xt7pg44hn347 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7pg44hn347/data/mets.xml Moore, Philip North, b. 1849. 1878  books b96-13-34908485 English Stereotyped for the Survey by Major, Johnston & Barrett, Yeoman Press, : Frankfort, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Iron ores Kentucky. Iron industry and trade Kentucky. Report on the iron ores & the iron manufacture of the Kentucky Red River iron region  / by P.N. Moore. text Report on the iron ores & the iron manufacture of the Kentucky Red River iron region  / by P.N. Moore. 1878 2002 true xt7pg44hn347 section xt7pg44hn347 


           N. S. SHALER, DIRECTOR.


                     ON THE

                     OF THE


               BY P. N. MOORE.

                           ' ,183 184

 This page in the original text is blank.


               RIVER IRON REGION.

 This region takes its name from the Red river, a branch
of the Kentucky, upon which one of the earliest iron furnaces
in the State of Kentucky, or in the West, was established.
The name Red River iron was first applied only to that
made by those furnaces situated within the area drained by
that stream; but, as the reputation of the iron in the markets
of the West increased, the name was also applied to the
product of furnaces beyond the neighborhood, but using the
same ores, until the Red River Iron region grew to include
territory drained by the Kentucky river itself, and its minor
branches, the Red river, and the Licking, with some of its
minor branches. It includes portions of Estill, Powell, Lee,
Menifee, Bath, and Montgomery counties.
  A more comprehensive definition of the region, as the term
is used in this report, is to describe it as all that region lying
between the Kentucky and Licking rivers, in which the Sub-
carboniferous or St. Louis limestone is found above the drain-
age. It is, therefore, an area about thirty-five miles long by
ten miles wide, lying along the western border of the eastern
Kentucky portion of the great Allegheny coal field. The
name, as applied, is limited arbitrarily to the area between
these rivers, because there are as yet no furnaces situated
south of the Kentucky or north of the Licking river for a
considerable distance, until the iron district of Carter county,
of the Hanging Rock Iron region, is reached.
  In discussing this region, there will be described-
           1. The iron ores.
           II. The iron manufacture.



                     I. THE IRON ORES.
  The geological structure of a large portion of this region
is described in detail in the report of Mr. Crandall upon the
geology of MIenifee county. The general type of geological
structure, as there described, prevails over all this region.
For the details as to special localities, the reader is referred
to Mr. Crandall's report; but a few words of general descrip-
tion of the principal rock formations in this region will be
given here, as being necessary to a correct understanding of
the position of the ores to be described.
  The rocks,which will be met with in almost all of the hills
where the main ore of this region occurs, are, in a descend-
ing order, as follows: the Conglomerate sandstone and the
underlying shales, with beds of coal, of the coal measures;
the Sub-carboniferous or St. Louis limestone, and the Wa-
verly sandstone of the Sub-carboniferous formation.
  The Waverly, a fine-grained shaly sandstone, usually of a
light olive-green tint, is the bed rock in which the streams
flow, over the greater portion of the region under considera-
tion, although toward the western border the Devonian black
shale occupies this position, and the Waverly rises above the
drainage. The Waverly has usually a thickness of about
three hundred feet in this region.
  Above the Waverly the Sub-carboniferous limestone is
found, ranging from thirty or forty feet in thickness in the
northern, to one hundred feet or more in the southern part
of this region. Topographically this rock is not of great
importance, except towards the southwest, where it is at its
maximum thickness, and lies very near the top of the ridge,
the Conglomerate and other overlying rock having been
nearly all removed. Further to the east and northeast, where
it lies nearer the drainage level, and the Conglomerate covers
a large proportion of the surface, the limestone is thinner and
more rarely exposed, being generally covered by the talus
from the overlying Conglomerate.
  Economically, however, the limestone is of great impor-
tance, as it is the rock upon which rests the ore of this region




which has given to it its reputation, and in itself it is valuable
for building purposes, and furnishes a flux for the furnaces of
the region.
  The Conglomerate is the most conspicuous, and, topograph-
ically, the most important, of the members of the rock series
of this region. It caps the most of the ridges, except on the
extreme western border of this region, gradually descending
towards the east and southeast, until it finally reaches the
drainage level. It is a massive, pebbly sandstone, usually
from one hundred to two hundred feet in thickness. Over
part of this area it occurs in two members, with coal-bearing
shales between. When this is the case, the upper Conglom-
erate is the most prominent, while the lower is usually not
over thirty or forty feet thick, and occurs quite close dowvn to
the limestone, with sometimes not over ten feet of space be-
tween them.
  The ores of this region belong to the class of earthy car-
bonatesor clay iron-stones and limonites,or hydrated oxides,
resulting, with the exception of the ore of one deposit, which
will be hereafter especially described, from the alteration and
oxidation of the carbonates. They occur in stratified deposits
at various geological horizons, not always forming connected
strata, but still holding well-defined levels.
  In the Waverly shales, toward the base of the series, there
are numerous beds or layers of clay iron-stone kidneys, some-
times in considerable thickness. They are usually exposed
along the banks and in the beds of the streams, where they
have been left when the surrounding material has been washed
away. Owing to their high specific gravity, the current has
very little effect upon them, and they are thus concentrated
in the beds of many of the streams in considerable quantities,
so that,to the careless observer,they give the impression that
there is a much larger quantity of the ore present in the hills
than will be found on closer inspection. These ores have
never, to the knowledge of the writer, been worked at any of
the furnaces of this region. The reason of this, probably, is,
that they are almost always found as hard blue carbonates, a
                                                         l `7




quality of ore which charcoal furnaces, the only kind as yet in
this region, do not use if the limonite ores can possibly be
  These ores arc of such firm and close-grained structure that
they yield to the oxidizing action of the air, and change to
limonite very slowly, and with great difficulty. They are
remarkable in this respect. Even when they are found in
positions which show that they have been long exposed to
the agencies which usually effect this change from carbonate
to limonite, it is rare to find more than a thin coating of lim-
onite on the surface of any specimen and along the lines of
the weather cracks.
  They are sufficiently rich in iron to be of value, and would
doubtlessly be considerably used, were it not for the feature
above noted. The deposits do not seem to be persistent over
very large areas at the same level, but change position fre-
quently. In addition to their irregularity, they commonly
occur low down in the hills, where the slope is so steep that
it would be impossible to bench for the ores to any depth;
and they are usually too thin to pay for mining in any other
way. The reason that they are not found near the tops of
the hills is, that they lie towards the base of the series, and
the Waverly does not extend far enough to the west to bring
them to the top, where the slope over the ore would be gen-
tle, and the thickness of overlying material slight, as these
rocks soon disappear where the massive Conglomerate and
limestone no longer protect them from erosion.
  The thickness of these beds or layers of kidney ore ranges
from four to eight inches. WVere there furnaces in this region
capable of using them, large quantities could be cheaply ob-
tained and utilized, but it would not be judicious to rely upon
them alone to supply any furnace; their proper use would be
as a mixture to use with other ores.

                    TIHE LIMESTONE ORE.
  The principal ore from which the iron has been manufac-
tured, which has given to this region its reputation in the




markets of the country, is found resting upon the Sub-carbon-
iferous or St. Louis limestone, and is known as the limestone
ore. It is geologically the same ore as that already described
in a previous report as the "lower limestone" ore of Green-
up and Carter counties.
  The limonite of this bed, when at its best, is a heavy, dark
red, friable ore, sometimes homogeneous and massive, and
sometimes semi-concretionary. It often gives a red powder
and streak, while containing its full proportion of combined
water. The carbonate ore, from which the linmonite is derived,
is usually a dense, amorphous, close-grained ore, varying from
light grey to dark brown in color.
  The ore is found resting upon the surface of the limestone;
not always in a regular layer or plate of uniform thickness,
but in irregular 'rolls," filling depressions in the surface of
the limestone, between which the ore is often missing. These
rolls are of much greater thickness than the axverage of the
whole bed. They are often found several feet in thickness,
wvile, when the ore occurs with anything like regularity, it is
rare to find it averaging more than one foot. There is usually
a considerable thickness of fine white shale and clay above
the ore. This is a characteristic of the limestone ores in
other parts of the State, which helps to distinguish them from
other ores.
                   THEORY OF FORMATION.
  In another report, already referred to, on the iron ores of
Greenup, Boyd, and Carter counties, the theory of formation
of these ores has been discussed, and to that report the reader
is referred for a fuller statement than will be given here. It
will be sufficient to state, here, the conclusions then reached,
without repeating the different theories in regard to their
formation, or the facts in favor of the conclusions below
  The carbonate or siderite is the original mineral of these
ore beds, and from it the limonite, or the - red ore," as it is

'Report on the Iron Ores of Greenup, Boyd, and Carter counties, vol. I, part III,
second series.




called, is derived by a process of oxidation and alteration
through the agencies of the atmosphere and carbonated
  The depth to which the change from carbonate or siderite
to limonite has been effected, varies with the character and
thickness of the overlying material. Where this is thin, or
where it is a porous sandstone, permeable to the atmosphere,
the change will be found a long distance back from the out-
crop, and sometimes entirely through the hill; but where a
great thickness of impervious, dense rock overlies the ore,
the limonite will be found only a short distance back from the
outcrop, forming a narrow ring around the main body of car-
bonate ore, decreasing as the slope of the hill above it grows
steeper. As the limonite ore is much the most valuable,
owing to the fact that, in addition to its superior richness, it
is more easily smelted and produces a better grade of iron, it
will be seen that those deposits are of most value which are
situated near the tops of the hills, where the ore has all been
changed to limonite. The area covered by the ore bed, and
the total quantity of the ore, when it is thus situated, is much
less than when it lies lower down in the hills; but this is com-
pensated by the superior quality of the ore.
  The ore seems to have been formed by a segregation of
the iron from the shales and clays above the limestone, sub-
sequent to their deposition. Carbonated waters, percolat-
ing through these rocks, have taken the ferruginous material
into solution in the form of the carbonate, carried it down
and deposited it upon the face of the limestone, which, in its
turn, was partially dissolved and carried away, thus producing
the irregularities in its surface before referred to.
  This theory of deposition, by segregation from the over-
lying rocks, accounts for the following characteristics of thl
ore, namely, the irregularity of thickness; the tendency to
become suddenly calcareous, or to disappear altogether, giving
place to a limestone: the comparative freedom from coarse
silicious impurities, and the presence, above the ore, of the




thick beds of white clay, from which almost every trace of
iron has been removed.

                   QUALITY OF THE ORE.
  Unfortunately, at the time of the examination upon which
this report is based, it was impossible to obtain as many
thoroughly representative samples of the ore for analysis as
were desired, owing to the fact that mining operations were
being conducted at only one of the furnaces in this region.
At the other furnaces the ore banks had nearly all fallen in
soon after operations had been suspended, so that it was, in
most cases, impossible to gain access to the ore in order to
select average samples for analysis. The furnaces had also
consumed almost entirely the stock of accumulated ore before
going out of blast, so that it was impossible to obtain, at the
stock piles, samples the location of which was known.
  For this reason, the number of analyses given below is not
nearly so large as desired, or as it would have been, had it
been possible to get at the ore, in the banks, at many other
  The same reason can be given why this report is not much
fuller in details of measurements of the ore than it is. The
furnace estates comprise but a very small proportion of the
total area of this ore region. Except on these estates, no
mining operations for ore have ever been conducted, and
there is no means of knowing the exact thickness of the ore
bed. The amount can only be estimated from the abundance,
size, and persistency of the outcrop of the ore on the surface
of the hill. This is only an imperfect mnetlhodl, and is sub-
ject to great inaccuracies; but it was the only one possible
under the circumstances, as it is manifestly impracticable for
the Geological Survey to undertake expensive explorations,
which require digging. Neither time nor means was sufficient
for such explorations.
  The following analyses were made by Dr. Peter and Mr.
Talbutt, from samples collected by the writer. They were
all taken with a view to be as nearly average samples as pos-




sible; but they are not all equally so, for the reason that the
amount of ore from which the sample was taken varied con-
siderably. In some cases it was taken directly from the solid
ore bed, while in others from       the pile of ore lying on the

                           3    4    S    6     7    8  

Iron peroide ..... . 655 3 9 9.60 66.30  750  5. _so  4.4  65.535 74- X7 65.595
     .i. n. abnt........... ............ .,,,,,,,,,... 76- 49z..... .... ................   .
Alomi.  ...  ...    . .  947 -2.37o -.53a 14.8 71.971 .-14 a.798  3 54a  5.76o
l'i-e carbonate.... .. . . 730  .500 a   trace.a trace.S4 .50  5.4  .450  .33 a trace.
MaIger. ...   ...   1 40.144 .1'73 -047 ..58 . 5141.-73 . 46. .a48
Phorphoric acid.8.5         .79 .79  .697 .6ot  .409  .537 6ot  447
S.lph-ioc acid.occotro..        a trace, a.                            . trace a tace..67 a trace..  arace.
-obied .ater . . . . . ......0 [x .40  9.5&8  8-6cc  .73 I.4o6  98cc 8t.170  1.ote
Silic-.  d i-oolablcsilicaf t.  9. .5809  5.830  9.700  o.83-  8.90O  9.33  00.480  9.5&  .6.130
Total .......... . 993532 99.574 99.43 99.441 9g.6.8  -Ore 000.673 99.971 99.078

......lic ron   ...... 44 570 4-.735 46.440 385750 5.918 39 758 45.874 5x.889 45.914
Ph-oph or.......... . 360  309 .309 .304  .46.  .178 .034 .v6.  . 95
S    .lpita-............... .....              .ro7 .. . .  .... ....
  cArd ti-s.

  No. X is from the Pergam bank, Bath Furnace, Clear creek,
Bath county.
  No. 2 is from a bank near the head of Clear creek, Bath
  No. 3 is from the Richardson bank, Bath Furnace, Clear
  No. 4 is from the head of Ratcliffe branch of Beaver creek,
Menifee county.
  No. 5 is limonite ore, from the Tubbs bank, Estill Furnace,
Estill county.
  No. 6 is the carbonate ore, from the same bank as No. 5.
  No. 7 is from Logan ridge, Estill Furnace.
  No. 8 is from the Luster drift, Thacker Ridge, near Fitch-
burg, Estill county.
  No. 9 is from the Horse Ridge banks, Cottage Furnace,
Estill county.
  With the exception of No. 6, all the above analyses are of
the limonite ore of this bed.
  It is probable that they all show the ore to be a little richer
in iron than it really proves to be on actual working in the
furnace This is due partly to the personal bias of the sam-




pler, which always acts in favor of the ore, no matter how
careful he is, and partly to the fact that the sample is taken
cleaner and freer from adhering dirt and clay than it is as it
comes to the furnace scales.
  It is stated that the average yield of the ore at Bath Fur-
nace is forty per cent. The average in the four samples
Nos. i to 4, inclusive-from ore used at this furnace, is 42.77
per cent. of iron. The localities represented by these sam-
ples, however, are those which furnish the best ore to the
furnace; so that it seems probable these analyses do not rep-
resent the ore as much better than it really is. They are all
from within a radius of three miles. They are remarkable
for the large and uniform per centage of alumina-an amount
not heretofore found in any other ores of the State. The
phosphorus is also remarkably uniform, although not exces-
sively high for ore of this character. The absence of all
except a trace of sulphur, save in the one sample of carbon-
ate ore, is an excellent feature in these ores, and one reason
why they are so highly valued. Another point of excellence
is the comparatively small amount of silicious matter. This
averages less than in any other series of ores in the State, as
yet analyzed. This, in addition to the varied character of the
other impurities of the ore, no one of which predominates
very greatly, renders it easy to smelt, and tends to the pro-
Auction of a high grade of iron, as the silicon is not reduced
with the iron, but combines with the other impurities, and
passes off into the slag. For the same reason, the ore does
not require a large amount of limestone for flux.
  Another good quality of these ores, when limonites, is, that
they are of an open, porous structure, so that they are easily
permeable to the reducing gases of the furnace, which, there-
fore, act upon them readily. The carbonates are of a closer.
denser structure, and are not so easily reduced. It is proba-
ble that much of the difficulty in working these ores satisfac-
torily, is due more to this peculiarity of their structure, than
to any excess of impurities, although it is commonly attributed
to the presence of sulphur.
    VOL. v.-13                                            193




                 DISTRIBUTION OF THE ORES.
  For reasons before stated, it is impossible to give accurate
and detailed statements of the exact thickness and quantity
of the ore for every locality in this region. The most that
can be done is to give its thickness at a few prominent places
where it has been mined, and some notes as to its apparent
relative abundance at other localities.
  As stated in a former report, this ore occurs in abundance
along the outcrop of the Sub-carboniferous limestone, from
near the Ohio river, in Greenup county, to the southern part
of Carter county. Around Olive Hill, where last examined
in detail, the ore is present in abundance, and seems to occur
with more than usual regularity. From here, south to the
Licking river, there have been no detailed examinations made.
The region is wholly undeveloped-no mining operations nor
pick and shovel prospecting ever having been attempted as
yet. To the south of this, although no detailed examinations
have been made, the ore has been seen in considerable quan-
tity towards the head of Big Sinking creek, a branch of Little
Sandy river, on the very head waters of Tygert's creek, and
also on Christy's Fork of Triplett creek, a branch of Licking
  There is in this vicinity a large amount of ore which will be
opened to the world by the completion of the Lexington and
Big Sandy Railroad; but, until that is accomplished, must
remain wholly undeveloped.
  Between Christy's Fork of Triplett creek and the Licking
river, nothing is as yet known as to the occurrence of the ore,
but there is no reason to doubt its existence there.
  South of Licking river the ore occurs in abundance, and
has been largely mined. On Caney creek, a stream but a few
miles in length, large quantities have been mined for the
supply of the Caney Furnace, which was situated upon that
stream. It has not been in operation for a number of years.
As a consequence, all the ore banks have fallen in, and noth-
On the Iron Ores of Greenup, Boyd, and Carter counties, part III, vol. I, second




Ing could be learned in regard to the thickness of the de-
  On Clear creek, in Bath county, the deposits of the ore are
extensive, and of excellent quality. It has been largely mined
for the supply of the Bath Furnace, formerly called the Clear
Creek Furnace. Several analyses of ore from this vicinity
are given in the table. The ore was seen, at a number of
openings, from six to sixteen inches in thickness. It is re-
ported to occur frequently in ",rolls" or pockets of two to
three feet thick or more; but these are usually of limited
extent, and soon exhausted. The ore varies so in thickness
that it is impossible to give any accurate estimate as to
its average; but it is probable that it would be slightly
under twelve inches. It is usually found here resting under
about five feet of white clay. At this distance above the ore
there is usually found in the clay a thin coal streak; but it has
never, to the writer's knowledge, been followed far enough
back into the hill to be found solid. It is probable that this is
the stain of a coal which, in other places, has been opened
and found to be about fifteen feet above the limestone. The
distance from the ore to the base of the Conglomerate in this
vicinity is about sixty feet.
  All of the branches of Clear creek cut through ore terri-
tory, as do a portion of the branches of Salt Lick creek, the
stream into which Clear creek flows. Some of the branches
of Salt Lick creek on the west extend beyond the ore field,
while the main stream runs so near its edge that only a com-
paratively small area of ore is found along it.
  Although mining operations have been conducted on Caney
and Clear creeks at various times for nearly forty years past,
yet the supply of available ore is by no means exhausted.
Neither of the furnaces has been in constant operation.
Caney Furnace was discontinued in 1848, and Bath or Clear
Creek Furnace was idle from i857 or 1858 to 1873. The
consumption of ore has, therefore, been comparatively small,
and the great mass of available limonite ore is almost un-
touched. So far the supply available by benching has been




ample, and drifting for the ore has been resorted to at but few
banks, and in these cases only where the ore was of more
than usual thickness and regularity, so that it could be mined
cheaply. The Pergam bank, on Clear creek, is an instance
of this kind.
  Beaver creek, from its head to its mouth, may be said to
run through ore territory. It is a long stream, and drains an
ore area of many square miles; but it is at present wholly
undeveloped. The ore outcrops in the surface clays are
abundant, and in quantities sufficient to indicate that the ore
is present in its full average thickness. The Bath Furnace
draws a part of its ore supply from the country drained by
some of the lower branches of Beaver creek. Leatherwood
creek furnishes the larger portion of this. There are num-
bers of old ore banks on the lower part of Beaver creek,
where ore was, probably dug for the old forges which formerly
were in operation in this vicinity-one on Beaver creek, and
one on Licking river below the mouth of Beaver These
banks have all fallen in, so that it was impossible to ascer-
tain anything as to the thickness of the ore.
  Higher up on Beaver creek ore was formerly mined for the
Old Beaver Furnace, which is situated near the mouth of
Myers' branch; but this has been discontinued for over forty
years, so that the ore banks are in the same condition as
those just described. If all accounts be true, however, the
ore in this vicinity is more than usually abundant and trust-
worthy. As the furnace was only in operation ten or twelve
years, the total amount of ore consumed was comparatively
small-not enough to seriously affect the value of the ore
lands, as the great body of ore is comparatively untouched.
  The country drained by the branches of Beaver creek on
the south has been more thoroughly examined by Mr. Cran-
dall than by the writer, and to his report the reader is referred
for details.
  From here up to the head of Beaver creek the ore appears
in about its average abundance in the outcrop. No mining
operations have ever been undertaken here, and, in conse-




quence, nothing in detail is known in regard to the ore. On
the head waters of the south and southeastern branches of
Slate creek the ore is well developed. It has been discovered
at many places recently, since the thorough prospecting which
that region has been undergoing in the search for coal. This
region holds a large amount of ore as yet wholly untouched.
The same is true of the area drained principally by Indian
and Gilladie creeks, which flow into Red river from the
north, and Chimneytop creek from the south. All this re-
,,ion, as well as that drained by the branches of Slate creek.
has been examined more thoroughly by Mr. Crandall than by
the writer, and to his report the reader is referred for fuller
statements than are given here. Further down Red river
the branches from the south cut through an extensive and
valuable ore field. Middle Fork of Red river and Cat creek
are the principal streams from the south. They head in the
dividing ridge between the Red and Kentucky rivers, but a
little to the east of where this ridge has been most productive
of iron ore in the past. No ore of any consequence has been
duig on these streams, except at the heads of some of the most
westerly branches, on the Estill Furnace property; but, so far
as surface indications are to be depended upon, the undevel-
oped regions promise to be equally as rich as the developed.
  On Red river and its smaller branches considerable ore was
formerly mined and carried down the river to the old Red
River Forge and Furnace; but these have long since ceased
operations, and the ore banks have not been opened since.
These ore banks extended out to the west, on isolated knobs,
to within a mile or two of the old forge.
  The main dividing ridge between the Red and Kentucky
rivers, where it is drained by Hardwick's creek, and the most
westerly branches of Cat creek and Middle Fork on the north,
and by Miller's and Cow creeks on the south, holds the ore in
great abundance. This locality has been more extensively
worked than any other of the region. It is on this ridge that
the Estill and Cottage Furnaces are situated, and from it and
its spurs they have drawn their ore supply-one of them, Es-




till Furnace, for the last forty-five years. Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 9,
in the table of analyses, are from this ridge. These samples
were taken from piles of ore lying at the banks, as it was
impossible to reach the ore bed, mining having been discon-
tinued about a year before the time of examination, and the
banks, in consequence, having fallen in. At many places in
this vicinity all the ore which is available by benching has
been exhausted, and in future resort must be had to drifting.
For the reason just stated, the face of the ore was seen at
few places, so that accurate measurements of thickness cannot
be given. It is stated to average somewhat less than one
foot in thickness, though often occurring locally much thicker.
Ore has been extensively mined along this ridge for a dis-
tance of six or eight miles, extending from two to four miles
on the east of Estill Furnace to about the same distance west
of Cottage Furnace, where the ore disappears, the limestone
at this distance coming so near to the surface that the ore has
been all removed. The heavy Conglomerate cliffs do not
overlie the ore until in the vicinity of Estill Furnace. The
lower and thinner Conglomerate overlies it around Cottage
Furnace, the distance between being about twenty feet. The
limit of mining operations on the east of Estill Furnace is
not due to the disappearance of the ore, but to the fact that
it cannot be profitably wagoned a greater distance than from
the banks at present farthest removed from the furnace.
There is an apparent abundance of ore for a long distance
to the east along the ridge.
  On the spurs of this ridge extending to the south, between
the branches of Miller's creek, are situated the numerous ore
banks which furnished the supply for the furnaces of the Red
River Iron Company, at Fitchburg, on Miller's creek. The
best known and most productive localities are called Thacker
Ridge and Kobb Mountain. Thacker Ridge lies on the east
side of the branch of Miller's creek upon which Fitchburg is
situated, and about one mile from that village, while Kobb
Mountain is about three miles below, on the same side. The
ore banks or benches extend continuously along the outcrop



of the ore from one of these localities to the other. The ore
has not only been benched for very deeply, but many drifts have
also been run. It does not differ materially in quality or thick-
ness from that on the main ridge at Estill Furnace. It was
seen at a few places from eight to twelve inches in thickness;
but many local "pockets" have been found in the drifts which
reached three feet or more. Although some few minor spurs
of Thacker Ridge have been nearly exhausted of their ore,
yet there is in this vicinity a quantity of ore amply sufficient
to meet all probable demands of the furnaces for a long time
to come; for, in addition to the large amount yet remaining
in the ridges east of Fitchburg, the ore in the ridge to the west
is as yet intact, no mining of any consequence having been
attempted there.
  South and east of this vicinity, lying within the drainage of
the main branches of Miller's creek, there is an extensive ore
field, which is wholly undeveloped. It extends, on an average,
from six to eight miles to the east. Ore will be found much
further to the east; but beyond that distance the limestone is
so near the drainage level that the outcrop line of the ore is
limited, and