Bob Campbell Geology Museum

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The Bob Campbell Geology Museum, located in the South Carolina Botanical Garden, houses an impressive collection of over 10,000 rocks, minerals, fossils, lapidary objects (carvings, gemstones), and artifacts (mining equipment, Native American tools).

What was originally begun as a small collection at Clemson University grew substantially over the years, and a stand-alone museum, the BCGM, was constructed in the South Carolina Botanical Garden in 1998.


(From the museum website)

Long before the Bob Campbell Geology Museum was constructed in the South Carolina Botanical Garden, a small collection of rocks and minerals was stored in the geology department in Brackett Hall. Mrs. Betty Newton was the caretaker of that collection, and her dream was to have a gem and mineral display that was easily accessible to the general public. To help make her dream come true, Mrs. Newton took advantage of every opportunity to tell people about the University's geology collection and solicited donations of additional specimens.

In 1990, a large collection of faceted gemstones and cabochons was donated by Clemson alum Dr. Paul Benson, III. The collection was created by Dr. Benson's father, Paul Benson, Jr., a graduate of the University of South Carolina. This was the first large donation that the museum received.

In the same year, Mr. Robert Schabilion, a gem and lapidary wholesaler from Mississippi, donated an impressive variety of large mineral and fossil specimens, as well as hundreds of pounds of rough material to be given away to children. For many years after he continued to donate outstanding specimens to the growing collection.

Mr. Kermit Watson, a gem and mineral appraiser, donated his collection of mineral specimens, which included an assortment of agates and geodes. Mr. Watson also donated his appraisal expertise in evaluating other collections offered to the museum.

Mr. Robert S. "Bob" Campbell owned a variety of rock quarries in South Carolina, and was kind enough to pass his extensive collection of gemstones, minerals, and fossils to Clemson. In 1996, Mr. Campbell and his wife, Betsy, made a commitment to help fund the construction of a new building that would house the geology museum.

Sadly, in early 1998 Mrs. Newton passed away, but the museum she envisioned continued to take shape. In September of that year the museum was formally dedicated, and it opened to the public in October.

Currently Dr. Patrick McMilan is the Director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden and the Campbell Geology Museum.

Hours and Fees

The Bob Campbell Geology Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children, and free for children under age 2 and for members of the Museum.

The Garden is open every day, dawn to dusk, free of charge.

The Fran Hanson Discovery Center and the Fuller Art Gallery are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free of charge.

The Discovery Center and Museum are closed during home football games (view the schedule), Clemson University holidays (view the schedule) and the last two weekends in December.

The museum is handicapped accessible


864-656-4600 or email at

External link