Morefield mine

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Photo credit: Karen Smith-Will, 2018



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Rip knew Silas Morefield for years--in fact, at one point, Silas was his boss. Later, Rip was his barber for decades.

Sam & Sharon Dunaway helped me catch up with Rip Willis on November 30, 2017. The 4 of us set out one sunny morning from Rip's house, to see the sights in Amelia Court House, Virginia (the town closest to Morefield mine). His story and explanation in this video 📽️ helped me understand Silas' medical condition--and although I was already impressed with what Silas had accomplished in his hometown, I was shocked by how much of a challenge it had been for him.

Rip passed away on June 29, 2019, according to his Richmond Times-Dispatch obituary, after having operated his barbershop for over 50 years.


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When your uncle owns Morefield mine, what do you use for fireplace stone? In this video 📽️, Silas Morefield's nephew's wife shows the quartz, amazonite, and even amethyst in their one-of-a-kind fireplace.

The sketch, presumably by Sam Dunaway, notate locations of biotite, gneiss, quartz, green amphibole, pyroxines, garnet, pyrite, pink (salmon) feldspar, light green feldspar, schist, etc.

IMG 20210530 151038Sam Dunaway sent me some updates on May 23, 2021:

We are here, Mark and I are shooting old powder and headed for a mysterious second pegmatite in USBM (United States Bureau of Mines) drill hole 1. On 60' level. Opened up drift into USBM stope photo attached.

Sharon doing outdoor projects, things at mine...much maintenance.

Also working to get our Norfolk & Western RR "position light" signal up, been working on it and ready to lift.
IMG 20210530 151024
I'll have to admit, I'm a little partial to railroads. The rail cars in the mine, the ones near the parking at Morefield mine, and now the working signal--priceless!

Presumably, this map is demonstrating a diagonal core sample that was taken 510' SW of the shaft, to assess the breadth of the pegmatite.

This map provides an alternative view of the core drill samples at the 100' level.

It is crazy to think that Morefield mine has a section that goes down 13 stories, to 130'!

20170919 101114Rudy Bland has been a lovely supporter of this project, by giving me interviews and answering other questions by email. Additionally, he invited me to tour the specimens at the Virginia Division of Mine, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) office in Charlottesville on September 19, 2019

This aerial map is a plan of the diamond drill core holes needed to properly assess the 100' level of Morefield mine.

This was an early sketch by Sam Dunaway, using the previously-created core drilling plan. The coloring and annotations provide a visual of the previous findings.

This map was created around the same time Tour locations by cross sections was created. 50' is a production area, not a tour area.