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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tales of the Devil: The Hammer of Thor


The new find on the site


Somebody asked me why we named this series, Tales of the Devil. Well back in 1819 one of the sources wrote in the American Journal of Science 1st Edition a paper about minerals found in Litchfield County.  Then he got religion and during the 1850’s wrote a tract called “Tales of the Devil.”  By then he must have been a full-fledged geologist from Yale.  At least he knew his subject matter.  However, “Tales of the Devil” fits this place as well as any other story, but finally some old records came to light that explained the whole place.

Since its rediscovery in March 2012 this site has had at least five PhDs tugging their forelocks trying to figure out what in blue blazes went on there.  Finally one of them found a collection of old records that explained the whole deal and even named some of the historical personages that were involved with the site including P.T. Barnum and Thomas Edison.

The first shaft and adit that was discovered was apparently a prospecting pit, or if you prefer a gopher hole. This consisted of the mineshaft that was 40 feet deep with an adit at its bottom going off that was 10 feet deep by 6 feet wide by 7 feet tall. It is apparent from the records that this may have existed since pre-Revolutionary War times. Most of the mining occurred in the mid-19th century and according to the records underground mining in the location included an adit that was more than 140 feet long.

Because of the geology on the site being similar to those where gold was found we assumed that was what they were looking for, and probably was. According to the old records covering the site what they were actually found was copper, and it was in the form of the copper sulfide mineral called chalcocite, a grey colored mineral.

Actually this tale doesn’t have anything to do with Thor except there’s a Norwegian involved in its telling. He was one of the PhD's.  Another one came from Transylvania.

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