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Introduction to Morrisonite Jasper

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Introduction to Morrisonite, The King of Jaspers
The highest position in the realm of jaspers is held by morrisonite which was mined on the eastern slope of the Owyhee River Canyon about fifty miles south of Boise, Idaho in Oregon, US. Briefly the ranch including this deposit was owned by a man named Jim Morison (sic) and a number of people collected on the surface when he was still alive including Ed Brandt. Ed’s brother in law operated the first piece of equipment there but produced very little. It was Tom Caldwell who built the first cabin and completed the road to the main area, called The Big Hole. Jake Jacobitz knew Tom from the days when they both mined in the Graveyard Point deposits not far away and Jake and Tom worked together at The Big Hole.
Tom was injured in a major landslide that carried him away on his front end loader. That was the end of Tom’s mining career and he died a few years later in his early thirties, a troubled soul. Jake eventually became the holder of the claim and worked it regularly, even spending an entire winter alone and snowbound. When I asked Jake what he did during the winter he replied “I tried to keep from freezing”. While Jake was mining there Eugene Mueller became interested in mining and began working the claim with Jake. Gene built a road down to a deposit he claimed and named “Christine Marie”. It was at this time that I began visiting the mine, I was cutting cabochons and morrisonite was my favorite.
The first time I came to the mine I visited for a week with my son Miles and bought some material directly from the mine production pile. The next three years I came as a volunteer helper to Gene and had the pleasure of mining with Gene and at times with Jake as well. The last time the mine was if full production was 1995 and that was the last time I worked there, I believe Gene may have worked a bit after that. His website thegemshop.com has many tales with lots of pictures of his many heroic mining adventures and is much more accurate than my recollections.
In those days I was making my living cutting cabs which I did from 1974 until 1995. After that with a few sidetracks I saw the potential of the internet for selling agates to collectors and have been doing that since.
Beautiful morrisonite specimens can be seen in Zenz “Agates III” and in Hans Gamma’s new book “Picture Jaspers from the Northwest”. One of the best places for morrisonite online is Phillip Stephenson’s excellent website rarerocksandgems.com.
Introduction to Morrisonite, The King of Jaspers
The highest position in the realm of jaspers is held by morrisonite which was mined on the eastern slope of the Owyhee River Canyon about fifty miles south of Boise, Idaho in Oregon, US. Briefly the ranch including this deposit was owned by a man named Jim Morison (sic) and a number of people collected on the surface when he was still alive including Ed Brandt. Ed’s brother in law operated the first piece of equipment there but produced very little. It was Tom Caldwell who built the first cabin and completed the road to the main area, called The Big Hole. Jake Jacobitz knew Tom from the days when they both mined in the Graveyard Point deposits not far away and Jake and Tom worked together at The Big Hole.
Tom was injured in a major landslide that carried him away on his front end loader. That was the end of Tom’s mining career and he died a few years later in his early thirties, a troubled soul. Jake eventually became the holder of the claim and worked it regularly, even spending an entire winter alone and snowbound. When I asked Jake what he did during the winter he replied “I tried to keep from freezing”. While Jake was mining there Eugene Mueller became interested in mining and began working the claim with Jake. Gene built a road down to a deposit he claimed and named “Christine Marie”. It was at this time that I began visiting the mine, I was cutting cabochons and morrisonite was my favorite.
The first time I came to the mine I visited for a week with my son Miles and bought some material directly from the mine production pile. The next three years I came as a volunteer helper to Gene and had the pleasure of mining with Gene and at times with Jake as well. The last time the mine was if full production was 1995 and that was the last time I worked there, I believe Gene may have worked a bit after that. His website thegemshop.com has many tales with lots of pictures of his many heroic mining adventures and is much more accurate than my recollections.
In those days I was making my living cutting cabs which I did from 1974 until 1995. After that with a few sidetracks I saw the potential of the internet for selling agates to collectors and have been doing that since.
Beautiful morrisonite specimens can be seen in Zenz “Agates III” and in Hans Gamma’s new book “Picture Jaspers from the Northwest”. One of the best places for morrisonite online is Phillip Stephenson’s excellent website rarerocksandgems.com.

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Introduction to Morrisonite Jasper

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