Dry Dredgers Field Trip
June 7, 2013
Ridgemount Quarry in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Page 1 - The site and digging photos

Photos by Ron Fine, Bill Heimbrock, Ken Peterson, Tom Bantel and Bob Zimmerman
Words by Bill Heimbrock   

Jim Cox and Malcolm Thornley with the prize find.
Photo by Ken Peterson
John Spina
Photo by Bill Heimbrock

 SPOILER ALERT!! The best find of the day and possibly the best find EVER at the Ridgemount Quarry happened 15 minutes before closing. Jim Cox found what is thought to be one of the largest nearly complete Eurypterids ever found from that site. With so little time before we get kicked out of the quarry or locked in for the night, our good friend and local expert Malcolm Thornley and John Spina of the Buffalo Geological Society sprung into action to orchestrate a super fast but professional extraction of the specimen, mould and surrounding shale. We are in debt to Malcolm and John and are very grateful for the assistance they gave each of us that day.      

 Here's the large Eurypterid that Jim Cox found.

Up until the last 15 minutes of the day, the best find "hands down" was  two, separately found, tiny and nearly complete Eurypterids found by Bob Zimmerman. These may be among the tiniest found at the Ridgemount Quarry. Here's Bob with his second such find.   

Here are Bob Zimmerman's tiny and nearly complete Eurypterids.

The next best find was by Ron Fine (below). He found a nice Eurypterid that was in two pieces. (second picture). Thanks again to John Spina for sawing it out and to Malcolm Thornley for using his blower and for expert advice.

Arriving at Ridgemount Quarry in Canada

Main Entrance

We arrived at the quarry in Fort Erie, Canada by 8:30 am EDT. We had no problems at the border. Bob Bross checked in at the scale house and brought the form and instructions for us to sign.

Here we are gearing up before entering the quarry. Reflective vests, hard hat and steel-toed shoes are required. Bob Bross did a formal inspection to ensure we were in compliance before we caravaned  into the quarry itself.

Entering the Quarry

Bob Bross led the caravan into the quarry to the dig site.

When we arrived at the dig site, we were greeted by local expert Malcolm Thornley.

Malcolm had prepared for our arrival the week before by clearing overburden down to the Eurypterid layer and finding lots of Eurypterid heads and body parts to leave for us to dig or just pick up. THANKS MALCOLM!

When we emerged from our vehicles, we could see the large area in which we had to work.

Here is a beautiful panarama of the Ridgemount Quarry dig site taken by Ken Peterson.

We gathered for some basic nformation on the site and instruction on how to dig.


Local expert Malcolm Thornley brought flats of great Eurypterids and other fossils he had found on this site recently. The specimens were amazing. Here are a few pics of Malcolm's specimens and his explanations.

Then we began digging for our own prize finds.

The first Eurypterid fragments of the day were uncovered.

Here is our field trip chair, Bob Bross and his son Taylor enjoying the glory of the day.

Do you know the Muffin Man? Ron Fine provided home made gourmet chocolate muffins for us to enjoy.

Now lets continue with page 2 of the Ridgemount Quarry pictures.

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