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Phillips Park Visitors Center & Mastodon Gallery - Aurora, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 44.143 W 088° 17.611
16T E 392430 N 4621241
Quick Description: Showcases the mastodon bones that were unearthed in the park during a 1934 Civil Works Administration Project. The skull being the largest of the artifacts, weighs 188 pounds.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 6/2/2016 6:37:12 PM
Waymark Code: WMRB3B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 2

Long Description:
More from their website (visit link)
"The bones, estimated to be between 10,000 to 20,000 years old, include a 92-pound lower jaw, a 6-foot-long tusk, ribs and vertebrae. In addition, you’ll find enlarged photographs and a detailed history time line related to the discovery, as well as displays highlighting the history of Phillips Park, the Sunken Garden and the Phillips Park Zoo.

The 3,500-square-foot building, located at 1000 Moses Drive, also offers a view of the Sunken Garden and includes vending machines and public washrooms. Hours of operation are from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday, from Labor Day through Memorial Day. During the summer months, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the facility will remain open until 8 pm. Admission is free and the facility is handicapped accessible. For more information, contact the City of Aurora’s Department of Parks and Recreation at (630) 978-4774."

A sign outside identifies the building as the David & Karen Stover Visitor Center. Also outside is a mastodon replica and a 2005 sculpture commemorating the Civil Works Administration worker digging up the bones as part of Roosevelt's New Deal program in 1934.

A sign inside explains more about the finds, which were made while digging out a lake and creating an island from the remnants of a deep swamp marl that may have extended down for several hundred feet. The first bones uncovered were a hip bone, shoulder bone and 4 others, in January, 1934. In March of that year mastodon tusks and other bones were unearthed, estimated to be 10,000 and 22,000 years old. They kept digging and uncovered 2 more skulls, 2 more tusks, a lower jaw, a femur, ulna, several ribs, vertebrae and foot bones. Bones of other prehistoric birds and a beaver were also found.

The lake today is known as Mastodon Lake and is just slightly northwest of the Center. It is a very interesting place to visit.
What kinds of fossils are found here:
Mastodon bones of all types.


Admission Fee: no

Link for more information about this site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:

At least one good photo you have personally obtained and a brief story of your visit. Any additions or corrections to the information about the Waymark (for instance, have the hours open to the public changed) will be greatly appreciated.

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DougandSandra visited Phillips Park Visitors Center & Mastodon Gallery - Aurora, IL 6/16/2016 DougandSandra visited it