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Tidewater feldspar quarry, Haddam Neck, Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 41° 29' 54'' North , 72° 31' 24'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 41.4986111111, -72.5236111111


A quarry in granite pegmatite on the west side of the riverside promontory known as Rock Landing because of the former ferry landing there. The Tidewater Feldspar Co. had a grinding mill here also, where it processed microcline from the adjacent pegmatite, but mostly from the Rock Landing Quarry, located about 4000 feet to the north of the mill. They may have prospected, or purchased, microcline from a few nearby, poorly documented pegmatite prospects such as on the Knudsen property, or the one at the SE tip of a promontory on the river about 1000 feet upstream of the mill.

The company was established in 1917 (Hartford Courant, 1917) and in 1920 "shipped several tons of ground spar to New York by motor trucks on the new state road" (Connecticut River Advertiser, 1920). The cost of labor must have reduced from a high during The Great War, which shut many quarries and mills down. The company had an advertisement in the 1928 Haddam Neck Fair program, and was given brief mention by Rice and Foye (1927): "This dike was once quarried for its feldspar, and a grinding mill was erected by the Tidewater Feldspar Company near the quarry." However, The Great Depression must have hit it hard because the property was put up for auction on Feb. 28, 1931 (Hartford Courant, 1931). It was apparently purchased by Mr. Worth of Middletown, who operated other feldspar quarries in nearby East Hampton. Reportedly new equipment was being installed at the mill by Sterling C. Gillette, who was reopening the nearby Gillette Quarry for feldspar mining, and feldspar was to be sent to Bon Ami Company in South Manchester, Conn. (The East Hampton News, 1932). Aside from some concrete foundation remnants, the mill is long gone and the site is now very overgrown. When it was removed is uncertain. None of its operations are mentioned in Cameron et al's very comprehensive WWII-era "Pegmatite Investigations 1942-45 New England", so it must have been gone before then. Perhaps it was a victim of flooding during the devastating Hurricane of 1938? Because it is not described in the earlier government feldspar mine surveys by Baston (1910) and Watts (1916) either, its existence was relegated to obscurity.

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5 valid minerals.

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References

Baston, Edson S. (1910), Economic Geology of the Feldspar Deposits of the United States. United States Geological Survey Bulletin 420.

Watts, A. S. (1916), Feldspars of New England and North Appalachian States. United States Bureau of Mines Bulletin 92.The Hartford Courant. (1917), New Corporations: June 13, 1917: 5.

Connecticut River Advertiser. (1920), Haddam Neck news: April 23, 1920.

Rice, William North and Wilbur Garland Foye. (1927), Guide to the Geology of the Middletown, Connecticut, and Vicinity. State Geological and Natural History Survey.

Tidewater Feldspar Company. (1928), Advertisement, Haddam Neck Fair program: 27.

The Hartford Courant. (1931), Legal Notices: Tidewater Feldspar Property for Sale: February 1, 1931: B10.

The East Hampton News. (1932), Old Feldspar Mine Reopened in Haddam Neck: December 23, 1932: 1(26): 1.

Cameron, Eugene N.; Larrabee, David M.; McNair, Andrew H.; Page, James T.; Stewart, Glenn W.; and Shainin, Vincent E. (1954), Pegmatite Investigations 1942-45 New England. US Geological Survey Professional Paper 255.


 
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