The Winthrop Mineral Shop in Winthrop, Maine was operated for many years by Priscilla Bryant and her husband Stearns Bryant. It had its beginnings in 1927 when Priscilla (nee Priscilla Mae Stearns, born in 1924 in South Paris, Maine) started picking up brightly colored stones by a stone wall at her childhood home, where the collection of a previous owner and miner had been discarded after his death. Her grandfather had a rose quartz mine on his Paris Hill Farm near Mt. Mica, which further inspired her interest in collecting. While still in school she worked for Dick Nevel, a mine operator who opened a shop in South Paris. There she met many mine owners, teachers, and other mineral enthusiasts.
After Mr. Nevel's fatal accident at the Newery mine Priscilla opened her own shop, "The Stone House," at the home of her parents, Alexander and Elizabeth Stearns. She married Stearns Jackson Bryant in 1941, and in 1958 with his encouragement and help, a mineral shop was opened in the basement recreation room of their own home in East Winthrop, Maine. The basement quarters eventually proved to be too small for their growing mineral display so they rebuilt a burned out building on Route 202 and opened the Winthrop Mineral Shop there.
Stearns, who was born in East Buckfield, Maine in 1918, died in November 1973, but Priscilla continued to operate the shop. In 1988 the store burned down, and much of the inventory was lost in the fire. Priscilla and her second husband, Levi (Sonny) Chavarie, rebuilt it, but have since moved the shop inventory back into their home where they currently offer minerals such as Maine tourmaline, amethyst, beryl and other species from around the world, as well as Jewelry, Gold Panning Supplies, Lapidary Supplies, Books, Carvings, Specimens, Gifts and other collectibles.
The Winthrop Mineral Shop has a website at www.MaineCrystal.com
please E-mail us at:
[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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