Fluorescent Rock Room, destroyed in the blaze.

Greek's Stone Museum Destroyed by Lightning; Display

In mid-September, lightning struck the Stone Museum, part of Greek's Playland and Display World, Monroe, NJ, starting a blaze that destroyed the building.

The Stone Museum is one of three central New Jersey attractions run by Spiro "The Greek" Drake as free adjuncts to his outdoor landscaping and stoneworking business. Display World, with its mile-long stretch of tile, stonework and building samples, was unharmed. Cyclown, the World's Tallest Clown and part of Greek's Playland, reportedly escaped the conflagration unsinged.

Drooling Trackhoe-saurus, lacking sufficient water pressure, 
looked on helplessly...

The lightning struck at midnight, apparently hitting the 150-foot antenna next to the building. In addition to the Greek's business offices, the building contained the gift shop, the stone museum's main collection of fossils and minerals, and the popular Fluorescent Rock Room. The building included a gallery of lawn statuary and several one-of-a-kind abstract sculptures.

Roadside America was particularly concerned about the Greek's personal photo portfolio of celebrity stonework and landscaping projects, kept in a series of binders. His favorite contained pictures of Jon Bon Jovi's yard and pool. According to a Stone Museum employee, "He carries that thing in the car with him wherever he goes. Damn few things in the building survived."

The business is currently operating out of a construction trailer, but they expect to start rebuilding by mid-October. They are not distressed. "We'll build everything back just the way it was, only better. We'll be back by the spring. We do build things, after all."

Visitors are still welcome to come by.

[10/04/1997]
Address:
608 Spotswood-Englishtown Rd, Jamesburg, NJ
Directions:
On the west side of CR 613/Spotswood-Englishtown Rd, two miles south of Spotswood or two miles north of Englishtown.
Hours:
M-Sa 8-4, Su 10-4. Closed in winter. (Call to verify)
Phone:
732-521-2232
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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