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Ever since the first popular article on the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits was published in Sunset magazine in 1908, this amazing Ice Age fossil site has captivated the imaginations of countless people from all over the world. This “death trap of the ages” and its population of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and other extinct animals, now displayed in the stunning George C. Page Museum, continues to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles. George Allan Hancock donated the 26-acre site to the County of Los Angeles in 1924 to preserve this scientific treasure trove for research and the enjoyment of future generations.
About the Author
Author Cathy McNassor is the museum archivist of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the George C. Page Museum at the world-famous Rancho La Brea Tar Pits. She began her association with La Brea in 1977 and has long been fascinated with the extraordinary history of the tar pits, Hancock Park, and the dedicated individuals who have been part of this unique place. This volume draws extensively upon the photographic resources of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the George C. Page Museum.
Table of Contents
1 Early Years: Prehistory and History 9
2 Into the 20th Century: Oils Wells and Fossil Discoveries 19
3 A City Comes of Age: A Museum for Los Angeles 39
4 Hancock Park: Creating a Landmark 51
5 After the War: A New Monument to the Ice Age 61
6 The 1960s: Art and Fossils 73
7 Pit 91: A New Search for Fossils 85
8 The Bones Come Home: The George C. Page Museum 95
9 Into the 21st Century: La Brea Continued 117