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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Big Sandy in Chouteau County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

The Judith River Formation

 
 
The Judith River Formation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 23, 2020
1. The Judith River Formation Marker
Inscription.  In 1855, geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden explored the upper Missouri River for the United States Geologic Service. At that time, the area was the hunting grounds of the Lakota, Blackfeet, Atsina, and River Crow Indians. A lone white man in Indian Country was often fair game to the tribes, but Hayden's passion for rocks and fossils earned him the name "He Who Picks Up Stones While Running" and a reputation for madness. The Indians left him alone. Hayden explored what would later become known as the Judith River Formation, a large area of sedimentary materials deposited in the lowland area bordering the Colorado Sea during the Late Cretaceous Period 78 to 74 million years ago. During his exploration near the mouth of the Judith River, Hayden collected many fossilized teeth, bones, and shells from the Judith River Formation. He took them to anatomy Professor Joseph Leidy in Philadelphia for identification, who classified the teeth as belonging to a new species of hadrosaur. The teeth and bones were the first dinosaur fossils found in North America. Hayden's discovery drew paleontologists to Montana in search of dinosaur fossils and to the Judith River
The Judith River Formation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 23, 2020
2. The Judith River Formation Marker
Formation making it a significant paleontological destination.
 
Erected by Montana Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features.
 
Location. 47° 44.533′ N, 109° 37.614′ W. Marker is near Big Sandy, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Judith Landing Road (State Highway 236), on the right when traveling south. The marker is about 1/4 mile north of the PN Bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Big Sandy MT 59520, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Cooke (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Chardon (about 700 feet away); Welcome to the Mountain Ranges (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Anglos Are Coming (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tale of Two Treaties (approx. 0.3 miles away); Naturally Sustained Productivity (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Camp Cooke (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Sandy.
 
Also see . . .  Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden -- Wikipedia. (Professor James) Hall sent him on his first geological venture in the summer of 1853. Being of independent mind Hayden ended his commission with Hall, and with
The Hayden Expedition in later years image. Click for full size.
By William H Jackson, circa 1871
3. The Hayden Expedition in later years
Hayden seated in dark coat and hat.
the encouragement of S. F. Baird, and a partial sponsorship from the Smithsonian Institution, he spent the remainder of the 1850s on various exploring and collecting expeditions in the northern Missouri River areas.
(Submitted on December 5, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 5, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 30 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 5, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 8, 2021