Rippy sculpts bill to make marble state stone |

Rippy sculpts bill to make marble state stone

Utah has coal and Kentucky has the agate ” and if House Bill 1023 passes, Colorado will have Yule marble, and be the next state to have an official state rock.

Yule marble comes from the Yule Quarry above the town of Marble. The smooth white stone has been used in many state and federal government buildings, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

The rock has also been used in the Colorado State Capitol building and the city of Denver Courthouse.

Colorado state Reps. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, Carl Miller, D-Leadville, and Gregg Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs, introduced the bill to make Yule marble the state rock.

It was one of 155 bills introduced to the 64th Colorado General Assembly on Jan. 7, opening day. The 11-member House Committee on State, Veterans and Military Affairs passed the bill in a unanimous vote Thursday.

Rippy said that he got the idea to name Yule marble the state rock a couple of years ago.

“It’s such an historical rock to our country, and is very unique to our district,” Rippy said.

Rippy has roots to Yule marble that go back to his grandfather, E.J. Rippy.

“My grandpa worked up at the Yule Quarry,” Rippy said. “He drove the steam man-lift during winters there.”

Rippy and Miller discussed creating a bill to make Yule marble the state rock, but didn’t pursue it until last summer, when Boyd contacted Rippy about proposing the bill.

A group of Girl Scouts from Boyd’s district, Troop 357 from Lakewood, got the rock rolling again, so to speak, after being inspired by their former leader, Clare Marshall. Marshall, the troop’s geological consultant, and the girls have been working on the Bronze Award, a project involving leadership, community service and geology.

Marshall and the girls discovered that Colorado already has a state mineral ” a red rock called rhodochrosite, and a state gem ” the blue aquamarine, but no state rock.

Yule marble seemed a natural choice for the state rock distinction because of its white color, which would lend itself with the state’s mineral and gem to a patriotic theme of red, white and blue, and because of its use in federal and state buildings.

The scouts contacted Boyd and she in turn met with Rippy and Miller last summer. The three representatives then decided to sponsor the bill together.

Now, the bill must pass the House, the Senate and be approved by Gov. Bill Owens before the Marble-based marble would become Colorado’s official state rock. If it passes, the bill would become effective Aug. 4.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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