Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
If you’ve ever driven passed Granger, WA, you’ve no doubt seen the metal dinosaur sculpture prominently displayed on the side of the highway. If you turned into town, you know doubt noticed a little more than quaint houses and tree lined streets.
Granger is home to nearly 30 dinosaur sculptures. In the early 90’s the town was looking for a tourist draw and theme, and with the immense popularity of Jurassic Park coupled with the knowledge that a few Mastodon bones had been discovered in the area, the town seized on the dinosaur theme. (It should be noted that the folks in Granger are aware that Mastodons and dinosaurs were alive millions of years apart).
Today, Granger is known as the town “where the dinosaurs roam”. Hisey Park has over a dozen sculptures alone and even features restrooms shaped like a volcano!
For a number of years, the city increased its dinosaur count with a “Dino in a Day” where residents of the town were encouraged to come out and help build the herd. Unfortunately, due to budget and personnel restraints, there was no new dinosaur instillation in 2014.
“As best can be researched, they [dinosaurs] are stylized on real models. The colors are a guess of course,” said Carl Hurlburt, Granger City resident. “They are repainted by the city staff using high quality automotive paint.”
When I asked Carl what his favorite dinosaur was, he said that would be like asking which grandkid he loved the most. So next time you’re driving passed Granger, pull of the highway and explore the town where the dinosaurs roam. You might not be transported back to a prehistoric era, but you will no doubt fall in love with the dinosaurs that make their home here.
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