Dinosaur State Park Exhibit Center

A footprint left 200 million years ago is preserved in sandstone, one of hundreds under the dome of the Dinosaur State Park Exhibit Center. The tracks were uncovered by a bulldozer working on a state construction project in 1966. After the site was carefully excavated the dome of the exhibit center was erected over the tracks, preserving them just as they were discovered. Although no bones have been discovered to positively determine which dinosaur left the prints, scientists believethe most likely candidate was similar to the Dilophosaurus, a small carnivorous reptile from the early Jurassic period. (BOB MACDONNELL/THE HARTFORD COURANT / June 14, 2010)

HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: From a ridge in the northeast section of town which is now Rocky Hill Quarry Park.

ORIGINS: Settled in 1650 as part of Wethersfield. The "lower community," later known as Stepney Parish, was incorporated as a separate town in 1843. Though not yet a town, the locality was referred to as Rocky Hill as early as 1649, making it the earliest in the state to be given an English descriptive name.

DINOSAURS: Excavation for a new state building in 1966 led to the accidental uncovering of hundreds of dinosaur footprints. That, in turn, led to the opening of Dinosaur State Park in 1968. The park's 200-million-year-old sandstone trackway is a Registered Natural Landmark.

DID YOU KNOW: The Rocky Hill– Glastonbury Ferry, crossing the Connecticut River, is the nation's oldest continuously operated ferry service, dating to 1655.

SOURCES: The Hartford Courant; rockyhillhistory.org; ct.gov/dot; Connecticut State Register and Manual.