Remembering a forgotten name in Alberta palaeontology | DrumhellerMail
Last updateSat, 17 Mar 2018 3pm

Latest News

Cookie Blitz Coming - mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

Cookie blitz coming

It’s that time of year when Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, and Rangers will be selling delicious cookies. This Monday, March 19 is Cookie Day, where Guides will be blitzing the community going door-to-door with chocolate and vanilla delights. Ready to… Read More

Yavis Raptors win league banner

The Yavis Atom Raptors finished the league season with a championship banner, and are now headed to provincials.The Raptors were in the championship series for the Central Alberta Hockey League Atom Tier 3 North East Banner versus Castor.Game One was in… Read More
Lowell Cancer Fundraiser

Morrin man raising funds for cancer research and family support

Current University of Alberta student and Morrin local Lowell Nelson will be shaving his head clean for cancer come March 28. The idea to raise currency for the cure of the infamous disease has been traced back many years to a previous student who lived in… Read More

More Local News

Morrin arena fundraising surpasses $65,000 target

20171228 Kendra Sommerville Morrin Arena TJH 0004
The Morrin Agriculture Society has officially raised enough funds for a new ice plant header. The Mail reported last…

Council shares 2018 capital/operating budgets

20180312 Council Budget Open House TJH 0003
Drumheller Town council gave the residents of the community the opportunity to discuss with residents about the proposed…

Affiliate Dragons player dies in vehicle collision

Optimist Chiefs Assistant Captain Ryan McBeath. Photo courtesy of Rob Wallator.
The Drumheller Dragons have lost one of their own this week as rookie affiliate player Ryan McBeath, 17, of Olds passed away…

Emergency services respond to downtown collision

dowtown crash
Traffic is tied up at the intersection of 3rd Avenue West and Highway 9 in downtown Drumheller. The Drumheller RCMP, EMS and…

Have your say in policing priorities

IMG 5616
The Drumheller Policing Committee is urging residents concerned about the direction of policing priorities to share their…

17-year-old male killed in Highway 27 collision

On March 13 at approximately 8:10 am Three Hills RCMP responded to a two vehicle collision on Hwy 27 east of Torrington. A…

More Local Sports

Dynos girls capture Zone Championship

The Junior Varsity Girls Dynos captured the Zone Championship Saturday at DVSS.
The DVSS Dynos Junior Varsity basketball team made history on Saturday night winning the Zone Championship.The Dynos hosted…

Dragons advance to second round

20180309 Dragons Playoff Round 2 0010
The Drumheller Dragons have officially won their first playoff series against the Calgary Canucks. Versatility and control…

Bantam Raptors poised for provincials

IMG 3825
It is going to be a busy week for the Drumheller Bantam Raptors and volunteers as they host provincials. Eight teams will be…

Dragons crush Canucks in first playoff game

Canucks goalie Kolby Matthews, 30, anticipates the incoming offence Drumheller Dragons defenseman Troy Dudley, 17, and forward Slater Dykema, 11. Calgary Canucks defenseman Brody Medeiros, 2, and centre player Zach Webb, 25, were hot on their trail to intercept the potential goal. The Dragons ultimately won the game 6 – 3. Mailphoto by Terri Huxley
The Drumheller Dragons have officially set the tone for the post season playoffs last night, Thursday, March 8, with a 6 – 3…

Dragons win final regular season game

20180303 Dragons vs. Bandits 0279
The Drumheller Dragons were ready for action this past weekend. On Friday, March 2 in Calgary, the Dragons swept up 5 points…

Sister duo to compete at Curling Nationals

Shelby and Katie RDC Gold
Sisters Katie and Shelby Primrose of Rumsey are off to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Curling National…


Condolences to the family of Margaret Jean (McArthur) Dickson

DICKSONMargaret Jean (McArthur) February 23, 2018 Margaret Jean Dickson passed away on February 23rd, 2018 at Carleton…

Condolences to the family of Harley Allan Zachary Ohlhauser

on angels wings
OHLHAUSERHarley Allan Zachary February 12, 2018 It is with great sadness and deepest regrets that the parents of Harley…

Condolences to the family of Gail Garvin

GARVINGail January 10, 1945 - January 8, 2018 It is with deep sadness that the family of Gail Garvin announces her sudden…

Condolences to the family of Daniel Thomas Richen

RICHENDaniel Thomas March 18, 1953 - March 1, 2018 Daniel Thomas Richen of Drumheller beloved husband of Cheryl unexpectedly…

Remembering a forgotten name in Alberta palaeontology


    Harold D’acre (pronounced “Day-ker”) Robinson Lowe  was born in Liverpool, England on February 1, 1886, one of four sons born to Matthew Booth Lowe and his wife Sarah Ann of St. Helen’s, Lancashire, England. The entire family moved to Toronto around 1905 and farmed there.

In 1909 they moved to Alberta and were among the first homesteaders to settle and farm in the Big Stone district, about 50 km NE of today’s Dinosaur Provincial Park (DPP). Farming life was tough on the Lowes with drought, poor crops, Harold’s home burning down, and grass fires burning valuable feed for their animals. The family moved to Youngstown, AB around 1914, where they provided a variety of handyman jobs such as digging cellars; tilling gardens; selling cream separators, horses and coal; breaking and training horses for WWI military use overseas; taxi service; and hauling wagon loads of all types. Around 1920 some of the family (Harold included) moved to Drumheller and for several years ran one of the first bus and taxi companies in that then rough and rowdy coal town. The rest of the Lowe family soon followed suit. Despite being a Drumheller resident, Harold also continued farming his land in the Big Stone district until at least 1923.
    Early in the 1925 Geological Survey of Canada’s (GSC) field season near Tolman Bridge, AB Charles M Sternberg suddenly found himself without a teamster. The departing man recommended Harold Lowe and a field partnership lasting from 1925-1937 was born. Harold was an ideal field man. Though of slight build, years of hard labor on the farm had made him wiry and strong. He was a hard worker familiar with excavation tools and their use, horse and wagon care/operation, loading and hauling heavy wagon loads, and motor vehicle maintenance. Owing to the Great Depression and other interruptions, Harold did not work for Sternberg every year, but did put in six full field seasons (1925-1926,1928,1935-1937), not only in Alberta, but in 1935 also assisted Sternberg in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While the Royal Ontario Museum worked in Alberta during the Depression, Harold only worked for the GSC under Sternberg’s supervision. In the field he quickly became Sternberg’s “right hand man”.
    After his last field season, Harold had a number of jobs in Drumheller. He was a coal miner at the Hy-Grade Mine, manager of the St. Regis Hotel and then worked at Whitlock Lumber. He and his family (wife Daisy (1889-1973); son Don (1932-); and two daughters Connie (1923-1976) and Georgina (1928·2006)) moved away from Drumheller in 1944, starting a new life in Burnaby, BC. There he worked as a caretaker and maintenance man at a restaurant and later was a shipper/receiver at a car parts dealership. He suffered a fatal heart attack on September 5, 1952, age 66 (Anonymous, 1952a-b). The former Lowe home in Drumheller still exists and is now converted into the Old Grouch’s Restaurant, a popular hangout for some Tyrrell Museum staff.
    Harold’s name briefly comes up in several published histories of early dinosaur collecting in Alberta (Russell, 1966:26; Dodson, 1996:160; Spalding, 1999:89). The taxonomically problematic centrosaurine Monoclonius Lowei was named after him, the only civilian so honoured by M Sternberg who erected 37 new species of western Canadian dinosaurs or dinosaur ichnospecies.
    Despite these recognitions, who Harold Lowe was and his full contributions to Albertan vertebrate palaeontology are largely lost on most of the palaeontological community. This note is excised from a much larger and nearly completed project on the Albertan palaeontological contributions of Harold Lowe which will be published elsewhere (Tanke, in prep.). During Harold’s fieldwork in Alberta he made some significant ceratopsian discoveries and/or helped collect same in four of the six summers he was employed by the GSC. These are briefly reviewed here:
    Downstream of the Tolman Bridge, Harold finds and helps collect CMN 8882 ceratopsian scattered skull, jaws and teeth. This specimen has not been prepared and Sternberg considered it as “possibly not Anchiceratops”. Harold also helps excavate CMN 8547 a ct. Anchiceratops complete postcranial skeleton with fragments of frill. This is the panel mounted specimen which has been on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa) since about 1927.
    In today’s DPP, Harold finds and helps collect CMN 8801 (quarry 63) Chasmosaurus russelli, skull and partial skeleton.
    Work was again conducted in DPP. CM Sternberg’s 1936 field notes (Sternberg, 1936) for July 8 mention Harold collecting a ~small crest” of a ceratopsian, but no other details are given. A ceratopsian skeleton (possibly quarry 98) was explored July 29 and abandoned the next day.
    Fieldwork was also done in support of dinosaur exhibits underway at the Calgary Zoo Prehistoric Park. Dinosaur specimens (including ceratopsian) were collected by Harold and crew 10 create a simulated bonebed exhibit at the Zoo.
    This was Harold’s last summer of fieldwork and the most successful one for the discovery and collection of ceratopsians. In the Manyberries/Onefour, AB district the following specimens were secured: Field No. 1-1937. Monoclonius· partial skull (later discarded due to poor quality). CMN 8802. Chasmosaurus russelli skull and lower jaws. Described in Sternberg, 1940 and accidentally destroyed jaws saved during a move. CMN 8797. Scattered pieces of small centrosaurine ceratopsian skull: left side of face with orbital rim; ?frontal, prefrontal, jugal, squamosal. MN 9813. Part of crest. Found by Harold and described by Langston as Anchiceratops. . Parts of small centrosaurine ceratopsian skull: 2 squamosa Is, part of parietals, 1 quadrate, 1 ?prefrontal, 2 postorbitals, 2 horncores and other skull pieces; found by Harold. CMN 8790. “Monoc/onius· skull. Described in Sternberg, 1940 as Monoc/onius lowei; named after Harold. Field No. 16-1937. Large orbital horn core; rest of fragmentary skull not collected.

How will you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Ask The Experts

Tourist Map