Sunday, September 15, 2013

Missing Arizona Museum

The following is a guest post by an anonymous contributor:

In an article in the September 2013 issue of Rock & Gem magazine, Bob Jones wrote a short history of the discovery of copper and other mineral wealth in the 1800’s in the Arizona Territory and how that discovery helped the territory become a state in 1912. 

He wrote of the thousands of collector mineral specimens that came out of the different mines in Arizona.  That these specimens were used for scientific study and display in museums the world over, but that Arizona’s mineral collection is no longer available for people here to enjoy.

He wrote of the 128 year history of the State Mineral Museum where many copper and other minerals specimens were displayed and about the museum’s senseless and untimely closing in 2011, just before the state’s 100th anniversary of statehood. 

He told of Arthur L. Flagg as State Mineral Curator and the founder of several mineralogical societies, how Mr. Flagg led field trips and encouraged collectors to display their collections at the State Fair.

He talked of the stamp mill, headframe, and steam locomotive and how volunteer miners and rock and prospecting club members pitched in to relocate the mining equipment for display at the museum.  He explained how much fun folks had at the annual Family Day.

He said that the only place in Arizona to see rocks and minerals is at the U of A mineral museum and that some of the Flagg Foundation minerals are displayed there.

He talked about the Earth Science Museum volunteers and their endeavor to build a new museum to once again help teachers and school students to learn about the earth sciences.

He spoke of the boondoggle of events perpetrated by the AZ Historical Society and Centennial Commission.

In his final paragraph, speaking of the many visitors that come to the state for the Tucson and Quartzsite shows he said “Failing to exhibit the state’s most important mineral collection to these visitors is ridiculous.  It would seem that supporting the establishment of a superb mineral museum touting Arizona’s in-organic wealth is a no-brainer.  Apparently, however, it is the state’s officials who are the no-brainers!”

Arizona’s Missing Museum
A fine mineral collection seeks a new home
by Bob Jones, Rock and Gem, Sep., 2013

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