Petrified Sea Gardens

Petrified Sea Gardens

Infobox_nrhp | name =Petrified Sea Gardens
nrhp_type = nhld
locmapin = New York

caption = Cambrian-era undersea grotto
near park entrance, 2008
location= Saratoga Springs, New York
lat_degrees = 43 | lat_minutes = 4 | lat_seconds = 58.97 | lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 73 | long_minutes = 50 | long_seconds = 40.16 | long_direction = W
area =25 acres
built =1825
designated= January 20, 1999 cite web|url=
title=Petrified Sea Gardens|date=2007-09-18|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service
added = January 20, 1999cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
governing_body = Private

Petrified Sea Gardens, also known as Ritchie Park, is a National Historic Landmark. It preserves an area of ancient stromatolites in a Cambrian rock layer. Stromatolites "were first recognized, discovered, and interpreted in North America" here, on property owned by Robert F. Ritchie, a stone mason and amateur geologist, who detected them in 1922 and opened a park to show them to the public in 1924.citation|title=PDFlink| [ National Historic Landmark Nomination: Petrified Sea Gardens / Ritchie Park] |420 KB|author=Joanne Kluessendorf|date=July 14, 1998|publisher=National Park Service and PDFlink| [ Accompanying 2 exterior photos from 1998, plus image of Winifred Goldring, undated] |550 KB]

Stromatolites, which are marine algae growths, were unknown, and it was a puzzle whether these fossils were organic or inorganic products. James Hall (1811-1898), the first State Peleontologist of New York, identified them as being organic placed stromatolites in a new genus. [Kluessendorf, p.__]

Pioneering female paleontologist Winifred Goldring (1888-1971), "who was the fourth State Paleontologist of New York,...wrote the most exhaustive study on these ancient stromatolites." [Kluessendorf, p.__]

The site was a childhood inspiration for Stephen Jay Gould who went on to become "one of the most famous paleontologists of the twentieth century". [Kluessendorf, p.15]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1999,by which date it had already been named a National Natural Landmark.

The site was open as an educational site operated by a non-profit, the Friends of Petrified Sea Gardens. [NRHP, p. 15] until 2006. It is currently closed to the public. It is located at 42 Petrified Sea Gardens Road, about .5 mile north of N.Y. 29, west of Saratoga Springs, New York. [Kluessendorf , p. __]

ee also

*James Hall Office, also a National Historic Landmark


External links

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