A Mammoth Discovery

A Mammoth Discovery (HM2M0J)

Buy flags at Flagstore.com!

N 45° 55.924', W 116° 7.917'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
Can you imagine mammoths walking the streets of Grangeville? Before Sept. 2, 1994, no one else could either. But on that date, a heavy equipment operator for Prairie Land and Timber, found a "big bone" when he was digging in Tolo Lake. That four-foot long and twelve-inch-diameter bone turned out to be the thigh bone of a Columbian mammoth, Mammuthus Columbia.

Then the Work Began

In just one summer of excavating, bones from at least nine mammoths and two prehistoric bison (Bison antiques) were uncovered in Tolo Lake. Scientists believe that Tolo Lake may be the largest mammoth graveyard in the United States, with up to 200 mammoth skeletons.
The excavation was led by Idaho Museum of Natural History staff in cooperation with the Idaho State Historical Society and the University of Idaho.
Volunteers, many from Grangeville but some from as far away as Tennessee, assisted with the excavating, guiding tours, and lending support. Tolo Lake received almost 12,000 visitors for site tours during the summer of 1995.

(side-bar on right:)
Tolo Lake Today
Tolo Lake lies about five miles west of Grangeville on the edge of the Camas Prairie. The discovery of mammoths came about because of work designed to improve fish and wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities

at the lake. Tolo Lake looks much different today than it did during the summer of 1995. Instead of bare earth and people digging and scraping, you'll see a 30-acre lake where people are boating and fishing or skating and picnicking - all thanks to the management efforts of Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management, and Nez Perce National Historical Park. You may see someone watching birds rather than brushing off bones. But don't count that out.
For now, the bones and excavation site have been covered with 86 million gallons of water to protect them from weathering and disturbance. In the future, the Idaho Museum of Natural History has the option to continue excavation if funding becomes available.
So, mammoths may never walk Grangeville's streets again, but the people who "dig" them are around for good!
HM NumberHM2M0J
Placed ByNorthwest Passage Scenic Byway and All-American Road
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 11:02am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11T E 567297 N 5086865
Decimal Degrees45.93206667, -116.13195000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 55.924', W 116° 7.917'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 55' 55.44" N, 116° 7' 55.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What country is the marker located in?
  2. Is this marker part of a series?
  3. What historical period does the marker represent?
  4. What historical place does the marker represent?
  5. What type of marker is it?
  6. What class is the marker?
  7. What style is the marker?
  8. Does the marker have a number?
  9. What year was the marker erected?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?