Middle Smithfield Township Supervisors together with their Historical Commission, friends and family of the discoverers, and state officials will dedicate the official Historical Marker sign for the Marshalls Creek Mastodon on Fossil Day, October 12, 2016, at the site of the discovery of the most complete mastodon skeleton ever found in Pennsylvania.
The fossil was discovered by John W. Leap, his wife Claire Leap, and his employee Paul Strausser on July 5th 1968, and is on display in the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Relatives of the Leaps will be at the dedication ceremony sharing their memories.
The Historical Marker was issued by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The dedication will begin at 9am at the Middle Smithfield Township Building with several speakers, including relatives of the discoverers, Nancy and Russell Treible and Tiffany Hallett, who will share their memories and experiences of the discovery, complelte with photos and memorabilia. Bob Huffman, who saved the mastodon fossil from fire, will also recount his experience. Also sharing information: John Donahue, Superintendant of the National Park Service, Amy Leiser, Director of Monroe County Historical Association who has written an article on the subject, and William Lewis of the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission.State and municipal representatives will also be in attendance (Sentator Mario Scavello, State Representative Rosemary Brown, and on behalf of the Middle Smithfield Township Board of Supervisors, Annette Atkinson).
Directly after the morning presentation at the township building, there will be a photo op and official marker dedication ceremony at the site of the marker, near the Marshalls Creek Wendy’s..
About National Fossil Day: National Fossil Day was established in the United States to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils, such as the discovery of the Mastodon. This nationwide celebration was first held on October 13, 2010, during Earth Science Week. The National Park Service and over 270 partners, including museums, institutions, organizations and other groups, joined together to celebrate fossils.
About the Middle Smithfield Township Historical Commission: The Historical Commission is comprised of historical educators, local residents and committed volunteers that aim to foster and promote public knowledge and interest in Township history. The purpose of this commission is not simply to provide fun and informative events, and not only to preserve the history of our township, but to locate, name, and preserve significant historic sites within Middle Smithfield. Those interested in joining should call 570-223-8920 x100 or email HistoricalCommission@mstownship.com.