nr»>ioiiiriTtioi urd 
If >• •ii..-ii'' v.ii* .11;' rn\\\i\Y*K}*\v:iivi iiHim Hi* valr^' «v !iiiiei Tif*^. cmHii^- 

iimu'*'Mi j/i»inu iuvMi; Miu inF**:ti*it«r»-ffi»iniiw*^rr iter, tin Tmnaniii, niif^ 
u«- ii; ij'^ii' .'.\»'*:t ' itii*:^^»?l ^ mil** uuir.i (r licMiurmif . ' mitts ±riTn 'Bim- 
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mills and are well equipped. Plate L is a view of the milling plant of the 
Pittsbnrg Baryta and Milling Corporation at Richlands. This plant is 
very commodious^ completely equipped with modem machinery, and is one 
of the best modem barite mills in the country. 

Methods of Mining. 

As noted above in the description of the barite mines, now or formerly 
operated in the different sections of Virginia, the mining is all surface work 
with no deep mining in any part of the State. The greatest depth yet 
reached in any of the Virginia mines is a shaft recently operated at the 
HJewitt mine, in Campbell county, which is 160 feet. In the crystalline 
area, east of the Blue Ridge, the ore is first located by surface indication 
and is won by vertical timbered shafts and drifts, which follow the direc- 
tion of the ore bodies. The machinery employed is simple, light and in- 
expensive. In the limestone of the southwest Virginia region the mining 
is shallow and largely by open pit work. In mining the ore in the fresh 

limestone, blasting becomes necessary for breaking it down. 

I .- ^ .. . j^.,,^ . . . -» .-^ ■.--., , 
PreparatioiL ..:.,/ 

For removal of the impurities from the better grades of merchantable 
ore, washing and bleaching, and occasionally jigging, are the^ only opera- 
tions necessary. The common impurities in the besij^kdias of ore include 
iron and manganese oxides, limestone, clay, and sand. Higgin^s descrip- 
tion in the Engineering News for 1906 of bleaching barite, in preparing it 
for market, is here given in full as summarized by Pratt in the Mineral 
Resources of the United States for 1904 : 

^In bleaching the barytes, the crushed mineral is placed in wooden 
tanks lined with sheet lead and holding from 5 to 25 tons of mineral. The 
tanks used are either circular or rectangular, the former being preferable 
for the reason that the steaming can be more uniformly done. The best 
size is 4^ feet high and 8 feet in diameter. With a tank of this size, one 
steam inlet is required. The most satisfactory tanks are made of stout, 
v^ell-seasoned cypress wood, which are well braced on the outside and lined 
on the inside with heavy sheet lead. A lead coil of pipe one-half to 2 inches 
in diameter is constructed in such a manner that either steam or water 
3an be supplied through the perforations which are best located at an angle 
of about 46** to the vertical diameter of the pipe rather than directly on 
top of the pipe. With the perforations in this position there is less chance 
of the holes becoming clogged up by fines dropping into them. In charging 
the tanks the barytes is added to a depth of about 3 feet and then the 


ililiiti' sulphuric- acid solution, which is used as the tfolvent, is run in. 
Strain is admitted hy means of the coiled lead pipe, which is closed at one 
end ami provichMl with small perforations from G to 8 inches apart. The 
steam escaping from these perforations agitates and heats the mixture, 
wliich requires from six to eighty hours to bleach, depending entirely on 
the amount of iron contained in the i)arvte8. After drawing off the aci*^* 
the cleaned mineral is discharged either by sluicing through a specially 
constructed siK)ut or else ])y shovelling over the side of the tank and ^^ 
transferred to a wasiier in which the last traces of the acid and clav mate- 
rial are removed. The cleaned mineral is then dried either on large psm*^ 
or by means of some one of the ])atentt*d rotary driers.'' 

**In this bleaching process the manganese dioxide is not removed ;i u^*-^ 
the barytes that contains this impurity has to be ground to paste oa ^ 
40-mes]i sireen and then mixed with nitrate of soda, salt, and sulpha ^k"^* 
acid in the proi)er proportions. This mixture is then heated in a specia. 1- ^ - 
constructed furnace by which process the iron and manganese are c< -^ '■-'^' 
verted into chlorides, which, being very soluble in water, can be complet^^^^J 
removed by \\a>hing. the barytes being allowed to settle in a series ^^^ 
tanks, generally thr(»e in number." 

'*The next ste]) in the preparation of the bar3'tes for market is reduci 
it first to the size of fine sand by means of rolls and then to an impalpa 
powder by means of btdirstonc^s, after which it is ready to he packed 


'I'he priiH-ipal use made of barite at pr<»sent is as a white pigment. ^J 

was formerlv used as an adulterant of white lead but it is now recogniz 
that barite alone makes a good pigment. At the present time, therefo 
barite i> put on the market as a pigment in com]K»tition with white \v- ^^ <^ 
and other white pigments. Tt has a permanent white color and is r"»- *^ 
elTected bv weather or bv gases which cause in some ea^es white lead ^ ^ 
blacken. According to Pratt, barite can be used to advantage in combii"^* ^' 
tion with either white lead or zinc white. Any pronounced increase in tr l'^ 
consumption of white |)igments will produce a corresponding inercajM' ^^ 
barite: and as barite is more and more replacing the other white pigim*!* '^^' 
there is a noticeable increase in the ]jroduction of barite from these cau^'«:*^• 
I'ratt stales that of the total production of barite, about four-fifths aro us*€»n 
in the manufacture of white pigment. 

A further use made of barite is for giving weigiit and )>ody to cortaiD 
kinds of cloth and paper. The use of barite in the manufacture of bariuyw 
compounds for chemical purjwses is increasing. 



jroduction of crude barite in Virginia from 1901 to 1905 is as 

Year Quantity Value 

Short tons $ 

1901 10,270 31,260 

1902 12,400 39,700 

1903 5,700 20,400 

1904 11,214 31,462 

1905 tU68 27,838 


, J. L. The Steatite, Mica, Fire-clays, etc., of James river 

Valley. The Virginias, 1882, III, 160. 

. W. M. Notes on the Geology and Mineral Resources of the 

Floyd, Virginia, Plateau. The Virginias, 1883, IV, 
167, 178-180, 185-192; 1884, V, 8-12. 

Edwin, Jr. Barytes and Its Pre^ar^tiou for. the Market. Engi- 
neering News, 1905, -LIII, 196-198; Engineering 
and Mining Journah 1905, tXX'IJC, 465. 

Iward K. The Barytes Industry of the South. Engineering and 

Mining Jourpal, 1907, LXX^g^II, 751-752. 

3. P. Barite. Non-Metallic "Minerals. New York, 1904, 


H. Barvtes. Mineral Resources of the United States, 

1901. 915-916. 

1 • Barvtes Mining in Virginia. Engineering and Min- 

ing Journal, 1905, LXXIX, 563. 

Thos. L. Geology of the Virginia Barite Deposits. Transac- 

iions American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1907. 

ineral Resources of the United Stat(^ from 1883 to date : Mineral 
from 189-> to date. 


General Properties. 

lically, gypsum is a hydrous calcium sulphate correspond] ii<r to 
ula CaSO^.'iHoO. When pure, natural gv'psum is usually white 
ssive, and pearly when crystallized. It is often gray, brown, red, 
I black fn)ni impurities. Ordinarily the impurities are ortranic 


matter, ferruginous and aluminous or clayey matter, and the carbonates 
of lime and magnesia. 

The hardness of gypsum varies from 1.5 to 2.0 ; specific gravity, 2.3. 
The softness of the mineral, wliich is such that it can be readily Bcratched 
with the finger-nail, serves to distinguish it from the other min^rak vhidi 
it resembles. Three principal varieties of gypsum are usually recogniaed 

(1) The crystallized, foliated and transparent variety, known aa aelenite 

(2) the fine fibrous and pearly or opalescent variety, known aa satin sptr 
and (3) the common massive, fine-granular variety, known as gypsnin. 
When of white color and sufficiently compact or fine-grained for carving 
and sculpturing, it is known as alabaster. 

Origin and Occurrence. 

In commercial quantities, gypsum is always associated with stratified 
rocks, when it is usually regarded as a chemical deposit, resulting from 
the evaporation of inland sea and lake waters. The gypsum beds usually 
occur interstratified with shales and limestones and in many places beds 
of rock salt. In southwest Virginia the gypsum deposits are associated 
with gray and purple clays in shales and shaly limestones of Lower 
Carboniferous (Mississippian) age. It may also be formed throa^ the 
oxidation of sulphides and the action of the liberated sxdphuric add <0 
limestone; or through the action of solutions of metallic sulphates on 
calcium carbonate (limestone) ; through the hydration of anhydrite; and 
tlirougli the action of sulphurous vapors from volcanoes on lime-bearing 

Oeneral Oeologio Relations of the Southwest Yiq;inia Sepoiits. 

The gypsum and salt beds of southwest Virginia are intimately asso- 
ciated, and are confined to a narrow southwest-northeast valley of the North 
Fork of the HoLston river, extending from Plasterco on the southwest to 
within 3 miles west of Chatham Hill post-office on the northeast, a dis- 
tance of about 16 miles. Tlates XXXIII, XXXIV, and LI, views taken 
at Plasterco and Saltville, give a general idea of the outline and surface 
<?haracter of the southwest end of the valley. 

The ridges knovm as Pine and Little Brushy Mountains bound the 
valley on the northwest sides and are composed of rocks which range in age 
from Silurian through Devonian to Lower Carboniferous. Near the mid- 
dle portion of the valley the road follows for some distance close to, on and 
over, thin-bedded sandstones and siliceous shales of Carboniferous age, which 


Fig. l.~rVie«- of the southwetit end of the Saltville vallpy i 
showing gypsum masses (white) mined b; the Buenu VU 
and Mining Company. 



form the basal slope of the ridges. These rocks, dipping at angles varying 
from 23** to 45** southeast, underlie the Greenbrier limestone. This lime- 
stone forms a narrow belt extending from and along the basal slope of the 
ridges to the southeast side of the river where it is cut off by a fault, which 
has brought up the Cambro-Ordovician limestone. - As mapped by Professor 
Stevenson, this fault, designated the Saltville fault, extends from the south- 
western end of the area, passing within a short distance to the southeast 
of Plasterco and Saltville, in a goieral northeast direction several miles 
north of Chatham Hill post-office. The rocks on the southeast side of the 
fault are limestones and blue limy shales which dip to the southeast at 
angles varying from 21** to 35**, measured along the road extending from 
Saltville to the limestone quarry of the Mathieson AllcaU Works, 3 miles 
S. 15^ E. of the Salt Works plant. A view in this quarry, showing the 
limestone capped by shales, is given in plate XLYI, figure 2. The accom- 
panying map, plate LIT, make plain the above geologic relations. 

Fig. 51. — Seciioo acitMi Holctoo and Saltrille TmlleyB od a Doithwert-sootheast line 
midwaj between Saltville and Plaateroo. (After £. C Eckel.) 

Both the gypsum and the salt deposits are limited to the narrow belt 
on the northwest side of the Saltville fault, included between the fault and 
the Carboniferous shales and sandstones of the basal slopes of Pine and 
Little Brushy Mountains. So far as has been made out, this narrow belc 
is composed of the Greenbrier limestone (Carboniferous) and the beds of 
g3rpsum and salt. Figure 51, a section by Eckel across the Holston and 
Saltville valleys, along a northwest-southeast line between Saltville and 
Plasterco, shows the relations of the Greenbrier limestone and the gypsum- 
salt beds. 

Mining Developments. 

Commercial deposits of gypsum in Virginia occur only in Washington 
and Smyth coxmties, in the narrow valley of the North Fork of Holston 
river described above. Professor Rogers described the occurrence of 


gypsum in a number of the Coajital Plain counties of eastern Virginia in 
association with the gruensand deposits, but no developments have been 
made, nor is it certain that commercial gypsum is found. 

Within the limits of the Ilolston and Saltville valley gypsum has been 
worked at numerous points. The mines and milling plant of the Buena 
Vista Plaster and Mining Company, situated near the southwest aid of 
the Valley and about 2 miles southwest of Saltville, are the most extensive. 
The exact date of the discovery and first working of gypsum in this valley 
is unknown to the writer, but it certainlv dates back as far as the early 
part of the nineteenth centurv. The location of the principal mines are 
shown on map, plate LIl. Beginning on the northeast end of the belt the 
principal mines are descrilx'd in order toward the southwest. 

On the Buchanan place, about 3 miles west of Chatham Hill post-office, 
are several openings worked to a depth of less than 50 feet. Several hun- 
dred tons of gypsum were mined and crushed for use as land plaster. 

About 8 miles north of west from Saltville a good supply of gypsum 
has been mined on the Hnnioi place, situated Uss than one-half mile south 
of the base of Little Brushy ^lountain. This mine was first opened about 
15 years ago and was developed by an incline shaft and drifts which were 
filled with water at the time of my visit in August, 1906. As judged by 
the large dump j)ile at the opening the g}'psum mined was of good quality. 
Tt is quite similar to that mined at Plastereo and it contains very thin 
leaves of interlaminated gray crystals of the g}psum. 

An analysis of the gypsum from the Barnes mine made by Professor 
M. r». Hardin gav(» : 

Per cent. 

Calcium sulphate 78.60 

Water 20.79 

Calcium carbonate 0.21 

Calcium chloride trace 

Magnesium chloride trace 

Organic matter 0.12 

Silica, alumina, etc 0.23 

Total 99.95 

Gypsum has been worked in the past at a number of places along the 
North Fork of the Holston river Ix'tween the Barnes mine and Saltville. 

The most extensive one of tliese is that of the Southern Oypsum Com- 
pany, Incorporated, which began ])rospeeting for g}'psum in the valley o» 
the North Fork of the Holston river in the summer of 1906. A drill giv- 
ing cores 314 inches in diameter was used and a very accurate record of the 

5^ .^Y._>^ 

, I « 5 

?i t ; I 2 s 
A 1 5? i" •• ^' 

= ft ■ ;; 

I = 

"" ""41?^ if s 

;|— ji— o 

r r 


suLrnAT^>. ,^31 

formations passecl through was obtainiil. After nearly a year of drilling, 
the Pierson Piaster llml' farm, 3.5 mile< alx>ve Salt villi*, was purclins<*<l. 
Under this farm, the <1 rilling of the company has alnady (iomonstraittl a 
very large amount of gypsum, while a considerable portion of the farm 
remains to be j>rospected. 

The mine of the company is well opened and by July of 1907, the 
Southern Gypsutu Towi/iAwv, will l>e placing gypsum on the market, Tlie 
full capacity of the mill will be 40(» tons per day. Of this about % will 
be put upon the market in the form of wall plaster, the remaining t^t> ^tll 
be used by Portland cement mills and in the form of land plaster, 

(iypsum was worknl as nn^*ntly as 1902 at Saltville, where sseveral largo 
openings were developed. The gypsum mined at Saltville was shipjied to 
Glade Spring, where a ]»art of it was used for land plaster, but most of it 
was used in the manufacture of Keene's cement. In Volume IV of Thr 
Virginias for 1883, Major Hotehkiss re]M»rts an analysis of the gy|>sum, 
made by Thomas .lones from the plaster hanks of i1k* Salt Works Comj^any, 
to be: 

Per i*ent. 

Lime 32.293 

Sulphuric acid 46.445 

Water 20.856 

Magnesia .151 

Iron and aluminum oxides. ... .149 
Siliceous matter .070 

Total !»0.964 

The niin<*> of tin* Buenu Vista Plaster and Mining Conipany at IMas- 
terco, about '^ miles southw<*st <»f Saltville. are much tlif most extensive in 
the valley. Between the years 181.") and 1857 a iuiiiiImt of iK)rings were 
made on this pro|>erty for the puqwse of a.^certamin^ ( 1 ) the ihiekness of 
the gypsum, and (VM the pn'senu* of hrinr or nnk salt. The niords 
of 7 of these borings taken from Bulletin No. 213 of the United States 
Geological Survey are here given : 


Well A. Bored l>etween 1815 and 1820: 

Red clay 0—14 

Clav and plaMer 14—120 

Pure plaster 160—200 

Well B. Bored in 1847: 

Red clay 0— 10 

Clay and pla«»ter. Imlir^toin* 10 — 30 

Clay and plaster (deep red ) 30— GO 

Pure plaster 50— 96 

Impure blue plaster 96 — 163 

Hard blue slate 163—420 


Well C. Bored in 1847: Feet 

Red claj 0— 10 

Clay and plaster, with brown rocks 10— 70 

Pure plaster 70—100 

Slate and plaster 100-200 

Hard blue plaster 200—380 

Red slate 380-480 

Gray slate 480-495 

Red rocks, a little salty 495-605 

Well D. Bored in 1847: 

Red clay 0- 10 

Clay and plaster 10-62 

Plaster, with a little clay 62-200 

Red clay, with a little plaster 200-385 

Red clay, alkali, and salt 385-387 

Pure plaster 387— 6» 

Well £. Bored in 1847: 

Red clay 0- 10 

Clay and plaster 10— 16 

Impure plaster 16— 50 

Pure plaster 50-102 

Slate and plaster 102— 16o 

Nearly all plaster 165-210 

Blue slate 210-320 

Blue slate and plaster 320—390 

Yellow soapstone 390-445 

Pure plaster 445-490 

Red rock, with a little salt 490-606 

Well F. Bored in 1863: 

Clay 0-17 

Clay and plaster 17—60 

Pure plaster 50— 83 

Hard black flint rock 83-90 

Pure plaster 90— 96 

Plaster and sulphur balls 96-105 

[Record lost] 105-109 

Red and yellow soapstone 109—120 

Hard blue slate and red, blue, and gray rock 120—359 

Yellow and blue slate 369-390 

Yellow and blue slate, salty 39(M60 

Wdl 6. Bored in 1864: 

Sand and gravel ^ S 

Blue clay 20-30 

Hard white sand rock 30-40 

Clay and plaster 40— ^ 

Buhrstone 55— 60 

The present mines lie near the southeast side of the valley and are 

dereloped by drifts and shafts, the deepest one of which is nearly 200 

tet A depth of 280 feet was reached in one of the old shafts. The ma- 

■tal •• mined ia ground and calcined at the milling plant of the company 



to 1906, inclusive, was kindlv furnished me bv Mr. Wvndham B. Bobertson, 
President of the Buena Vista Plaster and Mining Company. 

Year Quantity Value 

short tons $ 

1890 '. 6,360 20,782 

1891 5,959 22,674 

1892 6,991 28,207 

1893 7.014 24,369 

1894 8,106 24,431 

1895 5.800 17,369 

1896 5,955 17,264 

1897 6,374 16.899 


short tons 

1898 8,378 

1899 11,480 

1900 11,940 

1901 15,236 

1902 10,418 

1903 14,741 

1904 13,784 

1906 16,678 

1906 20.006 




Eckel, E. C. Salt and Gypsum Deposits of Southwestern Virginia. 

U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 213, 1902, 

Gypsum Deposits in Virginia. U. S. Geological Sur- 
vey, Bulletin No. 223, 1904, 36-37. 

The Saltville Fault. Proceedings American Philo- 
sophical Socie^, 1881, XIX, 349. 

The Geology of Saltville, Virginia. The Virginias, 
1881, II, 92-93. 

Some Notes on the Holstein, Virginia, Salt and Gvp- 
sum. The Virginias, 1882, III, 20-21 ; 42. 

Stevenson, John J. Notes on the Geological Structure of Tazewell, Rus- 
sell, Wise, Smyth and Washington Counties, Vir- 
ginia. Proceedings, American Philosophical So- 
ciety, 1884, XXII, 114-161. 

The Salt and Gvpsum Deposits of the Holston, Vir- 
ginia, Valley. * The Virginias, 1885, VI, 53-55. 

Fontaine, W. M. 

Hotchkiss Jed. 

Jiobertson, W. 

Kogers, Wm. B. 

A Beprint of the Geology of the Vir;:inias. New 
York, 1884. 




1. COAL. 


The first coal mined in the United States was in the Richmond basing 
where mines were opened and worked on the James river, near Richmond^ 
as early as 1750. For the next 71 years, or from 1750 to 1822, there are 
no available records of production from the mines near Richmond; the 
first year for which figures of production are given is 1822, when 54,000 
short tons of coal were mined. In 1824 the production was 67,040 short 
tons; in 1826, 88,720 tons; and in 1828, 100,280 tons. The productioft 
from the Richmond basin continued to increase until 1832, when it began 
to decline. Shortly after the decline began in the Richmond basin, areafr 
in the nortliwestem part of the State (now West Virginia) began to pro- 
duce coal, and until West Virginia was made a separate state in 1863^ 
Virginia was numbered as one of the important coal-producing 
states, which rank has been restored in recent years by the mining of the 
large reserves of coal in the southwestern part of the State. 

The construction of the Norfolk and Western Railway through south- 
west Virginia, in 1882, opened up the famous Pocahontas coal district^ 
which lies partly in Virginia and partly in West Virginia. likewise, the 
building of the Clinch Valley division of the Norfolk and Western Railway^ 
nine years later, marked the beginning of the development of the Wise 
county coal district. The developments in these two fields in southwest 
Virginia, Tazewell county in 1883, and Wise county in 1891, again restored 
Virginia to importance as a coal producer. Each year since, the production 
has shown a large increase over that of the preceding year, and out of 
31 coal-producing states in 1905, Virginia ranked as fifteenth. 

Coal was mined in the Montgomery-Pulaski counties area prior to ih^ 
Civil War, but not in an extensive way. It is reported that some of the 
coal used in the bunkers of the Merrimac (Virginia), in her fight with 
the Monitor in Hampton Roads, came from the Price Mountain mines i^ 
Montgomery county. For a period of 30 years after the Civil War^ 
the only mining carried on in this field was to supply a local market. For 



a number of years past large developments have been made, more extensive 
and systematic mining has been carried on in accordance with modern 
methods, and a steady increase in output over that of the local market has 
been indicated yearly. 

The present annual production of coal in Virginia is about 4,600,000 
short tons valued at approximately $4,000,000. 


The geographic distribution of coal in Virginia is shown on the accom- 
panying map, figure 52. As shown on this map, coal is found and has been 
extensively mined in two of the three larger physiographic provinces of 
the State, namely, the Mountain province and the Piedmont province. Of 
these, the deposits of the Mountain province are the only producing ones 
at present, although recent developments in the Piedmont province will 
again restore this area to the rank of a producer at an early date. 

The distribution of the Virginia areas, which have pioduced or are 
producing coal, is as follows: 

I. The Coal Deposits of the Piedmont province. Includes the Bich- 
mond Coal Basin, which covers parts of the following five counties: 
Henrico, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Goochland, and Amelia. The 
Farmville area, which covers parts of Prince Edward, Cumberland, 
and Buckingham counties. 

II. Tho Coal Deposits of the Mountain province, which include a 
number of separate areas stretching from the northwestern corner 
of the State southwestward near and beyond the west side of the 
Great Valley. 

(1) The Frederick County Area. Includes the Mountain Falls 
district in the southwestern portion of the county and near 
the West Virginia line. 

(2) The Augusta County Area. Includes the North River dis- 
trict in the northwest corner of Augusta county and the 
contiguous part of Rockingham county. 

(3) The Botetourt County Area. Includes the southwest corner 
of Botetourt county. 

(4) The Montgomery-Pulaski Counties Area. Includes Price 
and Brush Mountains in Montgomery county, and Cloyd 
and Little Walker Mountains in Pulaski countv. 

(5) The Bland-Wythe Counties Area. Includes a small area 
in the southern part of Bland county and in the northern 
part of Wythe county. 


(6) The Southwest Virginia Area. Forms the southeastern 
portion of the Kanawha basin, and comprises the Pocahon- 
tas or Flat-Top and the Big Stone Gap coal fields of the 
following counties: Tazewell, Russell, Scott, Buchanan, 
Wise, and Lee. Of these Wise and Tazewell counties are 
the most important producers at present. 

Geologically, the distribution of the Virginia coals is not the same 
for all the areas enumerated above. They are comprised in two of the 
larger geologic time divisions: (a) The Mesozoic (Jura-Trias or Newark) 
coals, to which the Eichmond basin and the Farmville area coals belong; 
and (b) the Paleozoic (Carboniferous) coals, to which all the deposits of 
the Mountain province belong. Of the several coal areas enumerated above 
in the Mountain province, the deposits of the Mountain Falls district in 
Frederick county; the North Eiver area of Augusta county; the North 
Mountain area of Botetourt county; the Montgomery-Pulaski counties 
area; and the Bland-Wythe counties area, are of Lower Carboniferous 
(Mississippian) age. The remaining areas of this province and vastly 
the most important ones in the State are of Upper Carboniferous 
(Pennsylvanian) age. 

The coals of Virginia are separately treated below by areas as grouped 


Numerous areas of Mesozoic rocks, of large and small extent, are 
^stributed over the Piedmont province, east of the Blue Ridge. In a 
i^utnber of the Mesozoic areas, beds of coal occur, but only in one of these 
areas has the coal proved to be of suflScient thickness and extent to be of 
DiUch commercial value, namely, the Eichmond basin, near the middle 
eastern margin of the Piedmont region. Some coal has been mined in a 
sinaller, similar area in Prince Edward county, but to a very limited 
extent; and thin seams of coal, not of workable grade, are known in at 
least one other of these areas. 

The Eichmond Coal Basin. 


'The Bichmond coal area, known also as the Eichmond coal basin, lies 
^thin but near the eastern margin of the Piedmont plateau, on either 
8ide of the James river. The total length of the area is 33 miles, and its 


maximum width is 9.5 miles, comprising a total area of about 190 square 
miles. It covers parts of five counties, which are Henrico, Chesterfield, 
Goochland, Powhatan, and Amelia. The position and limits of the basin 
are shown on the accompanying map, plate LIII. 

This area is important, economically as well as scientifically, for it 
contains the only free-burning coal located immediately adjacent to tide- 
water in the eastern portion of the United States. 


The first coal mined in the United States is said to have been from 
the Eichmond basin in Virginia. In his ''Story of American Coals/* Mr. 
W. J. Nicolls states that coal mines were opened and worked on the 
James river, near Bichmond, in 1750, and for a nimiber of years not only 
Richmond, but Philadelphia and New York, x)btained supplies of coal from 
these mines. According to Parker, this antedates by 19 years the first 
reliable record of the use of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania. There is, 
however, no record of the amount. of rjOoaL^foduced prior to 1822, when, 
according to Taylor in his "Stckti^tics of. Pdal,"^ 54,000 short tons were 
mined. Records of coal production in Virginia that are available 
date from 1822, and the annual production from 1822 to 1906, inclusive, 
is given in the table on page 375. 


The rocks bordering and underlying the Richmond basin are granites 
and gneisses of the mica type, and are characteristically dominant rocks 
ovor many parts of the Virginia Piedmont region. They are older ftan 
the rocks filling the basin and a marked difference in attitude and structure 
is shown in the rocks within and without the basin. The basin rocks are 
composed principally of sandstones and shales with beds of coal. The 
rocks are quite fossiliferous in places, both plant and animal remains 
occurring. The series of sedimentary rocks are penetrated by basic, igneous 
dikes, the whole, both sedimentary and igneous rocks, being of Newark 
(^fesozoic) age. Professors Shaler and Woodworth give the following 
table of formations of the Richmond basin rocks: 




A8T0B. Uai»*^ 




Aftrc#^ LENOX AND 


attril)uted to the basin can probably be traced largely to the downward 
drag of the strata on the west side, perhaps aided by lateral pressure and 

The Eichmond basin rocks, in common with the Newark areas north- 
ward, are intersected bv dikes and sills of diabase. On the eastern border 
of the basin these rocks have long been known because of the association 
with them of natural coke in several of the coal mines. The prevailing 
direction of the dikes is northwest-southeast, with some trending east- 


From the published accounts of sections in the mines opened in the 
basin, 3 and sometimes 5 beds of coal occur, separated by beds of sand- 
stone and shale. The uppermost bed or seam has usually been found to be 
the thickest. Estimates show considerable variation in the thickness 
of this bed. varying from 30 and 40 feet in the old workings about Midlo- 
thian to 5 and 8 feet in other places. According to Professors Shaler and 
Woodworth, from the vicinity of Midlothian northward to Gayton (Edge 
Hill or Carbon Hill of the old reports) this uppermost bed is wholly or 
partly converted into coke, from the proximity of igneous rocks. Sir 
Charles Lyell states, that at Dover, on the western margin, was an upper 
l.('d of coal 16 feet thick, and 2 thick beds below. 

The true coals of this lield are bituminous, the character of which is 
somewhat variable, as indicated in the analyses below. Ordinarily the 
quality of the coal is excellent, but occasional thin seams of calcite and 
pyrito have formed along the joint-planes, cutting the coal in places. 
In such eases the removal of the calcite and pyrite is desirable and can 
be easily effected by breaking and washing the coal, when an excellent 
fuel should be obtained. As proved by nearly a century of constant Vtse, 
the quality of this coal is entirely satisfactory for many purposes. 

Extent of the codi bed^. — Concerning the extent of the coal beds in the 
Eichmond basin, I quote in full from the excellent report of Professors 
Shaler and Woodworth, based on a detailed geological survey of the area 
and published in the Nineteenth Annual Report of the United States 
Geological Survey for 1897-98. 

"As to the area of the basin underlain by the coal beds, the evidence 
may be stated as follows : On the eastern margin, where the beds are 
best placed to be exposed in natural sections, and where they have been 
most extensively worked in former years, there is a fair presumption 
that the deposits are substantially continuous. Where, as is shown on 


the mftp, the coal beds have not been found, as ie the case in two consid- 
erable Bections of the eastern border, the failure of the slight exploratione 
to disclose them may be fairly explained by the existence of faults which 

Analyaes of coal from ike Richmond basin. 
South of James River. 

aoviT Hill (Coie's Mlm-i.... 
aover Hin iCoic's MIdp).... 
Clover HllHCoif'sMlne).... 

Btone HenRp. 

Crpek Cotnjwny Hht-tl 


Greentiol^ SI 

MidlothlAD, avenwe 

MldloUitiin, new Khna... 
Midlothian, wnvni-d.. . 
MWloUilan.W"'— •- 

shun. . 

'e abafliScrecnod.. i.a;i 
Hiaiouiuvn, uveragp,.....,..^...^.„ , 1,05 


EnsllRhCo.,«ld Bhafl 

En«lich Co.. middle liPDCb 

English, Co., lop benc;h 

Cbnterfleld Mlnlna Co i.HUe i 

■WUlto Pit (-*;tiiB Bhnft) 

Western Outcrop 







W. B. Roarn. 

North of James River. 

Name of nt 
(EMlem Outcrop) 








at! IB 















5! 00 


l'n>r. JohllHOQ 

«■■ n' u""'" 


w! b! imiiTs 

bun tiirown the beds down or up, so that the shallow pits which were 
nmk did not pass throngh the deep surface rubble. So far as has been 
Icuited, there were no indications in the old workings that the coals were 


fading out in the directions of these portions or the margin where they 
have not yet been found. In the blank north of the Clover Rill mines 
the streams run so near the position of the outcrop that exploration has 
been discouraged by the diflSculty which would evidently be encountered 
from surface water. 

•'On the western margin the coals are practically unknown from a 
point about 2 miles south of the James River, at the Old Dominion pits, 
to the southern extremity of the basin, though there are traces of the dark 
shales which are probably associated with it. In this part of the border 
the failure to discover the beds may well be due to the abrupt down- 
faulting which is known to exist along this line. At only one point, viz., 
in the stream bed of Turkey Branch, has it been possible to obtain a 
tolerably continuous section of the beds on the western margin of the 
field. This failed to reveal the coal-bearing beds, but there is reason to 
believe that they may have been thrown down by an unobserved fauH 
traversing a portion of the line where the strata were not disclosed, or 
that they are to be found under a slight cover of alluvium. 

"As to the extension of the coal beds beneath the central parts of the 
area, the evidence in hand is insufficient to warrant a definite statement. 
The conditions may be briefly set forth as follows : The tolerably complete 
if not perfect continuity of the beds on the eastern margin and at either 
end of the basin appears to afford fair evidence that the coal beds have 
a continuous habit. It has been suggested that the coals, though continuous 
along the margin of the basin, may be lacking in the central parts of its 
area. But it should be noted that the present outcrop line is not to be 
regarded as the original border of the coal-bearing strata. That line was 
probably miles east of its present position. The existing face is, in effect, 
a chance north-and-south section of the deposits. There is no evident 
reason based on the character of this outcrop why a like exhibition of 
coal beds should not be had if the face were carried 1, 2, or 3 miles west- 

'*The failure to find the coal beds in the Sinking shaft and in the 
drill hole in its bottom has been considered as evidence that these beds 
were lacking at a point about 1 mile from its margin. This failure to 
:attain the coal is to be explained in the light of the information obtained 
in the Salisbury boring. The depth at the Sinking shaft was altogether 
insufficient to traverse the barren strata, the drill mjost likely not penetrat- 
ing to within 200 feet of the level where the coal beds might be looked for. 
The Salisbury drill hole, on the other hand, has shown the coal-bearing 


rocks at a distance of a mile from the eastern main outcrop, at a depth of 
about 2,350 feet below the surface. 

"When all the evidence is weighed, it leads to the conclusion that the 
central portions of the area most likely contain coal beds in something 
like the measure that they are exhibited in the margin. The measure of 
the probability of such occurrence is rather greater as regards that portion 
of the field which lies to the east of a line drawn from the Clover Hill 
pits, near the southern end of the basin, to the Old Dominion mines, on 
the western margin about 2 miles south of the James Biver, than it is 
concerning the field west of that line. This is for the reason that out- 
crops have not been found along the western margin south of the Old 
Dominion property, though, as before noted, their failure to occur may be 
accounted for by accidents of faulting. Leaving out of the reckoning the 
southwestern portion as possibly lacking the coal-bearing beds, there re- 
mains an area of about 150 square miles where the deposits may reasonably 
be expected to occur. 

"Although the information obtained from the existing and the old 
workings show the coal to vary greatly in thickness, and some of the beds 
much in quality, it is a not unreasonable estimate that the average thick- 
ness of the workable material is 12 feet. Allowing for occasional strips 
of coal which have been crushed by faulting and for loss in treatment in 
the breaker, the yield per acre may be roughly estimated at 1,000 tons 
per foot in depth, or a total of 12,000 tons. The total area which is 
reckoned as most probably coal-bearing (150 square miles by 640 acres) 
equals 96,000 acres, which, on the basis of yield above adopted, would 
give a total content of 1,152,000,000 tons. This reckoning, it should 
be said, rests altogether on probabilities 

*ln none of the mines does it appear that less than two beds of 
workable thickness [of coal J are encountered. In other instances there is 
reason to believe that three, four, and at Clover Hill even five beds of 
economic value were found. Although all these beds thicken here and thin 
there and probably at points unite or separate, the coal-bearing character 
of the section in which they lie is probably maintained in a tolerably 
continuous manner." 

Depth of the coal, — In regard to the question as to the depth at which the 
coal lies. Professors Shaler and Woodworth say: "In tho present condition 
of our knowledge of the basin it will be safe to assume that nt the distance 
of a mile from the eastern outcrop the coal-bearing section lie? ai a depth 
of about 2,500 feet below the surface. Farther toward the interior of the 


field the deptli at which it will be found will probably be somewhat greater. 
It is not impossible that at some points the faulting has carried these 
deposits more than 4,000 feet below the present surface. From what has 
been learned of the conditions, it seems unlikely that the section in which 
the coals belong is at any point as deep as 5,000 feet." 


The Richmond coal basin has been developed by numerous mines, 
many of which have been extensively worked with a large total production 
of coal. Considerable depths have been reached in some of these. Exami- 
nation of the map, plate LIII, shows the distribution of the mines to be 
along the eastern border of the basin, and along the west border in the 
northern part of the area in the vicinity, and north and south, of the 
James river. No mines have yet been opened in the more central portions 
of the basin. The principal mines are furi;her grouped about certain 
geographic centers along the border portions of the basin. 

On the eastern border, beginning with the southernmost ones, the princi- 
pal mines are grouped about Winterpock; in the vicinity of Coalboro; Midlo- 
thian, including the mines of the outlying basins Blackheath, Cunliffe, etc.; 
to the north of and between Midlothian and the James river, the Salle 
and Burfoot pits; and Gay ton (Edge Hill or Carbon Hill of the old re- 
ports), including the outlying Deep Bun basin. In the northern portion 
of the basin and along the west border the principal mineis are in the 
vicinity of Manakin on the north and south sides of the James river; and 
about two miles south of west from Huguenot. 

In addition to these, many smaller openings have been m^de along the 
border portions of the basin and drillings have been put down in places, 
which, in some cases, reached a depth of more than 2,000 feet. 

Operations in the Bichmond basin during 1905 and 1906 were confined 
to Winterpock and Midlothian, in Chesterfield county, and were largely 
in the nature of development work preparatory to shipping. The Gayton 
mines north of the James river in Henrico county were closed down several 
years ago. Since closing down, these mines have changed hands and as yet 
work has not been resumed. At Winterpock a new incline was under way 
during the summer of 1905. At Midlothian the only mining of coal 
during the past two years was limited to that for the company's use. The 
developments at Midlothian during the past two years comprise a new in- 
cline 1,020 feet long by 16 feet wide and 7 feet high on a 33** pitch, to 


coal 8 feet thick. The coal has actually been proved in this incline tor 
1,300 feet and laterally for 700 feet each way. One and a quarter miles 
of trackage and a tipple will be completed by the close of 1906, when the 
shipment of coal from this property will begin. The future prospects 
of this property are very encouraging. The property is under the control 
of the James Eiver Coal Corporation. 


Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) Goals. 

The coals of Rogers' formation No. X (Vespertine) extend, as isolated 
areas, nearly entirely across the State, in a northeast-southwest direction, 
west of the Blue Ridge. So far as known the Lower Carboniferous coals 
in Virginia include the following fields: 

(1) The Mountain Falls District in Frederick County. 

(2) The North River Area in Augusta County. 

(3) The North Mountain Area in Botetourt County. 

(4) The Montgomery-Pulaski Counties Area. 

(5) The Bland-Wythe Counties Area. 

These are separately described below in the order here named. 

The Monntain Falls District. 

Frederick county. — Very little is known as yet in a definite way of the 
geology of this region. In his ''Reprint of the Virginias," page 99, Professor 
Sogers mentions the occurrence of coal seams in Frederick, Shenandoah, 
and Rockingham counties along with those of Augusta, Botetourt, and 
Montgomery counties. In each of these counties, with the exception of the 
first two, the coal-bearing horizon is known as formation No. X (Vesper- 
tine) or, Mississippian. The inference is, therefore, that the coal in 
Frederick county is of the same age. 

In the first four counties, Frederick, Shenandoah, Rockingham, and 
Augusta, the coal is nearly identical, and according to Professor Rogers 
the seams vary in thickness from 3 to 7 feet. The dipping west into Little 
North Mountain, near Coal Run, in Rockingham county, is said to be about 
4 feet thick. 

Two operations have produced some coal during the past few years 
near Mountain Falls, in the southwestern part of Frederick county, near 
the We?t Virginia line. One of these was reported idle during 1905. 



The North Eiver Coal Field. 

Augusta county. — In the northwest comer of Augusta county and the 
contiguous part, southwest corner, of Rockingham county is a small area 
of Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) rocks which, to a limited extent, 
are coal-bearing near the top. The formation is mapped by Darton as the 
Pocono sandstone with thin coal beds and shale in the upper portion. The 
field is known as the North River coal field and it is west of Narrow 
(Little North) Mountain. 

The coal is of the semi-anthracite variety and it has been mined to a 
limited extent in North River Gap, in Augusta county. The supply has 
been found sufficient for local use. The beds are thin and the coal is 
often crushed, but it is reported not difficult to obtain small supplies. 
Darton states that attempts have been made to find thicker beds by ex- 
cavations and deep diamond-drill borings, but without success. 

Hotchkiss gives the following analyses of the coal made by Booth, 
Garrett and Blair of Philadelphia, from the Augusta county area: 



















Volatile matter 



I and IV— Opening on Briery Branch about 100 feet above the base of Narrow Mountain. 
II— Little Coal Ran, from end of a 100-foot drift in an 18-lnch bed, and 6.5 miles southwest of HI- 
I II— Near Brler>' Branch at foot of Narrow Mountain from a drift 5 or 6 feet In a 4-foot bed. 
V— Half a mile southwest of II, from a bed 4 to 6 feet thick and 13 feet lower. 
VI and VII— From the Schcffer drift in a 6-foot bed. North River Gap, near II and V. 

The North Mountain Coal Field. 

Botetourt county, — The North Moimtain coal field, known by some as 
the Katawba, Caldwell, or Brushy Mountain field, is located along the 
Botetourt-Craig counties boundary, in the southwest corner of Botetourt 
county. I'he coal is of Lower Carboniferous age and has been used locally 
for a long time. The coals have had greater or less local value and were 
considerably mined prior to 1864 for local use. They will probably never 
furnish a basis for large mining enterprises, as the areas are limited, the 
beds are crushed and broken, and are cut by faulting. 

A sample of this coal collected by Mr. 0. J. Heinrich on Stone Coal 

Run, in Botetourt county, gave on analysis: 

Per cent 

Carbon 78.0 

Volatile matter 12 2 

Sulphur trace 

Ash 9.8 


The coal is reported to be a semi-bituminous variety, averaging 12 to 
14 per cent, volatile matter, 75 to 80 per cent, fixed carbon, and 5 to 9 
per cent. ash. It is practically free from sulphur and burns to a white 
ash. According to Heinrich two principal seams were developed ; the lower 
about 5 feet thick with 2 feet of coal, the upper from 10 to 12 feet thick 
with 6 to 10 feet of coal. The seams are best developed on Stone Coal Run. 

The Montgomery-Pulaski Counties Field. 

Of the numerous Lower Carboniferous coal areas known in Virginia, 
the Montgomery-Pulaski field is much the most important one, and it is 
practically the only producing area at present. The area is located 30 to 
50 miles west of the city of Boanoke. Map, figure 54, shows the location 
of the principal mines in this area. 

In the Montgomery county portion of the area the mines are opened 
along the south slope of Brush Mountain and on the slopes of a parallel 
ridge locally known as Price Mountain, distant some 3 to 4 miles south 
from Brush Mountain. In Pulaski county developments are made on the 
slopes of Cloyd and Little Walker Mountains, which are a continuation 
southwestward of Brush Mountain in Montgomery county. The coal area 
lies near the northern border of the two counties and is crossed by New 
river, which is the dividing line between the counties. 

The total estimated acreage of the Montgomery county portion of the 
field is about 7,000 acres. The extent of the Pulaski part of the field is not 
certain but it is probably nearly equal to the Montgomery field. It extends 
from New river to within 6 miles northwest of the town of Pulaski, which 
includes the developments thus far made. 

Coal was mined in this field prior to the Civil War but not in an 
extensive way. It is reported that some of the coal used in the bunkers 
of the Merrimac (Virginia), in her fight with the Monitor in Hampton 
Roads, came from the Price Mountain mines. For a period of 30 yeai'S 
after the Civil War the only mining carried on in this field was to supply 
a local market. For a number of years past large developments have 
been made, more extensive and systematic mining has been carried on 
in accordance with modem methods, and a steady increase in output over 
that of the local market has been indicated yearly. 

The coal seams occur in strata of Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) 
age. The rock series consists of a variable thickness of sandstone, con- 
glomerate, and shale, dipping at angles varying from 20° to 40**. On 








Price ^[ountain 5 coal seams are indicated, only one of which has yet 
proved to be workable. An average thickness of 4.5 foet of clean coal is 
mined from this seam. On Brush Mountain two seams vield workable 
coal which average in thickness 3 and 4.5 feet of clean coal, respectively; 
they are named the "Little" and "Big" seam. Likewise two seams are 
worked in the Pulaski portion of the field. The coal is the semi-antliracite 
variety of excellent quality. That from the Price ilountain mines Is 
harder, and consequently not so free-burning as the coal from Brush 

Of the various mines operating in the Montgomery-Pulaski fiold Ihe 
Merrimac mines on Price Mountain, Montgomery county, are probably 
the largest producers. These mines are owned by the Virginia Anthracite 
Coal Company and are directly on the standard-gauge steam road which 
connects Blacksburg with the Norfolk and Western Railway at (^anibria. 
A breaker (plate LIV) has recently been completed having a capacity, with 
the present machinery, of 500 tons per day. By installing duplicate 
screens and other machinery it is claimed the capacity can be more than 
doubled. The storage capacity of the breaker is 500 tons. The average 
run of the breaker at present is 100 cars of coal per month. The present 
depth of working at these mines is 1,026 feet on a dip of 22°. 

During 1905 some half dozen operators were engaged in mining coal 
in the Brush Mountain area, the principal ones being the Virginia 
Anthracite Coal Company, the Blacksburg Mining and Manufacturing 
Company, and a number of private individuals. 

The principal mines working in the Pulaski field during 1905 were 
the Altoona, Belle Hampton, and KimhalL The Kimiall mvus are 
located on New river, and directly on the Norfolk and Western Railway. 
This property has recently been acquired by the Pulasici Anthracite Coal 
Company, which is making extensive improvements with a promising out- 
look. A breaker has recently been erected at the mines, and a small one 
i£ being built at the Belle Hampton mine by the Belh Hampton Coal 
Company. A spur track connects the Belle Hampton mine with the 
Norfolk and Western Railway. The Altoona mines, located 6 miles 
northwest of Pulaski, are owned and operated by the Bertha Mineral 
Company at Pulaski. All the coal formerly used by the Bertha Company 
at its zinc furnaces in Pulaski came from the Altoona mines, but only 
the "firing" coal or reducing material is obtained there at present. A 
steam road is operated between the mines and Pulaski. 



The following chemical analyses of coal, from the Montgomery- 
Pulaski field afford a general idea of its composition: 






Per cent. Per cent. Per cent., Per cent. Per cent. 

Carbon 78.012 

Volatile matter 11.662 

Water ; 1.228 

Ash ; IS.fiflO 

Sulphur 0.648 













Per cent. Per cent. 







Carbon , 

Volatile matter. 




Per cent. Per cent. 



Per cent. 










Per cent. 

9.675 f 
1.080 f 

14.560 ( 
0.682 f 

Per cent. 



Per cent. 


15 00 

I to V— Brush Mountain mines, Montgomery county, A. S. McCreath, analyst 

VI— Prlcre Mountain mines, Montgomery county, A. S. McCreath, analvst 

VII— Wilson drift. Price Mountain, Montgomery county, Dr. W. B. Ellett, analyst 

VIII— Merrimac mine. Price Mountain, ^lontgoraery county, W. T. Young, analyst 

IX— Klpjps mine. Price Mountain, Montgomery oountv. Dr. W. B. EHett, analyst 

X and XI— William Meyers* lands, east slope of Price Mountain, Montgomery count-y* 

A. S. McCreath, analyst 
XII and XIII— Belle Hampton mine, Pulaski county, H. U. Hill, analyst 

The Bland-Wythe Counties Field. 

A small coal field of Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) or Pocooo 
age is found in the southern portion of Bland county and in the northerD 
portion of Wythe county. The coal seams appear in the Price sandstone 
in the vicinity of Bland court-house, Sharon Springs, and near the south- 
western corner of Bland county; and near and to the south of little 
Walker Mountain in Wythe county, on Reed creek. As a rule the seams 
are small and much broken by partings and the coals are generally high 
in the percentage of ash. The rocks are usually highly tilted and are more 
or less crushed. 

The coals have attracted considerable attention from time to time and 
attempts have been made to develop them, but thus far without success. 

The following analyses of the coal from the Wythe county portion of 
the field made by A. S. McCreath, afford some idea of its character: 


Per cent. 


Volatile matter 







Per cent. 




I— Seven miles northwest of Wytheville from a S-foot bed. LltUe Walker Mountain, near ^ 
leyel of Stony creek or Reed creek. .^.f 

n— Piom near the same place as I. Goal from 2-foot bed that had been exposed to the weau^ 
inr a month. 


The CarboniferouB (FennsylTanian) Coals. 


The southwest Virginia coal field is located in the extreme southwestern 
part of the State, on the west side of the Oreat Valley, and occupying the 
eastern and southeastern portions of the Cumberland plateau region in 
Virginia. It forms the southwestern part of the Kanawha basin, and 
comprises the following counties: Tazewell, Kussell, Scott, Buchanan, 
Wise, Dickenson, and Lee. Of these, Wise and Tazewell counties are the 
two most important producers at present. The other counties contain very 
large coal reserves which, in places, are rapidly undergoing development. 
The present era of railroad construction in this part of Virginia will 
witness, in the immediate future, extensive developments and mining of 
the enormous reserves of excellent coal hitherto undeveloped because of lack 
of railroad facilities. 

The southwest Virginia coal field is vastly the largest, most productive, 
and most important in the State. Indeed, it is due to this field that 
Virginia is entitled to rank among the jjrincipal coal-producing states 
in the United States. It is estimated that the area of coal-bearing 
formations in this field comprise 1,850 square miles, with probably 80 
per cent, of it productive. 

The two principal coal fields in the southwest Virginia area thus far 
developed are (a) The Pocahontas or Flat Top Coal Field, and (b) The 
Big Stone Gap Coal Field. These are separately described below in the 
order here named. 

Geologic Relations. 


The coal-bearing rocks of the southwest Virginia field belong to the 
Coal Measures division of the Carboniferous. Probably most, if not all, 
of the coal-bearing rocks in this field correspond in age to the Pottsville 
series, the lowest subdivision of the Pennsylvania section. In the Poca- 
hontas or Flat Top coal field, situated in the northeastern part of the 
Virginia field, the Pocahontas formation of Campbell is the basal member 
of the series, and to the southwest in the Big Stone Gap field the Lee 
formation forms the basal member. The subdivision in southwest Virginia 
is separated by a probable thickness of coal-bearing rocks of from 2.800 
to 3,000 and more feet. 




The Carboniferous formations in southwest Virginia, as mapped in the 
Pocahontas, Tazewell, Bristol, and Estillville quadrangles by the U. 8. 
Geological Survey, are separately given below in descending order, together 
with the thickness and character of each formation. In these tables is 
given the original classification of Professor Rogers of the Virginia Car- 
boniferous, with the present classification of the U. S. Geological Survey. 

The four quadrangles cover parts of the following counties in Virginia, 
which contain coal-bearing rocks: ITie Pocahontas quadrangle, inclndes 
a part of Tazewell county ; the Tazewell quadrangle, includes parts of 
Tazewell, Buchanan, and Eussell counties; the Bristol quadrangle, in- 
cludes parts of Russell, Wise, Scott, and Dickenson counties; and the 
Estillville quadrangle, includes parts of Lee, Wise, and Scott counties. 

Pocahontas Quadrangle,, 


No. XII Great congloinomU'. . 

Greenbrier Bhale. 
No. XI I 

tGreenbric»r liimistono 

N<». X Montgomery ^ritn. 

V. S. GeolofTlcAl Survey 

Sewell formation. 

Raleigh Handstom; 

Ouinnimont shale ...:;:... 
(^lark formation ». 

I'ocahontas formation... 

Klucstone formation 

Princeton conglomerate 

Hinton formation 

Rluefleld shale :.| 

Greenbrier limestone .... 

Prirv sandstone , 

''In feet 








Handy shale 

Coarse sandstone In hwivvbed* 
Shale, sandstone, and coal 
Sandstone at top: shale, santw»»' 

and coal at bottom 
Shale, sandstone, and coal 

Shale, sandstone, impupi' \W^ 
Coarse sandstone or oongloine'*'*' 
Shale and sandstone 
Sandstone and caknireouR shaW 

Blue limestone 

Shales, sandst<m(>»s and ooal f^^ 

No. XIII I/OWiT coal group. | 

No, XII <4rt»at consloiin'mtA.'. • 


rso. XI 

Greenbrier shale 

Greenbrier Ihnostonc 
No. X MontgonuM-y grits. 

Tazewell Quadrangle. 

TellowH formation ' 

Sequoyah formation , 

Dotson .sandNttme 

Bearwallow conglonratc 

Dismal formation 

(Dismal conglomei*ate 

Raleigh sandstone 

Welch formation 

Pocahont^iK formation.... 

Hiuostone formation 

Princeton conglomemte 

Hintr»n formation 

Hluetlcld shale 

( Ireenbrior limestone. 
Price sand.str>nc 









20- 40 





Sandstone, shale and coal 
Stindstonc, shale and cotil 

Coarse sandstone, with shiil** * , 
Coarse conglomemte or sand^^ 
Sandstone, shale, and coal 

Coarse conglomerate In wc&t*?*^ 
ofarea . , 

Coarse sandstone, soracUine** 

Sandstone, shale, and coal 

Sandstom*. shale, and rail 

Shale, .sandstone, inipun* llrr»*^ 
Fine conglomerati* ^ 

Shale, sjind.stone. Impure 11»J^ 
Shale, impuri' limestone at ll**^ 

Blue llnM'iSlone<>ne and shale 

/ • > 


filse Formaliaii 

J^firfon tbnnatiai 



The Sewell formation of the Pocahontas quadrangle includes the Dot- 
son^ Bearwallow^ and Dismal formations of the Tazewell quadrangle. The 
Quinnimont and Clark formations are included in the Welch. 

Bristol Quadrangle. 


U. 8. Qcologlcal Survey 

No. XII Qreat <H>nK:lom€>rHt4'. 

Wise formation. 

GladeviUe sandstone. 

Norton formation »., 
Lee formation... 

No. XI 

f Greenbrier Hliale. 

Pennington Mhale . , 

I Greenbrier imeKtone. I Newman limestone. 

in feet 





E still ville Quadrangle, 

f i Harlan sandstone 

No. XII Great con^l(Hm'rat<* 

-Vr* V T / Greenbrier nhale. 


Wise formation. 

GladeviUe sandstone , 

Norton formation.. 
Lee conglomerate . 

Pennington shale . .. 
Newman limestone. 







Shale, sandstone, and ooal 

Coarse sandstone, sometimes oon- 

Shale, sandstone, and coal 
Sandstone, conglomerate, shale, coiil 

Shale, (K*casional sandstone, and im- 
pure limestone 
Blue limestone 

Coarse sandstone, shale, and thin c<ihI 

Shale, sandstone, and coal 

Coarse sandstone, sometimes con- 

Shale, sandstone, and ooal 

Sandstone, conglomerate, shale, coal 

Shale and sandstone 
Blue limestone 

As is observed above in the tables of Carboniferous formations, the 
coal-bearing strata of the southwest Virginia field consist of beds of 
conglomerate or coarse sandstone, shale, and numerous seams of coal. 

Beneath this group of coal-bearing strata and to the southeast of the 
Pocahontas field, in the southern portion of Bland county and the northern 
part of Wythe county, is a coal-bearing series of rocks, principally the 
Price sandstone, of Lower Carboniferous or Mississippian age. Areas be- 
longing to this horizon are found, as described above, at intervals along 
the western side of the Great Valley in Virginia as far north as Frederick 
county. These are described above under coals of Mississippian age. 

On plate LV, are given three generalized sections from the eastern, 
middle, and western portions of the Big Stone Gap coal field, showing 
important horizons. These sections, adopted from Campbell, show four 
well-marked coal horizons. 



On plate LVI are given 4 8tni( 

from different places in the south 
from tliese and from the position ( 
figure 52. the sfrata forming the { 
greatly folded rocks whioh form the 
diflturbance. As would naturally b 
more disturbance along the eaateni 
west. In general the beds are more 
exceptions gentle northwesterly dips, 
fignree 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

In the PocalioQlas field a fault 
southeastern border. Traces of the 
found in isolated places to the eas 
greater eastern extension of the fieU 
to thicken toward the eaat. 

The Big Stone Gap coal field. 
the coal basin, is marked hy a belt o 
forma the transition frOsi the neailj 
plateau on the west to the highly coi 
the east. The most pronounced Bti 
Powell valley aniicline, which has its 
Gap field. It is an unsymmetrical ant 
io almost vertical, while its southeas 
axis and gradually merges into the 
Middlesboro syncline, the most econ 
Big Stone Gap field, has sutlered con 
in the form of folds and flexures. 

These structural features have ai 
development of the field. 

Character < 

The fuel value of a coal is di 
steam boiler tests, and by results i 
large number of analyses made of 
field, a few of those which seemed 
ones accessible to the writer are given 


m ■ 1 


I I 



Analyses of coal from the Tazewell area (Tazewell folio). 


VolaUIc Matter 

Fixed Carbon 





Per cent. 


Per cent 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 
































































































tCreath reports^ as an average of eight samples taken by himself 
the Pocahontas, No. Ill seam, in the Pocahontas field, the results 
in column I below. Cohimn II is an analysis of the same coal 
from the West mine of the Pocahontas Collieries Company, at Poca- 
, made by Professor Hite of the West Virginia Geological Survey. 



Volatile matter 
Fixed carbon. . 




Per cent, 







naiyses of coal from the Big Stone Gap field (EstUlvUle folio). 

Per cent. 



Per cent. 



I*er cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 











































Mci .'reath 
































58. 14;^ 










































a3.720 1 








34.022 j 







The name, atratigraphic position, and location of the seame yielding 
the analyses given on preceding page ftre appended below in tabular form. 
The numbers in the first column on the left of the two tables are the same: 





PrHuhfr creek 

fBiToll opening, on Jimw 
Halley opening, on Jan«B 


Under GlHdeTHlemiidHtone (•) 



M» Riat above Lae roniilotueMip 

Lower Kanner 

TlJTiui crwk, 4 mlleii narth- 


Lower BaiUFr . 

mp ftfetitojve Lt* conglonieTOtr 


Old (Ire^Tio-Bodtne mloe. 


Itenmr.a miles B. of T<u»ma 

JfcCreath and d'Inviliiers in their report entitled "Mineral Resources 
of the Upper Cumberland Valley. Southeastern Kentucky and South- 
weslern Virginia," give the following analyses of coal collected by them 
from the Crab Orchard district in Virginia ; 

Analyses of root fro 

', Crab Orchard distri 
and d' Invillicrs.) 

Virc/inin (McCreaih 








VtiT .■etil. 

Pit wnl. 


BlgCrahOn-lmrd iTeek, Mi-ronnellopenln« 
BlgCmbUnliard crevk. WIlBonopenrnii 









^^^ ■tj". 

• ' 

.* - 


t ■• 

i , 


The Pocahontas or Flat-Top Coal Field. 


The construction of the Norfolk and Western Eailway in 1882 opened 
up the famous Pocahontas coal district, which comprises Tazewell JEind 
Buchanan counties, in Virginia, and McDowell, Wyoming, and Mercer 
counties, in West Virginia. The district includes about 450 square miles 
of rough mountain land. The first mine is reported to have been opened 
in 1882, at the village of Pocahontas, Tazewell county, Virginia, from 
which the area derived its name. As described below, there are a number of 
workable seams of coal in the district, but the principal one worked at 
present is the great Pocahontas vein. No. Ill, which is 11 feet, 3 inches 

The superior quality of the Pocahonti^ coal has long established it as 
the best steam coal in the world.. * As such it has foremost rank, and it 
is used on the ocean steamers o^ the principal nations. It produces an 
excellent coke, but, as a rule, theilump coal is placed directly upon the 
market for general purposes, while the slack and fine coal go direct to the 
ovens for coking. 

The general purity of the Pocahontas coals is remarkable; picked 
samples frequently run less than 1 per cent, of ash. These coals possess 
in an eminent degree three qualities of marked recognition: (1) Superior 
steaming qualities; (2) relatively smokeless qualities; and (3) superior 
coking qualities. 


The largest operations in the Pocahontas field are controlled by the 
Pocahontas Collieries Company. This company is opening up a new mine 
at Boissevain, which, after completion, will be followed by other new de- 
velopment work. In the latter part of 1906, 4 mines were operating at 
Pocahontas, producing from 4,000 to 6,000 tons of coal per day. One of 
these, the West mine, has the reputation of being the largest bituminous 
coal mine in the world. The coal worked here is the Pocahontas, No. Ill 
seam, which is 10 feet thick and unusually clean, with practically no 
partings and an excellent top. (See plate LVII.) The Pocahontas Com- 
pany is engaged in opening up its new plant at Boissevain, 3 miles west of 
Pocahontas. Two other plants, located 3 miles west of Boissevain, are 
leported will open up in the near future. Each operation is expected to 
produce from 3,000 to 4,000 tons of coal per day. These new mines are 


located in tlie valley of Laurel creek and will be reached by a new railiotd 
now under construction from Pocahontas westward. 

In addition to the Pocahontas Collieries Company, the other opentort 
in the Pocahontas field are: tJ, 8, Browning, the Town HUl Coal Oowh 
pany, the Domestic Coal Company, and the Coal Creek Coal Comfomg. 


Introdruiion. — In the Pocahontas or Flat-Top coal field, coal has beea 
found in each of tlie horizons of the Carboniferous above the Blaeatone for* 
mation, excepting the Raleigh sandstone and the Bearwallow coTigJiMnflfli^ 
which attain thicknesses of 100 and 60 feet, respectively. In the TmiaJI. 
quadrangle, covering parts of Tazewell and Buchanan eountiea in Viiig^di^ 
the coal-bearing formations are 6 in number, including in ascending bite 
the Pocahontas, Welch, Dismal, Dotson, Sequoyah, and Tellowa f6niiaboill» 
In the adjacent Pocahontas quadrangle on the east the coal-bearing horaaBi 
include the Pocahontas, Clark, Quinnimont^ and Sewell fonnatiQiiia. Hot 
all the coals of the upper formations are within the Virginia poitioa rf 
the field, but so far as known they are represented across the line in Wflit 

A largo number of coal-beds are found within the total Teitieal linib 
of these formations. Some of these are thin, but at least 6 workable boAl 
liave l)een opened in places. Not all of these are workable^ howerer, it 
any one point, and in places only 1 is worked. 

The coals may be conveniently described by formations, which are at 
follows, beginning with the oldest: (1) Coals of the Pocahontas forma- 
tion; (2) coals of the Welch (Clark and Quinnimont of the Pocahontas 
quadrangle) formation: (3) coals of the Dismal (Sewell in part of the 
Pocahontas quadrangle) formation; (4) coals of the Sequoyah formaiioQ; 
and (5) coals of the Tellowa formation. 

The geological section for Tazewell and eastern Buchanan oountiei^ 
Virginia, and western McDowell county. West Virginia, as compiled by 

Stevenson froiu Campbell's studies, is as follows: 



The relations of the lower beds in northeastern Tazewell county are 

shown in the following section reported by McCreath : 

Feet. Inches 

1. Concealed measures 40 

2. Coal 7 2 

3. Ck)iicealed 20 

4. Coal 6 1 6 

6. Concealed 80 

6. Coal 5 and dirt 4 6 

7. Concealed 91 

8. Coal 4 2 

9. Concealed 90 

10. Sandy fireclay fi 

11. Coal S, Pocahontas 11 3 

12. Fireclay 

13. Shales and sMnd«tone 61 

14. Coal 2 and shale 4 

16. Concealed 12 i 

16. Gray sandstone 16 4 

17. Coal 1 1 

18. Sandstone, some shale 67 1^ 

19. Sandstone, coal streaks 8 ^ 

20. Shale and sandstone 294 9 

Coals of the Pocahontas formation, — This formation, which averages 
probably 360 feet in thickness, carries several beds of coal, the most im- 
portant one of which, in this and in succeeding formations, is the gr^t 
Pocahontas, No. Ill seam. The lowest seam in this formation is partially 
exposed near the mouth of Vail creek just across the line in West Vir- 
ginia, showing in that part of the seam exposed a thickness of 2 feet 8 
inches. Sixty feet below the Pocahontas, No. Ill seam is a second seam 
which measures from 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet 8 inches in thickness, as 
exposed along Tug river and Adkins branch in West Virginia. 

The most important seam of the area and the one which has been 
developed to the greatest extent is the Pocahontas or No. Ill seam. 1^ 
shows a general dip to the northwest, which is irr^ular, varying from 
100 feet in 3 or 4 miles in some places to as much as 200 feet in 1 mile- 
There are developed in the seam, in addition to the general dip, numerous 
gentle undulations. It varies in thickness from 4 to 10 feet, and attains 
its maximum thickness at the original place of opening on Coal Creek, at 
Pocahontas. According to Campbell it diminished in thickness from this 
point in all directions, but most rapidly toward the northeast. The Flat- 
Top Coal Land Association gives the following measurements of the Poca- 
hontas seam at various places: at tlie mouth of Harmon branch, 8 feet; 
1 mile below, 8 feet 7 inches; at Tug River post-oflBce, 9 feet; and at 
each of four openings on Sand Lick creek, 8 feet. These measurements 
aro all in West Virginia. 


Near the point on Long Branch in West Virginia, where the seam passes 
beneath the water level, the thickness of the seam is reported to be 10 
feet 11 inches. On Big creek in the vicinity of Squirejim, the thickness 
is 4 feet 6 inches; and at the mouth of Cucumber creek it is 6 feet 3 
inches. Campbell reports the seam exposed at water level 1^4 niiles above 
the mouth of Big creek on Jacob Fork, but it rises rapidly above water 
level, from this point southward until at Cucumber creek it is 180 feet 
above water level. Again on Dry Fork, 1^ miles below the mouth of Keewee 
creek, the seam rises above water level, exposing a thickness of 3 feet 8 
inches. Near the mouth of Vail creek its thickness increases to 4 feet 7 
inches. Nearly opposite Sayersville on Beech creek the seam (probably 
Pocahontas) has a thickness of 6 feet 3 inches. Higher up on the same 
creek an opening exposes a thickness of 4 feet 9 inches. West of this 
point the seam is reported to be below water level, unless it is exposed, as 
suggested by Campbell, in the upturned rocks along the edge of the basin. 

Coals of the Welch (Clark and Quinnimont) formation, — ^The Welch 
formation carries a greater number of workable coal beds than any other 
in the area. At Horsepen, north of Tazewell, several large seams occur 
which range in position from 250 to 440 feet above the Pocahontas or No. 
Ill seam. The seams contained within this interval of 290 feet have 
been grouped and named by Campbell the Horsepen group. There are 4 
principal seams in the formation, the lowest one of which, the Lower 
Horsepen seam, is 150 feet above the Pocahontas or No. Ill seam. Back 
of the Bchoolhouse at Horsepen this seam has a thickness of 4 feet 9 inches. 
The seam is best developed above Richlands where it has been opened up, 
but it is extremely variable. West of Big creek the downward pitch of 
the anticline carries the seam below water level. 

One of the best seams of this group is found 120 feet above the Lower 
Horsepen seam or 270 feet above the Pocahontas, No. Ill seam. Camp- 
bell calls it the War creek coal, where it is well shown on War creek and 
in the vicinity of Perryville, West Virginia. It is reported opened at 7 
or 8 places on War creek and Dry Fork on the West Virginia side, and it 
holds a constant thickness of from 4 feet 4 inches to 5 feet. 

The Middle Horsepen seam is 239 feet above the Lower Horsepen seam 
and 110 feet above the War creek seam. It shows 4 feet of clear coal at 
Horsepen. It is found 2.5 miles above Harman, on the eastern fork of the 
creek, and it is 130 feet above water level. It has been opened above Rich- 
lands on Big creek but wa5 afterwards found to be too thin for working. 
Campbell states that it passes below water level before reaching Coal croc^k. 


At Horsepen is a heavy scam 60 feet above the Middle Horsepen or 
last described seam^ called the Upper Horsepen seam^ having a thicknesB 
of 8 feet. Four miles east of Horsepen at Smith Store this seam is 9 
feet thick. It has been opened at a number of places on Indian creek show- 
ing a thickness of from 4 to 6 feet. It grows thinner toward the north 
and at Pcrryville, West Virginia, it has a reported thicJmeM of about 
only 2 feet, and further to the northeast at Welch the thicknefis is given 
as 20.5 inches. 

About 100 feet above the Upper Horsepen seam is atill another seam, 
which 2 miles south of Bearwallow shows 2 feet of clear coaL Campbell 
reports 2 probable additional coals above the last mentioned seam, but 
their occurrence, extent and thickness are somewhat uncertain. 

Coals of the Du^mal formation, — The coal which appears over a consid- 
erable part of the area in the Dismal formation, according to Campbell, is 
probably not a continuous seam but a general horizon, in which the seams 
vary slightly in their stratigraphic position. This coal horizon reaches its 
groattst development on Dismal creek, where it is reported to range in 
thickness from 10 to 14 feet. At the head of Dismal creek and near the 
Bearwallow trian^ilation station, the seam has a thicknesa of 4 feet 6 
inches. It is reported to have its greatest development 6 miles above 
McNiel's Store. It shows again at a number of places south of Sandy 
Ridge; on Big Town Hill creek, near its mouth; near the sharp bend in 
Middle creek ; and on I^aurel creek, where it varies in thickness from 4 
to 5 feet. 

According to Campbell, a coal seam in the lower portion of the Dismal 
conglomerate has been opened in the ridge between Big Town Hill and 
Miul Lick creeks, showing a thickness of 3 feet 5 inches; and again on 
the ridge between Indian and ^fiddle creeks its thickness is 4 feet. 

Coals in the Seqxwyah and Tellowa formations. — Coal seams appear 
in both of these formations. Those in the Sequoyah formation are not 
known to be of great commercial value. Those of the Tellowa formation 
occur beyond Virginia on Tug river in West Virginia. 

The Big Stone Gap Coal Field. 


The Big Stone Gap coal field is located in southwestern Virginia and 
southeastern Kentucky. In Virginia it embraces parts of Wise, Lee, and 
Scott counties, and in Kentucky, parts of Harlan and Letcher counties* 
Its southern and eastern boundaries are irregular, being largely the 


Fig. 2. — General view of the Crane* N'e«t Coal ant) Coke Cumpany's tipple, 
Toms Creek. 



southern margin of the coal measures. As developed at present the field 
has an approxunate area of 540 square miles in Virginia and Kentucky. 
The area is a part of a long and narrow basin which extends northeast and 
southwest, and is bounded on either side by sharp and rocky ridges. The 
natural passageway in and out of this field is Big Stone Gap in Wise 
county, from which the field received its name. Several lines of railroad 
utilize this passageway which forms one of the principal outlets from the 

The building of the Clinch Valley division of the Norfolk and Western 
Railway in 1891, marked the beginning of developments in the Big Stone 
Gap coal field. Although opened up nearly 10 years after the famous 
Pocahontas field, it is much the largest producer of coal and coke, and 
Wise county is, at present, the largest coal- and coke-producing county 
in the State. It is estimated that the :field produces about 80 per cent, 
of the Virginia coke output. 


There are 8 workable seams of coal in the district, ranging in thickness 
from 3.5 to 12 feet, and included within a vertical distance of about 1,200 
feet. Of these the 4 highest have their greatest development in the western 
part of the district. Deep cutting by the streams and light dip of the strata 
are conducive to economic mining over much of the field. 

Campbell divides the field into four separate basins, as follows: (1) 
The Crab Orchard basin, which includes all the territory in Lee county 
lying north of Stone Mountain, known as Crab Orchard; (2) the Imboden 
basin, so named because of the great development of the famous Imboden 
coal seam, which includes the area drained by the Powell river through 
Big Stone Gap; (3) the Guest river basin, comprising the region east of 
Norton drained by Guest river, the principal stream; (4) the Kentucky 
basin, which lies wholly in Kentucky and forms a part of the Big Stone 
Gap field. For convenience the field is divided below into the eastern 
portion and the western portion, and separately discussed. 

In the Big Stone Gap field, Campbell divides the measures in descend- 
ing order, into the following formations : 

Thickness in feet. 

Wise formation 1,276 

Gladeville sandstone 120 

Norton formation 1 ,280 

Lee formation 1 ,530 



Of these the Norton is the principal coal-bearing formation. Two 
sections measured by Campbell, one in the extreme eastern part of Wise 
county, the other in the western part of the same county, show the relations 
of the principal horizons of the Norton formation. Section No. II in- 
cludes 530 feet of the Norton, the Gladeville sandstone, and some higher 

Section No. 1, Extreme eastern pari of Wise county: 

Feet. Inches Feet. Inches 

1. Gladeville sandf^tone 

2. Interval 150 

3. Imhoden coal bed 4 5 

4. Interval 260 

6. Upper Banyier coal bed 3 to 7 

6. Interval 100 

7. Lower Banner coal bed 1 6 to 4 4 

8. Interval 226 to 286 

9. Kennedy coal bed 1 to 9 

10. Interval 340 

11. Tacoma coal bed 3 4 to 4 4 

12. Interval 90 

13. Jawbone coal bed 4 4 to 8 8 

14. Interval to Lee formation 150 

iSeriion No. 11, Western part of Wise county: 


1. Sandstone 46 

2. "Cannel bed" 6 

3. Thin bedded samUtone 29 

4. Upper Splint bed 1 

6. Concealed 68 

6. Shale 16 

7. Sandy shale 13 

8. Lower Splint bed 2 

9. Gladeville samlstone 122 

10. Coal bed 2 

11. Shale and concealed 11 

12. Kelly coal bed 1 

13. Interval 76 

14. Imboden coal bed 6 

16. Ck>ncealed 70 

16. Sandstone 20 

17. Coal and clay 4 

18. Shale 10 

19. Sandstone 105 

20. Shale 110 

21. Coal bed 

22. Sandstone 10 

Inches Feet. Inches 





7 to 13 1 





The principal operations in the Big Stone Qap coal field are given 
below in tabular form : 

Name of Operation. Post-office. 

Banner Coal Company Norton, 

Barrowman Coal Company Banner, 

Bear Creek Coal and Coke Company Tacoma, 

Blockwood Coal and Coke Company Blockwood, 

Bond Coal Company Wise, 

Bnice Coal and Coke Company Coeburn, 

Carbon Coal and Coke Company Norton, 

Clinchfield Coal Company Dante, 

(*rane8 Nest Coal and Coke Company Georgel, 

Dawson Coal and Coke Company Fink, 

Domestic Coal Company Raven, 

Guest River Coal and Coke Company Esserville, 

Imboden Coke Company Imboden, 

Intermont Coal and Iron Company Big Stone Gap, 

Nickles Coal and Coke Company Tacoma, 

Norton Coal Company Norton, 

Raven Collieries Company Raven, 

Raven Fuel Company " 

Raven Red Ash Coa 1 Company " 

Richland^ Coal Company Coldron, 

Russell Creek Coal and Coke Company Virginia City, 

Seaboard Coal Company Seaboard, 

Spruce Pine Coal Company Norton, 

Stone Gap Colliery Company Glamorgan, 

Stonega Coal and Coke Company Stonega, 

St. Paul Coal and Coke Company St. Paul, 

Swords Creek Coal and Coke Company Swords Creek, 

Tacoma Coal and Coke Company Tacoma. 

The Colonial Coal and Coke Company Dorchester, 

Town Hill Coal Company Richland-*. 

Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company Georgel, 

Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company Banner, 

Wise Coal and Coke Company Dorchester, 


Introduction. — Reference to section No. 1 above, on page 36G, will make 
-clear the relations between the different coals in this portion of the field, 
which occur in the Norton formation. There are six coal horizons in the 
Norton formation which afford promise of workable seams at some point 
within the field. Named in descending order, these are designated by 
Campbell as follows: 

( 1 ) Edwards Seam. 

(2) Upper Banner Seam. 

(3) Lower Banner Seam. 

(4) Kennedy Seam. 

(5) Imboden Seam (?) so-called. 

(6) Jawbone Seam. 


These are found in different horizons in diflferent parts of the field. 
Usually the lower ones are confined to the eastern portion of the field, 
including the Kennedy, so-called Imboden, and Jawbone seamS; and the 
higher ones to the western, including the Edwards, Upper Banner, and 
Lower Banner seams. The coals of the higher group are reported to be 
remarkably regular in thickness and composition, while ihofle of the lower 
group are considered quite variable. 

The Edwards seam, — This is the highest seam of coal in the Norto"*^ 
formation, and it is found in several outcrops near the summits of th^ 
highest hills in the northern part of the field. It is found about 150 fee^ 
below the base of the Gladeville sandstone, and 250 feet above the n 
highest or Upper Banner coal seam. It is exposed on the ridge west o 
Big Tom creek and on Sandy Ridge near the head of the Left Fork o 
Bussell creek. At the former locality, an opening shows a thickness of 
feet 5 inches of clean coal, and at the latter the thickness is practicall; 
the same, including a small shale parting near the top. 

The Upper Banner seam, — The Upper Banner seam is found 400 fee 
below the Gladeville sandstone and 250 feet below the Edwards seam. 
account of its thickness and persistence it is reported to be the most im — 
portant seam in the field and is a coking coal of great excellence. Camp- 
bell describes a constant feature of the seam to be a contained small sand^ — 
stone parting which varies from 1 to 3 inches in thickness. In the Guest:: 
liver and Tom creek portions of the field, in the vicinity of Tacoma,:^-. 
numerous openings are made on the seam showing a thickness ranging fronm. 
4 feet to 7 feet 10 inches. East of Big Tom creek developments are les^ 
extensive than in the type locality and the seam does not hold quite th^s- 
same thickness. At several openings a reported thickness of 5 and ^ 
feet are given. 

A section of the Upper Banner seam measured at the mine east o:^ 

Tacoma is reported as follows: 

Feet. Inches 

Coal 2 9 

Slato parting, some conl 2 10 

Ck)al 2 5 

Sandstone parting 1 

Coal 2 

Total 10 1 

The Lower Banner seam. — This seam is found at approximately 10^ 
feet below the Upper Banner seam. It is reported to be fully as persistcii.^ 
as the upper one but not so thick. In the Big Tom creek portion of th.^ 

I ; 

t . 

I • 

i ! 

! I 




field this seam shows a thickness of from 3 to 4 feet, but further eastward 
on Big Laurel Bun and between Lick creek and Austin's Oap the thickness 
is increased to 52 inches, and 6 feet 2 inches, respectively. From the Left 
Fork of Bussell creek eastward, considerable variation in the thickness 
of the seam is shown, but it is reported on the whole as making a fine 
showing. At the Greno-Bodine mines the seam is reported to be 4 feet 
to 4 feet 10 inches thick. The following section was measured by Gamp- 
bell on Little Looney creek : 

Feet. Inches 

Coal 1 

Shale 2 

Coal 1 8 

ToUl 4 8 

The seams described above are the most important ones developed in 
the vicinity of Tacoma. 

The Kennedy seam, — This seam, the uppermost one of the lower group 
of coals, occurs at a distance of from 225 to 285 feet below the Lower 
Banner seam. Outcrops of the seam occur along the valley of Quest river 
as far as Coebum. It has been opened a short distance east of Banner 
Station; on the Left* and Middle Forks of Russell creek; on Lick creek at 
the foot of Austin's Gap ; and a few openings have been made on the seam 
farther eastward. Judging from the openings made on the seam it shows 
much irregularity in thickness, ranging from 2 feet 8 inches to 10 feet. 
Greater extremes than these are reported. 

The Imboden (f) seam, so-called, — The position of the Imboden seam 
has been shown by Campbell to be 180 feet below the Gladeville sand- 
stone. He states that if this is correct the Imboden seam corresponds very 
closely, if it is not identical, with the horizon of the Edwards seam de- 
scribed above. The approximate interval between the Kennedy and the so- 
called Imboden seams is doubtfully given at about 340 feet. The so-called 
Imboden seam has been prospected a mile east of Tacoma, and small 
seams at about this horizon are reported at a number of places along the 
railroad between Tacoma and Coebum; also east of Little Tom tunnel. 
It has been opened on Bull Run imder the high trestle of the Norfolk and 
Western Railway where it shows a thickness of 40 inches of coal. It is 
reported opened again on Russell creek directly above the mine near 
Virginia City. 

The Jawbone seam, — ^This is the lowest workable bed of coal known in 
the Norton formation. It is probably 150 feet above the base of the 


formation, and at the mine near Virginia City it is reported to be 90 feet 
below the so-called Imboden seam. The seam derives its name fiom Jaw- 
bone Hollow, a small tributary of Bull Run, where it was first opened. 
Here the coal is said to be irregularly bedded and containing a large parting 
of bony coal near the middle. The seam has been opened about 1 mile 
above the mouth of Dry Fork on the east side of Bull Bun; and it has 
been considerably developed on the Right Fork of Russell creek. Nmneroug 
openings have been made on the seam in the valley of Bull Run. 

A coal found about 200 feet above the Lee conglomerate at Tacoma 
apparently splits into two seams farther east, one of which shows a thick- 
ness of from 8 to 10 feet on Russell creek and is mined as the Jawbone 
seam. Campbell gives the following section exposed in the creek at Tacoma: 

Feet. Inches 

Coal 2 

Shale 3 

Coal 7 

Knife-edge parting 

Coal 1 8 

Dirty coal 8 

Coal 1 6 

Total 4 10 



Introduction. — In the western or Big Stone Gap portion of the field, the 
principal coals are found below the Gladeville sandstone in the Norton for- 
mation, as in the eastern field already described. Of the numerous coals 
known to exist in the Norton formation in this portion of the field two are 
more conspicuously developed than the others, namely, the Imboden and the 
Kelly seams. The Imboden seam is stratigraphically below the Kelly, its 
position being fixed at 180 feet below the Qladeville sandstone. The 
Imboden seam is the most famous and important of all the coals known 
in the field. 

As may be seen from section No. II, on page 266, measured in the 
western ])art of Wise county, three coal horizons are recognized above the 
Gladeville sandstone, designated as follows, in ascending order: 

(1) Lower Splint bed. 

(2) Upper Splint bed. 

(3) Cannel bed. 

These coals occur in the Wise formation, which, according to Camph^ll, 
has an estimated thickness of 1,276 feet. Other coals are reported to occur 

1 |jart (if i-i'ke oiens, 



abave the Cannel bed, but as yet very little is known of them in the Virginia 
portion of the field. 

The Imiboden seam. — The Imboden seam is the most prominent one 
of the nmnerous coals in this field. It can be continuously traced from 
Norton to the Lee county line, and it is found at a vertical distance orf 
180 feet below the Oladeville sandstone. If this position is correct, the 
Imbodeot eeam, according to Campbell, is found at about the same horizon 
SB the Edwards seam in the eastern portion of the field, described above. 
In the yicinily of Lee county the thickness of the Imboden seam is given 
as. 30 inches; in a small branch to the eastward it shows a thickness of 4 
feet 6 inches; and still farther east is a section doubtfully indentified as 
the Imboden. It is: 

Feet. Inches 

COBl 1 

Shale 5 8 

Coal 2 

Shale 6 

Ck)al 3 6 

Total 12 8 

In the mine on Little Looney creek the Imboden seam varies in thick- 
ness from 5 to 9 feet. The entire thickness of 5 feet is solid coal. The 
following sections measured by Campbell at different places serve to show 
the variation in thickness and character of the Imboden seam : 

Preacher creek: 

Feet. Inches 

Sandttone roof 

Coal 11 

Boinreoal 3 

Coal../. 1 8 

Clay 2 

Sandstone floor 

Total- 13 1 

Mmdh of Whiiley Fork: 


gbato .., 


Dirty coal 


Shale cariying sulphur. 

Total 10 10^1 
















Mud Lick creek: 

Feet. Inches 

Coal 1 10 

Knife-edge parting 

Coal 1 4 

Bony coal 1 

Coal e 

Bony coal 

Coal 2 4 

Total 6 7 

Powell river, north of Norton: 

Feet. Inches 

Coal 4 

Shale 2 

Coal 4 

Total 8 2 


Prom the section at the mouth of Whitley Fork, the seam thins to 
Block creek, where it is about 4 feet 2 inches thick. 

One mile northeast of Norton: Guest river at the bend east of 


Goal 2 10 Coal 

Clay 1 Clay 

Coal 3 Coal 

Clay « Clay 

Coal 1 10 Coal 

Clay 8 Dirty coal 

Coal 1 10 Coal 


Total 8 11 Coal 











Total 9 6 

The Imboden seam is a fine body of coal and it produces an excellent 
coke. Campbell states that the finest showing of coal in the field occurs 
on the headwaters of a small stream flowing south into Powell river, 
between Eoaring Fork and Bearpen creek. It is the Imboden seam having 
a thickness of 16 feet, 13 feet of which is without a parting. 

The Kelly seam, — Prom 50 to 76 feet above the Imboden seam is the 
Kelly coal, which attains considerable thickness in places. Its greatest 
development is probably on Roaring Fork, where it shows a thickness of 7 

feet 3 inches. The section here is : 

Feet. Inches 

Shaly coal 1 3 

Coal 6 

Total 7 3 

It is reported to be less than 1 foot thick at Pioneer on Callihan creek, 
and, according to Campbell, it is generally variable throughout the field. 

Seam just beneath the Oladeville sandstone, — So far as I am awaie, 
this seam has not received a definite name. It occurs at the top of the 
Norton formation, just beneath tJie Qladeville sandstone on Powell river, 
north of Norton, and it has a reported thickness of 3 feet. Throughout 
the valley of Callihan creek, it is reported to have a thickness of about 2 
feet, but in Lee county it forms a workable seam. The opening near 
Morris Oap shows a thickness of 6 feet 8 inches; on Jones creek 5 feet; 
and on Big Looney creek 5 feet 5 inches. 

Coals of the Wise formxition. — Of the numerous coals found in the Wise 
formation and above the G-ladeville sandstone, there are at least 3 which are 
of importance. These are the Lower Flint, Upper Flint, and Cannel beds. 



According to Campbell they have their greatest importance in the Kentucky 
portion of the field, although a goodly thicknese of the beda ia shown in 
places on the Virginia side. The uppermost one of the three, the Cannel 
bed, vhich is a persistent seam and is found at about ISO feet about the 
sandstone, shows the following section on the Virginia side : 

Feet. Inches 

Caunel ahale. . 
Canael coal. . . 


Shalj coal., . . 





Total. . 

Xethodi of Hining. 
In the Pocahontas field the method of mining formerly used was the 
double-entry system with rooms driven opposite each other and at right- 
anglee to the main entries. The main eaitriea were 10 feet wide with a 
pillar of coal 50 feet wide between them. The rooms leading out from the 
entries on either side were spaced about 60 feet apart between centers; 
were driven 18 to 20 feet wide, supported by a pillar between them from 
40 to 42 feet wide. After the mine was blocked out, systematic robbing 
of the pillars begun. 

(Modified from 


At present the panel system of mining is employed with 15 to 25 
rooms to each panel and systematically robbing all pillars that have been 
left. (Figure 55.) The panel system, a modification of the double-entry 
system, is said to have been introduced in order to avoid the waste of coal 
due to squeezing, following the robbing of pillars under the double-entry 
system. The rooms are driven opposite each other and at right-angles to 
the main entries. The method of mining at the Baby and West mines 
of the Pocahontas Collieries Company is entirely on the panel system, with 
26 rooms to the panel. Large barrier pillars are left to protect haulways, 
and overcasts carry the air from each panel to the main return airway. 

Ventilating fans of 300,000 to 500,000 cubic feet of air per minute 
are used, and are driven either by steam or by electric motors. Tracks 
are laid in the rooms from the main entries, and the cars are hauled out 
by either electric or steam locomotives. 

At the new mines now opening up at Boissevain, 3 miles west of Poca- 
hontas, the system of mining will be varied in accordance with the 
structure of the vein. It is reported that three systems will be used: (1) 
Where the dip of the seam is less than 6 per cent.; (2) where the dip is 
between 5 and 20 per cent.; and (3) where it is greater than 20 per cent 

In the Big Stone Gap field the method of mining employed is the 
room-and-pillar system, with the undergroimd haulage by mules and 
electric locomotives. Ventilating furnaces are in use at many of the mines, 
and exhaust fans are used as the mines become more extensively worked. 




Coal production of Virginia, from 1822 to 1906, incluswe. 

(Short tons) 




(Short tons) 

























1888 1,073,000 

1889 865,786 

1890 784,011 

1891 736,399 

1892 675,206 

1893 820,339 

1894 1,299,083 

1895 1,368,324 

1896 1,254,723 

1897 1,528,302 

1898 1,815,274 

1899 2,105,791 

1900 2,393,754 

1901 2,726,878 

1902 3,182,993 

1903 3,451,307 

1904 3,683,914 

1905 4,275,761 

1906 4,275,815 



Coal production in Virginia by couiUies from 1900 to 1905, 

(Short Tons). 























. 20,288 











wise .■•••■••• • . • 
Chesterfield... ) 


Pulaski ..\ 

Bussell / 

Small mines 









Total values... 


^Includes Lee and Montgomery Ck>untle8. 


The coal bibliography of Virginia is rather a voluminous one. Only 
the more important references to the literature can be noted in this volume. 

Adkinson, W. Q. The Catawba, Botetourt County, Virginia, Coak The 

Virginias, 1883, IV, 160-161. 

Campbell, M. E. Geology of the Big Stone Gap Coal Field of Virginia 

and Kentucky. Bulletin No. Ill, U. S. Geological 
Survey, 1893, 106 pages. 

(Jeologic Atlas of the United States, Estillville Folio, 
No. 12. U. S. Geological Survey, 1894. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States, Pocihontas Folio, 
No. 26. U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States, Tazewell Folio, 
No. 44. U. S. Geological Survey, 1898. 

Geologic Atlas of the United States, Bristol Folio, 
No. 59. U. S. Geological Survey, 1899. 

Clifford, William. Kichmond Coal Field, Virginia. Transactions 

Geological Society of Manchester, 1888, XIX 
326-353, 431-433; Ibid. 1889, XX, 247-256. 

Eastern Virginia Coal Field. Transactions Amen- 
can Institute of Mining Engineers, 1874-6, IH? 

Coryell, M. 

Fontaine, W. M. 

Notes on the Mesozoic Strata of Virginia. American 
Journal of Science, 1879, XVII, 25-39, 151-157, 



Fowler, Qeo, L. 

Hayes, C. W. 

Heinrich, 0. J. 

Hodge, J. M. 

Hotchkiss, J. 

The Coals and Goal-Mining Methods of the Pocahontas 
Field. The Engineering Magazine, 1904, XXVII, 

The Coal Fields of the United States. 22nd Annual 
Report, U. S. Qeological Survey, 1900-01, Part 
III, 7-24. 

The Midlothian Colliery, Virginia. Transactions 
American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1871-3, 1, 
346-369, 360-364; Ibid. 1875-6, IV, 308-316; 
Ibid, 1876-77, V, 148-161. 

The Mesozoic Formations in Virginia. Transactions 
American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1878, VI, 
227-274 ; The Virginias, 1880, I, 124-125. 

The Big Stone Gap Coal Field. Transactions Ameri- 
can Institute of Mining Engineers, 1892-3, XXI, 
922-938. Discussion by M. R. Campbell, 1004- 

The Coal Fields of West Virginia and Virginia in the 
Great Ohio, or Trans-Appalachian Coal Basin. 
The Virginias, 1880, I, 18-21. 

The Great Flat Top Coal Field and the New River or 
Lower Coal Measures Coals. The Virginias, 1881, 
II, 153; Ibid. 1882, III, 88-89, 92-93; Ibid. 
1883, IV, 51. 

The North Mountain Coal Field in Botetourt County, 
Virginia. The Virginias, 1883, IV, 146-147. 

The Richmond, Virginia, Coal Field. The Virginias, 
1883, IV, 171. 

On the Structure and Probable Age of the Coal Field 
of the James River, near Richmond, Virginia. 
Quarterly Journal Geological Society (London), 
1847, III, 261-280. 

McCreath, A. S. and d'Invilliers, E. V. Mineral Resoiirces of the Cumber- 
land Valley of Southeastern Kentucky and South- 
western Virginia. Louisville, Kentucky, 1902, 152 

Newell, F. H. Richmond Coal Field, Virginia. Geological Magazine, 

Decade III, 1889, VI, 138-139. 

Parsons, F. W. and Leckie, Wm. The Pocahontas Collieries Company. 

Engineering and Mining Journal, 1906, LXXXII, 


Lyell, Sir Charles. 


Rogers, Wm. B. The Great Coal Field of the Virginias. The Virgi- 
nias, 1882, III, 158-159, 164. 

Reprint of the Geology of the Virginias- New York, 

Russell, I. C. Correlation Papers. Newark System. Bulletin No. 85, 

TT. S. Geological Survey, 1892. 

Sehraitz, E. T. The Structure of the Richmond Coal Basin. Trans- 

actions American Institute of Mining Engineers, 
1896, XXIV, 397^08. 

SnaJer, N. S. and Wood worth, J. B. Geology of the Richmond Basin, 

Virginia. 19th Annual Report, U. S. Geological 
Survey, Part II, 1897-98, 385-519. 

Stevenson, J. J. Notes on the Quinnimont Coal Group in Mercer 

County of West Virginia and Tazewell County of 
Virginia. Proceedings, American Philosophical 
Society, Philadelphia, 1880-81, XIX, 498-505. 

Geological Reconnaissance of Paris of Lee, Wise, 
Scott, and Washington Counties, Virginia. Pro- 
ceedings, American Philosophicad Society, Phila- 
delphia, 1881, XIX. 

Carboniferous of the Appalachian Basin. Bulletin 
Geological Society of America, 1904, XV, 147-156. 

Woodwori;h, J. B. The History and Conditions of Mining in the Rich- 
mond Coal Basin, Virginia. Transactions Ameri- 
can Institute of Mining Engineers, 1902, XXXI, 


Carbonite, natural coke, occurs in the Richmond coal basin and is a 
modification of the normal coal due to the heat of intruded localized 
masses of igneous rocks (diabase). It has been mined especially on the 
east side of the basin at Carbon Hill and Midlothian. 

The natural coke varies much in quality and texture, ranging from a 
dense, amorphous graphitic-looking material to that which in general 
aspect, especially in the prismatic form of the masses, resembles the non- 
compact varieties produced in modem ovens. Prom the origin of the coke 
and the differences in the original composition of the coal from which 
it has been derived, it is irregular in distribution and variable in quantity. 
Data are lacking upon which to base an estimate of the proporidon of the 
coal of the basin which has been coked by the igneous masses. According 


to Woodworth probably less than one-fifth of the coal has undergone this 
change to coke. 

Sufficient tests of its economic value have not been made, although the 
coke has long been in use as a domestic fuel and it is highly esteemed 
locally. It is denser than artificial coke and has more nearly the quality 
of anthracite coal. Adequate tests have not been made to ascertain its 
fitness for metallurgical work. 

Samples of the coke were analyzed by S. B. Riggs in the laboratory 
of the U. S. Geological Survey with the following results: 

Per cent. 

Carbon 67.13 

Volatile matter 18.35 

Ash 12.86 

Water 1.66 

Total 100.00 

Sulphur 4.70 

Samples of the carbonite from the Jewett and Brother^s Colliery on 
the east side of the basin were separated into two portions, a dull and a 
lustrous portion, and separately analyzed by Doctor Drown with the follow- 
ing results: 

Dull Portion Lustrous Portion 
Per cent. Per cent. 

Carbon 79.33 81.52 

Volatile matter 16.47 11.10 

Ash 3.20 6.68 

Lo88atl00**C 2.00 0.69 

Total 100.00 100.00 

Sulphur 4.08 1.60 

Specific gravity 1.375 1.360 


Raymond, R. W. The Natural Coke of Chesterfield County, Virginia. 

Transactions American Institute of Mining Engi- 
neers, 1882-83, XI, 446-450. 

Riggs, R. B. Analysis of Natural Coke from Midlothian, Virginia. 

Bulletin No. 42, U. S. Geological Survey, 1887, 

Rogers, W. B. On the Porous Anthracite or Natural Coke of Eastern 

Virginia. American Journal of Science, 1842, 
XLIII, 175-176. 

Natural Coke in Virginia, Proceedings, American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1854, III, 106-107. 


Observations on the Natural Coke and the Associated 
Igneous and Altered Bocks of the Oolite Coal 
Region in the vicinity of Bichmond, Virginia. 
Proceedings Boston Sociely of Natural Hi^ry, 
1854-56, V, 53-56; The Virginias, 1888, IV, 

Shaler, N. S. and Woodworth, J. B. Gteology of the Bichmond Baaiii, Vir- 
ginia. 19th Annual Beport, XT. S. ' Geological 
Survey, 1897-98, Part II, 511. 

Wurtz, H. Preliminary Note upon the Garbonite or So-called 

Natural Coke of Virginia. Tran8acti<»B American 
Institute of Mining Engineers, 1874-76, m, 456- 

3. COKE. 

The rapid development of the excellent coking-coal fields in fiouth- 
wcstern Virginia during the last few years has made Virginia one of the 
prominent coke-producing states. The State now ranks fourth among 
the coke producers. Prior to 1895 there were only two coke-making 
establishments in Virginia, with a production of less than 200,000 
tons per year. The number of establishments increased to 7 in 1901, and 
the total number of coke ovens increased from 832 in 1896 to 2,775 in 
1901, with a total production of more than 900,000 short tons. Construc- 
tion and development work progressed rapidly during 1902, the number 
of establishments was doubled, and at the close of the year 2,974 ovens 
were built and 1,208 were building, with a production increased to 1,124,572 
short tons. 

In 1903, 2 more establishments were added, making the total number 
16, with a total of 4,251 ovens, and the production further increased to 
l,17r),439 short tons. In 1904, there was an increase of 94 completed 
ovens, the number of establishments remaining the same as in 1903, while 
the production declined to 1,101,716 short tons. Two establishments, 
having a total of 107 oven?, wore reported idle during the year 1904. One 
of these was the Newton-Chambers ovens at Pocahontas in Tazewell county. 

The product in 1905 amounted to 1,499,481 short tons, an increase 
of 36.1 per cent, over 1904. The value, $2,869,452, increased 62 per cent 
over 1904. The number of ovens increased to 4,549 in 1905. 

The remarkable increase in coke-production in Virginia during the 
last few years has resulted from the development of the Wise county coal 
fields on the Clinch Valley division of the Norfolk and Western Kailway. 


r of Osaka No. 1 coal tipple. 

Fig. 2.— General view of double batterips of ci>l;c ovens at Osaka. 


.■■■J • 



With the development of the enormous coal reserves in the adjacent south- 
west Virginia counties should follow, in the very near future, a greatly 
increased coke-making output from the State. 

All the coal used in coke-making in Virginia up to 1895 was unwashed. 
Washing slack coal b^an in 1896, and in 1898 the amount of washed 
slack coal used amounted to more than 210,000 short tons. 

Analyses of Virginia Coke. 

Analyses of coke made from ike southwestern Virginia coals. 








Ck)ke made from the Pocahontas or Flat Top Coal 



Per cent 










Per cent 








Per cent. 







(By-Product Coke) 

H. Froehling, Richmond, Va. 
Prof. Hile, Morffantown, W.Va. 
A. S. McCreath, Harrisbarg, Pa. 
Western Steel Co., St. Louis, Mo. 
Joliet Steel Co., Chicaso, 111. 
A. I. M. £., Boston, Mass. 
Dora Furnace Co., Pulaski, Va. 

Coke made from the Big Stone Gap Coal 






Made from Soott Co., Va., coal 

An analysis of the ash given in the first analysis of the above table, 
from the coke of the Pocahontas or Flat Top coal field, gave Doctor 
Froehling the following results: 

Per cent. 

Silica 2.780 

Alumina 1.009 

Iron oxide 881 

Lime .341 

Magnesia 016 

Phosphoric oxide 018 

Sulphur trioxide 158 

PoUsh 068 

Maganese oxide trace 

Total 5.271 



Analyses of coke made from coal in th^ Big Stone Oap field. Wise coutdy. 

Name of producer. 



Per ct Per ct 





Ck)loiiial Coal & Coke Co... 88.37 ! 

Colonial Coal & Coke Co... 88.14 l 

Wiae Coal & Coke Co 88.75 ' 

Wise Coal & Coke Co ' 88.41 I 

Norton Coal Co 94.45 ! 

Norton Coal Co 93.43 , 
























F. W. Gtnor. 
F. W. Giner. 
F. W. Gaaer. 
F. W. Ganer. 
fi. W. DoRctt 
Booth; QairettABlur. 

The character of the coal used in the manufacture of coke in Viiginii 
since 1890 is shown in the following table: 

Character of coal used in the manufacture of coJce in YirgyMa, 1890- 


(Short Tons.) 

Run oi 













































237,474 210.099 


































The following are the statistics of the manufacture of coke in Virgiflifl 
from 1883 to 1906: 




Fig. 2. — tipneral view ot coke ovens, upper bntterie*. nt [mliiMlen. 



I t 

in a 




Statistics of the manufactvre of cohe in Virginia, 188S-190S. 




110 ' 


300 1, 


1,208 1, 

142 I, 

fl8 1 1, 


200, OlS 



140, 19y 

S 44,345 
























•Include!) 68 Newton-( 

In the following table is given the productioD of coke i 
by-product ovens in 1902 to 1904: 

Virginia in 



Short l»^. 

Yield per ton of 



Value per ton. 

ToUl vtluo. 








In the bee-hive form of coke ovcdb all gases and by-products were allowed 
to go to waste, a condition which is now being largely remedied by the 
use of the by-product ovens. This fonn of oven is coming into greater 
DBe, although it is claimed that it does not produce coke with a silvery 


luater like that from the bee-hire oven, but the Btnictuie and quality of 
the by-product coke is not much inferior to the old bee-hive product. 

The following tables, compiled from the recent volumes of the Mineral 
Sesourcee, show the production and value of gas, tar, and ammonia, pro- 
duced at by-product coke works and in gas-house retorts in Virginia from 

Under Coke on page 383, is given a table showing the production and 
value of coke produced in Virginia in by-product ovens from 1902-1905. 

Tahle showing quantUy and value of gas produced and sold at by-prodnct 
coke plants in Virginia from 190S to 1906. 

si' 31 A 

InatHig purpose* 

GHfl Bold for fuel pur- 

Total ga. Bold 



quantity Value S | 
Cublp p-a 

fivL s -j^ 




Value ' g§d 

' * 


IK! isS.SSli:!! 




The following table gives the coal-tar production in Virginia from 1908 
to 1905: 


Namber of 



Value per 

Yield per ton 
of coal. 







In the table below is given the production of anunonia liquor in Vir- 
ginia and West Virginia at the gas and by-product coke works from 1902 
to 1905. The returns do not separate Virginia and West Virginia : 


CmU orboDiMd. 

EquivaUnt to aoh;- 











Under this heading are grouped those minerals which are distinguished, 
when cut and polished, for their beauty, durability, or rarity. The essen- 
tials, beauty and durability, are dependent upon color, brilliancy, and 
hardness of the mineral, which in turn are dependent upon the chemical 
and physical properties of that particular mineral. 

Distribution and Localities. 

A variety of minerals of gem grade have been foimd in the crystalline 
rocks of the Piedmont province of Virginia. Some counties in this area, 
which seemingly offer good possibilities for the occurrence of gem ma- 
terials, have not yet been exploited for this purpose. The known counties 
which have either produced gem minerals, or contain minerals which might 
be of desirable gem grade, are Amelia. Amherst, Bedford, Buckingham, 
Fairfax, Hanover, Nelson, and Spottsylvania. Of these, Amelia county 
is the best known and has produced the largest variety and quantity of 
gem minerals. These have come from the mica mines opened in the 
pegmatite dikes, near Amelia court-house. 

Those minerals known to occur in Virginia which have been used or 
are capable of being used for gem material are separately described below. 


The largest diamond discovered in the United States up to 1884 was 
found by a laboring man at Manchester, Virginia, in 1855, in some 
earth he was digging. So far as known to the writer this marks the 
only diamond-find in the State. A writer states that this stone was 
put into a furnace for melting iron at Eichmond, where it remained at red 
heat for 2 hours and 20 miuutes, and when taken out it was found to be 
uninjured. It was valued in Eichmond at that time at $4,000.00 and was 
later cut at an expense of $1,500.00. Its form was that of a slightly 
rounded trigonal trisoctohedron, and in the rough it weighed 23% karats ; 
after cutting its weight was 11 11-16 karats. In color it was a faint green- 
ish white with perfect transparency, but the refraction was somewhat im- 
paired by a flaw or speck in the interior. 


It has been suggested that the stone was brought down by the James 
river during spring floods from the Virginia gold fields. Exact copies of 
this gem, in glass, as it was found and as cut were deposited in the United 
States Mint Museum in Philadelphia, and at the Peabody Museum in 
New Haven, Connecticut. 


Several varieties of quartz are found in Virginia from which a few 
gems have been cut. These include a greenish colored banded quartz; 
a milky-white chalcedony ; colorless quartz with dark inclusions ; and a 
smok}^-brown quartz. These have come from one locality, namely, Fair- 
fax court-house. Gems cut from each variety of the Fairfax court-house 
quartzes named above are included in the collection of gems in the United 
States National Museum. 

In the cabinet of Tiffany and Company of New York City, is a fine 
limpid crystal of quartz, one inch long and two-thirds of an inch in diame- 
ter, penetrated by fine green crystals of actinolite a half millimeter in di- 
ameter, from an unknown Virginia locality. 

Amethyst, a variety of quartz, has long been knovm to students and 
collectors as occurring in Virginia. A promising locality has recently been 
opened and some good gem mineral taken out at a point about 2 miles 
from Lowesville post-office in Amherst county, and about the same distance 
from the James river. It occurs in pockets connected with a well-marked 
vein of white quartz, which extends for some miles along the base of the 
Blue Ridge. It occupies an area of about 11 acres, and the amethyst oc- 
curs but a few inches below the surface. The deposit has been only slightly 


Beautiful transparent spessartite, a manganese-aluminum garnet, used 
a? a gem, is found at the mica mines near Amelia court-house, in 
Amelia county. Irregular masses of the spessartite variety of gamtt 
v/ith crystalline exterior have been obtained from the Amelia court-house 
mines, which on cutting finished fine gems very similar in color and luster 
to the essonite or hyacinth of Ceylon. The cut stones varied from 1 to 
100 karats in weight. 

According to Kunz, George W. Fiss, of Philadelphia, found some of the 
most beautiful natural gems of microscopic yellow garnets from the mica 
mines of Amelia county. In his "Descriptive Catalogue of the Collections 
cf (icfiis in the United States National Museum," Tassin lists 9 gems cut 
from the Amelia county spessartite with the following weights: 39.13, 
7.26, 2.;?8, 2.G0, 1.10, 11.51, 8.89, 9.32, and 5.65 karats. 

MacELLLtrBOVS. 387 

AnaljseB of the Amelia oounty spaasartite by Bradbnrj and Clarke are 
giTen on page 288. 


A calcium-iron garnet, nsnallv of black color, has also been reported 
friHn the Amelia connty mines. Topasolite, a sub-variety of andradite, 
baring the color and transparency of topaz, also occurs in the same mines, 
near Amelia court-house. 


Beryls of large and small size in more or less perfect crystals are 
found in the mica mines of Atth^Ha^ county. Beryl of pure white color 
has been noted from these mines. An analysis made by Baker of the Amelia 
county beryl gaye: 

Per cent. 

Silica 65.24 

Alumina 17.05 

Ferric oxide 2.20 

Beryllium oxide 12.64 

Lime 0.57 

Soda 0.68 

Water 2.70 

ToUl 101.08 

Specific gravity 2.702 


Crystals of apatite are found in association with the mica, beiyl, etc., 

in the Amelia count}- mica mines. Some of the apatite crystals are of 

very large size. An analysis made by Bowan of a specimen of apatite from 

the Amelia county locality gave: 

Per cent. 

Lime 63.94 

Phoephoric acid 41.06 

Alumina 0.19 

Ferric oxide 0.81 

Fluorine 3.30 

Chlorine trace 

Ignition 0.81 

Insoluble reeidue 0.63 

ToUl 100.74 

Specific gravity 3.161 


Allanite is known in Bedford, Amelia, Amherst, and Nelson counties, 
Virginia. It occurs in considerable quantity in Amherst county, where 


it is found in large masses and crystals, very compact and black in color, 
and would form a black metallic gem stone. It is found in large masses 
in the Amelia county mica mines. 

Analyses of allanite from Amelia, Bedford, and Nelson counties, gave: 

Bedford Amelia Nelson 

County. County. County. 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Silica 26.70 32.35 30.04 

Alumina 6.34 16.42 16.10 

Ferric oxide 3.21 4.49 6.06 

Cerium oxide 33.76 11.14 11.61 

Didimium oxide 16.34 6.91 5.39 

Lanthanum oxide 1.03 3.47 4.11 

Ferrous oxide 4.76 10.48 9.89 

Erbium oxide 0.52 

Manganous oxide trace 1.12 trace 

Lime 2.81 11.47 13.02 

Magnesia 0.54 1.11 

Soda 0.49 ) ^ . - f 0.28 

Potash 0.55 l "**'* t 0.02 

Water 1.99 2.31 2.56 

Tin oxide 0.17 

Total 99.04 100.62 99.36 


This mineral, a silicate of aluminum, is found at Willis Mountain, in 
Buckingham county; in the vicinity of the old mica mine near Hewlett's, 
in Hanover county; and 2 miles north of Chancellorsville, in Spottsyl- 
vania county. As yet no really fine gems have been produced from any 
of the American kyanite. 

Fluorite (CMorophane) . 

One of the most remarkable varieties of this mineral, chlorophane, 
is found at the mica mines in Amelia county. It fluoresces by the heat 
of the hand, thus affording a fluorescent gem stone, but not hard enough 
for anv kind of wear. 

Kunz says of the Amelia county chlorophane : *^t is a fact of much 
interest that the variety of fluorspar found at Amelia, Va., has been found 
extremely sensitive to heat, so that it becomes distinctly luminous by the 
warmth of the hand, and that it also shows a triboluminescence so marked 
that the slightest friction will cause it to emit a phosphorescent light. A 
spectroscopic examination by Humphreys of the Amelia county chloro- 
phane showed that yttrium was present and ytterbium in some.' 

For other occurrence of fluorite in Virginia see page 215. 




The numerous pegmatite dikes found penetrating the metamorphic 
rocks of the crystalline or Piedmont region, east of the Blue Ridge, fre- 
quently contain feldspar of gem grade. The most noted locality in Vir- 
ginia where feldspar of gem grade is found, and which has produced moon- 
stones in some quantity, is that of the mica mines near Amelia court- 
house, in Amelia county. Three species of feldspar from the Amelia 
court-house mines have yielded gems. These are the green-colored potash 
feldspar, microcline, and the soda and soda-lime feldspars, albite and 

Microcline, variety amazonsione, is found near Amelia court-house of 
rich green color. An elliptical girdle, a small tray, and two small balls, 
2ut from amazonstone of the Virginia locality, are in the collection of gems 
in the United States National Museum. 

Alhite and Oligoclase, variety moonstone, occurs near Amelia court- 
house, varying from colorless to white, opaque, vdth fine change of color. 
A goodly number of moonstones from the Amelia county mines, of double 
and single cabochon cut, elliptical girdle, are in the gem collections of the 
United States National Museum. 

The finest examples of moonstone from an American locality, very 
closely resembling the Ceylon in quality and transparency, are found at 
Amelia court-house. Analyses of both the amazonstone and the moon- 
stone from the Amelia county mines are given on page 277. 


The rare mineral, microlite, which is essentially a calcium pyro- 
tantalate containing niobium, fluorine, and a number of bases in small 
amount, is found in Virginia, only at the Amelia county mica mines, 
in association with beryl, spessartite, fluorite, etc. The microlite occurs 
in the Virginia locality in fine crystals up to 1 inch in diameter, and 
in imperfect crystals up to 4 pounds in weight. 

Where the mineral has been found at other localities it waa opaque or 
at best translucent and not of value as a gem stone. At the Virginia local- 
ity, however, some of it is of sufficient transparency to be highly prized as a 
gem, the color varying from an essonite red to that of a rich spinel yellow, 
and remarkably brilliant. It is remarkable for its density, having a specific 
gravity higher than that of any known gem, being about 6. 


An analysis of the Amelia county microlite yielded Professor Duimiiig- 
ton the following results : 

Per cent. 

Ta,0, 68.43 

Nb,0. 7.74 

WO. 0.30 

SnO, 1.05 

CaO 11.80 

MgO 1.01 

BeO 0.34 

UO. 1.69 

Y,0« 0.23 

(Ce, l>i),0, 0.17 

Fe,0, 0.29 

A1,0« 0.13 

Na,0 2.86 

K,0 0.29 

H,0 1.17 

F 2.86 

Total 100.26 

Specific gravity 5.666 (Duimiiigton) 

Specific gravity 6.13 (Hidden) 


Columbite, a niobate and tantalate of iron and manganese, occurs in 
the Amelia county mica mines with microlite in fine splendent crystals. 
An analysis of the columbite from Amelia county gave Professor Dun- 
nington : 

Per cent. 

NbA 31.40 

Ta^Os 53.41 

SnO, trace 

FeO 5.07 

MnO 3.05 

CaO 1.27 

MgO 0.20 

YA 0.82 

Total 05.22 

Specific gravity 6.48 


This mineral is of yellow color and is found filling cracks in sp^' 
sartite at the mica mines near Amelia court-house. Sloan and HaiDCS 
give the following composition of the mineral from the Virginia locality- 



Sloan, B. E. 


Per cent. 

SiO, 25.48 

BeO 12.63 

MnO 39.07 

FeO 2.26 

Mn 8.66 

S 4.96 

A1,0« 2.96 

CaO 0.71 

K,0 0.43 

NaaO 1.01 

ToUl 98.16 

Haines, R. 
Per cent. 







Baker, A. L. 

Bradbury, C. M. 

Clarke, F. W. 


Beryl from Amelia County. American Naturalist, 
1882, XVI, 340 ; American Chemical Journal, 1885, 
VII, 175. 

Garnet (variety Spessartite) from Amelia County, 
Virginia. Chemical News, 1884, L, 120; The Vir- 
ginias, 1885, VI, 25. 

Mineralogical Notes. Spes8ari;ite from Amelia County, 
Virginia. U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 
60, 1890, 129. 

Dunnington, F. P. Columbite, Orthite and Monazite from Amelia Coun- 
ty, Virginia. American Journal of Science, 1882, 
XXIV, 153-154; American Chemical Journal, 
1882-'83, IV, 138-140. 

Helvite from Amelia County, Virginia. American 
Chemical Journal, 1882-'83. IV, 479. 

Analysis of Columbite and Monazite from Amelia 
County, Virginia. American Naturalist, 1882, 
XVI, 611*. 

New Analysis of Columbite and Monazite from Amelia 
County, Virginia. American Naturalist, 1882, 
XVI, Gil. 

On Microlite from Amelia County, Virginia. Chem- 
ical News, 1881, XLIV, 44; American Chemical 
Journal, 1881, III, 130; American Journal of Sci- 
ence, 1881, XXII, 82. 

Haines, B. Analysis of Helvite from Virginia. Proceedings 

Academv Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 1882, 
101 ; Chemical News, 1883, XLVII, 6-7. 



Hidden, W. E. 

Koenig, 6. A. 

Kunz, G. F. 
Lewis, H. C. 

Musgrave, E. N. 

Page, C. C. 
Page, W. T. 

Rowan, G. H. 
Seamon, W. H. 

Sloan, B. E. 

Tassin, Wirt. 

A Transparent Crystal of Microlite, Amelia Court- 
House, Virginia. American Journal of Science. 
1885, XXX, 82. 

Notes on Orthite from Amelia Court-House, Virginia. 
Proceedings Academy of Natural Sciences, Phila- 
delphia, 1882, XXXIV, 103-104. 

Chlorophane from Anlelia County, Virginia. Amer- 
ican Journal of Science, 1884, XXVIII, 235-236. 

Holvite from Virginia, Amelia County. American 
Journal of Science, 1882, XXIV, 155; American 
Naturalist, 1882, XVI, 337-338. 

An American Locality for Helvite, Amelia Court- 
House, Virginia. Proceedings Academy Natural 
Sciences, Philadelphia, 1882, XXXW, lOO-lOl. 

Analysis of Albite from Amelia County, Virginia. 
Chemical News, 1882, XLVI, 204; American Nat- 
uralist, 1883, XVII, 312-313. 

Amazonstone from Amelia county, Virginia. The 
Virginias, 1885, VI, 24-25. 

Analysis of Allanite from Bedford County, Virginia. 
American Naturalist, 1883, XVII, 312-313 ; Chem- 
ical News, 1882, XLVI, 195. 

Apatite from Amelia County, Virginia. The Vir- 
ginias, 1885, VI, 24; Chemical News, 1884, L, 208. 

Analysis of Garnet from Amelia County, Virginia. 
American Naturalist, 1883, XVII, 312-313. 

Analysis of Helvite from Amelia County, Virginia. 
Chemical News, 1882, XLVI, 195; American 
Naturalist, 1883, XVII, 312-313. 

Analysis of the Feldspar Accompanying Microlite in 
Amelia County, Virginia. Chemical News, 1881, 
XLIV, 207 ; The Virginias, 1882, III, 4. 

Descriptive Catalogue of the Collections of Gems in the 
United States National Museum. Report of the 
United States National Museum for 1900, 473- 

2. SAND. 

Sand, suitable for the three principal uses made of it, is found in com- 
mercial quantity in Virginia. This includes sand used for glass mann- 
facture, molding, and building purposes. The principal production of 


"N^irginia sand up to the present time is utilized in molding and for building 
purposes. Although commercial deposits of glass sand occur, there has 
been no production, as yet, for this purpose, in Virginia. 

Glass Sand. 

A purer sand is required in the manufacture of glass than that used 
for any other purpose. Sand suitable for glass manufacture is found at 
a number of localities in the State. Deposits of a fine white sand, derived 
by disintegration from the hard Potsdam sandstone, are found at several 
places along the eastern edge of the middle Valley region. An extensive 
deposit occurs at Balcony Falls in Eockbridge county, along the west base 
of the Blue Ridge. At Stapleton Mills, in Amherst county, is found a 
deposit of very pure white sand. 

In the northern portion of Eoanoke county, in Catawba valley, and 
along Catawba Mountain, about 9 miles north and west of Salem, are 
deposits of fine white sand, well suited for the manufacture of glass. 
Preparations are in progress at present by the Catawba Valley Railway 
and Mining Companyy looking to the development of the Catawba valley 
sand deposits. A railroad is being graded between Salem and the Norfolk 
and Western Eailway and Catawba Mountain for the purpose of trans- 
porting the sand to Salem, where the glass plant will be located. Contract 
has been let for the building of the glass plant at a cost of $50,000.00. 

An analysis of the Catawba valley sand, made by Mr. H. H. Hill, in 
the Laboratories of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, gave : 

Per cent. 

Silica 96.99 

Alumina .01 

Iron oxide 02 

Magnesia .07 

Lime 80 

Soda 1.40 

Potash 20 

Water and organic matter .31 

Total 99.80 

An exceptionally pure white sand is described by Professor Fontaine as 
occurring at the foot of the Potsdam mountains, a short distance southeast 
of Greenville, in Augusta county. The sand was pierced by a well which, 
after passing through 6 feet of blue clay, passed through 17 feet of 
Potsdam bowlders and sand. This sand is described as being of extreme 
whiteness, in large amount, and valuable for glass-making. A sample of 
moderately coarse and fine white sand, composed almost exclusively of 


quartz grains, from the vicinity of Wayneeboro, gave on analysiE 98.5T 
per cent, of silica. Qlasa sand ia formed in a nnmber of other countiet, 
but the deposits have not received attention. 

Holding Sand. 

Molding Bands to be of valne must possess certain physical qualitiei, 
the principal ones of which are, according to Mason, elasticity, strength, 
and a certain degree of fineness. According to Ries, molding sand must 
be sufBciently fine-grained and aluminous to permit molding into the re- 
quired form; strong enough to hold its shape; resistant to heat, and porous 
enough to permit the escape of gases, hot noi admit the melted metiL 
An excess of clay and iron in the sands will cause the mold to Bbrinl: 
and crack under the intense heat, and too little will canse it to dry and 

Sanda possessing the qualities enumerated above and of superior 
quality are found in the vicinity of Richmond, and at other localities a> 
the Coastal Plain or Tidewater region of Virginia, That found on the 
Gowardin place near Bichmond is of excellent quality and is ertensiTel; 

During his investigations of the Virginia Coastal Plain clays in the 
summer of 1905, Dr. Ries studied and collected samples of the tnoiding 
sand over the same area. The samples were analyzed in the laboratories 
of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute by J. R. Eoff, Jr., and James H. 
Gibboney, with the results given below. As indicated below these sands 
represent localities chiefly in the vicinity of Richmond, Petersburg, an<l 



Per cent. 


Per cent. 

Per cnt. 

Per cent. 


8iHM (SiO,) 


82. OS 
(1 3.5 









Potoih (K,0) 

8od> (Nb,0) 


W.t.r(H,0)... : 


3.94 14.94 
0.08 1 0.]] 
0.09 1 0.15 

1.41 I.9S 
0.74 1 0.41 
0.46 ; 0.70 
4.16 4.0S 

2.42 3-77 






100.16 1 100.3! 



Per cent 



Per cent 


Per cent 

Per cent 

Silict (SiO,) 

Alumina (A1.0,) 

Iron oxide (Fe,0,) 






Lime (CaO) 

Maffnesia (MffO) 

A. tttt 




Soda (Na,0) 


Titanic oxide (TiO.) 

Water ( H,0) 

Water (moiatare) 








I. Redford sand from foundry, Manchester, Virginia. 

II. Redford yellow sand collected at pit, Manchester, Virginia. 

III. Coarse sand, Harbaugh pit, Richmond, Virginia. 

IV. Used molding sand, Redford pit, Manchester, Virginia. 
V. Sand from near Petersburg. Virginia. 

VI. Blandford pit, Petersburg, Virginia. 

VII. Armstrong pit, Petersburg, Virginia. 

Vin. Sand from near Standard Brick Company, south of Suffolk, Virginia. 

IX. Griffith's pit, Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

X. Curlis pit, southeast of Lanexa, New Kent county, Virginia. 

XI. One mile south of Layton, Essex county, Virginia. 

The following physical tests made on the samples of sand from Vir- 
ginia, shown in the analyses above, by Doctor Heinrich Rie.^, further 
serve to show the general character of Virginia Coastal Plain molding 
sands : 

Locality. 20 

Redford yellow sand collected at pit 

in Manchester, Virginia 1.51 

Coarse sand, Harbaugh pit, Richmond 42.48 

Used molding sand, Redford pit, 

Richmond 5.34 

Sand from near Petersburg 0.73 

Blandford pit, Petersburg 3.03 

Armstrong pit, Petersburg 0.09 

Sand from near Standard Brick Com- 
pany, south of Suffolk 0.12 

Griffith's pit, Fredericksburg 0.19 

Curlis pit, southeast of Lanexa 

One mile south of Lavton 6.68 





























1. 11 







Building Sand. 

A much larger amount of sand is consumed lor building and construc- 
tion work than for any other purpose. No special purity is required of a 
sand for this purpose, loamy sand as well as mixtures of coarse and fine 



sands as found in the banks being used. Usually when much coarse 
material is contained in the sand it is screened out before using the sand. 
Sand of the character described above and in all respects suitable for 
building purposes has wide distribution over nearly all parts of the State. 
It is found in considerable quantity along many of the stream courses in 
each of the larger divisions of the State. 


Production of sand in Virginia by years for all purposes, for 

190 Jf. and 1905, 

Molding sand 

Engine sand 

Building sand 

Other purposes 














64,313 : 30,943 
61,246 j 37.899 







339,534 160,067 
315,866 141,127 

3. MAxtliS. 
Definition and Properties. 

As ordinarily used the term marl is applied to a variety of soft, earthy 
materials, composed principally of an amorphous form of carbonate of 
lime. The greensand marl is an exception, being a hydrous silicate of 
iron and potash. Marls vary much in color according to the amount and 
kind of impurities which they contain. 

AVhen dry the purer forms are invariably of light color, white or cream. 
The impure forms are usually some shade of an intermediate or dark 
color. Moisture influences to some extent the color, for the same marl 
when dry has usually a lighter color than when wet. A marked feature 
of calcareous marls is their free effervescence in acids, which serves to 
distinguisli tliem from certain clays and muds which they sometimes 

Origin and Occurrence. 

Based on composition marls may be grouped into (a) calcareous or 
limy marls, and (b) glauconitic or greensand marls. Both classes have 
wide distribution over parts of Virginia. 

The calcareous marls, sometimes known as shell marls, are chiefly formed 
in bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds, and about springs and 
small streams. They form a considerable part of the filling of many or 


the extinct fresh water-bodies and are now forming on the bottom of 
many such bodies of fresh water. They are formed principally from the 
accumulations of the remains of fresh water algae, and from calcareous 
shells of lime-secreting animals. The stonewort ohara is an effective agent 
in abstracting the lime from solutions in lake water and forming lacus- 
trine marl. In some cases, as shown by Blatchley and Ashley from the lakes 
of northern Indiana, calcareous marls may be formed by chemical pre- 

Glauconitic or greensand marl derives its name from the presence of 
the green-colored mineral, glauconite, which is essentially a hydrous silicate 
of iron and potash, and which imparts a green color to the deposit. Ac- 
cording to Professor Wm. B. Clark, the mineral glauconite of the green- 
sand marls, occurs as grains which frequently show themselves to be casts 
of foraminifera and other calcareous organisms; and as pointed out by 
Murray and Renard it is always associated with terrigenous minerals, 
particularly orthoclase (feldspar) and muscovite (mica) and similar pot- 
ash-bearing minerals. The glauconite grains seldom exceed one millimeter 
in diameter but occasionally they are agglomerated into nodules of much 
larger size, the cementing substance of which may be phosphatic. 

The glauconitic sands have wide distribution through the various 
geologic formations, and they are forming at present in places on the floors 
of existing seas, such as along certain parts off the Atlantic coast. 

Distribution and Localities. 

Marls of both calcareous and greensand tjrpes are widely distributed 
over the Coastal Plain or Tidewater region of Virginia. As early as 1835 
Professor Rogers reported marls from the following Coastal Plain counties : 
Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Middlesex, New Kent, 
Prince George, Surrey, and York. Since that time large deposits of marl 
have been noted in nearly all the remaining counties of this area. 

Calcareous marls are also developed in places over parts of the Valley 
region west of the Blue Ridge. 

The Coastal Plain Eeg^on. 

Greensand marls. — So far as known this type of marl is limited to the 
Coastal Plain region, largely along its inner margin or western portion, 
where it is exposed along the Potomac, Rappahannock, Pamunkey, and 
James rivers. It is further found on the interstream areas and has been 
traced south from the James river almost as far as the State boundary. 


According to Professors Rogers and Clark, the Virginia greensandfa 
and greensand marls are of Eocene age, and are found in the Pamunkey 
group, which in Virginia includes the Acquia and Nanjemoy formations. 
Professors Clark and Miller have described the Acquia formation as con- 
sisting of greensands and greensand marls, the latter often holding great 
quantities of molluscan shells that afford enough cement at times to pro- 
duce, under proper conditions, a hardened limestone. Likewise, the Nan- 
jemoy formation consists largely of greensands, but contains a larger 
amount of argillaceous or clayey materials. The combined thickness of 
these two formations, each measured in different places, is between 200 
and 300 feet. 

In some of the marl beds of this area the mineral particles of glan- 
conite are so abundant as to impart a pronounced green color to the de- 
posit. Specimens from James City, York, and other counties in the Cotstal 
Plain area, contain as much as 35 per cent, of the greensand or glauconite. 
The greensand marls are valuable for fertilizer from the amount of potash 
contained in them and at times for its additional phosphoric acid. Potash 
is very variable in amount in these marls, varjring according to the pro- 
portion of the mineral glauconite present, ranging usually from 1 per 
cent, in the very impure greensands to 8 and 10 per cent, and more in 
the purer greensands. 

The following analyses made by EUett and Eskridge of the Virginia 
Experiment Station on samples of marl from Suffolk and Prince George 
counties, Virginia, serve to show the potash content: 

Wavprly City Point City Point 

Sussex Prince George Prince George 
County County County 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Insoluble residue.. 45.20 61.15 56.03 

Lime 24.38 1.36 1.52 

Magnesia 5.22 2.19 0.37 

Phosphoric acid. . . 1.80 0.47 0.06 

Potash 4.73 3.85 3.15 

Greensands are found further eastward in the Coastal Plain beneath 
the cover of Miocene and Recent strata, as exposed in the deep well at 
Fortress Monroe. The Virginia greensand marls have been worked to 
advantage at a number of places, especially on the James and PamuiJiey 

Calcareous marls. — Marls of calcareous composition are extensively de- 
veloped over all parts of the Coastal Plain, being especially abundant in 
the Miocene and, in many places, hardly less abundant in the Eocene. The^e 



have resulted chiefly from the accumulatioii of the remains of moUusks 
and other shell-secreting animals. In addition to their agricultural value, 
many of these marl beds are large enough and of suflBcient quality to be 
used in mixing for the manufacture of Portland cement. 

In color these marls range from white to blue^ and are composed 
chiefly of calcareous matter, some with as much as 97 per cent., and gener- 
aUy the amount exceeds 80 per cent. Professor Sogers mentions particu- 
larly extensive beds of pulverulent white marl in Gloucester, New Kent, 
Prince George, and other counties. In a table given of the Miocene cal- 
careous marls from 9 localities in Gloucester county. Professor Rogers 
gives the percentage of calcium carbonate present as ranging from 37.1 
to 96.8 per cent.; and 3 from New Kent county as ranging from 76.1 
per cent, to 93.6 per cent. In places are beds of hard ferruginous marls 
consisting of shells more or less broken which are rich in calcareous matter; 
and shell-rock approaching limestone in composition, some of which 
Professor Rogers found to contain 87 per cent, of carbonate of lime. 

At the Normal cliffs, on the Potomac river, shell marl has been dug 
for shipment and used in the manufacture of artificial fertilizers. 

Ellett and Eskridge obtained the following results on analysis of marls 
from 9 counties in the Coastal Plain: 

Insoluble Lime Magnesia Phosphoric Potash 
Locality. residue acid 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Reves. Prince George Co 59.00 12.88 0.46 0.07 0.(53 

City Point, Prince George Co. (57.69 20.41 0.35 0.33 0,41 

Citv Point, Prince George Co. 70.61 12.75 0.09 0.17 0.34 

City Point, Prince George Co. 28.07 38.15 0.42 0.29 0.60 

Citv Point, Prince George Co. 41.71 27.40 0.06 0.38 0.26 

City Point, Prince George Co, 47.26 24.44 0.48 1.50 0.27 

City Point, Prince George Co. 39.05 27.96 0.84 0.13 1.02 

Old Church, Hanover Co 45.68 21.73 1.10 0.16 0.45 

Lumberton, Sussex Co 49.01) 25.90 0.06 0.18 0.43 

Chuekatuck, Nansemond Co.. 13.70 40.97 0.23 5.36 0.26 

Fort Lee, Henrico Co 16.80 26.79 0.45 0.03 0.25 

Fort Lee, Henrico Co 29.23 35.74 0.66 0.77 0.65 

Claremont, Surry Co 8.38 45.83 0.53 0.13 0.36 

Yorktown. York Co 47.46 24.77 none 0.03 0.71 

Roxbury, Charles City Co .. . 27.61 35.64 trace 1.24 0.20 

The Valley Region. 

Large deposits of marl, usually of good quality, are found in many of 
the Valley counties on the west side of the Blue Ridge. So far as the 
writer has information, the marls of this region belong entirely to the 
calcareous type. Some of these have formerly had a limited use as a flux 
in iron-making, and, in places, they may offer possibilities for use in the 



manufacture of Portland cement. See pages 159 and 160, under Cement 
and Cement Materials. 

Ellett and Eskridge give the following analyses of marls from the 
Valley region: 

Frederick Frederick Rockbridge Alleghany 

County County County County 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. 

Insoluble residue 2.61 3.65 4.34 6.91 

Lime 52.62 62.19 47.87 60.58 

Magnesia 0.43 0.44 3.24 0.86 

Phosphoric acid 0.06 0.36 0.80 0.23 

Potash 0.58 0.23 0.31 0.28 


The principal use made of marl is as a fertilizer and as an improver of 
the mechanical or physical condition of ceiiaiD types of soils. For these 
purposes its value is proportional, other things being equal, to the amount 
of phosphoric acid, potash, and lime it contains. The marl beds have 
been worked at numerous points in the Coastal Plain for local use as 
fertilizer. Marl is also used in the manufacture of Portland cement, m 
the manufacture of quicklime, and, in Virginia, it formerly had a limited 
use as a fluxing material in some of the iron furnaces. 


Clark and Miller. A Brief Summary of the Geology of the Virginia 

Coastal Plain. Virginia Geological Survey, Bulle- 
tin No. II, 1906, 12-24. 

Darton, N. H. Geologic Atlas of the TJnited States. Nomini Folio 

No. 23. U. S. Geological Survey, 1896. 

Ellett and Eskridge. Virginia Marls. Bulletin, Virginia Agricultural 

Experiment Station, 1897, VI (n. s.), 65-70. 

Fontaine, W. M. The Artesian Well at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The 

Virginias, 1882, III, 18-19. 

Hotchkiss, Jed. The Resources of the Virginias On and Near the 

Proposed Route of the Richmond and Southern 
Railway. The Virginias, 1880, I, 91. 

Rogers, W. B. A Reprint of the Geology of the Virginias. Ne^ 

York, 1884, 28-49, 151, 156, 251, 419. 



Under this name is included a siliceous conglomerate of quite variable 
structure, used in the form of flat-circular disks for grinding purposes. 

About 5 miles west of Blacksburg in the vicinity of Prices Fork, 
Montgomery county, a sandstone-conglomerate occurs in Brush Mountain, 
in which quarries have been opened for a distance of 3 miles. The stone 
is somewhat variable in color but is usually white or gray. Likewise, 
variation in the size of pebble is shown. The rock is made up of well 
rounded pebbles of quartz compactly embedded in a fine siliceous sand- 
stone matrix, the whole forming an exceedingly tough and hard mass. 
This stone is known on the market as '^rush Mountain*^ stone. Practically 
the same variation in the sizes of stone made at the different quarries 
obtains. The grindstones made from this rock are of excellent quality and 
they find a ready market. The age of the Brush Mountain stone is 
Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous) or Vespertine of Rogers. 

Siliceous conglomerates similar to the above are found in the crys- 
talline area, east of the Blue Ridge, and are rather abundantly distributed 
over the Mountain district west of the Blue Ridge, but so far as the writer 
is aware the Brush Mountain quarries, in Montgomery county, are the 
only producing ones in the State. 


The value of millstones (buhrstones) produced in Virginia from 1902 
to 1905, inclusive, is as follows : 

Year Value 

1902 $11,435 

1903 9,812 

1904 4,769 

1905 8,186 






The first iron ore mined in America of which there is any known 
record wafl mined in Virginia in 1609 by the Jamestown colonists. This 
ore was taken to England where it produced 16 tons of superior metal. 
The success of this experiment led to the erection of the first American 
iron works between the years 1619 and 1622 on Falling Creek about 1 
miles south of the site of the present city of Richmond. These works were 
destroyed in the Indian massacre of 1622 before, they had been operated. 
For a century there were no further operations in the manufacture of iron. 

The first successful iron industry in the South was established by Gor- 
trnor Spotswood in the pyrite area of Virginia. This was in connection with 
the Germania, or Rappahannock furnace, which was built about 1714, in 
Spottsylvania county, near the Rappahannock river. This was not only 
the first furnace in the South but, outside of New England and New 
Jersey, it was the first iron furnace in America. About 1727 (Jovernor 
Spotswood erected another furnace at Fredericksville, in the southwestern 
corner of Spottsylvania county. About the same time the Accokeek 
furnace was built by the Principio Company, on the land of Augustine 
Washington, the father of Greorge Washington, in Stafford county. Another 
pre-Revolutionary furnace was Old's furnace, near Charlottesville. The 
limestone limonite ores were early used by Miller's, or Mossy Creek furnace, 
built about 17G0, and by the Poplar Camp furnace, built in 1778, in Wythe 
county. The Oriskany ores wore probably first used by Zane's furnace, in 
Frederick county, in Revolutionary War time. By 1781 there were 3 
furnaces in operation south of the James river in the magnetite area. 

IBON. 403 

In the iron industry transportation facilities are a controlling factor. 
The early furnaces of the pyrite area were within hauling distance of 
water transportation on the eastern rivers. Some of the early Valley 
furnaces operated to supply a local demand only. The furnaces of tho 
Shenandoah area, of which the Zane was the forerunner and which, in 
ihe period immediately preceding the Civil War, were leading producers 
of the State, had outlets in the northward flowing branches of the Potomac. 
To the early furnaces of the magnetite area, the James river was the 
highway of traffic. By the close of the 18th century the industry had 
been established on the James west of the Blue Eidge. By the middle 
of the 19th century the Oriskany district, located on the head waters of 
the James and dependent on that stream for an outlet for its product, 
had come to be the most important center of iron manufacture in the 
State, a position which it has since maintained. The coming of the rail- 
ways changed the conditions of iron manufacture. The effect was seen 
chiefly in three ways. These were, the large extension of the charcoal 
furnace industry in the 70s and 80s in Wythe county, the building of 
coke furnaces in the central part of the State in the SOs and, finally, in 
the shipment of iron ore. In the late 80s there was a great boom in the 
iron business in the State, which resulted in a period of most active furnace 
building. In the years 1890 to 1892 there were 10 coke furnaces built 
in the State, which became active just before the panic of 1893. In the 
15 years since that time not a furnace has been built. The building of 
the Cripple Creek extension of the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1885 
and, a decade later, of the Craig Valley Branch of the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railway, opened two regions to shipment of iron ore which have since 
been important contributors to the iron ore production of the State. The 
recent construction of a branch of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway south- 
westward from Covington up the valley of Pott's creek, and the projection 
of the extension of the Norfolk and Western Railway northeastward from 
Interior in the same valley, is expected to open up another important area 
to the shipment of iron ore. Recent discoveries in regard to the size of 
some of the Oriskany deposits and in regard to new modes of occurrence 
of this ore have led to larger ideas of the importance of this ore. 

Iron Minerals and Ores. 

Iron ores are considered commercially for statistical purposes in four 
classes. These are red hematite, brown hematite, magnetite, and carbonate. 
These commercial terms correspond roughly, respectively, to the minerals 


hematite, limonite, magnetite, and siderite. There are other iron minerals 
from which iron is obtained as a by-product, the most important of which 
are franklinite, pyrite, and pyrrhotite. 

Eed hematite corresponds to the mineral hematite (FcjO,), which 
carries 70 per cent, of metallic iron and 30 per cent, oxygen. This 
mineral is differentiated from the other iron minerals by its red streak 
or powder. Its specific gravity is 5.2. The mineral rarely takes on crystal 
form. The characteristics of the ore vary widely, especially in color and 
texture. There are three principal varieties, namely, red hematite proper, 
fossil ore, and specular ore. The red hematite is the most common, 
constituting the larger portion of the Lake Superior ores. In color it 
varies from red to brownish red, steel gray or even black. In texture, 
it is commonly fine-grained and varies in solidity from massive to powdeiy. 
The fossil ore is dark red to brownish red in color and is characterized 
by a fossiliferous or an o51itic structure. The specular ore is usually made 
up of flattened oval-shaped grains and is characterized by a black or steel 
gray color with a metallic pearly luster. It is the least important of the 
varieties of hematite. There are some similar metamorphic hematites 
that are sometimes classed with the specular ore. These are, the slate ore, 
which has a dark color and a slaty cleavage, and the micaceous hematite, 
which is even darker than the slate ore and readily cleaves into thin mica- 
like sheets. These hematites together include about 85 per cent, of the 
iron ore mined in the United States. 

Brown hematite corresponds to the mineral limonite (2Fe2O,.3H,0), 
which carries 59.8 per cent, metallic iron, 25.7 per cent, oxygen, and 14.5 
per cent, water. This mineral is distinguished from the other iron minerals 
by its yellowish brown streak. Its specific gravity is 3.8. It is never 
crystalline. The characteristics of the ore vary widely, especially in texture. 
It is usually massive, but may be powdery. As massive it is commonly 
porous, not infrequently vesicular, sometimes cavernous and stalactitic, 
rarely solid. In color it is brown, liver-colored to brownish yellow on the 
fractured surface, but frequently black and shining on the natural surfaces. 
Gothite (FcjOg.HjO) and other hydrous oxides carrying less water and 
more iron than limonite and commonly associated with that mineral are 
included under the commercial term brown hematite. Brown hematite 
constitutes about 8 per cent, of the iron ore now mined in the United States 
and is mined chiefly in Virginia and Alabama. 

Magnetite corresponds to the mineral magnetite (Fe,04), which car- 
ries 72.4 per cent, metallic iron and 27.6 per cent, oxygen. This mineral 
is differentiated from the other minerals by its black streak and its mag- 

IRON. 406 

netic properties. Its specific gravity is 5.2. The ore is usually crystalline 
and commonly in small octahedral crystals, but may occur massive. In 
color it is black. Magnetite constitutes about 5 per cent, of the iron ore 
now mined in the United States. 

Carbonate corresponds to the mineral siderite (FeCOg), which carries 
48.2 per cent, metallic iron, 37.9 per cent, carbon dioxide, and 13.9 per cent, 
oxygen. This mineral is differentiated from other iron minerals by its 
effervescence with hot hydrochloric acid. Its specific gravity is 3.8. The 
ore rarely occurs in the form of the cleavable mineral siderite but as a 
fine-grained rock carrying more or less impurities. As such, its color is 
commonly gray, bluish gray or brown. When exposed to the air and mois- 
ture, it readily alters to limonite. Nearly all surface carbonate is consider- 
ably altered to limonite. The commercial term carbonate includes these 
altered products and the material so classed is commonly more limonite 
than carbonate. This is the least important of the ores of iron and con- 
stitutes less than 1 per cent, of the iron ore now mined in the United 

Franklinite contains zinc and is mined for that metal in New Jersey. 
The iron left after the extraction of the zinc furnishes conBiderable of the 
former metal. The mineral has its crystal form, color and magnetic prop- 
erties similar to those of magnetite. 

The sulphides of iron are extensively used in the manufacture of sulphu- 
ric acid. The iron by-product in this manufacture, known as purple ore 
or 'T>lue billy,'' is used in iron furnaces the same as iron ore. The most 
important of these sulphides are pjrrite and pyrrhotite. Both of these 
occur in Virginia and both are mined. 

Pyrite, FeSa, disulphide of iron, contains theoretically 46.6 per cent, of 
iron and 53.4 per cent, of sulphur. It occurs frequently in crystals, which 
commonly have the form of cubes or pyritohedrons. Usually it occurs 
massive. In color it is quite uniformly a pale brass yellow. 

Pyrrhotite, Fcn Sn+i, a sulphide of iron, contains a variable percentage 
of iron according to its variable composition. With the formula FcuSi, 
it carries 61.6 per cent, of iron and 38.4 per cent, of sulphur. It is rarely 
in crystals, usually massive with a granular texture. Its color is quite 
constant and is between a bronze yellow and a copper red. On fresh 
fracture it speedily tarnishes. It is commonly somewhat magnetic. 

Impurities of Iron Ore. 

The chief impurities of iron ore are silica, lime, alumina, phosphorus, 
sulphur, manganese and titaniimL 


Of these silica, lime and alumina may occur in quantity but in the fur- 
nace are thrown into the dag. Phosphorus, sulphur, manganese and titanium 
usually occur in small quantity and in the furnace are eliminated from the 
iron not at all or only partially and with difficulty. 

Silica in large quantity is objectionable in an ore, not only because it 
reduces the percentage of iron in the ore, but also because it reduces the 
production of the furnace by filling the furnace not only with silica but also 
with the lime which is necessary to flux out this silica. Ores canying as 
high as 40 per cent, silica are used in small quantity. In the limonite orea 
of the State the silica usually runs from 10 to 20 per cent. 

Lime in small quantity is not objectionable. In large quantity it is 
objectionable only when present in amount greater than necessary to flux 
the silica present. Lime is not an associate of limonite ore but sometimes 
occurs in undesirably high percentages in the fossil hematite. 

Alumina is a common associate of iron ores in small percentages. It 
is usually higher in limonite than in other classes of ores. In many 
limonite ores much alumina can be removed by washing. Alumina is apt 
to be ])articularly high in limonite ores that are associated with a shale 
residual, and much of this is so intimately mixed with the ore that it cannot 
be removed by washing. In large quantities alumina causes the furnace 
to work badly. It is usually present even in washed limonite ores to the 
amount of 1 or 2 per cent, and may run as high as 6 per cent. 

Phosphorus is the controlling impurity which determines the use to 
which the iron made from the ore shall be put. Phosphorus of the ore goes 
into the pig iron. In minute quantities this element produces marked 
effects on both iron and steel. It renders iron and steel "cold short/' that 
is, brittle whi-n cold, but makes molten cast iron more fluid. For foundry 
iron, phosphorus is desirable in the ore in fractions of 1 per cent. Virginia 
cres are relatively high in phosphorus and this fact has been largely re- 
sponsible in determining that the State should produce foundry and basic 
iron. The limonite ores of the State usually carry from 0.1 to 0.4 per cent, 
phosphorus. It is an interesting fact that fault deposits are usudly high 
in phosphorus, even to the amount of 2 per cent, or more. Such ores are 
desirable for mixing with low phosphorus ores to regulate the phosphorus 
content of foundry iron. 

Sulphur renders iron products ''hot short," that is, brittle when hot. 
even where present in small quantity. It is therefore objectionable. How- 
ever, the furnace coke usually carries so much sulphur that the sulphur ifl 
the average ore is negligible. Sulphur is apt to occur in ore as pyrite but 

IBON. 407 

in some limonites it occurs as gypsum or barite. When present in small 
fractions of 1 per cent, sulphur may be neglected. 

Manganese usually occurs in iron ores in fractions of 1 per cent. In 
certain limonite ores it occurs to the amount of several per cent. Limonite 
ores are now mined in Virginia which carry 6 per cent, manganese. It also 
occurs in such quantity that the iron is subordinate in amount and the ore 
is a manganese ore. Manganese is not usually objectionable in fractions of 
1 per cent. For the manufacture of foundry iron the Virginia limonites 
have to be selected that they may not carry too high manganese content. 
The ores high in manganese are used for basic iron. 

Titanium is objectionable in that it interferes with the operation of the 
furnace. According to Virginia blast furnace practice, when titanium 
dioxide is present in quantities greater than 1 per cent, it makes the ore 
objectionable for furnace use. Titanium occurs chiefly in magnetites. 

Origin of Iron Ore. 

Iron ore originates for the most part by the segregation of iron, leached 
from rocks relatively lean in that element. The iron is carried in solution 
by circulating surface or ground waters and eventually precipitated. The 
precipitation may occur in some body of standing water and the deposit be 
a bedded deposit analogous to other bedded deposits, or the precipitation 
may occur on or near the surface of the land. Deposits beneath the land 
surface may be in cavities or may be replacements of the rock. In either case 
limestone is apt to be an associate of the ore deposit. This is true in the 
first case because limestone is one of the most soluble of rocks and therefore 
one of the most cavernous. In the second case it is true because the lime 
readily acts chemically upon the iron in solution in such way that the iron 
of the solution and the lime of the limestone exchange places. In Virginia 
examples of bedded deposits are seen in the fossil ores of the Alleghany 
mountains and the hematite of the Blue Ridge, and examples of land depos- 
its are seen in the Oriskany ores. The different kinds of ores and ore 
minerals may be the result either of original differences in the minerals 
which arose at the time of the precipitation of the iron from solution, or 
of subsequent alterations from one form of minerals to another as a result 
of geological processes. 

Classification of Virginia Ores. 

The iron ores of Virginia may be grouped according to their character 
and occurrence into eleven classes. Listed roughly in the order of their im- 
portance these are as follows: Oriskany limonite, limestone limonite. Blue 


Ridge limonite, fossil hematite, Blue Ridge hematite, pyrite gossan, pyrrho- 
tite gossan, Piedmont magnetite and specular hematite, limestone magnetite, 
pyrrhotite and titaniferous magnetite. Of these the first five include most 
of the iron ore now mined in the State. The remainder are mined at 
present either from only one or two mines, or are of historical importance 
only, or are of possible future importance. 

Oriskany Ore. 

The name Oriskany was given to the limonite ore which was formerly 
supposed to occupy the position of the Oriskany sandstone. The name is 
here used for those ores to which it was originally applied and also to all 
other ores which have a similar origin and occur either in the Helderberg, 
the Oriskany, or the lower part of the Devonian shale. 

This ore is the most important of the classes designated above. It was 
much mined for charcoal furnaces before the Civil War, and is now exten- 
sively mined in the Oriskany area. It is found in the Alleghany mountains 
from one end of the State to the other. It occurs most abundantly in the 
Oriskany area, chiefly in the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt and Craig. 
It has been considerably mined in the Great North Mountain area, chiefly 
in Shenandoah county. Here the ore occurs chiefly in the Devonian shale. 
It has been mined to a less extent in Massanutten and Draper mountains 
and also, in a small way, in a number of other localities. 

Most of this ore occupies a very definite horizon at the top of the Helder- 
berg. It occurs in subordinate importance in the lower part of the Devon- 
ian shale and rarely in the Oriskany. The strata which are associated with 
the ore, as they usually occur near mines, taken in descending order, may 
be listed as follows: 

Devonian 300+ feet. Shale, black at the bottom. 

Oriskany 0—15 feet. Calcareous sandstones. 

r 10 — 60 feet. Pure thick bedded, soft, fossil if erous limestone. 
Helderberg < 

[ 20 — 60 feet. Cherty limestone. 

The ore is found characteristically replacing the upper pure limestone 
of the Helderberg. In some localities it is found at varying horizons near 
the base of the Devonian shale. Rarely the Oriskany sandstone is ore- 
bearing. Underneath the Helderberg chert there may be several ecoic 
feet of limestone, shaly limestone and sandstone. These latter present 
considerable variation in different localities. The lower measures have 
no significance so far as the iron ore is concerned, as there is not a singk 
instance, known to the writer, in which ore is found below the main body 

of the chert. Underneath the Helder- 
berg there ie a thickness of aboat 50U 
feet of Clinton and Medina which is 
mainly quartzite. The qnartzite of 
these horizons is the ridge maker of the 
Alleghany mountains. Where the 
mountains are anticlinal, as in the 
Oriskany area, the ore-bearing rocks 
appear on the lower slopes on both 
sides of the mountain and in the 

The iron of these ores was originally 
disseminated in the Devonian shale. 
As this shale was eroded the iron was 
taken in solution, carried down and 
deposited in any favorable place. 
Ordinarily this place was the upper 
portion of the Helderbeig limestone 
In some cases there was a direct re- 
placement of the limestone by the iron 
and in other cases the iron was de- 
posited in the space from vhich the 
limestone had been removed by solu 
tion. The iron rarely occurs in the 
sandstone in minable quantity. In the 
shale it has been deposited chiefly 
parallel to the bedding of steeply in 
dined strata. 

The outcrop of the ore is usually 
found on the lower slopes of the 
mountain a few hundred feet above the 
valley botton. (See figure 66.) Along 
the base of the mountain on the strike 
of the formation the ore may appear 
with more or less development for 
miles. Continnons ore-bodies with 
fairly constant thickness have been 
worked for half a mile. The thickness 
of any ore-body has been largely con- 
trolled by the original thickness of the 
upper layer of the limestone at that 


point. Usually this is replaced to its full width, where replaced at all, and 
it rarely occurs in thicknesses of a few feet. From 8 to 35 feet are usnal 
thicknesses of the ore-body. Smaller thicknesses are not common except on 
the borders of the ore-body. Greater thicknesses are not unknown. On the 
slope of the mountain, that is on the dip of the formation, the extent of the 
ore-bodies varies between wide limits. The outcrop may be a mere pocket 
or the ore may extend 700 feet on the slope from the outcrop. Where the 
outcrop of the limestone horizon is not ore-bearing, ore may occur lower 
down, generally on a sharp fold of the strata. In some instances there are a 
number of folds which occupy the lower slopes of the mountains on opposite 
sides of the valley and the valley between. These may be wholly or partly 
f?Jled with ore on both trough and crest. 

The ore is commonly a continuous mass filling the space, and not lumps 
of ore in clay. The ore occupies the position in which it was deposited 
from solution and has the form which it then assumed. It has not been 
deformed or fractured since it was deposited. The mass is not solid 
but porous or cavernous. The cavities vary in size from a fraction of 
an inch up to a foot or more in diameter. These cavities may be vacant 
but commonly contain water, clay or sand. Less commonly the clay is more 
abundant and the ore is distributed in it as nodules, irr^ular masses and 
stringers. Rarely the associated material is loose sand and the ore consists 
of stringers in the sand. Where the ore is associated with the shale 
it may exist either as a surface pocket or as a concentration at some lower 
depth above an impervious basement or as stringers dipping at high angles 
with the bedding of the shale. This last occurrence is the most important 
of the shale occurrences. In this case the stringers may have widths of 
from a few inches up to 15 feet or more and extend downward 50 to 100 
feet. The ore is washed in log washers to remove the clay and not nn- 
comraonly is jigged to remove sand and flint. From 50 to 80 per cent, of 
the material mined is delivered from the washer as washed ore. 

The average composition of the Oriskany ores as mined, computed from 

available analyses, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 43.25 

Silica 21.57 

Phosphorus 0.38 

Manganese 1.29 

Limestone Limonite Ores. 

The term limestone limonite is here applied to those limonite ores which 
are associated with the residual decay of a limestone. These ores consist, 


for the most part, of ^ains and lumps of limonite scattered through the 
limestone clay. Such ores are locally known as "limonite." Where limonite 
ore is more massive and in sheets or larger masses and usually associated 
with shale, shale residual or other relativelj- impervious material, the ore 
ifl locally known as "mountain ore" to distinguish it from the softer, more 
porous and usually higher-grade "limonite." The term "mountain ore" 
woold apply tfl any brown hematite ore which was not the so-called "limon- 
ite." The term limestone limonite includes the so-called "limonite" and 
8Qch of the "mountain ores" as have been obviously inherited from a lime- 
stone residual. 


These ores are well adapted to use in charcoal fumacea and have been 
mined for that purpose for 150 years. They are now only second m impor- 
tance to the Oriskany ores and are extensiyely mined The chief occur- 
r^ce of this ore in the State is in the New River-Cnpple Creek area It 
has been mined most extensively in the countiea of Wythe and Pulaski. 
This is the ore which occurs near the base of the Shenandoah limestone. 
There are a few other isolated occurrences of the ore of this honzon in the 
Valley near the Blue Bidge. The ore of the upper honzon of this limestone is 
nowhere sufficiently developed to form a mining area of consequence but 
occurs in minable quantity in a number of scattered localities throughout 
the Valley, particularly in the northern part. 

These ores are associated with the Shenandoah limestone and are known 
with the Greenbrier limestone. The diief occurrence is with the lowest 


members of the Shenandoah limestone. In the New River-Cripple Cred 
area where this ore has its greatest development, the lower portion of the 
Shenandoah limestone is a pure limestone through a thickness of seTeral 
hundred feet. Under the limestone there is a thin shale and under this i 
consideraiile thickness of quartzite. These strata have been deformed con- 
sidorabl}' by folding uud some by faulting. Along the southeast side of tlie 
Valley and along several anticlinal valley ridges and other valley anticlinala, 
the upper limestone measures have been removed by erosion and the bwra 
measures outcrop along the base of the slopes and the crests of the non- 
ridge-making antielinals. WTiore these measures outcrop the residual cisT 
above the limestone is usually ore-bearing. In this area the New rira 
and its branches have cut down 200 to 300 feet below the general ierel of 
the limestone surface. The land surface presents a series of oval domes 

Fijt 58 — Diagram lUuBtrating rPlatmna of thp hindnite id the New River 
Cripple Cr^ek area to the lo\«er iiieaBureii of the bhenandoali limeatoiw. 
Black cover represents ore bearing clay Upper measures are Sheirn 
doah limestone Thin lined measures under ^benandosh are Cambnu 
shales The mountains are Cambrian sHUdstonefl and Bh&lea 

and the ore la found mostly on the crests and upper slopes of these hills, 
several hundred feet above the major streams. Another occurrence of 
this ore aside from that at the base of the Shenandoah limestone is thst 
which occasionally appears near the top of the same limestone. This on 
occurs in widely scattered areas in different parts of the State so that it ii 
not possible to closely correlate the horizons. These occurrences of ore 
are quite unifonnly associated with limestone phases which have a remark- 
able devdopraent of chert. The chert is commonly ridge- or knoU-forming 
and the ore occurs in the limestone residual on one side of the hill. 

The iron of most limefltooe limonite ores was originally diseenunated 
is the limestone. The ore arose by the removal of great thicknesses of 
the limestone by solation and the segregation of this iron in the residnil 
cIa; above the limestone. The final concentration of the iron in the dtj 
wu broa^t about largely by the solution of the iron near the surface of 
&• digr nid- H» depoaitum lower down. In some cases running water is 

IBON. 413 

rink holes, acting as a great natural washer, further concentrated the 
lamps of ore. 

The weathering of the limestone hag left behind the more inaolnble 
portions of the rock, the clay, which covers the present rock surface to 
depths which vaiy from a few feet up to 80 feet. The limestone weathers 
very irregnlarly. (Figure 59.) Commonly these irregularities take the 
form of pinnacles or steep domes, varying from those which are slender 
and closely spaced to the larger ones 25 feet in diameter and 50 feet high. 
(Plate LXXVIII, figure 2.) The clay with the 'Himonite" ore lies between 
end over these "horses," forming a cover over their tops which may be 20 
feet thick. (Plate LXXVI, figure 2.) The ore occurs at various depths 

in the ctay. The upper few feet of clay are usually barren. The best con- 
centration nsnallj occurs at depths of from 10 to 20 feet. However, ore 
may occur well to the bottom of the deep clay. The ore is scattered through 
(he day in pieces which vary in size from lumps a foot in diameter down 
to floe particles. The greater portion of the ore is in the smaller size 
pieces and sometimes is merely a coarse grit in the clay. Where the masses 
■re more than a few inches in diameter they are usually porous with clay 
in the cavities. The percentage of ore in the clay varies between wide 
limito. At lis beet concentration in bodies of any size the ore constitutes 
■bmit 30 -per cent, of the total material of the bank. Where there is less 
than 4 per cent it is not nstially minable. The clay sometimes carries 
minable percentages of ore over continuous tracts of many acres. Where 
&e itoa has been deposited above a basement which is relatively impervious 
to water each as is famished by the shale and quartzite underlying the 
limestone, the ore is more massive and usually constitutes a mnch larger 



percentage of the bank. In such cases the ore is usually in thin seams or 
lumps, but may constitute masses of 1,000 tons weight. These "moimt&iii 
ores'* are commonly of a lower grade than the *^imonite.'^ Along the 
contact of the limestone and the sandstone there are ores which have 
characteristics of both the ^limonites*' and the "mountain ores'* and are 
known as "semi-limonites.** 

The average composition of these ores is shown in the following table, 
which is compiled from analyses furnished by the Virginia Iron, Coal and 
Coke Company, the Pulaski Iron Company, and the New Biver Mineral 

Analyses of iron ores from the New River-Cripple Creek district: 

Limonites^ Semi-limonites' Mountain ores* Ayerage^ 

Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent 

MeUllic iron 43.76 40.72 37.86 41.M 

Silica 13.52 20.12 18.60 16.17 

Alumina 1.79 1.81 2.32 1.91 

Phosphorus 0.17 0.31 0.40 0.25 

Manganese 0.68 0.S3 1.40 0.81 

(^) Average of 56 analyses from 12 mines. 

(') Average of 15 analyses from 5 mines. 

(') Average of 17 analyses from 4 mines. 

{*) Average of all ores from 21 mines. 

Blue Bidge Limonite Ore. 

This term is used to include all the limonite ore which occurs in the 
vicinity of the Blue Ridge. Of these there are two classes, the ores which 
are in the shale and sandstone chiefly at the west base of the Blue Ridge, 
and the fault deposits chiefly in the sandstone. 

This ore was considerably mined for charcoal furnaces and is now 
mined for shipment at half a dozen operations. '^These ores occur along 
the Blue Ridge and have been mined at frequent intervals from Roanoke 
to Front Royal, a distance of 150 miles. At present the most important 
operations are in the vicinity of Roanoke, Buena Vista, and Front Royal. 
Most of the ore thus far mined has come from the west slope of the 
mountain. Several mines have been located on the east slope of the main 
western ridge. Portions of the Blue Ridge have a complicated structure 
and its surface consists of a series of peaks and valleys over areas which 
are locally 12 miles wide. Some of these areas are known to contain ore 
but the obstacles to transportation are so great that little has been mined. 
In parts of the Blue Ridge the strata underlying the Valley limestone are 
sandstones and not favorable for the formation of ore. In other places, 

IBON. 416 

particnlarlj in the southwest, the measures which might bear ore are 
buried b; faulting. 

The surface rock of much of the Blue Bidge is composed of two main 
members of probable Cambrian age, the sandstone and the overlying shale. 
The Blue Bidge is in general an anticlinal mountain from the crest of 
which the shales have been eroded. The crest of the mountain is then 
composed of the sandstone while the shale appears on the flanks. On the 
west side the ehale at the base of the mountain dips northwest at hi^ 
angles. It is in this that the shale ore of the first kind is found. The 
fanlt deposits are higher up on the mountain in the sandstone. 

The iron which is now in the ore is believed to have been leached from 
the shale, carried down and deposited in any favorable place. This applies 
to all the limonites of the Blue Ridge. Tn the case of the shale ores it ia 
certain in some, and probable in most cases, that the ore was deposited In 

e Riil^'c linionite 

association with limestone. The ore either replaces the limestone or was 
deposited in the space from which the limestone had been removi'<l by 

On the wost side of the moiintnin the shale commonly forms a bench 
which is a few hundred feet above the limestone of the Valley and which 
has a width of a quarter to a half mile. Ft is in this bench that the shale 
ore usually occurs. Characteristically the ore-bodies dip north at high 
angles with the bedding of the shale. The width of Ihe ore-body is quite 
variable even in short distances, ranging from the thinnest minablc seam 
to a thickness of a score or two feet. The length of the deposits as 
continuous bodies is quite limited. The greatest known length of con- 
tinuous working is about a quarter of a mile. The greatest depth to 
which ore has been mined is about 200 feet. The fault deposits occupy 
a position along the fault plane of a well marked fault line or are a series 
of deposits along a general fault and breccia zone. The direction of the 
fault may he either parallel or transverse to the strike of the bedding. In 


the case of the deposit along a well marked fault line there may be 
thicknesses up to 20 feet. The other sandstone deposits are irregular and 
have a variety of occurrences, but in general they are more compact and 
have less linear dimensions than the shale ores. 

The shale ore, where it occurs in large bodies and is an evident replace- 
ment of the limestone, has the same open porous texture characteristic of 
the Oriskany limestone ore. Where the ore-bodies are thin the ore is apt 
to be in compact masses of stringers in the decomposed shale. Where the 
ore is still less abundant it is in the form of lumps, grains and stringers 
intimately associated with the shale usually in more or less ferruginated 
beds. The fault deposits are compact black masses of limonite ore. In 
some instances they have been fractured by dynamic movements subsequent 
to their deposition. These fault ores are comparatively free from clay and 
are sent to the furnace as mined without washing. The other sandstone 
ores may be sandstones which have become highly impregnated with iron 
or masses of compact massive high grade ore. The composition of the 
shale ore will vary widely according to the way it is mined. There 
is much good ore intimately associated with clay that is difficult to mine^ 
without including considerable low grade ore that is difficult to separate 
from the better ore. The fault deposits are characterized by a high phos- 
phorus content. 

The average composition of the Blue Ridge limonite ore as nuned, 
computed from available analyses, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

MeUllic iron 41.22 

Silica 20.61 

Phosphorus 0.93 

Manganese 0.00 

Fossil Hematite. 

Fossil hematite is a hematite ore, which occurs as a bedded deposii 
It occurs abundantly in the Appalachian mountains and is mined from 
New York to Alabama. Westward in the flat-lying strata it is mined in 
Kentucky and Wisconsin. This ore is variously known as fossil, oolitic, 
Clinton, Bockwood, and dyestone. 

This ore was little used in charcoal furnaces. It was first mined for 
shipment in this State about 1880, It is now mined at Low Moor in the 
Oriskany area and in a number of operations in the fossil hematite area. 

These ores occur in the Clinton stage of the Silurian rocks. The 
Clinton rocks of Virginia present considerable variation in kind and 

IKON. 417 

thickness in different localities. In general they are sandstones or quartx- 
ites and shales with a few thin beds of limestone^ having a total thickness of 
from 100 to 900 feet and an average of about 400 feet. Except in the 
extreme southwestern part of the State, the upper member of the series is 
a white quartzite while the lower members are mainly thin sandstones, 
sandy shales, shales, and iron ore. The ore usually occurs interbedded with 
shale. The Medina rocks underlying the Clinton are usually thick bedded 
sandstones. These rocks, together with the Clinton, are the main mountain- 
making strata of the Appalachian mountains in Virginia. As a result of 
this the fossil ores usually occur well up on the slopes of the mountains. 
In the Oriskany area the mountains carrying fossil ores are anticlinal and 
the ores outcrop near the crest of the mountains and dip on both slopes. 
In the fossil ore area the ore-bearing mountains carry less sandstone 
measures and are in consequence not so high and, in addition, are mostly 
monodinal with the ore beds dipping in one direction. In the Oriskany 
area one minable bed is known. In the fossil ore area there are three beds 
which have been mined. These beds have been designated numerically from 
the lowest up as Nos. 2, 3, and 4. The beds are rarely all workable in the 
same locality. No. 3 lies stratigraphically above No. 2 from 176 to 226 
feet, and No. 4 lies 80 to 90 feet above No. 3. No. 3 has been mined the 
most extensively and No. 2 the least. 

These ore-beds are mined at a minimum thickness of 16 inches and 
have a maximum thickness of something over 4 feet. Usual thicknesses 
are from 22 to 36 inches. In minute structure the ore occurs in two main 
forms, the fossiliferous and the oolitic. In the fossiliferous variety the 
ore pari:icles consist of small fossils and fossil fragments which have had 
their calcium carbonate replaced by iron oxide. In the oolitic variety the 
iron oxide is in the form of concentric layers about some central particle, 
which is usually a grain of sand or a fossil fragment. In its original 
condition these concretions and ferruginated fossils were associated with 
considerable calcium carbonate. Where the lime constituted a considerable 
percentage of the total material, the rock was a limestone which was thickly 
set with these iron particles. Where the ore is now above the level of the 
ground water most of the lime has been leached out. Such leached ore is 
known as soft ore while the unleached or limy ore is known as hard ore. Up 
to the present time very little hard ore has been mined in this State. The 
soft ores of the fossil ore area carry 35 to 45 per cent, of metallic iron and 
from 15 to 35 per cent, of silica. On the lower levels they are apt to be 
limy and may cRTry lime up to 14 per cent. The soft fossil ores of the 
Oriskany area are of somewhat higher grade carrying about 45 per cent. 


of metallic iron. The hard ores oflFer possiblilities which have not yet 
been nsed. Such ores may carry 35 to 55 per cent, calcium carbonate 
and only 25 per cent, of metallic iron and, if the silica is low, still be 

The average composition of the fossil ore as mined in Virginia, com- 
puted from available analyses, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 40.84 

Silica 21.70 

Phosphorus 0.36 

Manganese 0.15 

Blue Bidge Hematite. 

This ore is locally known as specular ore. As the name specular has 
been applied to a granular black metamorphic hematite, the term specular 
as applied to this ore is misleading, as it has none of the distincti?e 
characteristics which the specular ore has. This ore was not used in 
charcoal furnaces. It was first mined for coke furnaces about 1880. It 
is now mined in a number of operations between Roanoke and Buchanan. 

The Blue Ridge hematite ore occupies a definite stratigraphic position 
in the (topographically) upper end of the great shale formation. It has 
not yet been definitely determined whether this shale is Cambrian or 
Ordovician, but it has formerly been regarded as Cambrian. The outcrop 
of the ore occurs well up on the mountain some 500 to 1,000 feet abo?e 
the valley. On the Buchanan end the outcrop is on the northwest side of 
the mountain while farther southwest, near the Grubb mine, it is on the 
southeast side. The shale enclosing the ore has been intricately folded 
and portions of the ore-bearing strata occur a quarter of a mile down the 
mountain from the normal position. 

This ore is a bedded deposit, which was formed as a water deposited 
sediment and later compacted and elevated to its present position, in the 
same manner as the other associated sedimentary rocks. 

The ore bed has been much deformed both by folding and faulting. 
This has in places resulted in the production of several parallel outcrope. 
In the view on plate LXVI, figure 1, two of these parallel outcropB are 
shown. This deformation has altered materially the original thickness of 
the bed. Where the normal thickness was 3 to 6 feet the limbs of the folds 
may be thinned to 18 inches or even entirely disappear, while the crests of 
the folds may be thickened to 12 or 16 feet. The ore-bodies usually dip at 
high angles. On the strike the ore-bodies are persistent for miles. Surface 
in^dngs are interrupted by ravines, but with depth they will doubtless 


noK. 419 

be ocNDtmuous orer long dist^Dces. On the dip the ore has been mined 
tc a depth of a couple hundred feet. The ore probably ext^ids to as great 
dapths as it will erer paj to mine. 

The ore is a massire bed of siliceous hematite bettre^i walls of shale. 
It is considerablv fractured; loeallT, so much so that the ore is removed 
bj djnamite which is inserted in crerices without drilling and the ore 
remoTed in angular blocks. The silica is largely present as quartz graina. 

The ore carries in metallic iron from 35 to 42 per cent., in silica 20 
to 38 per cent, and less than a half of 1 per cent, each of phosphorus and 

The ore is well known at intervals in the counties of Boanoke, Bedfnd, 
mod Botetourt along a distance of 30 miles. It has been considerably 
mined near Blue Ridge Springs, and near Buchanan. It is reported to 
mppexr at Buena Vista as a ferruginous sandstone and to have been mined 
near Basic Citv, 60 miles northeast of Buchanan. 

The average composition of the Blue Bidge hematite as mined, oom- 

pated from available analyses, is as follows: 

Per eeuL 

Metallic iron 38 94 

Silica 33.26 

PhosphoruB 38 

Manganese 0.22 

Pyrite Gossan. 

Fjrrite gossan is a limonite which is formed by the oxidation of pyrite. 
I^jrrite is widely distributed east of the Blue Ridge in the main pyrite 
area, as shown on map, figure 64. It occurs as definite leads and as more 
or less thickly disseminated pyrite in the schistose rocks. P}Tite is now 
iprorked in Ix)uisa county and is used in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. 
The **blue billy," which arises as a by-product in the manufacture of the 
add, is sometimes smelted for its iron. The outcrop of the pyrite is 
everywhere altered to limonite. This ore was the basis of the first iron 
industry in Virginia and for 150 years was mined for charcoal furnaces. 
Hxcept in one or two instances the ore has not been mined by modem 
methods for shipment. 


Pyrrhotite Gossan and Pyrrhotite. 

Pyrrhotite gossan is limonite which is formed by the oxidation of 
pyrrhotite, a sulphide of iron. The pyrrhotite, together with its associated 
minerals, chiefly chalcopyrite, talc, calcite, hornblende, and quartz, consti- 



tnting the vein filling, is locally known as "mundic." This gossan wu 
need in bloomery forges and charcoal furnaces for 75 years. It was not 
satisfactory for wrought iron, but was uBed Buccesafnlly for castings. In 
the two places where the main lead has been reached by railway tran^ 
portation the gossan has been extensively mined. 

These ores occur in Ashe and Alleghany counties. North Carolini, 
Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, and Franklin counties, Virginia. In the eoutb- 
westem part of the State the Blue Ridge divides into two ranges. Tbe 

Fig. 61. — Diagrammatic cross section of the "Great GoBSan Lead" in southwest 
Virgiuia, abowing relatiuna of altered and unaltered pjirhotite to tatb 
other and to the encloaing achiats (a) Crjatalhna scbista. [b) Pyrrho- 
tite ("wundie"). (o) Copper ('smut") ore — aecoiidary concentration. 

area between these ranges, including the counties of Floyd, Carroll, and 
Qrayson, constitutes a plateau which nses above the Vall^ on the north- 
west and the Piedmont on the southeast The pyrrhotite leads occur in 
this plateau and have their etrongeat development in the northern part ot 
Carroll county, a few miles from and parallel with the northwestern border 
range. The rocks of this area are of doubtful age Quite nniformly th^ 
lie mica schists with the schistosity dipping to the southeast. 

The pyrrhotite occurs in isolated areas and in more or less regulu 
leads. The leads dip on tbe average about 35° to the southeast with tlie 
■dtifltosity. The width of the lead is quite variable. It may pisch ont 

IBOK. 421 

entirely or have widths as great as 175 feet. Through several hundred 
yards it may hold a quite constant width of from 10 to 20 feet. For 
several miles at a stretch it may be fairly continuous and workable. The 
average width as measured at 18 places where mined for copper is 27 feet 
with extremes of 6 and 60 feet. Its depth has been proved in two places 
to be several hundred feet and its probable depth is several times this. 
The surface of the lead is everywhere weathered. As measured in 20 
copper operations this weathering has extended to an average depth of 34 
feet, with extremes of 10 and 60 feet. This weathering has produced an 
oxidation of the sulphides and a removal of some of the material, particu- 
larly iron and copper. Further description of this lead as a copper 
producer is given under Copper on pages 511-517. About one-half of the 
original material has been oxidized in position to a porous limonite. This 
is ike gossan. In two places the pyrrhotite has been mined for its sulphur 
content. The 'T)lue billy/' which results when pyrrhotite is used in the 
manufacture of sulphuric acid, has been used to a small extent in iron 
furnaces as an ore. If a process shall be developed whereby the sulphur 
is successfully eliminated from this material, this pyrrhotite lead will be 
one of the greatest deposits of iron ore in the State. 

Piedmont Magnetites. 

Magnetite occurs in the southern part of the State east of the Blue 
Ridge among the crystalline schists of the Piedmont. It occurs in three 
districts along the same general line with somewhat different charac- 
teristics in each district. In Franklin and Patrick counties it occurs in 
leads which are said to attain a width of 12 feet and which are associated 
with a hornblende schist, the ore-body dipping with the schistosity. This 
ore was mined for early charcoal furnaces and has since been mined for 
shipment. In Grayson county there are a number of occurrences of 
magnetite which are better known on the North Carolina side of the 
State line. In Pittsylvania county occurs the most extensively mined 
magnetite. It occurs between walls of crystalline limestone and mica 
schist in thicknesses up to 12 feet. This was not mined for charcoal 
furnaces but has been mined for shipment pretty constantly since 1880. 
On the James river, some 12 miles below Lynchburg, is a magnetite area 
which in Jefferson's time was a leading iron producing area of the State. 
About 1880 this region was exploited and some ore shipped. Most of the 
workings are now closed and little is to be seen of the ore-bodies. Mining 
was done by open cut and by shaft and tunnel to depths under 200 feet. 


The ore is magnetite and specular hematite with limonite in the vicinity, 
but not usually in immediate association. The associated rocks are chiefly 
metamorphosed sedimentaries, quartzite^ mica and talc schists, and lime- 
stone. There are a few scattered trap dikes. In some instances the iron 
schist overlies quartzite and follows the bedding and is locally an ore. 
One mine is reported to have produced 10,000 tons of ore. Some of the 
ore carries phosphorus below the Bessemer limit. 

Limestone Magnetite. 

Limestone magnetite is the name given to the magnetite and associated 
iron ores which occur in the Shenandoah limestone. With the magnetite 
there is associated hematite, limonite, and iron carbonate. 

This ore occurs in Giles and Washington counties. It is a secondary 
deposit in the limestone. In the case of the Washington county deposits 
the ore is at the extreme top of the Shenandoah limestone and located 
near the border of an area of Athens shale. The iron of the ore was 
leached from the shale and deposited in its present position. The magne- 
tite is usually found farther from the surface than the other minerals. 
In the limestone about these ores in some instances there is iron carbonate 
which at the surface has been altered to limonite. In some instances the 
limestone about such deposits has been removed by solution, and lumps of 
magnetite of a few pounds weight are now found scattered through tiie 
clay. About a half dozen of these deposits have been worked. As thus 
far developed they are small, a few rods wide by 30 feet deep, but with 
indications on the surface for many rods. Two small mines were operated 
in 1906, Where the ore is well concentrated the magnetite is the highest 
grade ore in the State and usually has its phosphorus below the Bessemer 

TitaniferoTis Magnetite. 

Titaniferous magnetite occurs in Virginia in several different assodft- 
tions. By present furnace practice it is not usable as an iron ore but offers 
possibilities for the future. It occurs in the Blue Ridge in a distinct 
lead which has been prospected in one place and which is reported 
from a number of places. Near Roseland, Nelson county, and near Vinton, 
Roanoke county, it has a very different occurrence. The titaniferous rock 
h made up chiefly of small grains of apatite and ilmenite. It is reported 
to exist in considerable quantity. These occurrences are described in some 


denil OB pa^cs ^S2 axsd ^X^-^1. In GniTsciii tcoantr pitej^Ktinir Itis 
profod dup pTcscsaoe A>f a manif eixms magaedte kiid viikii b beniH' faaovB 
in ihc «OQti£TK>=Q^ oocniks of Xcffth CmroliiML 

Iitm ore is ?s?oc:a:^ with the rock> of rarocs ii?wJv>co*l Ajc«i in die 
State of Ylrsmii- I: w>:ur5 most abunoantlv in :he str^itai which ai^ at 
the top of the Sil^irian and near the base of the DeTic^ian. It oiN*ur» 
somewhat !e9s abuDdantlj in the rock? of the middle C^tmbrian a$e. In 
other words it ocoir? near the center and near the ba^^e of the seolorical 
column, as this is shown in the no^hwe^tem half of the State. Of these 
<Hres two classes, xhe fossil hematite and the Blue Rids?? hematite, an? of 
the same age as the enclosing rocks. All others originatevi later than the 
rocks enclosing them. However, for the pnrpos*e of distinguishing a ela» 
of ore, the name of the enclosing rock may be used. 

The crrstalline rocks of the Piedmont, whose age is doubtful, oarrr 
flcnne ores of magnetite, specular hematite, and limonite. Beginning with 
the oldest rocks of definitely knoftn age with which iron ores atv known 
to occur, iron ore occurs at several horizons in the Cambrian. A small 
amount of magnetic ore occurs with the Unicoi samisione. Ijmonite 
occurs in small quantity with the shale above this samlstoue. This latter 
is of commercial importance in Tennessee and may be of importanc^^ in 
Virginia. The Blue Ridge hematite, a bedded deposit, occurs in strata 
which have been considered Cambrian. The age of these rocks has not 
been satisfactorily determined, and there is a possibility that thev may be 
the shales of Rogers' Xo. III. In the upper Cambrian sandstone ther? 
are fault and other deposits of commercial inipiirtaniw Of these, the fault 
deposits are now being mined. In the Cambrian shales above the upper 
sandstone are limonites which are now being mincil at several operations. 
In the lower portion of the Valley limestone which is considered of Cam- 
brian age are limonites of the finest quality and of such quantity as to rank 
second in importance among the ores of the State. In higher portions of this 
same limestone there are scattered deposits of some commercial importance 
which are presumably of Ordovician age. The upix'r portions of this 
limestone carries a few small minable deposits of associated magnetite^ 
hematite, limonite, and carbonate. The next higher rocks, No. Ill of 
Rogers, are reported to carry ores in a number of places and to have been 
mined, but such deposits have either not been seen by the writer, or, if 
seen, have not been confirmed as belonging to this formation. The Upper 


IRON. 425 

Silurian rocks carry the most abundant ores. Of these the Medina sand- 
stone, or No. IV, carries little or no commercial- ore. The Clinton, or No. 
V, is an important ore-bearer. In this there occur at several horizons 
bedded deposits of fossil ore which are now being mined. It is reported 
that limonites occur in this formation, but although some of these deposits 
have been seen by the writer, the horizon has not been confirmed as Clinton. 
The next higher horizon, the Helderberg, or No. VI, is the greatest ore- 
t)earing horizon in the State. This horizon carries the largest part of the 
50-called Oriskany ore. That part of the formation which carries the ore is 
the upper part and is limestone. The ore is limonite. The ore is not a 
t)edded deposit although, in occupying the position which was once occupied 
by the limestone over considerable areas, it has the appearance of a 
Dedded deposit. The Oriskany, No. VII, a sandstone, immediately over- 
lying the Helderberg limestone, locally carries a little ore. The rocks of the 
Devonian aside from the Oriskany are only rarely ore-bearing. These rocks 
are almost entirely shales and as such are not favorable for limonite 
deposits. In a few places Oriskany ore has been deposited in *minable 
quantities in this shale. In one area it has considerable development and is 
now mined. All of these occurrences are in the lower few hundred feet of 
the Devonian. It is not known that ore occurs in other horizons of this 
great shale formation, which attains a thickness of 4,000 feet in the State. 
Ifeither the Lower nor Upper Carboniferous is a bearer of any con- 
siderable deposit of iron ore. Associated with the Greenbrier limestone 
there is some limonite that may prove minable, but it is not known that 
any has yet been mined. With the Coal Measures there is some carbonate 
of iron. This has been mined in West Virginia in charcoal furnace time, 
but it is not known that any of this has been mined in Virginia. 

GeograpUoal Distribntion. 

The iron ores are extensively but unevenly distributed over the north- 
western half of the State. According to topographic divisions they occur 
in the Alleghany mountains, the Great Valley, the Blue Ridge, and the 
Dorthwestem part of the Piedmont plateau. The geographical distribution 
of the iron ores is dependent on the distribution of outcrops of the strata 
containing them. In general throughout the Valley from the Blue Ridge 
to the West Virginia line, from the southeast toward the northwest, 
the surface rock, beginning with the Cambrian of the Blue Ridge, is of 
successively younger age up to the Carboniferous in the vicinity of the 
8tate line. Figure 63 is a generalized cross section of the northwestern 
part of the State and is intended to show the effect of the position of the 


ore in the geological column on the geographical distii- 
bntion acroes this part of the State. For convenience of 
discussion the ores are grouped into eight areas. (Fignit 
64.) These areas will not include all the ores of the Stite, 
as there are many scattered deposits. The areas in eidi 
case are based on a particular kind of ore but may contiin 
other ores of subordinate importance. These areas maj 
be named as follows : The Piedmont magnetite area, tlie 
pyrite area, the great gossan area, the Blue Ridge ana, 
the fossil ore area, the New River-Cripple Creek area, the 
Great North Mountain area, and the Oriskany area. 

The Piedmont magnetite area is a narrow strip about 
150 miles long, lying some 15 to 30 miles southeast of tlie 
Blue Ridge and parallel to it with its southwest end on the 
North Carolina line. This b not an area of continnoni 
ferruginous rocks but, on the contrary, it contains con- 
siderable intervals which are non-fermginone. The ore- 
bearing parts of the area are grouped into four districts; 
the James river district, the Pittsylvania county district, 
the Franklin-Patrick counties district, and the Gray«n 
county district. The main ores are magnetites, but there 
are some specular hematites and minable limonites. The 
magnetites are of somewhat different nature in ^ 
different districts, and are associated with different rocks. 

The pyrite area is an area of some 100 miles long, lying 
some 40 miles southeast of the Blue Ridge with the north- 
east end touching the Potomac. It is not a well-defined 
area, but a general territory in which bodies of pyrite o«ar 
from which, in charcoal furnace time, the gossan cap *** 
locally mined. 

The great gossan area is a narrow belt some 60 mil* 
long, lying in the Floyd-Carroll-Grayson counties plateau 
region of southwest Virginia, in the northwestern edge oi 
the area of crystalline rocks. The ore is the gossan e^p 
of the pyrrhotite lead. 

The Blue Ridge area is a narrow strip of the Blue Ridg* 
150 miles long, extending from Rosnoke to Front Roye'' 
It includes several kinds of ores. These are the bedded 
hematite, the limonite of the Upper Cambrian sandstonB, 
the liraonites of the western base of these mountains, and 
small quantities of titaniferous magnetite. The first t^f* 


of these are important deposits and are now worked. The first is fonnd 
chiefly in the 25 miles northeast of Eoanoke. The second is found in 
deposits of commercial importance in a few places along the Blue Bidge. 
The third occupies quite a definite horizon and occurs at a multitude of 
places along the line mentioned. The fourth is known in a few plaoes 

The fossil ore area is a narrow strip some 40 miles long, including the 
Poor valley, in the counties of Wise and Lee, the extreme southwestern 
counties of the State. The ore is the bedded fossil ore and occurs in 
several horizons. It is of commercial importance and is now mined. 

The New River-Cripple Creek area is about 30 miles long by 3 miles 
wide, located in the limestone valley of southwest Virginia, chiefly in the 
counties of W3rthe and Pulaski. The ore is limonite and is associated 
with the Cambrian limestone and shale. This area is second in importance 
in the State. 

The Oreat North Mountain area is an area with indefinite boundaries 
in the northeastern comer of the State along the Virginia- West Virginia 
line, chiefly in the county of Shenandoah, iyirgi^a. The ore is limonite. 
It is now worked at one place, but formerly, ft wks one of the important 
producing areas of the State. ^ 

The Oriskany area is an area abQiit 40 miles long by 10 miles wide, 
situated about Clifton Forge as' a' center. . Tbe'*yjres are chiefly the Orift- 
kany limonite, but there is also fossil ore. ThiS;Arfea is the largest producer 
of iron ore in the State. 

Individual Mines. 

In the following description of individual mines it has been attempted 
to call attention to the iron ore resources of the State and to their distri- 
bution in four ways. These are by describing producing mines, by describ- 
ing abandoned mines, by giving the location of old charcoal furnaces, and 
by giving the distribution of ore-bearing horizons. In the description of 
producing mines there is little relation between the amount of description 
and the importance of the mine. An unimportant mine presenting unique 
features may be described at greater length than an important one which ifi 
one of a class. Abandoned mines are not necessarily exhausted. Better 
prices for ore, bettor mining methods and a variety of other reasons may 
make an abandoned mine profitable to work. A charcoal furnace meant 
a local mine. In some instances the ore was exhausted, but this is by no 
means true of all these mines. The Lucy Salina furnace used ore for 40 




^L ie, 





^ BR Any 


IRON. 429 

years from the outcrop of a deposit which has since produced 1,500,000 
tons of ore. In the space allotted to iron ores in this publication it is not 
possible to treat in detail the known ore locations^ the mode of occurrence 
of the ore or the location of reserves. A report which is in course of 
preparation for the Virginia Geological Survey will treat these in some 

Many of the analyses of ores given in the following descriptions 
have been furnished by the operator of the particular mine to which 
the analysis refers^ and are thought in most instances to show the mining 
value of the ores. An analysis of a sample of hand-washed limonite ore 
usually shows higher values than the same mine will produce in carload 
lots, where the ore is dressed by machinery. The analyses quoted below 
usually show silica or insoluble, metallic iron, phosphorus, and metallic 
manganese. The word silica, or insoluble, is here used as in the 
source from which the analysis was taken. Silica here probably 
means insoluble. Washed limonite ore as received at the furnace usually 
carries 5 to 10 per cent, of uncombined water. Some of these analyses 
are given for the natural state, that is, as received at the furnace, while 
others are given as dried at 212^ F. It has not been possible to give all 
the analyses in the same state. One of these ores dried at 212® P. will 
carry from 2 to 5 per cent, higher metallic iron than one in the natural 
state. Comparisons of analyses made in different states should take this 
difference into account. 


These counties produce most of the iron ore now mined in the State. 
They produce all the limestone limonite, the Oriskany limonite, the fossil 
ore, the limestone magnetite, the Blue Ridge limonite, and most of the 
Blue Eidge hematite. While nearly all of these counties have minable 
iron ore, and there are operating mines in various places, the greater part 
of the ore now mined comes from the vicinity of Clifton Forge and from 
the southern part of Wythe county. 

Frederick County. 

Frederick county has Oriskany ore in the western part of the county. 
This ore was mined more than a century ago for local charcoal furnace 
use. Zane^s furnace on Cedar creek was active in Jefferson's time. Taylor 
furnace, 10 miles west of Winchester, was built in 1845. The western part 
of the county is without railroad facilities and the ores have not been 
operated in recent years. 


Clarke Connty. 

Clarke county has the Cambrian measures of the Bine Bidge on its 
southern border, while the remainder of the county has for its surface 
rock the Valley limestone. It is not known that ore has been mined from 
the Blue Ridge measures, but they are reported to carry ore. There is 
no record of any furnace ever operating in the county, but ore was mined 
here for the Shannondale furnace in Jefferson county, West Virginia. The 
ore is the limestone limonite and occurs in a number of places a short 
distance west of the Shenandoah river. 

Berryville mine, — In recent years this ore has been mined at a point 
iy2 miles north of Castleman's Ferry and 5 miles east of Berryville. 

Warren Connty. 

Warren county has the Cambrian measures of the Blue Bidge on its 
southeast border, the Shenandoah limestone in the center of the connty, 
and the Silurian shales on the west corner, but no Oriskany measureB. 
Ore has been mined at several places on the west side of the Blue Bidge. 

Big Ike mine. — This mine is located a mile or more south of OveraD 
near the Page county line on the west slope of the Blue Bidge. It is a 
fault deposit of limonite ore in the Cambrian sandstone. It was recently 
opened and ore hauled in wagons to Overall for shipment. 

Happy Creel' mine, — This mine is located 2 miles south from Front 
Eoyal at the base of small Blue Bidge hills. The ore is limonite associated 
with Cambrian sandstone. It is washed in a local washer and transported 
over a narrow-gauge railway to Happy Creek for shipment. In 1907 this 
mine was shipping about 3 carloads per day. The analyses of samples of 
4 carloads of the ore shipped in 1907 as furnished by the operator, H. J. 
Seibel, Jr., averaged as follows: 

Natural Staie. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 49.48 

Phosphorus 0.59 

Manganese 0.75 

Shenandoah Connty. 

Shenandoah county has produced Oriskany ores for a century. In the 
period just before the Civil War this was a leading iron-producing county 
of the State. These ores are found distributed over the western p^ 

IRON. 431 

of the county and also occur in the southeastern part in Massanutten 
Mountain. The western part of the county has supported 6 furnaces and 
the eastern part 2 furnaces. Paddy furnace was located on the Frederick 
county line. Two Van Buren furnaces were located a few miles southwest 
of Paddy. Columbia furnace, built 1810, was located west of Edinburg. 
Liberty furnace was located west of Columbia, 13 miles northwest of Edin- 
burg. The Henrietta was located in the western comer of the county. 
The Caroline and Fort furnaces were in Massanutten Mountain. A part 
of the ores of the Henrietta furnace are reported to be carbonate. The 
mines of Caroline furnace are located on the north slope of the South 
Mountain, 2 miles west of Kennedy's peak. Columbia and Liberty furnaces 
drew their ores largely from the same banks, of which there were a number 
in the mountains within 5 miles of the furnaces. Liberty furnace has 
produced iron through a period of 80 years and is now producing 25 tons 
of hot blast charcoal iron per day. 

Liberty mines. — The chief mines are located on the slopes of Devil's 
Hole Mountain. The limonite ore occurs in beds with thicknesses up to 
15 feet which dip with the bedding of the nearly vertical Devonian shale 
and lie a few hundred feet stratigraphically above the Oriskany horizon. 
A narrow-gauge railway connects the mines and furnace with Edinburg. 
The composition of the ore as furnished by the operators, the Shenandoah 
Iron and Coal Company, is as follows: 

Dried at 2W F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 41.10 

Silica 16.32 

Phosphorus 0.35 

Manganese 3.40 

West mine. — This mine of the Van Buren furnace furnished a sample 
for the Tenth Census report, which gave: 

Dried at 2W F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 35.78 

Phosphorus 0.07 

Page County. 

The principal surface rock in Page county is the Valley limestone with 
the Cambrian measures of the Blue Ridge on the southeast border and the 
Silurian measures of Massanutten Mountain on the northwest border. 
The ores occur in the Blue Ridge measures, in the Valley limestone, and 


in the Oriskany. Ores from each of these horizons were mined for char- 
coal furnaces. While the coimty has never been a large producer of ore, 
it has produced quite continuously for 150 years. 

The Blue Ridge limonite has been worked chiefly in the southern comer 
of the county. This ore was mined for the Shenandoah Iron Works char- 
coal furnace and later for shipment and for the G^em, the present coke 
furnace at Shenandoah. 

Beverley, Kimbdll, and Shenandoah Iron Works mines. — For the early 
furnaces ore was mined along the west base of the Blue Bidge a couple 
of miles east of the railway line from a number of banks of which the 
Beverley, Kimball, and Shenandoah Iron Works were the most important. 
Railways extended to the banks and connected with the furnace at Shen- 

Boyer mine. — In recent years the Boyer mine, located 1% miles south- 
east from the Gem furnace, was much worked. The composition of this 
ore, taken from the books of the operators, the Alleghany Ore and Iron 
Company, is as follows: 

Dried at BIB"" F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 41.35 

Silica 21.96 

Phosphorus 0.33 

Manganese 0.60 

Riley ville mine. — This mine is located 2.5 miles south from Rileyville 
at the west base of the Blue Ridge. It was operated about 1903 and the ore 
hauled in wagons to Rilejrville. This ore differs from most of the Blue 
Ridge limonite in that it is associated with sandstone. The composition 
of the ore, as taken from the books of the Alleghany Ore and Iron Com- 
pany, is as follows: 

Dried at BIB"" F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 37.08 

Silica 25.37 

Phosphorus 1.82 

The Blue Ridge limonite has been mined in a small way at a number 
of other places in the county. 

Titaniferous magnetite is reported as occurring in the valley of Hawks- 
bill creek above Marksville. The ore-body is said to be 6 feet wide and 
to lie in association with a feldspathic rock. This has been prospected. 

mON. 433 

but it is not known whether it has been mined. The composition of the 

ore, as sampled by Frederick Prime, Jr., and analyzed by Booth, Garrett 

and Blair, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

Iron 51.44 

Titanic oxide 16.76 

PhosphoroB 0.97 

The Valley limestone carries ore which has been mined. The Isabella 
furnace, which was built about 1760, 1 mile north of Luray, used this 

Heiston mine. — This mine is located 6 miles northeast from Luray and 
5 miles southeast from Kennedy^s peak. The ore is limonite in clay above 
the limestone. The mine is a pit 300 feet wide by 450 feet long. The 
oro was mined for the Isabella furnace, but has not been operated for 60 

Vaughn mine, — This mine is reported to be located at Vaughn station 
and to have produced in the 90s 20 tons of limestone limonite ore per day, 
which was shipped to Pennsylvania. 

Catharine furnace, located on Cub run, in Massanutten Mountain, 
used Oriskany ore. Ore was shown on 3 leads and for several miles on 

Pit Spring mine. — Since the furnace was blown out this ore was worked 
in the Pit Spring mine, a mile northwest from the furnace, on the north 
side of Middle Mountain. The composition of this ore, as taken from the 
books of the Alleghany Ore and Iron Company, is as follows : 

Natural State. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 40.14 

Silica 21.58 

Phosphorus 0.36 

Manganese 1.06 

Eookingham County. 

Although this county extends across the Valley from the Blue Ridge 
to the West Virginia line, it has scarcely an Oriskany horizon. The Valley 
limestone has been faulted over on to the Carboniferous sediments, burying 
the Silurian and Devonian measures. Massanutten mountains have their 
southern end in this county and possibly the old Smith furnace drew its 
ore from the Oriskany measures of these mountains. The southeastern 


border of the oounty carries important ores of the Blue Ridge limonite 
type. These ores were mined for the Shenandoah furnace No. 2 in the 
southeastern comer of the county, and for the Mt. Vernon furnace in the 
southwestern comer. 

Fox Mountain mine. — In the southeastern part of the county the chief 
mine was the Fox Mountain. This was worked for the Shenandoah Iron 
Works furnace and it was connected with the furnace by a railway. In 
the 80s this mine was producing 100 tons of ore per day. An analysiB 
of this ore, as given in the Tenth Census report, is as follows: 

Dried at BIB"" F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 41.71 

Insoluble 25.48 

Phosphonw 0.22 

Aug^ta County. 

This county has a geological situation similar to that of Rockingham. 
However, along the line of the great fault the thrust here waa not so great 
and the limestone has not buried all of the Silurian measures. In the 
southwestern part of the county gentle folding has brought Oriskany 
measures to the surface through the Devonian shale. Along the line of 
the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, Oriskany ore has been mined at several 

Buffalo Gap mine. — At Buffalo Gap ore was mined for the local fur- 
naces. An analysis of this ore as given in the Tenth Census is: 

Dried at 212° F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 41.95 

Phosphorus 0.31 

Ferrol mines. — At Ferrol ore was mined for the Ferrol furnace and 
after this furnace finally blew out the name was a pioneer in producing 
ore for shipment. An analysis of this ore as given in the Tenth C-ensus is: 

Drif^d at 212'' F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 46.76 

Phosphorus 0.20 

Southwest of Ferrol ore was mined for the Estelline furnace. In the 
western comer of the county the Oriskany horizon appears in Walkers 
Mountain and in Sideling hill. 

IBON. 435 

The Valley limestone in this county in several places carries limonite 
ore in its clay. The first furnace west of the Blue Ridge, the Mossy Creek 
furnace, built in 1760, probably used these ores. This ore was mined at 
a number of other places for charcoal furnaces and for shipment. 

FishervUle mine, — At Fisherville the ore was recently mined for 
shipment. It occurs here in the clay of the upper measures of the lime- 
stone near the flint horizon. 

Spoitswood mine. — Near Spottswood there is a similar occurrence of 
ore which was mined for dharcoal furnace. 

Lofton mine. — Near Lofton limonite occurs in the limestone clay of 
the lower limestone measures and was mined for shipment. 

Of the Blue Ridge limonite, this county carries a number of deposits. 
The Mt. Vernon furnace, located in the southeastern part of the county, 
used this ore for half a century. The Cotopaxi furnace, located in the 
southern corner of the county, used these ores from a nimiber of banks. 

Black Rock mine. — Black Rock mine, located near Cotopaxi Railway 
siding, formerly operated for charcoal furnaces, has been worked in recent 
years both by open cut and underground with shaft and tunnels by the 
Vesuvius Mining Co. This ore sampled by McCreath gave as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 38.96 

Insoluble 28.29 

Phosphorus 0.10 

Bare Bank mine. — This mine is located on the west slope of Bare 
Mountain and 3 miles southeast of Greenville station. It was formerly 
much operated for the Cotopaxi furnace and was opened in 1906 with a 
good showing of ore. 

Crozier mine. — This mine, located 900 feet southwest of Bare bank, 
formerly operated for charcoal furnace, was prospected in 1906 with a good 
showing of ore. 

Blvs Bank mine. — This mine, located 4 miles southwest from the above 
mines on the end of Cellar Mountain, shows a series of old workings and 
the ruins of a small washer. 

Mine Bank mine. — This mine, located 4 miles up the head waters of 
South river from Black Rock, was first worked for charcoal furnace and 
about 1890 was worked for about a year in several cuts. Ore was brought 
down the mountain by a series of 3 inclines to the washer. A branch 
railway connected with the Norfolk and Western Railway near Black Rock. 


The ore is a manganiferous iron ore and is associated with the Cambrian 
sandstone. This ore sampled by McCreath gave as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 41.13 

Insoluble 14.88 

PhoephoruB 0.26 

Manganese 8.22 

Bockbridge Connty. 

This county has a geological situation similar to that of Rodringhani and 
Augusta. However^ the fault which was present on the weet B rn side of the 
limestone in the latter counties is not present here and ore-beuring Oris- 
kany measures are brought to the surface in the first folds west of the 
limestone. These ores were mined for the California, IConnt Hope, 
Panther Gap, and Bath Iron Works charcoal furnaces. In 1883 the 
Victoria (Ooshen) furnace was built in this area at Goshen to use these 
ores. This furnace was claimed to be one of the largest in the United 
States at the time, producing 100 tons of pig metal per day. 

Victoria piines. — ^Twelve miles of narrow-gauge railway brought oie 
from the Victoria mine on Bratton's run and from mines at Bocid)ridge 
Alum Springs. The Victoria mines were chiefly on the sonfh slope of 
Brushy Mountain. They were a series of open cuts which extended for i 
couple of miles along the base of the mountain. The ore aooording to 
furnace returns was reported to carry 47 per cent, metallic ircHL 

This county has important Blue Bidge limonite ores. These were mined 
for the Vesuvius furnace near the Augusta county line, for the Bnena 
Vista furnace at Buena Vista, and for the Glenwood furnace near Balconj 

Buena Vista mines, — These mines were operated by the Jordans for the 
Buena Vista and Amherst furnaces for 40 years. During this time they 
were worked by open cut and by shafts and tunnels to a depth of 190 feet 
Jn recent years these mines have been operated by the Buena Vista Iroii 
Company. Mining is now largely carried on by steam ghoveL The mines 
ere now equipped with the most substantial and complete ore dressing es- 
tnblishment in the State and are producing several carloads of ore per day. 
Captain Jordan reports that furnace returns for 10 years showed the ore 
to yield 53 per cent, of metallic iron. The illustration on plate LXIV. 
figure 1, shows the present steam shovel operation. 

Diode mine. — The Coalshire (Coldshort) mine of the Vesuvius furnace 



—Dixie iron mine, n fault deposit, shows operating i 
Light-colored area to left of operators is ore. The track is on 
Dark areas on both ^idf:* of the ore are the sandalone wiillfl. 


is now operated by the Alleghany « 
Ore and Iron Company under the 5_ 
name of the Dixie mine. This mine 
is located near VesuviuB on the 
Augusta county line. It is a fault 
deposit of limonite ore in the Cam- 
brian sandstone. (Figure 65.) It 
has been mined for a length of 1,200 
feet along the strike of the fault 
and to a depth of 175 feet and to a 
width of from 4 to 26 feet. Two 
miles of tram road connect with the 
Dixie siding. The illustration on 
plate LXIV, figure 2, shows a view 
in this mine. The composition of 
the ore as furnished by the operators 
is as follows: 

Uetallic iron 4B.iS0 

Insoluble I4.4« 

Mary Creek mine. — This mine is 
located 2 miles southwest from 
Vesuvius on the west slope of the 
Blue Ridge. The ore is limonite 
and occurs in shale. This ore was 
worked for charcoal furnaces and 
more extensively since at a number 
of times for shipment. 

Buck Hill mine. — This mine is 
located 3 miles west from the Mary 
Creek mine. It is limonite ore in 
clay above limestone. It produced 
30,000 tons of ore between 1896 and 

yfidvaJe viine. — This mine is lo- 
cated south of ilidvale on the crest 
of South Mountain. The ore was 
said to be limonite and to lie in a 
small syncline of sandstone, J, E. 
Lane mined 20,000 tons of ore here , 
in 1895 and 1896. ; 


Highland Connty. 

This county lies west of the Valley tier of counties. Its surface is largdy 
Devonian shale with anticlinal folds of the Silurian measures exposed. 
The county has only small streams and is without a railway. Whether 
there was ever any operation of iron ore in the county is not known. The 
county contains abundant outcrops of the Helderberg limestone, but it is 
not known whether this carries ore in commercial quantity. The Clinton 
horizon outcrops abundantly on the mountain slopes above the Helderberg 
limestone. Fossil ore is reported in the slopes west of Sounding Knob. 

Bath Connty. 

This county has a geological situation similar to that of Highland. It 
h traversed by 2 railways in the southern part but otherwise it is without 
ttansportation facilities and iron ore has not been developed. Like High- 
land county it has abimdant outcrops of both the Helderberg and Clinton 
horizons. It is not known whether limonite ore occurs in commercial 
quantity, but ore is found on McClung's Ridge and on Jack Mountain. 
Fossil ore with a thickness of 2 feet is reported in the valley east of Warm 
Spring Mountain. 

Alleghany Connty. 

This county has a geological situation similar to that of Highland and 
Bath counties. It is crossed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and by 
streams which, in the days before the railway, furnished an outlet for large 
quantities of charcoal pig iron. The county is largely covered with Devo- 
nian shale through which anticlinal moimtains and ridges have brought the 
Oriskany measures to the surface. This county has the greatest number 
of large mines and is the largest producer of iron ore of any county in the 
State. The following figures of shipments from this coimty are taken 
from the reports of the American Iron and Steel Association. 

Iron ore 
Year (long tons) 

1887 160,000 

1888 166,126 

1893 175,140 

1894 142,808 

1895 209,619 

1901 212,690 

1902 199,690 

1903 196,126 

In charcoal furnace days this county supplied the Dolly Ann, LucT 
Salina, Australia, Clifton, and Rumsey furnaces. All of these furnaces 

IRON. 439 

except the Clifton were operated by the Jordans. To-day the county has 
6 modem coke furnaces which are run largely on ores mined in the coimty. 
The Clifton furnace stands in the gap at Iron Gate. It used ores from the 
southeast side of Rich Patch Mountain near the furnace. These same 
l«anks have been operated somewhat since then. The Rumsey Iron Works 
furnace stood on Dunlaps creek near the present Mud tunnel on the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio Railway. 

Rumsey mine. — This mine is located 3 miles southwest from the fur- 
nace site at the head of Harmon branch on the southeast slope of Sweet 
Spring Mountain. It has been operated for a mile along the mountain in 
various places. A broad-gauge railway connected with the furnace at 

The Dolly Ann furnace was located 3 miles east of Covington between 
Peters Ridge and Fore Mountain, using ores mined near at hand. 

Dolly Ann mine, — This mine has been extensively worked for the last 20 
years on the slopes of these two mountains and in the valley between them 
for a mile or more along the mountains. A broad-gauge railway connects 
with the furnace at Covington. This is one of the large mines of the dis- 
trict. It produced in 1897, 71,124 long tons of iron ore. The composi- 
tion of the ore as furnished by the operators, the Low Moor Iron Company, 

is as follows : Per cent. 

Metallic iron 44.32 

Insoluble 24.16 

Iron Mountain mine. — This mine lies in the same valley and extends 
northeastward for several miles. The ore has been mined chiefly on Fore 
Mountain on the outcrop of the deposit. 

Lucy Salina and Australia furnaces were located on Simpsons creek be- 
tween Brushy Mountain and North Mountain. They drew their ores from 
the southeast slope of Brushy Mountain. These mines, now known as the 
Longdale, have the greatest total production of any mines in the State. The 
Jordans worked them for 40 years for the charcoal furnaces, and since 
1869 they have given the Longdale Iron Company 1,500,000 long tons of 
ore, producing, in 1889, 80,452 tons. The mines have been worked for a 
mile along the mountain and on the slope, chiefly underground, for 500 
feet. Eleven miles of narrow-gauge railway connect the mines and furnaces 
with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway at Longdale station. The composi- 
tion of the ores as furnished by the operators is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 48.20 

Insoluble 13.83 

Phosphorus 0.42 


Fancy Hill mine, — This mine ifl located north of the Longdale furnaces 
on the south slope of Mill Mountain. It has been operated in recent years. 
A narrow-gauge railway connects with the furnaces. 

A number of large mines have been developed since charcoal furnace 
days. These are the Stdck, Low Moor, Rich Patch, and Fenwick. 

Siack mine, — This mine is located on the northwest slope of Sweet 
Spring Mountain 5 miles southwest of Mud tunnel on the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railway. This mine was one of the first to be opened for shipment 
and has been producing for 25 years. It is mined for a half mile along the 
mountain by open cut, and by underground work for several himdred feet 
on the slope. A narrow-gauge railway connects with the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railway at Backbone. The composition of the ore as furnished by 
the operators, the Low Moor Iron Company, is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 46.67 

Insoluble 19.72 

Low Moor mine, — This mine is located 2 miles south of Low Moor 
between Rich Patch and Horse mountains. It was opened about 1878 and 
has produced steadily until the last few years with a total production of 
about 1,000,000 tons. Ore was mined on several folds of the formation, 
located on the lower slopes of the 2 mountains and in the valley between 
them. A broad-gauge railway connects with the furnace at Low Moor. The 
composition of the ore as furnished by the operators, the Low Moor Iron 

(..^ompany, is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 46.62 

Insoluble 17.60 

Rich Patch mine, — This mine is located southwest from the Low Moor 
mine in the same valley. This is one of the more recent mines, being first 
opened about 1895. It is one of the largest producers in the State, yield- 
ing 90,000 tons in 1902. Ore is mined chiefly on one syncline on both sides 
of the valley. Mining is mostly underground but there is some steam 
shovel work done. A broad-gauge railway connects with the ChesapeaJce 
and Ohio Railway at Low Moor. The composition of a sample of the ore 
taken from 29 carloads at the Goshen furnace stock pile as furnished by the 
operators, the Goshen Iron Company, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 42.90 

Silica 25.60 

Phosphorus 0.33 

Manganese 0.78 

inoN. 441 

Potts Valley mine. — This was a small mine, located west of Covington 
and operated for a few years recently. The composition of the ore as 
furnished by the operators, the Alleghany Ore and Iron Company, is as 

follows: Per cent. 

Metallic iron 41.10 

Insoluble 24.41 

Manganese 0.69 

Phosphorus 0.43 

Potts valley lies southwest from Covington between Potts Mountain on 
the south and Peters and Warm Spring mountains on the north. This 
valley was known to contain ore many years ago but it had no railway till 
1906, when a line was built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Exten- 
sive developments have recently been made by the Low Moor Iron Company 
at various places in the valley. The valley carries a number of folds of the 
Oriskany measures and some of these are ore-bearing. The chief develop- 
ments are at Bess and Double Ridge mines. 

Bess mine, — This mine is on Chisle3r'8 Run, 2 miles south from its 
mouth. This is on one of the valley folds and has a good showing for 
a large mine. 

Double Ridge mine, — ^This mine is located a couple of miles southwest 
from the Bess mine on the north slope of Potts Mountain. 

CHven mine, — Other prospects are the Given bank at the southwest end 
of Mill Ridge, the Robinson and Bennett on the south slope of Warm 
Spring Mountain. 

Fossil hematite ore has been mined in two places in the county, namely, 
at Iron Gate and on Horse Mountain. 

Iron Oate fossil ore mine, — ^This mine is located on the northeast side 
cf the Jackson river at Iron Gate. It was operated several years in the 
early 80s. Ore has been mined in the face of the gap on the slopes and 
crest of the fold and on the strike of the formation away from the river 
for some 900 feet. The bed is said to be somewhat under 2 feet in thick- 
ness. A view of this mine is shown in plate LXVII, figure 1. The com- 
position of the ore taken from Bulletin No. 285 of the IT. S. Geological 
Survey as furnished by the Longdale Iron Company is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 46.50 

Insoluble 19.90 

Phosphorus 0.49 

Horse Mountain mine. — ^This mine is located on the southeast slope of 
Horse Mountain, well up on the mountain, and just north of the Low Moor 


Oriskany mine. This was opened in 1905 and is now producing 1^200 
or more tons per month. The bed has a thickness of about 2 feet. The 
composition of the ore, as furnished by the operators, the Low Moor Iron 

Company, is as follows : Per cent. 

MeUllic iron 44.82 

Silica , 15.51 

Botetourt County. 

This county has abun(iant Outcrops of the Oriskany horizon, chiefly in 
its northwestern half. These have furnished ore for charcoal furnaces for 
a century and have since produced the greatest mine in the State. The 
Etna and Eetreat furnaces were located on the east side of Purgatory Moiint- 
ain and used ores from this mountain. Since these furnaces went out of 
blast the ores have been mined in small amount for shipment. The Salis- 
bury furnace, located on Catawba creek near its junction with the James 
river, used Purgatory Mountain ores. Catawba furnace was located on 
Catawba creek, 11 miles west of Fincastle. Jane and Eebecca furnaces 
were located near Dagger's Springs and used ores from Sand Bank 

Sand Bank mines. — ^These mines were recently worked by the Princess 
Iron Company. An incline and broad-gauge railway connected the mines 
with the Chesapeake and Ohio Bailway at Gala. 

The southeast slope of Rich Patch Mountain has been mined at intervals 
along the border of the county. The ore occupies the position of the 
upper member of the Helderberg limestone and has local thicknesses of 
40 feet. The ore has been mined several hundred feet on the dip and 
it is known to extend in places 700 feet. 

CaJKe mine. — The Callie furnace and mines are located on the south 
slope of this mountain near the Alleghany county line. Formerly a narrow- 
gauge railway connected with Clifton Forge. This mine was re-opened by 
the Princess Furnace Company in 1907. An analysis of the ore, as given 
in the Tenth Census report, is as follows: . 

Dried at 212° F, 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 46.17 

Phosphorus 0.07 

WUton mine, — This mine joins the Callie on the southwest. It is now 
operated by the Princess Furnace Company and supplies ore to the Prin* 
cees furnace. A narrow-gauge railway connects the mines with the furnace 
at Olen Wilton. 


MINKIIAl. HKHiHItri:s in- VIKIilM.'. 


IBON. 443 

Circle mine. — This mine joins the Wilton on the sonthwest. This 
was opened in 1906 by the Longdale Iron Company. 

Roaring Run mine. — The Roaring Rnn furnace and mines were located 
7 miles southwest of Soaring Run, northeast of the Oriskany mine. 

Orace mine. — The Grace charcoal furnace and mines are located 7 
miles southwest of Roaring Run, northeast of the Oriskany mine. 

Oriskany mine. — This mine is located 4 miles west from Oriskany 
station and 11 miles directly south from Covington, partly in Botetourt 
county and partly in Craig. This is the greatest iron mine in the State. 
It has produced 1,000,000 tons of ore and is now producing at the rate of 
400 tons per day. A narrow-gauge railway connects with the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Railway at Oriskany. This mine furnishes most of the ore for the 
company's 3 furnaces which are located at Iron Gate, at Buena Vista, and 
si Shenandoah. An illustration of this mine is shown in plate LXVII, 
figure 2. The composition of the ore as furnished by the operators, the 
Alleghany Ore and Iron Company, is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 45.88 

Insoluble 16.29 

Phosphorus 0.12 

Manganese 2.18 

In the foothills of the Ritch Patch Mountain below the Oriskany mine 
some mining has been done. 

Ried mine. — An operation is now carried on here by the Alleghany 
Ore and Iron Company under the name of the Ried mine. The com- 
position of the ore, as furnished by the operators, is as follows : 

Per cent. 

MetaHic iron 40.37 

Insoluble 21.81 

Phosphorus 0.43 

Manganese 0.69 

Big HUl mine. — This mine is located 3 miles south of Glen Wilton 
and operated by the Longdale Iron Company. Big Hill is a small anti- 
clinal which brings Oriskany measures to the surface through the Devonian 

Of. the Blue Ridge ores, this county has important deposits both of 
limonite and of red hematite. The two Cloverdale furnaces and the Arcadia 
furnace probably used this limonite. Ore has since been mined along both 
the xiorihw.est and the southeast base of the Blue Ridge. 

Oruhb or Lynchburg mine. — This mine is located 2 miles northwest 
of Blue Bidge Springs and 11 miles northeast of Roanoke on the southeast 


slope of the Blue Eidge. The ore body, located in shala near the contact 
with the Valley limestone, is about 40 feet thick and dips with the bedding 
toward the mountain. This is one of the largest of the Blue Eidge 
limonite mines and has been operated for 25 years. It is mined by open 
cut and undergroimd to a vertical depth of 180 feet. A branch of the 
Norfolk and Western Railway extends from Blue Eidge Springs to the 
mines. Plate LXV, figure. 2, is an illtistration of the Grubb washer and 
mines. The compositiori.of ' the ore, as furnished by the operators, the 
A^irginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company, is as follows: 

Natural State, 


- Per cent. 

MetallkJ iron 41.20 

Silica 14.08 

Phosphorus 1.23 

Manganese 1.13 

Crozier mine. — This mine is located a mile east of the Grubb mine 
and similarly situated except that it is at the foot of the mountain in 
relatively flat country instead of being on the slope of the mountain. 

Houston mine, — This mine is located 2 miles northwest from the 
Grubb, on the opposite side of the Blue Eidge. In the 80s the mine 
was operated in a series of openings and produced considerable ore. A 
railway connected with the Norfolk and Western Eailway at Honston. 
A number of other similar mines have been operated in this vicinity on 
both sides of the Blue Ridge. 

Blue Eidge heniatito, known as specular ore, occurs in the southeastern 
part of the county near the crest of the Blue Eidge. In the vicinity of 
the Grubb mine this type of ore has been mined at intervals for a distance 
of 4 miles along the southeast slope of the mountain. Of this distance 
about 2 miles are in Bedford county. The ore is from 3 to 6 feet thick 
in iTiucb folded beds which have in general a steep dip. The largest 
operation is the Edith mine. 

Edith mine. — This mine is located % mile northeastward from the 
Grubb mine, well up on the side of the Blue Eidge, 500 feet above the 
bottom of the Grubb mine. An incline and a narrow-gauge railway 
connects with the Grubb mine. The composition of the ore, as furnished 
by the operators, the Virginia Iron, Goal and Coke Company, is as follows: 

Natural State, 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 37.09 

Silica 38.91 

Phosphoma 0.37 

Manganese 0.27 

■• »• :, 

■■■ V/- ■ -* ■ 



' ^ 

■ / 



Fig. i. — Arcadia iron mine. 

IRON. 445 

Orubb Specular mine. — This mine is located immediately southwest of 
the Edith mine and is similarly situated. Operated by the Virginia Iron, 
Coal and Coke Company. 

Lemon mine. — This mine is located a mile southwest of the Edith. 
r>perated by R. P. St. Clair. Ore is hauled in wagons to the Grubb tipple. 

Near Buchanan the hematite ore has been mined for several miles 
along the northwest side of the Blue Ridge. The bed here is from 4 to 6 
feet thick and dips at high angles northwest. It has been faulted or 
folded 80 as to present several outcrops. 

Arcadia mine. — The chief mine is the Arcadia, operated by the Pulaski 
Iron Company. This mine is located 4 miles south of Buchanan, well 
up on the Blue Ridge, 1,000 feet above the Valley. Ore is taken down 
the side of the mountain on aerial tramway and over a mile of narrow- 
gauge railway to a branch of the Norfolk and Western Railway. An 
illustration of one of the openings is given on plate LXVI, figure 2. 
A sample of the ore taken and analyzed by the writer gave as follows : 

Per cent. 

Silica 41.14 

Metallic iron 33.34 

Wood mine. — ^This mine is located immediately west of the Arcadia. 
It is now operated by 6. G. Harvey, and ore is delivered in wagous to 
the Arcadia narrow-gauge railway. An illustration of this mine, showing 
the workings on two outcrops of the ore, is given on plate LXVI, figure 1. 
These workings are reported to intersect at the upper end. An analysis 
of this ore, as given in the Tenth Census report, is as follows: 

Dried at £12'' F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 42.89 

Phosphorus 0.41 

Craig County. 

This, county has several parallel ranges of great mountains of which 
fipiHiig Creek Mountain, Bald Mountain, Potts Moimtain, and presumably 
Jbfais Mountain carry Oriskany measures. In early days there was a 
dbmoil fuiiace and a forge on Craig's creek, 1.5 miles above New Castle, 
which used these ores. Except in the eastern end of the county there is 
no railway, and elsewhere it is not known what the horizon carries in the 
way of ore. 


Oriskany mine. — ^The larger portion of the big cut of the main Oris- 
kany mine lies in Craig county. The mine is described under Botetourt 

Fenwicl' mine. — This mine is located on the southeast slope of Bald 
Mountain^ which is a spur of Bich Patch Mountain^ near the Botetourt 
county line, and joins the Oriskany mine on the northeast. Opened in 
1900, this mine produces 4,000 to 7,500 tons of ore per month, produdug 
55,973 tons in 1904. It has been operated for several miles along fte 
mountain by steam shovel and underground work. An anilysiB of the 
ore, as furnished by the operators, the Low Moor Iron Company, is as 

follows: Percent. 

Metallic iron 44.60 

Silica 22.30 

Boanoke County. 

The northern part of this county is covered with mountains of Carbo- 
niferous sediments. Of the Blue Ridge limonite the county has one large 
mine, the Rorer, and a number of smaller ones. 

Rorer mine. — This mine is located 3 miles south of Boanoke, on the 
west side of a small mountain. It was opened for shipment about 1880 
and has had a constant production ever since. The mining i& now largely 
done by steam shovel. The composition of the ores, as furnished by the 
operators, the Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company, is as follows: 

Natural State. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 38.68 

Silica 20.91 

Phosphorus 1.14 

Manganese 1.20 

Southwest of Horor, on the strike of the formation, ore has been minc^ 
for a mile or more. Although there is no topographic feature along this 
line, all of the ores are apjiarently similarly situated stratigraphicallj. 

Griffin mine, — Of these mines the Griffin, a small mine, was operated 
in 1903 by the West End Furnace Company. 

Gale mine. — This mine is located a mile southwest of Borer. This 
is one of the largest of these mines. It is not now operated. 

Castle Rock mine. — This mine is located 6 miles southwest of Boanoke 
and 2 miles northwest of Cave Spring in a rather flat area near Sag«r 
Loaf hill. This was operated about 1895. A railway formerly Connected 
with the Koanoke Southern Railway. 


l(. 1. — Iruii (iule tt<>li "! llie JuckiKin river Iliniii);h Itii-h Patch Mountain. 
KoHRil iron art vran niiued from llm fnr Hi<Ie nf th<- jjup ubuve the lower 
siandstone. The while ridges nre ('lintuD and Medina snodstoQe. Oria- 
knny nre wiih mined on the far Hlopp of the muuntiiin. 




IRON. 447 

Siarkey mine. — This mine is located 4 miles southwest of Eoanoke and 
% of a mile from Starkey. It was operated in a small way by the 
Pulaski Iron Company about 1902. Tlie ore was hauled in wagons to 

Griffin specular mine, — This mine is located 6 miles southwest of 
Eoanoke on the north slope of Bucjc Mountain. Ore has been mined but 
not shipped. This is the Blue Ridge bedded red hematite and has a 
thickness of 2 feet. This location is of interest, as it is the most south- 
westerly known working of this type of ore. A sample taken from the 
ore, which was piled at the mouth of the mine and analyzed by the writer, 
gave as follows: 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 40.97 

Silica 31.16 

Montgomery Connty. 

This county carries ore at its north border in the Oriskany horizon 
near the crest of Gap Moimtain which was mined for the Sinking Creek 
furnace. It also carries a little ore near the contact with the Valley lime- 
stone and the underlying shales near the south border of the county. This 
is reported to have been mined south of Christiansburg. 

Oiles Connty. 

This county has had iron ore mined at 3 different points, namely, neai 
Newport in the southeast comer of the coimty, near Ripplemead on the 
New river, and near Interior on Stony creek. Near Newport the Sinking 
creek furnace built in 1873 operated on local ores. Ores were mined 
above the limestone on the south side of Spruce Run Mountain and at 
other places about Newport. 

Johnson mine. — This mine is located ^. mile above Big Stony Junc- 
tion and on the east side of the New river. The ore is magnetite and 
occurs in the Valley limestone. It appears to have been mined chiefly 
below the surface of the New river. It was mined in a small wav some- 
time in the SOs and ore shipped to Pennsylvania. The ore is of Bessemer 
£rade. The composition, as given by McCreath, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

Metallic Iron 63.55 

SUica 6.21 

Phosphorus 0.05 

Sulputtr 0.002 


Porterfield mine. — This mine is located 3 miles southwest from the 
Johnson mine on the strike of the strata. Ores have been mined in several 
places in a small way from the clay above the Valley limestone. It was 
worked for a few months in 1906 and ore hauled in wagons to Ripple- 
mead. The composition of the ore, as reported by McCreath, under the 

name of Pack Tunnel mine, is as follows : 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 48.82 

Siliceous matter 19.76 

Phosphorus 0.06 

Sulphur 0.16 

Interior mines. — The south side of Peters and East River mountains 
carry Oriskany measures with some ore. This valley is the southwestward 
continuation of the Potts creek valley. It has recently been prospected 
for iron ore and surveyed for a railway. Ore has been mined at the 
Interior mine, located ^ mile northwest of Interior on the south slope 
of Peters Mountain. The ore was taken down the mountain on an incline 
to a washer located on the Big Stony Railway. Some ore was hauled to 
Interior in wagons from the north slope of the opposite Pork Mountain. 

Pnlaski County. 

This is a Valley county. The Oriskany horizon occurs on the north- 
west border of the county near the crest of Walker Mountain and in the 
western part in Draper Mountain. This latter occurrence carries a number 
of producing mines. The southern part of the county has limestone 
limonite ores of a part of the New Eiver-Cripple Creek area. This county 
did not produce much for charcoal furnaces and its production was in 
comparatively recent times. It lias two charcoal furnaces in the southern 
part, and has had a bloomery forge. The Radford furnace, located 8 
miles southeast of Pulaski City, was built in 1868, while Boom furnace, 
in the southern comer of the county, operated from 1882 to 1906. This 
is the last one of the Virginia cold blast, water-power charcoal furnaces. 
Pulaski City, standing at the gateway of the New River-Cripple Creek 
area, has two active modern coke furnaces and is the main center of iron 
smelting in the district. Some of the best mines of the district are m 
this county and are now operated. 

Clark's bank. — ^This mine is located a mile north of Allisonia. The 
ore is limonite. This mine has been operated several times for iron ore 
and, in 1902 and 1903, for zinc, producing 8,000 tons of that ore from the 
BtODB opening that was mined for iron. A narrow-gauge railway connected 

IRON. 449 

with the Norfolk and Western Railway at Dalton, 1 mile north. The mine 
is not now operated and the track has been removed. The composition of 
the ore, as furnished by the New River Mineral Company, is as follows: 

Dried at 212° F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 52.60 

Silica 5.59 

Phosphorus 0.15 

Manganese 0.40 

Radford Furnace mine, — This mine is located on Mack^s creek, 2 miles 
southwest of the New river railway bridge. The ore is "mountain" ore. 
The mine was operated years ago in a small way for Radford furnace. 

Tasker mine. — This mine is located about 1 mile east of New river 
railway bridge and 2 miles northeast of Allisonia. This mine produced 
9,000 tons of "mountain'' ore in 1898-90, and in 1907 is operated by the 
West End Furnace Company, producing 100 tons per day. The com- 
position of the ore, as furnished by the operators, is as follows: 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 47.80 

Silica 13.40 

Phosphorus 0.14 

. Manganese 0.44 

Farris mine. — This mine is located about 3 miles southeast of Boom 
furnace on the northwest slope of Mack's Mountain, on the contact of 
limestone and sandstone. The ore is mostly "mountain" ore in thin 
seams in the clay. This was one of the best producing mines in the 
district. It was opened in 1904 and is said to have produced 30,000 tons 
of ore in that year. A narrow-gauge railway connects with the Norfolk 
and Western Railway at Allisonia. The composition of the ores, as 
furnished by the operators, the Pulaski Iron Company, is as follows: 

Dried at 2W F. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 39.59 

Manganese 0.48 

Phosphorus 0.39 

Rich nUl mine. — This mine occupies the point of the ridge which 
lies between New river and little Reed Island creek. The ore is limonite. 
It has produced more ore than any other mine in the district. Opened 
for modem mining about 1886, it has produced 600,000 tons of iron ore 
since that time. The washers are located at the foot of the ridge on the 


north side and deliver to railway cars. A view of this mine is shown (m 
plate LXIX, figure 2. The composition of the ore, as furnished by the 
operators, the Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company^ is as follows: 

Natural State. 

Per cent. 

MeUllic iron 43.81 

Silica 14.66 

Phosphorus 0.18 

Manganese 0.66 

Reed Island mines. — These are a series of mines located <m ibe nine 
ridge with the Rich Hill mine, which together with this mine extend for 
114 miles, occupying the larger portion of the limestone lidgBy which 
rises 200 feet above New river and Little Reed Island creek. The ore is 
limonite and occurs distributed through a considerable thicknefls of cIa7< 
These mines have supplied Boom furnace and have also fmniahed con- 
siderable quantities of ore for shipment. The washers are located on the 
south side of the ridge on Little Reed Island creek and deliver to railway 
cars. A view of this mine is shown on plate LXVIII, figure 2. The com- 
j>osition of the ores, as furnished by the operators, the Virginia Iron, 
Coal and Coke Company, is as follows: 

Natural State. 

Per cent. 

Metallic iron 42.42 

Silica 18.92 

Phosphorus 0.17 

Manganese 0.37 

Under Rock mine. — This mine is located a mile southwest of Boon 
furnace on the west bluff of Little Reed Island creek. The ore is limonite. 
Tlie iTiine has not been operated for several years. 

Draper Mountain lies in Pulaski and Wythe counties, just beyond the 
northoast corner of the New River-Cripple Creek area. The mountain is 
an anticline wliich has been faulted on the northern and southern sides 
and wliose crest, and most of the northern limb, have been removed bj 
erosion. Tho strata involved in the folding are great thicknesses of 
Onlovician. Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous sediments. The 
Ordovician shales ajipear in the eroded crest of the anticline, the Draper 
valli'v. Tho Silurian rocks, chioflv sandstones, form the elongated 
crosoeniic crest of the mountain. The Oriskany horizon appears in normal 
pasition on the north side and on the ends of the mountain. • South of 
Pulaski it is l)ioii^^lit to tho surface through the Devonian shales by a 



FiK. 2— ReM Inland 

IBON. 451 

fault. The Devonian and Carboniferous shales appear chiefly on the 
north slope of the mountain. Oriskany ores appear in the vicinity of the 
Oriskany horizon and other limonite ores occur at the contact of the shales 
and limestones. In Pulaski county this mountain carries a number of 
mines, chiefly Oriskany. 

Clayton mine. — This mine is located 1 mile south of Pulaski on the 
north slope of Draper Mountain. The ore occupies the position of the 
Helderberg limestone which a fault has here brought to the surface. The 
mine was opened for shipment in 1905. A narrow-gauge railway delivers 
crude ore to the washer at the foot of the mountain and washed ore to 
E^laski. The composition of the ore, as furnished by the operators, the 
Ehilaski Iron Company, is as follows: 

Dried at 212'' F. 

Per cent. 

MetaUic iron 41.12 

Manganese 0.51 

Peak Knob mines, — The Peak Knob mines are a series of openings 
about Peak Knob, the east end of Draper Mountain. The horizon of the 
Clayton mine is traceable eastward 2 miles and about the base of Peak 
Ejiob and around to the south side of the mountain. Lump ore has been 
mined on three sides of the Knob. Ore is now mined on the north side 
by Hagar and Mahady and hauled in wagons to Pulaski, and mined on 
the east end of the mountain by Hatcher and Shaffer and hauled % mile 
to a railway siding. The composition of the ore as mined in 1898, as 
furnished by the New Eiver Mineral Company, is as follows: 

Dried at 212'' F,