Chronology of the Havey Mine, Poland, Maine


The Berry-Havey pegmatite compromises two different working quarries and several prospects, in certain areas they worked in conjunction with each other during the feldspar mining era making it difficult as to know exactly where the property lines were. When actively being mined each locality is referred to by the original mine owner. There was an absence of mining activity for over 50 years where it was commonly referred to the Berry Havey quarry, primarily because actual property lines where not evident.

Late 1890’s

A. R. Berry starts mining on adjacent farm (same pegmatite) for feldspar (used in the making of porcelain, china and earthenware). Some pockets were found which included tourmaline and other minerals.


Forest L. Havey signs 10-year lease to mine the Brown Farm. Mining for feldspar was sporadic during the first several years. Feldspar mining was not a highly profitable mining venture.


Edson S. Bastin of the United States Geological Society visits, and in 1911 publishes Bulletin 445 Geology of the Pegmatites and Associated Rocks of Maine studying important commercial minerals of the time (primarily feldspar, quartz, mica, and gems).


Forrest L. Havey signs 10-year lease to mine the Brown Farm from Edwin Hackett and promises to pay Hackett 25 cents/metric ton. Mining for feldspar was sporadic during the first several years. Feldspar mining was not a highly profitable mining venture.


Havey purchases the Brown Farm property.


Havey strikes tourmaline, unearthing several major tourmaline pockets.


Many local and several Boston newspapers send reporters who write lengthy articles on the importance of the finds. Additional newspapers throughout the country have shorter articles about the finds.


American Museum of Natural History’s E. O. Hovey wrote to Havey:
Professor A. E. Verrill has informed me that you have charge of a particularly choice series of tourmaline crystals found at the famous locality. I understand that the collection is for sale, hence I am writing to ask for all particulars with regard to it. This museum is not in a position to compete with commercial people for gems and gem material, but we desire, when practical, to preserve for scientific and educational purposes, such wonderful collections as this one in your care is described to me.”


D. B. Sterrett, from the U. S. Bureau of Mines, visits the property and takes photos (along with several other Maine localities). The Berry-Havey mines are written up in the yearly Mineral Resources” book for the next five or six years. The 1912 report says, Maine has been an important contributor to the production of tourmaline during 1910, 1911, and 1912. This output came chiefly from a quarry near Poland, belonging to F. L. Havey, of Brunswick, Me. This property yields high-grade gem material in which green is the predominate color, but some crystals containing red and blue are found.”


Havey sells the (farm) land around the mine, but retains the mine, itself.


Maine Feldspar Company relocates Havey to the Topsham area to work a quarry for feldspar. (Also termed as “the Havey Quarry”, or “Havey 2”)


I believe the Berry & Havey quarries were leased out and kept being mined through 1920 when most mining for feldspar moved to Oxford County as they found more productive feldspar localities in that region. Very little info available during this mining era.


American Mineralogist Vol. 10. Kenneth K. Landes writes an article about the different classes of pegmatite and the different minerals associated with them, entitled A Paragenesis of the Granite Pegmatites of Central Maine.


American Mineralogist Vol. 15. Dr. Harry Berman, noted Professor of Mineralogy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., publishes several highly technical papers on rare minerals found at the Berry-Havey quarries.


Geological Survey Professional Paper 255 by Cameron, During 1942-1946 the U. S. Geological Survey made intensive study of New England pegmatites to aid in the exploration, development, and mining of pegmatite mineral deposits, and to gain information concerning available reserves of strategic pegmatite minerals. Berry-Havey mines are mapped and included in the publication.


Z. Terrence Szenics buys the Havey mine property from Owen McInerney (Havey’s relative).


Szenics works the Havey for one year before mining in several other areas of the country and becoming an international mineral buyer.


Mineralogy of Maine, Volume 1, by Vandall King and Eugene Foord. Many references to the different minerals in the Berry-Havey quarry.


Steve Welsh leases the abutting Berry Quarry.


Welsh has several nice finds of tourmaline and other minerals in the Berry Quarry.


The book, A Collector’s Guide to Maine Mineral Localities, is published. The cover features tourmaline crystals from the Havey quarry that are part of the Harvard Museum collection.


Mineralogy of Maine Volume 2, by Vandall King. The article, History of Mining in Maineincludes the Berry-Havey quarry.


Stephen Welsh purchases the abutting Berry Quarry and continues to work the quarry sporadically to date.


Z. Terrence Szenics sells the Havey Quarry to Jeffrey W. Morrison.


Clean up property and works on making new access into the mine.


Serious mining begins. Maine rock is very hard and nothing is found without drilling and blasting. First significant tourmaline pocket was found in 2011. 2013 had many significant finds along with some spectacular specimens. Significant finds every year to present although some years have been more productive than others. Major finds includes elbaite (tourmaline), fluorapatite, quartz, beryl, hydroxyl-herderite, cassiterite, along with finds of numerous other minerals.


Encarnación Roda-Robles, William Simmons, Alexander Falster, James Nizamoff et al. start doing research on the geology of the Havey pegmatite publishing much of the research.


Cross Jewelers in Portland starts marketing Havey tourmaline as “Sparhawk”.


Due to the generosity of Frances Seay a major tourmaline crystal and 30+ carat gemstone end up at the Smithsonian.


A beautiful suite of tourmaline gemstones from the Boxing Day Pocket cut by Sean Sweeney wins 2nd place in the AGTA Spectrum Awards


Due to the generosity of Frances Seay a major tourmaline crystal and 30+ carat gemstone end up at the Smithsonian.