Every geologist has the first mineral they fall in love with. Linda Barton Cronoble was in her mid twenties visiting the Northern peninsula of Michigan when she found her first Katiki stone, which was an ancient fossil coral. It really captured her imagination. She was raised a fundamentalist Christian and her belief taught her that the world was only 6,000 years old; but, this fossil was 300 million years old. Linda really wanted to understand why and how this could be.
Linda never lost her thirst for knowledge. In her mid forties, after twenty-five years as a hairdresser, she had a cancer scare. She decided to sell her business and move to Colorado to follow a childhood dream. (In the sixth grade Linda made a pact with her best friend to move to Colorado. Her friend beat her here by ten years.)
Once here she went back to school and received a degree in land use with a geology major at Metro State in Colorado. Though Linda was a biology major, it was clear after her first field trip to study the geology of the Colorado plateau that she had a passion for geology. She met her husband Jim Cronoble, a geology professor, at that time. Five years later they married. Jim is her partner at Rustic Relics. He also continues to teach geology field courses at the University.
It wasn’t long before Dr. Elizabeth Simmons, a volunteer for Dinosaur Ridge, encouraged Linda to help with a documentary for the Ridge. Linda, along with a number of other geologist friends including Dr. Lockey and Dr. Jankowski, joined Dr. Simmons and completed the documentary. Afterwards they had a number of props and materials left over and decided to rent some space in Heirlooms Antique Mall in Aurora in February of 2013. They threw in numerous fossils and rocks with the props and within six months tripled their space and found that people went crazy over what they had to offer.
Soon they had to expand. They started looking for space and Dr. Simmons found a place at 2300 Kipling Street in Lakewood which was perfect. “It was old, rustic, all wood inside and just beautiful,” explains Linda.
And so began Rustic Relics and what is the most unique rock and antique shop in the Denver area.
The shop is more than just well organized. There is something about the way these dealers utilize and share space. It has a distinct Southwestern, Native American, and old Colorado flavor. There are a lot of unique and beautiful home decor items, too. Everything is reasonably priced. Rustic Relics is known for good quality minerals and rocks at the best prices in the Denver area.
Besides Linda and Jim they have six other fantastic dealers. Dr. Martin Lockley, a well-known paleontologist, is their map and book specialist. Dr. Lawrence Jankowski presents a fantastic assortment of unique minerals and is a geology professor at CCD and Red Rocks. Dr. Fred Olsen is their meteorite person who also presents some very interesting animal skulls and even an extremely rare dinosaur egg fossil. Rick Estes is a prospector and avid collector of antiquities. Anita Doheny and Linda Logan are both collectors of wonderful antiquities and dealers at the store. Together they have a different and unique collegiality.
Linda also decided to keep their salon staff (Marie Anderson and Gloria Martinez) from Body Logic with them. They really add a special element to this unique antique and collectibles environment. They bring a hair salon as well as massage therapy. Though they are separate, they fit right in.
As a scientist, Linda believes in the metaphysical properties of the rocks and minerals. When you come in the shop you can’t help but love how it smells, how it feels and how it looks. You have a sense of being in a spa or a place of healing. Linda is quick to share, “It is a place of healing.
It is a place where metaphysical healing and harmony permeate the atmosphere. We provide sound therapy, aroma therapy, and there are a lot of crystals every where, pine oils and much more going on. We even have wonderful Indian singing bowls available here.”
On the last Saturday of each month Rustic Relics hosts a Prospectors’ Flea Market in their parking lot from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Different vendors set up outside while inside the vendors offer special sales.
Last month the Flea Market focused on Native American art and collectibles and they even had an Indian drummer provide entertainment.
One thing is certain about Rustic Relics, you will find wonderful treasures and minerals at great prices and you will return time and time again to this wonderful and almost magical shop.
If you are looking for a unique, special mineral or fossil, give these scientists a call at 720-338-6201.