St Marys Cement - Bowmanville, Ontario


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Field Trip Information

When: This year's collecting trip, organized by the Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies into the St Marys Quarry will be on Sunday, September 21st, 2014. This location is NOT open to collecting by individuals or groups other than these scheduled trips.  The trips are open to all members of CCFMS. No fee is charged, however, a CCFMS affiliated club membership card needs to be produced prior to entry. Pre-registration with the trip leader (Randy Ernst) is required so we have a good idea of the number of participants.

Conditions: This is a working quarry. Collectors must be 16 years of age by law. No exceptions. You will require full safety equipment which includes safety helmet, safety goggles, CSA Approved "green patch" steel-toed safety work boots and a reflective safety vest. A sign-in, sign-out policy is in effect.

Liability Waiver: You must be a current club member of a CCFMS club. You will be asked to show your rock club membership card as proof. You will be required to sign in with the Trip Leader and sign a liability waiver. You are expected to follow all instructions regarding safety, collecting & courtesy as outlined during the safety talk before entry to the quarry. 

Arrival & Departure: Plan to arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. Check in with the Trip Leader on arrival. All collectors need to attend the group safety talk at 8:45 a.m. Entry to the quarry is at 9 a.m. sharp. If you plan on leaving prior to the end of the scheduled visit, inform the trip leader. The departure time will be stated at the beginning of the day. 5 minutes before departure, you will hear honking. This is your signal to do your final packing up and to leave. There is a sign-in/sign-out policy in effect. Failure to sign out may affect your future CCFMS field trip privileges. This is a very large quarry and we don't want to search for you if you have already gone for the day.

Directions: Exit 401 at Waverley Road (Exit #431). Go south on Waverley, turn right just before the St Mary Cement Co. sign (as in the above picture) and after about a couple hundred yards will be first entrance with building on the left.. This is the office and entrance to the quarry. Turn left into the parking lot. This is the meeting place. After the safety talk we will drive in a convoy into the quarry. You may drive directly to the designated collecting sites within the quarry with your car. However, this may change if there is work being done that day.

Map to St Marys Cement Quarry

Fossils of the St Marys Cement Quarry, Bowmanville, Ontario




St Marys Cement (Bowmanville) – Fossil collecting field trip Oct 20,2013 – Randy Ernst


On the Saturday, it poured rain and I thought the worst for the next day. Even weather forecasts did not look good but given their accuracy, got everyone up early for the drive. It was actually clear and sunny but a bit on the cool (cold) side. After signing in, we had a safety talk with the quarry manager Ernie Hamilton who explained a bit about the place and reminded us there was some (little) equipment working and be careful. Then after putting a flag on our vehicle to show I was the trip leader, off went 35 eager collectors….into mud. With the rains the day before, you could, and would, step into inches of the stuff. If you wondered if your safety boots were waterproof you found out very quickly.


Randy and Roxanne as we arrived and stood in mud.






Peter,our always eager collector.








Views of the quarry








Martin Legemaate photo




Martin Legemaate photo




Trilobite Isotelus from Bowmanville – from Peter Lee



While we personally did not get much, saw a lot of very happy people with their treasures. There was only one incident where someone ripped their pants right at the backside and spent the rest of the day hiding underwear colours. No pictures that I know of!


Next year, we will probably be down in level 5 (actually it was open that day but did not know it until we were leaving). Ernie says he has seen fossil corral there so something to anticipate.


We want to thank St Marys for their continued access to their property. We respect that very much as well as keeping their safety record intact. In particular, we want to thank Ernie for giving up his sunny October day when I know he wanted to be raking leaves, and Cristina Hodgins for being our liaison and helping to organize this trip. Looking forward to the next one.

                                                                                    Randy Ernst

                                   Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies (CCFMS)



This page was last modified on August 30, 2014
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