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September-October 2016

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Road-cut Mineral Occurrences of St. Lawrence County, New York, Part 6: The Rock Island Road Cut

Unless otherwise noted, all specimen photos by Steven C. Chamberlain (SCC) of specimens in his collection

This sixth article in our road-cut series describes mineralization in a large road cut just north of Gouverneur, New York, that has been examined by countless collectors but has produced relatively few specimens. In 2013, however, a major discovery of crystallized barite produced hundreds of desirable specimens and makes this occurrence noteworthy (Chamberlain, Carlin, and Bailey 2013).


A high road cut extends for hundreds of meters on both sides of the Rock Island Road (County Route 11) between its intersection with Welsh (Welch) and Seavey roads to the south and the Rock Island Bridge across the Oswegatchie River to the north. The locality, at 44°23′34″N, 75°27′14″W, is 7.8 kilometers north of the intersection of Rock Island Road and US Route 11 in the town of Gouverner in St. Lawrence County, New York (fig. 3). Specimens of interest to mineral collectors are typically found in the southern portion of the road cut in cavities and veins in the marble.       

Dr. Steven C. Chamberlain, a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals, is coordinator of the Center for Mineralogy at the New York State Museum.

Michael Walter is an earth science and geology teacher and an active field collector of the minerals of upstate New York and Canada.       

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