Thursday, March 6, 2014

In "Honoring Scruff" Guest Author Christine Ford Talks Moving Richard Fretterd's 300+lb Smoky

This year at Tucson we had the pleasure of meeting some of our favorite "Prospectors" from The Weather Channel program of the same name - Guest Writer Christine Ford writes about the donation and move of Richard Fretterd's 300 + lb Smoky and in Part II will touch on Richard's participation at the Tucson Gem Show...stay tuned!

Honoring " Scruff"


by Christine Ford

It took five strong men and a hoist, but Richard Fretterd's dream of a memorial to his late brother and mining partner, Vincent, known as Scruff locally, finally became a reality Saturday morning. As an excited group of Pikes Peak Historical Society members recorded the event for posterity, the crew installed the four foot three inch smoky quartz crystal, weighing 345 pounds, on the stained and trimmed tree stump base prepared for it at their Museum. A brass plaque with a poem is being prepared for attachment to this base.

The quartz crystal joins Richards other 439 lb. crystal, also donated to the Museum in Florissant, which he found just five feet away from the first, on Vincent's day of birth. He called the location the "Holy Moses" pocket system, a series of eleven chambers collectively known as the "God Send" claim. "These are the two largest smoky quartz crystals in North America. They make our museum a national treasure," said the Society President, Celinda Reynolds Kaelin.

"Now it's finally home, right where it belongs," said Fretterd, who could not keep the smile from his face as he worked. He said it took him 6 months to clean the crystal, employing a used hot tub, fish tank aerators and a tarp. He also would periodically spray it with a water gun to remove iron deposits. He was not able to take the piece whole from the pocket; a small corner was already detached; they removed it first in order to slide out the remainder, then later repaired it."I thought at first it was coke bottle size," said Fretterd, shaking his head in amazement. He has previously displayed the stone at shows like the annual Lake George Gem and Mineral show.

Once the stone was safely placed in the stand at the Museum, Fretterd relaxed and enjoyed the moment, reflecting on the brothers shared history. "We were inseparable', said Fretterd. '' We went through so much together." To have the stones next to each other again, nearly as they were in nature, " has great spiritual significance," he said.
6 lucky people will win a " Dig with Rich"
at the Chautauqua on May 11th.
The Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum, located at 18033 Teller County One, is open President's Day to Memorial Day, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm, and Memorial Day to Labor Day Friday, Saturday, and Monday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm. 

Open year round, it is free to the public. It includes exhibits on the areas' history, geology, Native peoples, railroads and mountain men. The website is also a great place to visit and includes Native tales as told to President Celinda Reynolds Kaelin by the Ute elders, as well as some of her excellent articles and excerpts from her books on the area's history.

Rich Fretterd will be speaking about his mining experiences and his prominent role on the TV reality show Prospectors, shown on The Weather Channel, at the Historical Society Chautauqua on Sunday, May 11th, 2014, at the Florissant Library, 334 Circle Drive, at 2:00 p.m..

Photo credit: courtesy of Christine Ford
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