Thomas Condon was an immigrant from Irish arriving in New York in 1833. He was a minister, geologists, and paleontologist. He often held geology lectures in his church. Thomas Condon was the first scientist to recognize the significance of the the John Day Fossil Beds and the impact it would have on Paleontology. He was also the first Oregon State Geologist.
In 2005 the 11,000 square foot Thomas Condon Paleontology and Visitor Center opened. This center is an active Paleontology Center. Visitors can view scientists working in their labs through a picture window. It’s very interesting to watch how careful and detailed they are as they carefully clean and study the fossils recovered from the John Day Fossil beds. The John Day Fossil Beds are famous for having some of the most well preserved fossils in the world.
The facility has hundreds of fossils on display and informative kiosks that tell the story of the John Day area. I found it fascinating to learn about some of the animals that used to exist here. Like tiny horses and camels. We also attended one of the park ranger presentations. This gave us an opportunity to learn more about the history of the area and the unique experience of handling fossils. Feel free to wonder through the exhibits.
The center also acts as a visitor’s center and can offer a lot of information and maps of the surrounding area. If your interested in this adventure or want to find another, visit our adventure map.