Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 22, 2016
Something fishy is going on in Troy.
And William “Bill” Lindsey is ready to tell about it.
“As a native of Troy and an early student of Troy High School on Elm Street, I was aware of nearly all of the interesting stuff that was in or occurred in Troy in the 1940s,” said Lindsey who now makes his home in Virginia. “One of the most interesting was the discovery of a fish fossil in the granite step in the front of Troy High School. Thousands of footsteps had worn away the stone to reveal the fossil.”
Lindsey said the fossil was first discovered after Troy High School was no longer being used.
“A friend, Billy Huggins, whose father owned a Pure Oil station on Trojan Terrace, told me about it,” he said. “My wife and I saw and photographed the step which contained the fossil of a fish.
“The fish fossil shows up very clearly in the granite as a white fish skeleton. I was blown away by the discovery and that we had walked over the fossil for many years without discovering it.”
Lindsey said Huggins is deceased and he doesn’t remember telling anyone else about it.
“I may have mentioned it at a class reunion of the Class of 1952 but I just don’t know,” he said.
Much later, Lindsey said he learned that historic THS building was going to be razed and made the fish fossil discovery known to city officials. He asked that the section of the step containing the fossil be cut out and saved for display at some public venue later.
“Karen Bullard, genealogist at the Troy Public Library, kept track and told me that the step had been sectioned and the fossil saved,” Lindsey said. “I was later told that it was being stored in some public building. This may be unique among school memorabilia and certainly is in Troy.”
Former Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the step containing the fish fossil was preserved as a remainder and reminder of the historic Troy High School. The step was also important because the prehistoric organism serves as a monument to the little feet that “unearthed” it. “
At age 83, Lindsey said he would like to publicize the find to all those who walked the steps of THS – “a rapidly decreasing group.”
“The small segment of the population that believes the earth was created 6,000 years ago will object but surely they must be few,” he said. “Granite is about 80,000,000 years old so the fossil would have to be older.”
The monument to the thousands of young feet that exposed the fish fossil has been preserved and may be viewed at Troy City Hall.