ON THE LIBRARY
"These are well known all over the world and thus probably
Wellsville’s chief and most lasting claim to fame." What are
they? According to E. R. Eller, assistant in invertebrate paleontology
at Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the answer is fossilized sponges. Mr.
Eller made the comment in 1937.
Edwin B. Hall (1852 – 1908), an avid naturalist, spent fifty years
collecting fossils in Wellsville and the surrounding area. Mr. Hall
founded Hall’s Drugstore and built the now famous Pink House. He
devised the secret formula for the distinctive color. His 30 by 60 foot
private museum adjoined the residence. He filled it with over 5,500
sponges of 80 distinct types. With his scientific research, he proved
prehistoric sponges were members of the animal kingdom and not of the
plant (algae) as popularly believed. The collection was awarded first
prize when exhibited at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901.
After his death, his family donated the collection to the Carnegie
Museum. In 1937, the museum gave some representative pieces to our
library to honor the life of Mr. Hall.
During the Devonian period over 410 million years ago, seas covered
New York State. The Sphenotus contractus fossil is a striking example of
a seashell found in Wellsville. The sponge, Ceratodictya carpenteriana,
was named for Mr. Hall’s daughter, Fannie Hall Carpenter. The library
will display the collection through the end of November.
"Spotlight on the Library" article was written by Mary Jacobs,
the David A. Howe Public Library director. Articles are written and published monthly in the
Wellsville Daily Reporter.
Click on a
date below to read a recent article.
complete list of articles on the Search the Library
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collection owned by the library contains Indian artifacts. Avery Mosher
collected projectile points along the Genesee River from Wellsville to
Letchworth State Park. According to Mr. Mosher, Indians camped on the
riverbank near the current locations of the Country Club and Woodlawn
|The "Bulletin of the Rochester
Museum of Arts and Science" of 1959, states the majority of specimens
indicate an occupation some 3,500 to 5,500 years ago. The Early Woodland
period is represented by some broad blades, stemmed projectile points and
ovate cache blades. During the Late Woodland period, pottery fragments and
triangular points prove the Owasco and Iroquois visited the area. A fluted
point shows Hopewellian occupation, which represents the earliest known
people in the Northeast.
In 1938 at age 80, Mr. Mosher sold his collection to the library for a
price of $10 per month for 24 months. The library also agreed to purchase
a headstone for his grave. There is a permanent display of artifacts near
the Large Print Room in the library.
This page was last updated
December 22, 2005.