2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:35 AM


SIMMONS, Beth, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Metropolitan State College of Denver, P.O. Box 173362, CB 22, Denver, CO 80217-3362 and HONDA, Katherine, A.M. Bailey Library, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205-5798, simmonse@mscd.edu

130 years ago, Arthur Lakes, a young naturalist and geology instructor at the fledgling Colorado School of Mines, discovered dinosaur bones on the Dakota Hogback north of Morrison, Colorado. His work digging dinosaurs became legendary. Lakes also discovered the first dinosaur tracks in the Dakota Sandstone. Type specimens of many other plant and animal fossils bear his name. However, the phenomenal record of Lakes' publications left a longer, lasting legacy to geological science.

Lakes set the standard for geological education worldwide. His local “rambles” and lectures were well attended. Lakes spread the word of Colorado's geological treasures around the world as one newspaper and journal after another copied his articles. He published his first textbook, The Geology of Colorado Ore Deposits in 1888. A year later he authored Geology of Colorado Coal Deposits, an annual report from the Colorado School of Mines. Geology of Colorado and Western Ore Deposits came out as new books both in 1893 and 1905. Prospecting for Gold and Silver was published in 1895; the second edition in 1896 was titled Prospecting for Gold and Silver in North America. Lakes published the third and final edition of Prospecting, his most popular book, in 1899.

Arthur Lakes edited a succession of geological and mining journals. His byline appears on over 800 newspaper and journal articles. Many were illustrated with his own sketches, maps, diagrams, and occasional photographs.

Lakes, the epitome of geologic mining consultants in the turn-of-the century American West, worked for two companies during the first decade of the twentieth century, assignments which took him from Alaska to Mexico, from the east coast to California. Lakes and his two well-educated sons eventually went into business as mining engineers, relocating from Colorado to Ymir, British Columbia, in 1912. Arthur Lakes died there in 1917, still “tanned from the outdoors life he led.”