Hundreds of years before Pocahontas father, Chief Powhatan, reined over the land that is now Virginia, fairies dance and played around springs of water with naiads and wood nymphs. One day an elfin messenger arrived from a city far away and brought news of the death of Christ. When the fairies heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept and as their tears fell upon the ground, they crystallized to form beautiful crosses. Historic superstitions held that possessing one of these rare stones would protect its owner from illness, accidents, and even warding off a witch’s curse.
And so goes the legend of how these unique mineral formations came to be. In truth, they are brown staurolite, a combination of silica, iron, and aluminum. Together these minerals crystallize in twin form creating a cross-shaped formation. They are found only in rocks that have been subject to great heat and pressure such as was found millions of years ago in the geological history of the formation of the Allegheny Mountains. While various formations of fairy stones may be found around the world, nowhere are they more perfectly cross-shaped or abundant that in the area in and around Virginia’s Fairy Stone State Park near the town of Bassett. At 4,537 acres, the park is the largest of the state’s original six parks and has much to offer in addition to the opportunity to search out your own fairy stone. The park abounds in recreational activities including hiking, fishing, horseback riding and more, all in the atmosphere of spectacular scenic beauty. Stay in the campgrounds or rent a cabin.