Sunday, June 28, 2015

Geology Museum at the Colorado School of Mines


Do you see the big letter "M" that sits at 6,900 feet, towards the top side of Mt. Zion in Golden, Colorado? It is made of white washed rocks and measures 104 feet X 107 feet.  It was designed by Colorado School of Mines professor, Joseph Francis O'Byrne in 1908 as a descriptive geometry exercise, and he succeeded in creating this letter that does not appear distorted from any angle. It has become a welcoming sign for the Colorado School of Mines --a prestigious public research university devoted to engineering and applied science. It has the highest admissions standards of any public university in Colorado, and among the highest of any public university in the United States.

All photos and photo collages will enlarge, for easier viewing ,if clicked on.


Founded in 1874 the Colorado School of Mines is a world class research institution, and contains a very interesting Geology Museum which acts as the Colorado state repository for its mineral heritage. Arthur Lakes, a world class geologist of his day, put together the first collection of geological treasures for the school when it opened, and the collections has grown through the years to over 50,000 specimens!


The new museum building was completed in 2003, and displays gemstones, minerals, gold, silver and copper in its original form, fossils, meteorites, and mining artifacts, in its well lit clear glass display cases and shelves.


The remarkable mining murals above the collections are by Irwin Hoffman.



There were many display cases of rare and valuable Colorado Minerals, such as the red colored Rhodochosite and Tetrahedrite that you can see in the middle of the display above, or the Turquoise that is in the top left.



More Colorado minerals were beautiful pieces of Amanozite and Quartz, like the blue/black specimen in the back center, and Microcline on the back right.


There was also an entire room full of examples of Gold mined from different areas in Colorado and also around the world.  It was easy to see how this element created the Gold Rush frenzy in the middle 1800's both in the mountains of California and Colorado.


There were large specimens of rare minerals from around the world--in order from top left: Amanizite,Schorl on Albite/Cleavelandite, 
bottom left to right:



There were beautiful examples of pink Rhodochrosite, and objects that were made from it.



Two pieces that really impressed me were the "Colorado Fire" necklace and the gem studded crown that is worn by "Miss Colorado" pageant winners, and stored for the rest of the year at the Geology Museum in a protective safe.


There was a walk through mine exhibit that contained this amazing ultraviolet mineral display! With the flick of a switch the minerals on the left would glow with their natural florescence under short and long wave ultraviolet light.




We saw many examples of meteorites...


..and also a wonderful fossil collections.

The "Cave Bear" skull, and Mastodon molar and tusk, were fascinating to see. Mastodons once roamed in my area, as teenagers found both a piece of a mastodon jaw and tusk in a stream in my neighborhood.


There was even a fossilized dinosaur bone in the Geology Museum.  This photo of my granddaughter and husband touching it is one of my favorite photos from our visit to the Geology Museum. Our little miss has become quite interested in dinosaurs recently, especially after our visit to Dinosaur Ridge--click here to read that post if you missed it. 

The Geology Museum also includes an outdoor geologic trail, that features seven outcrops with various geologic and paleontological points of interest, including dinosaur tracks, logs and leaves. We did not go to this trail on this visit, but saved it for the future, as we knew we'd like to visit the museum again. The museum exhibits change 20% annually, so there will always be something new to see.

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum is located at 1310 Maple Street, Golden, Colorado. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. It is open Monday-Saturday 9 AM to 4 PM and Sunday 1 PM to 4 PM.  It is closed on certain legal and school holidays call 303 273 3816 for information. 


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29 comments:

podso said...

It looks like an interesting place and how fun that your little granddaughter can join you. I am amazed that she likes dinosaurs. That's pretty neat!

Daniela said...

What a gorgeous place, my dearest Pat, your land is full of attraction, from nature to history, it sounds fascinating to me more and more !
Sending love to you and your dears,
with gratitude
Dany

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

The school is a great school and if you doubt it just ask one of the graduates. I guess next time I am in Golden I'll have somewhere to go besides the Coors brewery.

Cathy Keller said...

Ron went to Colorado School of Mines from 1964-1970. He went to the museum last summer and took his pictures. He said it was one of the most enjoyable days he'd spent in a long time. Even ran into one of his professors...retired but still visits the campus. Have a wonderful day!!! Will be visiting 'the promised land" in August! I do so enjoy your posts!!! Have a wonderful day!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I took geology in high school and loved our expeditions to study the rock formations in our small part of Ontario. You've shared an amazing walk through the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, it was like being right there with you Pat from your excellent photos.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You are filling your precious grandchildren up with good memories; we did the same with ours. It's so rewarding! Thanks for making Blue Monday special.

Happy Blue Monday!

Mama Zen said...

What a neat place!

Vee said...

Your little granddaughter is starting early with this love of the prehistoric. She truly does look interested. Fun to see!
,

Ida said...

Sounds like a great place. We just watched a show on the History channel about people who make a living mining for gems stones like some of these in this museum. Your little granddaughter is adorable.

Barb said...

You find the most interesting places to visit,Pat! I've been in CO since 1989 and have never visited this museum. I believe my grands would also like it. Julia may be a budding paleontologist!

ladyfi said...

What a fascinating place!

Rhonda Albom said...

Looks like a wonderful place, filled with cool history.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, what a wonderful tour of the museum. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. And your granddaughter is precious! Thanks for sharing your day! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for the tour of a small section of the School of Mines.

My Blue Monday Offering

NC Sue said...

Thank you for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/06/falling-water.html - this looks like a great place to visit!!!

Lorrie said...

Some of those rock formations are so intricate and beautiful. Lovely place to visit. Fun to see your granddaughter and husband with the dinosaur bone.

Gattina said...

Must have been a very interesting visit and to see all these stones !

http://gattinatravels.blogspot.com/

Donna said...

Oh now this looks like a cool place to visit...I love rocks and used to collect them when i was younger!

Kaye Swain said...

Hi, I popped over from the Grand Social. What lovely rocks! And such an interesting post. Next time my grandkids go rock-crazy for info I will know where to head. Thanks :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a nifty museum Pat. It seems like you never run out of interesting places to visit. I love looking at colorful rocks and beautiful gems.

Linda W. said...

I went to school at the South Dakota School of Mines and Colorado School of Mines was one of our rival colleges (but a good-natured rivalry) SD also has an M on the hill and a geology museum.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving words of encouragement! :)

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for sharing all this information. This museum looks very interesting to me.
Have a great week.
Thanks for your visit.
Wil, ABCW Team.

carol l mckenna said...

Great shots and you are certainly having a wonderful time exploring Colorado ~ so fascinating and informative post!

Happy Week to you,
Happy 4th of July in the USA
artmusedog and carol

Marie C said...

What a fascinating place to visit! Looks like it has wonderful exhibits! I wish we had known it was there and had taken the time to go when on our trip to CO last summer! My grandson would have enjoyed it.

Al said...

One of my friend's daughters goes there, although I've never seen it until now.

Sara - My Woodland Garden said...

Thank you, Pat, for the very interesting tour! Your photos are great.
Your granddaughter looks really sweet.
Happy Fourth of July!

Gracie said...

It must be very interesting for children...

Gracie said...

It must be very interesting for children...

Mary Lee said...

Lady, you do know how to lead an excursion! Very interesting!