Eldon George

1931 – 2018

Born on May 10th, 1931 to Gertrude and Captain James Edward George, Eldon showed a keen eye for fossil hunting at an early age.  Finding his first fossil at the age of 9, Eldon opened the first rock shop in Canada in 1948, when he was only 17 years old.

Eldon George with sisters Mary and Jean, 1938.
Eldon George with sisters, 1938.

The Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop and Museum is now one of the oldest rock shops in North America, specializing in local and foreign precious stones and fossils. During its hay-day, it included a wide variety of prospecting and lapidary equipment for the amateur and professional rockhound.  Eldon’s lifelong entrepreneurial passion provided him the opportunity to establish an international reputation as a citizen scientist and public educator.

Eldon George in front of the Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop. Photo Credit: National Geographic Travel Magazine, 2004.
Eldon George in front of the Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop.
Photo Credit: National Geographic Travel Magazine, 2004.

Over the years, visitors from all over the world have visited the Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop where Eldon displayed the fossilized tracks from one of the World’s Smallest Dinosaurs – “a juvenile Coelophysis – a 200 million year old baby only the size of a song bird”.  Eldon George has established a collection of local trace fossils including footprints and track ways made by creatures 400 million years ago.  Other significant discoveries include a prehistoric six winged ancestor of the dragonfly over 300 million years old, known as Stenodictya.

Years of fossil hunting have given Eldon vast local knowledge which he shares to this day with anyone who takes the time to listen.  Countless visiting scientists have come to appreciate the knowledge he has developed.  After almost 70 years, his shop still brings fossil enthusiasts to our Parrsboro region; generations of families make the journey to visit Parrsboro’s Rock and Mineral Shop.

After Eldon was featured in international magazine articles by Time, and National Geographic, the world has come to know Parrsboro as an important global destination for fossil and geological history. Eldon received the Order of Nova Scotia on November 27, 2013 and the Nova Scotia’s Tourism Champion of the Year Award in 2014.

On Sunday November 15th, 2015, approximately 60 people filled the multipurpose room at the Fundy Geological Museum during a “Celebration for Eldon George”. Eldon was beaming with happiness as he saw his life’s work being recognized by the community.

CBC Television covered the event – watch the story here: