Our quarry at Richards Spur has been a reliable and generous source of stone and aggregate materials for nearly a century, but it's also home to a very different natural resource: fossils.
Since our earliest days in Richards Spur, workers have noticed something unusual about this quarry, and now we have a statement from the University of Oklahoma's Sam Noble Museum of Natural History to sum it up - "Elgin, Oklahoma (where the quarry is located) is one of the most important fossil vertebrate localities in the world."
And the folks at Richards Spur will tell you it's true - they come across prehistoric fossils more often than you'd think. But what happens to these priceless artifacts?
It may surprise you to know that for more than 80 years, Dolese Bros. Co. has had an informal agreement with the University of Oklahoma and the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman to contribute these artifacts to the museum. Now, with the signatures of Mark Helm and museum director Michael Mares, that agreement is formal and final.
Dolese pledges to donate all discovered specimens to the Museum for research, preservation and posterity - which has led to the Museum's Vertebrate Paleontology Collection being regarded as a "major national collection, constituting one of the most important existing records of vertebrate history and evolution in the southern plains."
But it goes further than that. Dolese also allows the University to conduct archaeological digs in the quarry when significant fissures are exposed - such as the last one, which yielded more new species and more anatomically-informative specimens than in all previous decades taken together.
In the past, Dolese allowed private collectors to seek out and keep fossil specimens found at the Quarry. That is no longer allowed, and we're pleased that many of those individuals have recognized the importance of these specimens to future research and have donated their findings as well. So, if you have any fossils from Richards Spur or know others who have, please consider donating them to the Sam Noble Museum.
Here at Dolese, we're all proud to be a part of Oklahoma's History, and we're even more proud to contribute to a deeper understanding of Oklahoma's ancient History.