The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan seeks to inspire curiosity, foster community pride, and cultivate independent legacy through art, history, and science, so the Lafarge Fossil Park exhibit is a perfect fit.
The Fossil Park exhibit contains fossil material generously donated by Lafarge Alpena Plant and Specification Stone Products of Alpena. The Fossil Park is accessible Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays 12-5p.m. in the summer. However, the Lafarge Fossil Park is accessible to the public dawn to dusk.
Your visit may be best enjoyed if you: expect to get a little dirty, wear footwear for all terrain, and bring a small screwdriver-type implement for prying, and a tote for hauling home your fossil finds. Happy collecting!
By studying the unique features of rocks and rock formations, geologists can learn a great deal about prehistoric environments and the organisms that lived there. For example, the limestone found in Northern Michigan tells geologists that this area was once located near the equator and covered by a warm shallow tropical ocean teaming with life. Geologists call this time period the Devonian Period and believe it to have existed over 350 million years ago.
When glaciers moved through they carried off layers of sediment exposing the fossilized limestone baring the remains of prehistoric marine creatures such as brachiopods, crinoids, corals, and trilobites. Limestone, an abundant natural resource in Northeast Michigan, is also the main ingredient in the cement used to make concrete, and concrete is the second, only to water, most consumable substance on Earth.
When visiting the Lafarge Fossil park, you will not only learn all these interesting facts, but you will also get to dig in our simulated limestone quarry and keep all the Devonian fossils you find.