Abstract

Loren B. Merrill of Paris, Maine, died at his home on March 30, 1930 at the age of 77 years. The death of Mr. Merrill will bring a sense of great personal loss to a wide circle of friends who came to know him through his love of minerals. The writer of this appreciation first met Mr. Merrill in 1896. Then a stranger to eastern mineral localities, I went to Paris Hill one late September day and made my way to Mr. Merrill’s house. I had seen in the Harvard Mineralogical Museum the tourmalines and associated minerals taken from Mt. Mica and presented as the Hamlin Collection. I wanted to see the deposit from which they had come and as Mr. Merrill then owned the mine on Mt. Mica, he was naturally the first person to seek. He was cordial in his greeting and next morning took me with him to the mine where he was working and turned me loose on the dump. I had a wonderful day for there was a wealth of minerals unfamiliar to me to be had for the taking, and the dump was at that faraway time not so well picked over by collectors as in later days. That was the first of many visits to Paris Hill and to Loren Merrill, sometimes with my class on a spring collecting trip; again for more serious collecting or purchase of specimens. I never failed to find him with something new or interesting in the way of minerals found in his ever active search. I like to remember him in his little shop behind his house where he learned to cut in the greatest perfection the beautiful tourmalines, quartzes and beryls he had dug from the Maine ledges. He was active at Mt. Mica from the very earliest period of its working as a tourmaline mine and after the dissolution of the first company organized by Mr. Hamlin of which he had been an employee, he became the owner. Single handed or with one or two helpers only he carried on the work for many years, his enthusiasm overcoming the ever increasing difficulties of operation as the zone of gem-pockets went deeper into the ledge. The cut on the top of Mt. Mica and the great pile of waste taken from it will remain for many years the best monument to his tireless energy.

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