Mastodons Near Wheaton?!

Issue 2: Hidden Gems of Wheaton: Perry Mastodon Exhibit

It sounds like science fiction. Strange, but true, mastodons roamed this earth where many of us live and work today (see map, below). The bones of what is called the “Perry Mastodon” were discovered on October 16, 1963. While digging a pond on the property of U.S. Federal District Court Judge Joseph Sam Perry, the excavator unearthed a large bone from the creature.

Perry Mastodon Exhibit-Wheaton College

Two Wheaton College science professors, Professor Cyril Luckman (Biology) and Professor Douglas Block (Geology), were invited to further investigate the find. After careful evaluation of the site, they found more huge bones. Judge Perry gave the Wheaton College Geology Department permission to fully excavate the site and use the bones for educational purposes at the college.

Visiting and More Details

The recovered 13,500-year-old bones were transported to Wheaton College for cleaning and inspection. The college’s Geology Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Donald C. Boardman, began the process of creating a permanent, educational display from this outstanding specimen. The college hired the Richard Rush Studio of Chicago to assemble the massive display. A fiberglass model was created for the right side of the mastodon to show what it would have looked like.

The finished product is impressive to observe! Today, it can be viewed at the state-of-the-art Meyer Science Center on Wheaton College’s campus.

While there, you may also enjoy:

  • a Foucault pendulum
  • a natural science exhibit hall
  • a greenhouse
  • an astronomical observatory
  • and more

(Please call ahead, or visit their website, for hours and details.)

Richard Rush Studio
Richard Rush Studio Assembling the Mastodon Display