Notes from the 6/20/00 membership meeting on the topic: “Found Stone”
Soapstone deposits on the road to Lake Wenatchee, WA. You must get a Forest Service permit from the Ranger Station (509 763-3103) to collect it. They can also tell you where to find the stone. The permit is about $10 and the charge for stone is about $3/cubic yard. You can drive very close to the stone deposits. The soapstone comes in many colors — light to dark chocolate, greens, golds. It has been tested for asbestos and is believed to be asbestos-free. Some Serpentine can also be found.
White mystery stone on the way to Lake Wenatchee, WA. Past the ranger station on the road to Lake Wenatchee look out for a quarry with snow white stone. It’s harder than alabaster. You can’t just take it, but you can talk to the folks at the quarry about its availability.
Marble and more, near Kettle Falls in northeastern Washington. Near the Canadian border, on the east side of the Columbia River, right near the road is an inactive quarry with marble — white with green and gold flecks. Nearby, you can also find brucite, red marble, and pink marble. While in the area look around for other inactive quarries.
Serpentine everywhere. There is lots of serpentine all over. Look for an outcropping 7 miles north of Olmac. Look in Kititas county, and look in the Mt. Stewart Range. Note: serpentine can have arsenic inclusions.
Jade by Teanaway River, about 2 hours east of Seattle area, north of Cle Elum.
Limestone. At Miller Quarry in Goldbar, WA. Active quarry, some carvable limestone for $0.01/pound. They also have basalt. Look for another limestone quarry on the south fork of the Skykomish River, on the way to Index, WA. The limestone is dark with light streaks.
Sandstone. You can find black sandstone on lots of beaches. Look for a nice, creamy-textured one in Cowichan on Vancouver Island, Canada. Tenino, WA, has a sandstone quarry also.
Basalt. West of Yakima, WA, by the Naches River, look for basalt columns. If you’re boating on the Columbia River, you can find lots more basalt.
Dumpster stone. NW Marble and Terrazzo, in Bellevue, WA, at intersection of I90 and Richards Road has scrap dimensional stone that you can take from their dumpster. Types are those used for countertops, etc. Similar stores in your area may also have scrap stone available.
Collecting free or almost-free stone has a price — time, energy, risk of injury, car wear, etc. For many, finding stone this way is rewarding because they feel more connected with the stone and the earth finding it in its natural setting, there is less environmental impact and the forms are natural.
See also the book: Gem Trails of Washington