HF-M Historical Society kicks off meetings

The Honeoye Falls / Mendon Historical Society’s fall season of meetings kicks off with a presentation by Dr. George McIntosh on September 1st.

The topic of Dr. McIntosh’s presentation is Farview & East Bloomfield Mastodons.

Approximately 130 mastodon occurrences have been reported from New York State over the past 200 years.  The vast majority of these reports are based on either single teeth, tusk fragments, or isolated bones.  Partial skeletons, even those constituting as little as 20% of the animal, are fairly rare. Accordingly, the 1991 and 1994 discoveries of two fairly complete mastodons in Livingston and Ontario counties are very significant.

In January 1991, an exceptionally well-preserved mastodon skeleton was discovered at the Farview Golf Course and Country Inn. Subsequent studies indicate that the 90% complete Farview specimen, dated at 11,600 B.P., was a young male killed and butchered by Paleoindians in the early fall.

In August 1994 a 40% complete mastodon was excavated during the construction of a fish pond in East Bloomfield, New York. This specimen also shows some evidence of butchering.

Continuing study of these animals, along with others found in Michigan, Ohio, and western New York suggests that butchering and caching mastodon meat was a common practice by Paleoindians and may have contributed to the eventual extinction of these elephant-like animals approximately 10,000 B.P.

Dr. McIntosh is the Curator of Geology and Chair, Natural Science Department at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.  He holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Buffalo and M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Geology from the University of Michigan. Following is Dr. McIntosh’s biographical sketch:

“My introduction to geology came at the age of 14 when I attended an education class offered by the Buffalo Museum of Science. Encouragement from Max Kopf, a well-known Buffalo amateur fossil collector, together with the abundant fossils only a short distance from home directed my interest towards paleontology. I studied paleontology as an undergraduate and graduate student before becoming the Curator of Geology at the RMSC in 1981 and Director of Collections in 2001. My research interests have focused upon Silurian and Devonian (439 to 362 million year old) crinoids, although in the 1990’s I managed to add two mastodons to the museum’s collections. My research has taken me to more than 20 countries and this in turn has sparked an interest in more recent historical events of the past10,000 years.”

The meeting will be held at 7:30 PM on Thursday, September 1st at the Mendon Community Center, 167 North Main Street, Honeoye Falls.  This facility is handicapped accessible.  The meeting is open to the public.  For information call 624-5655.

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