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Book Chapter

A tour of the Peach Bottom Slate—Once the best building slate in the world

By
Jeri L. Jones
Jeri L. Jones
Jones Geological Services, 276 North Main Street, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania 17362, USA
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Charles K. Scharnberger
Charles K. Scharnberger
Department of Earth Sciences (Professor Emeritus), Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania 17551, USA
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Mary Ann Schlegel
Mary Ann Schlegel
Lancaster County Environmental Center, One Nature’s Way, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602-2027, USA
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Donald C. Robinson
Donald C. Robinson
Old Line Museum, 1037 Atom Road, Delta, Pennsylvania 17314-9101, USA
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Published:
October 06, 2006

Abstract

Within the Piedmont Uplands Section of southeastern Pennsylvania lies a metamorphic terrane containing the Peach Bottom Slate. The Peach Bottom Formation has been the center of attention for both quarrymen and geologists for more than 200 years. This probably early Paleozoic unit, underlying “Slate Ridge,” has been mined in Lancaster and York Counties, Pennsylvania, and Harford County, Maryland. The Peach Bottom Slate was judged the best building slate in the world at the 1850 World Exposition in London. Although mining terminated in the 1940s, the effect of the slate on the community and its heritage is well preserved today. The main purpose of the field trip is to examine some of main landmarks of the slate’s cultural effects, including a visit to a Welsh cemetery and a view of the district’s largest quarry. We also will seek an understanding of how the slate industry’s history has been preserved.

Some problems of the regional geology also will be addressed. At our first two stops in Chester and Lancaster Counties, we will examine serpentinite within the Baltimore Mafic Complex. Our next stop in Lancaster County is a key exposure showing the relationship between the Peach Bottom Formation and its neighboring rock units. Despite much research on the structural implications of these rocks, the interpretation is still “up in the air.” Your opinions will be very much welcomed.

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Contents

Excursions in Geology and History: Field Trips in the Middle Atlantic States

Geological Society of America
Volume
8
ISBN electronic:
9780813756080
Publication date:
October 06, 2006

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