Monday, July 15, 2013

Minerals of the Greenspring Quarry in Baltimore County, Maryland

Since 2006, the 40 acre former Arundel Greenspring Quarry has been the centerpiece of  Quarry Lake at Greenspring, a thriving gated community comprising about 500 condominiums and 100 single family homes served by 335,000 square feet of office,  retail, and restarurant space. The water within fills a hole  from which over the course of more than a century, 350 tons of Cockeysville Marble have been removed. It is the deepest water in Maryland.

Prior to  closing in 1999, the quarry was an occasional destination for field trips by the Baltimore Mineral Society and other groups. It was known as the McMahon Quarry when Charles Ostrander and Walter Price described it in the Natural History Society of Maryland's 1940 publication Minerals of Maryland. They mostly reported species one might expect to find in the Cockeysville Marble.

In later years,  a significant find of pale blue fluorapatite such as shown at left, attracted the attention of  and became prized by  local mineral collectors. Many of them may have been unaware of  material such as  Pennsylvania collectors Joe and Jean Dague uncovered at the quarry during the late 1990's.

While the  Mineral Bliss post of Jan.20, 2012, entitled An Amazing Visit with Pennsylvania's Joe Dague focused on remarkable finds from the Dague's home state, a major purpose of the visit had been to see material they had collected in Maryland.  While there, I  acquired several flats of their Maryland minerals.

Those flats included not only species for which the Greenspring Quarry was known, but plenty more. Somewhere in all that  Cockeysville Marble, the Dagues unearthed some rich pegmatite. The Greenspring Quarry pieces from those flats are pictured below.   We suspect that some of the specimens could WOW not only many in the local mineral collecting community, but perhaps current denizens of Quarry Lake at Greenspring as well.

                                                       BERYL (var.)AQUAMARINE
                                                      GARNET and SCAPOLITE





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