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About North Idaho Mineral Club

The North Idaho Rockhounds Club was organized August 24, 1949. The name was changed to the North Idaho Mineral Club on March 18, 1953. The club was accepted by the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies in June of 1951.

The members drew up the constitution of the club in March, 1952 and in May of 1960 the club was incorporated and is now officially known as the North Idaho Mineral club, Inc.

Our first show was held in the Washington Water Power Auditorium, May 12 and 13 of 1960. In 1962 the show was held at North Idaho College. The Shoshone County Amateur Mineral Pickers Society, and our club, prepared boxes of minerals from Idaho, which were given to each Girl Scout attending the show in 1965. Four more annual shows were held at North Idaho College and then were moved to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

In 1965 the club members created two plaques of rock from Idaho in the shape of the state. Many ribbons for the plaques were received at different shows. One of the plaques was given to a Boy Scout troop in New Jersey and the other one to Farragut State Park where it may still be seen. Also in 1965 rock samples were sent to Longborite Technical School in Africa. In 1974, cases were displayed at the Holiday Inn during its birthday celebration.

To honor its 25th anniversary the club sent a jasper cab to the Smithsonian for its collection. The club participated in the North Idaho Fair in 1966, and gave a table made of stone to the raffle winner.

We have supported many organizations with donations over the years, including schools in Coeur d’ Alene, Rathdrum and Post Falls; the Cataldo Mission, Coeur d’Alene Museum, March of Dimes and American Cancer Society. In 1975 the club donated money to the Tubbs Hill Fund and the next two years to Sunset Terrace. Also donations were made to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Scholarship Fund. We continue to support organizations such as the Dirne Clinic, Meals on Wheels, the food banks and the Boy Scouts.

We have field trips frequently and have collected beryl crystals, star garnets and facet grade garnets, quartz crystals, epidote, petrified wood from Saddle Mountain, Montana fossils, dendritic agate and crystals. Field trips are shared with two other rock clubs in this area, as well as the field trips that are available through the Washington Mineral Council, which are mainly hosted by clubs from the western part of the state.

There have been several well attended workshops in recent years – Precious Metal Clay, Intarsia classes, how to use GPS, how to work star garnets, identifying rocks and minerals, learning how to use lapidary equipment and classes on cabbing.

One of our main activities during the winter and early spring is planning and publicizing our annual rock, gem and jewelry show which we put on to entertain and educate people about our hobby and the things we do.

The general objectives of our club are to promote interest and education in the various earth sciences; especially geology, mineralogy, paleontology, lapidary and many related subjects. Most of all we have a good time doing this with friends who share interests and contribute to the benefit of all.