Do you love rocks and minerals? Since we have members of our family who are fascinated with gems, shiny minerals and unique rocks, a visit to the Ben E Clement Mineral Museum has been on our Kentucky bucket list for quite a while. The Ben E Clement Mineral Museum showcases specimens from the famous Southern Illinois – Western Kentucky Fluorspar Region as well as fluorescent specimens, gemstones carvings and minerals! Recently we drove over to Marion, Kentucky to take a tour of the Mineral Museum and see this amazing but often overlooked museum here in the Bluegrass state.
Hobbies on a Budget received tickets or discounts for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.
Ben E Clement Mineral Museum
Located about an hour south of Henderson, KY and an hour east of Paducah, you can find the Ben E Clement Mineral Museum in Marion, KY. This museum is one of those hidden gems that you have to go visit on purpose. You don’t just find it by accident when you are visiting one of the big cities in Kentucky.
This unassuming little building holds a wealth of treasures and ‘cool things’ to explore. Whether you are fascinated by the mining industry of Kentucky or love looking at shiny rocks, there is something for you here in this museum.
The museum has multiple exhibits dedicated to the different types of rocks found in the personal collection of Ben E Clements as well as specimens that have been donated to the museum by other collectors.
Don’t miss the hidden SuperMan figures in the room. A fun little surprise for the kids and adults to discover!
During the life of Ben E Clement, he dreamed of having a museum where he could showcase his extensive rock and mineral collection. In fact, he left detailed notes to his family and friends telling them how to display some of the pieces of the collection. Look closely at this note and you will see that Clement was a forward thinker.
Put davenport mine maps with these core drillings if ever you have a museum…
One of the most popular rooms in the museum is the massive collection of fluorescent specimens, displayed beneath ultraviolet lights. When the regular lights are on, you just see average rocks. But turn on the ultraviolet lights and you see a variety of colors that are beautiful beyond belief.
Of course, we have to buy one of the fluorescent rocks which means we need an ultraviolet light. I’ve been checking on Amazon to see options for an affordable ultraviolet light and this one looks interesting. Do you have any recomendations?
Welcome to the Clement Mineral Museum, a one-of-a-kind showcase of the collection of Ben E. Clement, a giant in Kentucky mining. The collection is composed of thousands of fluorite crystal specimens, ranging in weight from a fraction of an ounce to hundreds of pounds. Each specimen was “a rare accidental find” among regular ore bodies. In addition to the fluorite, there are many other rare mineral samples, fossils, and exquisite mineral carvings.
Also preserved in the museum is an extensive collection of journals, photographs, mining tools, and artifacts related to fluorspar mining, an industry that flourished during World War II and was an economic staple until the 1950’s.
Though this museum is a bit off the beaten trail, this is one of the must see places that you need to visit!
Do you have a child in your life that loves to collect rocks? Why not give them a starter kit like this and then take them on a field trip over to Marion? You’ll be glad you did!
Connect with the Mineral Museum
205 N Walker St
Marion, KY 42064
Where should you go after leaving the Ben E Clement Mineral Museum? How about over to Paducah to enjoy the National Quilt Museum?!
Sharon Williams is a mom of 3 who loves to read, travel, take pictures, work in the flowers and spend time with family. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably out enjoying life so she’ll have something fun to blog about tomorrow!