Barton Mines offers garnet tours

Searching for garnet at the Barton Mines garnet tour in North River

Searching for garnet at the Barton Mines garnet tour in North River Photo by John Grybos.

— The Barton Garnet Mine Tours are available daily from late June to Labor Day. In the fall, they run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays after Labor Day to Oct. 7. Tours leave on the hour.

The rates are: Adults, $11.95; children 7-14, $7.95; seniors 6089, $10.95; children 0-6 and seniors 90+, free.

The Barton Garnet Mine Tour is located on the Barton Mines Road in North River. Call (518) 251-2706 or visit online at www.garnetminetours.com for more information.

Barton Mines history

Henry Hudson Barton began his garnet mining operations in the North River area in 1878, at first leasing the land and then buying property around Gore Mountain in 1887. At the time, Barton owned a coated abrasive company in Philadelphia, Pa. and discovered that crushed garnet from the North Creek area was a perfect ingredient for sand paper. The first mill at Gore Mountain was built in 1924.

Today, Barton International (formerly called Barton Mines Company LLC) continues to mine garnet and process the mineral for a wide variety of industrial applications all over the world. The facility makes products for waterjet cutting, coated and bonded abrasives, and specialty lapping (see www.barton.com). Mining and milling operations are located at North River, and the sales, logistics and accounting offices are located in Glens Falls.

In its 2009 Minerals Yearbook, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that only four companies accounted for all the production of industrial garnet in the U.S. in 2008: one company in Idaho, one in Montana and two in New York. The two in New York were Barton International and NYCO Minerals, Inc., based in Willsboro. New York is the second largest industrial garnet producing state in the U.S.

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