Earth Treasures rock shop closing

Jul 16, 2023 | Business

Earth Treasures, the rock and gem shop operated by George and Pam Morey over the past 13 years, was a labor of love. (Photo by Rhea-Frances Tetley)


After owning and operating Earth Treasures, the rock shop on Alder Road in Crestline, for 13 years, George and Pam Morey have closed the shop, sold their mountain home and are retiring to a large farm east of Mount Shasta in Northern California.

A year and a half ago, the couple retired from the fire lookout program, through which they trained hundreds of volunteers who man the lookout towers. And, after 29 years on the mountain, they have found what they describe as perfect for them – a 6-1/2-acre farm next to a wildlife preserve and close to a national forest.

When George and Pam initially moved to the mountain area, they purchased a home in Cedarpines Park to have space and closeness to nature. They also wanted to get involved in the community and were introduced to the fire lookout program. They were soon very involved and became coordinators, getting the lookouts refurbished, repainted and eventually all seven lookouts on the San Bernardino Forest area regularly staffed. Then they were asked to do the same for the three lookouts on the Angeles National Forest.

With that success behind them they were requested to supervise and give direction and guidance to those revitalizing the programs on the Cleveland National Forest. Cal Fire also asked them to travel to Northern California to give them suggestions to create successful volunteer programs up there.

Fire lookout volunteers staff the fire lookouts on mountaintops to search for the beginning of a fire. They also greet and educate the visitors about fire and the forest, and often share the history of the area. Each fire lookout host must be trained on how to do the responsibilities of the job of seeking out fire starts and educating the public. The lookouts are square rooms at the top of a tower on the top of a mountain to give a good 360-degree view of the surrounding areas. The volunteers are an important “first-eyes element” in the fight against wildfires, and more effective than a camera or satellite, which only see any one area once every hour, whereas fire lookout personnel can concentrate all day long.

Using the Osbourne Fire Finder, the volunteers pinpoint the location, call in fire responses upon spotting the first smoke plume, stopping a fire almost immediately. The fire lookouts have been frequently thanked for their reporting of fire starts. Many people each season visit the Strawberry Peak fire lookout just above Twin Peaks, as it is so close to the communities and offers such an extensive view, from the desert to the sea.

George is excited about retirement and the possibilities at his new home in Altura, next to a wildlife preserve. They purchased this farm last year, with numerous buildings on the property, including bunk houses and outbuildings. They have been getting it set up and were only slowed by the massive winter storms. They plan to bring the rock shop merchandise to their new home and use one of the buildings for their son to reopen the Earth Treasures rock shop.

Earth Treasures began as a hobby as George was a rockhound and it gave him a way to share his hobby with others. George had retired from truck driving and, with an inheritance, they were able to open Earth Treasures. Over the years, as they got to know their customers and discovered their interests, they were able fulfill their needs with beads, gems, old tools and jewelry-making items. The customers kept coming back because George and Pam listened to them and made many customers into good friends.

Their new home was a result of George digging in a Modoc County obsidian mine and discovering the area, so they bought the property that spoke to them last December. They had intended to stay in Crestline, keeping the shop open over the summer, but then the blizzard arrived and destroyed their motorhome. Their cabin on a half-acre in Cedarpines Park sold almost immediately; since they had no place to live, they’ve moved sooner than they had originally planned.

George is looking forward to the numerous buildings on the farm where he can store his equipment. He plans to have a garden and to use the chicken coop, plus there’s a big workshop for him, without the constant fire concerns that persist in these mountains. There’s a museum about half mile away that George has already been interested in getting involved with.

Over the past six months, while they have been planning this move, Cal Fire has asked them to assist in advising some lookout programs in the new area as there are six lookouts there.

“We’ve already met many new neighbors and city officials in the area and are excited about this next step in our lives,” said Pam. “We want to thank each and every one of our customers who have supported us for the 13 years we have been in business.

“We will truly miss our customers, the friends we have made. We have had fun and enjoyed being here for you,” she added.



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