Friday, August 21, 2009

Cooper's Gem Mine, Blountville, TN

Cooper's Gem Mine is not a real mine, and the "mining" you do there is not authentic; its basically a "tourist trap," but it is oh, so much fun! You purchase a bucket of rocks that have pre-mixed in them semi-precious stones, fossils or arrowheads, depending on which bucket you choose. For the stones and the arrowheads, you take them to a "sluice" which is a trough with running water. There you pour your mixture into a box sieve and wash away the sand, dirt and small stones, revealing your treasures. For the fossils (and arrowheads, if you wish) you use a dry sieve, which is set up in a little tepee, because the water can damage the fossils. We all had fun at this. The place has been decorated to look like a TV version of a western town. It is very cute and we enjoyed taking pictures of the kids in around the fixtures. The kids enjoyed the treasure hunting aspect of it; a feeling of mystery about what you might discover. Prices vary anywhere from $4-$50, and include rock identification. For more pictures of our adventure, click here.

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