Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum
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Exhibits

Mickleson Pot

Archeology

The USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum allows its visitors to see and experience many cultures.

Utah Raptor

Paleontology

The USU Eastern Prehistory Museum's hall of dinosaurs contains a nice variety of carnivores and herbivores.

Services

Tours

Tours

Come experience the museum! We offer self-guided, cell phone, guided, and school tours.

Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Come see artwork from various professional and amateur artists! An artist yourself? Display your work at the museum!

Classrooms

Classrooms

Having a get together? Need a place to meet? Book one of our classrooms.

About the Museum

Our museum is a hidden gem that visitors have compared favorably to some of the best and largest museums in the world!

Mission Statement
The Prehistoric Museum creates understanding and appreciation of natural and cultural processes that formed the geologic, fossil and prehistoric human records found in eastern Utah. We do this through educational and interpretive programs based upon our academic research, preservation programs, authentic exhibits, and the creative efforts of our staff and community.

Our History

Some of the founding members of the museum, including "Doc" Dorman and Don Burge.Summer, 1960 Lee Stokes (University of Utah) and Eldon Dorman (amateur archaeologist, Price), discuss Price City acquiring an Allosaurus skeleton as a tourist draw.

September, 1960 Special presentation to the Price Chamber of Commerce on "Dinosaur Land" to develop tourism in northeastern Utah. This builds on the discussion Dorman (who is a Chamber member) had with Stokes.

December, 1960 Letters go out from the Chamber of Commerce to various furniture stores seeking display cases for the Prehistoric Museum, which is on the second floor of the Price Municipal Building

January 16, 1961 The Chamber of Commerce authorizes $2,250.00 to purchase an Allosaurus skeleton.

January 23, 1961 Carbon College, a branch of the University of Utah, accepts responsibility to develop a new museum. Don Burge (geology faculty) and students brainstorm a new museum. However, the local community continues to drive its development.

Carbon Art League painting the dinosaur mural.February 13, 1961 Dr. Claude Burtenshaw, Director of Carbon College, presents to the Board of Regents, of the University of Utah, a proposal to establish a geological museum.

May 8, 1961 University of Utah Board of Regents meet in Price and vote to officially accept the local community's museum project as "the Carbon College Prehistoric Museum."

June 3, 1961 The museum opens in a 1500 sq. ft. converted conference room on the second floor of the Price City Municipal Building. It features artifacts and fossils donated or loaned by the community. It also featured a large mural of Jurassic dinosaurs by the Carbon Art League freely modeled on Rudolph Zallinger's "The Age of Reptiles" featured in Life Magazine, September 7, 1953.

Jim Jensen installing the Allosaurus skeleton from the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.1963 "Al", the Allosaurus goes on display in the hallway outside the museum.

October 14, 1963 County Commissioners discuss a new home for the Museum. The first Prehistoric Museum was located on the second floor of the Price City Municipal building (1964).

1964 Carbon College becomes the College of Eastern Utah, but remains a part of UU until 1969, when it becomes an independent community college.

December 14, 1970 Proposal made by City Councilman Fausett for the Museum to move into the unused city gymnasium.

March 1, 1971 City and the College of Eastern Utah sign a Lease and Agreement giving the gymnasium to the museum for ten years. The College begins renovations a few months later.

Spring 1973 Museum moves into the new facility.

December 14, 1987 The lease for the gymnasium is extended through December 2013.

March 1988 The City and College partner for funding from the Economic Development Agency and Community Impact Board to build a new wing.

Construction of the west wing.1988 Construction begins on the new wing.

April 13, 1990 The new Hall of Dinosaurs and Traveling Exhibition Gallery open.

June 1, 1991 Renovated Hall of Man opens (in the gymnasium section).

1991 The museum receives the basement of the former Carbon County Hospital for a fossil preparation lab and collections storage. (The "Bone Lab").

1992 Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM). Museum becomes a State and Federal repository of archaeological and paleontological materials.

1997 The Museum is reaccredited by the AAM.

2003 Museum exhausts available space for exhibits, specimen/artifact preparation, and storage.

January 31, 2004 One-millionth visitor.

2004 Museum explores expansion with a new wing.

2006 Museum considers relocation as the best alternative.

June 2007 Museum is donated land upon which to build a new museum near the County fairgrounds. The plans call for a new museum building and an attached enclosed botanical garden.

2008 The Museum is reaccredited by the AAM.

July 2010 The Museum becomes a part of Utah State University.

2010 The new Museum project is scaled back to just a new museum.


Museum Experience
Nestled in the heart of a resource rich archaeological, paleontological and geological play land, our museum has much to offer in diverse prehistoric subjects. One thing that makes our museum so unique is that our items on display were actually discovered within a stone’s throw of the actual museum location! Dinosaurs and other finds from this region are world-famous, but only here can you see them surrounded by their original context.

Dinosaurs, Ice Age and Archaeology! Another unique aspect of our museum is that we are not simply a dinosaur museum. We encompass so much more. This rich region spews forth paleontology, archaeology and geology in abundance, and it is with this advantage, we strive to bring the cutting-edge world of discovery directly to you. The Utah State University - College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum is one of only five accredited museums in the state of Utah, and the only accredited museum located off the Wasatch Front, as well as a state and federal repository.

In the upper level of our Hall of Dinosaurs, you can find Utahraptor , discovered in the 1990’s with a flurry of other new species. It is the slashing fiend that adults and children love to photograph!  It stole the thunder from the original museum mascot Al the Allosaurus  with his arrival just prior to the release of the movie Jurassic Park.  The fictional raptors in that movie were actually brought to reality with the discovery of Utahraptor.

Drawing upon our collections of thousands of bones, we can have more actual dinosaur bone on display than any other museum in the region, as well as relatively complete mounted skeletons reproduced straight from the bones we have dug. This results in excellent dinosaur displays such as the Utahraptor killing claw, the land of armor display and many more.

In the lower level of the Hall of Archaeology you can view the famous Huntington Mammoth, one of the most pristine examples of a Columbian mammoth in existence, reigning over impressive mounts of other animals from Ice Age Utah. You can also see the Pilling Figurines, iconic artworks of the Fremont Culture, profiled multiple times in National Geographic and hailed as the most complete and well-kept figurines in existence. The Hall of Archaeology also has baskets, pottery, the Fremont flute, and so much more!

Our children’s discovery area is sure to please. Whether your little ones are digging for dinosaur bones, unearthing pottery shards, coloring or playing with the puppets and games, there is something for kids of all ages in our play area.

The museum also houses a rotating art gallery, so chances are that there will be a new exhibition every time you visit.

Don’t forget to stop by the museum store and choose from the wonderful selection of items to remember your visit. We have a great selection of books, toys and shirts to choose from.


Advisory Board
Board Officials
Ken Fleck - Chairman Tim Gwyther - Vice Chairman
Board Members  
Scott Woodward Maurine Tanner
Charles Semborski Deb Dull
Bruce Burgess Mark Bunnell
Andrew Urbanik Dennis Willis
Dr. Joe Peterson - USU Eastern Chancellor
Dr. Kenneth Carpenter - Museum Director
USU Eastern Student Representative

 

Contact Us

Address:
155 East Main Street
Price, Utah 84501

Email:
christine.trease@usu.edu

Museum Directory

Phone:
(800) 817-2514
(435) 613-5060

Fax:
(435) 637-2514

 

USU Eastern

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Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum
155 East Main | Price, Utah 84501 | (435) 613-5060

Contact Us

 

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