Sunday, March 2, 2014


THE SCOUTS:  Official Girl Scout Roundup hat.  Photo courtesy of ©

THE PEAK:  In 1959 John Rostek was photographed “driving his Mercedes 300SL (Gullwing) around George’s Corner past spectators” in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.  ©PPLD
I have a friend living in Kansas who attended the 1959 Girl Scout Senior Roundup held north of Colorado Springs---the old sign marking the location is still visible partly hidden in the trees on the east side of I-25.  She remembers the Roundup participants examining rocks or minerals at some sort of a display and listening to some “mineral talks.”  Although not questioning her interests, I wonder if a 16 year-old had other things on her mind than rocks and minerals!
This little tidbit about rocks and minerals sort of tweaked my interest in the Roundup and I wondered if CSMS might have been involved with the “mineral talks.”  How would I ever find out?  Perhaps sorting through the club minutes or Pick & Pack editions filed in the Pikes Peak Public Library archives, or maybe even consulting the Colorado Springs Gazette.  But then I remembered that shortly after moving to the Springs in 2006 a person gave me a copy of a small booklet written/edited by long-time CSMS member Ray Berry.  Printed in 2002, History of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society seems to be a somewhat rare item and very few, if any, of the newer members (joined in the last decade) know about this little jewel.  In fact, I  wonder if copies are still available for distribution.  It also would be nice if some long-time member would take the responsibility of bringing the Society history since 2002 up-to-date?  At any rate, I decided to consult the booklet and see if any connection stood out.

There it was, on page 10, a complete story: “In July 1959, the Society undertook a project to provide specimens and mineral displays at the Girl Scout International Encampment north of Colorado Springs.   Mr. Clarence Coil was appointed Chairman of the project and through his efforts of moulding[sic] a sound organization, the society received many fine comments on the displays…In 1959 the society inaugurated an annual award to the outstanding society member.  The 1959 award was presented to Mr. Clarence Coil for his tremendous job with the Girl Scout Jamboree.”  So, CSMS was deeply involved.  In addition, Coil received the same award in 1961 (for what event I am uncertain)
I also find it very fortuitous that the Pikes Peak Library District has preserved several photographs of the event in their digital archives.  It seems, at least to me, that Stewart Commercial Photographers was the official or unofficial photographers for the Roundup and one of their photographers was no other than Clarence Coil.  I contacted Bill, the Photo Archivist, in Special Collections and he gave permission to include several photos in this report.

To me this was another serendipitous moment—talking to a friend about the Roundup and ending up with a connection to the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society.
Please note:  all of the following photographs are in the Digital Archives at Pikes Peak Public Library (PPLD) and are COPYRIGHT, with all rights reserved, by the District.  Used with permission (and I thank the Library).

“Men [unidentified] deciding which rock from Pikes Peak to take down for the cornerstone.” ©PPLD
“Five men and a woman [all unidentified] admire the completed cornerstone.  Sign reads This GRANITE from the Summit of Pikes Peak.” I wonder what happened to the cornerstone. ©PPLD

Learning about rocks and minerals.  Ray Ziegler running the projector and Chris Christensen standing by to help. Ray was CSMS President in 1956 and 1958 while Chris served as President in 1980, 1981, 1982.  The projector appears to be one of “older ones” (time is relative) that used the large-scale format “lantern slides.”  Anyone want to take a guess on the car?  ©PPLD  A note received August 2nd from Gary Ziegler, Ray's son, noted the station wagon is a 1957 Ford.  Gary studied geology under Richard Pearl at Colorado College and has an interesting web site at:

“Max and Dorothy Fillmore stand outside of the Minerals Exhibit tent.  The signs read Petrified Wood (Sequoia) 85,000 years old and ammonite (Giant Snail) 60,000 years old.”  There were a little off on the geologic ages and ammonites are not snails but who is counting.  Max Fillmore served two years as CSMS President in 1959 and 1960.  ©PPLD

 “Jack Baker, owner of Pike Petrified Forest, shows a mineral specimen to a group of Girl Scouts.”  I love the shades.

“Night scene of crowd of girls, most wearing straw cowboy hats and white blouses, studying display cases filled with rocks and minerals.  Sign in one case reads Mineral Specimens of the 50 States.”  One young lady must be saying, Wow look at that selenite crystal from Oklahoma!  ©PPLD

“Chris Christensen demonstrates a rock polisher for a group of Girl Scouts.”  ©PPLD

“Girl Scouts pick up amazonite chips outside of mineral exhibit.”  ©PPLD