Silver Queen Minerals

Silver Queen Minerals, Julie HesseI was born and raised in Rutland, Vermont. I graduated with a degree in Interior Design from Endicott College, studied at The Boston Architectural Center and then worked at the Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, MA for 2 1/2 years. I took a leave of absence to hike the 1000+ miles on the Pacific Crest Trail from Northern California to Canada. Instead of returning to Cambridge, I came to Aspen in 1981.

Shortly after my arrival, I got a job at Ashcroft Ski Touring/Pine Creek Cookhouse and in 1985 married Greg Mace, part owner of the business. Greg died in a mountain climbing accident on South Maroon in July 1986. For the following six years, I lived at the Mace Hut, operating it as the Toklat Chalet and offering dinner, bedroll, and breakfast! I then moved from the wilds of Montezuma to the “wilds” of Aspen and spent the next 20 years as personal manager in various homes.

Thanks to a gemologist friend, in 2000 I became interested in minerals and began collecting, both purchasing and self-collecting, focusing on Colorado specimens, gemstones and, in addition, mining artifacts. My collection grew to a point where I could have public displays. In 2010 the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum in Golden featured a year-long display of some of my rough and cut Colorado gem stones.

After collecting for over thirteen years, I decided to share my passion for minerals and mining artifacts by starting Silver Queen Minerals, named after the famous 18 foot statue that Aspen had made for the 1893 Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago. After the Fair the statue was moved to the Mineral Palace in Pueblo, from whence it disappeared. The Silver Queen has never been found.
— Julie Hesse

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