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Rucks Pit Closed For Good. >Not!<


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#1 taylorcold

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 05:07 PM

I read about this place and the amazing one of a kind calcite filled fossil clams. I drove to Ford Drum and Mr. Rucks property expecting to find the tourist area and the piles of material he had brought up for them. The place had very nice bathroom faciities, covered picnic tables and even a flume for cleaning your material. This was a very small part of a huge property dominated by lake that was once the famous Rucks Pit. There were also acres and acres of hugh piles of material dredged up from different parts of the mine years ago as it was filling with water. I asked Mr. Rucks if I could hunt these parts of his property. He was concerned about insurance liability. These spoil piles were quite high and much of the material was was sharp as glass. Eventually he relented and for about 3 months I had the place to myself. In the 12 or so trips I only saw two other people in the areas I was hunting. What people there were used the lake for recreation, never venturing near the spoil piles. Just abiout every time I went, Mr. Rucks would find me and we's talk about his life as a dairy farmer. He was a very friendly and knowledgable man who had lived in this remote area all his life. During one trip he told me he was thinking about selling the property. I didnt think alot about this as I figured he wouldnt be doing it soon, if at all. One day, it was Saturday. July 30, I was there and ran into a guy that as a kind of caretaker for Mr. Rucks, his name was Dave and he told me that the place had been sold, and Thursday, August 4th was the day the place would change hands. I was shocked and decided I would return the next day even though heavy rain was forecast. The forcast was accurate! This turned out to be a good thing as the rains helped to make the better crystal specimens more easily found. I stayed for 4 hours that day and headed back to Tampa. I called Mr. Rucks on Friday and asked if it the story of his selling the property were true and he said yes.

A sad day for fossil lovers. I found enough material to keep me busy cleaning and admiring for many months to come but the thought that so much beautiful material will probably be bulldozed over really saddened me. I was thinking of heading back to see if the new owner would be willing to let me in but I do not hold out much hope. Mr. Rucks granted me a real privilage and I am very greatful for that. Here are some pictures of a tiny fraction of what I gathered. Some of it is cleaned and carefully wrapped in newspaper and a few large plates of 2 and 3 clams still await my attention. You will see some shots of the areas I was hunting. I plan to photograph everything in the next few years. I was lucky to have gotten the chance to explore that unique place and meet Mr. Rucks.

Below is a link to my mobileme gallery where the images can best be viewed.

http://gallery.me.co...ld#100771<br />

Thomas Vaughan

#2 JimB88

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:17 PM

have you talked to the new owners? Maybe they will let you collect. Those clams are cool!

#3 Foshunter

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:38 PM

Sad----Another one bites the dust-----Tom

Grow Old Kicking And Screaming !!
"Don't Tread On Me"


#4 squalicorax

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:47 PM

wow nice fossil finds though

My Flickr Page of My Collection: http://www.flickr.co...424101@N00/sets


#5 MikeD

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:42 PM

You were one lucky guy. Those are awesome finds. I picked up a couple of those last year at a show.

#6 John Hamilton

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

Great finds! I found one on Kure Beach in NC after Hurricane Irene passed.

#7 taylorcold

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:59 PM

You were one lucky guy. Those are awesome finds. I picked up a couple of those last year at a show.



Hey Mike. Do you mind telling me what kind of prices people are getting for them?

I realize how lucky I was to have been able to collect there.

Do you now how I would go about donating some to the adminiatrators of this forum? I believe I read thay they hold raffles/sales to help support this great resource.

Thomas

#8 PaleoPutz

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 02:29 PM

Hey Mike. Do you mind telling me what kind of prices people are getting for them?

I realize how lucky I was to have been able to collect there.

Do you now how I would go about donating some to the adminiatrators of this forum? I believe I read thay they hold raffles/sales to help support this great resource.

Thomas


There is a section called, "Auctions to Benefit Forum.". You can list some of them there. Very nice specimens you have there... Congrats.

#9 crinus

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 02:51 PM

Yes, Please post them on the auction site or pm me if you would like to make a trade. For years, I have been working on a display for our local mineral show title "Why Fossils at a Mineral Show" One of the specimens you have would make a great addition to my still incomplete display.

crinus

#10 MikeD

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:30 PM

Hey Mike. Do you mind telling me what kind of prices people are getting for them?

I realize how lucky I was to have been able to collect there.

Do you now how I would go about donating some to the adminiatrators of this forum? I believe I read thay they hold raffles/sales to help support this great resource.

Thomas


Well, it seems to vary. A few bucks to hundreds, depending on the specimen. Search eBay for "calcite clam" and you will see a wide variety of prices. Some are from Ruck's Pit. Some people will pay more if the calcite fluoresces really nice.

I think I paid 30 or 35 dollars for a pair of them. An end of show, cash talks deal. They weren't the best specimens, but good enough to be representative in a collection.

What PaleoPutz and crinus said about an auction. That would be a great one.

crinus, no better specimen of calcite for a mineral collection than a fossil full of it.

#11 crinus

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:22 AM

Well, it seems to vary. A few bucks to hundreds, depending on the specimen. Search eBay for "calcite clam" and you will see a wide variety of prices. Some are from Ruck's Pit. Some people will pay more if the calcite fluoresces really nice.

I think I paid 30 or 35 dollars for a pair of them. An end of show, cash talks deal. They weren't the best specimens, but good enough to be representative in a collection.

What PaleoPutz and crinus said about an auction. That would be a great one.

crinus, no better specimen of calcite for a mineral collection than a fossil full of it.

Thanks for the info on ebay. Just did the search. What a variety of spcimens and what a range on prices.
crinus

#12 Fat Boy

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:10 PM

Those are some beautiful specimens!
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#13 Zombierose420

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:35 PM

This is a tragedy...I loved going there and I have pounds after pounds of the crystals jus laying around everywhere all around my house they r so pretty :( this really makes me sad....:"(

#14 crinus

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:06 PM

The mine is open, just moved. http://thefortdrumcr...e.com/index.htm

#15 MikeD

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:39 PM

ooooh! good info. now all i have to do is get there.....

#16 Lloyd

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:03 PM

I've heard so many conflicting stories about Rucks Pit that it's hard to know what to believe. One is that the new "pit" is not a pit at all but a field across the street where one of Eddie's grandkids is moving old piles from the original pit. That story included that water was scarce and the finds were not worth the charge. An even sadder story is that Eddie has Alzheimers and that is why he sold off the pit. I don't know...

#17 taylorcold

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:57 PM

Lloyd

You are right on all counts. Despite what the photos seems to indicate, there is a small pile of material taken from the original pit and 45 dollar fee is too high. I'm sure by now, what I saw available has been pretty much picked over.

#18 worthy 55

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:54 AM

I am lucky to have a few on those clam's myself. B) B) B) :)

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It's my bone!!!




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