Tuscarora Lapidary Society, Inc.
24 Upland Road, Brookhaven, PA 19015
The Tuscarora Lapidary Society is a non-profit educational corporation, and Pennsylvania Purely Public Charity, organized to encourage and teach the science and art of lapidary (the cutting and polishing of gemstones), as well as the arts and sciences associated with lapidary interests.
Come explore gem cutting, jewelry making, and related arts and sciences with us.
We teach the journey from rocks to gems to jewelry.
The driving force behind the formation of TLS was Roger Kettimon, a consulting engineer. After moving to the Delaware Valley and finding no lapidary clubs here, Mr. Kettimon was urged by his old friend, Leland Quick, editor of the Lapidary Journal, to form a lapidary club. On March 13, 1957, a group of fourteen people met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kettimon for this purpose. After considerable discussion, it was determined that an Indian name would be desirable, and Tuscarora was selected. It was determined that there would be monthly meetings, the second Wednesday of each month except for July and August.
In February 1958, TLS joined the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies (EFMLS). A delegate was sent to the August convention and the Society entered its first exhibit. Also in 1958, several books were identified as being available for circulation — the beginning of the TLS Library.
A Board of Directors was created in 1960. Its first official meeting was October 7, 1960. By this time the Society was already placing successful displays of the lapidary arts in local store windows.
In the early years, TLS members often taught lapidary courses in local night school programs.
An internal newsletter was started in 1964. A contest was held to name the newsletter. Former member Walter Lapinsky won the contest with his suggestion of The Tuscarora Bulletin. Another innovation of 1964 was the creation of the Skill Improvement Program (S-K-I-P), an effort to increase the overall technical and artistic expertise of members of TLS.
The Tuscarora Lapidary Society was incorporated in the State of Delaware on April 10, 1967, and received non-profit 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service on October 25, 1968.
The first Lapidary Gem and Mineral Show of the Society was held in the Springfield, PA Township Building in 1968. The second show was in Allentown in 1970. Since 1972, the show, GEMARAMA, has been an annual event of the Society.
An intarsia of an Indian logo for the Society was completed in time for the 1975 GEMARAMA. A photo of that intarsia appears in the upper left corner of each page on our website.
On January 3, 1979, TLS opened its first education center, later named the L. Howard Freeman Skill Center in memory of member Howard Freeman, at 105 West Jasper Street in Media, PA. With this up-to-date lapidary and jewelry arts facility, the Society was now able to offer classes to the general public.
In November 2010, TLS purchased the old Brookhaven PA Post Office at 24 Upland Road in Brookhaven, PA. Members renovated that building into a state-of-the-art educational facility for lapidary and jewelry arts. TLS moved from its Media location to the new Education Center in Brookhaven in September, 2011.
The Society was named a Pennsylvania Purely Public Charity in 2007, the year in which the Society celebrated its 50th anniversary.