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Behr Garnet Mine, Chelsea, Bethel Township, Delaware Co., Pennsylvania, USA

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Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 39° North , 75° West (est.)
Margin of Error:~6km

Old Garnet mines, 1 mile southwest of Chelsea (abandoned). Host rock is Baltimore Gneiss. Garnet occurs massive and in gabbro at the contact point of serpentinite and gabbro, at approximately the lay of Green Creek bed.

Knowledge of these deposits were recorded as early as 1843, however interest in exploiting them did not come until the mid 1870's. First was Charles Williams, who owned the farm on which the deposits were located. His interest lay merely on the ornamental uses of the larger crystals, but quality crystals of size proved few and far between. The deposits soon attracted the attention of "Mineral John" Smedley, a then famous local prospector/mineralogist. Having no luck garnering the interest of local entrepreneurs, Mr. Smedley eventually peaked the interest of the Herman Behr & Co. of 79 Beekman Street, New York, which set up operations at the site in 1879. The garnets were recovered for use in abrasive papers, grinding wheels and marble polish. These deposits proved to be of a good quality, and plentiful enough to continue operation of the mines until as late as 1912.

The open pit workings of the original Behr Mine are now largely gone. The Conchester Highway (Route 322) was built through the middle of the pit, and though the back wall still exists, no mineralized zones have been observed. The area currently collected is actually the site of the American Glue Company Mine. Only Garnet Mine Road separated this site from the Behr workings, and was operated briefly by Behr after American Glue Co. pulled out. (reference/observations: J. Roger Mitchell, Delaware County Institute of/for Science)

Mineral List

6 valid minerals.

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on 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 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.


Gordon, S. (1922), Minerals of Pennsylvania: 185.

Geyer, A.R., Smith, R.C. & Barnes, J.H. (1976) Mineral Collecting in Pennsylvania.

Roger, Mitchell, J. (2001), The Garnet Mines of Chelsea, Pennsylvania, an Historical Perspective, Matrix: 9: 35-46.

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