Verde Antique Marble & Grossular Garnet
Windham and Chester, Vermont
September 2003
By Tom Kuzia

Hi gang, During the last 2 weeks in September my wife Nancy and I were on vacation and decided to spend a few days up in Vermont and New Hampshire.

We got a late start as we had some "problems" with our beagle Homer!I don't really remember what time we left, maybe "noonish", but I do remember that is was raining sooooooo hard that I had the wipers on fast and couldn't see more then 50'-100' in front of me all the way to Gorham NH! In spite of the rain we got there in about 5 hours. As luck would have it the rain stopped and the sun came out just as I drove into the motel where we had reservations!

We got settled in our room and tried to phone Alan Plante to make arrangements for a visit but the line was busy so off we went to surprise he and his wife Sharon. When we got there and got the introductions over with we sat at the kitchen table and had a GREAT time "chatting" about everything from rocks & minerals to to some of our teenage "antics" and as Alan had said in a previous posting, it was like we knew each other forever. I'm kind of a "long winded" guy and about 8pm I figured it was time to leave when I heard Alan's stomach growling and it dawned on me that he and Sharon hadn't eaten supper yet! Sorry Alan!

The next morning Nancy and I visited Dolly Copp campground in the White Mountains National Forest. We had camped there on our vacation with our 3 children for about 20 years and decided to do a little reminiscing. We walked down to the Peabody River which runs between the campground and Rt 16 to do a little "rock jumping" but the river was so high from all the rain and us being a "tad" older and not quite as "fleet of foot" as in our younger days we decided to stick to just walking along the rivers edge!!

I couldn't help myself from picking up a rock here and there and was hoping to "lure" Nancy into doing the same. She took the bait and literally got her feet wet!!!LOL.I made believe I didn't see her little "dance" or it would have been detrimental to my health but I did get a little Tee Hee Hee in while hiding behind a big rock!! I didn't take much of anything home that I picked up but did keep"everything" that Nancy had collected and some of it is in a tumbler right now.If I never polished a rock before in my life,,,,baby doll,,,,,,,,, I better get these perfect! Can you tell I'm trying to "recruit" her?

We left NH and drove down to West Townshend VT to visit our long time friends Jay and Ginny Milleiken. The ride was only a few hours and the sun was out so it was a very pleasant ride.

The next morning Jay and I went out to do a little collecting in Chester & Windham VT which is a short hop and a skip from their home.

Our first stop was at an old mine quarry in Chester, exact location unknown), which turned out to be a total flop. We were supposed to find actinolite crystals there but either we looked in the wrong places or the quarry was cleaned out of them.


Our 2nd stop was a marble quarry off of Wheeler Windham. Jay's friend Verne had told him of the quarry and gave him directions to it and after taking several almost impassable dirt roads we finally found it. We collected "verde antique" there for a few hours and were off to our next and final location to collect grossular garnets.



The site is at a road cut just north of the junction of Rts 103 & 110 in Chester VT. I had read that the actual garnet mine was buried under the new bridge at the location but the garnets could be collected buy climbing down the banks along the bridge so off we went.


To say the least the banks were VERY steep and had broken bottles,rusted car parts and even a few disposable diapers to make the descent of 2 slightly over weight "senior citizens" quite a challenge! We spent about an hour on the "slopes" when a local passerby stopped to ask what we were doing there. We told him we were collecting garnets and he advised us to climb back up and do it at the road cut where it was MUCH easier!!(so much for dig location accuracy on the web) We collected at the road cut for a couple hours when Mother Nature decided to end our day for us. We collected a bucket of tiny grossular garnets and headed back to Jay and Ginny's house.

Jay and I had planned to go out the next day but our bodies didn't so we decided to pass and lick our "wounds". Ain't "The Golden Years" great???

I didn't come home with much to brag about but I REALLY enjoyed all aspects of the trip.

This report isn't as formal as most but it's the way "I" enjoy doing it,,,,,,,,I hope you do too.

Tom K