The Warren County Historical Society is welcoming back to the county a giant mammoth tooth found in Queensbury before the Civil War.
The prehistoric elephant roamed Warren County some 13,000 years ago when the county was more tundra-like with sedges and lichens in a very cold environment left by the retreating ice sheet on its way back North.
The tooth was originally in the collection of Dr. Austin W. Holden, the author of A History of the Town of Queensbury (1874). His son James Austin Holden, who served as Treasurer and Librarian of the now defunct New York State Historical Association, and NYS State Historian from 1911 to 1916, described the discovery of the tooth in a letter written in 1918:
“The tooth which during the days of my youth reposed carefully under a glass case in my father’s office at Glens Falls, was found on the farm of one John Harris in Upper Queensbury, NY, during, as I now remember it although I will not be absolutely certain, an excavation for a well or cellar.”
The Queensbury mammoth was of special interest at the time being the only proboscidean relic found in northeastern New York. (The remains of another Proboscidea was found about 45 miles east in Mount Holly, Vermont.)
The tooth was acquired by the New York State Museum in 1911. The Museum has loaned the Mammoth tooth to the Warren County museum for six months; it will be unveiled by a descendant of the Harris family. New York State Paleontologist and Director of Research & Collections Division, Robert S. Feranec will be on hand to answer questions.
This free event will take place November 5th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Warren County Historical Society’s museum at 50 Gurney Lane in Queensbury, NY.
Illustration: The Queensbury mammoth tooth (from The Mastodons, Mammoths and Other Pleistocene Mammals of New York State Being A Descriptive Record of All Known Occurrences, 1921).