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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Located in White River State Park in the heart of Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum is a wonderful place to find everything you never expected. Whether you are a visitor to the state or a life-long Hoosier, this world-class institution will allow you to explore Indiana’s past, present and future through artistic, cultural and scientific exhibits. Starting with the birth of earth and tracing Hoosier history into the 21st century, the museum offers an eclectic and ever-changing adventure. Constructed of all Indiana materials including limestone, sandstone, steel, brick and glass, the museum’s exhibit space covers 72,000 square feet, and the organization maintains a collection of more than 400,000 artifacts. From the soaring Great Hall showcasing Robert Indiana’s INDIANA obelisk to 92 pieces of sculpture representing the 92 Indiana counties, even the building itself is a work of art. The museum is the crossroads of everything interesting, educational and unique about the state. The museum's collection began in 1862. The new building opened in 2002.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Day 6, August 26, 2006

Yep, it turned out the way it looked. The backhoe first team, along with Ron and Rex, were on site by 7:00 a.m. and by 9:00 it was obvious that whatever happened to our elephant in large part happened somewhere else. We got most of the ribs and a few odds & ends, but most of our girl ended up somewhere else. The local paper, bless their heart, had encouraged people to show up to volunteer and we had about 100 eager volunteers, including about 2-dozen Cub Scouts, hanging around with not much to do. Fortunately, when there’s not much going on, kids will invent their own entertainment. We put a batch in a back-pile and they amused themselves exploring for “dinosaur bones.” As expected, nobody hit anything, but that didn’t seem to matter. It’s likely to be a Saturday morning most of them will remember for a very long time, mastodont or no mastodont.

We spent about two hours or so packing our gear, ate an early lunch, looked around the site a bit, said our goodbyes – made sure the Plymouth folks promised to visit us at ISM – and hit the road. This is a 2-fer. By 12:30 we were standing in a steady rain, examining a brand new (to us) swamp near Winamac. There had previously been a femur and a few other hopeful signs pulled from the ground and it looked like a reasonable place to start playing in the mud. After a minimal set-up and a couple of hours digging in the back-pile left by the dredging of a new pond, we’d already turned up a new foot bone and part of a rib. Looks like a good place to set up shop for awhile.

Don’t know that I have anything particularly profound to say to wrap things up. Michelle will take this from me starting with the Sunday post. I’ll be in and out of the site over the next week or so. I’ve got a wife and three kids I miss. Tomorrow I’m sleeping in my own bed. I have a real job, too. I’ve got an exhibit to put the finishing touches to, some stuff to write, some paperwork I’m responsible for, probably about a thousand e-mails or so to deal with – three meetings on Monday, if I remember. Back to real life.

I understand we’re looking at 5 days at Pipe Creek next year – 5 million year old rhinos! Maybe two weeks at Megenity. Expect I’ll drop by both. They’ll want someone to talk about what’s goin’ on and I can usually come up with a few words. See ya ‘round.

R. Dale Ogden
Chief Curator of Cultural History
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites