Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena, California

A well-known collector and seller of rocks, fossils and unique
items - Edwin Howard Vose II (widely known as Chuckawalla
Slim)  made his summer home in Pasadena in the 1940's and
1950's.  This self-proclaimed “Rockologist” was so popular that
he attracted a number of other collectors from the Pasadena area
wherever he spoke.  

Slim, C.D. Gibson, Clarence Chittenden and Vic Armstrong
formed the Pasadena Lapidary Society in the mid-1940's and
incorporated it as a California non-profit corporation on May 19th,
1949.  For years their gatherings were informal affairs - tailgate
swapping and meetings in local parks.  

The ranks of the new Pasadena Lapidary Society grew quickly.   
It was not unusual to have more than 50 members at a club
meeting.  Meetings were held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Pasadena
and Jessie Chittenden taught jewelry design there.

The club began planning field trips for its members almost  
immediately.  Clarence Chittenden and his wife, Jessie, (a dean at
Pasadena City College) compiled a series of rock collecting maps
which he published and were widely used among Southern
California rock collectors. In 1953 the club ventured outside of
Southern California to spend the Labor Day weekend at Cambria,
California, to search the beaches for jade.

The club has been active in keeping collecting areas open for  
collectors and were involved in the fight to keep Dinosaur
National Monument from becoming a storage project - as was
reported by Desert Magazine in August 1954.

The club’s annual public show, the "Tournament of Gems",  
began in 1955 and was held at the Davies Memorial Building at
Farnsworth Park in Altadena.  The club, lead by Harry and Arlene
Billheimer, was a leader in showcasing rocks and gems at the
Los Angeles County Fair, where the club’s exhibits won ribbons
and accolades.

Members of the Pasadena Lapidary Society have a history of  
being leaders of our hobby.  The PLS was one of the first clubs
that formed the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies
(CFMS) in 1947.  Clarence Chittenden’s maps were the standard
for the hobby. Arlene Billheimer served with distinction as
president of CFMS and we are represented among the officers of
SCRIBE, which promotes newsletters for lapidary societies
1947 - 1948  Jessie Chittenden
1949 - C. Dale Gibson
1950 - Hamer Pugh
1951 - John Whatley
1952 -  Clarence Chittenden
1953 - Al Staltz
1954 - Vic Armstrong
1955 - Beatrice Lidell
1956 - George Lowe
1957 - 1958  Tom Mahan
1959 - Clarence Chittenden
1960 - Clarence Greere
1961 - Clare Beam
1963 - Jessie Chittenden
1964 - Clarence Ritter
1965 - George Snyder / Malcom Meacham
1966 - Clarence Ritter
1967 - 1968  Aleta Purcell
1969 - 1970  Malcom Meacham
1971 - 1974  Harry Billheimer
1975 - 1976  Dick Crotty
1977 - 1978  Arlene Billheimer*
1979 - 1980  Vic Armstrong
1981 - 1981  Earl Thornton
1983 - 1984  Dee Thompson
1985 - 1987  Susan Arnold
1988 - 1989  Grace Cargill
1990 - 1991  Vern Cliffe
1992 - 1993  Sandie Fender
1994 - 1995  Gail Poulson
1996 - 1997  Tony Fender
1998 - 1999  Todd Neikirk
2000 - 2001  Sandie Fender
2002 - 2003  Tony Fender
2004 - 2005  Todd Niekirk
2006 - 2009  Joe Goetz
2010 - Drew Wilson / Chris Kyte
2011 - Chris Kyte
2012 - 2015  Marcia Goetz
2016 - Present  Ellen Ferrell

* Designates members who also
served as president of the California
"Chuckawalla Slim - Rockologist"
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Pasadena Lapidary Society
Click on the emblem,  
above,  to view and print
a copy of the
membership application!