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Hello everybody!We are heading to the "Blob Fest" in Phoenixvile,PA in early July.Can anybody offer any suggestions on any places to collect in the western end of Pennsylvania?We are mainly into the quartz minerals,but we will consider anything.If the Blob doesn't get us in Phoenixville we are also planning on spending a day collecting "diamonds" in Cape May,NJ.Thanks and KOR,Earl
Joe D.

The managers of the golf course are very generous in allowing collectors but ask that you keep the noise level down to not disturb the golfers and to donate a piece of rock of yours from somewhere that you have collected. I believe it is for the brother of the manager of the course. A small price to pay to gain admittance. I don't believe anyone has been turned down by not giving an offering of a rock though.

Minerals: Grass green Pyromorphite, galena, wulfenite, Cerrusite, quartz crystals.

Description: The Brookdale Mine and the other area mines are famous classic localities for mineral collecting in the northeast. They are known for the lead minerals that it produced. Presently the Pickering Valley Golf Course occupies the site. But the owners have been careful to preserve the site of the mines for collecting.
Because the mines has not operated in many years, dig in the mine dumps, where the unused rock was deposited. You will need digging tools and should dress in old clothes. You can easily collect quartz crystals here, the old timers would throw away any crystal smaller than a coke bottle! But the real prize are the Pyromorphite crystals on quartz. These are grass green and show typical barrel shaped crystals. Other minerals listed below are rarer and much harder to find.

There are two mines on the golf course. The Southwest Chester Mine is north of the green of the thirteenth hole. The Brookdale Mine is downhill from the Pro Shop in the woods. The old smokestack can easily be seen at the site. Because you will be disturbing the golfers, stay together as a group at all times. At all times respect the golfers who are using the course, stay off the grass and keep to the cart paths.
Bring: Hand tools, shovel, garden tool for digging, insect repellent, food and water, sunglasses,

Directions: From Route 23, just east of downtown Phoenixville, turn south on White Horse Road. Bear left at the fork after the small bridge, staying on White Horse Road. Proceed to the Pickering Valley Golf Club. Inquire at the pro shop for the mine locations. Respect the club members and golfers by being quiet and park away from the main area of the club.
Hi Joe!Thanks for not pointing out that Phoenixville is actually in Eastern PA,not in Western PA!I have been so preoccupied for the past few weeks trying to get these $#@&ing digital TV channels to come in that I am having difficulty figuring out which way is up,let alone telling East from West!(This whole digital TV changeover is nothing but a big scam orchestrated by the cable TV/cellphone companies so that they can force everyone to pay to watch TV plus get more frequencies to use for cellphone transmissions!)We were actually planning on visiting the Pickering Valley location last year on the Thursday before the Blob Fest,but by 10AM it was nearly 100 degrees out so we changed our plans.We may try it this year as it seems significantly cooler,so far.We will probably bring them some of our Keokuk geodes if we go there.
I was actually thinking of contacting you about that goethite creek location in Oreland,Joe.Is it still open and can you recommend the best access point/best collecting area there?I also read one of your posts in which you mention goethite geodes.I love geodes!What is a goethite geode like?I assume that they are somewhat round and hollow,but what are their interiors like?Do you have any pictures?Thanks for responding to my messed up request,Joe!
P.S.If anyone out there has any places to recommend in EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA We would be very thankful!
Joe D.

Look under field trip reports here on McRocks, then under Pennsylvania. There are more spots out by Harrisburgh called the Reading Banks that have Goethite Geodes but their insides don't even come close to Sonnybrook/Oreland, Pa. If you visit there go South in the ditch, not North. The owner of the land on the North side gets antsy when people use his land to enter the ditch which runs both North and Sounth. The South direction is always better anyway.

When you pick up a rock of Goethite and it's not very heavy, then it's probably hollow. I haven't been there in over a year but I took my grandaughter there then and we filled a pack with ease. I even found a few geodes. Those Goethite pieces can get pretty heavy in a hurry so I had to carry the pack back to the SUV. She used them in school and had enough to give out as favors to the class.

Joe D.
Hi Joe!It's great that you are promoting your grand daughter's education and enjoying the hobby at the same time!My girlfriend has 2 daughters and we provided them with some of our Arkansas quartz and Illinois & Indiana geodes for "show and tell".We even made necklaces for their teachers with some of our tumbled Cape may,NJ "diamonds".
I just wanted to clarify the information on the goethite as we Yankees up here in Connecticut are a bit slow at times.(Most times,it seems lately,as I am getting older by the minute!)First,you are saying that the specimens from the creek/ditch in Sunnybrook/Oreland are better and that there are some geodes found there as well?As far as keeping to the Southern portion of the ditch so we don't get shot at,what street would we be using for access to the creek/ditch?
We are quite familiar with the weight or specimens as we returned from illinois/Indiana last Fall with at least 800 pounds of geodes in the trunk of the Camry.Being that it's a front wheel drive I was quite surprised that we still had any traction!Sadly,our skills at telling hollows from solids were lacking as around half of our haul were solids.We still have some awesome specimens,though!
Take it easy,
Dave B.
Hi Earl; I love collecting in the Phoenixville area even if it is a two hour haul from my home in New Jersey. Besides the Golf Course, you may want to try the rock dump across the tracks from the Phoenixville Railroad Station. The dump can be accessed from Route 29/Bridge Street and there is a gravel road you can turn into(left hand side) before you head across the river.

In the Tunnel dump can be found material that was removed during expansion of a nearby Railroad Tunnel-which is a sight to behold-constructed in 1836. Although some call the material Ankerite, it most likely an Fe variety of Dolomite over Quartz. Some pleasant digging in the dump will surely net you some. The last time I was there-last month, I found a small specimen of Sphalerite and Galena but I'm told this is very rare.If you go to the Golf Course, the Brookdale Mine is right near the Pro shop and the Quartz crystals are wonderful, especially if they are sprinkled with Pyromorphite. Quartz is very easy to find.

If you feel like soaking up some history, another famous mining district is right down Route 23 in Audubon. Here, Charles Wheatley ran two famous mines-Ecton and Perkimon. The Aududbon estate, where the mines were located, is fun to hike around and there is the remains of a Cornish smokestack and some gated adits and various shafts to be seen. Nothing to collect sadly.

Best of luck and enjoy!
Hi Dave,
For Sunnybrook cr.
I would suggest parking at the ball field off St. Mary's. Otherwise you may find your self driving in circles trying to find somewhere to park. Nobody will shoot you these parts, maybe just some funny looks. It's in the middle of a nice suburban neighborhood. I was just there for a few hours last weekend while visiting my family in Glenside.

The areas just north and south of the parking lot seem to have been picked over quite well as last year I found much more. I would suggest you hike down stream a bit before you settle in for the hunt. We also found specimens of tremolite, one large diopside, and a scalenohedron Calcite crystal. there should be more unless Joe D. put them there , lol!

Geodes are there, just follow joe's tips. Also try shaking the goethite nodule, the hollow ones usually have some loose goethite rattling around on the inside.

If you have time you can go get some kayanite in quartz over at Prostpect Park. Park at the homested and hop in the creek to your right. The kayanite is black to a very bright electric blue, loose and in matrix.

Good luck!!

OOps, message ment for Earl!!
Joe D.

The best access is off Oreland Mill Road, just after Meadow Ln. There is a tiny bridge that you might not notice you cross just after Meadow lane. Park on the Oreland Mill Road and enter the mostly dry crick bed from the bridge abutment concrete. Enter on the South side of the street. The further down the crick you walk the better the collecting is. There is usually very little water in it, maybe a few pools to walk around. I wear waterproof hiking boots and can wade just about all of any standing water without going to the hip boots.

There is a lot of fill rock in this ditch also which is not native to this location. The "Ore" that was responsible for naming the area is on the bottom and sides of this ditch. I don't dig in the sides to get on the wrong side of the owners of the land that borders it. There is enough on the bottom to satisfy anyone.

Joe D.
Thanks to Dave,Joe and Michael!(Oops,I meant Matthew! :>) )I can now map out our plan of attack for the goethite creek mission and maybe we can even squeeze in some kyanite on the side!We also hope to DIG for those pyromorphite encrusted quartz crystals at the golf course!I'm not sure that I would be comfortable breaking open any rocks in Phoenixville itself,though,Dave!Look what happened to that poor old guy who poked the meteorite/geode with the stick in the movie back in 1958.THE BLOB GOT HIM!
Thanks for the "rattling" tip,Mitchell.(Oops,I meant Matthew!:>) )This is how we knew if some of the Keokuk and Indiana creek bed geodes were hollow.
Hi guys!One more question.Assuming that we find any suspected goethite geodes,will a soil pipe cutter work to open them?We have a heavy duty Wheeler Rex unit with a chain that will do up to a little over 8 inch diameter objects.Nothing from Illinois or Indiana defeated it,not even solid chunks of quartz.
Joe D.

The Goethite geodes are a bit thin walled and I believe a pipe cutter would shatter it, rather then cut it. I just open with a hammer.

Joe D.
Hi Joe!So a hammer is the way to open up the goethite geodes,huh?I am used to hammering as I used to be a mechanic.If something would not fit or if it would not come apart it just meant that you needed to use a bigger hammer! :>)
Hi Matthew!I have decided to head for Prospect Park to hunt for some of that kyanite.Can you give me a street address for the "homestead" or even just tell me what street it's on or give me some directions?I was planning on building some sifting boxes over the winter.I was going to use them to sift through glacial till for amethyst at Deer Hill in the White Mountain National Forest in Maine.I finally put them together this week as I think that they might come in handy to rinse and sift through the stream gravel for kyanite.
Joe D.

To get to this location take I 95 to exit 9, Wanamaker Ave/Rt. 420, Lincon Ave NW. The road will split in two, and then come back together again, at which point you should turn left. This road takes you directly to a baseball field. Park in the parking lot, walk into the woods and you are there.

Any Kyanite blades you get in the crick will be black. You have to break open fresh rock to get the "Electic Blue" color Kyanite. Normally if you want these black blades all you have to do is make a little fast water shoot to run between a few rocks and the water will clear out the debris and leave you with these blades to pick up.

Take a look at the huge boulder that sits behind the old log cabin. It has lots of Kyanite and Garnets in it, unless "Dirt Bag Collectors" have chiseled them out by now.

Joe D.
Hi Joe!Thanks again for the info!I really hate to keep asking so many questions,but my eyes are not good due to diabetes.Squinting at maps for hours gives me nasty headaches.
I assume that the stream bed kyanites are black due to oxidation.Are there any known processes to remove this oxidation such as oxalic acid or something similar?
We are bringing along our full arsenal of tools from hand gardening tools through digging tools and our new sifting boxes on up to assorted hammers and chisels.I am even thinking of stealing some of the neighbor's illegal commercial grade fireworks to use as dynamite! :>)
Joe D.

I know of no way to bring back the color of the Kyanite. As far as explosives, you do know that this stream is right next to an apartment complex. At the first sign of big noises you will probably be introduced to the Pa penal system at a closer view then you might enjoy.

Joe D.
Hi Joe!I was just kidding about the fireworks!On the 4th of July we will set off our puny,but still illegal,fireworks and then we will watch the neighbor across the street launch his even more illegal aerial barrage.Who knows,we may end up in our local jail!By the way,our fireworks come from Pennsylvania!We obtained them at the Odd Lot Outlet in the Poconos last week.They are also illegal in Pennsylvania,but if you show an out-of-state driver's license they will sell you all that you want,or at least all that you can afford!(Isn't this sort of hypocritical?)
Everybody have a happy 4th of July and KOR,
Hey! i am a collector from lebanon( near lancaster) i would love to learn aobut good places near there
Hi, I live right outside of the Alleghany National forest for 2.5 yrs now. It is in the northwest of PA. We plan on traveling this fall to Savanah GA & Fla. We would love to know if there are any places to find nice crystal/rocks anywhere in this area or en route down south?
Thank you for your help.
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