SMALL TOWNS PREVIEW: All things minerals in Menasha

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 8:32 AM CST
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MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - A Menasha museum is celebrating a milestone thanks to the man known as Doc Rock.

Thursday in Small Towns, Jeff Alexander takes us to Weis Earth Science Museum to see all things rocks, minerals, and fossils.

It’s been 20 years since Leonard Weis opened the museum at the UW Oshkosh Fox Cities campus. Weis grew up in New York City. His fascination turned to fossils and geology. In 1955, Weis became a geology professor at Lawrence University. The man whom students called “Doc Rock” later took a job with UW-Fox Cities.

Weis retired in 1987 and started his dream to build a museum. He got help from a big figure in Wisconsin politics.

“And so one day my mother said, ‘Well, why don’t we do it?’ And so that was the impetus that started it. There my parents did a lot of fundraising and they got Senator [Herb] Kohl involved and he put forth some funding through the federal government which was approved, so between some private funding, the federal government funding, and my parents, the museum came to be in 2002,” son Stephen Weis said.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson designated the museum as the official Mineralogical Museum of Wisconsin.

The museum has permanent galleries and traveling exhibits.

Thursday on Action 2 News at 6, Jeff Alexander takes us inside this unique museum in Menasha.

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