Mineral Collecting at Earthdance
Visiting the Betts Manganese/Rhodonite Mine
Earthdance, Plainfield, MA
75 years ago dynamite blasts shook the land at what is now Earthdance, as miners extracted manganese and other minerals from the Anson G. Betts Mine. What is now the pond by the sauna was once a quarry pit. The tailings dumps of broken rock, now hidden away in the forest, are rock removed from this quarry pit and another similar pit just south of the Earthdance land. Both quarry pits are now beautiful ponds, filled with water, not available for mineral collecting but for mineral collectors there is much to find in the tailings piles in the woods.
To avoid conflicts with other programming at Earthdance, mineral collectors must make an appointment in advance to collect minerals on the Earthdance land and on the private land just south of Earthdance. The acres of tailings piles contain manganese minerals such as rhodonite, the Massachusetts State Gemstone, and rhodochrosite, spessartine garnets, and tephroite. In addition, other minerals such as magnetite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, almandine garnets, to name a few, can be found in the old mine dumps.
Limited collecting for a fee (donation to Earthdance) is permitted and must be arranged in advance!