The New Indian Ridge Museum is celebrating 11 years of preservation and education this month. We are also celebrating the important acquisition of some remains of a Woolly Mammoth skeleton. The lower jawbone (with 2 teeth), a vertebrae, a bone from the foot, and lower leg bone were found by J. Alex Justice in the late 1800s in an iron bog off of Green Road here in southern Lorain County. Mr. Justice was a local outdoorsman who lived in a cabin at the corner of Route 18 and Quarry Road just South of Wellington, OH. (in Brighton, OH.). He would often walk to Florida, in search of artifacts and items he could add to his home “museum.” He passed away in the 1920s. Most of his artifacts ended up in the Southern Lorain County Museum (in Wellington, OH.), but Col. Vietzen, as a friend of Mr. Justice, acquired some of the material before Justice’s death. The Mammoth remains were among some of that material. These bones rested in the Paleo case at Col. Vietzen’s museum for many years.
After Col. Vietzen’s Indian Ridge Museum was sold, Col. Ron Sauer acquired the Mammoth remains. In November 2011, the Rounds family purchased these important local artifacts for preservation at the New Indian Ridge Museum. We are excited to preserve these unique pieces.
Just think, this Mammoth roamed Lorain County thousands of years ago!
The Mammoth Bones in a case at the New Indian Ridge Museum. The tag in the photo with the words “Mammoth Lower Jaw Lorain Co., O.” is in Col. Vietzen’s hand and accompanied the jawbone in Col. Vietzen’s case.