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Tor Thorwald Lithographic Quarry

A cache by Juicepig Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 03/28/2013
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:


This cache is on the Private grounds of Geneva Park (YMCA) - this cache has been placed with permission. If you choose to seek this cache, please be sure to obey all signage and respect the trails.

The Northern section of this Peninsula was a quarry prized for its Lithographic Limestone deposits, Quarried as Early as 1845 for export by Lake Schooner to Toronto.

The History:

The "Tor Thorwald" Quarry was a Quarry built in the early 1800's by Mr. W.E. O'Brien and Mr. Moberly, for the Construction of Buildings in Toronto and production of Lime for the kilns across colonial lake Simcoe. The Stone here was of such quality and lacking of imperfections that it was used for Lithographic purposes as well.

Lithography is using a stone free of imperfections to create mirror images, for use in a printing press. A lithographic stone has the mirror image cut into a layer of wax on it's surface, which is then pressed into ink so that when paper is applied, the positive image is produced. High quality Lithographic plates were highly sought after in Upper Canada, as the demand for books with images increased.

During our stay a schooner was taking on board a cargo of lime to be forwarded to Toronto the produce of two limekilns constructed within a few feet of the water which is sufficiently deep to admit of a schooner of 60 tons approaching within two yards of tho shore The limekilns like the working of the quarry is at present an experiment which we do not doubt will be successful and amply repay tho enterprise and courage of the proprietors Messrs O Brien and Moberly The lime is of a very pure description and will soon find a ready market We were glad to hear of the safe arrival in Toronto of the first shipment of lime from the lime kilns of Tor Thorwald in event of much importance to builders and one likely to advance the settlement of that beautiful waste the north eastern shores of Lake Couchiching We understand however that it is the intention of Mr O Brien to establish limekilns at Barrie in the Spring of 1851 and convey the stone per schooner from his quarries at Lake Couchiching Toronto and intermediate place will then always be able to secure any quantity of lime of excellent quality at a few day's notice and at a reasonable charge We cordially wish this enterprise all the success it so justly merits.
-Excerpt From "The Canadian journal, Volume II, 1853'4

Small Cave caused by erosion in the Quarry wall

The Geology:

Lithographic Limestone is extremely fine grained, homogeneous and defect free limestone, highly prized for art, and building, and melts like butter into lime. This Particular Limestone is part of the Gull River Formation, a bedrock that surfaces through central Ontario, from here to Napanee. It was formed in the Ordovician Period 485-443 Million years ago, when the world was ruled by squids, and plants were beginning to flee their reign by heading onto land.

Cut Quarry Walls, often at right angles

To Log a find:

Please email me with your answers to the following:

1. Find a recently broken piece of Rock (Please do not Break one yourself!) and feel the texture of limestone. Would you say that this limestone has a lot of imperfections? Explain

2. Walk further along the Shoreline. Describe the obvious Quarry area, and why it seems unnatural.

3. Why would you think that some bands of limestone are thicker then others? Explain

4. (optional) Your picture with the Limestone!

Blocks cut for shipping, but never delivered

This cache placed by a central Ontario Geocacher!

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