Kansas Meteorite Museum - Haviland, Kansas
July 2015 Update: The Kansas Meteorite Museum is closed for the summer while Don Stimpson and Dr. Sheila Knepper do field work. They may open again in the fall but will sell most of their Brenham meteorite collection (~7,000lbs) if they can find a suitable buyer. If they find a buyer, the museum may not open again.
Thousands of years ago, a meteor scattered several tons of meteorite fragments in the vicinity of Brenham, Kansas. The iron bearing fragments were found by Native Americans and pieces have been found as far away as Hopewell Indian mounds in Ohio. The iron in the meteorite was used to make ornaments and implements.
Fragments were found by settlers in the 1880s and it was several years before it was discovered that they were from a meteor. But the Brenham Meteorite still didn't become famous until the 1920s when H.H. (Harvey Harlow) Nininger from McPherson College found a Haviland crater associated with this meteorite.
More fragments of the Brenham Meteorite are found every year and more than three tons of fragments have been found to date. Although some large fragments have been found, most pieces are the size of a grapefruit or smaller.
The Kansas Meteorite Museum is located within the region where the Brenham Meteorite is found, midway between Haviland and Greensburg, Kansas. The museum and gift shop occupy just one modest room, but when the owner, Don Stimpson started showing me exhibits and demonstrations, 90 minutes were gone before I knew it.
The museum includes a gift shop where a number of items are available, but the coolest items for sale are fragments of the Brenham Meteorite. They range from tiny fragments sold at 4/dollar, up to larger polished fragments that could even be jewelry.
The Kansas Meteorite Museum is a little known attraction that will thoroughly interest those who are interested in space or geology. Don and his wife, Dr. Sheila Knepper, can even arrange meteorite hunting expeditions.
To reach the Kansas Meteorite Museum, drive south from US-54 on 43 Avenue, 2 miles to K Street and travel a third of a mile east.
copyright 2009-2015 by Keith Stokes