Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moose Lake Agate Days -- Post 3

Here are a few more photos I took on Sunday of the Moose Lake Agate Days.

First: some HUGE Lake Superior agates for sale, ranging from 1-4 pounds. Notice the second from the right on top. It is 4.39 pounds that was selling for $1,756!

Some U.P. copper for ssle. Notice some of the huge float copper chunks!

More Lakers for sale, ranging from 1-2 pounders!

A view of some of the outside booths. I had to take this photo on Sunday when there weren't thousands of people. Since Moose Lake Agate Days was featured on the Travel Channel's Cash and Treasurers Show, the word is now out and attendance was way up at this year's show.

Some Argentina Condor Agate:

A miscellaneous inside booth.

In my new Gitche Gumee Geology talk (Summer Lecture Series on most Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights in July and August -- see www.agatelady.com for more information), I mention about the Stromatolite formations. The ones in the U.P. are Kona Dolomite, which when polished is also beautiful. I must admit, though, that I like the Mary Ellen Jasper even better. If it were not for the stromatolites, we would not be here.

Shown below is Brian Costigan (Rockman69 on EBay), and his parents. Also is a photo of part of Brian's booth.

A view of some of the inside booths.

The Agatelady booth on Sunday morning, before the public was allowed in. On Saturday it was nuts. There were soooo many people in the gym that it was hard to move around. If you are smart, next year you might want to think about visiting on Sunday instead.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Reunion Time in Grand Marais

Saturday July 25th was a big day in Grand Marais. First, at noon there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new post office museum, located on main street. Last year, the people who bought the property on which the old post office was located decided to donate the rare 5-sided building to the Grand Marais Historical Society. The group paid to have the building moved down to main street. It was placed onto a new foundation and the building was renovated. This year, the historical society outfitted the building with graphics that trace the town's history. For any of you history buffs, there are now 4 museums in town including the 3 run by the historical society and the Gitche Gumee Museum. Congratulations to the historical society for a job well done!

The front of the post office museum features information about all the postmasters who have served in Grand Marais. Alfreda Mulligan served the longest by far, from 1917 until 1956. Probably not a coincidence, the Mulligan family had a family reunion in Grand Marais today (Sunday). From what I hear, there were over 150 family members in attendance. Below are some of the photos i took at the ceremony and open house for this newest museum

Later on Saturday, Burt Township School in Grand Marais held an all-class 80 year reunion. Although I did not attend school here (I was just a summer kid), I went to the dance to represent my family since my grandmother and mother (both deceased) and my two kids all graduated here. Unfortunately, neither of my sons could attend, but I did get to spend time with my uncle and aunt (Lynne and Doug Kane). I was not able to go to any of the festivities at the school since I was working at the museum most of the day. Approximately 200 people attended the reunion. Below are a few of the photos I took at the dance.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Moose Lake Agate Days -- Post #2

I'm finally getting time to post some more photos from Moose Lake Agate Days. Pictured below are Terry Roses (Fragments of History in Duluth) and Scott Walter (author of the Lake Superior agate book). Scott is holding a fister gray agate that he found while diving off the coast of Copper Harbor.

Check out the tube agate below, as well as a huge Lake Supeior fister.

And then there is the TRUE Rockhound. Actually, it is Bruce, owned by my agate friends Gerald and Jill.

Finally, here are a few Mexican agates that a friend of Scott Wolter was showing off. Actually, Scott and his friend were playing "dueling agates," and taking turns showing off their treasures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Moose Lake Agate Days Show -- Post 1

I returned back from the Agate Days Show, held in Moose Lake, MN. This was their 40th show. Due to the longevity, and the fact that the show was mentioned on the Travel Channel's Cash and Treasures program, the attendance was over the top. On Saturday, there were so many people that it was almost out of control. People were lined up all day to get into my small 10 x 10 booth. Although I didn't sell any lamps or large agate windows, I sold a ton of everything else. I would like to thank Gerald and Jill Phillips for their help in setting up, working, and tearing down the booth.

I left a couple of days before the show so I could have at least one day of agate hunting. Moose Lake is a little over 400 miles from Grand Marais. Since I didn't leave until 3:00 pm last Wednesday, it was late by the time I arrived. The weather was cold and a littly rainy on Thursday, but we agate hunted at my favorite pit for a few hours. Although we had permission, the owner is discouraging most people from going into his gravel pit since he has leased it out to an asphalt company. There are so many trucks coming and going, that it is not safe to be in the area right now. Also, Doug is not running a whole lot of rock right now, so the pickings are a little slim.

On Friday afternoon, we were driving to where we heard they had graded the gravel roads when we noticed that the dealers were setting up a little early at the AmeraInn parking lot. This improptu tailgate event started a number of years ago to allow the dealers a little extra sales time over and beyond the Saturday/Sunday Agate Days show. We were among the first to arrive, so I was able to cherry pick through the bins. I bought a lot of new agate, which will be put out for sale at the museum today.

This impromptu Friday event also allows the agate big-wigs the chance to show off their large agates. This update includes some of these photos. I'll post more photos in the next series of blog updates.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Great Rock!

Yesterday, Larry Feist from Grand Rapids came into the museum with an unusual 5.5 pound rock that he found on the local beach in Grand Marais. When it was dry, it didn't look like much of anything. But when we wet the rock, color and some banding popped out everywhere.

My guess is that it is a brecciated chalcedony agate, with pockets and banding of amethyst (purple) and chrysoprase (green). Brecciated rocks form when little pices of angular rock are cemented back together in a matrix. Chrysoprase is similar to carnelian (red translucent chalcedony), but instead of the microcrystalline quartz being "stained" with iron oxide, it is stained with nickle oxide. Since there is a lot of nickle up in the Sudbury, Ontario area, it is likely that this rock originated from there, and was dragged by the glaciers and/or icebergs to the Grand Marais beach.