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Oregon State Rock

Thunderegg   Adopted: March 29, 1965

As noted in Senate Joint Resolution No. 18, the effort to declare an official state rock was launched by Oregon rock and gem clubs with the support of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

FIFTY-THIRD LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY-REGULAR SESSION

Senate Joint Resolution No. 18

Introduced by Senator STADLER, Representative DETERING, Senators AHRENS, VERNON COOK, WARD COOK, CORBETT, ELFSTROM, HUSTON, IRELAND, MONAGHAN, POTTS, RAYMOND, THIEL, WILLNER, YTURRI, Representatives BESSONETTE, DAY, GALLAGHER, SAM JOHNSON, LANG, McKINNIS and read February 19, 1965

Whereas the great and sovereign State of Oregon has a state flag, a state animal (the beaver), a state flower (the Oregon grape), a state bird (the western meadow lark), a state seal, a state tree (Douglas fir) and a state fish (the Chinook salmon); and

Whereas the State of Oregon, being of unbounded international importance as a "rockhound's paradise"; and

Whereas the State of Oregon needs a designated state rock; and

Whereas a number of rock and gem clubs representing all areas of Oregon and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry have conducted a popular vote to select a state rock; and

Whereas this vote favored the thunderegg two to one; and

Whereas the thunderegg is described as a "remarkable and colorful agate-filled spherical mass of silicified claystone, and rhyolite found throughout the State of Oregon" ranging in size up to four feet in diameter; and

Whereas an old legend of the Warm Springs Indians tells us that these spherical masses were once hurled from the craters of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson when the "spirits of the mountains" were angry and that the "thunder spirits" who lived in the craters hurled the nodules to the accompaniment of much lightning and thunder and therefore the agate-filled nodules became known as "thundereggs"; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

That this ancient symbol of geological significance and absorbing native legend, the thunderegg, be acclaimed the Oregon state rock.

Filed in the Office of Secretary of State March 30, 1965.

"Thunderegg" as one word was adopted by the Oregon Legislature for the name of the state rock and, therefore, is the correct spelling when referring to the state rock; however, in describing the geology and mineralogy of thunder eggs, the two-word spelling, thunder egg, has priority, because of its use in the literature.


Sources...

State of Oregon. Oregon Revised Statutes - 2009 Edition. Salem: State of Oregon, 2011. Web. 8 Apr 2011. <http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/home.htm>
Stadler, Glen M. "Thunderegg: Oregon's State Rock." Ore Bin Oct. 1965: 189-194. Web. 9 May 2011.
"Rockhounding: Thundereggs." Nature of the Northwest. State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, 07 Apr. 2011. Web. 13 Apr 2011. .
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.


Oregon state rock
Thunder egg on display at State Capitol

Additional Information

Learning Resources - State Symbols: Rock: Oregon Blue Book Online.

Thundereggs: Department of Geology and Mineral Industries: Gems and Minerals in Oregon.

Oregon Thundereggs: All Oregon Directory, the only Oregon Directory on the internet owned by a fifth generation Oregonian who has traveled to every corner of this beautiful state.

Rockhounding: Thundereggs: Nature of the Northwest from the State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

State rocks: Complete list of official state rocks from NETSTATE.COM.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Oregon state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

Oregon thunder eggs
Oregon thunder eggs

Cut and polished Oregon thunder eggs:

According to ancient Native American legend, when the Thunder Spirits living in the highest recesses of snowcapped Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson became angry with one another, amid violent thunder and lightning storms they would hurl masses of these spherical rocks at each other. The hostile gods obtained these weapons by stealing eggs from the Thunderbirds' nests, thus the source of the name "Thunder eggs."

Numerous unique cut and polished Oregon thunder eggs are available.

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  • Covers both lapidary and mineral display materials
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Perfect for rocks and mineral lovers - a comprehensive guide for collectors.