Jasper is a type of quartz. There were once many towns named Jasper because of its use in jewelry and for body ornamentation. Now there aren’t so many people wearing jasper. The 2nd largest town named Jasper is in the state of Alabama northwest of Birmingham. There are said to be 19 Jaspers left in North America, but many of them are now very small. The Jasper in Colorado near Creede, for example, is described as a “near ghost town”.
My favorite Jasper is not in the USA. It’s in Alberta, Canada, and at the end of what is still called the Icefields Parkway that includes beautiful Lake Louise. Ruth’s cousins loved this drive and Jasper. This is a magical destination, and Jasper is a great town of more than 4,000 Canadians. There’s a famous Canadian resort near it worth seeing.
Most of the Jaspers are still on maps. These include the Jaspers in Virginia, Michigan, and New York. There are fairly large Jaspers in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Indiana. Jasper, Indiana, is a stand alone community not too far from the resort French Lick. Jasper, Missouri, is down to 931 people north of Joplin. A lot of towns still contain the words gold and silver in their names, but not Jasper so much anymore. It is a fading jewelry item and town name.
There are still 8 counties named Jasper in the United States. They include ones in Illinois, South Carolina, and Georgia. Ancient peoples used to think that wearing jasper helped the stomach. This is no longer true. Jasper polishes up hard and is good in jewelry. Maybe we should go back to the practice of wearing it and encourage the purchase of jasper once again. Another fading town named Jasper is in extreme southwest Minnesota near Pipestone National Monument. I recall lots of Native American artifacts there just before a massive rainstorm hit but not much jasper. Native Americans used it in a lot of body decorations.
There are still 18 Jaspers in the United States, but their number is decreasing. Jasper in it natural state is usually red, yellow, brown, or green. As mines fade so does jasper.