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Cave House to Host Geologist and Researcher of Oldest Known Fossil Forests

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 6/7/24 | 6/7/24

HOWES CAVE — Geologist Dr. Charles A. Ver Straeten of the New York State Museum and Geological Survey will present “Earth’s Oldest Known Fossil Forests, Catskill Mountains” on Sunday, June 9 at The Cave House Museum of Mining and Geology (Museum) in Howes Cave. The presentation will discuss the Cairo and Gilboa, NY fossil forests and will begin at 2 p.m.

Dr. Ver Straeten is the Curator of Sedimentary Rocks for the New York State Museum. His technical focus is on Devonian Period Sedimentation and Stratigraphy, which includes sea level history, mountain building and sedimentation, paleoecology, and the deposition and preservation of volcanic ash layers in shallow seas and lakes through time. Dr. Ver Straten was involved with the Cairo, NY fossil forest research team.  

The nonprofit museum will be open June 9 from Noon to 4 p.m. Come explore the Museum grounds! Admission is free, although donations are greatly appreciated. Dr. Ver Straeten’s presentation will begin at 2 p.m.

Please visit the Museum’s Ingvar Isachsen Rock Garden. We have a piece of shot rock from the Cobleskill Stone Products’ Falke Quarry in Lexington, Greene County, NY that contains the fossilized remains of Eospermatopteris, a genus of trees that grew in the Middle Devonian Period about 360 to 400 million years ago. The fossil is related to the trees found in Gilboa, NY.  

As a nonprofit, NYS-chartered educational institution, the Cave House Museum promotes an understanding of the importance geology and mining plays in our lives.

Our next open house will be held on Sunday, July 14, 2024!



139 Blowing Rock Road, Howes Cave, NY 12092

Visit us on Facebook: @cavehouse  --  See us on Instagram: @cavehousemuseum

Archaeopteris sp. tree root system, Cairo, NY Fossil Forest. Photograph courtesy of Charles Ver Straeten, Ph.D.

A Gilboa Tree Stump. Photo courtesy of Charles Ver Straeten, Ph.D.

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