GSOC Annual Picnic Wrap-up

 Larry Purchase, Rosemary Kenney, and Dr. Famoso

Larry Purchase, Rosemary Kenney, and Dr. Famoso

August 12, 2018 at Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals, Hillsboro

By Larry Purchase

This year’s GSOC annual picnic was at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro. It was attended by over 70 club members and was a very great success! The money collected at the picnic was used to purchase a one-year membership for all GSOC members and to secure a guest speaker, Dr. Nicholas Famoso, USNPS Chief of Paleontology of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, who will also be a guest field trip leader at Camp Hancock in September.

One outstanding happening at the picnic was that Rosemary Kenney, GSOC member for 54 years, presented 45 fossil items to Famoso for donation to the John Day Fossil Bed’s collection. The presentation followed the conclusion of Nick’s lecture at the picnic. Some of the major items were also displayed the day before in a case at the NARG Fossil Fest, also at the Rice Museum.

Rosemary collected the items with her husband Albert, both active fossil and rock collectors in 1966. In 1974, the area became an Oregon state park, and in 1975, a national monument. Most of her collection is from the Turtle Cove Member (29 Ma) of the John Day Formation in the Foree area, located three miles north of the monument’s museum. The climate was cool and dry, and the habitat was primarily woodland. It was inundated with ash and pumice from abundant volcanic eruptions.

Some of the major items in the collection include:

  • Two professionally prepared skulls, in excellent condition, mentioned by Nick as a sheep/camel/pig-like browsing Oreodont, Eporeodon occidentalis.

  • Tooth of a clawed Oreodont that allowed it to climb trees for food, Agriochoerus antiquus.

  • Two-horned Rhino tooth, Diceratherium.

  • Teeth of a small Antelope. Leptomeryx evans.

  • Six nuts from the 44 mya. Clarno formation, Hancock Nut Beds.

  • Teeth from a 3-toed, 2-1/2 foot tall horse, Miohippus.