We have a hidden treasure up here in the Stateline and it’s called Burpee Museum of Natural History. Housed in a late 19th Victorian Mansion along the Rock River, the Burpee Museum has been delighting visitors and contributing to the study of natural history for nearly 75 years.
This past week I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour at Burpee. The backstage tour was an opportunity to gather some inspirational material; images, thoughts, history, stories, emotions, for a collaborative event, known as Word of Art 3D, planned for early 2017.
To tell you everything about the Burpee Museum would take a book, but here are some of the highlights from the special ‘collections’ tour.
- The museum is home to a lot more than just bones
- Many years ago an expansion of the museum was built around a huge ginkgo tree. Why? Because the ginkgo is one of the oldest types of trees on our planet, dubbed a “living fossil” by the Arbor Day Foundation.
- Burpee is home to Jane the Dinosaur, the most complete adolescent T-rex ever found
- Always wanted to go on a dig? Burpee offers it.
- Homer, a teen-aged Triceratops calls Burpee home
- They have fossils that are between 53.5 and 48.5 million years old
- Their 2016 Paleofest featured 24 women paleontologists
- They offer internships for college students interested in studying natural history
I could go on but I will spare you. It was a fascinating and eye-opening tour, one I won’t soon forget. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few photos I took from behind-the-scenes at Burpee Museum.