rare meteorite on display at EKU

Tazewell Meteorite Unknowingly Used As A Doorstop For Decades

A Tazewell meteorite was unknowingly used by a Tennessee family as sturdy doorstop for years. What the Lewis family thought was an attractive rock, was actually a meteorite, which is believed to have stemmed from a strike which occurred in Tazewell in 1853. Donna Lewis also used what she presumably considered a pretty stone, as a flowerbed ornament over the past decades.

Lewis’ late grandfather, Tilmon Brooks, found the meteorite in a cow pasture near Tazewell, during the 1930s. Tests administered at the University of Tennessee indicate that a known meteor strike in 1853 is the likely origin of the Lewis family’s now famous doorstop, according to Fox News.

Eastern Kentucky University purchased the meteorite and plans on showcasing the rare find during the upcoming Kentucky Academy of Science annual conference. Dr. Jerry Cook plans on utilizing the meteorite for educational and outreach purposes, KY Forward notes.

Donna Lewis, an elementary school secretary, had this to say about the startling revelation:

“I saw how excited the kids at our school got when they saw it. It’s good to know that Eastern will keep it in one piece and students will be able to study it.”

Dr. Cook does not feel the Tazewell meteorite is connected to the massive strike which carved a four-mile-wide crater in Middlesboro, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky University professor does believe that the Tennessee meteorite is the second known largest Tazewell strike remnant. The largest find from the site weighed approximately 100 pounds.

Cook had this to say about the university’s newest attraction:

“We don’t want to lock it up somewhere. We want kids to be about to touch it, lift, it, and understand what it is. Part of our job is to get kids interested in science, and this will stir their curiosity.”

tazewell meteorite