New Cases Arrive to Hold Upcoming Spann Exhibit

Noted mineral collectors Jim and Gail Spann of Dallas, Texas, have generously agreed to loan the Museum a selection of about 75 of their finest mineral specimens for one year, starting on March 23, 2019. The loaned minerals were selected from the Spann’s personal collection of more that 15,000 minerals. To properly display the care for and exhibit such an important new collection, the Museum has been working hard behind the scenes.

For example, the Museum recently acquired two new cases to hold the gems and minerals. These cases were built by It’s West Display and Lighting of Golden, Colorado, to the museum’s specification. The cases use state of the art LED lighting that will show off the Spann minerals – each case has more that 50 lights! When the cases arrived in Portland they were moved to our facility thanks to a pair of experienced ‘case wranglers’ from All Service Moving.

The two new cases were securely shipped in wooden “coffins” and strapped to a pallet.

After removal from their shipping containers, the 500 pound cases were moved individually to the Main Gallery in the basement of the Museum. This involved strenuous use of straps, a few raised voices, and considerable care to get down the long flight of stairs, but the professionals handled the move without incident.

The second case makes it safely down the stairs.

Once the cases are completely unwrapped and powered up, Curator Julian Gray will work with Jim and Gail Spann to perform the happy task of planning the layout for the exhibit.

Watch this space…

The international range of the specimens we plan to exhibit is impressive – you’ll see material that originated in Uraguay, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brazil, and China, to name a few. Mark your calendars – March 23, 2019 through February 2020 – this exhibit is sure to draw a crowd!

Plumbogummite from China (photo courtesy of Gail Copus Spann)

Summer Festival is Back!

Our 14th annual Summer Fest 2017 will be at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6, 2017. The hours are 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $5 for everyone ages 5 and up!

Summer Festival Full Page Flyer

Geodes and other minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booths. The outdoor festival features a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, jewelry, and fossil dealers. We will have food for purchase, live music, and plenty of fun family activities.

Rock clubs from around the region will be offering wonderful educational displays, demonstrations, and activities.

Come early and stay the whole day. The entire museum will be open during this event, so you can explore all our displays after browsing vendors’ tents and creating a “pet rock.” Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the refreshments at the museum.

It’s a perfect event to spend with friends and family. Bring them all!

 

It’s almost here! Join us for Thunder-Egg-Stravaganza 2017!

The egg hunt that “rocks” returns once again! Join us from 10-5 at the Rice Museum on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Admission is $5 for everyone ages 5 and up, and includes admission to the museum galleries.

Your mission: locate 4 eggs of different colors around our property and redeem them for prizes. Our prize table includes 2000+ WHOLE thunder eggs. We’ll have volunteers on site all day slicing those thunder eggs in half for FREE so you can be the first to see the surprise inside.

Educational talks on thundereggs in the Northwest will take place inside the museum at 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. Egg hunting is available all day.

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A 2016 participant shows off his freshly cut geode from the prize redemption table.

Frequently asked Questions:

Do we need to be there at a certain time to hunt the eggs? 
No! To redeem for a prize, you need to find four eggs of certain colors (based on their location on the property, the “egg zones”). That eliminates the “mad dash” of other egg hunts and keeps it fair! You can show up any time between 10 and 4:30 and we promise there will be eggs hidden.

Can adults participate?
Absolutely! We don’t do age-discrimination here at the Rice Museum, everyone loves a good egg hunt!

Do adults have to pay if they’re not participating?
Yes, your $5 covers your admission to the museum regardless of if you choose to hunt eggs. That’s reduced from normal $10 admission.

Do you sell food?
Limited snacks will be available for purchase at our hospitality table, so bring your own lunch or plan to grab it at one of the fabulous nearby restaurants! Keep in mind, we do not allow food inside the museum, so all picnic activities are based on your personal weather tolerance.

Do we have to pay for parking?
Parking is included with your admission, but it is limited and carpooling is HIGHLY encouraged.

Presenting: The Rice Museum Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction!

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals is hosting our first ever benefit dinner! Please join us 6 May 2017 at 5:00 PM to honor Sharleen and William Harvey, Sr. for their years of devotion to the museum.

Dr. Jeffrey Post, Curator of Gems & Minerals for the Smithsonian Institution, will deliver a presentation on the Mineral Treasures of the Smithsonian, including the renowned Hope Diamond. He will also present our official certificate of affiliation from the Smithsonian.

National Museum of Natural History

The Hope Diamond, photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Other evening highlights will include a silent auction and dinner from The Hive Catering Co. Tickets are $100 per seat. The event will take place at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro.

Tables are going fast, so don’t wait! Get your tickets today!

We wouldn’t be able to hold events without amazing sponsors. We are extremely grateful to:

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Margaret & Bob McMillan

Sharleen Harvey

 Bill & Diana Dameron

 The Hive Catering Co.

Bruce Carter

 Paula Stewart

-Sponsor the event at any level to add your business name here!-

Purchase Tickets

Mystery Mineral Day- February 25!

Mystery Mineral Day is happening Saturday, February 25, from 10 AM to 2 PM at the museum. A panel of experts will be ready and waiting for you to bring your unknown rocks, minerals, fossils, gems, and potential meteorites for identification!

Have you always wondered what to call that cool crystal you picked up on a hike that one day? Did you inherit a collection, but it’s missing some labels? Do you think you may have found a fossil bone or a rock from outer space? Our experts are volunteering at this event just for you, so don’t be shy. Come on by!

This event is included with general admission.

Veterans and Active Military receive FREE admission Veteran’s Day

To honor those who have or are serving in our nation’s military, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks an Minerals will admit all veterans and active military free of charge on Veteran’s Day (Friday, November 11, 2016).  We thank all the brave men and women who serve our country to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

The museum will be open to the public regular business hours, which are 1:00 to 5:00 PM.  Please remember to bring your military ID with you.

Veterans and Active Military receive FREE admission Veteran’s Day

To honor those who have or are serving in our nation’s military, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks an Minerals will admit all veterans and active military free of charge on Veteran’s Day (Wednesday, November 11, 2015).  We thank all the brave men and women who serve our country to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

The museum will be open to the public regular business hours, which are 1:00 to 5:00 PM.  Please remember to bring your military ID with you.

FREE admission during Smithsonian magazine’s annual Museum Day Live! September 26, 2015

Smithsonian-Magazine-Museum-Day-LiveThe Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 26, 2015, as part of the Smithsonian magazine’s eleventh annual Museum Day Live! A nationwide event, Museum Day Live! offers free admission to visitors who present a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution.

Get your Museum Day Live! ticket at Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive Each ticket will allow two guest to be admitted at no charge. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. The Rice NW Museum is just one of 29 participating Oregon Museums.  For more information about Museum Day Live! 2015 and a list of other participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit: Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive/venues. And remember, the Rice Northwest Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Free Admission for May Birthdays on 5/2

It’s that time again–May’s Birthstone Day is today, May 2. That means free admission for May babies with ID!

Emerald

May’s birthstone is emerald. This gorgeous green stone is part of the beryl family. It’s characteristic color comes from the element chromium. The museum has a giant, 88-lb. emerald on display that visitors can touch–don’t miss it on today’s Birthstone Day!

Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, Wikimedia Commons