Club Corner: North Coast Fossil Club

North Coast Fossil Club logoby Glen Kuban

In July of 1982, Dr. Shya Chitaley, a Paleobotanist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, founded “The Fossil Society.” In 1997, some members of the Fossil Society formed a new club called the “North Coast Fossil Club” and became independent from the museum.

Today, the North Coast Fossil Club (NCFC) is an active group of about a hundred fossil collectors and enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. The objectives of NCFC are to:

  1. Encourage the closer association of persons interested in fossils,
  2. Promote the responsible collection, preparation, and study of fossils, and
  3. Foster education in paleontology, geology and related subjects.


We usually meet on the third Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m., at the Parma Snow Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library. Typical meeting programs include speakers or workshops on various topics relating to paleontology or geology, and “Collectors Corner” – where members bring in and share information about specimens matching a particular theme for that meeting.

SW Ohio Brachiopod
SW Ohio Brachiopod

Prepped Fexicalymene
Prepped Fexicalymene

Eucaliptocrinites elrodi
Eucaliptocrinites elrodi

During the collecting season (usually March through October) we usually organize a field trip for the fourth weekend of each month. Most field trips are day or weekend ventures to collecting sites in various parts of Ohio or surrounding states, although we sometimes venture farther afield.

Long-time members Dave and Georgette Hague hunting Silurian fossils [in E Indiana]
Beth K celebrating a nice Phacops trilobite find at a Devonian quarry [in NW Ohio].


Every January we hold an annual banquet and display contest. Members bring in their own fossil collections and artwork to compete in several different categories, while enjoying a delicious potluck meal, and testing their luck for raffle and door prizes donated by club members, along with one or two grand prizes provided by the club. Afterward, the public is invited to our “Fossil Road Show,” where visitors can view our fossil displays and have their own mysterious fossils identified by our members.

Glen Kuban Collection
Glen Kuban’s “exhibit only” collection for the 2016 banquet/display contest, showing fossils collected on various club trips.

Each July we hold a picnic that includes live and silent auctions. NCFC provides the brontoburgers and paleo franks, while members bring in side dishes and desserts.

Glen’s “Fossil chocolates” at the annual party, made from rubber molds of actual fossils.

Every December we have our Chitaley Paleobotany Presentations, where members are invited to give talks on any topic relating to fossil plants. Members vote on the best presentation, with the winner receiving a fossil prize.

NCFC publishes a quarterly newsletter called the Fossilphile that features stories on recent field trips, meetings, news items, display and preparation tips, humor, a calendar of upcoming events, and more.

For more information, including details on how to join NCFC, please visit our website at

Read about Dr. Chitaley on Wikipedia