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Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site - Haddonfield, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 54.590 W 075° 01.740
18S E 497521 N 4417750
Quick Description: The location of the Haddonfield Hadrosaurus, the site of the discovery of the first nearly complete set of dinosaur bones was lost until 1984 when boy scout Christopher Brees organized a project to find and mark it.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 12/19/2010 5:20:40 PM
Waymark Code: WMABJJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member CO Admin
Views: 5

Long Description:

Hadrosaurus Foulkii Leidy Site in Haddonfield, New Jersey is where the first relatively complete set of dinosaur bones were discovered in 1838, and then fully excavated by William Parker Foulke in 1858. The dinosaur was later named Hadrosaurus foulkii by Joseph Leidy. The site lingered in obscurity until 1984 when a local Boy Scout from Troop 65, Christopher Brees, as part of an Eagle Scout project researched the site and generated publicity, eventually leading to the species being designated the official dinosaur of New Jersey.

According to a plaque placed at the site by the Academy of Natural Sciences, the site was part of the John Hopkins farm in 1858. Current information from the Academy states that Foulke unearthed 35 of an estimated 80 bones from the Hadrosaurus, which is believed to be herbivorous, 7 meters in length, and weight 2.5 tons. It lived during the Cretaceous Period, 73 million years ago.

In Haddonfield, part of the ravine where the fossil had been found was used for many years as an unofficial dumping ground for household wastes. Two sewerage processing plants were built nearby and later demolished. Wild growth enveloped the area.

Then, in 1984, a local Boy Scout -- 13-year-old Christopher Brees -- was casting about for a community service project to perform as part of his Eagle Scout qualification program. After reading a brief mention of Haddonfield's historic dinosaur discovery in a National Geographic publication, Brees couldn't find anyone in his neighborhood who actually knew where the site was. As a community service project he set out to find it.

After locating the site and appearing before the Haddonfield borough council to obtain permission to clean and mark it, Brees received small grants from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and the Junior Women's Club of Haddonfield to fund various aspects of the project. More importantly, his actions generated newspaper publicity that rekindled local interest in the history of Haddonfield's nearly forgotten dinosaur.

Near the site, Brees found a 700-pound light brown stone that was put in place as a site marker. To finish it, he sculpted a plaque of clay that was cast in bronze and mounted on the stone. The plaque features a side view of Hadrosaurus foulkii and a site explanation written by Brees which reads:

"Hadrosaurus foulkii"
"In a marl pit on the John E. Hopkins farm in October, 1858 the world's first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton was unearthed by William Parker Foulke. The find was adjacent to this point. This was also the first dinosaur skeleton to ever be mounted. The bones represented a 25 foot, seven to eight ton herbivorous hadrosaurus (reptile). Its height probably ranged from six to ten feet at the hip. Some 55 of an estimated 80 bones were discovered. This creature lived 70 to 80 million years ago during the Cretaceous period at the end of the dinosaur age."

"This site was developed in 1984 as an Eagle Scout project by Christopher Brees, Troop 65. Major project funding by the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."


I often come here several times a year, sometimes alone, sometimes with the kids. It is a beautiful site. It is constantly being improved upon and upgraded. There is a bench there which visitors place dinosaurs when visiting. There are sorts of dinosaurs scattered about the bench. I also decided to place a geocache deep in the ravine called ROAR. Nearby is also another geocache as well called Up, Up and Away. Parking is a breeze and two paths will take you down into the ravine.

Name of Eagle Scout: Christopher Brees

Project Completion Date: 1/1/1984

Troop Number: 65

Troop Location: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Provide a picture at the location of the Eagle Project and explain how the project has benefited you by it being placed here.
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