News

Current Grand Marais Scenes

  • Current Grand Marais Scenes August 2018

    Current Grand Marais Scenes August 2018

    This web page update covers from late April through the beginning of August.  We experienced a late winter storm in April, so there was still some ice hugging the Lake Superior shoreline. While visiting Sable Falls with friends, we noticed a failed attempt by beavers to fall a tree. In the spring the deer are … Continue reading "Current Grand Marais Scenes August 2018"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2018

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2018

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys. I love taking photos in the Grand Marais area all times of the year, but I think I like winter photos the best. But the first photo included in this webpage … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2018"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2017

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2017

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys. For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between August and November. To begin here are a couple of … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2017"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2017

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2017

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys. For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between the end of March and mid-July. First, here are a … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2017"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2017

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2017

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys. For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand Marais area between September and February. First, here are a few fall photos. One of the first snow … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2017"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2016

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2016

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys  . I also post agate photos, shared mostly on various Facebook rockhounding sites, to the museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum. For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2016"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2015

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2015

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys . I also post agate photos, shared mostly on various Facebook rockhounding sites, to the museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum. For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures that I took in the Grand … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2015"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2015

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2015

    NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com and on my main personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys . I also post agate photos, shared mostly on various Facebook rockhounding sites to the museum’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum. For this webpage update, I have selected some of my favorite pictures from the late winter and early … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2015"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2015

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2015

    For those of you who miss the monthly updates to this webpage and have not checked out other Internet sites at which I post photos on almost a daily basis, please check out my blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com. I also have Facebook pages. Unfortunately, there are more than one. My main personal Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys . I … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2015"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2014

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2014

    I would like to thank everyone again for the positive comments about the pictures I post on the blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com, as well as those I put on my personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys?ref=tn_tnmn Sometimes, but not always, I duplicate a few of the photos between the two pages. This helps save time, plus there are different people … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2014"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2014

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2014

    I would like to thank everyone again for the positive comments about the pictures I post on the blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com, as well as those I put on my personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys?ref=tn_tnmn Sometimes, but not always, I duplicate a few of the photos between the two pages. This helps save time, plus there are different people … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2014"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2013

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2013

    First of all, I would like to thank everyone for the positive comments I get regarding the pictures I post on the blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com. This year I have missed more days than last, but I still average posting an update at least six days a week. So for this web page update, I looked through … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2013"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August 2013

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August 2013

    I have not had a lot of time for hiking adventures this summer, but I have had a few great outings. After posting the last web page update in March, I did a series of snowshoes on the beach in front of Woodland Park. Here are some of the photos taken from March through April. … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August 2013"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2013

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2013

    Since the regular museum hours ended in September, I have spent all my free time when not at shows working on the Online Rockhounding Adventures. Thus, I have not executed a web page update. So for this update, I’ll include a few extra photos. Fall colors were spectacular last autumn. Some of the maple trees … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2013"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2012

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2012

    I must admit that the summer schedule did not allow much time to hike. This is the first year that I worked most of the hours, other than when I was away at shows. The blog keeps me honest, to a degree, so I was able to get some good shots to document the beauty … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2012"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2012

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2012

    I have been busier than normal the past few months, but I still make time to get out to hike and take pictures. I cannot afford the time daily, but I try to get out a few times a week. For this web page update, I am including a variety of pictures from the Grand … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2012"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2012

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2012

    This seemingly has been the winter that wasn’t. Sure we have had cold temperatures, but for the second year in a row, I did not register any readings at my house below zero. The coldest my thermometer read was around 2 degrees F. During most of the winter the high temperatures were in the 20s … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2012"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2012

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2012

    Winter has been slow to start up in the Grand Marais area. There are no official snowfall totals for Grand Marais, but there are for Marquette. We are down at least 30 inches of snow so far this winter. Only half of the ski runs are open at Marquette Mountain. Many of the snowmobile trails … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2012"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Winter 2011

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Winter 2011

    It was difficult to select pictures to feature in this update’s current Grand Marais scenes. If you would like to see others that I did not select, please visit my photoblog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com. We’ll start out with a shot I took the day before the full lunar eclipse, which happened on December 21st. I posted some … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Winter 2011"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2011

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2011

    It was difficult to select the photos I want to feature in this update. I must admit that I love taking pictures with my camera and because I have taken so many pictures these past few months (since the last web page update), I have thousands from which to choose. During the summer months, it … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2011"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Spring 2011

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Spring 2011

    It was again difficult to select pictures to feature in this update’s current Grand Marais scenes. Since I update the photoblog almost daily at www.agatelady.blogspot.com, there are a lot from which to choose. I decided to select pictures that capture the diversity of what you can see in the Grand Marais area if you are willing … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Spring 2011"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Fall 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Fall 2010

    This has been an incredibly windy fall. The winds started Labor Day weekend and have continued off and on (but mostly on) for four months. In the Grand Marais area, we have had a few storms with wind speeds over 60 mph; one storm clocked winds at 84 mph! We also have had a fairly … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Fall 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August and September 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August and September 2010

    We went from a hot August to a cool and windy September. My busy schedule has not allowed time for a lot of hikes. However, I was able to snap off a few pictures while visiting friends around town. Since I didn’t have time to implement an August update, I’ll include pictures in this update … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August and September 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2010

    The Grand Marais July 4th celebration was fantastic this year. The weather was warm, but a good time was had by all. I enjoyed visiting with a friend, Marsha Hendrickson, as well as my aunt and uncle, Lynne and Doug Kane. It is a challenge to get the timing right, especially with digital cameras that … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2010

    Since I now maintain the blog at www.agatelady.blogspot.com as well as this web page and include photos on both — I was originally going to separate photos and not duplicate. That is difficult so I’ve decided that the photos on this web page will be my favorite from those included during the previous few weeks on the … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April/May 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April/May 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES April/May 2010 Other than the day we had some snow in early May, which melted right away, it has been a beautiful spring. As is true everywhere else, the trees are leafing out, the trilliums are up, rocks are again exposed on the beach, and the days are getting longer. This … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April/May 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2010

    Since I update the blog www.agatelady.blogspot.com on a regular basis, I have decided that from now on any photos that I include in the regular web page update will be different than those that are included in the blog update. Of all the snowshoe and ski adventures I have been lucky enough to participate in this winter, … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2010

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2010

    Although we have had snow cover in Grand Marais since early December, the total snowfall amount is much less than in previous years. We’ve only had one big storm, which occurred around Christmas time. In January, we have only received a few inches of snow. There is still a lot of winter left; we will … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2010"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Fall 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Fall 2009

    Travel has been occupying my time lately, so I have not been home enough to get out in Grand Marais very much. However, I do have a couple of fall color shots. During my travels this past year, I have been looking for roadside Americana art. I saw two examples on my recent trip. The … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Fall 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2009

    This month’s featured photos include a mixture of scenes. First, I’ve included a few from Whitefish Point, taken last weekend when I was there with a booth and teaching agate classes. The first is a picture taken from my booth on the porch of the gift shop, looking out over the museum complex. I must … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August 2009

    On July 25th there was a lot happening in Grand Marais. At noon, the historical society had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Post Office Museum. This unique 5-sided building served as the Grand Marais post office for many decades. The building was moved from its original site to Main Street last year and has … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: August 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2009

    Unfortunately, my busy schedule has not allowed me time to go hiking this past week. However, before that, we were able to hike in the dunes many a day. The bugs have been a bit of a challenge on some of the days, but bug shirts and bug hats allow us to be outside and … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: July 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Spring 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Spring 2009

    When I left for my trips in late April, it was still winter in Grand Marais in that there were still five-foot snowbanks in my yard. When I arrived home two weeks later – the snow was melted, the flowers were beginning to bloom, and the trees were budding out. I’ll include a few of … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Spring 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2009

    Although I have enjoyed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing this winter, I must admit that I am ready for spring. Even though spring officially has begun, we still have a lot of snow in the woods. The warmer temperatures have made the deep snow slushy, so we have been hiking and snowshoeing in the dunes for … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2009

    On this second to last day in February, it is another one of those old-fashioned winter blustery days. We received another foot of snow last night so the season’s total now exceeds 250 inches. Since the wind chill is well below zero, to document some of the snow I decided to just drive out to … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2009

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2009

    This has certainly been a winter for many people around the country, Grand Marais included. I have lived here since 1994 and this is the most snow I’ve seen for this time of year. As of about a week ago, our official total was almost 180 inches! It has also been a cold winter, although … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2009"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2008

    Winter has come early this year to many areas — including Grand Marais. Since my house sits up on a glacial hill, it is at the mercy of the wind all winter long. The wind piles the snow on the south side of the house. It usually takes all winter for the snow to pile … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: December 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2008

    Fall is an unbelievable time in the Upper Peninsula. The temperatures this past month or so have varied from 75 to 20 degrees. The winter season has begun, though, with a snow storm that dropped over 20 inches in some places. In Grand Marais proper, we received around 8 inches so far. As usual, the … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: November 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: October 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: October 2008

    One of my favorite times to hike in the Upper Peninsula is during the fall season. Not only do the arboreal colors add to the splendor, but there are usually no other hikers and no bugs. The first picture featured this month is a Ghost Forest stump. The interpretive sign near Sable Falls’ dune walk … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: October 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2008

    Although September has still been busy with shows and custom orders, I have continued to hike in the dunes as much as possible. The goal this hiking season is to walk on all of the ridges in the dunes and with the hike yesterday, that goal has been completed. Next year, I want to try … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: September 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Summer 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Summer 2008

    The weather so far this summer in Grand Marais has been like what I remember it was when I was a kid. Unlike last summer with the searing 90 degree days, the temperatures have been in the 70s during the day and 50s at night. Wonderful! Since there has been enough but not too much … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: Summer 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2008

    This month has delivered almost every type of weather. We have had temperatures range from the 30s to nearly 90. Despite the variation, though, I have kept up my exercise program and have spent a lot of time hiking in the dunes. While hiking, I took this picture of a downhill skier skiing down the … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: June 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: May 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: May 2008

    This month’s Grand Marais Scenes feature photos that were taken while I’ve been on my daily exercise hikes. The first photo was taken from up in Grand Sable Dunes. It shows an interesting angle of the dunes with the breakwater in Grand Marais in the distance. The second picture shows my friend, Scott Wieting, as … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: May 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2008

    The current Grand Marais scenes for this month include pictures taken at the beginning of the month before I went downstate to conduct the Gitche Gumee Gatherings. As part of my continuing new exercise routine, I walked across Sable Dunes to get the picture of the dunes and iceberg row. I just love the dunes … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: April 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2008

    Winter just doesn’t want to leave the Upper Peninsula. Since the wind has been shifting, ice flows are moving around the big lake. In the first photo that was taken from Sable Falls Creek (second creek) looking back towards town, you can see all of the floating ice on the north side of the icebergs. … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: March 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2008

    This has certainly been an “old fashioned” winter. There has been one blizzard after another. It is a good thing that I am a cross-country skier who enjoys being outside in the winter. For if not, I would have missed just how beautiful the winter has been. One of the blizzards blew for over 30 … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: February 2008"
  • CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2008

    CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2008

    If you have never been on the shoreline of a Great Lake when the lake-effect-snow-making machine cranks up, then you have missed an exciting weather experience. Most people don’t like snow, especially when it is coming down in a white-out event. However, the experience can be intense, as long as you don’t have to drive. … Continue reading "CURRENT GRAND MARAIS SCENES: January 2008"
  • CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: December 2007

    CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: December 2007

    Unlike last year when we had almost no snow until the third week of January, winter has started early this year. The pictures in this update include a couple taken in November on a hike to Au Sable Lighthouse. The first is an interesting picture of the lighthouse, with a late fall sun angle. The … Continue reading "CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: December 2007"
  • CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: August 2007

    CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: August 2007

    With the very busy August, I did not get out into nature to take any photographs. Thus, this month’s scenes were taken at the Grand Marais Music and Arts Festival. I must admit, that this year’s festival was one of the best in recent years. Other than a few raindrops on Saturday and some wind … Continue reading "CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: August 2007"
  • CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: July 2007 Scenes

    CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: July 2007 Scenes

    The July 4th Holiday in Grand Marais was another Gem. Since I did participate in the parade again, this year riding my bike wearing the bear coat (rather than walking), I don’t get much of a chance to see the other participants. Before it began, though, I took this picture of the Bennett clan. On … Continue reading "CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: July 2007 Scenes"
  • CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: June 2007 Scenes

    CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: June 2007 Scenes

    My friends have learned that in July and August, I am busy with the museum, thus, not allowing time to go camping and hiking. Also, the best time to “do Grand Marais,” as we locals call it, is in the spring and the fall. The visit from my friends Marsha and Denise provided an opportunity … Continue reading "CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: June 2007 Scenes"
  • CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: May 2007 Scenes

    CURRENT SCENES OF GRAND MARAIS: May 2007 Scenes

    Each monthly update will include recent photos. Usually, these are photos from the Grand Marais area. In most cases, the photos will be those taken from the previous month. For example, the May update includes April photos.  

Customer Agate Finds

  • Customer Agate Finds August 2018

    Customer Agate Finds August 2018

    This has been an interesting summer of agate hunting in Grand Marais.  There is more rock on the beach than there has been in several years.  Despite the number of beach pebbles, there have not been as many agates brought into the museum as I expected.  Perhaps people are finding them, but not just bringing … Continue reading "Customer Agate Finds August 2018"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2018

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2018

    As I said in the introduction on the home page, spring has not yet sprung in Grand Marais. There is still considerable snow and ice on the Lake Superior shoreline and the back roads around the Grand Marais area are not yet open. It is hard to determine when winter will loosen its grip on … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2018"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2017

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2017

    The lack of ice flow on Lake Superior this past winter and spring definitely impacted the quality of agate hunting along the shoreline over the summer. Despite fewer agates being found, people still brought some nice agates into the museum. This first Lake Superior agate was found mid-August by Ann Blanchard, who is from Port … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2017"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2017

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2017

    For the second year in a row there was little to no ice flow on Lake Superior. In other years the ice transports rocks around the basin and moves new rocks to our beach, including agates. The ice we did have moved back and forth at the end of spring and did dredge some rocks … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2017"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2017

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2017

    Last year was not a great year for agate hunting, mostly due to the lack of ice flow on Lake Superior. It seems that the ice moves rocks around the basin and moves new rocks to our beach, including agates. Unfortunately, ice on Lake Superior is lacking again this year. Since there is almost no … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2017"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2016

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2016

    Since the museum just opened the other day I have had a few customers bring agates in, but none that were worthy of posting photos for this update. So instead I took photos of some of the agates that I have in the museum’s gift shop. All the photos were taken with my USB microscope … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2016"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos November 2015

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos November 2015

    The agate hunting season in Grand Marais this year was a good one. Almost every day one or more people came into the museum to show off their beautiful finds. I also receive photos via email attachments. The end of June I received an email from someone asking if a series of rocks they found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos November 2015"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos June 2015

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos June 2015

    Although the agate season is just beginning, I still have some great photos to share. Another agate hunter with whom I regularly correspond via email is David Schuder from Sedar Bay in the Keweenaw Peninsula. David and some of his cohorts appreciate all Lake Superior agates, but as he explains, “anyone can have a red … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos June 2015"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos February 2015

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos February 2015

    With winter the museum is not open so I do not have any current customer agate finds. So for this month’s update I searched through my supply of close up photos of Lake Superior agates. Some of these pictures I took using either my USB microscope camera or my Nikon. Some are also cropped pictures … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Lake Superior Agate Close Up Photos February 2015"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2014

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2014

    The agate hunting this summer has been OK, but not great. We were expecting a superb summer due to the massive amounts of ice on Lake Superior last winter. It has been many years since we had a lot of ice. In fact, according to NOAA the ice coverage on Lake Superior is down 70 … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2014"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2014

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2014

    Since winter has hit the Grand Marais area with a vengeance, there has been little to no agate hunting these past few months. Once in a while there is a minute patch of gravel drudged up by moving ice, especially during the early winter and early spring. Sure enough, when I was trekking down the … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April 2014"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2013

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2013

    This has been a really weird year for agate hunting in Grand Marais. Since there was moving ice on Lake Superior last winter that brought new rock to our shore and dredged up other rock that was laying just off shore – rock hunting in the early spring was terrific. Since then we have had … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2013"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2013

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2013

    Right after the icebergs melted, we had terrific agate hunting in the Grand Marais area. For the first time in several winters, we had floating ice on Lake Superior. As the shore ice forms, rocks become embedded in the ice. When the wind shifts, sometimes this shore ice breaks off and floats around Lake Superior … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2013"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2013

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2013

    Since the museum has not been open, I only have one set of actual customer agate photos. Chris Cooper showed me the raw agate last summer that he physically extracted from basaltic rock in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Since this agate nodule had never been subjected to erosional forces (e.g. waves, ice, etc.). Notice how there … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2013"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2012

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2012

    It has been a crazy summer. I have pictures of several customer agates below. I must admit that my camera has been having some issues with the way it is saving the image files, so I am not exactly certain which of the cards I kept with the names and dates of the agate finders … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2012"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2012

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2012

    I have had a number of people stop by the museum in the last couple of weeks to show me some incredible agates. Several people have also sent me pictures via email. Let’s start with some agates found by Brian Wolbrink from Allendale, MI. He has been agate hunting for several years, but lately has … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2012"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2012

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2012

    Given that beach rocks are still for the most part not accessible, I do not have any submissions for recent agate finds. However, Jeff Carlson submitted the following picture in early winter. He found this basaltic matrix rock with a carnelian agate pocket and other brecciated fill. The rock was found at on an undisclosed … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2012"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2012

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2012

    This is the slow time of year for people to submit pictures of agate finds. Even this fall I did not receive very many emails. There are a few that I can feature in this update, though. The first is an interesting seam agate found in the Grand Marais area. It also has tubes, or … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2012"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Winter 2011

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Winter 2011

    I have a variety of agate photos featured in this update’s “Customer Agate Finds.” First, here are a couple of shots of a Lake Superior agate found by Chris Cooper at the mouth of the Two Hearted River, located an hour and a half east of Grand Marais. Next are a couple of agates found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Winter 2011"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2011

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2011

    Since I have not had time to implement a web page update for quite some time, I’ll include LOTS of customer agate finds. First, let’s start with one of my favorite agates found this summer. This candy striper was found by Andrea from Troy, MI. Next is a Becky B from Pittsburgh, PA She found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2011"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2011

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2011

    Since spring has sprung in Grand Marais, rockhounds have been out to hit the beach. Since I have not had time to do a web page in a while, I’ll include several agates for you rockhounds to drool over. First I’ll start by featuring the agates found by my friend, Dan Kinney, who lives in … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2011"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2010

    Early this fall I had a call from Shirley Schadle. She now lives with her husband in Grand Rapids, MI, but she grew up in Zambia, Africa. Her dad was a veterinarian there, so Shirley had a chance to look for agates near Victoria Falls as well as along the Luangwa River. She visited my … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2010"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August and September 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August and September 2010

    There are several great agates to post in this month’s update. Let’s begin with a whopper 16 pound agate found decades ago by the grandmother of Paul Mihelcich near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She knew it was agate because of a fracture that exposed the banding. It has … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August and September 2010"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2010

    Summer is here so there have been a lot of customer agate finds. This first photo was sent to me from Jennifer Jackman. She and her husband love to agate hunt. You can see photos of their adventures at www.lakesuperiorrocks.net. Pictured below is a nice agate they found earlier this summer in the Munising area. The … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2010"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2010

    Agates found by three different people will be featured this month. First, Victor Irving from Fulton, MI came in with this mostly white agate. Translucency is a very important thing to look for while agate hunting. This agate certainly proves just how translucent Lake Superior agates can be. The next agates were found by the … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2010"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April/May 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April/May 2010

    The rocks are plentiful at the current time due to a lot of spring storms that have, at least for now, pushed the rocks up onto the beach. Here are a couple of shots of an unusually colored moss agate that I found on Mother’s Day. John Lubor from Minnesota found this agate very early … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: April/May 2010"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2010

    I recently received another email from Tina Allera, from Canton, MI. Pictured below are some more Lake Superior agates that she found in the Grand Marais area.  
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2010

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2010

    Late last year I received an email from Tina Allera, from Canton, MI. They come to Grand Marais agate hunting every year. In her email, she says she loves looking at the other customer agate finds. Well her agates have now made the web page. She found all four of these agates right in town. … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2010"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2009

    While at the Muskallonge Show in September at Deer Park, several people brought agates by to show me – all day long! Here are just a few. Susie Hales from Clare, MI showed me this 10 pound agate found near Grand Marais. She calls it the brain agate. Donna Sheehan from Cedar, MI displayed several … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2009

    This month I have several customer agate finds to entertain your rockhoundedness. Although the picture does not do the agate justice, a frequent visitor to the Grand Marais area found this bizarre agate that has amethyst bands as well as brecciated agate sections. He also found a fairly large carnelian agate – but the photo … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2009

    The cool windy weather has tested agate hunters during the past month. There have been a few good days, though, and a few great agates found locally. The first one to be featured this month is a different looking brecciated agate found by Larry Feist of Grand Rapids, MI. A breccia is a fragmental rock … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2009

    While I was at the Muskallonge Show a couple of weeks ago, a woman drove from the museum to Muskallonge to show me the following agate: I was so busy that I forgot to take a picture with her and the rock, and I forgot to get her name. However, it is such an unusual … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2009

    While in Minnesota earlier this month, I went agate hunting with Kat and Ken from the Cuyuna Gem and Mineral Club. Kat Thomas showed me this cool eye agate that she found. She calls it her Owl Agate. One of the best local agate hunters is Mary Capogrossa. She has been busy this spring and … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Spring 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2009

    I received an email a few weeks back from a Michigan Technologic University student, Phillip Schichtel. He is an avid agate hunter who looks on the beaches in the Keweenaw, as well as by his family’s cabin near Muskellunge Lake, located 20 miles east of Grand Marais. I must admit that he has found some … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: March 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2009

    With our mountains of snow, agate hunting is at least a couple of months away. If I were to guess, unless there is a massive thaw, I don’t think anyone will be rockhounding our beaches until at least late April, if not May. So again to appease all you agate fans, I have included photos … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2009

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2009

    I must be honest: there is way too much snow on the beach to agate hunt. However, I know that you rockhounds still want to look at pictures of agates. Thus, I have scanned in a couple of terrific Lake Superior agates for your enjoyment. The first is one that I purchased while in New … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2009"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2008

    A couple of weeks ago I received a series of photos attached to an email from Todd Bird. When he purchased a house in Tawas, MI, this rock was left behind as a door stop. It is approximately 7.5” by 4” and weighs 5 pounds. Most of the specimen is translucent. There is banding throughout, … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: December 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2008

    Agate hunting is soon to be done for the year. I haven’t had time to go out, but a few of my friends have been diehards and have found a few small agates as of late. The agate finds featured this month include some found by Adam Nothelfer, who is from the Lapeer area of … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: November 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: October 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: October 2008

      Although I think spring is the best time to agate hunt given that the recently melted icebergs dump their load of new rocks on the beach, there have been a lot of good finds this fall. I do agree that the fall storm waves mix the rocks and sometimes push new rocks up onto … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: October 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2008

    Many of you who know me are aware that I do not get much time to go out agate hunting. However, when I do go out — especially when I go to Minnesota, I am able to put my knowledge to use. My poor eye sight requires that I get close to the rocks in … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: September 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Summer 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Summer 2008

    Since I was not in town for half of July, I have fewer customer agate find pictures. There are a couple, though. Actually, the first specimen is one that email pictures were sent to me by Dana Maudel, from McGregor, MN. She said in the email that her boyfriend found this specimen. I emailed back … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Summer 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2008

    With the melting of the icebergs on the beach has come the early-season agate hunters. Mike Miller makes a return to the web page with his friend, Terry House — both from the Muskegon/Fruitport area. Terry House found this nearly half-pound nodular agate with well defined banding around a quartz center fill. Mike Miller found … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2008

    Dan Kinney from Sault Sainte Marie, MI has made the web page again. If you remember, last summer he found the large brown agate, which he later donated to the museum. When he donated the agate, he said that he would just have to go out and find a bigger one. Well he did. Just … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: February 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2008

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2008

    Although the Grand Marais area did have snow in December, the relatively warm lake temperatures allowed rockhounds to agate hunt during most of the month. This 3.3 ounce agate was found by Jody Patton, from Curtis. She and her husband, Jim, dropped it off a couple of weeks ago and asked me to face polish … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: January 2008"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2007

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2007

    The fall update features another reappearance from the original web page. Earl Johnson, from Newberry, MI, and his wife spend most of the summer in Grand Marais agate hunting. While they were on the beach, they spoke shortly with my friends, Gerald and Jill, who I go to Moose Lake with each July. Gerald, with … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: Fall 2007"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2007

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2007

    Several great agates continue to come into the museum. Some of the rockhounds who were featured in the original web page, which was not archived in the new web page, have taken on the challenge to reappear. Mark and Lynn Boll from Amherst, WI are the first to accomplish this feat. Pictured are four of … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: August 2007"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2007

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2007

    The agate king so far this summer is Dan Kinney from Sault St. Marie. He found this ¾ pounder, half pounder, and two 1/3 pounders!. The latter two were found on a 20-mile trek near the Vermillion Light House. Since Dan doesn’t have a four-wheel drive, he had to walk 7 miles into the lake … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: July 2007"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2007

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2007

    I don’t know if it is the low Lake Superior water level, or the tremendous weather we have been having, but people have been finding some terrific agates this spring. Bryce Kucharek from Shingleton found 4 “keepers.” The top two are both shadow agates. The bottom right agate is a ¾ pound “fister.” The next … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: June 2007"
  • CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2007

    CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2007

    It has been difficult to decide what to include in this revamped web page from the original. I’ve gone back and forth on deciding whether to include all previous customer agate finds. In the end, I’ve decided to start anew. I would like to thank all of those who have been featured in previous years … Continue reading "CUSTOMER AGATE FINDS: May 2007"

History’s Gem of the Month

  • History Gem – 1995 Grand Rapids Press Article about the Fish Tug, Shark

    History Gem – 1995 Grand Rapids Press Article about the Fish Tug, Shark

    Background Information Four years after the Niemies retired the Shark, she was sold to a fisherman in Cheboygan who was determined to catch sturgeon in Lake Huron. After two years with no success, he sold the tug to a pleasure boater in southwestern Michigan. Its ownership was transferred a couple of more times before it was … Continue reading "History Gem – 1995 Grand Rapids Press Article about the Fish Tug, Shark"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: 1932 Petition

    History’s Gem of the Month: 1932 Petition

    April 2018 History Gem – 1932 Petition submitted by the Grand Marais Womens’ Club to the Burt Township Board After the railroad closed in 1910, the population in Grand Marais declined from thousands of people down to just a few hundred. Since there were no roads yet, the only way to get to Grand Marais … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: 1932 Petition"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Article about Seagull (Lost) Island, Grand Marais Bay

    History’s Gem of the Month: Article about Seagull (Lost) Island, Grand Marais Bay

    December 2017 This morning I went through some of the Gitche Gumee Museum’s archives and came across a newspaper article about the island that used to be on the outside edge of Grand Marais Bay. The island had different names including Seagull Island, Gull Island, and Lost Island. In the late 1960s my sister and … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Article about Seagull (Lost) Island, Grand Marais Bay"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Jonas Hill Letters

    History’s Gem of the Month: Jonas Hill Letters

    July 2017 When I researched the history book I wrote two years ago, Superior Land and the Story of Grand Marais, Michigan, one of my tasks was to search through the museum archive and other resources. I have a fourth cousin in Finland (Rauno Sarja) with whom I have been corresponding for several years. Rane … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Jonas Hill Letters"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Logging Era Photos

    History’s Gem of the Month: Logging Era Photos

    March 2017 When I researched the history book I wrote last year, Superior Land and the Story of Grand Marais, Michigan, one of my tasks was to locate relevant photos. Thankfully, the museum archives contained many dozens of film negatives and pictures. I also acquired some photos from the State Historical Library in Lansing. Finally, I … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Logging Era Photos"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Grand Marais Poems

    History’s Gem of the Month: Grand Marais Poems

    June 2016 While searching through my archives to look for something to include as a “history gem,” I came across these three poems about Grand Marais. Grand Marais by Esther Miller On the shores of Lake Superior, lies a special little town. Inhabitants are very few, but to me of great renown. It brings back … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Grand Marais Poems"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Gitchee Agomowin

    History’s Gem of the Month: Gitchee Agomowin

    November 2015 I have hundreds of documents in the museum’s archives, all saved by the museum founder (Axel Niemi) and his family. One of the items I have is a copy of The Alger Echo, a newspaper published by James Carter. The following article was included in the Fall 1969 issue, Vol I, No 9. … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Gitchee Agomowin"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Vintage Grand Marais Photos

    History’s Gem of the Month: Vintage Grand Marais Photos

    June 2015 This past winter one of my projects was to dive into a closet that has not seen the light of day for 17 years. The closed contained Grand Marais historical items. Back in 1998 I had gone through all the artifacts and organized them into categories. Some of the items were not conducive … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Vintage Grand Marais Photos"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan’s Mystic Dunes;Where Wily Paw-Puk-Keewis DancedBy Arthur W. Stace Date and source unknown

    History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan’s Mystic Dunes;Where Wily Paw-Puk-Keewis DancedBy Arthur W. Stace Date and source unknown

    February 2015 NOTE: I found this newspaper article in the Gitche Gumee Museum’s archive. At the beginning of the article, it states that this is number 27 in a series of touring articles dealing with the Dunes of Michigan. Four score years ago Henry Wadsworth Longfellow gave to the reading world his rhythmic “Hiawatha,” epic … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan’s Mystic Dunes;Where Wily Paw-Puk-Keewis DancedBy Arthur W. Stace Date and source unknown"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan Beach Stones By Robert W. Kelley

    History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan Beach Stones By Robert W. Kelley

    September 2014 NOTE: Last May I purchased a small rock collection from a woman in Gwinn, MI. The collection belonged to her husband, who passed away a decade ago. This information sheet was included in the collection. The source is unknown. OUR GREAT LAKES SHORELINES ARE TREASURE-LADEN WITH A HOST OF TRULY fascinating gem materials—not … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan Beach Stones By Robert W. Kelley"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Souvenir View Book of Sault Ste. Marie

    History’s Gem of the Month: Souvenir View Book of Sault Ste. Marie

    April 2014 Thanks to my friend, Jill Phillips, I was able to borrow a souvenir book published during the 1930s by Photogeletins Engraving Co., Toronto, Canada. It is one of the Dominion Series books that this company published. The Soo Locks (pronounced “soo”) are a set of shipping locks arranged parallel to each other. These … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Souvenir View Book of Sault Ste. Marie"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Excerpts from The Grand Marais Herald

    History’s Gem of the Month: Excerpts from The Grand Marais Herald

    November 2013 A few years ago, former Grand Marais resident (but current property owner) James Carter borrowed a copy of an old Grand Marais newspaper that is in the Gitche Gumee Museum’s archive. I was curious why he even knew about it. I loaned him the paper, along with a few other items. When he … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Excerpts from The Grand Marais Herald"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: All That Glitters….

    History’s Gem of the Month: All That Glitters….

     August 2013 ‘All That Glitters….’ By Harry C. Sahs August 31, 1958 The Detroit News Pictorial Magazine If agates were gold nuggets, Axel A. Niemi would be the richest man in Michigan. Of all the “rock hounds” who have combed the storm-tossed beaches of Lake Superior for agates, probably none has found as many of … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: All That Glitters…."
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 3

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 3

    March 2013 This is the second History’s Gem of the Month posting featuring a thesis written in 1995 by Jim Williams for a class at Western Michigan University. The curator of the Michigan Maritime Museum gave me a copy of the thesis when the museum also gifted me with the Shark. The thesis is several … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 3"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 2

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 2

     September 2012 This is the second History’s Gem of the Month posting featuring a thesis written in 1995 by Jim Williams for a class at Western Michigan University. The curator of the Michigan Maritime Museum gave me a copy of the thesis when the museum also gifted me with the Shark. The thesis is several pages long, so … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 2"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 1

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 1

    June 2012 I was looking through the museum archive to look for something to post in this update’s History’s Gem of the Month when I came across a copy of a master’s thesis written in 1995 by Jim Williams for a class at Western Michigan University. The curator of the Michigan Maritime Museum gave me … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Shark: Post 1"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: John Keating

    History’s Gem of the Month: John Keating

    March 2012 I wish I had a picture of John Keating. I do not. He was quite a colorful character that owned the Keating Knitting Factory in Grand Marais, MI at the turn of last century. He was born in Ireland on November 10, 1869. When he was 23 years old, he immigrated to the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: John Keating"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards and Pictures

    History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards and Pictures

    Winter 2011 When I was visiting my friends in Marquette, Jim and Helen Riley, Helen donated a couple of old Grand Marais pictures. These were given to her by her namesake aunt, Helen Olli, who is 91 years old. The first is a picture that she thought was the Wabash Hotel. I researched the photo … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards and Pictures"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan Log Marks

    History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan Log Marks

     September 2011 The historical information included in this web page update has been taken from two sources. The subject involves the log marks used by lumber companies during the logging boom. The Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) published a pamphlet in January 1942 entitled Michigan Log Marks. (Memoir Bulletin No. 4, edited by … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Michigan Log Marks"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Reprint from the Douglas Houghton Expedition

    History’s Gem of the Month: Reprint from the Douglas Houghton Expedition

    Fall 2010 The following text was found in the Gitche Gumee Museum’s archive. There is a note attached that says it was taken from The Superior Sun (1929), which in turn took it from Geographical Reports of Douglas Houghton, published by the Michigan Historical Commission in 1928, but written in 1874 by Bela Hubbard. “Among the pleasantest … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Reprint from the Douglas Houghton Expedition"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: 1958 Detroit News Article about Axel Niemi

    History’s Gem of the Month: 1958 Detroit News Article about Axel Niemi

     August/September 2010 1958 Detroit News Article about Axel Niemi When I work on the web page update, the last segment I always do is the History’s Gem of the Month. I have a couple of closets in my house jammed with museum archive materials. It is always fun to pull out a box and look … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: 1958 Detroit News Article about Axel Niemi"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Shipwrecks at Agate Beach

    History’s Gem of the Month: Shipwrecks at Agate Beach

     July 2010 Shipwrecks at Agate Beach In the museum’s archive I found the photo included below. It shows ships that went aground between Agate Beach and the breakwater that protects Grand Marais Bay. On the back of the photograph, the following description was written: On October 20, 1905 at nightfall the second mate of the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Shipwrecks at Agate Beach"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Box of Rocks Gets Diploma

    History’s Gem of the Month: Box of Rocks Gets Diploma

    June 2010 Reprinted from recoilmag.com, July 2005 issue Pinconning, Mich. — A historic collegiate achievement was realized Friday when a medium-sized cardboard box containing a half-dozen rocks received a Bachelors Degree of Science in Business and Marketing from University of Phoenix Online, a popular online college. “Congratulations! You’ve graduated!” the box of rocks was informed … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Box of Rocks Gets Diploma"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 3

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 3

     April/May 2010 Continued from March 2010, Part 2 Commercial fishing had by now reached its peak. In 1904, a record catch of 12,000 pounds of fish was brought in by the “William E.” of the Buckeye Fish Company. The supply of fish seemed inexhaustible. The blueberry industry was important as a source of revenue for … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 3"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 2

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 2

     March 2010 Continued from February 2010, Part 1 The city had many fine civic clubs and organizations. Among these were the Kenningston Club and the Grand Marais Club. A fine opera house was built and it was frequented by many famous actors of the day. The Grand Marais Cornet Band was a favorite not only … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 2"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 1

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 1

     February 2010 Reprinted with permission from J. Carter. While my friend, Renee Beaver-Stocking, was cleaning out a closet in a home that she is house sitting for this winter, she came across this high school paper written by James Carter in 1953. He later went on to not only own a newspaper in town, but … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of Grand Marais, Part 1"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates

    History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates

     September 2009 While looking through the museum’s archives, I found this article drafted by the museum founder, Axel Niemi. I’m not sure if he ever published the article, but it is worthy of inclusion as this month’s history gem. I’ve also added a few pointers, so actually this is a joint article written by Axel … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Ship Travel on Lake Superior

    History’s Gem of the Month: Ship Travel on Lake Superior

    August 2009 During the late 1800s and early 1900s, ship travel on Lake Superior was at its heyday. To help rescue ships that suffered the wrath of Lake Superior’s storms, the United States Lifesaving Service operated five stations along the southeastern section of the lake’s shoreline. Due to all the accidents, this section is often … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Ship Travel on Lake Superior"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: History of M77

    History’s Gem of the Month: History of M77

     July 2009 When I dismantled the display of Axel’s Numbered Agates, I also took down some of the memorabilia that was above the rock shelves. Below is a photo taken by W.H. Hadley of Royal Oak, MI. It shows the original museum sometime around the late 1960s. Notice that there is a large tree to … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: History of M77"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: History of M77

    History’s Gem of the Month: History of M77

    Spring 2009 Although people started living full time in Grand Marais in the mid 1800s, the town really didn’t grow until 1893 when the railroad was extended from Adam’s Trail north to town. Within a few short years, Grand Marais was a thriving community with a couple thousand residents, as well as other transient workers … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: History of M77"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Agate Poem

    History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Agate Poem

    March 2009 Several years ago, museum visitors Frank and Karen Miller sent me this poem, which was written by their mother, Ruth Finch Franklin. Given that we are all itching to hit the beach to look for the elusive agate, I thought that the reprinting of this poem may inspire our spring rockhounding. May the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Agate Poem"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Snowstorm Article from 1988

    History’s Gem of the Month: Snowstorm Article from 1988

    February 2009 While searching through my archives, I came across this article published in the Detroit Free Press on Friday, February 12, 1988. Given that we have an old fashioned winter this year, I feel that it is appropriate to include the reprint this month. Snowstorm is kid stuff, UP folks say – Downstate troubles … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Snowstorm Article from 1988"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates – PART II

    History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates – PART II

     Fall 2009 While I was looking for something to include for this month’s history gem, I ran across yet another article written by Axel, which is different than the one that I included last month. This one is a rough draft, and required editing. Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates By Axel Niemi and Karen … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting and Finding Agates – PART II"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards

    History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards

    January 2009 This month the Gems from the Past include three post cards. I am not sure how and why it occurred, but 100 years ago post cards were often printed showing members of local families. I have included two below of my relatives. My great-grandparents, Jonas and Anna Hill, appear in both pictures. The … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Agate Leaflet from 1927

    History’s Gem of the Month: Agate Leaflet from 1927

    December 2008 While conducting research last week at U of M’s library in Ann Arbor, I was very excited about all the agate genesis articles I was able to locate. I concentrated mostly on articles published in the last decade. However, I could not resist the temptation to print off a 66-page leaflet published by … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Agate Leaflet from 1927"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Part 5

    History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Part 5

    November 2008 Probable Economic Impact of the Lakeshore The most direct economic impact of the proposed lakeshore will be upon the forestry and recreation industries of the Upper Peninsula region. These industries and associated economic opportunities are examined here. Forestry Forest industries are the largest single source of employment in the Upper Peninsula region. In … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Part 5"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 4

    History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 4

    October 2008 Access and Circulation A scenic road would make accessible much of the now remote shoreline and permit visitors to tour the entire length of the park. In places, this road would run along the rim of the uplands overlooking the important natural and scenic areas, leaving them road-free yet visible. Associated trails would … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 4"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 3

    History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 3

    Summer 2008 (continued from the June & Summer 2008 update) THE LAKESHORE PROPOSAL As proposed, the national lakeshore would comprise an area about 35 miles long and 3 miles wide. It would contain approximately 67,000 acres, exclusive of any water area of Lake Superior. (The water boundary lies one-quarter mile offshore.) The proposal is divided … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 3"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 2

    History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 2

    Summer 2008 (continued from the June 2008 update) Plant Life Forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are a transition between northern hardwoods and northern conifers. In some locations the primary stands are deciduous trees with an occasional mixture of pine and hemlock; elsewhere the steeple-topped spruce and fir predominate. In the northern hardwood-conifer type forests, extensive … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Part 2"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Proposal Part 1

    History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Proposal Part 1

    June 2008 While combing through the museum’s archives, I recently came across the original proposal for creating the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which was established by legislation passed in 1966. Grand Marais is the eastern entrance to the national park. I will relay interesting information from the report beginning this month, and continuing in the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Proposal Proposal Proposal Part 1"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards

    History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards

    The Gem of the Month for May includes two old postcards I found among my mother’s things. The first is a picture of Sable Lake taken from the bluff of the dunes. The photo was taken by John Penrod of the Penrod/Hiawatha Company out of Berrien Center, MI. On the back there is the following … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Old Postcards"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Cedar Stump article from 1962

    History’s Gem of the Month: Cedar Stump article from 1962

    April 2008 The following newspaper clipping was found among my mother’s keepsakes. For those of you who have been to Grand Marais and noticed the wood tiled ceilings in various homes and businesses (including the Lake Superior Brewing Company), these tiles were made at the factory owned by Harry Habbershaw. The cedar stump constructed by … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Cedar Stump article from 1962"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: 1915 Rules for Teachers

    History’s Gem of the Month: 1915 Rules for Teachers

    March 2008 While in the Sarasota, Florida area in March, one of the places we visited was the Crowley Museum. I must admit that the $7.00 admission per person a little steep for what the museum had to offer, but there were some interesting items. One of my favorite items was a list of the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: 1915 Rules for Teachers"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Unusual Wedding Invitation

    History’s Gem of the Month: Unusual Wedding Invitation

    February 2008 Unusual Wedding Invitation I have seen a copy of Axel’s wedding invitation before. In fact, I have one on display at the museum that Axel mounted onto a board. However, when I looked through some of my mother’s things, I came across the copy that was sent to my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Unusual Wedding Invitation"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Grand Marais Tourist Signpost

    History’s Gem of the Month: Grand Marais Tourist Signpost

    January 2008 For those of you who lived in or visited Grand Marais during the 1960s, you probably remember the signs that were displayed on the pole outside of the Dunes Saloon, now called the Lake Superior Brewing Company. The founder of the museum Axel Niemi, was actually one of the movers and shakers that … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Grand Marais Tourist Signpost"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Editorial

    History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Editorial

    December 2007 This month’s History Gem continues with the Lake Superior information theme. Recently, I received an email from David J. Krause, a geology professor from Ann Arbor, MI. He is a UP enthusiast who wrote the book “The Making of a Mining District” about the history of copper mining in Michigan. David’s wife is … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Editorial"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Tourist Information from the 1920s

    History’s Gem of the Month: Tourist Information from the 1920s

    Fall 2007 Last year, a couple of boxes of Grand Marais memorabilia were donated to the museum from the John Strom family. Included were several newspaper clippings going back to the 1920s, as well as some old post cards, logging equipment, and other items. The following article, written by Robert Page Lincoln, was published in … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Tourist Information from the 1920s"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Origin from 1957

    History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Origin from 1957

    August 2007 This article was contained in the museum’s archive. It was glued onto a page on which the museum founder, Axel Niemi, wrote that it was written in 1957 by Dr. George M Schwartz from the University of Minnesota. The source of publishing was not noted. Origin of Lake Superior Lake Superior, is the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Lake Superior Origin from 1957"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting Glacial Agate Article

    History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting Glacial Agate Article

    July 2007 While looking through the museum’s archives to select this month’s history gem, I came across a draft of an article written by the museum founder, Axel Niemi. I’m not sure if and when he ever published this article, but I thought it worthy of sharing. HINTS ON HUNTING GLACIAL AGATES Grand Marais to … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: Hints on Hunting Glacial Agate Article"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of the Grand Marais “Meteor”

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of the Grand Marais “Meteor”

    June 2007 This new section, History’s Gems, replaces two sections from the original web site, including Gems from the Past, and Story Corner. It also evolves and expands to include new items. After updating the original web page each month during the first couple of years, it became more and more difficult to separate the … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Story of the Grand Marais “Meteor”"
  • History’s Gem of the Month: The Telescope Story

    History’s Gem of the Month: The Telescope Story

    May 2007 This first entry in the new section has been requested by several museum visitors. It recounts one of the many reasons why Axel was a major influence in my life. This is the story about Axel’s telescope, which is now safely stored at my house. THE TELESCOPE My eyesight was extremely poor until … Continue reading "History’s Gem of the Month: The Telescope Story"

Mineral of the Month

  • Mineral of the Month – Ohio Flint August 2018

    Mineral of the Month – Ohio Flint August 2018

    Ohio flint is the official gemstone of Ohio.  It was designated the state stone in 1965.  There are ridges and other deposits throughout Ohio, but most can be found in the eastern and central parts of the state.    Flint is a microcrystalline variety of silica (quartz).  It is very closely related to Jasper and … Continue reading "Mineral of the Month – Ohio Flint August 2018"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2018 – Fordite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2018 – Fordite

    Fordite, also known as Detroit agate or Motor Agate, is not actually a rock or a mineral. However, it is used in lapidary to make amazing pieces of jewelry, some of which sell for hundreds of dollars. Fordite is actually old automobile paint which has hardened into layers. Decades ago, the process used to paint … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2018 – Fordite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2017 – Septarian Nodule

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2017 – Septarian Nodule

    Septarian nodules are round concretions found in sedimentary rocks. Concretions are hard solid masses formed by the accumulation of matter within sediment. Although scientists do not agree on the details and specifics of their formation, there are several theories. One proposal suggests they formed when there was dehydration and shrinkage of clay, gel, or organic … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2017 – Septarian Nodule"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2017 – Kona Dolomite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2017 – Kona Dolomite

    This rock is named after the Kona Hills, located in Marquette County, Michigan. This is an ancient formation of fossil stromatolite that is between 2.1 and 2.8 billion years old. Most dolomite found throughout the world is gray or white. Kona dolomite is quite colorful and is found nowhere else. Dolomite is a calcium-magnesium carbonate … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2017 – Kona Dolomite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2017 – Chert

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2017 – Chert

    Chert is a microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline sedimentary rock made mostly of silicon dioxide (SiO2). It can form as nodules, concretions, and as layered deposits. Like other silica rocks and minerals, chert breaks with a conchoidal fracture, often producing very sharp edges. Native Americans took advantage of this fracture pattern and intentionally knapped chert to make … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2017 – Chert"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2016 – Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2016 – Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates

    This web page update features the copper replacement agate. They can only be found in the Keweenaw Peninsula, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They can be found in the mine dumps near abandoned copper mines from the Kearsarge Lode. Most of these agates are small – less than an inch in diameter. They are extremely … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2016 – Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2015 – Slag

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2015 – Slag

    Throughout the past 17 years since re-opening the Gitche Gumee Museum (after it was closed by its founder 21 years previous), each summer many people bring pieces of slag in for identification hoping that the specimens are agate. Slag can be found on the beaches west of Munising, MI, as well as at several other … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2015 – Slag"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2015 – Petoskey Stone (Michigan)

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2015 – Petoskey Stone (Michigan)

    Okay, I will admit it. I didn’t realize until now that in this version of my webpage I have not yet featured the state stone for Michigan: the Petoskey stone. As I have changed webmasters over the last dozen years or more, the content of the webpage has also changed since I have started fresh … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2015 – Petoskey Stone (Michigan)"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2015 – Condor Agate (Argentina)

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2015 – Condor Agate (Argentina)

    The condor agate was discovered and named by Luis de los Santos in 1993 in the Andes Patagonia Mountains near San Rafael, in Mendoza Province, Argentina. This agate exhibits vibrantly colorful bands and patterns, and has become a popular stone among collectors and jewelry designers. Close up photos of the condor agate shown above follow. … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2015 – Condor Agate (Argentina)"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2014 – Black Corundum

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2014 – Black Corundum

    Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) with traces of iron, titanium and chromium. It can be found as a component in rocks as well as in pure crystal form. It is one of the naturally transparent materials, but can have different colors when impurities are present. Transparent specimens are used as gems … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2014 – Black Corundum"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2014 – Tiger’s Eye

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2014 – Tiger’s Eye

    Tiger’s eye (also called Tigers eye or Tiger eye) is an unusual quartz rock that forms when silica replaces a fibrous form of blue asbestos (crocidolite). Rocks that form under this replacement process are called pseudomorphs. It comes in various colors, but is naturally golden in color. Red tigers eye stones are manipulated with heat … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2014 – Tiger’s Eye"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2013 – Skip-an-Atom Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2013 – Skip-an-Atom Agate

    Although controversial, some people classify Skip-an-Atom Agates as s a sub-variety of Lake Superior Agate. These rocks are usually opaque with patterns of large quartz crystals with evenly distributed tiny air spaces that sometimes manifest with a lilac color cast. These Lake Superior nodules are usually found in and around Duluth, MN – and are … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2013 – Skip-an-Atom Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2013 – Unakite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2013 – Unakite

    This rock was first discovered in the United States in the Unakas mountains of North Carolina. Unakite is an altered form of granite composed of pink orthoclase feldspar, green epidote, and quartz. The green epidote can vary in its shade of green, as can the pink feldspar. Usually the colors combine to create a mottled … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2013 – Unakite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2013 – Jacobsville Sandstone

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2013 – Jacobsville Sandstone

    Jacobsville Sandstone is a red sandstone that has light-colored streaks and spots caused by chemical leaching across the bedding planes. This beautiful rock is found along the Lake Superior shoreline in northern Upper Michigan and Ontario. Scientists also think that Jacobsville lies under much of Lake Superior. There are also other sandstones in Wisconsin and … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2013 – Jacobsville Sandstone"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2012 – Chlorastrolite Greenstone

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2012 – Chlorastrolite Greenstone

    The mineral of the month is Chlorastrolite, also known as Isle Royale greenstone. This mineral was designated as the official state gem by Michigan’s 76th Legislature (Act 56, PA 1972). This legislation was introduced by Representative Russell Hellman of Dollar Bay. This mineral is a green variety of the mineral pumpellyite, and has a pattern of star-like … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2012 – Chlorastrolite Greenstone"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2012 – Moqui Marbles

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2012 – Moqui Marbles

      The mineral of the month for this update is an unusual type of iron concretion called Moqui Marbles. These round rocks form in the Navajo Sandstone formations spread across northern Arizona, northwest Colorado, and Utah. Most are found in the numerous national parks in the area, so they can no longer be collected. I … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2012 – Moqui Marbles"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2012 – Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2012 – Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

    The mineral of the month for this update is Mexican Crazy Lace agate. Crazy lace agate, also known as Mexican agate, is an attractive, multi-colored agate that is patterned like a beautiful, multicolored paisley cloth. It is found in Northern Mexico in the state of Chihuahua. This is the largest of the 31 Mexican states … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2012 – Mexican Crazy Lace Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2012 – Mary Ellen Jasper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2012 – Mary Ellen Jasper

    The mineral of the month for this update is Mary Ellen Jasper. Unless you live in Minnesota, you may not be familiar with this interesting form of microcrystalline quartz. This rock formed more than two billion years ago in the area that is now the Mesabi Iron Range in Northern, Minnesota. At that time one … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2012 – Mary Ellen Jasper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Winter 2011 – Argentina Condor Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Winter 2011 – Argentina Condor Agate

    During the past several years Argentina has become one of the new hot beds for agate prospecting. The condor agate was introduced to the U.S. market in 1992 by the former Argentinean actor, Luis de los Santos. Since then he discovered the puma agate in 1993, the crater agate in 1997, and more recently the … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Winter 2011 – Argentina Condor Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2011 – Petoskey Stones

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2011 – Petoskey Stones

    In 1965 the state stone for Michigan was designated as the Petoskey stone. Petoskey stones are fossils of coral colonies called Hexagonaria. “Hex” comes from hexagon, because the coral is usually a six-sided polygon. The coral grew 350 million years ago, 150 million years before the dinosaurs! It grew only in shallow tropical salt-water seas … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2011 – Petoskey Stones"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Spring 2011 – Petrified Wood

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Spring 2011 – Petrified Wood

    Petrified Wood can be thought of as a type of fossil. Fossils are formed from a petrification process, which is a geology term describing the method by which organic living material is converted into stone. Usually, this happens when the organic remains are buried in lava or sediments before they can decay. Petrification can take … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Spring 2011 – Petrified Wood"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2010 – Ammonite Fossil

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2010 – Ammonite Fossil

    The mineral of the month is the ammonite (Ammonoid) fossil. Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals from the Cephalopod class. These fossilized mollusks are more closely related to living cephalopods such as octopuses and squid, than they are to the modern nautilus, which has a similarly shaped shell. Two pictures of ammonite … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2010 – Ammonite Fossil"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August and September 2010 – Polyhedroid Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August and September 2010 – Polyhedroid Agate

    The mineral of the month for August/September is the Polyhedroid Agate. The unique polyhedroids are strange looking agates with geometric shapes that have smooth flat sides. Their shape appears more angular than the typical almond-shaped agate, but there is no consistency to the angles of formation. Most are either triangular or trapezoid and hollow, with … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August and September 2010 – Polyhedroid Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2010 – Mookaite Jasper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2010 – Mookaite Jasper

    Mookaite jasper is a sedimentary rock formed when ancient sea bed sediment was jasperized into a mottled and beautiful quartz rock. This decorative rock, which is often used in jewelry, has truly beautiful patterns. It is only found in Australia and has the same earthy colors as those used by Aborigines in their art work. … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2010 – Mookaite Jasper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2010 – Nantan Meteorite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2010 – Nantan Meteorite

      A meteorite is a piece of a meteor that reaches the earth’s surface. Most of the meteorites found today were not witnessed when they fell. The Nantan meteorite fall is an exception. In May of 1516 during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Zhengde, the meteor hit the atmosphere above the Nantan province of … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2010 – Nantan Meteorite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April/May 2010 – Kentucky Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April/May 2010 – Kentucky Agate

    The mineral of the month is Kentucky agate. It became the state stone for Kentucky in 2000. This agate is quite unique in its coloration. It most typically has bands of yellow, black, and gray. Occasionally there are sections of blue, red, pink, or orange. This distinctive agate was formed in shale and siltstone in … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April/May 2010 – Kentucky Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2010 – Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2010 – Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

    This month’s featured mineral is fossilized dinosaur bone. For the new agate book, Tom Shearer borrowed samples of fossilized bone from Mark Anderson (www.differentseasonsjewelry.com). The specimens pictured below come from Utah. Although they certainly have agate pockets, technically the fossilization process is different than the agatization process. Therefore, these specimens are classified as fossilized dinosaur … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2010 – Fossilized Dinosaur Bone"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2009 – Fairburn Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2009 – Fairburn Agate

    The Fairburn Agate is the state stone in South Dakota. It is named after the town from which the first agates were found: Fairburn, SD. This is an unusual agate, in that they formed in sedimentary rock, rather than igneous rock in which most other agates formed. This sedimentary genesis probably contributed the minerals which … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2009 – Fairburn Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2009 – Banded Iron Formation

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2009 – Banded Iron Formation

    In the iron-rich areas around Lake Superior, there are deposits of banded iron formation. In addition to being called banded iron formation, many rockhounds label specimens as Jasperite, Jaspite, or Jaspelite. This is a distinctive type of rock found in Precambrian sedimentary rocks. The structures consist of repeated layers of iron oxides, either magnetite or … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2009 – Banded Iron Formation"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2009 – Goethite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2009 – Goethite

    Goethite (pronounced: “Gertite”) forms by the oxidation of iron-rich deposits. It was named after the German multi-disciplinarian Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It usually occurs as massive, botryoidal or stalactitic formations and tends to be found in soil and other low-temperature environments. It is in the hydroxide group with a hardness of 5 to 5 ½ … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2009 – Goethite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2009 – Obsidian Needles

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2009 – Obsidian Needles

    Obsidian is a dark volcanic glass. It is rich in silica and breaks with a very sharp conchoidal fracture. It is formed by the very rapid cooling of viscous acid lava. Although black is the most common color, it is also found in a variety of other colors from mahogany to red, green, pink, blue, … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2009 – Obsidian Needles"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Spring 2009

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Spring 2009

    Coyamito Agate from Chihuahua, Mexico The mineral of the month is the Coyamito Agate from northern Mexico. It is mined on a ranch located around 40 miles from the world famous Laguna Agate location, which is around 75 miles south of El Paso, Texas. The ranch is in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert at … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Spring 2009"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2009 Selenite Desert Rose

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2009 Selenite Desert Rose

      Several different minerals form into rosette shapes including chalcedony, aragonite, hematite, barite, and selenite (a form of gypsum). This month’s mineral is the selenite “Desert Rose.” It is most similar to barite roses, but its edges are sharper and the crystalline structure is less hard. Thus, Desert Roses are brittle and can break quite … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2009 Selenite Desert Rose"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2009 Polychrome Jasper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2009 Polychrome Jasper

      A new, but very small deposit of Polychrome Jasper has recently been found in the deserts of Madagascar. Specimens from this deposit were first sold at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show last September. Since I was going to the Tucson Show, I was commissioned to purchase larger and unusual mineral art specimens from … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2009 Polychrome Jasper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2009 Sea Shell Jasper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2009 Sea Shell Jasper

    The featured mineral this month is what I call Sea Shell Jasper. Others call it Shell Jasper, or Shell Marble Jasper. It is a new mineral that comes from China. Although it is marketed as jasper, it is actually marble. It has beautiful mottled black, white, and gray colored patterns that appear as a conglomerate … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2009 Sea Shell Jasper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2008 Picture Jasper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2008 Picture Jasper

      Jasper is a form of microcrystaline quartz. Its name comes from the Greek word, iaspis, which means “Spotted Stone.” Jasper comes in many colors and patterns, but is most often red, brown, or green. Jasper is what I refer to as a “First Cousin” to agate. Both semiprecious stones are microcrystaline quartz. The difference … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2008 Picture Jasper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2008 Prehnite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2008 Prehnite

    This yellow-green mineral is found throughout the world, but most notably in Australia, South Africa, Germany, and the United States. The specimen featured this month was found in the Keeweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It not only includes crystals of Prehnite, but also specs of copper, calcite, and silver. It forms near the surface … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: November 2008 Prehnite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: October 2008 Mexican Opal

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: October 2008 Mexican Opal

    Mexican Opal comes from the Magdalena, Jalisco area of Mexico. Historians have determined that the Aztec people used Mexican opal for ceremonial and ornamental purposes between 1200 and the early 1500s when the Spaniards Conquistadors took over the area. It is known by locals as vitzitziltecpal or the “humming bird stone” due to the iridescent … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: October 2008 Mexican Opal"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2008 Mohawkite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2008 Mohawkite

    Technically “Mohawkite” is not a mineral but is a combination of copper arsenates with nickel and cobalt. It is also considered a variety of Domeykite. It is named after the original locality: the Mohawk Mine located in the Keeweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This is the only location in the world that Mohawkite is … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: September 2008 Mohawkite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Summer 2008 Marra Mamba Tiger’s Eye

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Summer 2008 Marra Mamba Tiger’s Eye

    The mineral of the month for the summer 2008 update is Marra Mamba Tiger’s Eye. This mineral is found in western Australia, near Mount Brockman, but is thought to have been mined out over a decade ago. It forms when silica quartz replaces crocidolite (asbestiform riebeckite). Marra Mamba tiger’s Eye is known for its quality … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Summer 2008 Marra Mamba Tiger’s Eye"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2008 Ocean Jasper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2008 Ocean Jasper

    At the request of a customer, I am going to again feature Ocean Jasper as the Mineral of the Month. Ocean Jasper made an appearance on the original web page several years ago, but it deserves to come back. Until I completed an Internet search about Ocean Jasper while preparing this web page update, I … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2008 Ocean Jasper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: May 2008 Apophylite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: May 2008 Apophylite

    The mineral of the month for May 2008 is Apophylite. This specimen was acquired from a Brazilian dealer who was liquefying his entire inventory at the Tucson show a couple of years ago. He said something about wanting to go fishing. Apophyllite is in the Silicate class of minerals, which tend to be translucent and … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: May 2008 Apophylite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2008 Shadow Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2008 Shadow Agate

    The mineral of the month is my favorite agate: the shadow agate. This specimen was picked up off the Grand Marais beach by the museum founder, Axel Niemi. He found it in 1925 when he was just eight years old. He had it for almost 40 years when he finally sliced the agate, discovering the … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: April 2008 Shadow Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2008 Lake Superior Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2008 Lake Superior Agate

    It has been quite some time since I designated the Lake Superior Agate as the mineral of the month. In honor of the museum founder, I am featuring his 5.5 agate as the mineral of the month. He found this agate at the base of Grand Sable Dunes in 1958. He had it for many … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2008 Lake Superior Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2008 Amazonite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2008 Amazonite

    Amazonite, sometimes called Amazonstone, is a layered form of microcline feldspar; it was originally named after the Amazon River when similar green stones were found there. However, no deposits of Amazonite have ever been found near the Amazon River. Amazonite is a rare mineral. Originally, it was obtained from the Limen Mountains in Russia. More … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2008 Amazonite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2008 Native Copper

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2008 Native Copper

    January’s mineral of the month is native copper. This interesting specimen was recently donated to the museum by Peter Pagel, from Marquette. He acquired it from the Houghton area. It is a thick slab of native copper in matrix that is 7 inches by 6 inches. This specimen was mined from the Keweenaw Peninsula, which … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: January 2008 Native Copper"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2007 Nepheline Syenite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2007 Nepheline Syenite

    In keeping with the latest web page effort to provide information about the Lake Superior basin, this month’s Mineral of the Month is Nepheline Syenite. Nephelene syenite is an igneous rock that consists largely of nepheline and alkali feldspar. The rocks are mostly pale colored, grey or pink, and in general appearance they are not unlike granites, … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: December 2007 Nepheline Syenite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2007 Malachite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2007 Malachite

    Recently, the museum was able to purchase some incredible museum-quality Malachite specimens to sell in the gift shop. One is pictured below. Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. It forms in botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses, usually from the weathering of copper ores. The stone’s name derives from the Greek word, molochitis, which means … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: Fall 2007 Malachite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2007 Rain Flower Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2007 Rain Flower Agate

      This month’s featured mineral is Rain Flower Agate from Nanijing, China. For those of you who periodically check which Lake Superior agates are listed on Ebay, you have seen the listings for these “Lake Superior-Like” agates. Rain Flower agates are river washed to a smooth surface featuring translucent, rich, banding patterns. They are found … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: August 2007 Rain Flower Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2007: Labadorite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2007: Labadorite

    This month’s mineral of the month is Labradorite, which was first discovered in the Labrador Peninsula in Canada. It is also found in Norway, Finland, and Russia. It is truly a captivating mineral that displays a colorful shiller effect when held and moved during observation. The color display is from layers of intergrowth inside the … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2007: Labadorite"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

    The mineral of the month is a Lake Superior Michipicoten agate. When a newspaper article was published in 1958 featuring the museum founder, Axel Niemi, and his 5.5-pound agate, Axel received a letter from Mrs. J. Oldenkomp. She had seen the article and asked Axel if he was interested in buying an agate that she … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate"
  • MINERAL OF THE MONTH: May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

    MINERAL OF THE MONTH: May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

    This month the featured mineral is Rainbow Fluorite. Fluorite is a derivative of the Latin word “fluere” which means to flow. Because of its easy melting properties, fluorite can be used during the manufacturing of steel; although its most popular use is in making jewelry. This is because fluorite is the most colorful mineral of … Continue reading "MINERAL OF THE MONTH: May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite"

Rock Hounding and Adventure Trips

  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Colorado – March 2017

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Colorado – March 2017

    In the past most years I drove or flew out to one of the large gem shows such as Tucson, Quartzite, or Denver. These days I typically go every three years, given the time and expense of these trips. This adventure involved 6,125 miles of driving over 26 days. The main two reasons for the … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Colorado – March 2017"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Hawaii – June 2015

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Hawaii – June 2015

    Late last year I received an invitation to go to Hawaii — again. As some of you know, I was fortunate to be able to go to Hawaii a few years ago (thanks to the generosity of friends and frequent flyer miles). However, during that first visit to Hawaii I was not able to go … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Hawaii – June 2015"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Arizona – 2014

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Arizona – 2014

    Last year I did not drive out west because I was working on the online rockhounding classes. So this year I decided that I had to make the drive – all 6,285 miles of it. Thanks to friend, Helen Riley, for flying out to Arizona to share the adventure, which included hiking the Grand Canyon … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Arizona – 2014"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Grand Canyon – 2011

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Grand Canyon – 2011

    Since my friends knew I was driving out to the Tucson Gem Show, three asked whether I was going to again hike the Grand Canyon. I love sharing the canyon with friends, so a year ago I made the necessary reservations. I hiked with friends Wendy, Helen, and Phylster. We stayed at Bright Angel Lodge … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Grand Canyon – 2011"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Kentucky Agate Hunting – April 2010

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Kentucky Agate Hunting – April 2010

    In April during spring break, friends Gerald and Jill Phillips and I drove down to Irvine, Kentucky to go agate hunting. We teamed up with Scott and Melinda Hardy to learn the tricks of the hunt. I must admit it is totally different than looking for Lake Superior agates. First of all, you need a … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Kentucky Agate Hunting – April 2010"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Moose Lake Agate Days – Summer 2009

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Moose Lake Agate Days – Summer 2009

    I attended Moose Lake Agate Days, located around an hour south of Duluth, for the fifth year in a row, second with a booth. Since the event was mentioned on the Travel Channel’s Cash and Treasures show, the number of people in attendance was almost out of control. On Saturday, there were definitely too many … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Moose Lake Agate Days – Summer 2009"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: New Mexico – February 2009

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: New Mexico – February 2009

    It has been three years since I drove out west to attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Of course, in 2005 and 2006 I lived in New Mexico all winter and sold my mineral art as a member of a co-op gallery. Thus, during these years the drive to Tucson was a lot shorter! … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: New Mexico – February 2009"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Michigan Karst Cave Information – January 2009

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Michigan Karst Cave Information – January 2009

    NOTE: The following information was taken from the Michigan Karst Conservancy web page. Contact information is at the end of this article. Karst is a term that was first applied to a plateau region of the Dinaric Alps in Yugoslavia. It is now used to describe similar regions throughout the world that have features formed largely … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Michigan Karst Cave Information – January 2009"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: September 2008

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: September 2008

    Dear Web Page Visitors: This information was sent to me via an email. I have reproduced it here for those of you who would like to preserve the ability for people to continue rockhounding and are willing to get involved to protect this right. The habitat of the rockhound is diminishing at an astounding rate. … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: September 2008"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Menasha, WI – Summer 2008

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Menasha, WI – Summer 2008

     Wonderful World of Agates, Weis Earth Science Museum, University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, Menasha, WI July 10-13, 2008 A dedicated group of people have been planning this agate show for a couple of years. The purpose of the event was to celebrate agates and other forms of microcrystaline quartz. Everyone who attended agrees that they were … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Menasha, WI – Summer 2008"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Gravel Pits – May 2008

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Gravel Pits – May 2008

    Since former museum intern, Nick Rudell, is now working at Circuit City in Grand Rapids and former intern, Candace Prill, was not sure of the timing of her return from Ecuador, where she has been teaching this winter, there will be a new face behind the counter this summer. Fellow artist, Kim Amthor, will be … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Gravel Pits – May 2008"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Mackinac Island – April 2008

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Mackinac Island – April 2008

    For the past 21 years, a group of us women have gone on a weekend retreat away from husbands, kids, and work responsibilities. For the second year in a row, we have traveled to Mackinac Island. It is a real trip to go this time of year before other tourists arrive. With only around 350 … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Mackinac Island – April 2008"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Moose Lake Agate Days – July 2007

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Moose Lake Agate Days – July 2007

    For the second time in a month, I was fortunate to travel to Minnesota to agate hunt. The main reason for travel this time, was to attend the Moose Lake Agate Days. Thanks to my friends, Gerald and Jill Phillips, I again shared their camp site at the city park, which is located next to … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Moose Lake Agate Days – July 2007"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Minnesota Agate Hunting Trip – June 2007

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Minnesota Agate Hunting Trip – June 2007

    I have not had the chance to go on a summer vacation since 1993. Between owning the brewpub (1994-2001), and being busy with the museum after that, I just have not been able to get away in June, July, or August. Even though I probably should have stayed home to make more agate products, I … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Minnesota Agate Hunting Trip – June 2007"
  • ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Tucson Gem and Mineral Show – February 2007

    ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Tucson Gem and Mineral Show – February 2007

    In February, I made the annual trek out to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. For the first time, one of my friends, Kim Amthor, requested to come along. Since she had never been to the Grand Canyon, we of course had to visit. Last year was the first time in many years that I … Continue reading "ROCKHOUNDING AND ADVENTURE TRIPS: Tucson Gem and Mineral Show – February 2007"