Our History

The Hamburg Natural History Society (HNHS) was incorporated in 1993, received IRS nonprofit 501(c)3 status in 1994, and acquired the former Penn-Dixie Cement Quarry in Hamburg, NY in 1995. Follow our three decade journey here.

1990: Community organizes to preserve fossils

Drive seeks to preserve fossil site: Hamburg quarry considered valuable by Matt Gryta and Tom Ernst
Buffalo News 3/4/1990

Hamburg should act to preserve fossil site by Elizabeth Gonsiorek
Buffalo News 10/7/1990

1993: HNHS incorporated by all-volunteer group

Group plans preservation of quarry site by Barbara O’Brien and Michael Levy
Buffalo News 5/19/1993

Group seeking to preserve quarry launches campaign by Staff
Buffalo News 5/21/1993

1995: Town of Hamburg purchases former Penn Dixie Cement quarry

Hamburg OKs buying fossil quarry site by Gene Warner and Tom Ernst
Buffalo News 2/27/1995

Town board, natural history society on quest to save Hamburg fossil trove by Carolyn Raeke and Tom Ernst
Buffalo News 8/18/1995

1996: Hamburg deeds 32.5 acres to HNHS; First cleanups held

Volunteer cleanup set May 11 at Penn Dixie Quarry Site by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 5/1/1996

Experience proves out-of-this-world by Gerry Rising
Buffalo News 5/6/1996

Fossils draw international crowd
Hamburg Sun 10/10/1996

1997: Development consultant hired to grow organization

Quarry’s popularity spurs need for guides by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 4/18/1997

Can you dig it? Hamburg quarry was old when dinos were young by Tim O’Shei
Buffalo Business First 6/30/1997

1998: Entrance road and gate constructed; First Earth Science Day held

2000: Registration shelter built; Display panels installed; First staff hired

2001: Ronald McDonald House Charities and Baird Foundation fund outdoor classroom

Digging into the past at Hamburg quarry by Mike Vogel
Buffalo News 12/1/2001

2002: Paved trails installed with grant from East Hill Foundation

2003: Oishei Foundation funds hiring of Executive Director Jerry Bastedo

2004: Wendt Foundation supports hiring of first education director

Hoffa’s skeletal remains found in Penn Dixie site by Felice Krycia
Hamburg Sun 4/1/2004

2005: Erie County budget crisis eliminates funding, forces staff cuts

East Hill backs expansion of Penn Dixie Site
Buffalo Business First 1/13/2005

2006: National Science Foundation grant at UB supports summer intern hiring

2007: HNHS receives land purchase grants from Ravenwood Associates and East Hill Foundation

Penn Dixie raises $100k-plus in expansion quest by David Bertola
Buffalo Business First 12/28/2007

Cavalcoli leaves Hamburg post after leading charge by Elmer Ploetz and Gene Warner
Buffalo News 12/30/2007

2008: Wendt Foundation and private donations support purchase of additional former quarry land for planned visitor center

2010: Erie County funding restored

2011: Additional trails and shelters constructed with public and private donations

Forum to discuss natural gas drilling by David Bertola
Buffalo Business First 2/28/2011

A step back in time by Jack Foran
Artvoice 6/2/2011

2012: Eagle Scout candidate constructs bat boxes

Penn Dixie quarry thriving year-round by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 12/15/2012

Learning open air by Catherine Colmerauer
Buffalo Business First 9/7/2012

Hands-on science is Penn Dixie goal by Catherine Colmerauer
Buffalo Law Journal 9/17/2012

2013: Eagle scout candidates plant trees, build trails, and install fences

They’ll never run out of fossils at Penn Dixie by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 10/13/2013

2014: Wendt Foundation funds renewed education director position

2015: 20th Anniversary Celebration; Jerry Bastedo retires

Thousands of fossils are ready for the taking! by Matt Bove
WKBW 5/13/2015

Penn Dixie funding restored in 2015 budget by Legislator Lynne Dixon
Erie County Legislative Brief

2016: University of Arizona geologist Dr. Phil Stokes hired as executive director

Looking to the heavens for Earth Day by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 4/8/2016

Dig paleontology? Come ‘Dig with the Experts’ at Penn Dixie Site
Buffalo News 4/27/2016

Experts in town to dig for fossils by Lauren Hall
News 4 Wake Up 5/20/2016

Penn Dixie cruise will provide unique take on Buffalo by Will Elliott
Buffalo News 6/3/2016

Dig for fossils at Aquarium of Niagara by Staff
Buffalo News 6/13/2016

Aquarium of Niagara, Penn Dixie team up by Staff
Niagara Frontier Publications 6/24/2016

Five places to celebrate your child’s summer birthday by Mary Friona-Celani
Buffalo News 6/24/2016

Penn Dixie invites public to view ‘The Classical Planets of Antiquity’ by Frank Parlato
Artvoice 7/21/2016

Letter: Cultural institutions inspire us all to learn by Dr. Phil Stokes
Buffalo News 7/27/2016

Blasdell’s Penn Dixie will partner with new Himalayan fossil park in Kashmir; Fossils there will record the ‘Great Dying’ by Frank Parlato
Artvoice 7/28/2016

From Hamburg to Kashmir, connections through fossils by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 7/29/2016

Business – On the Record: Aug. 6, 2016
Buffalo News 8/6/2016

Visitors to Penn Dixie Site in Hamburg make an economic impact by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 8/19/2016

Fossil Hunters as Tourists? Report: Penn Dixie’s ‘Annual Dig’ for fossils has $32k local impact by Frank Parlato
Artvoice 8/25/2016

Autumn is here: get out and enjoy these fun, free activities by Samantha Christmann
Buffalo News 9/25/2016

2017: UC Davis paleontologist Dr. Holly Schreiber hired as director of education

Penn Dixie makes ‘flashiest hire that fossil park could make’- paleontologist by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 2/1/2017

Community comes together to clean up vandalized Orchard Park playground by Breanna Fuss
TCW News 2/28/2017

Penn Dixie designs new logo and shortens its name by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 3/8/2017

Fossil Friday is coming to Penn Dixie Fossil Park by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 6/16/2017

See the Ring Nebula, 2280 light years away, at Penn Dixie by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 7/12/2017

Penn Dixie extends hours for Fossil Fridays by Izzy Graziano
Bee Group Newspapers 7/19/2017

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve by Mark Mulville
Buffalo News 8/2/2017

Free eclipse glasses offered at Penn Dixie by Fatima Bangura
WKBW 8/8/2017

Penn Dixie giving away eclipse glasses by Kaley Lynch
WIVB 8/8/2017

Free solar viewing glasses available at Penn Dixie by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 8/10/2017

Where to watch the eclipse in Western New York by T.J. Pignataro
Buffalo News 8/11/2017

Watching the eclipse safely by Tom Puckett
WBEN 8/14/2017

Where to watch eclipse in WNY, why you should by Joshua Robinson
WGRZ 8/18/2017

As eclipse passes through Buffalo, many agree it’s worth the hype by T.J. Pignataro
Buffalo News 8/21/2017

100 Plus Things: Discover at Penn Dixie Fossil Park by Mary Kunz Goldman
Buffalo News 8/25/2017

2017: Your space odyssey in Western New York by Mary Kunz Goldman
Buffalo News 9/21/2017

How Western New York can see the stars come out by Mary Kunz Goldman
Buffalo News 9/21/2017

The 10: Ellicottville Fall Fest, Iron Works Oktoberfest by Ben Tsujimoto
Buffalo News Gusto 10/5/2017

Fossil park hosts 20th annual WNY Earth Science Day by Khalid Terrell
WBFO 10/6/2017

Hamburg Natural History fundraiser will focus on Penn Dixie by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 10/22/2017

2018: Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds awarded for design of visitor center; Penn Dixie hosts the World’s Largest Fossil Dig; Penn Dixie receives VIP visitor from Kashmir and solidifies international partnership; Hamburg, NY declared ‘Home of Trilobites’

Waco Mammoth National Monument and city of Waco launch fossil kit program for science classrooms by Caroline Sutton
Central Texas News Now 1/30/2018

Boom Days Buffalo 2018 by queenseyes
Buffalo Rising 3/28/2018

Outbound: Fossil Hunting at Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve by queenseyes
Buffalo Rising 3/29/2018

Penn Dixie Fossil Park opens Earth Day weekend by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 3/31/2018

Experience This: Have a ball at Boom Days by Mary Kunz Goldman
Buffalo News 4/5/2018

New book explore’s Buffalo’s hidden gems by Breanna Fuss
Spectrum News Buffalo 4/7/2018

Looking for ideas on what to do in Buffalo? by Ashley Ziomek
The Record 4/23/2018

Here are some of the coolest day camps in WNY for your kids this summer by Brett Alan
County 106.5 WYRK 5/9/2018

Kevin O’Neill Visits Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve by WGRZ
Clip 1 – Clip 2 7/5/2018

55 local groups receive Wilson legacy grants by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 7/11/2018

Celebrating Penn Dixie’s Heroes: Eileen Eich, Liz Gonsiorek, and Sheila Kelly by Elizabeth Schiavoni
Penn Dixie Blog 7/13/2018

Get outside and active with the kids at these fun spots by Christopher Schobert
Buffalo News 7/23/2018

Trilobites declared “official fossil” of Town of Hamburg by Kaley Lynch
WIVB 7/24/2018

Hamburg is officially the ‘home of trilobites’ by Barbara O’Brien
Buffalo News 7/25/2018

Natural History Written In Stone by Terry Belke
WGRZ 2 The Outdoors 8/18/2018

8/18 Buffalo Means Business w/ Penn Dixie by Randy Bushover
WBEN 8/18/2018

Penn Dixie looking for world record Saturday by Barb O’Brien
Buffalo News 8/22/2018

Help Set the Record for the World’s Largest Fossil Dig @ Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Preserve by Staff
Buffalo Rising 8/22/2018

“World’s Largest Fossil Dig” happening in Hamburg on Saturday by Rebecca Thornburg
WKBW 8/24/2018

Penn Dixie attempting world record for largest fossil dig by Francesca Bond
WBFO 8/24/2018

Penn Dixie tries to set record for world’s largest fossil dig by Kaylee Wendt
WIVB 8/25/2018

Penn Dixie Attempts World Record for Largest Fossil Dig by Staff
WGRZ 8/25/2018

How To Find a Fossil by Jeff Klein
At Buffalo 9/30/2018

The Penn Dixie Board of Directors has confirmed “ Kashmir Triassic Fossil Park” as one of the World’s geological treasures
Kashmir Pen 10/13/2018

Kashmir’s 250 million year-old fossil site receives global recognition
Ziraat Times News 10/14/2018

Kashmir’s 2 million old fossil site gets global recognition
Greater Kashmir 10/14/2018

Pampore site to be developed as world’s second ‘Fossil Park’ by Firdous Hassan
The Kashmir Monitor 10/15/2018

Fossil park in Kashmir Valley tagged ‘World’s Geological Treasure’ by Ishfaq-ul-Hassan
DNA India 10/16/2018

How you can watch the rare eclipse in Western New York
WKBW 12/27/2018

Total Lunar Eclipse viewing on January 20 at the Gateway Building by queenseyes
Buffalo Rising 12/28/2018

2019: Growth continues while visitor center planning and site work is underway

Triassic fossils: Capitalize on these rich resources to integrate them into economy by Sajad Bazaz
Greater Kashmir 1/11/2019

Penn Dixie To Host Offsite Eclipse Viewing
Artvoice 1/12/2019

Are you ready to see the ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon?’ by Ed Reilly
WKBW 1/18/2019

Outbound: Tales of Mastodons Science Talk by Buffalo Rising
Buffalo Rising 2/5/2019

Penn Dixie Fossil Park opens for the season on Saturday by Kaley Lynch
WIVB 4/23/2019

Penn Dixie Fossil Park opens for the season by Barb O’Brien
Buffalo News 4/28/2019

Penn Dixie to teach teachers about fossils by Barb O’Brien
Buffalo News 5/2/2019

Indeterminacy Festival 2019 links to PastFuture/FuturePast by queenseyes
Buffalo Rising 5/5/2019

Indeterminacy Festival explores connections among past, present and future by Bert Gambini
UBNow 5/6/2019

Indeterminacy Festival: PASTFUTURE/FUTUREPAST by Alexis Oltmer
The Public 5/10/2019

Kids really dig this summer camp by Madison Elliott
Spectrum News Buffalo 5/13/2019

Indeterminacy Festival explores connections among past, present and future
Bee Group News 5/15/2019

NY science teachers say fossil field trip will boost lessons
Associated Press 8/4/2019

Here’s what drew a bunch of teachers from New York City to Western New York for a few days by Rebecca Thornburg
WKBW [also Yahoo News] 8/6/2019

Penn Dixie on WNY Living by Staff
WGRZ 8/10/2019

Teams to search for ‘golden fossil’ at Penn Dixie by Barb O’Brien
Buffalo News 8/22/2019


Are we missing something? Please contact us if you’ve got an article or story about our history to share. We’d love to hear from you!