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The Everett J. Ritchie
Tri-State Mineral Collection 

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Treasures and Riches of the Earth

Wow! Who knew Joplin had Smithsonian-quality specimens of minerals? Come feast your eyes on one of the world’s most exceptional collections of minerals found in the Tri-State Mining District. Bring your camera – you will want pictures – but no flash allowed!

Prehistoric Missouri


Mammoths, trilobites, and many other fossils have been found in Missouri. Creatures from another time left some amazing remains that help us know more about the area and the land under our feet. 

Crystal Cave


Discovered by accident by miners, Crystal Cave was possibly “the largest geode in the world.”  The 6-story room was covered, floor, ceiling, and walls, with calcite crystals, some of which were over 2 feet in length. Thankfully Mr. Roach and Mr. Weymann decided to preserve it instead of mining it. This is truly amazing!

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100 Years of Mining


The world changed enormously from 1870 to 1970. Mining changed just as much. From manpower to horsepower to steam to electricity, view the improvements that made mining an industry. See a miniature replica of the processing of lead and zinc.

Tools of the Trade


Could you handle the job of a miner? In the early mining period, a miner used a large metal shovel. He was required to fill 80 buckets a day. The bucket held 1200 pounds! Of course, they did earn 4 ½ cents a bucket. And if they were superior miners and filled over 100 buckets a day, they could earn a whopping 6 ½ cents for the buckets over the first 100. You will admire the work these men could do!

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Minerals in Everyday Use


You eat minerals every day – lots of them. You use minerals every day – if you wash clothes, brush your teeth, wear makeup, use a cell phone, or ride a bike or drive a car. Bet you are surprised by some of the minerals you eat and use routinely.

Glowing Rocks

Neon-colored rocks? No, these are not painted rocks, rather they glow in the dark when longwave and shortwave light energizes them. Wear a clean white shirt when you view and maybe your clothes will glow, too!

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