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Hadrosauus discovery site plaque.

First Dinosaur Discovered

Field review by the editors.

Haddonfield, New Jersey

In October 1858 the first skeleton of a dinosaur -- minus its head -- was dredged out of farmland at the edge of the town of Haddonfield. Until that time only random dino bones and teeth had been unearthed. The discovery of this 25-foot-long nearly-complete creature proved their existence.

It was later named Hadrosaurus, but not for the town of Haddonfield; the word means "hefty lizard" in Latin.

And then, Haddonfield forgot about it. The spot remained unhonored for 126 years. That's when Christopher Brees (an Eagle Scout) successfully convinced the town in 1984 to install a plaque on a rock to mark the site. It's at the end of a street of homes: a little wooded park for pondering the rock and a ravine just beyond it where the dinosaur was dug up. It was named a National Historical Landmark in 1995. The town now keeps the park, plaque, and rock regularly cleaned.

First Dinosaur Discovered

Address:
698 Maple Ave., Haddonfield, NJ
Directions:
East end of downtown. At the Haddon Diner on Haddon Ave., turn northeast at the stoplight onto Maple Ave. and drive until it ends. There's a small park, an informational sign, and a historical plaque on a rock with an image of the dinosaur.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of World's First DinosaurStatue of World's First Dinosaur, Haddonfield, NJ - < 1 mi.
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In the region:
Knowledge is Power, Glassboro, NJ - 15 mi.

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