Colorado State Rock
Adoption of the Colorado State Rock
Clare Marshall was on the staff of the Colorado School of Mines' Department of Geology and Geological Engineering. She was also a former Junior Girl Scout Troop leader and mother of a Junior Girl Scout in Troop 357 of Lakewood, Colorado.
While designing an exhibit for the new Geology Museum at the Colorado School of Mines, Mrs. Marshall noticed that Colorado's official state gemstone, Aquamarine, was blue and the official state mineral, Rhodochrosite, was red. With the addition of a white rock, Colorado could claim a red, white and blue trio of geological symbols as representative of the Centennial State.
The idea of red, white and blue geological symbols was passed on to Junior Girl Scout Troop 357 and they reacted with enthusiasm. In October 2002, they jumped into the project with their eye on the "Bronze Award", the highest award Junior Girl Scouts can earn. They spent nearly 150 hours on research, visiting the Yule Marble quarry, earning three merit badges, completing a community service project and getting endorsements from historians, geologists and politicians. They testified before two legislative committees.
As part of the project, the troop put together the Yule Marble fact sheet:
In October 2003, Troop 357 contacted Colorado State Representative Betty Boyd, of Lakewood, to begin the process of getting Yule Marble declared the official state rock of Colorado. Representative Boyd attended a couple of troop meetings and decided that she would sponsor the "state rock" bill.
On January 7, 2004 Colorado Representative Betty Boyd introduced House Bill No. 1023 to make Yule Marble the "...state rock of the State of Colorado." She was joined by 27 other Colorado Representatives determined to turn this bill into law.
The bill was passed by the Colorado House of Representatives on February 2, 2004 and sent off to the Senate for their approval, where it was introduced the next day. On February 17, 2004, the bill was passed in the Colorado Senate.
On March 9, 2004, with Girl Scout Troop 357 looking on, Governor Bill Owens signed the legislation declaring Yule Marble the official state rock of the state of Colorado. But before he did, he handed each girl a Girl Scout Bronze Star.
About Yule Marble
A "rock" is a combination of one or more minerals. For example, granite is made up of quartz, mica and feldspar. Colorado's Yule Marble is made up of only one mineral - calcite.
In addition to being considered 99.5% pure calcite, Yule Marble is unique in a couple of other ways. It's different from other marbles because of the way it was formed. It was formed from Leadville Limestone by a different process than the marbles of Vermont or Georgia. This process resulted in a high quality marble that is exceptional for sculpting. It's also very uniformly white and quite luminous. Yule Marble, one of the purest marbles ever quarried, rivals the famed Greek and Italian marbles. Many have contended that it's better than the Carrara Marble favored by Michelangelo. The architect of the Lincoln Memorial, Henry Bacon, preferred Yule Marble as "immeasurably superior." It's use in architecture and smaller works of art pay tribute to its beauty. The Colorado Geological Survey offers these points:
This exceptional marble is named after Yule Creek in the Elkhorn Mountains near the town of Marble, Gunnison County. Yule Creek was named after 1870s resident George Yule. The Treasure Mountain marble deposit was first reported in 1882. Yule Quarry operations began in earnest in 1906.
The following information was excerpted from the Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 24, Article 80, Part 9, Section 24-80-912.7.
TITLE 24. GOVERNMENT - STATE.
24-80-912.7. State rock. Yule marble is hereby made and declared to be the state rock of the state of Colorado.
Source: L. 2004: Entire section added, p. 76, § 1, effective August 4.
Source: Colorado Legislature, January 17, 2005.
Ordinary limestone turns into Colorado’s State Rock: Yule Marble from the Colorado Geological Survey.
Yule Quarry, Marble, Col.: Artist Francisco Sotomayor's views of the Yule Marble Quarry.
Colorado Yule Marble: Artist James Goss' Yule Marble Sculpture.
Marble, Colorado: Information about the (ghost) town of Marble, Colorado.
Colorado Scenery - Yule Marble Quarry Area: Personal web site - Photographs and commentary.
Photographs From Marble: GhostTownGallery.com photographs from Marble, Colorado.
The Lincoln Memorial: The Lincoln Memorial including Design and Construction from the National Park Service.
Colorado Yule Marble -- Building Stone of the Lincoln Memorial: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2162 by Elaine S. McGee.
The Tomb of the Unknowns: Arlington National Cemetery.
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