By: Ashley Bergeron
There is a new museum coming to the South Bend area. It will feature many attractions, such as dinosaur fossils! Let’s learn more about it.
This project has been in the works for 20 years. Mark Tarner is one of the creators of the Indiana Dinosaur Museum, as well as the founder of the South Bend Chocolate Co. Tarner gained his love for digging up bones of turtles and dinosaurs on a trip to Montana with his daughter. After this, Tarner set up a mission to dig up a duckbill. The duckbill will be displayed in the new museum and is named after Tarner’s wife, Juliet.
For around six years, Tarner and his daughter have been going to Montana every summer to dig up dinosaur bones. Their findings will be displayed in the new museum, and it is even possible to see them prepare new displays.
The Indiana Dinosaur Museum will be two museums combined into one: Indiana Dinosaur Museum and Chocolate Museum.
The Indiana Dinosaur Museum will have dinosaur fossils, alligator fossils and turtle fossils on display. There will also be a working lab where information will be given about the dinosaurs in preparation, as well as a live reptile exhibit.
There will be a “You Dig” site where visitors can dig up real dinosaur bones and feel like real paleontologists. One of the goals of the museum is to educate people about the different time periods of dinosaurs and what periods specific dinosaurs come from.
The Chocolate Museum will have a custom Mayan temple, which visitors will be guided through. The visitors will then learn about chocolate, where it comes from and how it is made. The tour will show how the manufacturing process works at the South Bend Chocolate Co. There will also be a display of the owner’s private collection of chocolate memorabilia.
Currently, there is no official grand opening date, but an estimate was given of March 2024.