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Over the summer, the kids & I went to the Tualatin Heritage Center for the first time. It is a small museum with only a few exhibits. We had a great visit. The woman inside was very helpful and informative. She answered my children's unending questions.
|The building for the Heritage Center was once a Methodist Church. It was built in 1926 and moved to this location in 2005 after threats of being torn down.|
The main draw to the Heritage Center is the info on the Tualatin Mastadon. The story goes that around 1871 the jawbone of a large animal was found in a swamp in the Tualatin area, not far from the Heritage Center. The Smithsonian identified the bone as coming from a 'prehistoric creature.'
Decades later, part of a rib and molars were found near Nyberg Road in Tualatin.
In 1962, a college student went searching for more mastadon bones. He & his friends found about half of a skeleton.
The skeleton has been on display in a couple places, but has not been of huge interest to the public. The city of Tualatin is working to change that.
|Scientists believe the Tualatin Mastadon was about 27 years old when she got stuck in the swamp.|
|Huge teeth, molars.|
Ice Age & the Kalapuya People
Along another wall are displays about other parts of the area's history.
|Granite stone found in Tualatin. Granite is not found in this area and is thought to be brought in on iceburgs during the Great Missoula Floods.|
|The Kalapuya were the Native American people of the Willamette Valley. Many of the arrowheads on display were found in farmer's fields.|
Also on display is a 'grinding bowl and pestle used by the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya.'
Sweek Pond Trail
Right outside the Heritage Center is a trail. We explored it a little.
|Highlights along this area were a cherry tree (with cherries) and a snake. My kids love spying creepy, crawly things.|
Ice Age Boulders
There are large boulders around that are not from rock found in our area. Scientists believe they were brought here on icebergs during the Missoula Floods.
A few boulders have been brought to the Heritage Center to bring awareness of the effects of the Ice Age in the Willamette Valley.
|2.5 ton quartzite boulder found near Gaston.|
|10 ton granite boulder found near Gaston.|
|Granite found in Tualatin.|
To learn more about the Missoula Floods check out this video.
More Mastadons Around Town
|Many of the Mastadon bones are displayed at the Tualatin Public Library. Notice the Mastadon etched in glass behind the bones.|
|Outside the new Cabela's store in Tualatin is a 9' tall bronze mastadon sculpture.|
I have lived in this area my entire life & never heard about the Tualatin Mastadon until recently.
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