Maplewood Rock, Gem & Community Club History – 1951-1971

The object of this society shall be to stimulate interest in the study of mineralogy and geology, and the collection of agates, minerals and geological materials.

In 1951 the Maplewood Community Club gave permission to Mr. C. Scheifelbein to form a rock club as an auxiliary group.

At the first meeting Fred Shaw asked the help of members of the Everett Rock Club in organizing the new club. Mr. George Frost, Mr. Scotty Robinson and Mr. Cowan offered their assistance. Fred Shaw was asked to be Chairman until election of officers and the by-laws could be written. Jean Wilson was secretary-treasurer pro-tem. Each person present paid twenty five cents a meeting to build up the treasury.

The by-laws were written along the lines of the Everett Rock Club, and the name Maplewood Rock and Gem Club was made official. At the April meeting in 1952, Fred Shaw was elected President, Francis Anerich vice president, and Ruth Ferguson, secretary-treasurer for the remainder of 1952. There were 38 charter members and 3 honorary members. The incorporation papers were filed in Olympia, in 1954.

The Community Club charged no rent for the building. The rock club worked with them to repair and clean the clubhouse.

In 1952 the Maplewood Rock and Gem Club joined the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies. When the present Seattle Regional Show Committee was formed the Maplewood Rock Club was asked to join, the only one outside of King County invited to do so. The club felt they were really on their way. The first Regional Show was held in the old Civic Auditorium.

Now the club needed an emblem or insignia. Mr. Celler came up with the Maple Leaf design and it became the permanent insignia.

The first annual banquet was held on January 19, 1953. The first annual was published for this occasion. The banquet and annual have become a yearly tradition with the club, with the officers and board members being installed in office at this time.

Each year a game night was held to raise money. This was open to the public. Members donated prizes of polished stones and jewelry. Also the club bought several nice prizes. Fred Shaw borrowed a Bingo set from the American Legion. Bingo was the big money raising project of the year.

At times, Mr. Ed Cushman and various members would purchase material for the club. This rock, the members could buy at a slightly higher cost, to help with the finances. This was a big achievement for the new club. Some of this money from the sale of these rocks and slabs was

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used to buy a Raymaster Black Light Lamp. Fluorescent rocks were donated by members and a display case was donated by George McLeod.

In 1954 the office of secretary-treasurer was separated. The task had proved to be too much for one person. Ruth Ferguson was elected secretary and Ed Cushman the treasurer.

The library was also established in 1954 and started with 23 books purchased by the club. Members rented the books for twenty five cents monthly and pins fines (for not wearing name pins to meeting) of ten cents was applied toward the purchase of new books. This is still used today to help finance the library. Today the club has a very fine library.

As the club grew, a movie projector was bought to use for some of the programs, shortly after that a short wave fluorescent light was added. A Sears’s mimeograph machine was purchased to print notices and banquet programs.

About this time the members were assessed fifty cents each on their birthday, the money was used to provide program and entertainment funds.

As the Community Club was slowly losing members, in 1959 they decided to discontinue. A decision had to be made then what to do about the clubhouse and grounds. With certain restrictions for six years, they decided to turn it over to the growing and active rock club. They hoped that the rock club would amalgamate and incorporate the two clubs into one. The restriction would be that a board of both Rock Club members and Community Club members would take care of the finances of the building fund for a period of six years. In June Walt Butterworth was elected chairman of this board, Florence Shaw, vice-chairman, William Davis, acting secretary, and Carl Johnson the acting treasurer. The board members were Fred Shaw, George McLeod, Jackie Reid and H. O. Hutt as Supervisor of the club house and grounds. Billie Butterworth succeeded Walt when he passed away in 1961. Mina Hutt became treasurer.

In 1960 the by-laws were amended to waive limitation of office of secretary and treasurer, enabling Mina Hutt to continue for the six years and H. O. Hutt to continue as treasurer. Mina served her term and H. O. was treasurer from 1960 until 1971, when he resigned.

On October 3, 1960, the name of the club became the Maplewood Rock, Gem and Community Club.

In the latter part of 1961 it was suggested by Herb Borth that the club hold a Bingo game to raise money for the start of a workshop. In 1962 Perry Brooks was appointed chairman of a committee to investigate the feasibility of a workshop in the clubhouse. In 1963, President Bill Pearce appointed Dick Caldwell and Clyde Gardiner to the committee. It was in that same year the workshop was started and the initial installation of equipment was begun, by Clyde and Dick. Perry Brooks taught the classes for many years.

The first rock and gem show ever held by the Maplewood members took place at the clubhouse on November 3-4, 1962. Ed Hume was President at the time and appointed Jim Johnston as the first show chairman. Although the show was a success, no show was held in 1963. Early in

1964 the members voted to have a show on November 15-16 of that year. Ed Hume was appointed chairman of the show.

Since the early sixties, Ed Hume had been asking for polished slabs to reface the fireplace and hearth. He wanted it to be finished by show time of “64” he immediately set to work. Mostly with the help of Dick Caldwell and Orville Ashley, he almost accomplished his goal. They finished everything but the mantle and a little washing on the face of the fireplace. It was completed after the first part of 1965 and the club had a beautiful new fireplace, thanks to Ed Hume.

The attractive Maple Leaf that hangs above the fireplace mantle was constructed by the Maplewood Jewelry Group. Under the leadership of Georgia Caldwell, Myrtle Hume designed the leaf, Ed Hume donated much of the Agate and jasper, and Clyde Gardiner did much of the sanding of the flat surface of the rocks. The members wet the parts in silver and did the finish work.

With these two handsome additions to the clubhouse and a great deal of work by the members, the show was another success. The club has had a show every year since then on the second weekend in November. It was several years before the Northwest Federation recognized the date as our permanent show date. It took a lot of perseverance but we won the date.

In April of 1964, Herb and Eva Borth originated the Maplewood News, now the club’s official bulletin. From that time on the bulletin has been published monthly with few exceptions. In 1967 the club purchased a new Gestetner duplicator and a new electric typewriter to print the bulletin, notices, special notices and banquet programs.

In February of 1966, a committee was appointed to work with the six year committee, the thought in mind was to train them in the management and maintenance of the building until the rock club took over in October 1966. In October, 1966 this board was dissolved and since then the rock club has had complete control of the building and grounds. Mr. H. O. Hutt and Mr. Dick Robinson worked closely on the amalgamation and incorporation for the club. The final amendments of the Articles of Incorporation were presented to the membership to be voted on in 1970. They were passed and the club’s incorporation was complete. It was the combined efforts of Dick Robinson as Chairman, H. O. Hutt, Reuben Garnett, Orville Ashley, Clint Maehl and Bert Hayter that made this possible.

When the six year building committee was dissolved a committee made up of Herb Borth, Bert Hayter, Orville Ashley and Bud Lischke was formed. It was voted that the rock club and building funds be kept separate. The building funds to be used only for repair and maintenance of the clubhouse and grounds.

On December 8, 1966, the Public Utilities District tendered an offer to buy a par t of the club’s property west of the clubhouse. The club voted to accept after negotiating for several months. The final papers of the sale were signed by Dick Robinson, H. O. Hutt and Herb Borth in April 1967.

The larger share of this would be put into a reserve fund for future maintenance and emergencies.

This sale enabled the club to do some much needed repair work. They paid for the sewer, installed a new oil tank, bought new drapes, painted, had a torginol floor laid and constructed a larger parking lot. All of this work was completed by show time of that year.

Early in 1968 the club voted that the four building committee members should become members of the board. It was felt since they attended all the board meetings they should have a voice in the club. This brought the number of board members to nine.

In October of 1968 Deane Warrick called a special board and building committee meeting. It was voted to purchase necessary fire extinguishers and a first aid kit. Funds were voted to remodel the kitchen, storeroom, and workshop. The parking lot had been reconstructed a couple of months before and the contractor working on the P.U.D. had damaged it. I was voted to redo it before the show in November. Since the workshop was not being used as much as it should it was also voted to remodel it.

Early in 1969 Reuben Garnett appointed a workshop night committee, Bud Lischke, Emma Lischke and Perry Brooks. The object of the workshop is an interchange of ideas among members, and enjoying the hobby together in the shop. It was hoped to interest members in new phases of the hobby and to investigate others. Rules were formulated and Wednesday night was set aside as workshop night. Members could come and learn ho to grind and polish rocks, cabs, etc. A small fee is charged for use of the equipment. A basic silversmith’s bench was built, with wiring for plug-ins so the metal workers could also participate in the workshops. A jewelry class was scheduled for the near future. Since then there have been several well attended classes. Most of them required tuition but some of them have been taught free by other members of the club.

A special meeting was called in March of 1970 with regards to limiting membership. It was voted to limit the membership to 135. “However, if the membership quota has been reach, the spouse of a member upon fulfilling the necessary requirements, may become a member at the discretion of the board.”

From the early sixties Georgia Caldwell had been conducting the Maplewood Jewelry Group. This was a very popular and active group, so it was not by chance that it graduated to the big leagues and became the Puget Sound Creative Jewelry Guild. In August of 1970, the Maplewood Club and the Puget Sound Creative Jewelry Guild co-hosted the annual Jewelry Workshop at the Maplewood Club House. This is an annual affair held alternately in British Columbia and the United States to draw hobbyists of the two countries together to share their talents and special techniques in handling metals and lapidary materials. It drew enthusiastic metal craftsmen from as far away as San Jose, California to the south, to Chilliwack, British Columbia to the north.

On Sunday afternoon during our 1970 show, about twenty five rockhounds from British Columbia attended the Maplewood Gem and Mineral Show. The special occasion was the initial

presentation of the INTERNATIONAL ROLLING ROCK to a rock and gem club in the United States. The rock was presented by Mr. Doug Cannell of the Maple Ridge Club of Haney, British Columbia and was accepted by our President, Bert Hayter in behalf of the Maplewood Rock, Gem and Community Club. The purpose of the INTERNATIONAL ROLLING ROCK is “to encourage and promote fellowship among rockhounds of our two countries.” The Rock is to be retained by a club for two or three months then “rolled” back across the Canadian-United States border. In rolling the Rock, the club passing it on should pay a visit to the club receiving it. The Maplewood Club was proud to be chosen the first one of the clubs in the United States to receive the honor.

On Saturday, February 13, 1971 the INTERNATIONAL ROLLING ROCK was “rolled” back across the border. It was presented by President Francis Woodiwiss to the Fraser Valley Rock and Gem Club of Aldergrove, British Columbia. There were about 20 members of our club that accompanied him for the presentation.

Our Federation Director, Frank Tratnik was chairman of the Regional Committee that sponsored the American Federation Show this year at the Coliseum in Seattle. The membership was busy helping all year to get the show ready for Labor Day weekend. Everyone agreed it was the largest and best show ever held by the American Federation and we were part of it. It was the years of planning.

At one time Georgia Caldwell had an active Junior Group but it has been on the inactive list for some time. Georgia had the time but the juniors didn’t.

The Maplewood Club has potlucks four times a year. There is an excellent workshop room and running very smoothly. Various classes are being offered on workshop nights. New books are regularly being acquired by the library. Field trips are well planned and well attended. The interesting and informative bulletin is printed monthly. The club belongs to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, the Northwest Federation and the Seattle Regional Show Committee. It participates as much as possible in each of them. Our own Annual Show has reached the point where it doesn’t seem it could be improved upon, but time will tell. Money raising affairs are made as interesting as possible. During the year many interesting demonstrations are offered to the members.

Because of these many activities and hard work, our membership has grown. We are being heard. We are creating an identity that will stay with us for many years. All we have to do, is to keep up the good work.

This “Oktoberfest” is to celebrate our twentieth birthday. It is our way of thanking the founders and early day members of the Maplewood Rock, Gem and Community Club for making all this possible.

The purpose of this “Oktoberfest” is twofold. We are also honoring Mr. H. O. Hutt, who has served the club so many years as treasurer and supervisor of building and grounds. He has given untold hours in the supervision of the maintenance, repair, rentals and finances of the club. We

are sorry to lose him in these offices. A big vote of thanks to Mr. H. O. Hutt and to Mina for sharing him with us!

To all our guests and friends – Come back and see us often.

1971 – The first purpose and object for which this association is formed shall be: To foster and develop the scientific education of members in geology, mineralogy, gemology, and kindred subjects: to promote the social life of its members: to have dinner meetings and gatherings of a social nature of its members: to do whatever else may be necessary to promote the interests of the members of the corporation: to establish and maintain a club room and headquarters for the meetings of the club and meetings of the officers and director, and for the transactions of necessary business to promote its purposes: to lease and acquire real and personal property which may be necessary for promoting the objects of said corporation and otherwise furthering its purposes in social, recreational and educational activities.

All material as taken from the minutes of the Maplewood Rock, Gem and Community Club. October 1971