If you are interested in the lapidary arts you might want to take a ride into Franklin, NC and visit the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum. Due to the history of the area, it is no wonder that a museum has been established to show off the gems and the mining industry that brought Franklin to life. Inside you are going to find not only information on the history of the area but examples of the gems that they found in the mountains. Of course, the fact that the museum is housed in the old jail house means that you are walking into history as you learn about history.
Drive around downtown Franklin and you are going to see typical, small town USA downtown. This downtown has been revitalized in the past with the influx of tourism dollars into the area and especially into Franklin itself. Look up and down the narrow streets, take in the beauty of what Franklin looked like at the turn of the century. On Phillips Street you will see the old jail house. If you find the jailhouse, you have found the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum. They have been in this location since 1974 and they are not only celebrating their love of all things gem mining but they are also keeping up the Old Macon County Jail.
The Franklin Gem and Mineral Society started in 1971. The rockhounds of the area had a close kinship from many hours spent digging for gems in the mountains. It was no wonder that informal get-togethers turned into monthly meetings. In fact, by 1972 there were almost 175 people on the roles of the club. In 1972 they also opened the museum. This museum was a growing collection of the lapidary dreams of the rockhounds of Macon County. With the move into the jailhouse, they were able to expand the collection and improve on the exhibits. The club stills hosts this free museum and it is one of the highlights of any visit to downtown Franklin, NC.
Stepping though the door of the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum brings into the world of rocks, gems and fossils. From the North Carolina Room that focuses on those minerals and rocks pulled from the local mountains. You can also cool those minerals and gems pulled from around the world in the World Room. There are also rooms dedicated to fossils, artifacts and much more. Learn about the industry that caused the founding of Franklin. The Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum celebrates that industry it is a great way to spend the afternoon.
Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum
25 Phillips St