The CVMC had the pleasure of the very first trip to a new location on Sunday. The Bobcat Garnet location in Chester MA welcomed us for our first trip there for Almandine Garnets. This site was originally an old Limonite prospect that produced more and better garnets in schist than it did Limonite. This site was never formally mined for either mineral and remained undisturbed until it was discovered again by the present land owner.
The land owner’s gracious invitation for the Club to visit and collect garnets was happily accepted and the details were finalized for a June 9th trip. The one condition of our host was that the trip be for kids and any club member that had a physical condition that would normally keep them from attending other trips. The trip was attended by18 members but only the 6 kids and the 4 adult members with disabilities were mining the garnets. The parents and 3 field trip committee members were there to assist.
The property owner Ray worked with us the whole time and assisted us with a battery operated hammer drill and feathers and wedges for splitting off chunks of the garnet rich schist. Ray would drill the holes then every youngster and maybe every member got to try their hand with using the feathers and wedges splitting off their own pieces of schist. When they had succeeded in that they would retreat a short distance and finish extracting the garnet specimens from their piece of the ledge. By the end of the day everybody was so into the mission of finding garnets that the time just flew by. The weather was picture perfect, the site was amazing and the company was wonderful. We had such a good time, found some very nice Massachusetts garnets and our host couldn’t have been more accommodating! We packed up for the day about 1:30 and were gone by 2 and everyone left with garnets and the satisfaction of a day well spent with friends collecting garnets in Chester.
Report by: Andrew Brodeur, Trip leader
Photos by: Andrew Brodeur, Teresa Greenwood and Kevin Berrien