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.
The following information was excerpted from the Oregon Revised Statutes - 2009 Edition, Title 19, Chapter 186.
TITLE 19 MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS RELATED TO GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
186. State Emblems; State Boundary
Thunderegg declared to be official rock, SJR 18 (1965)
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.
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.
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.
Rocks and Minerals, written and edited by Caroline Bingham. 48 pages. Publisher: DK CHILDREN; 1st edition (January 2004) Reading level: Ages 5-8. Eye Wonder Rocks and Minerals introduces geologic elements to budding scientists - Did you know that the amount of gold in any material is measured in carats and that 24-carat gold is pure gold? Find out facts like this and much more in this fascinating guide to rocks and minerals.
Rocks and Minerals (DK Pocket Series), by Dorling Kindersley, Ltd. 160 pages. Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.; Revised edition (June 2003) Reading level: Ages 10-17. Minerals are solid mixtures of chemicals that each have a unique set of characteristics - just like a fingerprint. Find out how these minerals bind together to form rocks and much, much more.
Geodes: Nature's Treasures, by Brad L. Cross and June Culp Zeitner. 292 pages. Publisher: Gem Guides Book Co (April 30, 2006) A stunning full-color exploration of geodes, written by two of the most respected authors on rocks, gems and minerals: June Zeitner, and Brad Cross. This is an extensive look into the fascinating world of geodes, from how they are created, and where they are mined, to the exquisite variety of crystal forms within.
Collecting Rocks, Gems & Minerals: Easy Identification, by Patti Polk. 272 pages. Publisher: Krause Publications (May 13, 2010) Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals takes you from having a casual interest in rocks to being a true collector, and it serves as the only book of its kind to have values for these beautiful offerings from nature. The easy-to-use, and durable design of this book makes it the perfect guide to use out in the field, and it:
Rocks & Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks), by Chris Pellant. 256 pages. Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (September 1, 2010) 600 incredible photos, precise annotations and detailed descriptions - from the distinguishing features of rocks to which crystal system a mineral belongs to - will help you identify different rocks and minerals quickly and easily. Covers everything from what rocks or minerals are, how they are classified to how to start a collection.
Perfect for rocks and mineral lovers - a comprehensive guide for collectors.