Homewise is not the only new kid in the neighborhood. Next-door to our Orpheum Community Hub is the Turquoise Museum, which moved into the neighborhood just a couple of months before we did. Their new location is the famed Gertrude Zachary Castle, a building in which I’ve been fascinated with for years. Naturally, I was excited to take a tour of the building while also being able to visit the Turquoise Museum for the first time.
The museum is owned by the Zachary-Lowry family. Jacob and Danielle Lowry are the fifth generation of Zachary’s and have taken over the museum since their relocation. Their grandparent’s, Joe and Katy Lowry founded the Turquoise Museum and their father, Joe Dan curated the museum and ran it until they moved in to the new location. The family lineage is complex and I don’t want to give too much away, as the museum extensively covers the family history. I will say that they have a LONG history in turquoise, which includes everything from mining to collecting. I met with Jacob, the Museum Director to get a tour of the museum and talk about their new location.
What is the background and history of the museum?
It started in 1993. Originally, it was located in a strip center storefront next to Walgreens in Old Town. We slowly built the museum up until we could find a building worthy of it. In 2018 our family took over the Gertrude Zachary Castle and began moving the museum. We have a two-year plan on the property to get everything finished. We will have activities and classes along with a flower shop and café (run by Danielle). The gift shop sells turquoise from 40 different mines, offering both natural and imitation turquoise to meet every price point, and every piece includes written certification.
When people come to learn about turquoise, they come to learn about what they assume turquoise is. There is marketing information and there is factual information about turquoise. We are here to transition people into learning the factual information about the subject matter.
How has your business changed since you moved to your new location?
Right now, all of us in the family like the other location better only because we were able to meet people and talk to them more. Here we are busier, with a larger campus, and now it’s mostly the staff that talks to guests. We are still transitioning and this location just hasn’t become our “home” yet.
Anything else you would like to share?
One thing we take serious is that everybody does their part here and giving honor and respect to each generation is part of our business. As soon as we stop doing that, we’ve lost the heart and soul of the business.
Stop by the new “Turquoise Castle” and see the museums impressive collection from all over the world, including collectible, rare pieces of turquoise, and jewelry. The museum also includes educational exhibits regarding the science and mining of turquoise. In addition, they have a large collection of antiques, including a handmade desk made for Louis XIII! The castle serves as a beautiful backdrop for a unique museum such as this one. If you love turquoise as much as I do, I highly recommend stopping in to this one-of-a-kind museum and UNLEARN everything you thought you knew about turquoise.