A few years back my youngest daughter and I volunteered at the Tolliver House-which sits beside Outdoor Drama Playhouse where the story of the Trail of the Lonesome Pine is still portrayed. She and I worked in the gift shop/touring part of the home. While we were there we learned about something called fairy stones. They are mentioned in the famous book. In the story the a young lover gives his sweetheart one of these stones. The story says that fairies, nymphs and naiads lived in the forest of the Shenandoah Valley. One day an elf visited and told the story of the Christian crucifixion of Jesus. They became so saddened that they cried-and as their tears hit the ground they turned into stones shaped into tiny crosses. Those stones became a talisman-people carried them for protecting against witches, sickness and accidents.
The crosses are a brown staurolite, a combination of SILICA, IRON and ALUMINUM (and dots of real garnet). Together, these minerals crystallize in twin form, accounting for the cross-like structure. They are found only in rocks that have been subjected to great heat and pressure, the stones are most commonly shaped like the St. Andrew's and Roman crosses, though others are in the shape of the Maltese cross. They are found in an area of South Carolina and a place in Russia. But not in such abundance or naturally cross shaped as in the Fairy Stone State Park.
Ok, so I thought you might find this story interesting. I did.
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