Pine Country Gem & Mineral Society

Deep in the Heart of the Piney Woods of East Texas

header photo




The Pine Country Gem & Mineral Society in Jasper, TX, was formed for the

purpose of encouraging interest, and a better understanding of all

phases of the Earth Sciences and Lapidary Arts. Our goal is to

promote fellowship and cooperation among members and other 

groups with like interests. Try joining us at one of our 

monthly meetings!



The Pine Country Gem & Mineral Society is a member of

The South Central Federation of Mineralogical Societies


The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies



The Pine Country Gem & Mineral Club was organized in 1992 by twelve members who joined together to enjoy the Rockhound hobby.  In 2004 the Pine Country Gem and Mineral Society was incorporated as a 501c corporation.


We met wherever we could find a spot – in a craft mall near the rock shops of Nell and Forest Perkins and Bobby Smith, charter members of the club, until the mall sold. We relocated to the kitchen area in the Courthouse Annex until renovations began there and we had to move again.  Our next move was to the Fellowship Hall of the Lutheran Church.  In the meantime we were always searching for a place to call our own.


I was visiting with our banker, who was also a classmate of mine and asked for his help in finding a spot for us.  He suggested I contact the Tonahill family about the property we now own.  (Attached is a copy of the letter to Richard Hile, attorney for the Estate).  John and I both had contacts with the family (he taught some of the Tonahill children and later taught with one of the daughters at the high school and I had contact with Mr. Tonahill and Richard in my duties as a county official.)


Instead of a long-term lease as we requested, they deeded the property with the existing building to us.  What a building it was!  Some of our members were not too sure that this building could ever be salvaged!   Not only did the roof leak, the walls leaked as well.  The building came equipped with other inhabitants – Honey Bees lived in the walls and they were not inclined to leave. The outside had broken asbestos siding, a big double door, uneven concrete floors and many other problems that needed to be solved.  But it was OURS – free and clear and besides that -  it is in a great location.  


Our main goal was to get a meeting room in order – Cleaning was the first order of business, partitions torn down, painting and the list goes on.  The building had to be re-wired, heating and cooling installed, seating and tables.  This was all on an income of less than $7,000 per year.  We had a lot of fund raising activities, work days, begging and borrowing but we have a building with a nice meeting area and space for a great workshop which is still a work in progress.


In 2005 we made our first application to the City of Jasper and the Chamber of Commerce for a portion of the Hotel/Motel Tax Collections under the category of Promotion of the Arts that enhance tourism in Jasper.  Our application was accepted and we received $750 for 2005 and the years since. The Club has received $2500 in 2011 and 2012. 


 One of our main goals was to host the SCFMS convention in Jasper in the future and this was the basis of our request.  This goal was realized in 2012.  The field trips sponsored during the 2012 show sparked lots of interest and we feel this will be a drawing card for future shows.


Our next goal is to be able to host a summer day camp in our clubhouse to promote the lapidary arts for students in Jasper and the surrounding area.  We plan to get to work on the workshop area at full speed after the holidays.