Dolores man’s legacy lives on

Work with minerals leads to Hall of Fame induction

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ARNOLD HAMPSON shows off some of his mineral specimens in 2010 in his Dolores home before his death in 2011. Last month, Hampson was inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame. Enlargephoto

Dolores Star File Photo

ARNOLD HAMPSON shows off some of his mineral specimens in 2010 in his Dolores home before his death in 2011. Last month, Hampson was inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame.

Carrie Hampson, of Dolores, traveled to Baltimore, Md. last month to pick up an award for her late husband, Arnold Hampson.

Arnold, who passed away last year at the age of 82, was being inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame, an honor Carrie said she is sure her husband would have been overjoyed about.

“Minerals were his life,” Carrie said, holding up a plaque given in his honor.

She said he knew he was nominated for the award before his death and after he donated 8,400 micromounted mineral specimens to the Colorado School of Mines Geology museum in 2010.

Carrie smiled when talking about the award and said if Arnold were still alive he would have jumped at the chance to go to Baltimore.

“He would have planned a side trip,” she said.

He would have been pleased with the award, but he would have had “side trips” lined up so he could go rock hunting.

Arnold began collecting minerals when he was 11 years old. “Don’t call them rocks” he once said in a Dolores Star article.

The art of micromounting involves identifying and placing small mineral specimens into a small box that can be identified and labeled for research under a microscope.

This hobby was popular to many mineral collectors because it allowed you to observe a pristine example of a mineral, not usually available in the larger specimens.

Arnold has given lectures, written articles and taken pictures for many mineral groups and publications throughout his life and was even credited for discovering a new mineral to science — orthominasragrite, found near Temple Mountain, Utah.

For many years Arnold exhibited micromounts at various mineral shows and received highest honors for their beauty and quality. In 2000, he received the National Trophy from the American Federation of Mineral Societies.

Carrie said the award is that more special since it was awarded posthumously, the culmination of a life’s work — a life of scrambling up mountains, hills and combing river beds. He would do all that, rock hammer in hand.

And when he would return home he would meticulously record, label and categorize his finds.

“In over 72 years of collecting and 42 years of micromounting, Arnold G. Hampson contributed much to the micromount community. He is a worthy member of the Micromounters’ Hall of Fame,” the award states.