Creations from rocks and gems highlight 49th annual show at fairgrounds over the weekend

May 7, 2019

Creations made from rocks and gems filled Douglas Hall Saturday and Sunday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, during the Umpqua Gem and Mineral Club’s 49th annual show.

The show draws visitors from all around Oregon with more than two dozen vendors, some coming from long distances to some just to display and others to sell their products.

Janet Stringfellow, the co-chair of the Rock and Gem Show, said vendors come each year to participate in the Roseburg show.

“We’ve got people from Crescent City, California, Utah, a gentleman from Colorado, and from all parts of Oregon,” she said.

Russell Jackson and his wife Theresa of Albany create trees made from gems.

“She puts the beads on and I put the wire,” Jackson said. “Some of the trees take just a few hours, some take days to put together.”

Stringfellow said they always get a lot of jewelry, rough rock, polished rock, and have a silent auction for the adults and a lot of booths where the vendors will teach you how to do certain tasks in working with rocks and minerals.

“We have our demonstrators, a guy who’s doing drilling, guys that do all kinds of rock work and they’re happy to teach people, and we have a workshop that you can use if you join the club,” Stringfellow said.

But she added that they are trying to add more activities for kids each year, to get them interested collecting. This year’s event, the 49th year of the show, featured a kids zone where the youngsters could learn about rocks, do some rock painting, rock hunts, and other activities.

“It generates an interest in ‘what is this?’ so we’ve tried to gear a lot of it to get the kids curiosity going about rocks,” Stringfellow said. “If they don’t start being interested, we’re going to lose our hobby.”

Jason Jakubos is a dealer who makes custom jewelry along with his partner Perry Burdick has been a member of the Umpqua Gem and Mineral Club for 10 years. He gets a lot of his rocks along the North Umpqua River.

“You can collect everything from petrified wood, agates, jasper, and stuff like that, so I do hunt the North Umpqua,” Jakubos said. “But the state is great for finding sunstones and thundereggs, the two stones the state is known for.”

The two-day event draws over 2,000 visitors each year. Stringfellow said they try to encourage people to join their club each year at the show.

Meeting are every second Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Westside Christian Church at 2712 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg.

To find out more about the Umpqua Gem and Mineral Club call 541-672-3486.