News September 2016

Published on Sep 12, 2016


Director | Curator | Store
Events | Science | Support

From the Director’s Desk-Future Generations

By Barbra Barrett, MMGM Director


At the Museum and More…

Denver Gem and Mineral Show
September 16-18, 2016

MMGM Tours & Talks
October 20, 2016 • 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Talk: To Be Announced

Barbra's photoI often talk about the incredible MMGM community as the sum of its parts, and how we are stronger because of the contributions of so many. Sadly, we lost a dear, valued member of our team when board member Arthur M. Hussey passed away peacefully on July 26. Arthur brought a lifetime of knowledge to the table here at MMGM. He pushed us to think outside the box as an institution, to aim higher to achieve and expand our educational goals. Arthur brought so much joy every time he walked through the door here, his infectious smile and impish personality made everyone he encountered smile. Often, his response to a question or the wrap-up of a conversation was a short “ayuh,” in typical Mainer form. He will be truly missed around our table, although his legacy forever be a part of MMGM’s foundation.

Recently Clayton Rose, President of Bowdoin College, eloquently summarized Arthur’s life:

arthur-headshot-bbArthur Mekeel Hussey II was born in Pittsburgh on March 9, 1931, and graduated from Wells High School in Maine in 1950. He traced his interest in geology to his childhood, when he played with (and studied) the cobbles and pebbles along the sea wall near his grandfather’s house in Wells Beach. He earned a B.S. in geology and mineralogy at Pennsylvania State University in 1954, where he won the W. A. Tarr Award for scholarship in the Earth sciences. His graduate study at Harvard was interrupted by service as a first lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force from 1955 to 1957. He continued his graduate study at the University of Illinois, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1961. Before coming to Bowdoin, he was a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University in the 1960-61 year.

He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1961 as a visiting assistant professor of geology, became an assistant professor in 1962 and an associate professor in 1966. He was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1972. Beginning in 1958, he worked with the Maine Geological Survey to describe and map the structural geology of the Maine coast from Kittery to Pemaquid Point. Art was a co-editor of the Bedrock Geological Map of Maine (1986), a comprehensive survey of the state’s rock formations and geologic history commissioned by the Maine Geologic Survey. His book A Guide to the Geology of Southwestern Maine was published in 2015, and summarized nearly sixty years of his research.

Version 2The author of scores of papers and maps on the geology of Maine, Art remained professionally active until the time of his death. He had co-authored a paper for a New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference field trip scheduled for this fall, and he would have been at the front of the group, sharing his knowledge about the deep history of a landscape he knew so well. Art was a lecturer and scientific consultant on many statewide geologic projects, ranging from mapping the bottom of Casco Bay to tracing seismic movements along Maine fault lines. When the College undertook the repair and reconstruction of the two Chapel towers in 2003 and needed to replace a number of stones, Art drew on his detailed knowledge of local geology to identify the quarry that produced the original stones. Always a teacher, Art led field trips for geologists, students, and the general public to acquaint others with the wonders of Maine’s geological history.

Art took great pride in his students and their accomplishments. At the time of his retirement, the Arthur M. Hussey II Prize in Earth and Oceanographic Science was established at the College to recognize an outstanding senior research project. He was a long-time member of the Geological Society of America, the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference, and a board member of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel. The Geological Society of Maine was formed during an informal meeting of colleagues in Art’s barn in Bowdoinham in 1974, and he served as the organization’s first president and publications editor. He also served as a member of the Topsham School Board in 1971. Some at Bowdoin may not have known about Art’s passion for narrow gauge railroads and his volunteer work as a conductor for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company.

Art is survived by his children, Arthur M. Hussey III of Fairbanks, Alaska, Nathaniel Hussey of Matinicus, Maine; Mary Hussey Stride of Bowdoinham, Maine; several grandchildren; and his former wife, Ruby Lord Hussey.


barbra signature informal

Collections-It Started with the Bumpus

By Carl Francis, PhD, MMGM Curator

Carl Francis, MMGM CuratorfireplaceThe entire MMGM project began with Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden’s purchase of land that included the old Bumpus quarry on Route 5 in Albany, site of the last Third Thursday Walk. Since that time, their interest in and support of the local mining community has grown into the museum we know today.

The long-abandoned quarry was once a garden where Allen Cummings observed mineral chips in the soil, which Stanley Perham identified as feldspar. Quarrying began in 1927, and almost immediately a cluster of giant beryl crystals was unearthed (some nearly 30 ft. long!). This unprecedented discovery garnered considerable publicity and made the Bumpus quarry the most famous of the local mining district. Much more of its history may be found in Maine Feldspar, Families, & Feuds, which is available in the museum shop.

saunders-gravestone-newsletterThe Bumpus quarry will be featured in the museum as an example of Oxford County’s many feldspar quarries. In addition to beryl, the Bumpus quarry is noted for rose quartz, hundreds of tons of which were sold at the Perham’s shop in West Paris. bumpus-quarry-newsletterIt was used to make a magnificent fireplace in a Bethel home, and it decorates graves in local cemeteries. Gem quality pieces have been cut and polished for jewelry.

The Bumpus quarry was operated as a typical open pit until 1968, when Frank Perham efficiently extracted more feldspar by driving tunnels at the east end. Inspecting the walls and ceiling of the tunnels is a highlight of a Bumpus quarry tour because they remain unweathered. One can observe the pegmatite rock and its minerals just as the miners saw them.

Events-Honoring Arthur M. Hussey, II, PhD

By Annemarie Saunders, MMGM Staff

hussey-book-newsletterAnnemarie 2016-ccIn 2015, MMGM published its first book, A Guide to the Geology of Southwestern Maine, by Arthur M. Hussey, II, PhD. On March 15, 2016 we received the wonderful news that Arthur’s book had been awarded a silver medal and was one of three finalists for the Gold Award from the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Awards competition in the reference category. These coveted “Indie” book awards are managed by the Independent Book Publishers Association in Manhattan Beach, California. In each category there are anywhere from 30 to 100 title entries. Even though Arthur’s book did not win the Gold Medal, MMGM and publisher Peter E. Randall applaud Arthur’s success.

In honor of Arthur, this month we are offering a 10% discount on his book to our newsletter readers and for our Supporting Members and above, that would be 20% off for you. Either stop by the store and let them know you are a newsletter subscriber or call Annemarie at 207-824-3036 to place your order by phone.

September seems to be a busy month for most of us, summer is ending, school is beginning and some of the MMGM staff will be attending The Denver Gem and Mineral Show. Due to the timing of the show we are postponing our September Third Thursday Talks and Tours until October, so stay tuned for our next Talk or Tour! If anyone is traveling to Denver the weekend of September 16th please look for the MMGM Display.

Treasures-Bumpus Gems

By Maggie Kroenke, MMGM Staff

Maggiebumpus-pendant-newsletterWhen you say the words mine, or mining, what comes to mind? I would guess most of the time it’s a long tunnel (either vertical or horizontal) and men with hard hats and head lamps. While most of Maine’s mines are open pit mines, the Bumpus Quarry in Albany Township is a true tunnel. Very little of the beryl found at the Bumpus was kept for gemstone or specimen purposes, but those we do have are a beautiful light blue cabochons.

Rose quartz is typically considered a by-product of mining and left in the dumps (or people’s gardens), but we think differently. The rose quartz from the Bumpus is a light pink and transparent (micro-inclusions give the gemstones a silky look). Featured in many pieces of jewelry, it’s beautiful as a ring, in earrings, or a pendant. Loose gemstones are available for custom setting as well.

On a side note, all of here at the MMGM would like to congratulate one of our jewelry artists, Derek Katzenbach, on winning the AGTA’s “Best Use of Color” Award for 2016! The AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) helps promote the colored gemstone and pearl trade and sponsors these annual awards. Derek’s submission was a bi-colored tourmaline, tourmalines, garnets, and diamonds in a 14K white gold ring. The competitors are judged on the pieces overall look, design, and the quality of workmanship. Derek is the designer behind our exclusive “Mountain” pendant and is working on more designs for the MMGM Store. Congratulations Derek!

Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Science-MP2 Colorado Field Trip

By Al Falster, MP2 Research Scientist

Skip and Al (2)-lrscience-1-newsletter
MMGM’S MP2 Research Group attended the 2nd E. E. Foord Memorial Symposium in Golden, Colorado July 15–19. Skip was an invited keynote speaker. The Group presented two talks, two posters and were co-authors of another presentation. Al Falster, Karen Webber and Skip also attended two post-meeting field trips. The first one was to the St. Peter’s Dome alkali pluton near Pikes Peak. We examined pegmatites that host a suite of aluminofluoride minerals such as weberite, cryolite and pachnolite. Al went on an extended hike of about 10 miles to visit one of the relatively inaccessible pegmatites.

Underground workings at the Brown Derby 31 pegmatite in Gunnison Co., Colorado.

Underground workings at the Brown Derby 31 pegmatite in Gunnison Co., Colorado.

On the second day, we visited the famous Brown Derby pegmatite in Gunnison Co., Colorado. Here we had access to the restricted underground workings. Public access to this pegmatite is restricted by an extensive metal enclosure, but the organizers arranged for our group to have access. It was great to get to see and collect samples from the classic lithium, boron, and cesium pegmatite. We now have a new suite of samples to examine in the lab and compare with pegmatites in Maine.

Presentation topics by the MMGM group:
The mineralogy of the Waterloo quarry pegmatites, southern Wisconsin. Thomas W. Buchholz, Alexander U. Falster and Wm. B. Simmons

Origin, geochemistry and mineral chemistry of the Post-Penokean LCT-type pegmatites in Florence County, Wisconsin. Alexander U. Falster and Wm. B. Simmons

Red elbaite in the underground workings of the Brown Derby pegmatite.

Red elbaite in the underground workings of the Brown Derby pegmatite.

Large scale boundary layer texture in the Mt. Mica pegmatite, Paris, Oxford County, Maine. Myles M. Felch, Wm B. Simmons, Alexander U. Falster, and Karen L. Webber

William B. Simmons, Keynote Speaker.
REE-Rich Pegmatites from the South Platte and Trout Creek Pass pegmatite districts, Colorado: Contrasting geochemical profiles and tectonic regimes.

Evidence for an anatectic origin of an LCT type pegmatite: Mt. Mica, Maine. Wm B. Simmons and Alexander U. Falster

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