The Cochise County Rock

Monthly Newsletter of the Sunsites Gem & Mineral Club

“Finding and Grinding Rocks in Cochise County, Arizona since 1967”

January 2010

This issue edited by Don Hammer


The next General Meeting of the Sunsites Gem & Mineral Club is on Monday January 11 at 7 pm at the Sunsites Community Center. Our program will be a presentation on Rosemont Copper’s proposal to open a new copper mine in the Green Valley area. Jeff Comoyer is the Lead Geologist for the project. We will resume the best specimen contest so bring your best geode to the January meeting.

December Christmas Party

On Monday December 14 28 members met at the Sunsites Commmunity Center at 6 pm for a scrumptious Christmas dinner. The Club furnished two 20 lb turkeys which Diane Brower, Diane Dunn and Ann Wildauer cooked along with making stuffing and gravy. Joan Hammer brought punch and Zoe Schnabel made the Center festive with her decorative touches. Everyone else brought covered dishes that quickly covered two long tables. After dinner, Diane Brower led us through an interesting and humorous gift exchange game with her rendition of the 12 days of Christmas.

Gem and Mineral Club 12 Days of Christmas

By Diane Brower

On the First day of Christmas,

my true love gave to me:

(and) The best pickax in the country.

Second – Two sturdy hiking boots,

Third – Three pairs of gloves,

Fourth – Four big white buckets,

Fifth – five round geodes,

Sixth – Six pieces of amethyst,

Seventh – Seven lessons in lapidary,

Eighth – Eight hunks of jasper,

Ninth – Nine hopeful raffle tickets,

Tenth – Ten black Apache tears,

Eleventh – Eleven pounds of lacy agate,

Twelfth - Twelve months of Club membership.

With each new verse, i.e. the fourth or the tenth day, we all passed the gift that we were holding down the line to either the fourth or the tenth member sitting around the circle. After which everyone showed their gift and explained its rock related purpose. We thank Zoe Schnabel for a superb job of coordinating a great party.

A hearty THANK YOU to those folks who helped in setting up the tables and to those that brought all the delicious goodies to the Christmas dinner! Without you we wouldn't have had such a delicious meal. A special Thank You goes to Diane Brower and to Diane Dunn for cooking the turkeys as well as many thanks to Joan Hammer who helped to coordinate the table decorations and for creating a most delicious punch. Lastly, the "cleaner-uppers" did a great job. Thank You and Kudo's to ALL. Zoe Schnabel

January Field Trip

On Saturday January 23 POSTPONED TO JANUARY 30 (CANCELLED JAN 29) we will go to Mexican Hat – a hill along Ghost Town Trail between Pearce and Courtland - for jasper. Meet in the vacant lot north of the Old Store in Pearce at 8:45 to depart at 9 am. 4 WD is not needed by high clearance is necessary. For those without high clearance arrangements will be made to ferry them the short distance between the road and the collecting site. Most jasper specimens can be picked off the ground but you might want light digging tools. Bring buckets or bags, drinking and rock washing water, lawn chairs, lunch and sun protection. If we have rain the trip may be postponed or canceled so check your email and the Web site and/or call Paul or Henri.

Lapidary and Silversmith Classes

We are ready to resume our various classes. Call Larry Strout at 826-3991 if you would like to attend lapidary or wire wrapping. Larry is also teaching silver soldering, a prerequisite to silver smithing. Keith McRobert will resume teaching silver smithing. Call Don Hammer at 384-3105. Join the fun of lapidary, silversmith, and wire wrapping.


Dues are due. The Board proposed and the members approved an increase to $15 for individuals and $25 for a family. Bring your dues to the next meeting or mail your check to Sunsites Gem & Mineral Club, PO Box 87, Pearce, Arizona 85625.

Club Calendar:


11 General Meeting

23 Field Trip

28 Board Meeting


8 General Meeting

13 Field Trip

25 Board Meeting


8 General Meeting

13 Field Trip


1 Board Meeting

12 General Meeting

17 Field Trip

29 Board Meeting


10 General Meeting

15 Field Trip

27 Board Meeting


5 Club Picnic

Upcoming Regional Events

January 8-10

Phoenix - 38th Flagg Gem and Mineral Show. Jewelry, gems, beads, fossils, minerals and lapidary supplies. 9 am to 5 pm. Mesa Community College, west parking lot.

January 15th–17th

53rd Annual Gila County Gem & Mineral Society Show; Gila County Fair Grounds; Fri- Sat 9-5, Sun 9-4 Live demonstrations, door prizes, food, displays, minerals & jewelry, etc. Nominal Admission. Contact; Show Chairman Val Lathem 602-466-3060, e-mail,

March 11-14

45th Annual Deming Roundup. 9-5 daily. Free parking and admission. Contact Jerry Abbey 575-543-8915.

Maps on the Internet

By Glen Miller

Here are some tips for locating free online maps (primarily USA). The good news is that there is a federal program that publishes digital products online that will provide complete national coverage. The bad news is that it is a federal program, subject to man-power and funding constraints, but it is a very good start.

Geological and Geophysical Maps - Finding The Map you need: Traditionally, one went to a state bookstore to purchase a paper map hoping it was still in print. The trend today is to publish them online with free access! "" - the quick and easy solution for links to state geological maps. researches and assembles all types and classes of information. If you go to their Geology or Maps sections and poke around, there are pages for state geological maps and state geological organizations. They also list state authorities and links to their websites. Once in those websites, you may frequently find a free downloadable map for the local area you are looking for. The USGS has taken great steps to centralize the search for geological maps.

Source: CFMS Feb. 2008 Newsletter via Rock Chips May 2008 via The Voice April 2009

Note from Editor: Go to then type in Geological Maps in the search block – click GO.

Club Officers for 2010

President: Paul McKnight 520-824-4054

V.President: Jack Light 520 824-4774

Secretary: Jim Brower 520 826-4672

Treasurer: Walter Sigel 520-826-1009

Delegate at Large: Glen Wirshing520-826-0167

Hospitality Coord: Zoe Schnabel 520-826-0100

Field Trip Coord: Henri VandenBos 384-0288

Past President: Don Hammer 520 384-3105