Alan Goldstein has been an Interpretive Naturalist at the Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana in 1993 and curator at the Louisville (now Kentucky) Science Center where he curated the Gerard Troost collection. He has been investigating, collecting, and writing about the Illinois-Kentucky fluorspar district since 1982. His article on the fluorspar district published in 1997 won the Friends of Mineralogy paper of the year. He has also written for Mineral News and contributed to the American Mineral Treasures volume. Alan has helped support the Ben. F. Clement Mineral Museum in Marion, Kentucky, by establishing digs and an annual mineral show for nearly 15 years.
The Illinois Fluorite District
Mining in the Illinois-Kentucky fluorspar district began in 1835 and ended in 1995. North America’s finest specimens of fluorite, strontianite, benstonite, alstonite and paralstonite were recovered in bedding-replacement deposits north of Cave in Rock, Illinois. Additionally, world-class specimens of barite, calcite and sphalerite have been collected. While the Minerva No. 1, Denton and Annabel Lee mines were among the greatest specimen producers, they were merely the end of a long line of mines filling museum and private collections since the early 20th century. Substantial ore reserves remain, so the future of new minerals coming to light is bright when economic conditions become favorable.