Dennis Creaser of South Paris, holding a lepidolite, recently talked about mines in the town and local area with members of the Hebron Historical Society. Submitted photo

The Hebron Historical Society is scheduled to meet next at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26. Jessie Yancy plans talk about the history of lavender and the process of growing and harvesting it.

The meeting, open to the public, will be held at the Hebron Town Office, 351 Paris Road.

Jeweler Dennis Creaser of South Paris recently briefed society members on mines in the town and local area. He explained the geology of pegmatites, which can yield pockets of gem crystals of various minerals. The most famous of these in Hebron is known as the Mount Rubellite mine, according to a news release from the society.

In 1868 Luther Hills, while prospecting in Hebron, found a loose rock containing purple lepidolite. He recognized this as being a lithium specimen normally associated with colored tourmaline, another lithium mineral. He traced this to a nearby outcropping which did yield tourmaline. Loren Merrill and A.C. Hamlin (nephew of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin) were the first to mine this site for gems.

This mine is most famous for the Rubellite gems (pink tourmaline). One gem rubellite from this mine was included in the Hamlin Necklace (the most famous piece of jewelry created from the Oxford hills area) which is now kept in the Harvard Museum. The rest of the necklace is composed of gems from Mount Mica, South Paris, the most famous gem mine in Oxford County.

Besides gemstones, Mt. Rubellite was the first place in the U.S. to produce pollucite (a cesium ore).

Another significant mine in Hebron is the Hibbs Quarry, which has produced some of the finest rose quartz in the state. Creaser explained that Hebron’s geology suggests that there is good potential for untapped pegmatites to be discovered and mined.

For more information, contact Conrad Conant at 207-966-2023 or [email protected].

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: