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The Georgia Mineral Industry in 1923

Excerpts from

Hand-Book Mineral Resources of Georgia

By S. W. McCallie, State Geologist, 3rd edition

Geological Survey of Georgia, Atlanta, GA, 1923, 48 pp.

Mineral Resources of Georgia

“The mineral resources of Georgia are both varied and extensive. The State is producing at present more than 25 different kinds of minerals in commercial quantities. This great diversity of mineral resources is accounted for in a large measure by the great diversity in the geological formations.

“Following the description of each individual mineral here given will be found references to publications issued by the State Geological Survey, in which the minerals are more fully discussed. Any of these publications can be obtained from the State Geologist upon payment of postage.”

Cements (pp. 11-12)

“Both natural and Portland cements are made in Georgia. Natural cement materials are located at Cement, Bartow County and at Rossville, Walker County, while extensive Portland cement plants are operated at Rockmart, Polk County. The raw materials for the manufacture of Portland cement, consisting of limestones and shales, are abundant and pretty generally distributed throughout northwest and south Georgia . Both Portland and natural cements are largely used for structural purposes, and as these uses are so rapidly increasing it might be said that we are now entering the cement age of structural material.

References on Cements:

“McCallie, S. W., Mineral Resources of Georgia : Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 23 , 1910, 208 p.

“Maynard T. Poole, Limestones and Cement Materials of North Georgia : Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 27 , 1912, 296 pp.

“Brantly, J. E., Limestone and Marls of the Coastal Plain of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 21 , 1916, 300 pp.”

 Granites (pp. 23-24)

“The granites of Georgia, together with the gneisses, constitute the most extensive and one of the most important building and monumental stones in the State. They occur in inexhaustible quantities and are widely distributed throughout the Piedmont Plateau. One of the most interesting and one of the largest barren granite masses in the country is that of Stone Mountain, located only a few miles northeast of Atlanta. This mountain has long been the seat of a very important granite industry. The stone obtained from these quarries is a light colored muscovite granite possessing remarkable strength, and is quite free from all chemicals and physical defects. The stone has extensive use as a building material and is also largely employed in street improvement. There is probably no granite in the South more widely known and more generally used than that furnished by the Stone Mountain quarries. Another granite, or rather a granite-gneiss, of almost as much economic importance as the Stone Mountain granite, is the Lithonia granite. This stone covers a considerable area in the eastern part of DeKalb and the contiguous parts of Rockdale and Gwinett counties. The Lithonia quarries are very extensive and furnish large quantities of stone for street improvements as well as for concrete and general building purposes.

“In addition to the granites here named, there are other granites of superior quality used for monumental stone. Some of the granites of this character are those obtained from the Elberton, the Oglesby, the Lexington and the Meriwether quarries. These monumental granites have but few equals, if any superiors, in the United States as a monumental stone. At present (circa 1923) Georgia stands seventh in the rank of the production of granite in this country, being exceeded only by Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Wisconsin and Maryland.

References on Granites:

“Watson, Thos. L., Granites and Gneisses of Georgia, Bull. Ga. Geol. survey No. 9-A, 1902, 367 pp.”

Limestones (pp. 27-28)

“Cambrian, Silurian and Carboniferous limestone, suitable for lime, fluxing and building materials, exist in great abundance in northwest Georgia. The most extensive of these calcareous formations is the Knox dolomite, a magnesian limestone of great thickness. This formation furnishes much of the lime used in the State, as well as a large amount of stone for concrete and for general building purposes. Other Calcareous formations of scarcely less commercial importance are the Bangor and the Chickamauga limestones. In addition to these occurrences, extensive beds suitable for lime and for agricultural purposes occur in the Cretaceous and Tertiary formations of south Georgia.

References on Limestones:

“McCallie, S. W., Roads and Road-Building Materials of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 8, 1901, 264 pp.

“Maynard, T. Poole, Limestone and Cement Materials of North Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 27, 1912, 296 pp.

“Brantly, J. E., Limestone and Marls of the Coastal Plain of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 21, 1916, 300 pp.”

Marbles (pp. 29-31)

“Previous to 1884, the marbles of Georgia were practically unknown as building and ornamental stones, but at present the output of the quarries exceeds that of any State in the Union with the exception of Vermont. The most valuable marbles of Georgia are those of Pickens, Cherokee, Gilmer and Fannin counties. These marbles occur in a narrow belt which runs parallel to the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, from near Ball Ground, Cherokee County, to the Georgia-North Carolina State line, a distance of more than 60 miles. The main marble industry of the State is located in the vicinity of Tate, Pickens County, where the deposit attains its greatest thickness. The Pickens County marble usually has a coarse texture, but admits of a very fine polish and is admirably suited both for building and monumental purposes. In color, the stone varies from white to almost black. A flesh-colored variety is also found. The physical and chemical properties, as shown by the numerous tests made by the State Geological Survey, demonstrate that its durability equals or exceeds that of any other marble now being put upon the market.

“At present (circa 1923) a number of different marble quarries, having an aggregate annual output of several hundred thousand cubic feet of stone, are being operated in Pickens County. The product of the quarries is shipped to nearly every State in the Union, where it is used in the construction and decoration of some of the most costly buildings. The State capitols of Minnesota and Rhode Island; the United States Government building; Boston; St. Luke’s Hospital, New York; the Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington; and the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Ill., with numerous other handsome buildings throughout the United States, are constructed wholly or in part of the Georgia marble. There is probably no building stone in this country, in recent years, which has gained such a widespread use and given such universal satisfaction as the Georgia marble. The growth of the use of the stone has also been equally as phenomenal in monumental work.

Reference on Marble:

“McCallie, S. W., Marbles of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol Survey No. 1, Revised, 1907, 126 pp.”

Road Materials (pp. 37)

“The road-building materials of Georgia are quite abundant and pretty evenly distributed throughout the State. Nearly all the varieties of stone used in highway construction occur in large quantities in many sections. It is questionable whether any State in the Union possesses a greater variety of road-building materials than the State of Georgia.

References on Road Materials:

“McCallie, S. W., Roads and Road-Building Materials of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 8, 1901, 264 pp.

“McCallie, S. W., Public Roads of Georgia, Second Report: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 24, 1910, 36 pp.

“McCallie, S. W., Public Roads of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 28, 1912, 12 pp.”

Serpentine (pp. 39-40)

“Serpentine is a hydrous silicate of magnesia, carrying, usually, more or less impurities. The only deposit of serpentine, so far worked in Georgia, occurs at the Verde Antique Marble Quarry in Cherokee County, about two miles southwest of Holly Springs. The stone is used almost exclusively for interior finish and decorations. It is especially adapted for stairways, corridors, mantels and pedestals for statuary.

Reference on Serpentine:

“McCallie, S. W., Marbles of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 1, Revised, 1907, 126 pp.”

Slate (pp. 40)

“Slate is found in Georgia in Bartow and Polk counties. The largest area of slate in Polk County, extends from about three miles south of Cartersville to about five miles south of Rockmart. Another belt of slate of the same age occurs south of Cedartown. The Polk County slate is of a dark blue to black color. It has a fine texture and smooth cleavage and but few defects. Another very promising slate belt is found in northern Bartow, Gordon and Murray counties. This slate has a greenish color and possesses all of the physical and chemical qualities of a first-class roofing slate.

References on Slate:

“McCallie, S. W., Mineral Resources of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol Survey No. 23, 1910, 208 pp.

“Shearer, H. K., Slate Deposits of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. survey No. 34, 1918, 192 pp.”

Talc and Soapstone (pp. 40-41)

“Talc is a white, gray or greenish soft mineral with a greasy feel. It is a silicate of magnesia. Soapstone is usually considered an impure form of talc.

“Talc has been found at a large number of localities in the northern part of the State, but commercial deposits have been developed at only a few places. Soapstone is more widely distributed. Four companies are at present (circa 1923) producing talc in Georgia. The mills of these companies are located at Chatsworth, Murray County, and the mines are on Fort and Cohutta mountains, about three miles distant. A considerable amount of prospecting and mining has been done on the Dickey property, one-half miles south of Mineral Bluff, Fannin County. Talc has also been mined to a limited extent near Ball Ground and Holly Springs, Cherokee County. Favorable prospects are known to occur in other counties in north Georgia. Talc is principally used for pencils, gas tips, paper filler, lubricants, fire-proof paints and toilet powders.

References on Talc and Soapstone:

“McCallie, S. W., Mineral Resources of Georgia: Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 23 , 1910, 208 pp.

“Hopkins , Oliver B., Asbestos, Talc and Soapstone Deposits of Georgia : Bull. Ga. Geol. Survey No. 29 , 1914, 319 pp.”

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