Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mario's Gold Nugget

As he prefers to be called, the "World Famous Gold Prospector Mario" is here at Ironstone this weekend teaching all interested how to pan for gold. He even promises you will find some!


Mario is quite proud of his newest Gold nugget. He wears this one around his neck. It is quite a bobble or Gold Panners Bling! We don't think you will find one this big in the gold pans. It was hard rock mined in one of Mario's claims over in Tuolumne County, just on the other side of the river from us here in Murphys.


Come on out and meet Mario. He is after all the real thing! Made a living panming and mining for Gold here in the Sierra. Mario hails from Italy and if you ask, he has quite a story to tell about how he left Verona, Italy as a young boy during the war and made his way to America. It is quite a story. He will also teach you the right way and the wrong way to pan for gold. He does have the touch.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Barb knows what she wants for Christmas!

Not every day you find the perfect gift... for yourself! But Barbara Zimmerman did!
Barbara is a member of an RV Club that in turn is part of the Redding Elks Lodge #1073. Up to Murphys on one of their monthly outings last Thursday, May 14th, Barbara, Richard Richards and the rest of the RV Club made their way to Ironstone Vineyards. After lunch, they headed over to us here in the Ironstone Museum to check out our Gold! And there you go! Love at first sight! Leaving the Gold Vault, Barabara explained to her fellow travelers that she knows what she wants for Christmas! 44 pounds of it! Or any chips or flakes that happen to find their way off the big piece!
The groups next outing is a "Chili Cook Off" at McCloud, with 85 rigs heading out for what Richard calls "the big on for the year". We wish the group a great time and hope they come back and check up on Barb's Christmas gift!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Huge Catch! Ready for Adoption!


The Catch is in!

From Fossil Lake, the fossil fish are ready for new homes. Adoption Fees range from $7.00 to $ 85.00. While the catch is fresh, make a fossil fish an everlasting family member by offering a loving home.
Make great backsplaces too!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Fish comith to Ironstone

The Fish comith...
Our little friend pictured here is a diplomystus dentatus. This is the second most common fish in Fossil Lake from where he hails. The highest concentration of articulated fossil fish in the world is located at Fossil Lake, Wyoming. Discovered in the 1870's, Fossil Lake covered almost 930 sq. miles about 50 million years ago, with only 230 sq. miles of sediment now remaining. Still, more than a million perfectly preserved fossil fish have been recovered. Preserved with the fish in the laminated limestone is a complete ancient aquatic ecosystem: cyanobacteria, plants, insects, amphibians, alligators, turtles, birds and mammals, including the oldest pantolestid (otter-like animal).
Our little friend has come to us along with about 75 of his closest buddies and all are available for sale from $15.00 to $95.00 here in the Ironstone Museum. According to their discoverer Stuart Grieve, there are several species of fossil fish within these various limestone blocks. Come by and take a look. They are fascinating.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sacramento Fine Arts Center Conference



This week marks the first annual "Improving the Impact of Arts on the Regional Economy" presented by the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael. A very ambitious project designed to bring together businesses, artists and community to explore ways to create new economic opportunities. Coordinators Marie Dixon and Marilyn McGinnis, pictured above, have taken on a huge conference with a potential of significantly improving the relations of arts, business and community.
Ironstone Vineyards was present as guest panellist representing Calaveras County Arts and business. Upon entry into the main spacious working room of the center, I discovered the legendary watercolorist, Ken Potter conducting a working studio class. Quite impressivc and very engaging. My panel station was located in one of two beautiful rooms awash with light from huge floor to ceiling windows that encompase an entire wall in each room. On display was a fantastic exhibit of the Center's working artists. Very impressive line up.

Along with the Center's Board members, I also met other business leaders from the area with an interest in the arts. Questions centered around incorporating business and art for the benefit of all and more specifically what were Ironstone Vineyard's goals as they involve art. Sharing our goals to promote not only the individual artist, but the areas superb art galleries and art groups opened more questions on how Ironstone planned on doing this. Answer; local painting groups and gallerys are invited to present their works and stable of artists for temporary display in one of Ironstone's Gallerias. Ironstone will also be working with outside non-profit art associations and centers with promotion of their upcoming special exhibits with previews and event information on display.

Today's agenda at the conference is focused on Arts in & Outside the Home/Business with panel members from the staging and realty communities. Also today are scheduled two workshops, one featuring Phil Evans from the Sculpture Park and the second featuring Sarah Solis Matson with Fresco Painting.

Thursdays agenda focuses on Supportive Services - Marketing, Financial, etc. with panelists from the marketing industry and financial industry. Studio workshops on Thursday include Mary Bonanno, photography, Karen Sanders, graphic arts, and Susan Leith with "How to take Photos of Your Art Work".

As a first year event, I was quite impressed by the scope of the conference and feel it is a great asset to the community and a wonderful learning experience for all participants.