Back in the late 1950s, Mr. Kurt Servos was appointed Senior Curator of Geology at the New York State Museum (Albany, NY). He was very much surprised to learn the Capital District did not have a mineralogy club. Having been approached by several people on this subject, he got in touch with Peter Zodac – then Editor of ‘Rocks and Minerals’ magazine. Mr. Zodac happily supplied the names and addresses of a number of interested persons in the area. In addition, Leo Vermann (Coxsackie, NY), also forwarded communications he received concerning the possibility of forming a Rock & Mineral Club. As it turns out, interest from the public had grown following Mr. Vermann’s recent TV appearance and subsequent write-up in the Albany Union Times (written by Mona Smith).
After an aggressive letter writing and telephone campaign, the first organizational meeting of the Capital District Mineral Club was held on the evening of Thursday, December 13, 1956 in the Mineral Room on the 5th floor of the State Education Building in Albany. 43 prospective members were present.
This informal gathering elected the following officers pro-tem:
Chairman, Mr. Kurt Servos – Albany
Vice Chairman, Mr. Leo Vermann – Coxsackie
Secretary, Mrs. Jean Carr – Round Lake
A committee was also elected for the purpose of drafting a constitution and by-laws which would be submitted to the club at a future meeting. This committee consisted of:
Chairman, Mr. Kurt Servos – Albany
Mr. Warren Kunsman – McKownville
Mr. Elmer Rowley – Glens Falls
Dr. A.W. Pohl – Albany
The prospective members included, as is usual with any hobby, men and women from many trades and professions; college and high school students and housewives. The group ranged from novices to amateurs to advanced collectors. Mr. Rowley suggested a varied program for future meetings and seasonal field trips with the goal of appealing to a variety of members all in varying stages of collecting and identifying rocks and minerals.
Both Mr. Rowley and Mr. Servos listed a number of books and magazines that club members might find useful for their research and study. Following adjournment of the business session, several mineral collections were displayed – individual treasures popped out of pockets, bags and boxes; and both Mr. Rowley and Mr. Servos literally had their hands full of specimens to be identified.
It was decided that future meetings would be held at 7:30 PM on the first Thursday of each month at the New York State Museum Mineral Room. In case of severe weather, the second Thursday served as an alternate date. Visitors and would-be members were encouraged to attend.
By January of 1957, the members were scheduled to receive the report by the Constitution & By-Laws Committee, for discussion. By that time, eighteen additional individuals expressed a desire to join the club. Just one month later, in February of 1957, the CDMC was in full swing with seven more people joining. At the time, the club boasted 70 members.
In May of 1957, the Constitution was approved and a slate of Officers was elected:
President, Jerome Lapham – Glens Falls
Secretary, Jean Carr – Round Lake
And the following Committees were appointed:
The Club now had not only successful business meetings, but an impressive list of monthly speakers, that included advanced mineral collectors and professional geologists.
At the March 6, 1958 meeting it was announced that the New York State Board of Regents had – that very day – formally voted to grant a provisional charter to the Capital District Mineral Club. This provision allowed the CDMC to incorporate and affiliate with the University of the State of New York, State Educational Department. The resulting non-stock corporation organized and operated exclusively for the education of the study of minerals, geology and allied sciences. This marked the first occasion such incorporation was accomplished by any amateur mineral group in the state of New York.
The Capital District Mineral Club, Inc. has been operating without interruption ever since; and still meets on the first Thursday of each month (September through June). Proudly, Monthly meetings continue to be held at the New York State Museum in Albany.