The Fredericksburg Rockhounds has its origin as the Llano Uplift Rock Club. For two years, the Members met on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Science Room at Llano High School. In 1968, a decision was made to move the club to Fredericksburg. As might be expected, not all members found this convenient and some chose to move their memberships to the Highland Lakes Gem & Mineral Society.
The Fredericksburg Rockhounds was organized on July 15, 1968, with 65 members. The Club’s Constitution was adopted by the Executive Council on October 22, 1968, and by the general membership on March 3, 1969. At first, Club members met monthly in the American Legion Hall in Fredericksburg. Annual shows were held there also; however the large crowds severely strained the resources of that facility.
The Annual Gem & Mineral Show was moved to the Pavilion at Lady Bird Municipal Park in the mid 1970s. It’s interesting to note that Club members were asked to submit recommendations for the design of that facility. The Club continued to meet monthly at the American Legion Hall for a few more years before moving to Fredericksburg’s Golden Hub Senior Center.
Club members during the early years were energetic and active. Almost everyone worked actively with stones in one way or another and many members attended shows sponsored by other Clubs. Individuals and couples regularly embarked on field trips to remote areas and foreign countries. Popular features at annual shows were demonstrations and exhibits by local members and members of other clubs. Some shows had 100 or more exhibits: these were grouped in categories, and prizes were awarded by designated judges or on the basis of votes by the general public.
As the years went by and original members aged, membership declined. During one bleak period in the early 1990s, eleven members passed away in one year. This devastating loss led to discussion of dissolving the Club at that time, but one of the members persuaded others to keep the Club going.
Since then, the Club has steadily increased its membership to more than 100 individuals, couples and families. There has been an almost complete turnover of the membership since its founding in 1968. Members now hail from a much wider area and their interests are often quite different than those of the founding members. However, one thing has not changed: members enjoy each others’ company and love to get together to listen to interesting presentations, to converse and to eat.