Experience a Gem on the Prairie in North Dakota

My family enjoys the great outdoors in North Dakota so most of our weekends in the summer are filled with camping trips! This past Labor Day weekend we had a “rain day” which motivated us to explore a few off-the-beaten-path options “indoors.” Since we had a couple of aspiring rock collectors in our group, we decided to check out the Paul Broste Rock Museum in Parshall and were pleasantly surprised by its amazing collection.

The building itself is a marvel, as it is built entirely of hand-picked native stone, some weighing more than a ton! The structure was done with volunteer labor and opened for business in 1965. Paul called it his "Acropolis on a Hill."


As you enter the museum, one of the first things to catch your eye is the magnificent boulders that show how Paul would start the sphere-shaping process. And it’s also pretty cool that you can touch the rocks!

As we strolled through the collections, the variety of gems, spheres and stones were amazing. We learned that the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington offered to purchase a few items. Kudos to museum members that strive to keep the collection intact and in North Dakota! The fluoride crystal in the collection cannot be found anywhere else in the world and is deemed priceless.


We then proceeded to the “Dark Room” where we learned that some of the rocks found right here in North Dakota contain properties that glow. #CoolFactor


We thought Dark Room was phenomenal and then we entered the Infinity Room. This houses a one-of-a-kind sphere tree where each sphere is placed in a particular place to balance the structure.

I know that we left the museum with a few inspired gem collectors and all agreed that this museum “rocks!”

Special thanks to our tour guide Dorothy, she truly has a passion for the museum and strongly encourage a visit to this gem on our “Legendary” prairie.