10/22/2008 6:15 AM
Visit the John G. White Reading Room of the Special Collections Department to see the baby mammoth jaw first displayed at the Cleveland Public Library in 1909. On May 9th, 1909 The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article entitled In the Days of the Cleveland Elephant; it described a baby mammoth jaw that was discovered in March of that year. The jaw was found during the construction of a sewer at E. 40th and Euclid Avenue adjacent to the residence of Mr. Sylvester Everett, whose palatial home was build by architect Charles Schweinfurth. This area was at that time considered to be one of the most prestigious streets in the nation.
The person who unearthed the jaw was a worker named Pasquale Fronard who then gave it to Western Reserve University professor, Francis H. Herrick, who originally thought the jaw was from a previously undiscovered species. Eventually it was determined that the specimen consists of the lower jaw of a baby mammoth, or Mammuthus primigenius, from the Pleistocene era. Professor Herrick, an early supporter of the development of a Museum of Natural History in Cleveland, was a highly regarded scientist and teacher of natural history.
The Baby Mammoth Jaw and other items related to the geology and fossil record for Cleveland and Ohio are on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. They can be seen at the John G. White Reading Room of the Special Collections Department on the 3rd Floor of the Main Library for a limited time, beginning on October 13, 2008.
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