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Oregon Historical Photo: Sightseeing In The John Day Fossil Beds


Picture Canyon, John Day Highway, circa early 1900s. Pioneer geologist Thomas Condon was the first to recognize the scientific significance of the John Day Fossil Beds in the 1860s.

Picture Canyon, John Day Highway, circa early 1900s. Pioneer geologist Thomas Condon was the first to recognize the scientific significance of the John Day Fossil Beds in the 1860s.

The Oregon Historical Society. #bb013598

Every week,  Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history.

Frontier preacher and pioneer geologist Thomas Condon played a critical role in uncovering fossilized remains across Oregon. His early work in what is now the John Day Fossil Beds in Eastern Oregon revealed a record of mammals and flowering plants going back nearly 50 million years. Condon found no conflict between God’s method of creation and evolution. He went on to be named Oregon’s first state geologist and the first science professor at the newly opened University of Oregon.  The fossil collection he started as a young man continues to expand as paleontologists today discover more evidence of the state’s ancient past.
 
Watch the Oregon Experience documentary “Thomas Condon: Of Faith and Fossils” to learn about the geologist’s remarkable life, his important discoveries and the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, where his fossil collection continues to grow.

Thomas Condon: Of Faith and Fossils

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