Fossil Discovery Center Celebrates Grand Opening

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After 17 years and more than 15,000 fossils, the dream of a museum has become reality in Chowchilla.

A Sabretoothed cat, the official state fossil of California, on display at the Discovery Center

After 17 years in the making, the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The event coincided with National Fossil Day. (

Following a ribbon cutting, paleontologists guided hundreds of excited guests through the museum, showcasing the fossilized remains of animals unearthed on site. The celebration continued later in the evening with a reception from 5:30 until 7:30 pm.

To date, 15,000 fossils have been recovered from the Fairmead site, with twenty more years of active digging planned. The Discovery Center is across the street from the largest deposit of fossils on the West Coast. What started out as a planned two week survey after a fossil was found by crews digging at the landfill has turned in to a 17 year scientific find, with numerous animals found on site.

The Fossil Discovery Center is located on Avenue 21 1/2 , just west of Highway 99 near Fairmead, or just south of Chowchilla. The center will be open Tuesdays through Sunday, 9:00 am to 4 pm.

For more information, contact Terry Dolph at 559-288-1157, or email at tdolphin(at)yahoo(dot)com.

More photos available upon request.


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Jarrod Lyman
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