Fossil Discovery in Lindenhurst Meant a Lot for Town and Historians

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 31, 2009 | Go to article overview

Fossil Discovery in Lindenhurst Meant a Lot for Town and Historians


Sometimes, one discovery can change how you see the world around you.

Take for instance, the 1957 discovery of a large fossil rock in Lindenhurst. While excavating a new home site, workers unearthed a rock so large it had to be split to get it out of the ground. Embedded in the rock were fossils of sea creatures 420 million years old, revealing a time when this entire region was under water.

The fossils included small rounded shells of lampshell brachiopods, and the long pointed shells of kronoceras and orthoceras, two types of cephalopods ("head footed").

Cephalopods are a class of animals that include todays squid.

Robert Vogel, founder of the Lake County Museum of History in Wadsworth, (a forerunner of the Lake County Discovery Museum), acquired the rock for the museums collection.

Vogel ambitiously collected artifacts to represent different eras in Lake Countys past, and the fossil rock was quite a coup, since it attracted national and international attention.

American interest in fossils and dinosaur bones began in the early 1800s.

As a young nation, the United States struggled with its national identity. With no ancient history or man-made monuments to brag about, it took exploration of the continent to reveal a wealth of "larger than life" natural wonders: the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, giant Sequoia and Redwood trees, and dinosaur fossils. …

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