Wednesday, October 7, 2009 9:41 PM
On Saturday, October 10th I am inviting you to join me on a Field Trip to the Mineral Hill abandoned Copper Mine in Sykesville. We'll meet at the mine trail entrance at 9 a.m. and collect until 2 p.m. (we will have some mineral experts there to help you identify your minerals).
This was originally a pre-Revolutionary War iron mine featuring a 2 1/2 foot thick hematite ore vein. In 1742 John Diggs began extracting copper ore. At its peak it employed 100 miners and was owned by Tyson Mining Company, the same firm that owned the Soldier-s Delight property in Owings Mills and the Elizabeth Mine in Vermont. Mining, Roughly 200 years later, Diggs- land was owned by Charles Diehl who said he had explored the abandoned mine as far as 600 feet into some of the tunnels.
Today Mineral Hill is abandoned except for casual collectors like ourselves. A portion of the Liberty Reservoir washes the banks of the site. Minerals associated with Mineral Hill include actinolite, albite, bornite, brochantite, calcite, carrolite, chalcocite, chalcopyrite, chlorite, covellite, epidote, gahnite, gold, hematite, hornblende, ilmenite, limonite, linnaeite, magnetite, malachite, pseudomalachite, pyrite, quartz, siderite, siegenite, sphalerite, talc (lots of talc..) and of course copper and hematite.
The last time that I took a group there, I brought home about 100 lbs of minerals (all were easily collected / mostly right on the surface).
You will need to have sturdy, closed-toe shoes (tennis shoes are okay but hiking shoes are better) a bucket or pack to collect your treasures and newspaper for wrapping. It is easy to collect very interesting rocks here (even if you are not a collector) most of them are on the surface for easy pick up. If you want to get a little more serious, you might want to bring something to dig with or to break open rocks with (if you are breaking open rocks don't forget eye protection - this is essential).
I would recommend the following:
Wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt (poison ivy, mosquitoes, etc).
Wearing a hat
Deet, Off, or some other type of bug repellant (especially Ticks and Mosquitoes)
Bottled Water (please take out what you bring in).
Family Radio/Walkie/Talkie (FRS/GMRS) (so that we can stay in touch)
A change of clothes (if you really get into it you-ll probably get real dirty).
$$$ - in case you want to stop for lunch afterwards.
Nice to have but not needed are:
A hammer (can be a regular household hammer)
Light sledge hammer
16lb digging pole
Remember, what you carry in, you-ll have to carry out (plus whatever minerals that you collect).
The property is hilly, so be prepared for a good walk. To get to Mineral Hill, get to MD 26 (Liberty Road). Travel on MD 26 until you reach MD 32 in Eldersburg. Turn north and continue until you cross the bridge over the reservoir. Parking is on the right just after the bridge. The trip will be cancelled if it rains. There is no rain date.
My Cell phone is[masked] if you get lost - or just need more information.
This area is 'kid' friendly, but does not allow pets. Also - no swimming allowed.
Of Special Note - Very Important - This location is open to the public. By attending this field trip you agree to hold harmless the organizer as well as the club. There are lots of sharp rocks, steep inclines and Liberty Lake. You must take full responsibility for your actions and anyone that you chose to bring along with you. This is meant to be a fun day for everyone and an opportunity to learn about Maryland minerals but you are responsible for your safety (as well as those that you may bring with you). Beware: Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Ticks, Mosquitoes, Sharp rocks, Stickers, Thorns, tree limbs, Critters of all types (including slithering types) people swinging picks and mauls - and - getting hooked on rocks.
MD-46 Mineral Hill Mine parking area N39E[masked]' W76E[masked]'
MD-46 Mineral Hill Mine site N39E[masked]' W76E[masked]'
Internet Directions - go to www.Google.com Click on Maps - then enter these into the search area -
[masked] [masked] (mine)
[masked] [masked] (parking)