Columbian Mammoth exhibit in Burpee's lobby

Burpee Museum staff are busier than ever these days making plans for the Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur exhibit opening June 29. To make room for Jane, the skeletal cast of the Columbian Mammoth on display in Paleo Hall since the opening of the Solem Wing in 1999 will be relocated to the lobby of the Burpee. This will be the first sight visitors will see upon entering the Museum. And what an exciting site to see!

A crew from Chase Studio, an exhibit builder in Missouri, arrived Monday, March 13, to do the work. This was a complicated and challenging task as the Mammoth was much too big to move without taking it apart.

First, the massive skull with curving tusks was removed. Next, in a single piece, the rib cage and backbone. The legs were removed last, leaving just the feet attached to the base. But the base, too big to make the journey from the Paleo Hall to the lobby, had to be cut in sections. Once the base is in place in the lobby, the legs, midsection, and head will be assembled so the Columbian Mammoth will be in place to greet visitors as they walk through the doors of the Burpee.

Established in 1941, the Burpee Museum of Natural History is one of the preeminent natural history museums in Illinois and home of Jane, Rockford’s Celebrity Dinosaur. Its mission is to inspire all people to engage in a lifetime of learning about our natural world.

Free parking is available at the Burpee Museum at 737 N. Main St., or in the Riverfront Museum Park parking lot directly next door at 711 N. Main St.

Burpee hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4/adult; $3/child (ages 3-17). Members are free. Info: 965-3433 or log on at

From the April 27-May 3, 2005, issue

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