Western NC Attractions
Isinglass Village in Spruce Pine is a great new place to explore. This antique and historical museum explores the history of gem and mica mining in our region of Western North Carolina and is a huge addition to the Western NC Attractions related to gem mining in North Carolina. A place for the whole family to enjoy, Isinglass Village features a wealth of historical artifacts, an adorable Gift Shop where you can purchase jewelry, gems, antiques and other unique items such as mica lamps, and educational exhibits related to gem mining North Carolina.
Bob Schabilion, operator of Emerald Village, a great NC Gem Mine, wanted to create a culturally significant attraction in Western NC that spotlighted the history of gem mining in the area and showcased the antique equipment used. The museum features one hundred year old mining equipment and machinery that was once used at the Tar Heel Mica Company in Plumtree. The Tar Heel was the oldest manufacturing plant in Avery County, operating some one hundred years.
One of the pieces of antique mining machinery that you can check out is a over 100 year old generator that was found underneath the floor o the Tar Heel facility. The patent on the generator reads June 30, 1896. The generator was powered by the Toe River and was used to grind mica that was mined along the Toe River. It was used during DT Vance's operations at the Tar Heel Mica Company.
Isinglass Village is one of the must see Western NC Attractions located just near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Any rock hound or gem lover will relish the opportunity to browse all of the antiques and Gift Shop at the village. You can find it by traveling NC Hwy 226. The museum and other structures sits on nearly 9 acres of land and spans 3 separate structures. Click to learn more about Flume Mining, Mica Mining and other pertinent information on Gem Mining North Carolina.