Fort Drum

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Location digging area Ruck's Pitt

 

 

Sand is not the only collectable item you can find in Florida.

A few years ago I visited Fort Drum, where you can find Ruck’s Pit. —> link Ruck’s Pit.

Fort Drum is a town in Okeechobee County, Florida, USA.

It is located on US 441, between Yeeshaw Junction and Okeechobee.

Fort Drum is the only known locality for crystal bearing fossil shells. 

 

 

In the Pliocene and Pleistocene it was underlain by the now-

smaller Lake Okeechobee.

Vast limestone deposits containing the remains of large bivalve

molluscs developed calcite crystallization while still

under water.

The gemlike crystals were discovered after the hard limestone

deposits came to be excavated for aggregate.

In 2008 the quarry known as Ruck’s Pit was closed and allowed to

flood.

Nowadays another location 2 blocks west has been opened. 

Ruck’s Pit in Fort Drum, Florida, which is owned and operated by

Eddie Rucks, is the PRIME locality to find minerals and fossils combined in the same specimen.

Specimens from this locality range from 1.6 to 2 million years old.

The area north of Lake Ockeechobee used to be flooded since it was so close to sea level.

Once the water receded the clams died and calcite crystals began to form inside.

 

The best calcite clams from Ruck’s Pit are found in the middle and lower sections of the Nashua Formation.

You can find a wealth of excellent specimens there.

The best specimens are the one in the “living” position. Living position means that the clam is vertical, not horizontal.

Clams that were vertical allowed more material to get in for the growth of calcite crystals. 

Ruck’s Pit is a great locality, especially for the beginning rock hound kid.

The sheer wealth of specimens at this locality guarantees that you will come home with a bucket full of them.  

                                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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