A Rare Find
How One Fossil Hunter Fueled Paleontology at Mines for Decades
Seventeen miles from campus under a blanket of snow, a stretch of land holds an untold number of fossils and the dreams of a rancher whose passion falls far outside his profession. Sixty years ago during a visit to a small country grade school in Hermosa, a paleontologist from the School of Mines showed Kenny Brown and his classmates rare fossils from the Black Hills. The young Brown was hooked. â€œDid all these animals actually live? Did they live on my place? The first time I found one of those fossils on my land was thrilling,â€? says Brown, who at seventy-one years old continues to volunteer thirty-five hours a week in the School of Mines Paleontology Research Laboratory and who last year bequeathed his 1,330-acre ranch to the university to further the education of fossil hunters such as himself.