What appeared to be just a normal rock used as a doorstop was something totally different. Recently, Donna Lewis found out that the rock her grandfather used as a door stop in a Tazewell, Tenn., house was actually a four-billion-year-old meteorite.
The meteor weighed 33 pounds. Officials with the University of Tennessee believe it could be a piece from the Tazewell meteorite that was found in Tazewell in 1853, according to Lewis. The meteorite now resides at Eastern Kentucky University.
Lewis stated the meteor will eventually go on display in the new science building in Richmond.
Lewis said that here grandfather, Tilmon Brooks, found the rock back in the late 1930s in a field in Tazewell.
“All my childhood years it was at my grandparents house, used as a door stop to prop open the front door,” said Lewis. “I don’t know if he knew what it was. We never talked about it.”
Lewis said she was given the rock about 20 years ago, placing it in a flower garden. Lewis noted that she believed it was just a normal rock until May, when her kids were outside with a medal detector and ran it across the rock. When that occurred, the “device went to overload,” she said.
Lewis then spoke with a teacher at Pineville High School, who told her about the Hummel planetarium at EKU. When she brought the rock to EKU, Dr. Jerry Cook said he was almost sure it was a meteorite.
The rock was also taken to UT, where a small piece was cut off and tested. The results found the rock was an iron and nickel meteorite, estimated to be more than four-billion-years-old.
The meteor has since received national attention, with coverage coming from several news sources including Dateline NBC and Fox News.