Step into Natures! on Main Road in Tiverton and find yourself surrounded by hundreds of fossils, shells, geodes and stones that tell the tales of history.
The natural science store had its grand opening at its new location across from Coastal Roasters at 1782 Main Road yesterday. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
After opening five years ago on Chase Road in Portsmouth, owner and Tiverton resident Prof. Nancy Swing decided to move the shop across the bay.
"There are several reasons why I moved the store, the biggest being the [Sakonnet Bridge] tolls," said Swing during an interview at the store's opening yesterday afternoon. "I just bought a home here on Main Road passed Nanaquaket Pond in February and I wanted to be closer. I wanted to become more involved in my community and with the coming tolls it just got to be too much."
Swing's new store is a haven for all things natural. From hand-crafted stone and crystal jewelry to Megalodon teeth to 150-million-year-old collectibles, Natures! stocked showroom is a treasure trove of natural history. Swing, who is a a Native American from the Mohawk Tribe, also stocks many Native American items.
Natures! goes beyond the surface value of these items, as its knowledgeable owner - who serves as an adjunct professor of geology and oceanography at the Community College of Rhode Island - isn't afraid to give patrons a little history lesson. Setting up at "homey" vibe for customers to come, learn and create, the store even has a nook complete with couches so guests can sit down and marvel at the wonders of nature before them.
"Most people when they see a store like this will remember a field trip at school when they went to a museum," said Swing. "Now that we're adults, here you can actually buy that stuff."
On the geology circuit, Swing is well known for her contributions to mining Herkimer diamonds and has been a keynote speaker for more than a decade at the East Coast Gem and Mineral Show in Massachusetts.
Swing takes clients out on fossil hunting adventures, teaches intermediate through advanced level wire-wrapping classes and has all the supplies available for her students. She throws dinosaur and geology-themed birthday parties and teaches geology to boy scouts trying to earn merit badges. Swing also features guest lecturers and spiritual healers regularly.
With more goods and services than can be put into words, locals and tourists alike should stop by and see what treasures they can unearth for themselves.
For more information on products, classes and events please contact owner Nancy Swing at 624-GEMS or 624-4367.