top of page



Going through old records, Helen Rodak put together some little known facts about the club which she read

at our 75th Anniversary, 1940 - 2015, Diamond Jubilee!


I have been asked why the club logo states 1940, but the club was not officially organized until 1941.


In 1940, Norman Van Ness was determined to form a mineral club and informal meetings were held, which marked the beginning of the Club's roots. But it wasn't until March 7, 1941 that the first formal organizational meeting occurred.


Unfortunately, Norman had passed away before this meeting, but nineteen people, all of whom were friends of Norman , were determined to form a mineral club such as he had planned for people to come together with a common interest in rocks, minerals, gems and geology.


Those who were not able to be present but desired the interest in participating were included in the original 24 charter members.


Dr. Shaub, of Smith College , one of the original charter members, told of the difficulty that other clubs experienced in obtaining speakers for their meetings. To overcome this difficulty, he made a suggestion that the club be called the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club and that its scope be increased to cover the Connecticut Valley and the part of it, which crosses Massachusetts .


This first meeting was held at the Springfield Museum of Natural History and has been held there ever since.

Club dues were voted on to be one dollar per year.  Rental to the Museum was $10.00 for 5 meetings.


He then suggested that mineral and geological departments of all schools of higher education be contacted and told about the club and it was suggested to them that they invite the club to hold one of its monthly meetings in their schools.


Academies and Colleges were contacted and Dr. Shaub felt sure many of these schools would welcome the Club and he was willing to start such a program by inviting the club to Smith College .


At a meeting held on Jan. 5, l943, the members decided to cancel all club activities during the war because of gas and tire rationing. They resumed on January 1, 1946 with a balance of $77 in the treasury.


During the year 48-49, each monthly meeting featured a segment on the birthstone of the month. Meetings were normally held indoors from Oct. to May and field trips planned during the summer months.


1951- Mary Shaub, was elected our first woman President.


1956 Dr. Warren Johansson was elected 2 nd Vice- President and held various positions throughout his life and shared his passion for minerals with all he met. He was one of our oldest members who passed away last year.


1975 – The State Legislature passed a billed naming:

  • Babingtonite as our state mineral

  • Rhodonite as the state gemstone

  • Puddingstone (Conglomerate) as the state stone

  • Dinosaur footprints as our state fossil.


This earth science symbols are used in our current Massachusetts Significant Mineral Display Cases that are give to schools and other institutions.


March 1991 the Club was incorporated and the Articles of Organization and By-Laws were revised.


Jan. 1993 – Contest to name the newsletter was held and our official name chosen was “CVMC Prospects”.


On April 4 & 5, l987 the Club reinstated the tradition of a Club sponsored mineral show, which was held at Holyoke Community College .


The show was highly successful and it established the excellent reputation and high standards that have followed with each subsequent Show. It then moved onto CT and about 12-13 years ago, our club lost its' annual show location in CT, (due to fire regulations) and our bank account dropped to an amount that we would only be able to continue functioning as a club for another 10-12 months.


Our Treasurer informed us that we should perhaps liquidate our club.

A few individuals decided that was not going to happen and worked to find a new location for our annual show.


Since that year we had to change locations two more times, and did not have a show in 2005 and 2008. But through the dedication and hard work of our members we managed to grow our funds considerably.


With these funds we have established a very successful Education Program and our membership has grown.

Membership dues have over the years gone from $1/year to $20/year, but not even our present amount comes close to paying our bills.


Fund raising is an absolute necessity!


In the past, the Club Show has been our big money maker, without it, this 75 th celebration would not have been possible.

We have been quite lucky in the past, but we continually need new helpers. This is a wonderful way for you to get to know other members and a great way to become better acquainted with minerals. Many new members have done this in the past and it really gave them a lot of knowledge of the hobby.


In ending I would like to leave you with 2 quotes from former Presidents

Laura Delano

“It takes everybody working together to get results and the friendly, cooperative manner of the club members makes the show a pleasure”


Bill Clark

“We can all make a contribution to our hobby, by getting involved. Come to meetings; bring your treasures for all to enjoy seeing. Share meaningful experiences and seek new ones. Remember, you only get out of it what you put into it.”



Helen's Bits N Pieces about the CVMC presented to the club 9-19-15 at our club picnic. 

Below is past history of a founder and charter member of the CVMC

Leo Otis From: Rocks and Minerals , January-February 1960, v.35, n.1-2, pages 30-31.
(“Memorial to Leo Derwood Otis” by B. M. Shaub)

The Connecticut Valley Mineral Club was founded in 1940 and had it's first formal organizational meeting March 7, 1941. Nineteen people shared an interest in rocks, minerals, gems and geology, as well as a friendship with the late Norman C. VanNess, a prominent area mineralogist. Soon their common objective came clear. They wished to stimulate a general interest in minerals and mineral collecting. By gathering together people from the Valley with these shared interests, they hoped to promote comradeship and an exchange of ideas. The knowledge of the members was increased through lectures, readings, study comparison of specimens and collecting in the field. Special study of the mineralogical and geological features of the Connecticut Valley and vicinity was encouraged as well as the search for new minerals. Help and instruction were readily given to beginners with the intent of cultivating their interest in mineral collecting as a hobby.

Today these objectives remain the foundation our active and growing club.

bottom of page