Last October (2012) I made a trip to Wisconsin with my daughter and granddaughter. We visited a number of places, but there was none better than Jurustic Park. (You can see the entire trip report posts here — Wisconsin Trip 2012). Jurustic Park is the brainchild of former attorney Clyde Wynia, who calls himself a paleontologist.
In reality, he has taken to doing metal work and welding of a hundreds of critters, which, he claims (in his paleontologist hat), were many of the “extinct creatures that inhabited the large McMillan Marsh near Marshfield during the Iron Age.” He claims to have discovered these creatures and has worked to get them back together. Wisconsin Public Television has a wonderful transcript from an interview they did with him in April 2011…its a good read.
Finding Marshfield, Wisconsin is a tricky task (see the map at the bottom of this post). Once you get there and park, you will likely be met by Clyde and he will give you the ultimate tour, tell you the stories (both real and made up all intermingled) and will demonstrate and explain some of his nearly 1000 pieces. I asked him how many he has made and he said he has never counted them!!
There are a number of scrap metal artists around the country and I have visited many of them, but nothing tops this place off. The real centerpiece is a meticulously crafted 48 foot tall dragon. It is a beautiful piece of art!
Clyde tells the story of McMillan Marsh and how he came across these animals from the “Iron Age”. He then says “I did my best to excavate and recreate the now extinct iron species. They died out when farming and industry moved into the area in the mid 19th century.” He had obviously told this story numerous times because it was down pat!
Wynia’s whimsical creations are as small as hand sized snails and spiders and as big as the huge dragon. There is an amazing variety of critters that “once existed in the nearby swamp.” His creativity is fun loving and he seems to have a story for each one of the articles.
Besides his passion for growing this menagerie of whimsical critters, Clyde has turned to selling items as well. He has small hand sized spiders and large dogs and flowery thingies that visitors can pick up if they are interested. On our trip we picked up a scary little spider.
Clyde Wynia uses all sorts of scrap metal to make his critter family. A walk around the “park” will also lead you through his junkyard of scrap metal.
And, to finish it off, here are just a few more of Clyde Wynia’s creations.
In fact, I loved this place so much that I almost lost my head!!
Some roadside assistance provided by friends at……