Tag Archives: fossils

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (Clarno Unit – Oregon)

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – The Clarno Unit
~ 32651 Highway 19, Kimberly, Oregon * Phone: (541) 987-2333 ~

The Clarno Unit is one of three sections of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument that was designated by the United States as an area of special concern in Wheeler and Grant counties of Eastern Oregon. It is located within the John Day River basin and operated by the National Parks Service. The focus of the protected area is its geology and paleontology specializing in well-preserved layers of fossilized materials including flora and fauna. Most found here date from the late Eocene around 45 million years ago to the late Miocene at 5 million years before present. The Other two units are Sheep Rock and Painted Hills. The total designated area is 13,944 acres of semi-desert shrub land, riparian zones, and badlands. It was originally visited by Native Americans such as the Sahaptin who hunted, fished, and gathered roots/berries in the region. Then came the Euro-American visitors who established ranches, farms, and small towns along the river. Under guidance of Thomas Condon in 1864, geologists and paleontologists began digging in the area and making the discoveries that the area is famous for today.

Clarno is the westermost of the three units and is approximately 1,969 acres roughly 18 miles west of Fossil along Oregon Route 218. A breathtaking rest stop along the scenic Journey through Time scenic byway in Oregon is the geological features known as the Pallisades. It is located roughly 18 miles west of Fossil, Oregon. These cliffs and land forms are created by prehistoric volcanic lahars (or volcanic mud flows) roughly 54-40 million years ago. This landscape was quite different at that time – a lush semi-tropical rainforest with jungles, vines, trees, shrubs and mega fauna. After the volcanic cataclysms, the environment was turned into the arid desert it is now. Fossil evidence depicts a vast arrange of plant life from leavaes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and petrified wood of over 173 species of trees, vines, shrubs, and other plants. Numerous faunal fossil remains of crocodiles, mini four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, and meat-eating creodonts were found. There are three distinct hiking trails all under a mile in length demonstrating the fossil and geological record. Picnic tables and restrooms make for a restful stay. Drinking water is available from the rest stop May through September.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

john day fossil site – clarno unit info board: “Few places in North America offer such a unique look into the distant past than the clarno unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. From the glimpses of the tropical forest captured in the rocks of the palisade cliffs to the spectacular nuts, fruits, leaves and twigs preserved in the one of a kind clarno nut beds, to the rhinos, brontotherese and hroses unearthed in the hancock mammal quarry pictured here. The fossil of clarno provide an extremely rare and surprisingly complex record of life in ancient oregon 40-54 million years ago. … massive brontotheres – left, primitive four toed horses such as epihippus center and hapiohippus right and a powerful bear-like predator hemipsaladon – upper right are just a few of the fascinating animals unearthed in the hancock mammal quarry. The quarry located only a mile from werhe you stnd may have been a watering hole where animals congregated in large numbers as in this artist’s depiction. Many fossil specimes unearthed here are on display in the Thomas Condon Paleontological Center near Dayville Oregon. “The Pallisades (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27413) – Clarno Unit – John Day Fossil National Monument (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27401). Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Oregon. Photos taken August 2, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21521. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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The Pallisades, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The Pallisades – John Day Fossil Beds
~ Fossil, Oregon * Contact: 32651 Highway 19, Kimberly, OR 97848 * Phone: (541) 987-2333 ~

A breathtaking rest stop along the scenic Journey through Time scenic byway in Oregon is the geological features known as the Pallisades. It is located roughly 18 miles west of Fossil, Oregon. These cliffs and land forms are created by prehistoric volcanic lahars (or volcanic mud flows) roughly 54-40 million years ago. This landscape was quite different at that time – a lush semi-tropical rainforest with jungles, vines, trees, shrubs and mega fauna. After the volcanic cataclysms, the environment was turned into the arid desert it is now. Fossil evidence depicts a vast arrange of plant life from leavaes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and petrified wood of over 173 species of trees, vines, shrubs, and other plants. Numerous faunal fossil remains of crocodiles, mini four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, and meat-eating creodonts were found. There are three distinct hiking trails all under a mile in length demonstrating the fossil and geological record. Picnic tables and restrooms make for a restful stay. Drinking water is available from the rest stop May through September.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Fossil Museum (Fossil, Oregon)

Fossil Museum
~ Fossil, Oregon ~

In the heart of the small town of Fossil Oregon is a local history museum with a collection of fossils, rocks, and artifacts for the town’s history. Unfortunately when we visited it was closed. Looking in through the windows shows an old general store stuffed full of artifacts and rocks. Looks interesting. Some day hope to be back.

Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. Location closed when visited. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Fossil Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27385) in Fossil, Oregon (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27373). Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington, Oregon, Idaho & Wyoming. Photos taken August 1, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21521. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Fossil Beds (Fossil, Oregon)

Wheeler High School Fossil Beds
~ Wheeler High School, Fossil, Oregon * (541) 763-4146 ~
https://www.oregonpaleolandscenter.com/wheeler-high-school-fossil-beds

In the town of Fossil Oregon one can easily collect fossils for a mere $5 entrance fee (donation based on honor system in a drop-box). The fossil beds are located behind the Wheeler High School and is a great place to learn the history, geology, fossils, and recreation of the town. The fossil beds are a thinly-bedded outcrop of shale on the hill behind the school that represents the bed of a shallow lake that once sat there over 33 million hears ago during the Oligoene boasting a temperate mild and wet climate. Most of the fossils at this location are primarily leaves and branches of deciduous trees that grew along the adjacent stream banks and wetlands. Some of the more common trees are oak, ash, maple, sycamore, alder, and rose. There was a metasequoia that dropped its needs into the lake every fall and can be found here. There have been fossils of salamanders and fish found nearby.

A information board with instructions about digging for fossils and a place to pay for impact on the site, use of tools, etc. The Fossil Beds are owned by the Fossil School District – all fees and donations help pay for unfunded and under funded programs such as Sports, Music, Arts, and After School Reading. They ask for a $5 donated entrance fee based on the honor system.

“Here in the City of Fossil lies an abundance of fossil plant deposits, ranging in age from one million to 32 million years ago. These fossils are part of the “Bridge Creek Flora” the general scientific term given to fossilized plant deposits found in the John Day River basin of north central Oregon – an area that encompasses presentday Fossil to Mitchell to the John Day Valley. Many of these remnants of fossilized flora are distant relatives of similar species found today in regions of eastern Europe and Asia. Preserved under cataclysmic events, these delicate fossilized leaves, ferns, fruits, stems, and seeds reflect Earth’s passages and give scientists clues about ancient ecosystems.”

Alder
“Alnus newberry – one of the most common plant fossils found here, small alder trees were found at the edges of ancient lake basins”.

Hawthorn
“Crataegus merriamiii – Small deciduous trees distantly related to present day hawthor trees found in eastern Europe and Asia.”

Metasequoia
“An ancient species, a small group of closely related evergreen metasequoias were recently discovered in an isolated range of present day China.”

Ash
“Fraxinus species – Ancient ash trees were much smaller than today’s species. Scientists say they grew abundantly along prehistoric lakesides.”

Fern
“Polypodium – Rare single specimens have been found here. distant relatives to today’s woodland ferns.”

Walnut
“Juglandiphyllites cryptatus – Walnut trees were once prolific in this region although the discovery of well preserved leaves and fruits is still a rare occurence.”

Extinct Fruit
“Fossilized fruit and fruit capsules are rare among the Bridge Creek Flora and this unknown tree or shrub species is long extinct.”

Sumac
“Rhus lequereuxii – somewhat similar to present day sumac found across North America, ancient specimens included both deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs”.

Pine Needles
“Pinus johndayensis – Only one type of ancient pine has been discovered in the Fossil locale; hece the species has been named for the John Day River basin.”

Unknown Monocot Species
“Simple monocotledon leaf composites of a yet-unknown ancient plant species.”

Oak
“Quercus consimilis – the leaes of prehistoric oaks – both deciduous and evergreen species – were not lobbed. Fossilized acorns have not yet been discovered here.”

Unknown Dicot Species
“An unknown species with complex leaves perhaps related to ancient sumacs.”

Basswood
“Tilia fossilensis – a concentration of fossilized ancient basswood trees also referred to as linden was found only in a single strata at these fossil beds.”

Yelp Reviews

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Digging Fossils at the Fossil Beds (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27387) in Fossil, Oregon (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27373). Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington, Oregon, Idaho & Wyoming. Photos taken August 1, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21521. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Fossil, Oregon

FOSSIL, OREGON

Fossil is a very small town in the Oregon desert in Wheeler Country. It is also the county seat. The town was named by the first postmaster Thomas B. Hoover who found fossils on his ranch and he therefore named the town after their occurrence. As of 2010, there were known to be a population of approximately 473 residents. The post office was founded on February 28, 1876 on Thomas Benton Hoover’s ranch along Hoover Creek. In 1881 he opened a store with Thomas Watson near the confluence of Butte and Cottonwood creeks. The post office was later combined into this store. Thomas Hoover became the first mayor of the town in 1891. Fossil was named the temporary county seat in 1899 when Wheeler County was formed and in 1900 was made the permanent county seat. The first bank was founded as well by residents Winlock W. Steiwer and George S. Carpenter as the “Steiwer and Carpenter Bank” – first for the town and the county. A flour mill, a blacksmith shop, a drug store, a jewelry and optical store, livery stable, and three general merchandise stores opened up in the early 20th century.

A sign about Fossil in town stated “In 1876, Thomas Hoover chose the name “Fossil” for the first post office because he had found mammoth bones on his ranch. James Chambers arrived in 1869, the first white to settle this area. The local Indians had told Chambers of the waist-high grass on the rolling hills, the scores of creeks and the rivers they fed. The grass was of particular interest to Chambers for he needed good grazing for his race horses. The following year Chamber’s inlaws, the Thomas Hoovers arrived, as well as William Bingham, Lafayette, and Woodson Scoggins. In 1880 Hoover and an associate built a store, which has served as the Masonic Lodge, and now houses the Fossil Museum. In 1899 Wheeler Counter was formed and Fossil became the county seat. The county courthouse, built with locally made brick, was completed in 1902.”

The Public Art house with images painted on the outside of the buildings. One was of Johan (Jack) P. Steiwer (Jan 17, 1926 – Oct 4, 1999) He was born at Portland, Oregon January 17, 1926, the son of William II Steiwer Sr and Dorothy A Kerus Stewiwer a prominent family in Wheeler County and statewide. He attended grade school at Fossil and high school at Shannigan Lake on Vancouver Island. He attended Stanford University and graduated with a pre-law degree from the University of Oregon at Eugene. Mr Steiwer served in the military during World War II and later returned to Fossil and became associated with his father and brother in the Steiwer family operations. His civic service to his community ad state was beyond reproach. He served two terms in the Oregon House of Representatives in the late 1940’s. He served as Mayor of Fossil, as secretary of the Wheeler County Fair Board and was o the founding board of the Fossil Ambulance Service. He served as secretary of the Oregon Wool Growers association, was a member of the Pacifi International Livestock Exposition, was a member and chaired the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, was a member of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation and the Oredgon Humanities Commission and was a long time member of the Oregon Historical Society Board of Directors. He also served on the Maryhill Museum Society Board of Directors and was a member of the University Club at Portland and the Greater Condon Arts Association and was a long-time trustee of the Eastern Oregon Pioneer Association. Through his Weekend County Store at Fossil and in his unceasing efforst to attract economic and political attention to Wheeler County, he was one of the first to offer guided rafting trips down the beautiful John Day River, which he loved and valued as a unique resource. His contribuitons to local facilities, such as Asher clinic and the Fossil Museum were countless. In honor of his mother in 1987 he purchased and refurbished the Liberty Theater at Condon and hosted lived performances and movies for several years. He chaired Fossil’s Centennial Celebration activities, co-authoring and producing the chataquia stage show associated with that event, and more recently was honored as grand marshal of the Wheeler County Centennial celebration at Fossil. He honored and reveled in the history of his family and the area, and was a contributor to the publication of Wheeler County historical times and events “Glimpses of Wheeler County’s Past”. He had become the official announce of the Wheeler County Fair parade each year and his generosity counted as he hosted refreshments for parade watchers each year in front of his place of business. He loved entertaining guests at his unique home and was an accomplished chef. Mr Steiwer held his family, his community, and friends, his state and county in high esteem.”

“Here in the City of Fossil lies an abundance of fossil plant deposits, ranging in age from one million to 32 million years ago. These fossils are part of the “Bridge Creek Flora” the general scientific term given to fossilized plant deposits found in the John Day River basin of north central Oregon – an area that encompasses present day Fossil to Mitchell to the John Day Valley. Many of these remnants of fossilized flora are distant relatives of similar species found today in regions of eastern Europe and Asia. Preserved under cataclysmic events, these delicate fossilized leaves, ferns, fruits, stems, and seeds reflect Earth’s passages and give scientists clues about ancient ecosystems.”

History:

Lodging:

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Fossil, Oregon (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27373). Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington, Oregon, Idaho & Wyoming. Photos taken August 1, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21521. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Gingko Tree Petrified Forest (Washington)

Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Gingko Petrified Forest
Vantage, Washington. http://parks.state.wa.us/288/Ginkgo-Petrified-Forest
Article by Thomas Baurley on 12/3/2016 ~

Enroute to a archaeological survey I was doing, we stopped the night at Wanapum State Park only to discover next door was the GIngko Petrified Forest. What a treasure trove lying within the Washington desert for any paleontology enthusiast. The park is approximately 7,470 acres including over 27,000 along the shoreline of the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. This petrified forest was once a tropical jungle that after cataclystic events became hardened into stone by volcanic activity and lava during the Miocene Period. It is located right off of Interstate 90. We took a hike along the “Trees of Stone” interpretative Trail, just down the road from the interpretive center. You have the option of the longer 2.5 mile loop or a 1.5 mile loop. Dotted along the trail are metal cages containing in situ various tree stumps and logs that were petrified long ago. There are over 22 species of trees that can be found on the paths. The petrified trees were discovered by a highway crew in 1927 led by geologist George F. Beck. In 1938 the Civilian Conservation Corps completed Beck’s excavations, built a museum here, and opening the park to the public. In 1965 it was designated a National Landmark by the National Park Service.
The interpretative center and museum tells the story of the forest, how it was formed, what life was like when it existed and how it is now. During the Miocene of the Neogene period (15.5 Million years ago), this area was a semi-humid jungle that was affected by volcanic fissures and lava flows that once came across the Columbia Plateau. These flows leveled the landscape that once was here, flattened and encased in basalt rock. During the burial, a chemical transformation converted the wood to stone by process of petrification when the minerals and silica from the volcanic ash mixes with ground water, penetrates and soaks into the wood, and mineralized it enough to make it rock. By the end of the last ice age, the catastrophic Missoula Floods around 15,000 BPE, the basalt was eroded and exposed some of the petrified wood. There are over 50 species found within the park including sweetgum, ginkgo, redwood, douglas fir, walnut, spruce, elm, maple, horse chestnut, cottonwood, magnolia, madroe, sassafras, yew, and witch hazel.

The Wanapum peoples lived in this region from the Columbia River to Beverly Gap onwards to the Snake River. They welcomed the white settlers during Lewis and Clark’s expedition. They used the petrified wood for lithic tools, carved petroglyphs in the basalt cliffs, and lived here by fishing or agriculture.

Nearby is the Wanapum campground for visitors to stay and be able to explore the ground over the course of a few days. Near the Interpretive center is a Gem shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and stones for their collections. There is collecting permitted on Saddle Mountain 14 miles away where collectors can gather up to 25 pounds a day or 250 pounds a year for personal use.

Walnut ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=11050). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Walnut ( http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treelore/?p=11050). Gingko Tree Petrified Forest ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25979). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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