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The Lost Dinosaur Quarry

In 1895, a geology professor at Mt. St. Mary's College stumbled upon (literally) the only dinosaur tracks ever found in the rocks from the beginning of the age of dinosaurs in Maryland. The tracks were in sandstone slabs, which were quarried for sidewalk paving stones.

For more than 100 years the exact location from which the track bearing stones were taken was not known, and believed lost, by many. Recently, through searching old records and even photographs, the precise area from which the tracks were taken has been pinpointed.

What we propose, is that the track-bearing surfaces can once again be exposed. One of the prime objectives beyond recovery of the tracks is to make the rock wall containing the tracks part of a public park and educational exhibit. The property is in danger of being lost to development, because it is in a well- traveled corridor.

There is always a problem with paleontological discovery and the media. The media prefers to schedule its events, but most dinosaur discoveries are serendipitous and consequently not easily scheduled. Moreover, in highly populated regions, such as, the Eastern U.S., it is essential to remove dinosaur discoveries as rapidly as possible to a protected location, such as a museum, to minimize the chances of vandalism and damage. [The most complete skeleton from the dinosaur times from this region was plaster jacketed and removed in about 2 hours].

The costs will be quite reasonable and negotiable. Primarily, it is the cost of rock removal (preliminary estimate appended), plus liability insurance, and perhaps a leasing or permit fee.

The benefits are many. The dinosaur fossils will be recovered for the first time since 1895, the scientists and museums will add to knowledge and collections, and school children and the public may soon get a new dinosaur park to visit.

What is wanted is the financial and logistical support to make the excavation at the site possible. The expedition could be filmed (video) for broadcast.

Peter Kranz

How You Can Help

You can assist in the effort to acquire and develop the dinsaur track quarry of Emmitsburg, MD by sending a copy of the following letter.

W. Paul Dial
Bureau Chief
Bureau of Parks and Recreation
Frederick County, MD

Dear Mr. Dial,

I wish to support the effort to acquire and develop the dinosaur quarry of Emmitsburg, Maryland. As you know, it is the only known location in the State from which early dinosaurs' tracks have been recovered. Moreover, as the tracks occur on an essentially vertical rock wall, they would be excellent for public viewing.

At present the limited parkland in the valley land of northern Frederick County could be substantially enhanced by the acquisition of the property containing the quarry. The present owners are said to be interested in selling the property.

I urge you to acquire the Dinosaur Track Quarry and develop it as a public park and educational site.


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