Mindat Logo

Chester Emery Mines, Chester, Hampden Co., Massachusetts, USA
This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.

 
 
A group of emery mines located in the town of Chester, Massachusetts. The early history of the deposit was described by Lewis (1896): "In 1864, the occurrence of emery at Chester, Massachusetts was predicted by Dr. C. T. Jackson from his discovery of margarite there -- a mineral which Dr. J. L. Smith had just found characteristic of the emery deposits of Asia Minor. On September 6th of the same year, Dr. H. S. Lucas discovered the emery in what had before been considered only deposits of magnetic iron ore. Two years later, distinct crystals of corundum were found in the same deposits. The discovery of emery soon led to the establishment of active mining, the first of its kind in America."

This is the type locality for the mineral amesite, named for one of the original mine owners, James T. Ames (1810-1883) of Chicopee, Massachusetts. He also owned Ames Manufacturing Company, a Chicopee company which had government contracts for making swords and cannons during the Civil War. Ames was interested in mineralogy and had a collection of rare and unusual minerals.

The type of deposit is debatable. Old references suggest it is a stratabound deposit, enriched by regional metamorphism. But in recent years it has become recognized that the deposits are located along a major thrust fault - the primary evidence being ultramafic tectonic slivers which occur all along the stratigraphic horizon of the deposits. The deposits themselves may be thrust fault slivers of aluminous rock, or they may be hydrothermal deposits - or a combination of both. The old Chester emery mines are divided into two groups: North of Rte 20 - Macia Mine, Sackett Mine, and Snow Mine. South of Rte 20 - Old Mine, Melvin Mine, and Wright Mine. The most frequented site is the Old Mine, located closest to Rte. 20. This mine, the Melvin, and the Sackett are actually mining complexes involving combinations of open cut and underground workings. The Macia and Snow mines are mostly underground workings, and the Wright mine is largely an open cut. The Old Mine is the most extensive, having been opened first and operated the longest, involving perhaps half a mile of horizontal levels interconnected by stopes and internal shafts. The open pit at this mine is actually a collapsed section of the second level.


Note: Persistent reports of "schorl" from these sites are attributed to mis-identifications of ferrohornblende or dravite crystals. Schorl has not been proven to exist here. Reports of azurite are mis-identifications of carbonate-cyanotrichite. Azurite has not been found here. "Corundophyllite" was discredited as a species. The following mineral list includes all species reported for the group of mines.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
Actinolite
Albite
var: Oligoclase

Almandine
Amesite (TL)
Aragonite
Azurite
'Biotite'
Bornite
Brookite
Calcite
Carbonatecyanotrichite
Chalcopyrite
Chamosite
var: Corundophilite

'Chlorite Group'
Chloritoid
Chromite
Clinochlore
Clinozoisite
Cordierite
Corundum
Cummingtonite
Diaoyudaoite
Diaspore
Dravite
'Emery'
Epidote
Ferro-hornblende
Hematite
Ilmenite
Kyanite
Magnesite
var: Ferroan Magnesite
Magnetite
Malachite
Margarite
Molybdenite
Paragonite
Pyrite
Quartz
Rutile
Schorl
Spinel
Talc
Titanite


73 entries listed. 36 valid minerals. 1 type locality (valid mineral). 2 erroneous literature entries.

Localities in this Region

USA

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

Jackson, C. T. (1864): Discovery of Emery in Chester, Hampden County, Massachusetts (Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History 10:84).

Shepard, C. U. (1865): A Description of the Emery Mine of Chester, Hampden County, Massachusetts (pamphlet, 16 pp., London, 1865)

Smith, J. L. (1866): On the Emery Mine of Chester, Hampden County, Massachusetts (American Journal of Science 17:83-93)

Emerson. B. K. (1895): A Mineralogical Lexicon of Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties, Massachusetts.

Lewis, Joseph V. (1896): "Historical Sketch of Corundum Mining in America" in Corundum and the Basic Magnesian Rocks of Western North Carolina (North Carolina Geological Survey Bulletin 11), p.88.

Pratt, J. A. (1906): Corundum and Its Occurrence and Distribution in the United States (USGS Bulletin 269)

Palache, Charles and Wood, H. O. (1909): Crystallographic Notes on Minerals from Chester, Mass. (Contributions from the Harvard Mineralogical Museum, No. 14).

Shannon, Earl V. (1919): Famous mineral localities: The Chester emery mine (American Mineralogist 4:69-73)

Shannon, Earl V. (1920): Analysis and optical properties of amesite and corundophilite from Chester, Massachusetts...(U.S. Nat. Mus. Proc. 58:371-379).

Apfel, Earl T. (1945): Emery deposits near Chester, Massachusetts (USGS Open-File Report 45-58).

Perry, Clay (1946): New England's Buried Treasure (NY: Stephen Daye Press)

Lincks, G. Fred (1978): The Chester Emery Mines (Mineralogical Record 9:235-242)

Francis, C. A. and D. E. Lange (1988): Four Occurrences of Dravite in Western New England (Rocks and Minerals 63:455).

Plante, A. (1992): Western Massachusetts Mineral Localities (Valley Geology, Greenfield, Mass)


Mineral and/or Locality  
Search Google  
Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
Current server date and time: April 25, 2014 04:09:47 Page generated: April 15, 2014 17:53:41
Mineral and Locality Search
Mineral:
and/or Locality:
Options
Fade toolbar when not in focusFix toolbar to bottom of page
Hide Social Media Links
Slideshow frame delay seconds