Jinny Hill Mine, Cheshire, New Haven Co., Connecticut, USA
Cabinet, 14.1 x 11.0 x 4.6 cm
Ex. Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
This is one of the largest Cheshire barites I have personally seen in anything resembling good form, to survive from the mid to late 1800s era of mining here. There is some edge wear, of course, and a few bruises and breaks. this is not pristine. But it is showy and impressive, for a historic specimen of barite from one of the early USA's more important mining locales! Thank you to James Zigras, who found in an old pamphlet published by the Chesire Historical Society the following information: the exact locale is the JINNY HILL MINE and it operated from 1838-1877. The first barite mine in the US, it was mined for the manufacture of paints in NYC. It was discovered by Benjamin Silliman (of Yale) and noted by him in 1813. He claims the mine was named for "an elderly negress who lived in that area." The vein was followed for a depth of 480 feet and several miles of tunnel were mined. At its height of production in the mid-1800s, it employed 200 people.