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Vail Millstones

The Vail millstones were recovered from the Site of the Stephen Vail, Jr. mill on the Green Brook in Green Brook Township, NJ. The Millstones are cut from Shawangunk Conglomerate Grit - a stone consisting of silica-cemented quartz pebbles. Deposits of the conglomerate are found along a high ridge that runs through the northwest corner of New Jersey and into New York State. Millstones of this type are sometimes referred to as Esopus millstones after the Lenape tribe that originally inhabited the area where the stone is found. Shawangunk translates from the Lenape language as: "in the smoky air."

The Shawangunk Conglomerate was the result of a sequence of geological events, which resulted in the creation of the Shawangunk ridge. The soft shale layers forming the foundation of the Shawangunk mountains were originally muddy sediments deposited in the extensive inland sea that covered much of this area during the Ordovician Period about 500 million years ago. These shale layers were folded and uplifted during an episode of crustal upheaval. Submerged once again beneath a shallow sea during the Silurian Period 450 million years ago, new sediments of white sandy material and fragments of translucent quartz were deposited near the shore. The resulting concrete - like mix of sand and quartz pebbles eventually formed the rock referred to as Shawangunk Conglomerate. These extremely durable and weather resistant conglomerates, and the underlying shale, are the two basic rocks, which make up the Shawangunk Mountain Range.

Runner StoneThe square runner stone is 27" across and 4" to 9" high. The top surface is very crude and shows little sign of shaping.



Bed StoneThe octagonal bed stone is 27" across and 4" thick. The bottom is fairly well finished.