Eldon George says he’s happy the Cumberland Geological Society has bought his business, the legendary Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop and Museum that he ran for 67 years.
“I feel good because I’m getting too old to carry it on,” the 84-year old fossil hunter and amateur geologist says. “It gives me a chance to move over and let somebody else continue on.”
The Geological Society, which operates the Fundy Geological Museum (FGM), announced the purchase yesterday during the opening of the Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral Show at the Lions Arena in Parrsboro.
Tim Fedak, director/curator of the FGM, says the Society bought the business assets of the Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop including the contents of its gift shop. Eldon George himself will donate his collection of rare fossils, gems and minerals to the museum for use in building a permanent gallery and exhibit at the FGM that will honour his tireless work as a rockhound.
“The design of the exhibit needs to be worked out over the next year,” Fedak says.
“The working premise I have is that we would see the facade of the Rock Shop in the gallery with the dinosaur, the yard, which is this iconic destination, and then you would walk through the door of the facade into the Eldon and Elaine George Memorial Gallery, which would have his significant specimens and information about him.”
Fedak says the the Geological Society will rent the Rock Shop building for two years while it sorts through the collection and during that time, people will still be able to drop by for a visit.
After two years, some of the materials will be moved to the FGM, others might be auctioned off and some could be sold in the FGM gift shop.
In the meantime, the Society hopes to raise $150,000 by the end of October to pay for the purchase, to rent the building and to cover other expenses such as wages for seasonal staff at the Shop when it’s open.
“I’m very excited,” Fedak says. “It’s interesting for me to think about the impact he’s had…on building a strong community, the 50th anniversary of the Gem Show and over 3,000 people coming this weekend as a part of that and it’s great that he could open the show this year.”
As one of the founders of the Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral Show, Eldon George says he never expected it to reach this stage.
“People come from all over Canada and the United States,” George says. “They can hardly wait to get here to see all the beautiful things on display every year.”
To read the Wikipedia entry on Eldon George click here.