Fieldtrip Report:


Morefield Mine,
Amelia County, Virginia
December 13 th, 2008

photos by: Lee Fleming,
text: Lee Fleming

The MAGMA field trip to the Morefield Mine was held on the last Saturday that the mine is opened for the season. Ten of us arrived at the mine around 10:00 AM. Upon arrival, we found that the mine digging area was to open very soon. Immediately upon arrival, we went into the office and signed up and paid our daily dig fee.

Sharon Dunaway (Owner)

Sam Dunaway (Owner)

As we finished registering, Sharon reminded me to take home a Diamond Hill rock I had loan them to be placed on display for the past two years. This rock was a monster from the skeletal pit at Diamond Hill. It has large crystals on the outside and a hole through it with crystals lining the hole.

Just as I left for the mine’s dump area, I decided to pick up a big piece of amazonite to take home with me. The following pictures show the piece I selected:

Once this beauty was packed in my truck, I walked down into the area where most people had gathered. I immediately ran into fellow MAGMA members.

People were digging in the dump section of the mine and finding pieces of amazonite, amethyst, and many other minerals and gems. It seemed that everyone was having a great time. About 11:00 AM, the mine announced that the first mine tour was beginning. Sam had gathered about 9 people, mainly from the Lynchburg, VA club to go into the mine on this first tour. He explained that the tour would be shortened due to the mine being flooded the day before; thus, the bottom level of the mine was full of water. I’m sure they all enjoyed seeing the mine even with a little water dripping around them.

Most of us continued to hunt for stones up on the ground surface. I was lucky enough to find several piece of amethyst, which I gladly handed out to the children in the groups. They seem happy with the acquired stones and ran off to show their parents or guardians.

As soon as Sam came back from his mine tour arrangements, he started the equipment and proceeded to dump more spoils in the digging area for us to find some fresh material. As I watched him dump the material from his front-end loader, I could see large chunks of amazonite falling to the ground. After he had cleared the crowd, it was surprising how fast the children and young adults could charge into the dumps and collect all of the great specimens. I guess I could do that fast gathering in the past; but not anymore. It was still fun to watch people’s faces as they grabbed the materials they wanted to collect.

At the end of the day, I went by to say goodbye to Sam and Sharon and to thank them for opening the mine to MAGMA and the public this season. Sam said that he was not sure what would happen to the mine over their winter closed period; but indicated that the mine was up for sale. In fact there is a large sign under the Morefield Mine sign which offers the mine for sale. Let’s just hope, if they do sale it, the new owners will be as friendly and generous as the Dunaways have been. I guess that we will always remember the Morefield Mine for the great specimens of amazonite:

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