JOHNSBURG - Gore Mountain garnet mines are home to one of the world's largest garnet deposits and the owners aren't keeping it a secret. Opening for another season June 28, the owners of Barton Mines are inviting the public to come and tour their garnet mines as well as take part in a little treasure hunting.
Tours are available seven days a week through Labor Day and weekends only until Oct. 24. Reservation are required and interested parties should call 251-2553 for pricing and reservations.
Barton Mines is the oldest family owned and operated mine in the United States, featuring the hardest garnet in the world that can only be found on Gore Mountain, making it extremely rare. The gems are hard to miss with an unusual ruby red color that flashes in the sun.
In 1969, the governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller, made the Barton garnet the New York State gem stone.
The Barton family enjoys allowing visitors to take a piece of their family home with them. Without the use of tools, tour participants have the opportunity to search for garnet crystals of their own within an old mine site.
"It's a fun experience for all ages," said Bonnie Barton. "The summer months are especially spectacular in our region with unobstructed vistas of the Adirondack Mountains and it is a great time to visit the mines."
During tours, guides explain and demonstrate how to find the garnet gemstones, large garnet crystal faces and beautiful, museum-quality mineral specimens. All tours leave on the hour and begin at the Gore Mountain Mineral Shop, featuring the rarest of garnet jewelry and then move through the mine, where guides explain the rich history and geology of the garnet mine.
For more information on garnet mine tours at Gore Mountain, visit www.garnetminetours.com.