Other Places to Find Sandstone and Novaculite

It's drawn from information dating to the 1890s, but if you need sharpening stone-worthy novaculite or sandstone this state-by-state guide might help you find it.

| March/April 1983

  • sandstone - sharpening stone
    Many states have deposits of novaculite and sandstone suitable for use as whetstones.
    Photo by Fotolia/JPS

  • sandstone - sharpening stone

This guide to the locations of potential sharpening stone sources is adapted from a list published in the Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Arkansas for 1890, volume 3, Whetstones and Novaculites of Arkansas, by L.S. Griswold. I have not attempted to correct any of the misspellings of the locations given here for fear of doing more harm than good. Your state geology department should have more detailed records for your own area. Good hunting!

Alabama. Sandstone is quarried near Eldridge, in Walker County.

Arkansas. "A quarry of this mineral [novaculite], three miles above the Hot Springs of Washitaw, has often been noticed by travelers for its extent and excellency of its quality" (Henry R. Schoolcraft, 1819). Lower Silurian novaculite is found in the following counties: Garland, Hot Spring, Howard, Montgommy, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, and Saline.

Dakota. Sandstone is found near Buffalo Gap in Custer County and schist near Tigerville in Pennington County.

Georgia. There is novaculite in Lincoln County on a low hill two miles from the Lincolnton courthouse, projecting nearly vertically from the ground over an area of four or five acres. It is straw-colored to greenish white. It is also found near Graves Mountain. Another whetstone grit is found in McDuffie, Heard, Troup, Oglethorpe, and Meriweather counties.

Indiana. Hindostan quarries were opened about 1840. Two stones are quarried, one a shoemaker's sandstone and the other a very fine-grained, compact sandstone, used chiefly for whetstones by carpenters, mechanics, and others. These are found in Orange County, French Licks 9, and Orangeville 2.

Maine. Novaculite is found in abundance near the forks of the Kennebec, eighty or ninety miles from Hallowell Silurian novaculite is found near Phillips and Temple in Franklin County. There is Huronian serpentine novaculite on Little Deer Island and Western Island in Hancock County. Sandstone may be found at Nutter's Head in Washington County and Cambrian novaculite at York in York County.

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