The Cope quarries stayed active until the end of the summer of 1883.6 In the spring of that year, Oramel had graduated from seminary and married Harriet Hitchcock, then moved to Oregon to begin his career as a congregational minister.8 Ira seems to have left Cañon City soon after the last bones from the Lucas quarries were shipped in January of 1884.6 County records in 1885 no longer list him as a resident of the town.
Oramel and his wife Hattie had two children: Ethel Eudora and Arthur Leroy (who, sadly, died at age 2). They later moved to California, where Oramel spent the majority of his career.8 Oramel William Lucas died in Berkeley in 1935.9
Ira also spent time in California, leaving his former career of carpentry and fossil excavation to work as a chiropractor. He eventually married a woman named Celia Greenleaf and had a daughter named Annie May.2 Ira died in Miami, Florida in 1920.10
Most of the bones the Lucases had excavated ended up in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. They had been obtained by the museum in 1902, along with the rest of Cope’s partially prepared dinosaur collection five years after Cope’s death. One femur of Amphicoelias altus had been brought to Oberlin, but appears to have been lost.6 The bones Oramel Lucas had sent to Marsh probably came to reside in the Smithsonian with most of the rest of his collection after Marsh’s death in 1899.3
During the course of the Lucases’ excavations in Garden Park, fossils were extracted from as many as 17 different quarries. At least 17 shipments of bone were sent from Cañon City to Philadelphia between the summer of 1877 and January, 1884.6 Cope used these bones to identify 18 species (16 dinosaurs, one turtle, and one crocodile-like animal), 17 of which were new to science.11 Only five of these species are considered valid scientific names today, and two of those are debatable. Marsh also named one new dinosaur from the bones Lucas sent him. The Cope-Lucas Quarries, along with the Marsh-Felch Quarry close by, began an over 130 year long history of fossil collecting in Garden Park that continues to this day. Fossil hunters have come to Garden Park from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and, more recently, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the local Dinosaur Depot Museum.
1 Lucas, O. W., and Lucas, E. E., Discovering Dinosaur Bones in Colorado.
2 ancestry.com, Oramel William Lucas Family, last accessed 2010.
3 Jaffe, M., 2000, The Gilded Dinosaur: The Fossil War Between E. D. Cope and O. C. Marsh and the Rise of American Science: New York, Three Rivers Press, 424 p.
4 Felch, M. P., 1883, Letter to O. C. Marsh.
5 Lucas, O. W., 1878, Letter to E. D. Cope.
6 McIntosh, J. S., 1998, New information about the Cope collection of sauropods from Garden Park, Colorado: Modern Geology, v. 23, p. 481-506.
7 United States Census, 1880, Fremont County, Colorado.
8 Lucas, O. W., 1930, Address to Oberlin College Class of 1880.
9 Death Certificate of Ira Hiram Lucas
10 Obituary for Oramel William Lucas
11 Paleobiology Database, Cope Quarry, last accessed 2010.
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