Morefield mine

Screenshot 20210328 161848Morefield mine, or "Mm" QuickLinks

- 🆕@MmBook

- About this site 
- History / Timeline
- Mysteries
- Interviews
- Elements@Mm
- Glossary
- Maps
- Minerals@Mm

- Mining@Mm
- Mm @Museums
- Pegmatites
- Friends of Mm

- Stories
- Videos

- Bibliography


Photo credit: Karen Smith-Will, 2018



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As one of the closest natural history and geological museums to Morefield mine (about 36 miles away), Lora Robins Gallery has a limited number of mineral samples from the mine. This museum is at the University of Richmond, my alma mater.

With a name like “Jewell Glass,” this girl had to be destined for geology with an interest in gems! I explored her background, cued by her fascinating name and the surprising realization that this was a woman, in a leadership geology role, in 1935.

Warren “Bill” Diehl Baltzley was born on January 29, 1922. Schabilion (2009) writes that Baltzley loved gem mining his whole life. After growing up in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, at some point he made it south to Amelia County.

The Geology of Morefield Pegmatite

The Morefield mine is part of the Morefield-Denaro area, in contrast with the Rutherford Mine about 4 miles away, which is in the Jefferson-Amelia area (Lemke, Jahns and Griffitts, p. 104-107). It is about 300 feet above sea level, sloping toward the Appomattox River (Glass 1935), or as it is listed with the US Geological Survey (Sapakoff 1995), about 295.276 feet (90 meters).

Per Martin (personal correspondence, 2016), Silas Vester Morefield was born on November 6, 1893 in Westfield, Surry County, North Carolina.

Joan is mentioned, with respect to her life at Morefield mine, a number of times in the story of her deceased husband, Warren “Bill” Diehl Baltzley. On May 19, 2017 Joan's daughter Erika graciously gave me permission to use any photos and information I have from them in this book.

George Morefield purchased a 198-acre tract of land in Amelia County, Virginia (Jones 1940). At some point before 1929, this land became the property of his son, Silas Morefield.

2021, April 16 - added Harvard Mineralogical Museum to Museums list. Added Mining@Mm article + linked to front page.

Virginia Minerals did a call out for the book on their Facebook page--thank you!

2021, April 14 - added Joan Dameron Baltzley's bio + updated Friends

2021, April 13 - notification added on The Morefield Gem Mine's Facebook page. :)

2021, April 11 - Everything!


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⚒️ This section is currently under construction. 🚧

During the past half dozen years, we have visited as many museums as we can, locating Morefield mine specimens. While in the future we will have an article for each, at the moment there are links to each of the organizations we have observed to have specimens.

Sneak peek 🕵️‍♀️

Background - article to be added.

Kearns, Martin & Wise 2017 Species List

Screenshot 20210409 105544How was the Morefield pegmatite discovered?

Prior to the 19th century, there is no incontrovertible evidence of the Morefield pegmatite being discovered. However, Fontaine (1883) indicates his belief that the Native Americans mined the nearby Rutherford pegmatite, providing the following personally-observed evidence (p. 331):