Hoffs Rock Shop


Location: 4 miles east of Bemidji on Highway 2, then turn right and go 1.5 miles on County Road 36. On left side of road.

Phone: 218-751-1469. email: ojhoff@yahoo.com Mailing address: Hoffs Rock Shop-50638 County 36-Bemidji, MN 56601

Take a look at my Ebay auctions!

What's new here? An interesting article on glaciers written by my uncle

An update to my informational videos page. I am writing poems and stories about all of the traditional and alternate birthstones. The old ones are still there, in addition to some miscellaneous subjects I've explored. Be sure to take a look at the promo for the old Nary School!



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History of the Rock Shop

It all began in 1952, when my grandfather Vaner Tangborn opened Tangborns' Rock Shop, eight miles south of Bemidji, Minnesota on Highway 71. His was an immense, one-man operation that he ran until 1991, shortly before his death at age 96. He traded, sold, collected, and sometimes gave away amazing amounts of rocks, crystals, and gems. He tumbled, polished, and sawed rocks, and made them into jewelry. He made over 1500 rock tables and shipped them all over the world. Some of his interests were geology, science, Einstein's theories, the age and origins of the universe, and the geologic forces that brought his rocks and fossils into existence. He was a patient teacher to young children, helping them with their rock collections and teaching them to use lapidary equipment. Thousands of people passed through his shop. He also found time to perform music, serve on local boards, and maintained a lifelong interest in politics.

A picture of Vaner and his pet crow Oswald


Artistic touches to the shop and to the premises were provided by Vaner's wife Jennie, who passed away in 1972. She was an accomplished oil painter. (His second wife Irene also helped him in the shop).

Pictured above: Vaner and Jennie behind the counter.


Vaner's hero was Albert Einstein

One of Jennie's paintings.



One of the large tumblers, but by no means the largest, that Vaner built in the early days of the business

Vaner training his rock hound


My parents Art Hoff and Luella Tangborn Hoff established a similar business on Highway 2 east of Bemidji on the premises of the Grace Lake Store, around 1958, that they named The Agate Shop

Art and Luella Hoff


The Agate Shop went through many changes, including several years on the road as an art and craft business. In the summer of 2001, the original building was restored and refurbished, and moved to its present site on Hubbard County Road 36 southeast of Bemidji.


Shop newly painted its original colors as of June, 2003.


Some photos of the rock business in its current form:


Olivia Hoff: proprietor

Owner and her brother Wayne on ferry to Vashon Island, WA

Hoffs Rock Shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day Weekend, and at other times by appointment.

Location: 4 miles east of Bemidji on Highway 2, then turn right and go 1.5 miles on County Road 36. On left side of road.

Phone: 218-751-1469. email: ojhoff@yahoo.com Mailing address: Hoffs Rock Shop-50638 County 36-Bemidji, MN 56601 Enjoy the site!