Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Stones ‘N Bones, a Great Day Trip

by Julie Royce / Oct 16, 2008 /
Julie Royce's picture

This magical museum is located in Sarnia, Canada and before you remind me that as the Michigan Editor it appears I have gotten myself a bit off track, I would simply ask that you indulge me for a few moments.  Sarnia is just a hop, skip and a jump (alright, more literally a short drive across the Blue Water Bridge) from Port Huron, Michigan and the visit to this museum is well worth the time.

 

Stonesnbones museum

 

    When I was doing research for the first edition of Traveling Michigan’s Thumb I found myself in front of a store front for Stones ‘N Bones. It looked tiny and I told my husband I would be out in ten minutes and I would be walking up and down Christina Street looking for other places I wanted to include in the book. We would certainly stumble upon one another with little trouble and if not, we each had a cell phone and with a simple call could arrange to reconnect. Perhaps I should back up a bit and confide that while I did research my husband generally checked out ice-cream shops and a few restaurants.

 

Stonesnbones museum

Syrinx - this salt-water snail is the largest living gastropod - one of many shells in our extensive collection.

 

   
    Inside the Stones ‘N Bones I met owners, Jim and Allison and was given a guided tour. This was standard treatment from Jim who enjoys educating his visitors about the Museum’s international collection of some 6,000 objects artistically displayed in a gallery setting. Fluorescent minerals, fossils, gemstones, artifacts, shells, butterflies, insects, antlers, horns, dinosaurs and huge shark jaws are all on permanent display.

    Never would I have believed from the exterior that 10,000 square feet of exhibits awaited me; nor did I expect that the first diorama I encountered would include a 600-pound grizzly bear. There are eleven galleries where you will view the rare and unusual: an 1891 passenger pigeon, a nest of ten hadrosaur eggs, elephant beetles big enough to swallow small children, the skeletal remains of a duckbill dinosaur, teeth from a T-Rex, the jaw of a great white shark estimated to have been twenty-two feet long, butterflies with a secret, and a five-and-a half-foot moose rack. That’s just for starters.

 

Stonesnbones Museum

Head of a fossilized 20 foot fish from Kansas.

 

    One particularly astute five year old exclaimed, “It should be called Stones ‘N Bones and everything else.” Upon entering you will be provided the following disclaimer, “Exposure to this museum atmosphere will aggravate the self-fulfilling need to learn. When the museum is closed, temporary relief may be found at a local book store or community library.  The NEW Museum hours are from Feb. 1/09 - Dec. 31/09 (including July/Aug.) open 5 days a week. (Wed. thru Sun.) closed Mon./Tues. and Stat. Holidays.  They had to change the hours to get a break!  If you are making the drive from Port Huron, it probably would be wise to confirm (519) 336-2100.

 

Stonesnbones Museum

Okenite - imagine puffball-like crystals inside rock.

 

     Stones 'N Bones can be reached from the United States by crossing the Bluewater Bridge at Port Huron and taking Highway 402, Exit 1 (Front Street) to downtown Sarnia. It is located at 223 Christina Street North.

    Oh, yes, I almost forgot the end of my story. After two-an-a-half hours my cell phone began ringing. It was my husband who told me he had been up and down the street and in every establishment he though might have possibly captured my attention, but he could not find me. I had never left Stones ‘N Bones.  It is that kind of place.  

 

 

Julie Albrecht Royce, Michigan Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a bi-weekly column (monthly in winter) for wanderingeducators.com, entitled Michigan's Small Town Treasures.

 

 

Photos courtesy and copyright of Stonesnbones Museum.

 

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