July 20th, 1969

It was July 20, 1969.  I was 14 years old and visiting/camping at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho with my parents.   When we entered the Visitor’s Center a crowd was gathered around a small black and white television set that had been set up on top of the ranger’s desk.  The exhibit area across the hall was virtually empty.  Everyone was watching two Americans (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) conducting experiments and picking up rocks on the moon.  The image was blurry on the 14” screen and I was too far away to see much of it, but my thoughts from the day remain intact asthe 50th anniversary of that day approaches.

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Barrus Farm Pegmatite

The Barrus Farm pegmatite outside the small hamlet of Lithia, MA has become a regular stop on Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club’s western New England field trip each of the past three years.  It is not a large site and the pegmatite there has never been quarried, but it does hold a special place in the world of gemology.  It is the type locality for goshenite, which is white beryl.  Yale University mineralogist Charles Sheppard identified the Barrus Farm white beryl in 1884 and named it after the town of Goshen about 3 miles east of the location. Continue reading