In the year 1953, after working as a Certified Public Accountant and even owning a mill machinery company, "Ernie" Nelson decided to pack up the whole family and move them south down to Eugene, Oregon to find a location to make his new investment, a unique Dinosaur Park. He decided to settle on a unique Prehistoric looking garden along the southern Oregon Coast and finally started the process of construction.
after just three years of the construction, and a business trip to the Smithsonian in New York City, as well as endless research to ensure the replicas would, in fact, be "Life-Size" and would look scientifically correct; Nelson opened up his Prehistoric Garden on January 1st in 1955. Over the next 30 somewhat years to come, he went on to construct over 20 dinosaurs.
How does the construction process go you may ask?
Each and every dinosaur starts out as a sturdy steel frame and has a mesh-like metal lath placed on top of all of the steel framing. The next step is to erect the sculpture itself, in which "Ernie" would use concrete to slather over the lath to give the dino it's "basic" forming. He then would float the final layer of the concrete to create the definition and began hand-painting them to give them a life-like feel. Ernie said, "Each recreation yielded its own set of challenges and incredible engineering feats."
Fun Fact: The Brachiosaurus by itself, took 4 years to complete, and was also constructed on the site that it stands today. at eighty-six feet long, and forty-six feet tall, the massive sculpture is for sure a work of art; and is, in fact, Mr. Nelsons prize possession.
To this day the park remains in the family and strives to continue on the legacy that "Ernie" left behind. To create a fun place where young and old alike can come to discover the past by stepping back-in-time.