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The old quarries of Tiffin, Seneca County, OH

Last Updated: 5th Mar 2018

By Jamison K. Brizendine

In December of 2016, I decided to try to identify the location and names of some of the older quarries in Ernie Carlson's book, the Minerals of Ohio (1991, 2015). Although I was able to identify most of the “unnamed” old quarries in his book, I felt that my entry for the city of Tiffin was lacking. Therefore, I decided to expand my research horizon and see if I could find additional information on the old quarries from this city.

Using Minerals of Ohio, as the foundation for the study, I successfully located the majority of references that Ernie used and purchased a copy of the article he had written on the minerals of Ohio in Rocks and Minerals (1990, p. 532-533). In the article he mentioned that he received his information on the Tiffin quarries from Joy Hintz, who in 1956 became the curator of the Charles H. Jones Collection at Heidelberg College. Joy Hintz passed away in 2009 and most of the Charles Jones collection passed to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1988.

In his Rocks and Minerals article, Ernie had noted that the minerals of Tiffin were considered "classic" for the state of Ohio. Fluorite, celestine and sphalerite crystals from the locality were noted in A Textbook of Mineralogy (Dana and Ford, 1932, p. 464) and later in The System of Mineralogy (Palache et al. (1944, p. 213, 1952, p. 75). Several Minerals from Tiffin were donated by Heidelberg College professor Martin Kleckner to various universities and museums including The Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin (Hobbs, 1905, p. 184).

Geological documentation of the quarries and their overall history is scarce. The earliest and most in-depth geological study of the quarries in Tiffin is that of Newton Winchell in 1873 (p. 616-618). Winchell observed that two bedrock formations in Tiffin were exposed: the "Waterlime" and the "Niagara". Today these formations are known as the Lockport Dolomite (sometimes referred to as the Guelph Dolomite) and the Greenfield Dolomite, both Silurian age.

Newton Winchell visited and noted three specific quarries along the banks of the Sandusky River in Tiffin, but only named the "City Quarry". Ernie Carlson only mentioned one flooded quarry on the eastern edge of the city by a specific name, "The Big Four Quarry". "The Big Four Quarry" was located next to a former railroad line which belonged to the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, which was commonly known by its nickname, "The Big Four"(the railroad was controlled by the New York Central Railway until its merger with the Pennsylvania Railroad, later forming Conrail). Ernie identified several minerals from this locality including: calcite, celestine, dolomite, fluorite, galena, sphalerite, strontianite and sulphur (1990, p. 532-533). In his first edition of Minerals of Ohio (1991), Ernie chose a photograph of iridescent fluorite from this locality. Except for the caption for the front cover, the book did not name any of the specific quarries; instead all of the quarries from Tiffin were lumped into a generic locality entry for all of the minerals above. These entries were then duplicated for the second edition of the book when it was published in 2015 (p. 160, 167, 179, 187, 190, 261, 265, 268).

The inspiration to expand on my existing research came one Saturday afternoon. I opened the front door and tripped on something that was rather large. The thing I tripped on was the “yellow pages”. For those mineral collectors not from the United States, the “yellow pages” is a directory of businesses with addresses and telephone numbers. Since our family now uses the internet and smart phones, we had no need of the large paper book and recycled it. Later that night, at 3:00 AM when one sometimes has an epiphany, I realized that although a paper business directory may be obsolete in the 21st century, everyone used one even as recent as 10-15 years ago. If I needed stone, lime or concrete, I would have consulted a business directory to find those things. I thought if I could find these commodities in a business directory, then I had a realistic chance of finding the location and more importantly, the name of some of these old quarries in Tiffin.

Finding those old directories that I needed wasn’t difficult at all. With today’s technology a simple Google search yielded the location of the directories that I was looking for. The Seneca County Library, through the Ohio Memory Project’s website, has several uploaded documents pertaining to the city of Tiffin and the small villages and civil townships scattered throughout the county. The archive includes photographs, yearbooks, newsletters, directories, atlases and historical accounts for the county dating back to the 1860s up to the 1920s. Any material uploaded past the 1920s still fell under copyright law, but several organizations, such as the League of Women's Voters, have given material and their newsletters to be uploaded and archived.

The Ohio Memory Project's website also has a simple search engine that locates key words in these documents which is extremely useful. I typed in the usual suspects in my search: "Lime", "Quarry", "Stone", etc. and then opened the documents to those highlighted words. The method was useful, but sometimes the search engine would find the incorrect word. For example, when I typed "lime" in the search engine, it found all the documents with the word "time" instead! Nevertheless, this method provided me the information that I was searching for, and to help organize my research and findings, I created a simple chronological timeline so that I could date when the quarries were active.

Because the city of Tiffin used multiple publishers for their directories over the years, the names of individuals had different spellings over different publications. One of the prominent lime dealers in Tiffin, the Weott family, had their last name spelled sometimes with a singular “t” and sometime with two "t"s. Another issue which was frustrating to me at first, but not of the fault of the publishers, was that the city of Tiffin changed the names of some their streets. For example, a portion of Water Street, which now runs parallel with the Sandusky River was called Mill Street in the late 1800s. One of the quarries was located along what is today Wall Street, but that road was originally named Broad Street in the early 1900s.

The Sandusky River and to some extent Rock Creek provided Tiffinians with a water source while quarrying. The river though flooded multiple times throughout the city's history. Three historical floods which impacted the city included the years 1883, 1904 and 1913 (Barnes, 1982, p. 165). During a flood, water would fill the quarries along with mud and debris. If the flooding was too severe then the quarry would become abandoned and then a new location would be dug. The most severe flood hit the city of Tiffin in 1913. Homes and businesses were destroyed and 19 lives were lost. In my opinion, two other factors also ended the quarrying industry in Tiffin besides the flood. The first was stiff competition from the Kelley Island Lime & Transport Company and the France Stone Co., both which had large quarries outside the city limits, and the other factor was the economic downturn caused by the Great Depression.

After compiling my research, I was able to confirm the identity of Winchell's quarries and was finally able to identify the actual name of the "Big Four Quarry" that Joy Hintz described for Ernie Carlson (1990). My research also yielded at least two more quarries and a lime industry that proved to be important to the development of the lime industry in Tiffin. So with a total of 5 quarries and an industry that utilized the quarries, it was no small wonder that Ernie lumped everything into one entry! Following the entries on the quarries, I will give a brief summary of the minerals that were found in the quarries in Tiffin.




John Thom Marble Works Quarry (Quarry No. 1)






Minerals: Calcite, Galena

This is the first quarry described by Newton Winchell (1873, p. 616-617):

The green shale, which, in Sandusky County, represents the Salina has nowhere been seen in Seneca County. The only place within the county where the “junction” of the Niagara and Waterlime has been observed, is in the quarries at Tiffin. Within the corporate limits, a few rods above the swing bridge for the highway crossing, a quarry has been opened in the left bank of the Sandusky, which may be designated as Quarry No. 1. The Niagara here shows in a broad surface exposure, over which the river spreads, except in its lowest stage. The quarry has not penetrated it, but the overlying Waterlime beds have been stripped off, showing a section of twelve feet in their beds belonging to phase No. 3. This lies conformably on the Niagara, so far as can be seen, the separating surface presenting no unusual flexures or irregularities. The only trace of the Salina is in the tendency of the color and texture of the Niagara toward those of the Waterlime, visible through its last three or four inches. It is bluish-drab, porous, crystalline, with some indistinct, greenish lines and spots. It contains much calcite and some galena. From this character it passes immediately into a bluish-gray, crystalline rock, in thick, firm beds, with spots of purple, heavy and slightly porous, the cavities being nearly all filled with calcite.

The principal exposures of the Waterlime are in the quarries at Tiffin.

Section of Quarry No. 1 in descending order.

No. 1. Waterlime in thin, drab beds, like the Fremont quarries of June and Quilter. Exposed.......12 ft.

No. 2. Porous, bluish-drab, with greenish streaks, containing much calcite and some galena.......3 in.

No. 3. Firm, gray Niagara, in thick beds. Exposed.......1 ft.


There were quite a few bridges that crossed the Sandusky River in the 1870s. Washington Street and Market Street both crossed the Sandusky River and three railroads: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Cincinnati, Sandusky and Cleveland Railroad (eventually becoming part of the "Big Four" and New York Central system) and the Mansfield, Coldwater and Lake Michigan (eventually becoming part of the Pennsylvania Railroad) all shared a railroad bridge, with each railroad having one track across the river.

Tiffin historian, William Lang in a history of Seneca County, repeated Winchell's description of the geology in the county. In his edition (1880, p. 228) he makes one change:

The green shale, which, in Sandusky County, represents the Salina has nowhere been seen in Seneca County. The only place within the county where the “junction” of the Niagara and Waterlime has been observed, is in the quarries at Tiffin. Within the corporate limits, a few rods above the iron bridge on Washington Street, a quarry has been opened in the left bank of the Sandusky, which may be designated as Quarry No. 1. The Niagara here shows in a broad surface exposure, over which the river spreads, except in its lowest stage. The quarry has not penetrated it, but the overlying Waterlime beds have been stripped off, showing a section of twelve feet in their beds belonging to phase No. 3. This lies conformably on the Niagara, so far as can be seen, the separating surface presenting no unusual flexures or irregularities. The only trace of the Salina is in the tendency of the color and texture of the Niagara toward those of the Waterlime, visible through its last three or four inches. It is bluish-drab, porous, crystalline, with some indistinct, greenish lines and spots. It contains much calcite and some galena. From this character it passes immediately into a bluish-gray, crystalline rock, in thick, firm beds, with spots of purple, heavy and slightly porous, the cavities being nearly all filled with calcite.


Washington Street is the major north-south street that runs through the heart of the city. The Washington Street Bridge was an iron truss that was eventually destroyed by a flood in 1913. In my original article, I had speculated that the quarry may have been on the corner of Water and Washington Street because I had assumed that the "left bank" of the river is north and west (i.e. from a bird's eye view this would be "left" bank).

On the Seneca County archive through the Ohio Memory website, one of the materials that was uploaded was the 1873-1874 City of Tiffin directory and combination atlas, which happened to be the same year that Winchell’s work was published! Consulting the directory, only 1 quarry, labeled as a “marble works”, belonged to an individual named John Thom. John Thom’s marble works/quarry was located adjacent to an “iron bridge” on Washington Street, across from River Street. What is interesting is that the marble works was located on the south side of Washington Street and not the north.

John Thom's advertisement in the Seneca County History and Combination Atlas Map (Stewart, 1874, p. 52).


The earliest Tiffin city directory that is available to the public domain was published in 1859. During that time two men, Fred Singer and Charles Wendler worked the marble works at this location with John Thom (his name was spelled as "Tome") (Anonymous, 1859, p. 56, 61). John Thom's marble works continued to operate until at least 1887 (Anonymous, 1887, p. 145).

Any trace of this quarry was destroyed when the Sandusky River was widened in a city improvement project in 1915 and retaining walls were built to withstand flood waters. Furthermore, the city of Tiffin expanded Riverside Drive to link with E. Perry Street.

I believe that the John Thom marble works is the most likely candidate for Newton Winchell's Quarry No. 1.

Coordinates: 41° 7'0.99"N, 83°10'37.84"W




Weott Brothers Quarry (Quarry No. 2, Mathias Weott Quarry, Tiffin City Quarry)






Minerals: Calcite

This is the second quarry described by Newton Winchell (1873, p. 617-618):

Quarry No. 2 is located a quarter mile above the last, on the opposite or right bank of the river, and is known as the City Quarry. The dip is here SW six or eight degrees. Supposing the dip is uniform between Quarries Nos. 1 and 2, there must be an unseen interval of twenty-five or thirty feet of the formation separating them.

Descending section of the Waterlime at Quarry No. 2, Tiffin

No. 1. Very compact; fine grained; in beds of six to thirty inches. The fracture is a brownish-drab, and weathers light drab; sometimes porous or brecciated......8 ft., 4 in.

No. 2. Thin-bedded; more earthy; rough in patches, and feeling like a fine-grained sandstone. The general facies is like Nos. 3 and 7......10 in.

No. 3. Very compact, fine-grained beds of one of two inches; broken; irregular; separated with bituminous films which weather first blue, then chocolate. The fracture is a brownish-drab, and weathers light drab. It is sometimes porous or slightly brecciated. When fine-grained and compact is shows acicular cavities......2 ft., 2 in.

No. 4. Same as the last, except the beds are even......1 ft.

No. 5. Very compact; fine-grained; gray; crystalline with occasional amorphous cavities. In one bed......1 ft., 2 in.

No. 6. Very compact and fine grained; in even beds of one to two inches. The separating bituminous films weather blue, turning to chocolate; the brownish-drab, fractured surface weathers light drab; in some places with fine acicular cavities......2 ft., 3 in.

No. 7. Very compact and fine-grained; in beds of one to two inches in broken, irregular and lenticular; separated by bituminous films, which weather blue and then chocolate; fracture brownish-drab ; weathering light drab; in some places with fine acicular cavities. This being the lowest exposed, it has been stripped of the overlying beds for the space of several rods. The exposed upper surface of the bedding is very uneven, being thrown into curious mound-like elevations of two to six or eight inches, and a foot to three feet across, which do not show any system of arrangement. Considerable bituminous matter is disseminated through them, no included in the texture of the rock, which is very hard and crystalline, but in thin films between the beds, or in irregular deposits within the little mounts, or about their peripheries. The laminations which from these mounds are thinner than the regular bedding, and are sometimes not more than half an inch thick. They never show concave surfaces upward (hence the mounds are not concretions) but variously modify and fit to each other like a quantity of semi-fused and inverted plates or watch-glasses, the bituminous matter acting as a cement......2 ft.

Total exposed......17 ft., 9 in.

The characteristic fossil, Leperditia alta, may be seen in nearly all parts of this section, but it was especially noted in Nos. 3 and 7. This rock is all hard and crystalline, but with a fine grain. No. 3, without careful examination, might be mistaken for Niagara, if seen alone. When broken into fragments for roads, the color of the pile, weathered for a few months, is a pleasant, bluish-gray. Yet on close examination the blue tint vanishes, and the stone shows a drab, a dark or brownish drab, a black, and a bluish gray, (the last two only on the lines of the bedding,) depending on the fracture or surface examined.


An 1896 historical map of Tiffin does show a "City Quarry" on the west bank of the Sandusky River. This quarry was not located a quarter mile away, but nearly two-thirds of mile northeast of John Thom's marble works. The quarry was located on the corner of E. Davis Street, Water Street and Elwood Street.

Historical map of Tiffin (1896) showing the location of the Tiffin City Quarry (Anonymous, 1896b, p. 48). Note the street names: "Mill Street" was renamed "Water Street", while the original north-south alignment of "Water Street" was renamed "Erie Street".


In 1872, the city of Tiffin became involved in lengthy lawsuit that eventually found its way to the Supreme Court of Ohio. In August 1872, Joseph Ardner was hired as an independent contractor and started blasting the stone in the quarry. The blasting wasn’t controlled and material was ejected from the quarry and ignited the barn of a local landowner. The landowner sued the city of Tiffin, who owned the quarry and the county court agreed that the city should pay the landowner. The city of Tiffin in turn, appealed the decision and the case was finally brought to the Ohio Supreme Court in December 1878. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of McCormack; where work is dangerous in a quarry; independent contractors do not relieve owners of responsibility and therefore the city had to honor its payment to the landowner. The court case is known as the City of Tiffin vs. McCormack (DeWitt, 1878, p. 635-647).

Eventually the city of Tiffin sold the quarry (the above lawsuit may have been a factor) and the quarry became owned and operated by John Sholl in the early 1880s (Anonymous, 1881, p.148). Sholl’s tenure at the quarry was short lived and the quarry was sold to Mathias Weott in the late 1880s. Mathias Weott, originally a carriage maker, began improving the operations at the quarry (Anonymous, 1884, p. 141) and was successful as a quarry businessman. In 1894, Mathias Weott retired from his business and his sons Frank and George Weott inherited and continued to operate the plant. The brothers decided to name their business the Weott Brothers Lime & Stone Company and continued to operate the quarry until 1913 (Anonymous, 1897b, p. 42).

(Note: I will be referring to the Weott Family with the double "t" spelling. Various directories and other sources spell their last name with a singular "t", but for this article I will try to stay consistent with the double "t" spelling. Since this spelling was the most common among sources, I believe this was the "correct" spelling of their last name)

Mathias Weott's advertisement in the Tiffin City Directory (Anonymous, 1895, p. 186).
Weott Brothers Lime Manufacturers advertisement (Anonymous, 1897b, p. 42).
Mathias Weott's advertisement in the Tiffin City Directory (Anonymous, 1895, p. 186).
Weott Brothers Lime Manufacturers advertisement (Anonymous, 1897b, p. 42).
Mathias Weott's advertisement in the Tiffin City Directory (Anonymous, 1895, p. 186).
Weott Brothers Lime Manufacturers advertisement (Anonymous, 1897b, p. 42).


The "Great Flood of March 1913" was the true "wake-up" call to flooding along the Sandusky River. Several times in the city's history a major flood struck. Several floods had been recorded in the city in 1828, 1834, 1848, 1883 and before the one that hit in 1913, in 1904. The citizens of Tiffin were therefore quite use to the flooding of the river and acted as if the flooding was business as usual. People's deeds ran right up to the water's edge, because the county commissioners would send their surveyors when the water was at low level during the summer months. To protect against floods property owners would build six-foot high retaining walls, but the walls were commonly disjointed from property to property forming a bizarre wall of brick and stone that zig-zagged (Barnes, 1982, p.165). This inconsistency in the retaining wall's composition would later form cracks and points of weakness,. This contributed to the severity of the flood that did hit and the walls that were built were completely ineffective of keeping water out.

The historic flood began Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913 as the city of Tiffin received eight inches of rain that day. The banks of the river at that point began to overflow and the city had begun rescuing citizens from their homes using rowboats. The next day, the cities of Toledo and Sandusky sent boats and crews to continue the search and rescue operations as the water continued to rise. At this point several houses were lifted from their foundations and two of these houses was directly east of the Weott Brother's Quarry: The Klingshirn family home and the Knecht family home. During those two days the quarry quickly filled in with debris and this spilled out onto E. Davis Street. The Klingshirn family home lost 10 people to the flood and Knecht family lost six. During the flood itself, Jacob Knecht climbed the limb of a tree and rescuers tried in vain to throw him a line. Unfortunately, Knecht became exhausted and could not reach the line. He let go and was swept into the Sandusky River (Barnes, 1982, p. 168).

In the end, nineteen lives were lost as result of the flood with real and property loss exceeding one million dollars. 46 houses were completely destroyed, 564 houses were damaged and 69 business were damaged. All of the river crossings were completely destroyed, including the Washington Street Bridge. The only bridge that wasn't destroyed during the flood was the railroad bridge. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad placed several cars weighted with iron ore on the bridge, which acted as anchors to hold the bridge in place (Anonymous, 1913b, p. 26). The aftermath, the flood waters and ruins of Tiffin's buildings from the flood were well documented with several photographs. The history of the 1913 flood is now a major exhibit at the Seneca County Museum. After the flood, the city underwent a major reconstruction effort to prevent another severe flood and in 1915, the city rebuilt its bridges, built higher retaining walls and widened the river.

The ruins of the Klingshirn family home. Ten people lost their lives at this house during the flood of 1913 that struck Tiffin. The Klingshirn home was directly east of the Weott Brothers Quarry, which was also destroyed (Anonymous, 1913b, p. 24).


After the flood waters receded, Frank and George Weott could not re-open their quarry due to the amount of debris and had to abandon their father's quarry (Anonymous, 1914, p. 237). The former land of the quarry then became a dumping ground for refuse and garbage for the next forty years. The residents of Tiffin, particularly the League of Women Voters and the Tiffin Jaycees, saw potential for the land and wanted to create a city park. In 1976, the city of Tiffin decided to buy back its former land and the Tiffin Jaycees began a building project to improve the site. The garbage was then removed, the land was re-graded and a picnic area and trails along the river was built in its place. The locality is now known as the Nature Trails Park (Anonymous, 1976, p. 13) and you can visit the site today.

I believe that this is the most likely candidate for Newton Winchell's Quarry No. 2.

Coordinates: 41°7'32.04"N, 83°10'16.21"W




John Klopp Quarry (Quarry No. 3)






Minerals: Calcite, Celestine

This is the third and final quarry described by Newton Winchell (1873, p. 618-619):

The river just in the southern limits of the city is flowing east. The rock can be followed along the same bank of the river eighteen or twenty rods from the foregoing quarry, and has an irregular surface exposure throughout that distance, with a continuous dip south-west. The rock then follows the bluff, which strikes across a patch of river bottom, and is not seen again until a mile further up the river. It is here quarried and burned into lime. The dip is in the opposite direct, that is, toward the north. This is quarry No. 3.

Descending Section of the Waterlime, Quarry No. 3, Tiffin, Seneca County, O.

No. 1. Soft; drab; slightly porous......1 ft.

No. 2. Hard and close-grained; gray and drab......1 ft., 2 in.

No. 3. Brecciated, (like Put-in-Bay Island,) with hard and soft; drab and dark drab; sometimes cavernous, with considerable calcite, and porous......4 ft.

No. 4. Hard; gray; porous, with celestine......2 ft.

No. 5. Very porous; soft; drab......1 ft.

No. 6. Hard; porous; dark drab......1 ft.

No. 7. Soft; drab; veined; in one bed......2 ft., 4 in.

No. 8. Porous; gray and drab (mixed); with coarse, but firm texture......1 ft., 3 in.

No. 9. Hard, drab beds, but porous......2 ft.

No. 10. Coarse, drab beds; porous; rather soft under hammer......12 ft.

Total: 27 ft., 9 in.

This rock is quite different in most of its external aspects from that described in the last two sections, and it probably overlies them. It is much more loose-grained and porous, and is almost without bituminous films. The beds are generally six to twelve inches, but sometimes three feet in thickness. It has more constantly the typical drab color of the Waterlime, and it shows, besides Leperditia alta, another bivalve like Atrypa sulcata, and a handsome species of Orthis, also a coarse Favositoid coral, all of which are often seen in the Waterlime.


An 1874 map of Tiffin (Waegon and Cooke, 1874) shows a "Lime Kiln and Quarry" on Sycamore Street, south of Martha Street and Ella Street. This quarry and property belonged to John Klopp and his profession was stated to be a "Lime Burner". In the 1881, Tiffin city directory his name was spelled "Kloupp" (Anonymous, 1881, p. 78). John Klopp had two sons: Anthony Klopp and John Klopp Junior. John Sr.'s sons however decided not to continue the lime burning business and instead concentrated on producing and repairing bicycles. Their business became the "Klopp Bros." located on E. Market Street (Anonymous, 1903, p. 99).

It is unknown when quarrying ended here, but it was likely after the 1883 flood hit this region.

Today several homes that were built in the early 1990's are in the vicinity of the old quarry, which is now filled in.

I believe that this is the most likely candidate for Newton Winchell's Quarry No. 3.

Coordinates: 41°6'30"N, 83°11'11.90"W




Circular Street Stone Quarry (Jeremiah L. King Quarry, Frank Morcher and John Herzog Quarry)






Minerals: Unknown (None confirmed or observed)

This was a small and shallow quarry located on Circular Street, just south of E. Market Street and adjacent to Rock Creek. The quarry is within a short walking distance from Heidelberg University's main campus. The only mention of this quarry's name was in Stone Magazine, which called it the Circular Street Stone Quarry (Anonymous, 1894, p. 372).

It is unknown when the quarry first started producing aggregate and stone, but Jeremiah L. King worked at this quarry as early as 1881 (Anonymous, 1881, p. 77). Sometime between 1884 and 1887, Jeremiah King sold the quarry to John Herzog (Anonymous, 1884, p. 73, Anonymous, 1887, p. 67). Then in 1890, John Herzog teamed up with another Tiffinian, Frank Morcher (Anonymous, 1890, p. 87, 125.). The partnership was short-lived, though and Herzog and Morcher continued to work together at this location until they dissolved their partnership in 1894 (Anonymous, 1894, p. 372). Although Frank Morcher would continue to work at the quarry here, John Herzog would go on to own a restaurant (Anonymous, 1895, p. 86, 116-117) and later relocated to Forest, Ohio (Costello, 1922, p. 11-12).

Advertisement and listing for John Herzog and Frank Morcher (Anonymous, 1892, p. 75).
Advertisement and listing for Frank Morcher's Quarry (Anonymous, 1889, p. 156). This was Frank Morcher's final advertisement before moving his business to the northwest portion of the city.
Advertisement and listing for John Herzog and Frank Morcher (Anonymous, 1892, p. 75).
Advertisement and listing for Frank Morcher's Quarry (Anonymous, 1889, p. 156). This was Frank Morcher's final advertisement before moving his business to the northwest portion of the city.
Advertisement and listing for John Herzog and Frank Morcher (Anonymous, 1892, p. 75).
Advertisement and listing for Frank Morcher's Quarry (Anonymous, 1889, p. 156). This was Frank Morcher's final advertisement before moving his business to the northwest portion of the city.


It is unknown when quarrying at this location stopped, but most likely before 1899. Frank Morcher moved his business to northeast of town on West Davis Street (Anonymous, 1900, p. 124, Anonymous, 1906, p. 141). Today there is little visible evidence that there was a quarry here. Retaining walls were built on both banks of Rock Creek, probably after the flood of 1913.

Coordinates: 41°6'51.90"N, 83°10'11.92"W




Tiffin Lime and Stone Co. Quarry (Consumers Lime Co. Quarry, Tiffin Lime, Building and Sandstone Co. Quarry)






Minerals: Unknown (None confirmed)

This was another small and shallow quarry, but it was located in the northwest portion of the city. The quarry was contained in a city block surrounded by W. Davis Street, Wall Street, 1st Avenue and Oak Street. Access to and from the quarry was located on Homer Street off of Wall Street. This part of Tiffin was called the "Highland Addition" as Highland Park was located on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Broad Street.

Quarrying at the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co. began in 1899. Frank Morcher abandoned the Circular Street Quarry to this new location. My theory is that this move may have been intentional to directly compete with the Weott Brother's Quarry and provide raw limestone to the lime furnaces of Dr. Leon McCollum, who operated a lime kiln nearby. The quarry was also near industries that had access to sidings owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Originally, the quarry provided larger stones for building material, but then retailed in bulk and ground lime after Frank Morcher sold the quarry. The bulk lime was then purchased by local farmers in the area.

Frank Morcher's advertisement of the Tiffin Lime, Building and Sandstone Company Quarry in the Tiffin City Directory (Anonymous, 1900, p. 173).
Announcement of the Tiffin Lime and Sandstone Company in Rock Products (Anonymous, 1909, p. 30).
Frank Morcher's advertisement of the Tiffin Lime, Building and Sandstone Company Quarry in the Tiffin City Directory (Anonymous, 1900, p. 173).
Announcement of the Tiffin Lime and Sandstone Company in Rock Products (Anonymous, 1909, p. 30).
Frank Morcher's advertisement of the Tiffin Lime, Building and Sandstone Company Quarry in the Tiffin City Directory (Anonymous, 1900, p. 173).
Announcement of the Tiffin Lime and Sandstone Company in Rock Products (Anonymous, 1909, p. 30).


In 1909, Charles Babcock, an associate of Frank Morcher, officially purchased the quarry with the Weott Brothers as a controlling interest. The quarry would become re-branded as the Tiffin Lime & Stone Company (Baughman, 1911, p. 377):

The Tiffin Lime & Stone Company, manufacturers of a superior grade of lime and crushed stone contractors is installed at the corner of Shawhan and First Avenues; Frank Weott, President. This business was originally established by Frank Morcher, who was succeeded by Weott Brothers. The present company was incorporated in July, 1909. It owns sixteen acres in the Highland addition to the city, where a practically inexhaustible supply of No. 1 limestone is deposited. It recently built in the premises some new structures, including lime sheds and stone bins. The company is well equipped with machinery and apparatus, consisting of the big steam rock drills and other implements for excavating a large amount of stone. The output in round numbers is 150 yards per day of crushed stone and 1,400 bushels of lime.


The Weotts focused the Tiffin Lime & Stone Company Quarry to produce raw lime, while their major quarry on E. Davis Street would handle large stone. This way the two quarries were not in direct competition with each other. This business agreement would be maintained until 1913.

James Bownocker, an Ohio geologist, compiled a paper on the bedrock geology of Ohio and had visited the area after the flood. Bownocker's visit of the quarry and his opinion of the bedrock at the quarry was less than flattering (Bownocker, 1915, p. 46):

In the quarry of the Tiffin Lime & Stone Company both the Monroe and Niagara limestones are quarried. The former occurs in thin beds, rarely measuring 10 inches, and the surfaces are sometimes nearly parallel. As usual cracks are very common near the outcrop. It has a drab color, is free from chert and no pyrite was seen.

The thicker courses are occasionally used for building stone, but only where cheap construction is permitted. Other uses are for lime and crushed stone.

These brief descriptions might be duplicated over and over again from the Monroe of Northwestern Ohio, but sufficient has been said to show that that the formation has very little value as building stone. Its thinness and unevenness of bed alone prevent its use for that purpose. Besides it is unattractive, the color and texture giving an unpleasant effect.


Like the Weott Brother's Quarry, the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co. suffered heavy damage during the flood of 1913. After the flood, the company began a financial decline (Anonymous, 1916, p. 98) and by the 1920s, the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co. decided to form a partnership with the Consumers Lime Co. (Anonymous, 1920a, p. 510, Anonymous 1920b, p. 121). The joint partnership lasted until 1923 when the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co. defaulted on its loans and was brought before bankruptcy court (Anonymous, 1923, p. 136). At some point after the bankruptcy, its equipment would be purchased by Logan Miller and then by Nat France of the France Stone Company (Anonymous, 1927, p. 76).

It is unknown when quarrying finally ended here, but it was likely during the Great Depression. Today the former location of the quarry is an empty field with houses surrounding it.

Coordinates: 41°7'36.76"N, 83°11'5.76"W




Dr. Leon McCollum Lime Company (Ohio and Western Lime Co., Kelley Island Lime and Transportation Co.)






Dr. Leon McCollum was a close friend and physician of the Weott family in Tiffin, Ohio. Although the McCollum Lime Co. did not own a quarry, it was an important part of the lime industry in Tiffin as it formed an industrial partnership with both the Weott Brothers Quarry and later the Tiffin Lime & Stone Company. The McCollum Lime Company was located on Wall Street which during the 1900s was called "Broad Street".

Historical map of Tiffin (1896) showing the "Highland" addition where the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co. and where the McCollum Lime Company would be located (Anonymous, 1896b, p. 48). Note the street names: At some point "Broad Street" was later renamed "Wall Street". The McCollum Lime Company was located on Broad Street between 6th and 8th Avenues.


The Dr. L McCollum Lime Co. was founded in 1896 and at the time operated three kilns, a grinding shed and an engine house. With the raw material from the Weott Brother's Quarry and the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co. Quarry it would ground lime mainly for one of Tiffin's major industries: glass.

An advertisement for the Dr. Leon McCollum Lime Company (Anonymous, 1897b, p. 42).


In 1911, the Dr. L. McCollum Lime Company was purchased by the Ohio & Western Lime Company (Anonymous, 1911, p. 237). The Ohio & Western Lime Company continued making bulk lime here until 1917 when it in turn was purchased by Kelley's Island Lime & Transport Company (Anonymous, 1924, p. 789) . Kelley's Island continued to operate here until the France Stone Company purchased its property along with the Consumer's Lime Co. Quarry (formerly the Tiffin Lime & Stone Co.) in 1927 (Anonymous, 1927, p. 76).

The locality is now a warehouse for TPC Food Services.

Coordinates: 41° 7'56.80"N, 83°11'8.48"W




Weott Lime & Stone Co. ("Big Four Quarry")






Minerals: Calcite, Celestine, Fluorite, Sphalerite

Unlike many of the other former quarries in Tiffin, visible evidence of this former quarry can be seen, but its past history is shrouded in mystery. Since the name of the quarry had been unknown (or forgotten), it was only referred to as the "Big Four Quarry" by Joy Hintz, the curator of the Charles Jones Collection at Heidelberg University. Whatever information she knew was passed to Ernest Carlson for his Rocks & Minerals article (Hintz, 1988, pers. comm. to E. Carlson, Carlson, 1990, p. 532-533). The quarry produced celestine and fluorite specimens, with some of the celestine crystals reaching 30 cm in length. It also produced very nice red-brown sphalerite crystals reaching to 2.5 cm. Some of these were twinned crystals (R. Peter Richards, 2018, pers. communication). Joseph Vasichko noted that the quarry was mined for aggregate and lime from the Guelph (Lockport) and Greenfield Dolomite formations (2018, p. 123).

The reason the quarry was called the "Big Four Quarry" (or "Big Four Railroad Quarry") was because it was adjacent to the railroad tracks that had belonged to the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway. Since that railroad name was quite lengthy, it was often shortened to the initials "CCC&StL" or by its nickname, the "Big Four". In 1906, the New York Central Railroad acquired control of the "Big Four", but the railroad's nickname was adopted for the quarry.

Tiffinians simply call this locality "the old stone quarry". After the quarry flooded, it was a hangout spot for local children, mainly orphans from a home run by the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, which parents had been members. The children, nicknamed "The Homekids" would sneak to the quarry to take a swim and of course access to the quarry was forbidden. Even after the Tiffin orphanage closed in 1944, "The Homekids", maintained contact with each other and later created a newsletter called The Junior Homekid. Many of the former "Homekids" shared their memories of living in the orphanage in the newsletter and the quarry was one of those places that the kids visited on a regular basis. One of stories involved some of the "Homekids" making root beer from extract and using the cold waters of the quarry to ferment it (Dittus and Cook, 2010, p. 3):

One day, Henry Kindervatter was drinking some root beer that he got out of a gallon jug. Dewey Davidson, Carl "Inky" Owen and Eddie Morris asked him where he got it. He told them that he, Louis Jones, Billy Dew and Wimpy Chamberlain made it. Henry gave them all a taste of it. Of course the guys (Inky, Dewey and Eddie) wanted to know how Henry, Wimpy and Billy made it.

Henry said they bought root beer extract and put in some yeast, sugar and water. He said they had to add the water a little at a time or when they capped it, the bottle of root beer would explode. He told them that when it was all mixed up, they put it in a deep part of the stone quarry to keep it cool. They had to then wait for 15 days before it aged enough to be root beer.

This sounded like a lot of trouble to "Inky", Dewey and Eddie so they waited until Henry and the guys went to the quarry. They followed them, hid and watched them make it. They also saw how they put it in the quarry, so they could get it back out.

As they watched, they saw them attach a long wire to the handle of the bottle and attach the other end to a tree. They then threw the bottle into the quarry. After conferring with each other, Dewey and his conspirators decided if they came to the quarry about 2 days before the 15 days were up, they could snitch the root beer and Henry and the guys wouldn't know what happened.

It worked as planned. They pulled the bottle out, ran like crazy and when they reached the woods in back of the park, they drank the ill-gotten root beer.

They then made a point of not being there on the day the guys came to pull their root beer out of the quarry. They knew they would have had the "heck" beat out of them for stealing their root beer! As time passed; however, Dewey never heard any of them complain about anyone stealing their root beer. They must have just assumed that the bottle just slipped off of the wire and was lost in the quarry. They also didn't want to broadcast the fact that they were making it in the quarry.


Ernie Cook, another former "Homekid", shared his memories of the "old stone quarry" (Cook, 2000, p. 4):

The quarry is located southeast of the Ohio Memorial Church, along the "Gas Buggy" New York Central Railroad tracks, through Tiffin. The quarry is quite large and a guess of 50-60 feet deep. Not many Homekids could swim across the widest part. Many tried and would have to rest or float on a railroad tie that was loose and lay just below the surface.

We remember Paul Hawks, who had polio, could swim more than one crossing. There was a lot of fun and tragedies at the old quarry.

There were two Homekid drownings (Charles Adams and James Blevins). Charles Adams had a seizure and drowned early one spring morning. James Blevins, along with sunbathers as on the beach, was diving from the ledge near the railroad track. He said this is my last dive of the day. He ran and leaped from the high ledge. His head struck one of the railroad ties that floated just below the water. He lost his life.

There was fun. You could get on the tracks at the north end of the quarry and see how deep you could go before the water got too cold. Some homekids made root beer. You could buy the extract for twenty-five cents that would make five gallons of root beer. The gallon jugs were secured by a rope and let down in the quarry's depth. On a hot summer day it sure made for a cooling, refreshing drink.

Today there are homes surrounding the old quarry. Our "Blackie" Fox lives there. Somewhere near the quarry is the origin of "Willow Creek," which passes through the home park, to the old swimming hole and in the winter the frozen pool is used for ice skating. "Willow Creek" dumps into the Sandusky River. When the river flooded, the current was very swift. Boys would ride logs downstream at rapid speed. One day, early in May, Nick Trapp and friend were riding the logs. When they wanted to get off, they had to grab a tree limb along the river bank. The tree branch whirled the boys to facing the rage of the river current. They pulled themselves ashore safely.

At the same time the Mechanics Creek was flooded. Ernest Mitchell drowned while swimming. The creek flows through the woods, then by the old fertilizer...to the Sandusky River. The home would lose a Homekid about every year. It must have been a sad time for "Dad" Kernan.

The quarry was the origin of many experiences: pleasant and sad, for Homekids of all generations. The quarry was off-limits. That made it more intriguing.


Subsequent research revealed that Charles Adams died in the quarry in 1932 and James Blevins died in the quarry in 1934. Their deaths were reported in The Sandusky Register (the Sandusky, Ohio newspaper) and The Evening Independent (the Massilon, Ohio newspaper)(Anonymous, 1932, Anonymous, 1934). Therefore it can be concluded that 1932 was the earliest recorded time when the quarry was flooded, but in all likelihood it had probably flooded before then.

The quarry's active period was short, especially when compared to other major quarries in Seneca County. After the devastating flood of 1913, brothers Frank and George Weott struggled to keep their family’s business afloat, but managed. After paying off their creditors, the Weott Family decided to re-locate and build a new plant at 665 E. Market Street, where the quarry is located, and in 1915 they began to quarry at this new location (Anonymous, 1915, p. 278). They renamed their business the Weott Lime & Stone Company. Unlike many other quarries in the state of Ohio, their quarry was only operational for approximately 15 years. The last time the quarry was mentioned in a geological report was in Bownocker and Stout (1928, p. 78) as being an operational quarry in Tiffin. After this the Weott Lime & Stone Co. Quarry was never mentioned again, at least not in directories or reports from the State of Ohio and its "actual" name was forgotten.

It could be concluded that the quarry closed between 1928 and 1930 based on the existing literature and the historical accounts of the quarry from The Junior Homekid. Its closure was probably caused by a dynamite explosion hitting a spring (quarrymen called this phenomenon "hitting an underground river"). When the spring was hit the quarry began rapidly filling with water. A similar situation happened at the nearby France Stone Company Bascom Quarry in 1939 (Anonymous, 1998, p. 370), just west of Tiffin.

The tracks belonging to the New York Central/"Big Four" are gone as well. In the 1960s, the New York Central began to cut costs and abandoned the railroad line from Tiffin northeast to the village of Clyde. When the New York Central merged with the Pennsylvania to form the Penn Central Railroad, the line ended up becoming redundant. Eventually Penn Central's successor, the Consolidated Rail Corporation or "Conrail" abandoned the remainder of the line from Clyde to Sandusky in the mid 1970s.

The quarry is presently in a flooded state and is part of the Clinton Home Resort on private property. Although the address of the resort is Tiffin, its technically outside of the city limits in Clinton Township, section 17.

Coordinates: 41° 7'32.51"N, 83° 9'32.66"W




The minerals found at the old quarries in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio






As stated before, the minerals in Tiffin, Ohio were found in the Silurian aged Lockport Dolomite and the overlying Greenfield Dolomite. The minerals were found in vugs, sometimes called "plugs" by quarrymen.

Minerals from Tiffin are rare to find in private mineral collections because the quarries produced material from the 1870s to the late 1920s and only a handful were preserved. Specimens that are typically labeled as coming from "Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio" do not have any further information. Several specimens from Tiffin were donated by Martin Kleckner, the head of the geology department at Heidelberg University, to various institutions including the University of Wisconsin (Hobbs, 1905, p. 181-182, 184). William Hobbs, who was a professor at the University of Wisconsin, made several observations about the minerals from Tiffin that were donated by M.E. Kleckner. These notes were later cited by Emmons (1917) and Schrader et al. (1917).

Two other major figures in preserving mineral specimens from Tiffin were Charles Jones and Dr. J. W. L Jones (Anonymous, 1907, p. 75). Charles Jones and Dr. J.W.L. Jones often traded specimens, including swapping specimens from Tiffin for others (Anonymous, 1911b, p. 69, Anonymous, 1921, p. 203). The entire collection, including a suite of Tiffin specimens, was eventually donated to Heidelberg University (Carlson, 1990, p. 532-533). The announcement of the donation of the Charles Jones collection was announced in the Sandusky, Ohio newspaper, The Daily Advertiser (January 7, 1921), re-printed in the Fort Ball Gazette (1989):

The entire collection of minerals of the late C.H. Jones of East Orange, N.J., representing a hobby of the last 25 or 30 years of his life, has been given to Heidelberg University.

Announcement of the gift was made at chapel exercises today by President Miller. The donor who was the father of Professor J.W.L. Jones of the university died in December. It was in accordance with his wish expressed many times before his death that the school come into possession of the valuable collection.

Mr. Jones had frequently visited here and was a staunch friend of the university. While here he often took excursions with Prof. M.E. Kleckner, head of the geology department, and he showed great interest in geological conditions here and along Lake Erie. At intervals he sent the university boxes of specimens from his huge collection.

Formerly a successful New York businessman, he took up the study of minerals from the business world a quarter-century ago. His specimens are said to be very fine and to have been collected from all over the world. The exact size of the collection is not known at the university.

Because of the great interest the donor had in Heidelberg university officials appreciate in the gift a fine personal touch aside from the intrinsic value of the collection.

The mineral specimens are not expected before next summer because of the time and care required to box them. Unless the board of regents makes other provisions, it is planned to convert the entire third floor into the C.H. Jones museum of minerals.


A portion of the collection is now at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, but Heidelberg still retains some of the specimens from Tiffin (Vasichko, 2018, p. 123).




Calcite: CaCO3

Calcite from Tiffin ranged in color from completely colorless, white, and pale yellow to light brownish-yellow color. They were commonly found in the cavities in both the Lockport Dolomite and Greenfield Dolomite. Calcite was an observed mineral in all three of Newton Winchell's unnamed quarries in 1873 (p. 616-618) and in the "Big Four Quarry" outside of the city corporation limits. Calcite from Tiffin was noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 95, Carlson, 2015, p. 160).

Ernest Carlson (1990, p. 533) wrote that the calcite crystals were typically found in groups and exhibited a rhombohedral habit with curved faces. The calcite crystals ranged from .05 cm to 8 cm in length. Some of the calcite crystals were growth zoned, showing a thick transparent core that eventually graded into a thin cloudy-white rim. The calcite from the locality was associated with fluorite, celestine, sulphur and strontianite. William Hobbs (1905, p. 181-182) described the calcite specimens from Tiffin as followed:

The calcite is the most abundant of the minerals lining the geodes, and occurs in two different habits. The first shows small yellow crystal ½ centimeter in length with the habit determined by the form f, -2R (0221) unmodified. The other type shows larger crystals of "dog tooth" habit which are often several centimeters in length. These crystals like the others are of a pale yellow color and their habit is determined by d, -8R (0881) with which is generally present e, -½R (0112) and t, ¼R3 (2134) and sometimes v, R3 (2131). The faces are more or less dull, and frequently vicinal, but allow their angles to be read with sufficient accuracy for a determination of the form.


A sketch of a calcite crystal from Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio (Hobbs, 1905, p. 184)





Celestine: SrSO4

Celestine (often formerly called celestite) was found as singular or multiple crystals ranging from a white color to a pale-blue color. As with other minerals from the locality, celestine was found in cavities in the Lockport Dolomite and the Greenfield Dolomite. The only two quarries Tiffin quarries where the mineral was observed were the John Klopp Quarry (Quarry No. 3) and the "Big Four Quarry" (Winchell, 1873, p. 618, Carlson, 1990, p. 533). Celestine from Tiffin was noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 99, Carlson, 2015, p. 167).

Celestine from Tiffin has a bladed habit, which is a common habit from quarries in Ohio, especially the White Rock Quarry in Clay Center and the Graymont Dolime Quarry in Genoa. The celestine crystals were poorly terminated and some of these crystals reached 8 cm long. Celestine from the locality was often found with brown fluorite crystals and was commonly associated with calcite. Carlson added that the celestines from Tiffin sometimes had transparent zones. Some crystals show a basal pinacoid, and some of the crystals also had visible prismatic modifications (Carlson, 1990, p. 516, 533). William Hobbs (1905, p. 182) observed the following from the celestine crystals he received from Martin Kleckner:

The celestite occurs in tabular to bladed crystals varying in size from one-half to several centimeters in the their dimensions. The color is a pale-blue, as in the case of the well known celestite from Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie. The base is always the tabular plane and the macro-diagonal the axis of greatest development. The forms present are, in the order of relative size, c, ∞P (001); d, ½P (112); o, P⧝ (011); m, ∞P(110); and z, P (111).





Dolomite: CaMg(CO3)2

Dolomite from Tiffin is of interest to local mineral collectors and micromounters only. Ernest Carlson noted (1990, p. 533) that small dolomite crystals lined the walls and cavities of the Lockport Dolomite Formation, which had a buff color. A few of these specimens were in the Charles Jones collection at Heidelberg University. Dolomite from Tiffin was also noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 103, Carlson, 2015, p. 179).




Fluorite: CaF2

Fluorite from Tiffin was unique because it is one of the few Ohio localities that produced both brown colored crystals and iridescent crystals. Fluorite from the locality was considered "classic" and cited in several mineralogy textbooks, including a Textbook of Mineralogy (Dana and Ford, 1932, p. 464) and The System of Mineralogy (Palache et al., 1951, p. 35). The only quarry that was recorded to produce fluorite from Tiffin was the "Big Four Quarry" (Carlson, 1990, p. 532-533, Vasichko, 2018, p. 123), but it was probably found in many of the other older quarries as well. Fluorite from Tiffin was noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 107, Carlson, 2015, p. 187).

Fluorite from this locality was associated with both calcite and celestine, and was found both as clusters and individual crystals. Some of the fluorite crystals were up to 4 cm in length. The fluorite crystals always showed a cubic habit (common among Ohio fluorites) and some were growth zoned. The thick cores of the specimens show a brown color, its color owing to microscopic hydrocarbons, and usually graded into a thin light brown rim. Carlson (1990, p. 533) also pointed out that some of the fluorite crystals also had a brown core that had colorless overgrowths with very sharp boundaries between the two. Like many of the other brown fluorites from Ohio (Clay Center and Genoa in particular) they react under a long-wave ultraviolet light showing a bright blue-white color and are also phosphorescent. William H. Hobbs received several fluorite crystals from Professor Martin Kleckner as a donation to the University of Wisconsin (1905, p. 182). He described the specimens as:

The crystals of fluorspar are associated with the calcite and the celestite in the cavities. They are cubes and cubo-octahedrons made up of well-rounded sub-individuals, and sometimes attain to a size of two or more centimeters along the cubic edge. Some crystals are nearly colorless and quite clear; others have areas colored yellow, but the majority have a rich brown color between that of smoky quartz and of the well known brown siderites from Roxbury, Connecticut.


Iridescence on specimens has also been observed from fluorites from Tiffin. Joseph Vasichko commented that the iridescence on these specimens was a dull purple color to a blue color. Additionally, several of the fluorite specimens from Tiffin also show a stepped growth and some specimens exhibited a simple cubic habit without any other face modifications (Vasichko, 2018, p.123). An iridescent fluorite specimen from the "Big Four Quarry" (Weott Lime & Stone Co. Quarry) was selected to be the front cover of the first edition of Ernest Carlson's, Minerals of Ohio (1991).

An iridescent fluorite found in one of the old quarries in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio, 1.5 cm in length. It is unknown which quarry this specific specimen came from but it was formerly in the Charles Jones collection, Heidelberg University, Tiffin, Ohio. The specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #3807.





Galena: PbS

Galena from Tiffin was also encountered in the vugs of the Lockport Dolomite. Only two quarries in Tiffin were observed that contained crystals of Galena: the John Thom Marbleworks Quarry (Quarry No. 1) and the "Big Four Quarry" outside of the city's corporation limits (Winchell, 1873, p. 616-617, Carlson, 1990, p. 533). Galena from Tiffin was noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 108, Carlson, 2015, p. 261).

According Ernest Carlson (1990, p. 533), galena crystals from this locality rarely exceeded .2 cm in length and was found with minor calcite and dolomite. All galena crystals from the locality exhibited a cubic habit.




Sphalerite: ZnS

Like fluorite, sphalerite crystals from Tiffin were noted to be "classic" examples of the mineral from the state of Ohio and the United States. Sphalerite from the locality was mentioned in the first volume of The System of Mineralogy (Palache et al., 1944, p. 213), and a photograph of a sphalerite from Tiffin was published in the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals (Chesterman, 1978, p. 813). Sphalerite from Tiffin was noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 140, Carlson, 2015, p. 261)

Sphalerites from Tiffin typically exhibit a brown color, brownish-red color or even a strong red color under different light sources, with a bright resinous luster. Sphalerite crystals show a curved tetrahedral habit and varied from .4 cm to 2.5 cm (Carlson, 1990, p. 533). William Hobbs (1905, p. 182) received several sphalerite crystals from Professor Martin Kleckner for the University of Wisconsin wrote:

A mineral much less common in the geodes is sphalerite, which appears in distinct crystals a centimeter or more in diameter. The color is that of a light "rosin jack" and would match the color of the well known sphalerites from Joplin, Missouri. Like the latter, also, the combination found upon the Tiffin sphalerite is that of the dodecahedron with the common trapezohedron (311).


A suite of sphalerite crystals from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, each crystal approximately 1.5 cm in length. These specimens were from the collection of William Vaux and part of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. These crystals are now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #2835.
A brownish-red crystal of sphalerite from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, approximately 1.5 cm in length. This specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #3864.
A suite of sphalerite crystals from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, each crystal approximately 1.5 cm in length. These specimens were from the collection of William Vaux and part of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. These crystals are now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #2835.
A brownish-red crystal of sphalerite from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, approximately 1.5 cm in length. This specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #3864.
A suite of sphalerite crystals from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, each crystal approximately 1.5 cm in length. These specimens were from the collection of William Vaux and part of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. These crystals are now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #2835.
A brownish-red crystal of sphalerite from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio, approximately 1.5 cm in length. This specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano, #3864.


A cluster of sphalerite crystals from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio. This cluster is approximately 3 cm and was in the former collection of Ernest Carlson. The specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano,
#3794.
A singular crystal of sphalerite, approximately 1.1 cm. This specimen was formerly in the collection of Professor Benedict P. Bagrowski (1914-2003) of the University of Kansas. This specimen is now in the collection of Jamison Brizendine, #1300.
A cluster of sphalerite crystals from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio. This cluster is approximately 3 cm and was in the former collection of Ernest Carlson. The specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano,
#3794.
A singular crystal of sphalerite, approximately 1.1 cm. This specimen was formerly in the collection of Professor Benedict P. Bagrowski (1914-2003) of the University of Kansas. This specimen is now in the collection of Jamison Brizendine, #1300.
A cluster of sphalerite crystals from Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio. This cluster is approximately 3 cm and was in the former collection of Ernest Carlson. The specimen is now in the collection of Chris Stefano,
#3794.
A singular crystal of sphalerite, approximately 1.1 cm. This specimen was formerly in the collection of Professor Benedict P. Bagrowski (1914-2003) of the University of Kansas. This specimen is now in the collection of Jamison Brizendine, #1300.





Strontianite: SrCO3

Strontianite from Tiffin is of interest to local mineral collectors and micromounters only. Ernest Carlson noted (1990, p. 533) that strontianite crystals were extremely small, white balls that would occasionally be found on calcite. A few of these specimens were in the Charles Jones collection at Heidelberg University. Strontianite from Tiffin was also noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 141, Carlson, 2015, p. 265).




Sulphur: S8

Sulphur (also known as sulfur) was occasionally found in the vugs in Tiffin. All the specimens in the Charles Jones's collection were composed of granular masses (Carlson, 1990, p. 533). Sulphur from Tiffin was also noted in both the first and second editions of Minerals of Ohio (Carlson, 1991, p. 142, Carlson, 2015, p. 268).




Acknowledgments:

This article is dedicated to Dr. Ernest Carlson (1933-2010), for without his initial research, I would have had a much tougher time accumulating sources to create this article and more importantly this endeavor would have never been undertaken! I also wanted to thank R. Peter Richards, who gave me the information about the twinned sphalerites from the locality and for proofreading the article. I would also like to thank Chris Stefano for allowing me access to his pictures on Mindat for the article. Finally, I would like to thank John and Joseph Vasichko and Tom and Pam Kottyan who have sold me multiple specimens from Ohio over the years.

References Cited:

Anonymous (1859) 1859-1860 Tiffin city directory. C.S. Williams Publishing, Tiffin, Ohio: 56, 61.

Anonymous (1873) 1873-1874 Tiffin city directory. Hellrigle and Talcott Company, Tiffin, Ohio: 36, 73.

Winchell, N.H. (1873) Reports on the geology of Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot and Marion Counties. Ohio Division of Geological Survey: 1(1): 616-618.

Anonymous (1874) 1874-1875 Tiffin, Fremont and Fostoria directory. Hellrigle and Talcott Company, Tiffin, Ohio: 58, 70.

Stewart, D.J. (1874) History combination atlas map of Seneca County. D.J. Stewart, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Unigraphic, Inc., Evansville, Indiana : 52.

Waegon, O.F. and Cooke, E.C. (1874) Map of Tiffin, Seneca Co., Ohio. http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/20680/Tiffin/Seneca+County+1874/Ohio/

Anonymous (1878) 1878-1879 Tiffin city directory. Locke & Brothers Co., Tiffin, Ohio: 59, 62, 73, 81.

Lang, W. (1880) History of Seneca County, from the close of the Revolutionary War to July, 1880. Transcript Print Co., Springfield, Ohio: 229.

Anonymous (1881) 1881-1882 Tiffin city and Seneca County directory. George U. Harn and Co., Tiffin, Ohio: 77-78, 148-149.

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Costello, J.K. (1922) From quarry to finished product with one crusher only. Rock Products: 25: 11-12.

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Comments

Great historical information............need more articles bringing the past to the present.
Good reading.

F.G.Festa

Frank Festa
7th Mar 2018 1:58am

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