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Downtown Greenville welcomes new ‘rock’ store

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GREENVILLE — There’s a new store in downtown Greenville, right next door to The Crazy Moose on Pritham Avenue – Northern Maine Minerals. For those in the know, its former location was atop Indian Hill, across the street from the Trading Post.

It belongs to brothers, Fred and Jordan Krone. The two have been rock hounds since they were small boys, living in northern New York State, not far from the Adirondacks.

“We grew up between Albany and Utica so the famous Herkimer Diamond mines (in Herkimer, New York) were practically in our back yard,” said Fred. “We’ve been going there since we were little kids. I just kept at it and went to college for geology.” During college Fred wrote grants, which allowed him to travel from Alaska to Maine studying the geochemistry in glaciers and unusual rock formations.

Fate brought the brothers to Greenville. Fred’s wife was recruited to work at Mayo Regional Hospital as a Physician’s Assistant. Their company already did a brisk business primarily online, but when Fred and his wife had a child, his rock museum morphed into a baby’s room. “I always said if I start a rock shop I’m retired,” Fred laughed. “Now I’m just having fun with this and enjoying every minute. “

This writer loves anything sparkly and the sunny shop glitters with all manner of exquisite jewelry, crystals, and interiors of geodes. Glass cabinets and open shelving allow for the best displays of their remarkable merchandise. They have racks filled with various sized abalone buttons. These buttons are not easy to find and work beautifully with hand knit sweaters. There are bookends created from geodes, fascinating fossils, and polished heart-shaped worry stones.

The brothers are delighted with the town and its people. “Its just perfect here! Exclaimed Jordan. “The community here is extremely friendly. The people are so nice and the other shops have been very kind and supportive, so why leave?” He had originally only planned to stay a few days. “I ended up never leaving,” he grinned.

In addition to all the offerings in the shop, Fred and Jordan will be running classes and doing guided rock tours. “We are planning to start a gold panning class sometime in May,” said Fred. “We have all the equipment to get everyone started right.” To their delight, someone recently found a decent sized nugget in the Moosehead area. “It was probably a $200 dollar piece of gold,” Jordan said. “I heard it had striations of silver through it as well.”

“There was a reason the gold rush didn’t come to Maine to find gold,” Fred explained. “Those prospectors went to Alaska because of the 24-hour daylight in the summer months. There’s not as much gold in Maine, but it’s here,” he added.

“It’s very reassuring,” said Jordan. “Finding something like that nugget reignites the fire – the gold is really here. People think if this guy can find it they can too.”

In addition to learning to pan for gold, the brothers will offer trips to Maine mines that are in operation for tourmaline and other crystals and minerals. “We have a lot of ideas,” Fred said. “We’re planning on hooking up with other local groups – for example, Tomhegan camps would like us to take people on nature hikes.” Fred noted that every time he takes a walk it’s like reading a book. The earth beneath his feet has much to say.

The owners of Northern Maine Minerals plan to begin with a soft opening this week and then have a grand opening when things warm up a bit. “We’ll probably hide some rocks here and there and make a treasure hunt out of it,” Fred smiled. “We want to bring kids from the inside to the outside – fresh air and getting active is all part of being a rock hound. The sky’s the limit – there’s so much for them to explore.”

This week Northern Maine Minerals will be open by chance; they plan to be there 11 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. shortly. Call: 207/343-1198 for information. Email: NorthernMaineMinerals@gmail.com. Visit www.northernmaineminerals.com.; also Facebook, EBay and Etsy.

Observer photo/Shelagh Talbot
NORTHERN MAINE MINERALS — Fred Krone is co-owner of Northern Maine Minerals, a new business in Greenville scheduled to open soon on Pritham Avenue. The store sells items like jewelry, buttons, and other items made with stones and minerals.

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