Freeport Journal-Standard, Freeport, IL feb 26, 1965 Calvin and Virginia Balluff

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Freeport Journal-Standard, Freeport, IL feb 26, 1965 Calvin and Virginia Balluff - Chance Discovery Started Hobby For Mt. Morris...
Chance Discovery Started Hobby For Mt. Morris Couple By MABEL HOFF J-S Correspondent MOUNT MORRIS - A chance discovery a century ago has led to an engaging hobby for a Mount Morris couple. It was nearly 100 years ago when excavations were being made for the Chicago Great Western Railroad bed between Davis Junction and Stillman Valley Valley that a large Mexican agate was overturned. The agate was found by in the Kurd family as an heirloom heirloom and now is among the rock collection of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Calvin Balluff. Mrs. Balluff is the former Virginia Kurd of Stillman Valley, granddaughter of Seward Seward Kurd and Dr. Arnold Kurd. his father, At first it was regarded as only a rough stone, but on examination it was found to be a semiprecious gem. They had the stone cut and polished and found that it had beautiful multicolored parallel bands running through it. Parallel Parallel colored lines are agate identification points. The Mexican agate has been Firemen's Ball Will Be Tonight At Elizabeth ELIZABETH-The 30th annual annual firemen's ball will be held tonight at the fire station under the auspices of Elizabeth fire department. Dancing from 9 to 1 a.m. will be to the music of Jack Busch and his orchestra. Elizabeth Junior High School band will present a concert Monday at 8 p.m. in the old gymnasium under the direction of Ted Sodt. The band will feature a varied program of traditional selections, selections, folk music and music of Latin America. Elizabeth High School's annual annual "dimeathon" will be held this afternoon to benefit the March of Dimes. The varied program will continue as long as money is donated during the afternoon, according to Supt. Kurd. Hobby Started The Balluffs have been in possession possession of the stone for about five years. Since then the Balluff Balluff family, Mr. and Mrs. Balluff Balluff and daughter, Patricia, have taken up rock collecting with agates as their favorite stones. Agates have been found by the Balluffs up and down the Mississippi Mississippi River, on the banks of Lake Superior, and in the West and Southwest. Balluff has a rock tumbler, which he designed and constructed constructed himself, a rock cutter and polisher in the basement of his home. In the precious Balluff and collection are semiprecious gems, rough agates, cut slabs, polished pieces and mineral specimens. It takes several weeks to tumble the stones which is done in water and silicon carbide. carbide. Many of the stones are used in fashioning hand-made jewelry. The Balluffs have purchased many of the specimen gems for their collection, their favorite favorite being an Australian opal. Other stones in their collection are Christmas agate, shadow agate or Laguna agate from Mexico, dog tooth calite from Southern Illinois, malachite from the mountains of Russia, Brazil agates, Apache tears from Arizona, petrified wood from the West and a large geode from Southern Indiana that stands at the entrance of the Balluff home. Only One Balluff says the geode is the only specimen of its kind outside outside of a museum. Mrs. Balluff said she only picks up agates that have colored lines in them. Balluff has quartz stones mostly from the Western states. He said the West is the best rock country. For those who want to become become "rockhounds" Balluff, immediate past president of the Rock River Valley Gem and Mineral Society, Rockford, has these observations: Unlike wildlife which you have to stalk and spring flowers which you have to await, rocks and minerals are hard to avoid. Every roadcut, bank cliff, excavation or quarry exposes rocks and minerals for a person to see and pick up. Outcropped Rocks A potential rockhound should learn to watch for outcropped places where bedrock is naturally naturally exposed as in ridges and cliffs. Wherever erosion is taking taking place, rock is sooner or later exposed. Outcrops of rocks are common in many parts of New England and the Southwest. Manmade exposures of rocks and minerals are often' the best source of specimens. Rock- hounds look in road cuts, in road and rail- quarries, rock pits, dump piles around mines and similar places. Searchers should be alert for new roads, bridges and foundations foundations where excavations expose fresh rocks. The semiprecious agate that started Balluff on his hobby was found while building a railroad. Balluff is a lifelong resident of Mount Morris and is now an area superintendent at Kable Printing Co., where he has worked about 25 years. HELP US

Clipped from
  1. Freeport Journal-Standard,
  2. 26 Feb 1965, Fri,
  3. Page 2

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  • Freeport Journal-Standard, Freeport, IL feb 26, 1965 Calvin and Virginia Balluff

    jmeyers – 26 Jun 2013

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