The Friends of Mineralogy (FM) is an organization devoted to the advancement of serious interest in minerals and related activities. It consists of mineral collectors, professional mineralogists and curators of public and private collections. The bond uniting these people is a love of mineral specimens and a desire to spread appreciation and knowledge of minerals. FM was formed in 1970 in Tucson, Arizona. An initial project was the establishment of The Mineralogical Record. The FM has had a close and continuing association with The Mineralogical Record and with Rocks & Minerals Magazine. One of the organization's important activities has been support of the two magazines as vehicles for the preservation and dissemination of mineralogical information. This website is for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy


Sterling Hill Field Trip


Sponsored by

Friends of Mineralogy, PA Chapter


Delaware Mineralogical Society



The management and staff of Sterling Hill Museum is going all-out to make this a most memorable event. Bill Kroth, president of the museum, recently wrote us:

We will have dedicated staff just for your group and believe me no one in your group will have any difficulty in finding anything. We pride ourselves in being totally professional and making sure that everyone who visits leaves with a big smile on their face.  We are totally flexible and you will see that we are not too regimented so that everyone indeed can do what they want and has a great day. And I will be with you for most of the day assuring that everything runs properly.  We will treat you folks like family.  So relax and leave the entertaining to us!  It will be our pleasure.’

Jeff Osowski, vice president and news-letter editor, avid fluorescent mineral collector, and FM PA member will be on-hand all day to assist us both in the museums and in the fields.

Schedule of Events


Date:     April 14, 2018

Hours:             9:00 am until about 11:00 pm


Click here for the map to see where things are

All Day Activities: The following areas and activities are available to us throughout the entire day

1. Mineral collecting in the Special Fenced Pens: The rocks in the fenced pens have been selected with care by the Sterling Hill staff and are the best and brightest. There are 2 fenced pens see the map. One is just east of the admission/concession building and the other is at the entrance to the Passaic Pit. Sorry, but there is no high-grading allowed here; you must take the whole rock and pay accordingly. But, of course, after purchase you can share both rock and cost with one-another. The fee $5.00 per pound. The rocks are weighed and you can pay in the Concession building. I recommend you weigh & pay for these rocks as you collect them to keep from confusing with those collected elsewhere.

2. Mineral collecting in the Passaic Pit: fee is $1.50 per pound

3. Mineral collecting in the Nobel Pit: fee is $1.50 per pound

4. Mineral collecting at the Mine Run area: fee is $1.50 per pound
(Note1 : specimens are weighed and you pay at the counter in the Gift Shop any time)
(Note 2: If you don't have your own lamp, there will be 2 places to view fluorescent rocks. There is a room in the small brick building in the Mine Run area and Tom will put a fluorescent field light (battery, plastic cover, safety glasses) on a picnic table in the Passiac pit along the road to the Nobel Pit). Make sure to wear UV safety glasses

5. The Fill Quarry: No collecting allowed. This is where the American Museum of Natural History, NY has sawn a slab from the quarry wall and where we'll view the Pillar of Light after nightfall. The wall rock in this area is some of the brightest fluorescing in the complex and specimens will be available for purchase in the Gift Shop Annex.

6. Pavilion: We will have exclusive use of the Pavilion for the day (see lunch and dinner ).

7. The museum both receives donations and purchases collections: about 25 to 30 flats of specimens will be available for purchase in the Gift Shop Annex throughout the day (wise collectors might stop here first!). Bill wrote: The Gift Shop Annex is inside right across from our regular gift shop. We just remodeled it and it is stocked to the maximum with all types of stuff for your group.

Group Activities (all optional; you can participate as you wish, or not)

10:00 am Visit the Zobel Hall mineral collection. Those of us who want to visit the hall will go as a group. Meet at the Concession/Admission building a few minutes before 10. It takes from 30 to 60 min. to view the collection and you may leave when you want.

12:00 -ish Lunch at the Pavillion. Bring your own eats.

12:00 to 4:00: Collecting at the Hamburg Mine Property: Here's a special treat. The Hamburg Mine will be open for collection (us only). This is one of the last surface outcrops of the Franklin ore body. It has been exposed by recent excavation. Collecting should be great! The mine is about 3 miles from Sterling Hill. The address is:
High Street Franklinite Company
1 High Street
Franklin, New Jersey 07416

Fee: $5/person admission and $2/lb for collected material If you find old bottles tools, or artifacts they are yours to keep, the only exclusion are collectible bricks at $3/brick (there are some old ones scattered about in there) Parking is limited so best to car pool if you can.

1:00 Mine Tour. We'll do this as a group. The tour typically takes 1.5 to 2 hours. We'll meet at the Admission/Concession building a few minutes before 1. Given the nature of this tour those who go should stay for the duration. Perhaps we can bring our field lamps with us, but there is no collecting in the mine (and if we lamp everyone must have UV safety glasses).

3:00 Warren Museum of Fluorescent Minerals: Again, we?ll go as a group and meet at the Admission/Concession building a few minutes before 3. It takes 1 to 1.5 hours to view the collection and you may leave when you want.

4:00 The Head Frame / Mill where the ore was conveyed, crushed, dried and prepared for shipment to the furnaces. We'll go as a group and likely stay together. This activity will be a bit strenuous as we have to walk uphill a bit and up and down lots of stairs. It's also dusty.

5:00-6:30+- BBQ Dinner Bill Kroth has agreed to be our BBQ meister. He'll do all the dinner BBQ cooking at the Pavillion. Tom will buy all the food, drinks and accessories.

Please email Tom if you'd like to attend the BBQ (and how many you are) and what, if anything, special you would like.

Tom plans on getting the ususal BBQ foods: hamburgers, hot dogs, brat wurst, chicken, salads (fruit, leaf, bean, potato, noodle), breads, drinks (soda, tea and water), chips and condiments.

We'll share the cost; maybe $6 or $7 per person?.

Evening until 3 hours after dark: Collect at any of the collecting sites with night-lamping as appropriate. We have 3 hours of dark for night lamping.

8:30-ish pm When it's reasonably dark enjoy the Pillar of Light at the Fill Quarry (no collecting here but you can bring your lamps and enjoy).

11:00 pm Check out: pay for rocks. Be careful to keep the $1.50 per pound rocks separate from the $5.00 per pound Special Cage rocks.

Other Information

Directions: The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is located at 30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg, NJ.

Fee: The entrance fee is $25 per person, payable when you arrive.

Safety: Everyone must have UV safety glasses. Gloves and long pants are recommended. We do not need hard hats or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Equipment: All the usual hard-rock collecting equipment (hammers, sledges and wedges), packaging and carts. Shovels, picks, rakes, screens may be good to have at both sites. And, of course, your field UV lights, flashlight / head lamp and a dark cover for daytime UV collecting. (Tom.s dark cover is a 55 gal black plastic trash bag slit up one side. Crude, but cheap, light weight and disposable)


Dianne Soccio is our new Membership Chairman. Dues for 2018 should be sent to Dianne.

Her address is on the Application / Member Data Form. Link is below.

Application / Member Data Form

In Memoriam - Pen Ambler


John "Pen" Ambler

January 28, 1936 ~ January 14, 2018

John "Pen" Ambler, 81, also known as the Bridger, of Roaring Spring, went home to be with the Lord, Sunday, January 14th at Maybrook Hills Health and Rehab Center.

He was born in Williamsport, son of the late Jesse Paul and Margaret (Magee) Ambler.  Pen married Patricia A. Romagnino with whom he shared 36 years of marriage.

Also surviving are three step-daughters:  Jeanne Elms and husband Jerry of Franklin, TN, Ann Marie Franco and husband Scott of Hollidaysburg, Kathleen DeLange and fiance Jesus M. Casanova "Chivi" of Altoona; a step-son, Michael Kuhn and wife Sharen of Hollidaysburg; fourteen grandchildren, and a brother, Thomas E. and wife, Suzanne P. of Naperville, IL.

Pen was a graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School, class of 1953; and Grove City College with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education.  He retired with 18 years of service  from the Blair County Office of Mental Health and Retardation; was self-employed with Shepards Guide; prior to that he worked on survey corps with RMB Engineers in northern Indiana.  He had been a teacher in Michigan City, IN; and he also worked for the Department of Public Assistance.

Pen founded the Blair County Rock and Mineral Club; he belonged to Friends of Mineralogy, and collected rocks and minerals for more than 50 years.

He attended Center City Church, Altoona, as well as First United Methodist Church, Hollidaysburg.

Pen always took the time to help others and if there was ever a 'need' in the MH&R office, he would see that the need was met.

Friends will be received 4-6 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018 at Sorge Funeral Home, Inc. Hollidaysburg, immediately followed by a 6pm funeral service, Pastor Jim Kilmartin and the Rev. Dr. John Godissart, officiating.  Interment will be in New Canoe Creek Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Center City Church, 801 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA  16602 or the Bailey House, 119 Washington Street, Harrisburg, PA 

In Memoriam - Jim Quickel


James Lavere Quickel

September 04, 1927—September 08, 2017

World War Two veteran Sgt. James Lavere Quickel (USMC) was relieved of duty on September 8th, 2017. He was born on September 4th, 1927 to James Monroe Quickel and Edna Marie (Cleaver) Forsythe in East Berlin, PA. James was married to Nadine R. (Sieg) Quickel until she passed away May 25th, 1988.

James is survived by three sons, Bradley J. (Melissa) Quickel, Sanford S. (Sandra) Quickel, and Anthony L. (Cynthia) Quickel. Along with his sons, he is survived by grandchildren Esther, Scott, Ben, Shaun, and Anthony, as well as great grandchildren Daniel, Ziva, Zara and Isla. Also living are Molly and Leah Snyder, who considered him Pappy Quickel.

James had a passion for mineralogy. His mineral collection, which ranks among the best in the state of Pennsylvania, is on display at Bryn Mawr College. Among his other achievements were being a champion rattlesnake competitor at such places as Morris, Sinnamahoning, and Cross Forks, PA. He was a revered homing pigeon competitor in the 1950s and 1960s, when he won many competitions. For many years, James served as a scoutmaster with Troop 85 in New Oxford, PA and was a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow. His sons Bradley and Sanford achieved the rank of Eagle and Life scouts respectively, for which he was very proud of both. His grandson Anthony also went on to achieve the rank of Eagle.

James wore the title of United States Marine with great pride. He was a combat veteran in China in 1946-47. In addition to his service in China, he was also stationed as a radio operator in Guam. His memories of his service were happy, and he continued to be in contact with fellow servicemen until they preceded him in death.

Whether it was racing motorcycles or hunting, he was happiest sharing time with his sons Brad and Sandy. Their love of the outdoors formed a special bond over the years. He enjoyed nothing more than spending time at Sandy’s cabin in Cameron County or during his many trips to visit Brad in Maine. He had a great love for all three of his daughters-in-law and all of his grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the incredible job they did while James was a resident.

Most Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications are available on the web for free as PDF files!

Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications

For example, Bob Smith's "Zinc and Lead Occurrences in Pennsylvania" (M72) sold for $13.50. Now you can download the report and all of the maps as PDF files at
Zinc and Lead Occurrences in Pennsylvania

Don't forget about the online "Pennsylvania Geology"
Pennsylvania Geology

USGS announces availability of every Pennsylvania topographic map ever published. Download for free at
Historical Topographic Map Collection and they are georeferenced!

Check out the July-August 2011 issue of the Mineralogical Record (vol. 42 no. 4). It contains an excellent article on the Wood Mine in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, written by Wendell Wilson. There are several photographs of amazing brucite specimens. Also included on page 314 is a photograph from the May 2010 FM-PESA field trip to the Wood Mine. George Loud is standing on the side of a trench. Is that Arnold Mogel in the trench? Who else can we recognize in the photo?

A book on the history of the Cornwall Mines in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania was written by Bob Donley from Cornwall, Pa., and Charles Boyer, a former Cornwall miner. Charles Boyer and Robert Donley were raised in Cornwall, graduated from Cornwall High School, and have been lifelong residents of the Cornwall area. Boyer is a third-generation miner with decades of mining experience, and both Boyer and Donley have a profound interest in preserving the history of the mine and community. The images presented in Cornwall are from the collections of the authors and local residents. The book is published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their Images of America series.  The book contains many pictures of the open pit mine, the underground operations, and the community.  The book is titled "Cornwall" and is sold by Arcadia publishing at  and by and Barnes and Noble.  The ISBN number is 13978-0-7385-7465-3.