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Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, Hillsboro

Categories: Natural History Museums, Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web
The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is a non-profit museum in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. Located just north of the Sunset Highway on the northern edge of Hillsboro, the earth science museum is in the Portland metropolitan area. Opened in 1997, the museum’s collections date to the 1930s with the museum housed in a home built to display the rock and mineral collections of the museum founders. The ranch style home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first of its kind listed in Oregon.The museum sits on 23 wooded acres (9.3 ha), with the main building containing of space. Collections include petrified wood, various fossils, fluorescent minerals, meteorites, zeolites, and a variety of other minerals. With more than 20,000 specimens, the museum is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The facility has around 25,000 visitors each year, many of whom are on school tours.HistoryRichard L. Rice married Helen Hart in 1932 and the couple began rock collecting in 1938 after finding agates along the Oregon Coast. In 1952 the Rices built a new home north of Hillsboro on 30 acres (12.1 ha) that would later house the museum. The Rices founded a museum in 1953 to display their collections. Their collections won them the Woodruff Trophy three years in a row at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, which led to that trophy's retirement. Helen served as president of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies from 1959 to 1960.
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  • Absolutely fantastic collection of rocks, minerals, petrified wood, fossils and more from all around the world. 
  • This was an great surprise. It is a little difficult to get to and may want to follow your GPS. But the home, museum and history of this place is really amazing. 
  • I brought my father (a former rock hound and geo-chemist) here because I thought he might enjoy it. Turned out I liked it just as much! Beautiful and educational displays, so much to see! Helpful, kno...  read more »
  • So many amazing displays! My favorite is the different colors under different lighting display, incredible colors! Hands on stuff for the kids. Incredible hand built for this purpose house and grounds. Would live there if I could. :)
  • The best museum of rocks, minerals, fossils, semi-precious and precious gemstones in Oregon. My ten year old could not be torn away without first plundering the $1/lb rock-pile out. A well laid out display of beautiful specimens that fuels the curious mind.
  • Super cool place to bring the family to explore all things mineral. A great place to peak children's curiosity and to educate them on the many types of rocks and minerals that make up our area and earth.
  • This place is amazing. They have such a great collection of gems and minerals. Their displays are beautiful and educational.
  • Great private museum. Not just for the rock hound. My son took me here, he's 11, as my birthday present from him after he'd gone with his school. Glad I went.
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