Stories in Stones

Located in charming, historic Angels Camp, Stories in Stones is a natural science and mineral-lover's dream and the passion of husband and wife owners, Russ and Pam Shoemaker. They call it an earth science emporium - and that's not overstating things.

Stories in Stones | Jason Smith

Stories in Stones is so much more than a store. Once you’ve visited you’ll be coming back again and again to see what new marvels you can find, and to delight in the natural world’s variety.

Watch this video from 2012 interviewing Russ Shoemaker on his passion for minerals, and the Stories in Stones experience:

Stories in Stones: The Store

Imagine walking into a wonderful museum, where everything is available for purchase and you can choose something to take home for your own pleasure or to give as a gift.  There are so many choices! Here, you’ll  find a wide selection of classified mineral specimens to add to your collection, from massive, crystal filled amethyst geodes to small, beginner specimens that can fit in little hands.

Stories in Stones | Shannon Vingo

Agate display | Shannon Vingo

You’ll find marine shells, amazing examples of ancient, petrified wood and fossils as well as Native American rugs, jewelry and pottery. There’s also a large beading section with supplies for making and repairing jewelry, there are guide books, science kits, relief maps, insects and butterfly specimens and of course, gold panning equipment. There’s even a giant cave bear skeleton.

Stories in Stones - shells

Shells displayed

Stories in Stones: Learning Center

The store also holds a large Earth Science Learning Center with educational displays on:

  • The six crystal systems
  • The nine classifications of minerals
  • The five kingdoms of life in fossils
  • What is a fossil?
  • Types of fossilization
  • Marine fossils

Here’s where you can learn about “Earth in a Nutshell,” an entertaining presentation given by Russ, imparting his significant knowledge, gained over 45 years, describing the importance of rocks in our every day lives and how we can’t live without them. The presentations are appropriate for all age groups from first-graders to graduate geologists. They take at least an hour, and are available by appointment. Your group can be just your own family and friends – no need to be a professional organization or group. The presentations are free because, as Russ says:

We want everyone to be able to have an opportunity to learn about the earth and how important it is to us in our daily lives. When you leave you will understand that we, as humans, are nothing more than walking rocks ourselves.

Stories in Stones: Russ & Pam Shoemaker | Jason B Smith

Russ and Pam Shoemaker in the store | Jason B Smith

Innovations in TourismStories in Stones received the BEST RETAIL award in the 2013 Calaveras Visitors Bureau Innovations in Tourism Awards for their unique retail experience and educational outreach.

Blogs featuring Stories in Stones: 2013 Innovations in Tourism Award-Winners Announced |  Holiday Shopping at its Best  |  Inside a World of Wonder

Stories in Stones | Shannon Vingo

Butterfly specimen display| Shannon Vingo

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