Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire Mine

Date: May 7, 2016

Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

6961 Upper Burningtown Rd., Franklin, NC 28734


(1)hotels near franklin,

Mason Mine1 – Google Maps

Mine – Google MapsMason

Mine2 – Google Maps

Field Trip Maps and Hotel Information

This is from the Field Trip Chair Brian Burgess. I have Google maps for each of the field trips that are scheduled. Also I have saved a hotels map for those that do not want to get up at the crack of dawn and travel several hours to the dig site. If you would like me to send you the files, please send me an email. My email address can be found on the HGMS website under “About Us” and then “HGMS Contacts”. Google usually provides 2 to 3 routes to a destination, so I will send all routes to you. The routes all begin at the Senior Center. If you would like the hotel information, let me know and I will send it also. Monitor the events that you are interested in for updates and needed information.

Release and Liability Forms

Release Forms are available for you to download on the Activities page under Field Trips. Please print and fill out the Hogg Mine form prior to the dig on April 16, 2016. The liability form is to be completed only if you are bringing a non-member  with you.

Clarksville, GA Kyanite Field Trip

HGMS members come join us for a Kyanite field trip in Clarksville, GA. This trip is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 at 9 a.m.

Located on private property, there will be a $10.00 charge to dig. To protect the privacy of the property

owner and to ensure the site stays open to us, this trip is for HGMS members only (general public not allowed).

You will need to email Brian Burgess ( of your intention to participate and Brian will send you the information on where to meet in Clarksville.

Charles Carter of the Georgia Mineral Society will be the field trip lead for the dig and will supply us with the information needed and the do’s and don’ts for the site .



Cane Creek Nature Preserve Field Trip

Come join us on Saturday, May 21 at 9 a.m. at the Cane Creek Nature Preserve. It is located at

251 Loop Rd., Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This is open to all HGMS members and those that went last year know what a good time we all had!

Don’t miss this beautiful walk in the woods! Our tour guide will be Jim Lacefield.

HGMS sponsored Dixie Mineral Council (DMC) dig at Hogg Mine

Please join us for a HGMS sponsored DMC dig at Hogg Mine located in La Grange, Georgia.

When: Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Meet at McDonald’s 2408 Whitesville St., La Grange, GA 30250

Further information can be found at the Hogg Mine website


Pebble Pups Cane Creek Canyon Field Trip May 23, 2015

178388_498986583450360_1310217605_o[1]Hey Pups ready for another field trip?  Well we have a great one for you. We will be going to Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve on May 23rd, 2015 and our host will be Dr. Jim Lacefield.




Here is the information from Dr. Lacefield:

1. We can begin with a quick look at our rock garden in front of our house. I’ll show you examples of each of the major rock “families” and how they form and some of the main types of fossils we have here in the Tennessee Valley. As part of this introduction I’ll show you the examples of the different types of colorful Cretaceous pebbles they will be seeing on the gravel bars in Cane Creek, including types of agates, jaspers, and petrified wood.

2. We will take a “rock hike” down to Cane Creek to see the ancient barrier island Hartselle Sandstone layers that form the canyon, waterfall ledges, and rock shelters and then we will spend some time collecting the various Cretaceous quartz varieties down on the creek gravel bars. This hike will be done leisurely, but it will involve about 350 feet of elevation change (it’s a real hike; and parents need to know about this in advance in order to help get the kids psyched up for it). Each participant will need a collecting bag or small back pack, drinking water, and snacks. The kids will be allowed to keep all agates, etc., that they find in the creek. These stones will be “pre-tumbled” by the creek and require only minimal polishing to be quite beautiful.

3. When we get back to the house we will go on a “fossil hunt,” carefully splitting open some fossil plant-rich shale I have brought back from a coal mine near Jasper for the kids to open and learn about the techniques of searching for fossils in this type rock material. All fossils from this activity may be kept.

The total time for these activities will be about 4-5 hours, but of course, those who need to leave early can do so. I just want to say that this is a Pebble Pup tour, but any and all members of HGMS are more than welcome to join the field trip for a wonderful day in nature (with a little rock hunting on the side). Any one joining us on the field trip needs to remember that this is a Preserve and we cannot remove anything except what Dr. Lacefield allows us to remove. So ask before you pick a flower, put a rock in your bag or bucket, or take a bug home for a pet. The word Preserve means to leave things as they are, for the next tour to enjoy as you have. If you want to get a first peek, go to “Friends of Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve” Facebook page for more information and many photographs about the preserve.

Okay now we need some Pup rules: 1. Pups you have to have a parent tag along on the tour. Who knows they might enjoy it and learn something. 2. On the tour you will need to stay with the group, as there will be hazardous areas in the Preserve you can get hurt. If you cannot stay with the group we maybe ask to escort you back to Dr. Lacefield’s house. So stay with the group and enjoy the tour. 3. We will be on the creek and I know there will be the Pup/s that want to see how deep the water is. Please bring an extra set of clothes if the water is to deep. Be careful near the water. Now would be a good time to tell you how to get there. I have a pdf document with direction that I will have to figure out how to post. We will meet at 8 am at Ingalls Harbor parking lot (I have it marked on the map and directions) across the bridge in Decatur. I would like to leave no later than 8:15 am. That will put us at the Preserve around 9 am. That would put us leaving between 1 and 2 pm. If you would like a copy of the directions go to the webpage and get my e-mail address and send me a request. If there is more information forthcoming I will post it as I get it. One last thing, for you to go on the field trip you have to be a Pup and your parents must be a member. This way the club’s insurance will cover you.

Contact Brian Burgess,  HGMS President and Pebble Pups Chairman via email for any further questions.



Cane Creek Canyon 1


Field Trip to Hogg Mine, March 22

Chris Painter with the Hogg Mine is hosting an open gem dig on Saturday March 22. Several club members are planning to go! The mine’s web site is Meet well prior to 9:00am at the McDonalds at the Interstate 85 exit 13 and Hwy 219 (Whitesville Rd) in LaGrange. Remember that is Eastern Time Zone, so allow that extra hour. It is 180 miles, three and a half hours driving time, from Huntsville to LaGrange, so you may want to go the night before and find a motel.

Q: What kinds of Gems are at the mine?
A: Beryl, Star Rose Quartz, Black Tourmaline, and Aquamarine.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: $35 Per person over 16 years of age.  Children 16 and under dig for free.

For map, directions, or questions, contact Brian Burgess bburgess771 (at) or Bill Friday bill.friday (at) If you can’t make this trip, other club members are planning to go back later in the year.

Here are some photos from our last club field trip to the mine in the fall of 2013:

Large quartz rock on the trail through the mine:

Gorgeous piece of beryl someone found (the stone was about the size of the palm of your hand):

People digging in the mine:

A club member sitting on a giant boulder of rose quartz: