Collectors: Bryon N. Brookmyer
Legendary field-collector Bryon N. Brookmyer of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania was born (1954)
and raised in Blue Ball, Lancaster County. He became interested in minerals at a very young age
when he found cubic pyrite crystals at a local quarry. Rockhounding was quite a popular hobby in
the 1960s and Bryon would get a ride with anyone that he knew when they went out collecting
minerals. Up until the time he could drive Bryon would ride his bicycle to local quarries to collect.
Bryon has field-collected in many localities in the U.S. such as Franklin, New Jersey, Elmwood,
Tennesee and Herkimer, New York, but he concentrated his collecting efforts to the minerals of
Pennsylvania. Over the decades between field collecting, purchase, and trade, Bryon assembled
the finest exhibit quality collection of Pennsylvania minerals in the world. In 1995 he loaned over
200 of his best specimens to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to enable a new display of
Pennsylvania minerals to be exhibited in Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. In 2014 the museum
acquired Bryon’s collection of over 2,700 specimens.
Grace Mine Mount Pleasant Mills
Berks County, PA Snyder County, PA
photos by: Debra L. Wilson