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Front Page » October 3, 2002 » Focus on Castle Country Mus... » Five quality museums in area
Published 4,459 days ago

Five quality museums in area


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Dinosaurs and Castle County seem to be synonymous and the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price which houses several skeletons of dinosaurs found in this area. In addition to the incredible history of the prehistoric mammals, the museum also houses excellent artifacts from the Freemont Indians with dioramas and displays depicting settlement patterns of the Native Americans.

Carbon and Emery counties boast an excellent selection of museums containing unique displays and a wealth of information covering prehistoric, historic and current topics related to the local region.

Professionally designed exhibits, dioramas, recreations and artifacts await not only out-of-town visitors, but CastleValley residents.

The facilities include the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, the Emery County Pioneer Museum in Castle Dale, the Helper Western Mining and Railroad Museum, the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale, and the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River.

All of the facilities will accommodate advance requests and schedule group tours. The majority will also arrange special interest tours and presentations customized to meet visitors needs.

Most of the museums in Castle Valley operate gift shops and represent an excellent source for guidebooks, Carbon and Emery counties history, desert plant and animal references and general tourist information.

Visitors should call ahead to confirm hours of operation at the museums, especially during off-peak seasons. People can expect to pay a modest admission charge or donation at the door at the facilities.

College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum

Located in downtown Price, the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum enables visitors to journey back in time to the era of the dinosaurs.

Full-sized skeletons of dinosaurs and a magnificent Colombian mammoth greet people entering into the curated facility.

In addition, visitors will learn about the discovery of the Utah raptor featured in the popular movie, Jurassic Park.

The museum in Price also houses excellent artifacts from the Fremont Indian culture along with dioramas and displays depicting village life and settlement patterns of the Native Americans in the Castle Valley region.

Oct. 1 until March 31, the facility's hours will be Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tours may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tours may be slated Fridays by appointment. The facility is closed Sundays and on major holidays.

For information, contact the CEU Prehistoric Museum toll-free at 1-800-817-9949 or 435-637-5060.

The Western Mining and Railroad Museum

The boundaries of Helper's national historic district encompass the Western Mining and Railroad Museum complex on Main Street.

The facility has several floors filled with displays, photographs and memorabilia covering coal mining and railroading in the Castle Valley region from before the turn of the century to the present.

The facility in downtown Helper has an extensive collection of videotapes as well as a large outdoor display of mining and railroading equipment.

From Oct. 1 to April 30, hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours may be scheduled.

For tour appointments or information, contact the Helper Western Mining and Railroad Museum at 435-472-3009.

The Emery County Pioneer Museum

The Emery County Pioneer Museum in Castle Dale focuses on the region with displays of tools, implements and re-creations of an early home, a mercantile store and a lawyer's office. A visit will give people a sense of what it was like to build farms and communities in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

The facility in Castle Dale is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m.

For information, contact the Emery County Pioneer Museum at 435-381-5154.

The Museum of the San Rafael

The Museum of the San Rafael is also located in Castle Dale. The facility highlights the geology, history, animal and plant life of the San Rafael Swell area.

Replicas of dinosaurs and Indian artifacts are two main areas of concentration at the museum.

The Sitterud Bundle, listed among the world's finest Indian artifacts, is on display at the facility as well as sculptures and mounted specimens. Area art and craft shows are often presented.

Operational hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m.

For additional information, contact the Museum of the San Rafael at 435-381-5252.

The John Wesley Powell Museum

The John Wesley Powell Museum is headquartered in the city of Green River. Green River is situated at one of the historic river crossings used by the Indians back in prehistoric times. The Spanish Trail, a major commercial route through the southwest used this crossing, along with a ferry which operated for over 30 years in the area and a transcontinental railroad which reached the river in 1882.

With the emphasis on the Green River, its tributaries and the history of its exploration, the facility offers one of the best ways to understand the geology and geography of the Colorado Plateau. Filled with creative displays this 20,000 square foot museum contains a variety of exhibits, lighted maps and dioramas, plus full size replicas of actual boats, and a River Runners hall of fame all tell the story of people who sought to challenge a river and lived to tell the world.

A theater is available for special showings of a multimedia presentation on the river, along with an art gallery featuring beautiful paintings and scultures by various artists.

There are displays of early river craft, excerpts from journals of early explorers and an excellent video presentation.

The gift shop at the museum in Green River city houses one of the better selections of guide books and regional histories currently available.

From April 1 through Oct. 31, the facility is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., excluding Sunday.

Winter hours which run from Nov. 1 through March 21, the museum's hours will switch to 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

For additional information, interested parties may contact the John Wesley Powell Museum at 435-564-3526.


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