“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cameron Hills in Fremont in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

In Search of Fossils

In Search of Fossils Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, December 14, 2022
1. In Search of Fossils Marker
Inscription.  After a large earthquake in 1868 on the Hayward Fault, Dr. Lorenzo Gordon Yates, a dentist, discovered fossils on what is now Osgood Road in the Irvington District. Many were identified as extinct Pleistocene horses, camelids, and mammoths. In 1871, he excavated a tusk and jaw of a mastodon that was the most complete jaw discovered in California at the time.

In 1936, a young paleontologist from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Ruben A. Stirton, began excavations in the Irvington gravel pits after a fossilized horse jaw was found there. He and his colleagues realized that the site probably contained early Pleistocene fossils, and found an antelope new to science. Later in his career, Stirton mentored Donald E. Savage. Savage went on to define the Irvingtonian North American Land Mammal Age in 1951.

The “Boy Paleontologists,” a group of boys from Hayward, excavated fossils in the Bell Quarry from 1943 to 1959. Led by Wesley Gordon, the boys unearthed about 150,000 fossils from 58 species. The contribution of the Boy Paleontologists marked the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the local
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community and researchers that continues to this day, and helped preserve Sabercat Canyon as a park.

Dr. Lorenzo Gordon Yates

Dr. Ruben A. Stirton

The “Boy Paleontologists” excavated fossils at Bell Quarry in Fremont, led by Wesley Gordon (center). Pictured left to right: William Charles (front), Wesley Gordon Jr., Wesley Gordon Sr., Anna Bell (with dog), Roy Kent, and Phillip Gordon.

The “Boy Paleontologists” excavating fossils at Eden Canyon in Hayward.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyPaleontology. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
Location. 37° 31.66′ N, 121° 56.519′ W. Marker is in Fremont, California, in Alameda County. It is in Cameron Hills. Marker can be reached from Via Orinda near Castillejo Way. The resin marker is mounted to a metal stand on the Sabercat Creek Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1837 Vía Orinda, Fremont CA 94539, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Land Mammals of the Irvingtonian Age (a few steps from this marker); Winery Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hirsch Dairy Barn (approx. ¼ mile away); Under the Canopy (approx. ¼ mile away); Sabercat Historical Park (approx. ¼ mile away);
In Search of Fossils Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, December 14, 2022
2. In Search of Fossils Marker
Gathering and Cooking Acorns (approx. 0.3 miles away); West View (approx. half a mile away); East View (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fremont.
Also see . . .  Washington Township Museum of Local History: Boy Paleontologists.
"In the Irvington gravel pits, known as Bell Quarry, located off of Osgood Road from 1944 to 1960, the Boy Paleontologists of Hayward unearthed plant and animal fossils including mammoths, saber cats, horses, camels, and even rodents. A new species named Tetrameryx irvingtonensis, a four-pronged antelope, was the most significant find."
(Submitted on December 19, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on December 19, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 19, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California.

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Apr. 20, 2024