History Center opens new geology exhibit

The newest exhibit, “Geology Rocks!,” to roll into the Butler County History Center and Kansas Oil Museum is sure to leave its patrons rumbling for more.

"The new exhibit is actually a private collection of Joe and Ardis Cruz," said Curator of Collections for the history center Mindy Tallent. "It features rocks, fossils and various polished stones and gems from around the country."

When gathering the collection, the Cruzes left no stone unturned.

"The exhibit features many types of fossils from the couple's travels," explained Tallent. "In this exhibit, there is even a fossil from a tricertops as well as petrified wood. Some of the fossils date back to the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago."

Unlike many other exhibits the museum has offered in the past, one particular section of this exhibit is sure to rock the world of many young, or young-at-heart, geologists.

"There is a section of this exhibit that is called touch and feel," explained Tallent. "There are three different stands in that part of the exhibit and those exploring are encouraged to reach out and touch the pieces. It breaks the stereotypes that museums cannot be interactive.

"We are so thrilled the collectors have lent us these pieces," continued Tallent. "We hope everyone will come to our program on the 19th because the collectors will be talking about how they got involved with fossil hunting and geology. There will be kids activities as well that day."

The hope for the museum is to increase geology exhibits this year.

"We're hoping to expand the variety of visitors coming to the museum," said Tallent. "People are always fascinated with fossils. We were thrilled the Cruzes were willing to lend their collection to the museum and we hope to increase the number of geology exhibits this year."

The exhibit runs through July at the Butler County History Center and a special program will be presented at the museum from 1-3 p.m. on April 19.


Kari Adams can be reached at kadams@butlercountytimesgazette.com.