Gitche Gumee Agate and History Museum

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June 2016

It has been a very busy winter and spring. During the fall and early winter I finished the research for the Grand Marais history book. It took a bit longer than I expected, but I finally started writing the third week of February. I absolutely loved the process – all of it. I decided that I am happiest when I am researching, writing, and developing books and other information resources. In fact the writing went so well, due to my data base, that I finished writing the book in a month. The 6 inch by 9 inch book ended up being 300 pages long with over 200 photos and other graphics.

I decided going into this project that I did not want to have any preconceived notions about what the book would look like, how it would be organized, and what it would contain. Everything was dictated by the research and the data that was collected. After getting to a point that I was willing to stop the research (I could have kept going forever), I sorted the data base by year and information category. Then I started writing. As I wrote, I searched the internet for any other relevant information and included this additional information in the book. As each page unfolded, I determined when graphics were needed to best communicate the information being presented. If I did not have a photo or graphic -- I created one or found a graphic on the internet available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. The writing process went better than I could have ever hoped. My enthusiasm for the project, I must admit, did result in a lot of very long days. But that is okay since I had a blast.

After having a dozen photocopies made of the manuscript, I distributed them to friends, family members, and hired reviewers. Some reviewers read the book to provide overall reactions, while others examined the manuscript for content, grammar, typos, etc. Thanks to everyone who helped with this review process! Next, I will begin incorporating the changes as soon as I finish this web page update. Finally, I will cut and paste the text from Microsoft Word into publishing software and add the graphics. These two steps will take at least a few weeks. Finally, I’ll send the file to the printer! The printing process and shipping will take around a month. I expect to have the book available for sale sometime in August at the museum as well as in the online gift shop on this web page

I had a difficult time finalizing the book’s title. I asked many people for suggestions. Thanks to Marcella Schlabach for her submission regarding the first part of the final title, and to Pamela Grath for the second part of the title. Both will be receiving a free copy of the book as thanks for their suggestions. The title is:

Superior Land and the Story of Grand Marais, Michigan

The museum opened for the season the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Prior to opening it took a few days to clean and to put the gift shop back together. I have a large supply of agate windows to start the season, as well as a few lamps and lots of Lake Superior agates, polychrome jasper, labadorite, some more of the Brazilian Jequitinhonha plate tectonic agates, and a lot more. A couple of years ago I thought I purchased the remaining specimens from the collection of plate tectonic agates, but more became available.

It is hard to believe that the museum is entering the 18th year since it reopened on July 4, 1999. The hours for the shoulder months will remain the same. In June and September the museum will be open daily from 2-5pm, except for Saturdays Noon to 5pm. In July and August the museum will be open seven days a week, but I am going to close daily at 5pm instead of 6pm. Thus, during this peak season the museum’s hours will be daily from 11am to 5pm, except for Sundays 2-5pm. As it turns out, I will be working the museum hours myself all summer except for when I am gone to three shows the second and third weekends of July and the first Saturday of August (see below). Originally I was going to try to find someone to watch the museum one day a week so I could have a day off each week. I have decided not to do that. I have also decided that this is my last summer of setting up booths at the summer shows. Thus, this will be my last Moose Lake Agate Days and Ishpeming show. Most likely in future years I will continue to have a booth at the Cuyuna/Brainerd, MN show in May, the Mason, MI show in October, and most likely the Muskallonge show in September – since it is the “local” show. This year I am not sure if I will have to close the museum while I am in Deer Park at the Muskallonge show or not since I still don’t have the museum covered.

Now that spring has sprung we have had a chance to examine the condition of the Grand Marais beaches. Although erosion has continued east of town, the beach west of town has recovered. Last year you could not walk from Woodland Park/First Creek west to Sable River since there was no beach. This year there is not only a beach, but a considerable amount of rock!


Happy rockhounding!

Karen Brzys
Gitche Gumee Museum
E21739 Brazel Street, PO Box 308
Grand Marais, MI 49839

The museum's hours are:

End of May, beginning the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend Sunday thru Friday 2-5 pm
Saturday 12-5 pm
June—Open every day Sunday thru Friday 2-5 pm
Saturday 12-5 pm
July and August—Open every day Monday thru Saturday 11-5 pm
Sunday 2-5 pm
September—Open every day Sunday thru Friday 2-5 pm
Saturday 12-5 pm
October – end of May I am traveling a lot during these months exhibiting my mineral art at shows. Please call 906-494-2590 at least a week in advance if you would like to set up a private museum visit. A donation or purchase is requested for all private appointments.

NOTE: Due to an annual family event that takes place on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend that I would like to attend, the Gitche Gumee Museum will now open each year on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and will be open daily from then to the end of September. I will plan on having the museum ready for appointments by mid-May each year, so if you would like to set up an appointment please email me at, or call me at 906-494-2590. It is best to set up appointments in advance in case I am busy or out of town. I try to accommodate impromptu appointments, but this is not always possible. For private appointments, I ask for a donation or purchase that is commensurate with the time required for the museum visit.

Art and Mineral Show and Agate Talk Schedule

  • July 8-10 EXHIBIT BOOTH – Agate Expo.
    • This is a one-time international agate show. There is a symposium ($125/person) on Thursday. The exhibits will be at Cedarburg High School in Cedarburg, WI, located at 268N611 Evergreen Blvd. Symposium ticket holders will have a sneak peek of the exhibit booths on Thursday evening from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Public show hours are: Show Hours:
      Friday, July 8th: 9:30am – 6pm; Saturday, July 9th: 9:30am – 6pm; Sunday, July 10th: 10am – 4pm. More information is available at: .
  • July 16-17, 2016 EXHIBIT BOOTH – 47th Annual Moose Lake, MN Agate Day
  • August 6, 2016 EXHIBIT BOOTH – 41st Annual Upper Peninsula Gem and Mineral Show, sponsored by the Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club.
    • Located at Ishpeming Elks Club Hall, 597 Lake Shore Dr., Ishpeming, MI. Show hours are Saturday from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. The show includes free admission; kids' area, silent auction, hourly prizes, raffle, demonstrations, & dealers. FIELD TRIPS associated with the show happen on Friday and Sunday. There is also a Cracker Barrel session Saturday evening at 7pm with live mineral auction, raffle, food, and a speaker. More information is available at
  • September 10 & 11, 2016 EXHIBIT BOOTH and AGATELADY TALKS – 8th Annual Muskal State Park Annual Rock On Agate Show
    • Located at 30042 County Road 407 in Deer Park, MI half way between Newberry and Grand Marais,. Show hours have not yet been announced but they will be all day on Saturday and Sunday. Camping is available. I will be giving a talk on both days. The show includes rock dealers, food dealers, kids games, presentations, demonstrations, rock cutting and polishing services, silent auctions, and more. For more information please call 906-658-3338. Information about last year’s show is available at: .
  • October 28-30, 2016 EXHIBIT BOOTH – 51st Annual Central Michigan Lapidary & Mineral Society Show
    • Main Arena, Ingham County Fairgrounds, 700 E. Ash Street, Mason, MI 48854. Event hours are Friday 6:00 to 9:00, Saturday 10:00 to 7:00, and Sunday 11:00 to 5:00. Show includes vendors, exhibits, crafts, art, jewelry, demonstrations, displays, flint knappers, rock identification, kids’ activities, free prizes for kids, door prizes, rock cutting, and more, For more information please go to .
  • December 2-4, 2016 EXHIBIT BOOTH – TV6 Marquette, MI Christmas Craft Show

June 2015 Update

Mineral of the Month
Copper Replacement Agates
copper agate
History’s Gem of the Month
Poems about Grand Marais
Au Sable Lighthouse
On-line Gift Shop
New Book: How to Find Agates: A New Method
Gitche Gumee Gatherings
Information about
scheduling private, in-home private art shows
Gitche Gumee Gatherings
Media Coverage
Petoskey News
Agate Photo
New testimonial from Rockhounding/Agate Class participants
Beach Rocks


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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839


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