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Stanley I. Perham
(1907-1973)

Perham's Maine Mineral Store at Trap Corner, West Paris, Maine, was operated by Stanley Irving Perham (pronounced {"pear'm"). Perham was born in West Paris on June 2, 1907 into the mining family of Alfred Perham and Josephine Bacon. His interest in minerals grew from a small collection he was given by Millard Emmons, which may have predated the family's entry into mining. Perham was selling minerals and natural history objects by age 12, from his home. He opened Perham's Maine Mineral Store in West Paris in 1919. He graduated from high school in 1924, and then attended Bates College for two and a half years before leaving school to devote his time to his mineral business. He had discovered a rich vein of feldspar on his father's farm in the early 1920's, and in 1925 his father began mining it; they also operated a feldspar grinding mill in West Paris.

By 1928, at age 21, Stanley Perham had an association with the owners of the Bumpus quarry in Albany, Maine where some large beryl crystals were discovered. The crystals were billed as the world's largest, although they were probably eclipsed in size by a previous find at Mount Apatite, Auburn, Maine. Kunz and Palache attempted to obtain the beryl crystals at a low price and resented having to pay the market value assigned. At least two sections of a large crystal were shipped to museums and one section is at the American Museum of Natural History.

Perham was a feldspar miner at various quarries by about 1930, and married Gwendolyn Louise Wood in 1931 (she died four years later). In 1935 he married Hazel Louise Scribner. The original location of his mineral store (called "The Nature Shop" at first, and later "Perham's Maine Mineral Store") was across the street from its 2006 location and was also a grocery store staffed by family members. The business was shifted across the road in the 1940's, returned to its original location in the early 1950's and remained at that location after a move about 1957. Stan Perham's career was rich as a miner and as a mineral dealer. He died on December 1, 1973 in West Paris, Maine. After his death, the business increased its emphasis as a jewelry producing store, changing its name to Perham's of Maine, although minerals continue to be sold. Jane Perham finally closed the store in 2009, after 90 years of operation.

Reference:
KING, V. (2006) Personal communication.
SHAUB, B.M. (1974) Memorial to Stanley I. Perham. Rocks & Minerals, 49 (2), 82-83.
STEVENS, J.P. (1972) Maine's Treasure Chest; Gems and Minerals of Oxford County. 216 p.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Stanley I. Perham Stanlet I. Perham in his Maine Mineral Store, West Paris, Maine
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