Former Mineral Displays
These mineral collections and displays have been removed and replaced on the exhibit floor.
The Tilly Foster Mine Specimens
from the Harvard Mineralogical Museum
In 1810, a rich magnetite iron deposit was discovered in Brewster, Putnam County on farmland later owned by Tillingham (Tilly) Foster.
Large-scale mining began in 1853, and by 1879, the mine reached a depth of 600 feet. The mine produced a total of about 700,000 tons of ore and at its peak employed approximately 300 miners. The Tilly Foster mine closed shortly after a tragic rockslide in 1897 killed 13 miners.
clinochlore pyrrhotite The ore body was enclosed in a gneiss, a common rock in the Hudson Highlands. Outstanding specimens of magnetite,
chondrodite, clinochlore, brucite, serpentine and titanite are just a few of the more than 90 mineral species collected at the mine.
Elwood P. Hancock (1834-1916), an active collector of New York and New Jersey minerals, purchased specimens directly from the miners
in the late 19th century. His collection was acquired by The Mineralogical Museum of Harvard University in 1916.
Kenneth H. Hollmann Collection
Kenneth Hollmann (1943-2005) was born and raised in Rutland, Vermont. He obtained his higher education at nearby Castleton State College where
he majored in geology. He had a 30-year career as a chemical analyst with General Electric in Rutland. He passed away at home in January 2005.
His interest in minerals began at the age of 12 when he received a boxed set of rocks, a microscope and Frederick Pough’s Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. His
collection consists of specimens from throughout the world, but the minerals of the Northwest Adirondack Mining District held a special place with him. He spent
many hours there with local collectors and miners and built a very impressive suite of minerals from that area. The highlights of that collection are on display in this case.
The New York State Museum would like to thank the Hollmann family for making the collection available to us. Acquisition funding was provided by New York State,
the New York State Academy of Mineralogy and a generous donor. We wish to especially thank William Metropolis of the Harvard Mineralogical Museum for his tireless
and extraordinary efforts in helping to secure the Hollmann collection.
The New York State Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Schuyler Alverson Collection.
Schuyler Alverson is a well-known mineral collector and life-long resident of St. Lawrence County.
He is the co-author of the publication, Minerals of the St. Lawrence Valley and the former co-owner of the
gem diopside mine in Dekalb, New York.
The collection consists of several hundred specimens, many of them self-collected from
rare and important sites throughout St. Lawrence County. The purchase of this collection was made
possible with funding from the State of New York and the New York State Academy of Mineralogy.
Steven C. Chamberlain
This display showcases the highlights of the Steven C. Chamberlain Collection,
some of the finest
examples of New York State minerals held in a private collection. The collection was assembled
over the last three decades by Dr. Chamberlain from both field work and purchases.
Dr. Steven C.
Chamberlain (b.1946) is a retired Professor of Bioengineering and Neuroscience. He is a
consulting editor on Rocks and Minerals Magazine, co-chairman of The Rochester Mineralogical
Symposium and the volunteer curator of the Oren C. Root Collection at Hamilton College. He is a
noted mineralogical researcher, collector and photographer whose works are widely
Frank Kurowski Collection
The specimens in this case were collected over several decades
by Frank Kurowski and represent
some of the highlights of the collection that he recently donated to the Museum. The
were all collected in the field in upstate New York.
Mr. Kurowski utilized many of his finds as
raw material for his gem and jewelry hobby. Examples of some of his lapidary work can be found
in this case, as well as, the nearby Gems of New York case.
Mr. Kurowski successfully ran a
television and radio repair business for many years in New Hartford, New York where he resided
with his wife and two daughters. He spent many of his spare hours hunting the back roads for
interesting mineral localities and compiled a large mineral collection as well as extensive
knowledge of the state's mineral resources.
He has generously shared this information with us over
the years by volunteering as a Museum field assistant. His dedication to mineralogy and his continuing
commitment to the New York State Museum serve as a constant inspiration to our staff.
Shooting stars that cross our night sky are not really stars, but pieces of rock burning in the
atmosphere. They are meteors - meteorites when they hit the ground.
Most meteorites are made
of stone, but since they look like ordinary rock they are seldom recognized.
It is the more rare iron
meteorites that dominate collections. Twelve meteorites have been recovered
in New York, the most
recent in Peekskill in 1992.
Minerals and You
New York ranks in the top 15 mineral producing states. Annually, New York miners produce over
$1.5 billion in mineral products.
What do a billiard ball, an automobile and a ceramic cookie jar have in common?
......all of these are made with New York minerals!
Did You Know ?
Our 2500 mines produce an amazing variety of products.
- Each year, every New Yorker uses more than 41,000 pounds of newly
mined mineral materials.
- New York's sand, gravel, and crushed stone are used to build and maintain
roads, schools, hospitals, airports, and houses.
- Halite is mined for food, medicine, and road salt.
- Garnet is mined in the Adirondacks to use for sandpaper, polishing glass
and metal, and water filtration.
- Limestone is mined in eastern New York to produce cement - the
backbone of many construction projects.
- Brick manufacturers mine clay in the Hudson River Valley.
- Lead and silver are by-products of zinc mines in the northwest Adirondacks.
- Granite, slate, and sandstone are mined in several parts of the state for use
as building stone.
- Wollastonite is an ingredient in billiard balls, electrical panels, and
- Zinc is used in every car tire and as a coating to prevent steel from rusting.
Talc is mined for filler and ceramics.