|Location:||Downtown Marquette, Upper Peninsula.|
JAN to MAY Mon-Sat 10-17.
JUN to DEC Mon-Sat 10-17, Sun 12-16.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||L=35 m.|
|Address:||Wattson & Wattson Jewelers, 118 West Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855, Toll Free: 800-762-4246, Tel: +1-906-228-5775, Fax: +1-906-228-3675.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1989||Ropes Gold Mine closed.|
Wattson and Wattson Jewelry Store is a special jewelry store. Some years ago the owner built an artificial mine through the whole store, to explain the history of jewelry mining in general and local mineral mining in particular. Located inside a historic building in Marquette, a small town at the shores of Lake Superior, it was voted to be America's Coolest Store. The mine is 35 m long aand was built of cement and cellulose on a wood and wire mesh framework. During six months ten tons of cement were used to construct the mine tunnel. The mine is a combination of museum and of course advertisement for the jewelry.
The history of the store is connected wit a real mine, the Ropes Gold Mine in nearby Ishpeming. This mine was reopened after more than 100 years in 1985, and Ron Wattsson started his shop to craete a new line of jewelry made of the local gold. It is sold under the names Michigan Gold™ or UP Gold™, as UP means Upper Peninsula. When the mine was closed again, the stock of gold allowed the production of jewelry for five more years.
The shop also sells minerals and fossils, and a highlight of the fossil collection is the three metre tall Russian Cave Bear fossil named Slim. The skeleton is 50,000 years old. There is a rock room with geodes, fossils, wind chimes made of agates, and other mineral items.