WILLAMETTE Iron Meteorite 5.99g partial slice - Unobtanium act fast!
On Offer: The ultimate meteorite specimen, an impeccable 5.99 gram partial slice of the Willamette Iron Meteorite, largest meteorite ever found in the US. Despite being one of the largest individual meteorites in the world, it is also one of the rarest as only a very small amount was ever removed from the main mass.
Type: Iron, IIIAB
Description: 5.99 gram partial slice of the wold famous Willamette meteorite.
It was 1902 when Ellis Hughes, a settler in West Linn near the Tualatin river, went out with a friend in search of minerals. When Ellis bounced his rock hammer and got a metallic sound, they thought it was a "reef" on the top of a big vein of iron that could make them both very wealthy. However, they soon realized that it was one isolated piece made out of what appeared to be solid iron. They also eventually realized that they had gone passed Hughes' property line into the neighboring property that belonged to the Oregon Iron and Steel company.
Hughes tried to buy the land, but when that failed he decided to move the 32,000 pound mass through three quarters of a mile of forest onto his property. His wife and 15 year old step son helped him. Once this was done, he announced his find, built a shed over it and starting charging admission to see it.
The Oregon Iron and Steel Company, suspicious of Ellis trying to buy the land and then not long after announcing his find, eventually figured out what had happened and filed a law suit agains Hughes to get the meteorite back.
The company won the lawsuit, and a few years later in 1905 the Oregon Iron and Steel Company hauled it up to Portland for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. Sarah Dodge purchased it and donated it to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it remains to this day.
As the theory goes, the meteorite fell on a glacier during the last ice age. Then later during the Missoula floods, the glacier became an iceberg with the meteorite still embedded in it. It then traveled down the Columbia river gorge to the Willamatte Valley, where it came to rest and the ice melted and deposited the meteorite gently onto the sediment.
The local Native American tribes had treasured the meteorite, calling it "Tomonowos" or "visitor from the moon". Clearly it seems the Native Americans had some idea that it wasn't from this Earth.
In 1990, the tribe made an attempt to get the main mass of the Willamette meteorite back, but ultimately made an agreement with the museum to let them visit the meteorite and hold private ceremonies around it. The tribe also made arrangements with the museum that if the museum ever takes the meteorite off display, the tribes would get it back. A new bill was later introduced that would demand its return to the state of Oregon instead. The tribe did not support the new bill.
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