|Close up of the blue celestite crystal lining. Credit: Isaac Littman|
In 1897 he sank a well beneath his winery and discovered a large vug in 10 m depth. On exploring the cave he found, that much of the cave walls showed extremely large and well developed tabular crystals, which turned out to be strontium sulfate, i.e. almost pure celestite.
The original cave was much smaller than what is shown today, as much of the celestite crystals were mined for the manufacturing of fire-works. However, Mr. Heineman decided very early to stop the mining activities and turned the property into a tourist attraction called "Crystal Cave". The crystals range from 8 to a massive three feet long... and as hard as it is to believe, there used to be way more of them. Over time, crystals were harvested and sold off to make fireworks; on the bright side, less crystals means more room for visitors to move around inside.
|Interior of the Crystal cave at Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Photo : John Rees|
Geology of the cave
Limestone cave with secondary celestite filling of unknown origin, likely to be hydrothermal. Interestingly enough, this is the only celestite bearing cave in the area, while other caves in the close vicinity are devoid of any strontium sulphate.
Coordinates : 41°39'N , 82°84'W : Crystal Cave, Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Ottawa Co., Ohio, USA
The Giant Crystal Project