Midland — The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art will bid farewell to a beloved attraction this month. The mastodon skeleton, nicknamed “Manny,” located at the front of the Hall of Ideas, will be restored and will move to a new home.
“He’s been here for many, many years,” said Julie Johnson, director of museums.
This will be the first time Manny has undergone restoration, and the wear and tear shows. The main issue is cracks in the leg structure. A specialist who visited the museum also pointed out that the skeleton is not standing properly, so that will be addressed as well.
“We’re actually modifying him, making sure we’re representing him correctly,” Johnson said.
Once Manny is restored, he will be placed on display at the Herbert D. Doan Midland County History Center. The reasoning behind the new location is that mastodons are believed to have once roamed the Midland area until their extinction nearly 10,000 years ago. Johnson hopes that it will fuel local interest and bring field trips to the Doan Center.
The museum will hold a bon voyage party for those who want to say goodbye to Manny the mastodon. Admission is free, but visitors are requested to RSVP for the event. Guests can take pictures with the skeleton, enjoy refreshments and hear about future plans for Manny and the museum.
“We’re trying to look at the museum and see how to bring it back to life in ways people aren’t expecting,” Johnson said.
Manny’s place will be occupied with one of the dinosaur displays from the Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs exhibit, which will be open Jan. 27 through May 20. However, there is a chance that Manny will one day return to live at the Alden B. Dow Museum.
“We know that he is well loved. We don’t want to have him not on display,” Johnson said.