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Ice Age Imperials Now Open in Grand Haven | Arts & Culture

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Ice Age Imperials Now Open in Grand Haven
Ice Age Imperials Now Open in Grand Haven

A new exhibit is open at Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven.

The Ice Age Imperials Exhibit  was designed and fabricated by the Antiquities Company of Rockford, Michigan, and made possible by generous grants from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and the Marion A. and Ruth K. Sherwood Family Fund.  

Ice Age Imperials tells the story of more than 12,000 years ago when mastodons and woolly mammoths roamed Michigan, when six-foot tall beavers swam in our lakes, and packs of fearsome dire wolves and saber tooth cats hunted the musk oxen that grazed in our woodlands. 

In this new exhibit, interactive displays will make the drama of these majestic animals accessible to visitors and school groups. Using full-scale dioramas, and other educational displays and components, the exhibit will prompt the visitor to learn about life during this remarkable period in Great Lakes history, how today's animal life compares to its extinct Ice Age relatives, and about the way of life of the earliest peoples, the Paleo-hunters, that once inhabited this region. 

The exhibit will also provide a rare opportunity to “touch the Ice Age.”  This story will be presented like never before, through direct handling and interaction with real fossils from such ancient animals as the giant (five ton!) ground sloth, and cave bear, the largest breed of lion to ever live, and the herds of shaggy elephants that were once prevalent here. 

Guests can dig for fossils like a real paleontologist, assemble a 3-D mastodon or a saber tooth cat puzzle! Geological history will also be addressed, with graphic designs that will demonstrate how massive sheets of glacial ice, many hundreds of feet thick shaped the landscape of our region, including the formation of the Great Lakes themselves, and such local natural features as the Grand River and Dewey Hill.   

 Tri-Cities Historical Museum, located at 200 Washington Street in Grand Haven, serves the Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg areas. Its mission mission is to collect, preserve, display, and interpret the cultural and historic record of Northwest Ottawa County. The museum is always free to tour, and most programs are free as well.

There is also the 2013 Ice Age Imperials Lecture Series that runs through June .