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Historic Garden Park Fossil Area 


Grinders, Claws, Darwin, and Dinosaurs

The dinosaurs that Marshall Felch would not have been discovered, at least not by him, if it were not for scientific advancements that began primarily in Europe and slowly began to find their way to America. The European advancements included the great work by French paleontologists such as Cuvier who started comparing the anatomy of all animals noticing similarities and differences. Scientists in Great Britain began to unravel the mysteries of the layers of the earth beneath our feet and that our Earth had a history, a history that could be told. Darwin helped paint the overall picture of life during the Earth’s history when he presented the origin of species by natural selection. America dipped its toe into Earth history and science rather inadvertently around the time of the American revolution with discoveries of relatively recent fossils such as mammoths and giant sloths but scientifically it remained a scientific backwater until around the time of the Civil War. Dinosaurs remained relatively unknown.

Fossils Take Center Stage

The advancements in paleontology will continue at an escalating pace in America, particularly after the Civil War when manifest destiny kicks western migration into high gear. Great scientific surveys will begin in the West to ascertain what is out there. Joseph Leidy quietly emerges as the father of American paleontology. America’s first dinosaur is discovered in New Jersey and it, along with all the other scientific and industrial achievements of our young nation, are proudly displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Two scientists, Professor Othniel Marsh of Yale and Professor Edward Cope from Philadelphia emerge during these times. They having amazing intellect and a desire to be first in making new discoveries of previously unknown animals. It is these discoveries that carry America from a scientific backwater to the center stage of paleontology.

If I had a wagon – About

Heading West We know that Marshall traveled in a wagon train in the spring of 1866 first along the St. Joe Road, then the Great Platte River Road, and come into Denver on the Overland Trail. The St. Joe road can be approximated along any number of...

George Felch

George Felch Most information in this blog is paraphrased or quoted from a book published by the  Seventh New Hampshire Veteran Association in 1896 entitled the Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion written by Henry Little. George Felch...

 Marshall and Amanda

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