Our October monthly meeting will feature guest speaker Jim Hird. The topic is The Keweenaw: It’s Mines And Minerals, Then And Now.
Jim Hird, son of Gert and Horace Hird former members of the BGS, is also a BGS member who, with his wife Bonnie, has been attending our annual show with exhibits and attended one of the Cincinnati Trips a couple years ago. He prefers minerals and loves visiting ‘Copper Country” where he started collecting during his college years.
Jim ended up after a 2 year degree at Eire County Tech transferring to Michigan Technological University in 1965 where I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering. This is where and when I was introduced to the Lake Superior Copper District and the beauty and history of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The freedom of collecting in that area at the time with all the abandon mines and still working underground mines has stuck with me for all time. The area is not as easy to collect in as it once was but there are still materials that can be found on public land and with permission of the owners of the poor rock piles.
He headed for West Virginia and the coal fields and spent 30 plus years working in and around coal mines for U.S. Steel Mining working maintenance, engineering, and design work on both surface and underground facilities. His work was not about minerals but was always open for the occasional quartz crystal or other mineral trace. Collecting in West Virginia was fun but always he was drawn back to the Keweenaw and the rich copper and history of the area many times.
When he and Bonnie first moved to WV they joined the local rock club The Kanawha Rock and Gem Club out of Charleston, WV. Located about 134 miles north of our home in the southern tip of WV made it a hard trip for meetings. The distance and work schedule put a damper on our club activities but we still managed to support the club and its shows. Jim is finishing up his last year as Show Chairman the Kanawha Club.
Jim wil have a very interesting program on the Michigan Copper country and will have some specimens to view and information to share on a fantastic mineralogical area.
The meeting will be held on Friday, November 2nd at 7:30pm at the Heritage Discovery Center, 100 Lee Street, Buffalo, NY 14210.