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Seeking Fossil Site In Prowers County, Colorado


Carl von Alt

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Carl von Alt

In 1955 or thereabouts my father took me on a fossil hunting expedition in Prowers County, CO near the town of Lamar in the southeastern corner of Colorado, not far from the Kansas border.

The site was accessed by traveling west on Oak street to the western city limits, where the street/road westward was then known as Prosperity Lane. It is now known as County Hwy/County Road HH and is where the municipal airport is located.

Since I was only 10 years old at the time I cannot now remember exactly how to get to this location, which was known locally as "The Oyster Beds," however it was several miles west of Lamar on County Road HH and then a few miles north on an unpaved road.

The site consisted of several acres of shale-like outcrops and plates of heavily fossilized rock. Some of the heavily compacted shellfish did indeed look like oysters. Specimens were readily available everywhere. No excavation was needed however digging could produce some fine large specimens.

I have never seen any reference anywhere to this location, despite the abundance of nice material there. I suspect that only a handful of oldtimers ever knew of the location and that now that they are dead, the location is lost forever.

I may be the only living person who remembers anything whatsoever about this site, however I am hoping someone will have some information about this site's exact location and the type of fossils located there.

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Pulled this from Google @

http://search.datapages.com/data/doi/10.13...645000102C1865D

Fossil Sink Holes in Cretaceous Beds of Prowers County, Colorado

Carle H. Dane (2), W. G. Pierce (2)

AAPG Bulletin

Volume 18 (1934)

"In a small area in Sec. 6, T. 22 S., R. 44 W., Prowers County, Colorado, there are three roughly circular areas from 100 to 200 feet in diameter in which collapsed and brecciated masses of the Hays limestone member and Smoky Hill marl member of the Niobrara formation occur in contact with the uppermost part of the underlying Carlile shale. They are probably exhumed sink holes formed as a result of the development of solution caverns within the Greenhorn limestone or within soluble horizons in deeper lying rocks. As a result of repeated roof subsidence such caverns may have worked their way upward through the overlying rocks by a process of natural stoping, probably during Pleistocene time. The exposures now observed represent cross sections of the natural stopes at levels somewhat below the height they originally reached."

Is this any help?

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Carl von Alt

Thanks, this may be very helpful. I will check USGS maps and see if this location corresponds to my fading memory. I would love to find this place again--although it's full of cactus and rattlesnakes. Great info.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i did some more research and the township range coordinates that where giving in the report mentioned earlier is east of lamar so thats not where you where thinking of hear are the lat log if you want to check that site out looks like a field from the sat pics. but hear they are 38.1659°N, 102.4013°W

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