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June 7, 2005 > Volunteers wanted at fossil museum

Volunteers wanted at fossil museum

by Veronica Velasquez

Two million years ago, Pleistocene mammals roamed Fremont. In the 1940s, Wes Gordon and his group of "Boy Paleontologists" unearthed one of the best preserved fossil sites in North America. Their discovery in Fremont's Irvington District created a section of geological time within the Pleistocene Era - the Irvingtonian Stage.

The newest exhibit at the Math Science Nucleus' Wes Gordon Fossil Hall pays tribute to this important time in history. Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum and learn all there is to know about the Pleistocene Era and its Irvingtonian Stage.

The museum houses over 58 species of animals including mammoths, giant short-faced bears, saber-toothed cats, a musk ox-like bovid, camels, horses, dire wolves, mice, fish, and fresh water mollusks. Among the many different fascinating specimens, the Columbian mammoth is the most popular. The mammoth, which lived here 1.8 million years ago, was twice the size of modern elephants.

Fremont does not currently have a museum of natural history and the location of the Irvingtonian fossil find has never been established as a historic or paleontological site. Joyce Blueford, board president of the Math Science Nucleus, has contacted Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, to ask for his help in recognizing the historical spot. The city of Fremont is helping museum founders to make this a reality by securing zero interest loans and facade grants. The museum gift shop also provides a resource for staff funding.

"We're so new at this. We're still looking for a volunteer staff," said Blueford.

To become a docent at the Wes Gordon Fossil Hall or for more information, visit Math Science Nucleus, 4074 Eggers Drive in Fremont, contact Joyce Blueford at (510) 790-6284 or visit

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