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Fremont Local History Resources  

Use this guide to find resources for the history of Fremont from prehistory to the present day.
Last Updated: Jul 13, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Paleontology Print Page


What is Paleontology? For more information try this article from Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.

"The richest early ice age deposit west of the Mississippi," as noted in a June 14th article from a local newspaper was located in Irvington during the early early 1900s. Before Fremont was incorporated in 1956, Irvington became known for the fossil rich paleontological site found in a local quarry. Today the site is a part of 680, a highway which traverses the nearby range of hills seperating Fremont from the Central Valley. 



Current Bay Area Paleontology

The Caldecott Tunnel project requires bores to widen State Route 24 which runs through the East Bay Hills. You can follow progress on the project's webpage.

Another option is the blog QUEST offered by KQED. They carry educational entries on a number of topics. 



•The University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley has resources for advanced research, and also fossils on display for public viewing.

There are online exhibits which cover understanding the framework fossils in the paleontological record provide. Specimens at the Museum include vertebrates from Irvington like Mammuthus columbi, Equus caballus, and Tetrameryx irvingtonensis though they may not be available for viewing.

The Children's Natural Histroy Museum managed by the Math and Science Nuceus is available for events, a visit, and field trips when an appointment is made for a guided tour of the facility. The museum is located near Washington High School and holds a collection donated form one of the most important paleontological sites in California.


Online Resources

The PaloPortal  provides a timeline for sites around the United States, with some helpful tips for teaching the subject. California can be explored through the Precambrian period on this website.

The Paleobiology Database is an advanced search engine for paleontological resources worldwide. The virtual globes provide an overview of fossils found worldwide divided temporally.



Searching the Catalog - For many searches, searching by subject will generate more relevant results than keywords. Start your search by trying these subject headings first:

Fossils - California - Fremont

Paleontology - California

Paleontology - Mesozoic

Paleontology - Pleistocene


Multiple copies of certain books may be available for checking out at various local branches. Some books also have additional copies for in library use only at the Maurice Marks Center in the Fremont Main Library. Check location and availability by clicking on the book titles below.

A Pleistocene Ecosystem - Wesley D. Gordon
Call Number: 560.97946
This is a Rand McNally Patterns of Life Series book which shows the development of a pleistocene ecosystem through scientific thought and study. It is available only in the Maurice Marks Center for Local and California History.

Wesley Gordon : the Irvington fossil beds, over 1,000,000 years old, discovered in the 1940's
Call Number: CDB 979.465 WESLEY
Interview conducted in 1972 by Maurice Marks as part of the series “Taped History of Fremont.”

On the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Paleontology of California - Charles Abiathar White
ISBN: 1142104117
While this book was written in 1885, it provides a description of paleontology of California from a U.S. Geological Survey documenting California Paleontology as it was during the time. This book is available through Link+.

Cover Art
Prehistoric America : a journey through the Ice Age and beyond
Call Number: 560.97 PREHISTORIC
This is a DVD created in association with the BBC on one of the most recent time periods which yeilded fossils.

Cover Art
Last Extinction
Call Number: DVD 576.84 LAST
This DVD is a NOVA production.

Boy Paleontologists

The Boy Paleontologists led by Wesley D. Gordon found fossils in a local Irvington quarry from the early 1940s to the 1960s. Many of their finds are housed at UC Berkeley, though some remain locally at the Local History Museum and the Math/Science Nucleus.



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