Marshall and Amanda come from hill farms in Vermont and grow up supporting their families. They live through the Civil War, she becomes well known in it. They marry after the war and move to Colorado territory where they find work in the booming silver mining communities in the mountains. They homestead in Garden Park Colorado, have four children, and operate a ranch. In 1877 he discovers a dinosaur bone at the leading edge of the Cope and Marsh Bone Wars and by 1883 he is managing a full scale dinosaur excavation under horrendously difficult conditions. Three complete Jurassic skeletons that have been seen by millions of visitors go on display in 1910. Their lives are intertwined with many important historic American events.