A month has passed since our last post. Hard to believe. But we've been busy. In fact, "busy" doesn't even quite cover it. How about really, really busy. Have a look at some recent photos and see if you can tell.
On the left, above, is the title wall in the entrance to the main gallery. It says, "Donald W. Reynolds GREAT PLAINS DISCOVERY CENTER." And so what's that on the floor? A closer view on the right.... The Great Plains! You can walk from Mexico to Canada, and from the Mississippi to the desert. It's a really big map. And in these photos, it's only partially complete.
Archaeology, anyone? The interactive dig site, based on an actual museum project in 1961, has finally arrived. This is a walk-in environment where visitors can excavate hidden objects. What's that? A mammoth tusk you say? But of course, what else were you expecting?
Although these two images are from different subject areas, they kind of go together visually. On the left, the take-apart bison. (Look at that eye, I think it follows me when I move.) On the right, a reminder that buffalo in North America were almost hunted to extinction.
(Below) All across the gallery, we still exhibit artifacts from the museum's collection. For the bison area, here's an example, objects made from different parts of the buffalo.
The Tingley Store area is way cool. There's an interactive area, a walk-in diorama, and this beautiful exhibit (below).
Another space is devoted entirely to the permanent settlement of the area. That is, the beginning of Lawton. You can step inside a homesteader's tent; look at a chair used in the 1901 townsite auction; examine surveyor's tools; or peek inside a trunk packed with personal and household objects.
Here's a glimpse of one of several large wall murals, this one in the early-Lawton section. Nearby is this case with firefighting artifacts, exhibited beside a 1920 Stutz fire truck.
Another walk-in diorama guaranteed to capture visitors' interest is the Council Saddle Shop. The exhibit has remained true to the actual feeling of being in Howard's store. You can watch a master at work, and then try some leathercraft for yourself!
There is so much more. The team from Science Museum of Minnesota has done an incredible job building our exhibits. It's all coming together. Our foyer remodel is well-underway, too. Here's a shot (left) from August 16, and a more recent one (right) from September 6.
Lastly, a wall mural--and future photo op for visitors--in the dig site area. This big guy is Bison latifrons, an extinct form of buffalo that serves as the museum logo. He's life size. Wait until you see what that looks like close-up!
From time to time, we'll post info here about what's going on at the museum.