Jurassic County: Allosaurus fossil found in Granby returns to area for Taste of History fundraiser
The details7th Annual Taste of History fundraiserWhen: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018Where: At the Headwaters Center, 730 Baker Dr. in Winter ParkHow much: Tickets are $60 for Grand County Historical Association members, $75 for non-members, and are extremely limitedMore info: To purchase tickets call (970) 725-3939
More than 100 million years ago, before humans roamed the earth, another predator, the allosaurus, was at the top of the food chain in Grand County. A fearsome carnivore with a large skull and many sharp teeth, the allosaurus resembles the tyrannosaurus rex and stalked the forests around Granby before meeting its untimely demise.
The allosaurus resurfaced in Granby in 1869 when sheepherders found what they thought was a petrified horse hoof, but was actually half of a tail vertebrae. With that, the very first allosaurus fossil was found in North America.
This fossil and its history, along with Grand County’s other prehistoric history, will be featured at this year’s Taste of History fundraiser, hosted by the Grand County Historical Association.
“I believe it was the only bone found, but as (paleontologist John Hankla) said, ‘There’s lots of dinosaurs out there, but there’s not many people looking for them,’” said Shanna Ganne, executive director for the historical association. “So we hope to get people excited about prehistoric history in Grand County.”
The fundraiser will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 18 at the Headwaters Center in Winter Park and will feature a talk from paleontologist John Hankla on the prehistoric history of the area, a champagne brunch, silent auctions and a raffle.
Erica Rodenbeck, manager of the Cozen’s Ranch Museum, said the allosaurus fossil provides a wow-factor to engage the community in their history and bring awareness to the museums and their work.
“People look at dinosaurs and they’re these huge, almost mythical, supernatural creatures, and the ability to get fairly close and interact with them in that regard is really a neat experience,” Rodenbeck said. “This can help educate people about something in their area that they may not know about.”
Grand County is a fossil rich area and has an expansive prehistory, according to Ganne. Outside of Kremmling, a large collection of extinct marine mollusk fossils has been found and evidence of Paleoindian hunting grounds was discovered near Rollins Pass in Winter Park.
“There have been dinosaurs and fossils and there is an ammonite site in Kremmling,” Ganne explained. “They are 62 to 68 million years old, so there’s a huge prehistoric history in Grand County, which is really exciting.”
Ganne said the fundraiser is one of the main ways the historical association supports its operations and museums because it provides almost 20 percent of the total budget.
This year, Ganne hopes to use the funds raised to expand the educational outreach programs and continue the historical association’s mission of keeping the area museums relevant.
“We are hoping to start a middle school historians program,” she said. “We try to provide this free resource to the community so that they can develop a passion for learning at a young age.”
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