Michigan Antique Machinery Collector's Series       v.1   art.2
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Richard operating a ca.1877? Sloan and Chase spur, face and bevel gear cutting machine.

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  Richard Spens has been purchasing and rebuilding antique machine tools for nearly a decade. He is drawn to the ornate architecture and fascinated by the open design that allows you to see a machine as it operates. Of course, this interest is nothing new. "Working with machines has been a lifelong thing with me," said Spens, now a design engineer. "I started building steam engines when I was 10 years old." What he's working on now, however, is bigger than any steam engine or machine tool. In the Township of Cohoctah Michigan, Spens is working on converting an old dairy barn into an accurate recreation of a turn-of-the-century, belt-driven gear shop. It's an outgrowth of his interest in antique machine tools and, he feels, a way to stem the tide that is costing America so many manufacturing and skilled trade jobs. "I see America losing its industrial base and hands-on skill, said Spens. "I think it's important to keep up the interest in the young people." He is hoping that his antique gear shop will be able to do just that by introducing children to machine tools that they can see into, watch in operation, and even operate themselves. Ideally, they could create something that they could take away as a souvenir. It was an idea Spens got while visiting the Henry Ford Museum's machine shop exhibit. "People were lined up to take a turn making a little candlestick at a turret-lathe they had set up. A machinist-an old timer-would take them through the procedure, and they came away with the candlestick they made themselves. I thought it was great." The skills of that "old timer" are another thing Spens sees falling away from Americans today. "It used to be that the people operating these machine tools had to be artists," he said. "Things were made by skilled hands. Then the technology improved and the art was taken out of making . Blacksmith and Machine Shop a.k.a. Ye Old Blacksmith and Machine Shop see the site http://Blacksmithandmachineshop.com. 

We buy and restore Metalworking Machine Shop and Wood shop Machines to demonstrate, build and re-Learn how the progression of tools and machine tool development has built the easier life we have today.
(We hope you enjoy your visit to our shop. This web site was created to give you some insight into American machine tool history. Let us help yopu turn your Ideas into Reality using our reproductions, parts and help you fix it services.)
Also see http://www.antiquemachinery.com


LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy MI
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
       LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy. LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy. LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy. LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy. LED Lightube I Built and sold into a store in Troy.

Aggregate Piles on the Upper Level (Photograph 1985 Douglas Core)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
       The two dolostone formations seen at the Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry are the Greenfield and Lockport dolomitic limestones.  The overlying Greenfield Dolomite, approximately the upper 60 feet of the quarry, is part of the Salina group and is of upper Silurian age.  In general, the Greenfield is exposed throughout the Western half of Ohio, and is suitable for aggregate and building stone.  It bears its name from the town of Greenfield in Highland County, Ohio, very near to the Martin Marietta Aggregates Blue Rock quarry, known for its world class Sphalerite specimens. The underlying Lockport Dolomite, exposed to the floor of the quarry, is of middle Silurian age.  This light gray fossiliferous dolostone, exposed in much of  Northwestern Ohio, is more thickly bedded than the Greenfield and is perfect for aggregate and rip rap.  The Lockport Dolomite received its name from the small town of Lockport, New York, Northeast of Buffalo, where the stone was at one time quarried and transported by way of the Erie canal to Buffalo for building stone, rip rap and other aggregate needs. 

        Lime City is near what is considered to be the center of the Findlay Arch Mineral District in Northwestern Ohio.   This district is generally determined by the presence of brown Fluorite and covers 18 counties in Ohio, as well as parts of Indiana, Michigan and Ontario, Canada.  Although determined by Fluorite, quarries in this district have also been known for yielding fine Calcite, Celestine, Sphalerite and Barite specimens.  The Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry is known to produce the following mineral species: Anhydrite, Aragonite, Barite, Calcite, Celestine, Dolomite, Fluorite, Galena, Gypsum, Marcasite, Pyrite, Sphalerite, Strontianite and Sulfur.  While this mineral assemblage may appear limited in comparison to Mississippi type deposits, for Ohio this represents an enormity of diversity.  Mineralization in the quarry typically occurs in crevices, fossil cavities, veins parallel to the bedding plane, limestone concretions and small caves in both the Greenfield and Lockport dolostones.  Minerals have been reported from near the surface to the floor of the quarry.  However, the heaviest mineralization is typically in zones near the contact of the Lockport and Greenfield, in and around large cavernous pockets or caves. 

Fluorite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 4.6 cm x 3.8 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Celestine SrSO4
        Celestine, a sulfate similar to Barite in chemical composition, develops orthorhombic prismatic crystals which are generally identifiable by a definite hexagonal shape.    For many years, the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry has been known for it's beautiful Celestine specimens.  However, the quarry is best known to local collectors for the variety of Celestine habits which have been 
observed over the years.   Most quarries in the state of Ohio are fortunate to yield Celestine in one or two, perhaps but not always,  55555555555555555555555555555555555555555555
unique habits.  Lime City has produced tabular, bladed, columnar, blocky, multiply terminated, and zoned crystals in various shades of blue gray to white within this basic crystal form, and in association with multiple different minerals.   Most of these habits of Celestine are fluorescent bright creamy white to pale green under both long and short wave ultraviolet light.  Many of these varieties are locality unique, and unfortunately some are no longer being produced.  As quarrying operations progressed, new zones of Celestine were regularly discovered as older zones dissipated.  Typically each new zone is marked by a different habit of Celestine, although some forms of Celestine have routinely been observed throughout the pit.  Simple, grayish blue, slightly transparent, Celestine crystals, as pictured to the right, are easily collected throughout the quarry.  However, the more sought after Celestine specimen from Lime City is generally more aesthetic and locality unique.  In general, Lime City Celestine form Orthorhombic prisms in combination with front and basal pinacoids.   The resulting crystal, similar to the hexagonal system, has 8 faces; 3 pairs of rectangular parallel faces and two hexagonal terminal faces.  The figure below illustrates this form.  Notice the natural orthorhombic prism faces(A) in combination with the front(F) pinacoid form 3 pairs of parallel faces and a hexagonal basal(B) pinacoid similar to crystals in the hexagonal system.   The image to the right 
displays the hexagonal appearance of the orthorhombic prism shape, commonly displayed by Lime City Celestine crystals.   This particular habit of Celestine has also been observed in other localities, nevertheless it is important to note this as the most common habit found at Lime City.    The frosted appearance, formed by internal fractures, is common in most habits of Celestine from this locality.  Although, there are simply too many habits of Celestine found at Lime City to discuss each, this article will touch on some of the more interesting finds.

(Above) Celestine on Calcite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystal is 1.7 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

(left) Fig 1. Orthorhombic prism in combination with Front(F)
pinacoid and Basal(B)  pinacoid. 


"Old Time Blue" Celestine (specimen John D. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 5.0 cm x 3.2 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
Original "Old Time Blue" Tabular Celestine
         Mineral collectors in the late-1950's and 1960's were typically afforded beautiful blue tabular crystals.   These specimens are now considered "old time blue" Lime City Celestine.  Most of these crystals came out of the Southwest corner of the quarry near the current entrance.   They were known to form in large pockets averaging 8 inches in diameter, but occasionally measuring as much as 6 feet.   These deep grayish blue crystals would grow to 4 inches in length, rarely complete at that size, and were often doubly terminated and usually zoned.  Classically, the centers of these crystals were deep blue with gray terminations and dusty white corners.  However, zoning in these "old time blue" Celestine crystals did sporadically occur in different ways.   Although most of these specimens did not occur with other minerals, many fine specimens were retrieved with a frosting of clear scalenohedral Calcite.   Before the discovery of several larger caves in the quarry, these tabular blue crystals were considered the type Celestine specimen from Lime City.   Given the age and rarity of these specimens on today's market and the improbability that similar specimens will ever be recovered from this locality, this habit of Celestine is of great value to the knowledgeable collector. 

"Marshmallow" Celestine (specimen John D. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 7.8 cm x 6.6 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
Celestine Caves
         Many outstanding large Celestine groups have been housed in famous museum collections around the world including: The Smithsonian Institution, The AE Seaman Mineral Museum, The Carnegie Mellon Hillman Hall, and The Ecole des Mines in Paris.  Most of these pieces came from one of several large cavernous pockets known to local collectors as caves.  These caves, which were often large enough for an adult to stand inside, would form in the center of large algal molds up to 30 feet in width and 15 feet in height.  In the late-1960's and 1970's and early 1980's, these caves were routinely discovered rewarding collectors with many outstanding specimens.   The typical Celestine crystal found in these caves was a white columnar cloudy crystal with a grayish center, often referred to as a marshmallow Celestine.  These columnar crystals were known to grow to as much as 3 inches in length.   The specimen to the left is an example of this Celestine habit.   Notice the distinct cloudy white columnar form known to be unique to this locality.   Some caves had similar Celestine crystals covered with small scalenohedral tan Calcite.  Although the Celestine crystals were typically the same, the tiny Calcite crystals gave these pieces an overall sandy appearance.
Multiply Terminated Celestine
  In the early 1990's, a blast in the Southeastern corner of the pit yielded some unusual complex multiply terminated Celestine specimens on tan scalenohedral Calcite.  This habit of cream white Celestine, identifiable by a number of 4 sided, prismatic terminations on each crystal which form perfect pointed cusps or flattened apexes, has only been encountered at Lime City.   Multiple terminations have been observed on one or both basal pinacoids in these crystals. Crystals 

 "similar length Paintbrush Tip" Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystal is 1.6 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
from this part of the quarry may form hundreds of similar length terminations or an indeterminate amount of larger dissimilar length terminations.  The photo to the right portrays the latter.  Crystals showing this type of multiple termination appear "jagged" like a splintery piece of wood.   The affect of similar length multiple terminations, pictured to the left, can be related to bristles on a "dry" paintbrush.  Although the usually clear hexagonal shape of Celestine is distorted by the presence of multiple terminations in both of these forms, the distortion is much more severe in the jagged tip crystal.  Notice in both crystals two distinct forms of termination are present, pointed 
cusps and flattened apexes.   The figure to the right shows three crystals illustrating different termination forms commonly found in this part of the quarry: (A) simple single termination (basal pinacoid) (B) complex multiple termination of similar length (paintbrush tip crystal) (C) complex multiple termination of varying length.(jagged tip crystal).  In general, "paintbrush tip" Celestine crystals grow as solid coatings over the Calcite while "jagged tip" and "basal pinacoid" Celestine grow as individual crystals sprinkled on scalenohedral tan Calcite. 

"irregular length Jagged Tip" Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(largest crystal is 2.4 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

(A) Basal Pinacoid  (B) Paintbrush Tip Crystal (C) Jagged
Tip Crystal

"Blocky" Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W.  Vasichko)
(specimen measures 4.4 cm x 2.6)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
Blocky Celestine
        When the quarry was deepened in 1995, an interesting zone of grayish blue blocky Celestine crystals was encountered.  This zone of crystals was centered around one small pocket approximately 3 feet across and a few surrounding vugs.  These milky crystals often grew as compound step growth crystals up to 3 inches in length.  The photo to the left exhibits one of the larger crystals from this unusual find.  In this way, these crystals appear to have grown in several stages.   However, the most interesting feature of these crystals is the atypical, almost diamond like shape, outline 
created by the crystals orthorhombic prism faces and the near absence of a front pinacoid.  This shape, which is fairly common at the Custar Stone quarry(formerly Pugh), is rarely seen at Lime City.  The photo to the right displays the diamond like shape basal pinacoid of one of these unusual Celestine crystals.  Upon careful inspection, this crystal has a very slight front pinacoid.  Although usually with a larger front pinacoid face, similar, and often darker blue, blocky crystals have been found in other parts of the quarry. However, these crystals represent the deepest find of Celestine in Lime City.  Unfortunately, this zone was very small and only a very few specimens were recovered.  Stoneco Inc. ceased to continue blasting in this lowest level, so no further finds of this kind have yet been made. 
"Blocky" Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W.  Vasichko)
(specimen measures 3.8 cm x 1.8 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
Bladed Celestine
  In the latter half of the 1990's, Stoneco Inc. began operating a new upper level in the North end of the quarry.  This new upper level, approximately 30 feet from the surface, was much more shallow than the original upper level.  Shortly after the creation of this new level, quarrying operations hit an unusual zone of small dense limestone concretions heavily mineralized with Calcite, Celestine, Sphalerite and Strontianite.  As the quarry pushed further North in this zone, these concretions increased in size, were often hollow and filled with beautiful blue bladed Celestine

Calcite and Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 6.6 cm x 4.2 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
and Calcite, typically with a coating of Strontianite due to the proximity of these concretions to the surface.  The photo to the right showcases one of the more outstanding Celestine crystals in combination with Calcite, collected in 1997.  A small amount of Strontianite gives the piece its name, Snow on the Mountains.    To the left, a fine example of more typical Lime City, Celestine in combination with Calcite found in one of the smaller concretions.  This particular piece was a quite unusual find for this upper level as there was no Strontianite in the concretion.   In the summer of 1998, 
large bladed blue Celestine crystals up to 3 inches in length were found in this heavily mineralized zone, though the largest crystals were much too brittle to preserve.   Shortly after this find, Stoneco Inc. reevaluated its policies on visitors, which no longer allow mineral collectors to enter the quarry.  Unfortunately, this meant an end to collecting in what could possibly be called the best Celestine zone in nearly two decades at Lime City.  Of all the major Celestine zones encountered at this locality, this last zone produced the largest number of different habits, including tabular, bladed and simple orthorhombic prisms.  However, the more aesthetic pieces collected in this zone were the bladed blue crystals.   On a final trip to the locality in August of 1998, Celestine blades completely coated in a layer of dirty white fibrous Strontianite crystals were recovered.  Many of these blades were in combination with golden tan, flower like, Multiple growth Calcite crystals.   The specimen to the bottom right, collected on August 1, 1998, is an example of these Strontianite coated Celestine crystals with Calcite and also of the last specimens to be preserved from Lime City. 

"Snow on the Mountains" Strontianite on Calcite and Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen is 5.7 cm x 5.4 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Strontianite on Calcite and Celestine 
(specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 7.3 cm x 5.1 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Fluorite  CaF2
  Perhaps the most highly coveted and sought after mineral from Lime City is the classic amber brown Fluorite.   Although, good Fluorite specimens from any Ohio locality command high prices, in general, complete Lime City Fluorite crystals of any size are typically more valuable.  The logical reason being, dark brown Fluorite crystals occasionally occur in most quarries throughout the Findlay Arch District.  However, these more amber colored crystals are fairly uncommon and knowledgeable collectors seek out the more unusual colors for Ohio Fluorite.   Also contributing to overall aesthetics and value, Lime City Fluorite crystals generally form single crystals or small groups instead of linings of pockets, common in other Ohio localities.    At the Lime City quarry, Fluorite crystals have been recovered, most prevalently, in zones approximately 60 feet from the surface.  In addition, the habit of Lime City Fluorite crystals throughout the quarry is consistent, with very few exceptions.  Surprisingly, in this heavily mineralized quarry, combinations of Fluorite with other minerals have seldom been observed, aside from tiny clear scalenohedral Calcites which are commonly found on or with these Fluorite crystals.  Generally, all shades of brown Fluorite in Ohio are fluorescent cream under long and short wave radiation, although masses of the mineral tend to fluoresce brighter than crystals.  The photo to the right is an example of the classic Lime City Fluorite crystal.

Fluorite Crystal (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystal is 2.8 cm on edge)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Fluorite Crystal (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 3.2 cm x 1.3 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Fluorite Crystals (specimen John D. Vasichko)
(crystals are .7 cm on edge)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
Fluorite Growth
     In general, any complete and undamaged Lime City Fluorite crystal has appreciable value.   However, the classic Fluorite crystal from this locality is an amber brown, sharp cube.   Although most Fluorite crystals from the Lime City quarry are translucent, very few are completely clear.   Internal fractures, usually in the center of the crystal which extend to the center of each crystal face, cause the crystals to seem cloudy or slightly frosted.  However, the corners and edges are more commonly clear and gem-like.   As is typical for brown Fluorite crystals from Ohio, larger Lime City Fluorites are deeper in color.  The brown color of Ohio Fluorite is believed to be caused by varying amounts of impurities.   Typically, these impurities include microscopic bits of liquid, such as petroleum, and solid hydrocarbons.    At this locality, most Fluorite crystals under 1/8 inch are relatively free of impurities and are therefore nearly colorless.  As the crystals grow to about 1/4 inch, a pale yellow color, similar to the color of Fluorite crystals from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is present.   At approximately 1/2 inch the crystals are generally a beautiful golden color.  The 7/16 inch Fluorite crystal to the left is an example of this golden color.   Another smaller crystal at the bottom of this piece is only pale yellow.    Crystals between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch are typically dark amber gold.   Only those crystals over approximately 3/4 
inch are in endowed with the classic amber or beer bottle brown color.  Fluorite crystals have been known to grow to over 2 inches at this locality, but usually are no darker in color than 1 inch crystals.  Crystals of this size are typically more clouded, due to many internal fractures.  The image to the right is a fine example of a larger Fluorite crystal from Lime City.  Notice the classic color and the number of internal fractures visible on the main face of the crystal, giving the crystal a somewhat frosted appearance.   To the
Fluorite Crystals (specimen John D. Vasichko)
(crystal is 3.7 cm on edge)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
left is one of the very rare different habits of Fluorite found at Lime City.  These dark, chocolate brown, blurred phantom crystals were found in a higher zone in the Northern end of the quarry.   Aside from the Stoneco Inc. Auglaize quarry in Paulding County Ohio, phantom centers our somewhat uncommon in Ohio Fluorite.   These particular crystals break all the rules for Lime City Fluorites.  For instance, the deep color of these smaller Fluorites is darker than many of the large crystals found at the locality.  Also, there is a greater degree of step growth present, which give the edges of the crystals a little less definition than regular Lime City Fluorites.   Finally, the contrasting blurred phantoms mark these crystals as completely different from most Fluorites found at Lime City. 

Calcite  CaCO3
     One of the least respected but most easily obtained minerals from the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry, is Calcite.   Although, not as diverse as the Celestine from this quarry, this mineral has been found in a number of different habits and in combination with many other minerals throughout the pit.  Typically forming stretched rhombohedrons or scalenohedral crystals, Lime City has produced some truly outstanding display pieces of this simple mineral.   A majority of pockets, especially in the lower level, 

Calcite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystals are .7 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
are coated with tiny Calcite crystals.  Also, many of the later deeper caves on the lower level were coated in small scalenohedral calcites up to 3/4 inch, occasionally with small Celestine.   Being generally gray to tan, most smaller Calcite crystals found in the quarry, are not interesting or appealing to the average collector.   An example of typical Calcite found through out the lower level of the quarry is pictured
to the left.   Many larger Calcites from the lower level and most Calcites retrieved on the upper level are deeper in color and generally more aesthetic.   Above right is a common example of the best Calcites typically found in the deeper caves.  The crystals on this piece are bigger, however it lacks the color found in Calcite from the upper level.   The calcite in the photo to the lower right was collected from the upper part of the quarry.  This particular habit of orangish red Calcite, from a very small zone very near the surface of the quarry with abundant Strontianite, is different from most Calcite in the upper level of the quarry which is typically clear, gold, yellow or brown.   It does, however, illustrate the point that Calcite from the upper level is generally more colorful and aesthetic.  In general, Calcite from this locality is fluorescent dull to bright greenish white under long and short wave ultraviolet light.   The most unusual feature of these orangish red crystals was a deep red fluorescence under shortwave, rarely seen in Ohio and indicating these to be slightly rich in Manganese. 

Calcite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 4.6 cm x 4.3)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Strontianite on Calcite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystal is 1.3 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

"Flower" Calcite (specimen John D. Vasichko)
(crystal is 2.9 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
Multiple Growth Flower Calcite
     Of the all the Calcite specimens that the Lime City quarry has been known to produce, the most appealing to collectors is one particular habit of multiple growth crystals.  These multiple growths, are an assemblage of smaller crystals which create the whole.   The basic scalenohedral crystal form of these crystals is barely recognizable due to the multiple growths
which conceal many of the crystal faces.  Clear, tan, yellow and gold Calcite crystals in this complex habit have been reported from Lime City.   This habit of Calcite has often been called flower Calcite owing to the overall appearance of the multiple growths which largely resemble a rhododendron bud about to bloom combined with the deeper golden tan color generally associated with these crystals.   In general, these crystals have been limited to higher zones in the quarry.
"Flower" Calcite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystal is 2.7 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Strontianite  SrCO3
      Strontianite is regularly encountered with Celestine in the upper level of the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry.   In general, Strontianite forms snow white, gray, tan or lemon yellow bundles or bursts of radiating accicular crystals as an alteration on Celestine near the surface of the quarry.   Occasionally, Strontianite has been observed as radiating bursts or balls independent of Celestine.   However, it is probable that

Strontianite  (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystals are .2 cm on edge)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
the Strontianite formed in a solution rich in Strontium from dissolved Celestine.   At this locality, Strontianite forms simple orthorhombic prisms, generally with curved tips.  These curved tips are typically only visible under extreme magnification.
Strontianite is perhaps the brightest fluorescent mineral from this locality, although the fluorescent color is similar to most other minerals from Lime City.

Strontianite on Calcite on Celestine and Sphalerite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
This piece was one of the more outstanding combinations found in a small concretion on the upper level of the quarry
(specimen measures 6.7 cm x 5.5 cm)

Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Pyrite/Marcasite FeS, Sphalerite ZnS, Galena PbS 
       While the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry has been known best for high quality Celestine, Fluorite and Calcite specimens, some of the best pieces from the locality are the rarely seen sulfide minerals.   The most common of these are Pyrite and Marcasite, which can be readily found throughout much of the lower level.  In general, Pyrite is found as micro- crystals which form crusts on the dolostone.   Although occasionally larger crystals have been reported, the average Pyrite crystal from Lime City is no larger than .4 millimeters.   Marcasite is

Botryoidal Marcasite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 5.6 cm x 3.8 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry
found as small blades or more rarely as botryoidal crusts.  These botryoidal crusts, usually over clear Calcite, make very attractive specimens as seen to the left.   The most collected and attractive sulfide from Lime City is Sphalerite.   Sphalerite from this locality forms beautiful multiple growth deep wine red to black crystal clusters and single crystals in both the upper and lower levels of the quarry.   The photo to the upper right is an example of multiple growth wine red Sphalerite from this locality.
Sharp single crystals of Sphalerite have been observed up to 3/4 inch, while clusters and groups of multiple growth Sphalerite may reach upwards of 6 inches.  The most difficult to collect and seldom seen sulfide mineral at Lime City is Galena.  Very few specimens of lead sulfide have been preserved from this locality.  Typically, Galena is found as thin, yet cleavable, vein fillings or small masses impregnating the host dolostone.   Rarely, Galena has been found as cubic and cubo-octahedral crystals up to 1 inch on edge.   Many of the largest crystals of Galena from this locality have been found on or with Sphalerite. The photo to the lower right shows a rare Galena crystal on Sphalerite.  Notice on this specimen the presence of slight octahedral modifications of the cube, a very typical habit of Lime City Galena crystals. 

Sphalerite (specimen John D. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 5.5 cm x 3.7 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Galena on Sphalerite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystal is .4 cm on edge)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Sulfur  S
  The only known crystal forming element at the Lime City quarry is Sulfur.   In general, Sulfur has been reported from this locality as bright lemon colored crusts and masses on or with Celestine and Calcite.  Although generally not found as commonly as at other quarries in the Findlay Arch mineral district, Lime City has, at times, produced specimen quality crystals up to 2 inches.   Sulfur crystals from the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry may be sharp, skeletal or more typically crude and vary in color from dull yellowish tan to bright lemon yellow.   Often, the dipyrimidal orthorhombic form of Sulfur is extremely difficult to identify at this locality.   Due to the extremely brittle nature of Sulfur and the density of the host dolomitic limestone, very few complete crystal specimens of this mineral have been preserved.   The photo to the right displays a Sulfur crystal from this locality.  Notice the presence of blue Celestine, a common associate of Sulfur at Lime City.   Although the color is more typical of Sulfur crystals from the Stoneco Inc. Maybee quarry in Monroe County, Michigan, the orthorhombic dipyrimidal form is barely recognizable.

Sulfur with Celestine  (specimen Jay Loch)
(crystal is 2.4 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

Other Mineral Occurrences
  The Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry has also produced examples of Aragonite, Barite, Dolomite and Gypsum/Anhydrite, though rarely as good specimens.  Aragonite has been observed as yellow tiny fibrous colloform radiating aggregates.  These crystals have often been confused with Strontianite.  In fact, some specimens of Strontianite are truly part Strontianite and part Aragonite.   Another commonly misidentified mineral at the Lime City quarry is Barite.  Although rarely seen as tiny crystals, Barite from Lime City is usually found as thin brownish yellow layered coatings on or with Calcite.   Many reported Barite specimens are truthfully misidentified Celestine crystals.  Although not often seen as crystals, the most abundant mineral at Lime City is Dolomite.   The aggregate being mined is really a dolomitic limestone which is comprised of microscopic Dolomite crystals.  These crystals can be seen lining most unmineralized pockets.  The average crystal size of these dolomite crystals is approximately .2 millimeter.  The photo to the right displays these tiny Dolomite crystals.   One other mineral occasionally seen at Lime city is Anhydrite/Gypsum.  This mineral is seen as small greenish gray to pink pods, usually between 1-5 inches in diameter.  Typically, these are pods of Anhydrite.   However shortly after being quarried they alter to Gypsum.   Although pseudomorphs of Celestine, Strontianite and Dolomite after dissolved Anhydrite crystals are occasionally reported, tangible crystals of Gypsum and Anhydrite are rarely seen.

Dolomite   (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(crystals are app. .3 mm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

   The diversity of unique mineral habits at Lime City is the single most reasonable explanation for this locality's fame among mineral collectors.  Virtually no other locality around the state has this number of minerals in such a variety of habits.  Due to this seemingly endless variety, this article could in no way hope to cover every possible mineral occurrence at Lime City over the past 50 years.  There are, undoubtedly, some gaps in this mineral record.  It is, however, the hope of this collector that the information provided will help others identify and evaluate the most common mineral habits observed at the Lime City quarry.    Also, this article is presented to help collectors understand and more greatly appreciate the history of minerals from this locality. 

A few thoughts. . . .
      At one time, this favorite locality was regularly open to responsible collectors on most Saturday mornings.  Unfortunately, several factors have forced Stoneco Inc. quarries to deny access to mineral collectors.   Irresponsible collecting habits by a few inconsiderate collectors and ever stiffening mining regulations due to miner and visitor accidents in other quarries have contributed to the loss of this and many other outstanding collecting localities around the state.  The truly unfortunate fact is that specimens from this classic locality are no longer being preserved for any collection.  Lime City produced many wonderful specimens and has the potential for producing as many more, but sadly that has come to an end.   At this time, this collector would like to say thank you to all the people at the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry who made mineral collecting possible.   Many at the quarry, understood that preserving these minerals was and still is extremely important to mineralogists and mineral enthusiasts both locally and worldwide.   Without the generosity of others, mineral collecting at any locality would never be possible. 

Celestine on Sphalerite (specimen Joseph W. Vasichko)
(specimen measures 3.6 cm x 2.7 cm)
Stoneco Inc. Lime City Quarry

     This article in no way grants the reader permission to collect in the Stoneco Inc. Lime City quarry.  Permission must be obtained before entering any active mining area or collecting on any posted private property.
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