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Memories of My Grandparents Fireplace

Albert and Rose Behnke's Fireplace
Albert and Rose Behnke's Fireplace

The Fireplace

For years I have looked through many photographs to find one of my grandparent’s fireplace. Finally, I found it! It is hard to believe, with all the pictures Rose Behnke took, that she never took many of what I considered one of the best features of their home in Burtonsville, MD! THE FIREPLACE!

Rock Collecting

Albert and Rose Behnke loved to collect beautiful rocks. So each summer, they would head “out west” and, along the way, would stop at places that sold tons of these rocks. (I contacted The Rock Shed and they told me more than likely in 1964 it was Scott’s Rock Shop.) As a result, I have some huge chunks of amethyst and rose quartz in my home. Plus, boxes of so many tiny stones they kept in a china cabinet. Each stone had a tag on what it was and where they purchased.


Unfortunately, when they passed away and things in the home were being sorted, the collection of rocks was tossed in a big box. When I got the box (and the oak china cabinet), they were so mixed up that I did not know what went with what. Not being a collector myself, these beautiful rocks sat in my basement for many years. I ended up giving my kids each a few and took a lot to the nursery to give away to Alfred Millard and Larry Hurley, both of whom greatly appreciate them. The large amethyst and rose quartz I kept.

More On The Fireplace

Back to the fireplace. When my grandparents built their dream home in Burtonsville, MD, around 1965, it was a stone house on the outside. Inside the family room was a large stone fireplace and when it was built, my grandmother insisted on including some of the most beautiful large rocks they had collected over the years. There was something magical about seeing these rocks. There was one you could see on the side of the fireplace: a shiny brown stone that appeared to me to be a map. I would make up stories of lost treasures that, if we could only see the back of that stone, we would find.


I think it might be time to bring that box of treasured stones they collected back upstairs and start sorting through it. Maybe my grandchildren will want some.
albert behnke Black Hills, SD Picking Rocksquartz
Albert and Rose Behnke's 1964 Black Hills SD Rock Hunting
Albert, Rose - checking rocks - Black Hills SD - summer 1964

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I love this story of the rocks and the fireplace.
    I also noticed all the other details in the picture that captures the everyday life of a busy family.
    I wonder what needed stitching when I see the two spools of thread.

    Love the post!

  2. LOL I never noticed the spools! So my grandmother, Rose Behnke loved to sew! And I mean she LOVED to sew. She made all my barbie doll clothes, plus outfits for me. Seeing that this was taken around Christmas she could have been making me something, however becuase this was downstairs and not in her sewing room, I think she might have been sewing on a button which she did often for my grandfather. Glad you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.

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