Petrified in Lemmon

Lemmon, South Dakota, is the proud home of an extraordinary display of petrified wood. In the early 1900s, O.S. Quammen, an amateur geologist, discovered vast remains of prehistoric plant remains – grasses, trees and other flora, along with some dinosaur and other prehistoric fossils. Quammen managed to secure funding through the Works Progress Administration to employ between thirty to forty otherwise unemployed men to haul in tons of petrified remains and assemble them in Lemmon between 1930 and 1932. The World’s Largest Petrified Wood Park sits a block or two north of US Hwy 12 on Main Street. We toured that park late on a Sunday afternoon, so we were not able to visit the park’s museum, which includes historical information about the petrified wood and other prehistoric artifacts, including some dinosaur fossils. Having been expanded and refurbished several time in the past few decades, the park and museum provide a unique presentation of fossils and interestingly arranged petrified artifacts – not your average museum display.

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