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Scott LaBorde
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Smith County
Jan 15th, 2013 at 7:30pm
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Elmwood Mine

4.5 x 4 x 2.5 cm
  

xx337.JPG ( 364 KB | 54 Downloads )
xx337.JPG

Scott LaBorde
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Ezdiggin
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Re: Smith County
Reply #1 - Jan 15th, 2013 at 8:46pm
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Nice pic and specimen. Did you collect this piece?  I got to collect there in 2001, the most amazing trip of my life. I really like how you stack your photo, I really need a program to do that.  Need an app for that!
  
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Re: Smith County
Reply #2 - Jan 16th, 2013 at 11:39am
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How did you get to go there, Ezra? I thought that place has been closed for 20 years or more.
Very beautiful specimen. That stuff from there truly is very fine.
  
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Re: Smith County
Reply #3 - Jan 16th, 2013 at 8:40pm
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I went with my geology class in college.  It closed in 2003, pumps shut off and started filling with water. Have heard rumors of it reopening soon.  The mine was active the day we went down in the mine.  We went about 1000 feet down I think, the deepest part was about 3000 feet in the Cumberland mine.  Three mines make up elmwood.  We had to dodge huge ore trucks driving through the shafts.  They wouldn't even slow down as we were riding in a truck in reverse to avoid them until the driver could find a side shaft or room to pull into.  We had to sign our lives away and wear metal tags to identify our bodies if we died in a fire or were crushed.  It was very hot, 100 % humidity, and smelled like rotten eggs(sulfur from the sphalerite).  Sounds like hell but when we finally got to see the drilling machines in action and explore a huge room for vugs it was awesome.  There were vugs about 2'by 2' everywhere, some larger that we could reach into and chisel out what we wanted.  We got to see some vugs that were 10' x 15'.  Spent most of the day underground then went to there vault where they housed their big finds.  Huge plates 4'x4' of fluorite, sphalerite, barite, calcite, dolomite, marcasite, pyrite, and who knows what else.  Amazing, wish I had taken pictures. A friend of mine recovered big pieces in the mine as his job back in the 80-90s. He has some of the best pieces I've ever seen.  I hope one day it opens again and offers collecting, that would be a dig to remember.
  
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Re: Smith County
Reply #4 - Jan 16th, 2013 at 8:56pm
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I don't have the camera skills as Scott but here are some elmwood.







  
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Re: Smith County
Reply #5 - Jan 16th, 2013 at 9:21pm
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Those pics will work just fine, EZ.
Thanks for posting and telling us a little about the mine.
It is an amazing locality and you are very lucky to have had
the opportunity to collect there.
I can only imagine what some of the owners specimens look like.
Maybe they'll open it up one day. Wink
  
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Re: Smith County
Reply #6 - Jan 17th, 2013 at 7:12am
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Nice pictures EZ. The place is legendary and, while I have seen a lot of material from the three mines, I have not met many who had the privilege to collect there. Would love for it to re-open one day.
  
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Re: Smith County
Reply #7 - Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:16am
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Wow! The description of the working mine sounds amazing. That is so crazy deep! It sounds a little freaky, really. I would love that experience! LOVE it! You are very fortunate, indeed!
Thanks so much for sharing the story and the beautiful specimens. We can only hope...
  
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Scott LaBorde
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Re: Smith County
Reply #8 - Jan 17th, 2013 at 1:19pm
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Great pictures EZ!  The specimens from there never get old.
  

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