Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Dinosaur builder

Dinosaur builder

March 23, 1970: Sculptor Claude K. Bell with his 45-foot- tall, 150-foot-long brontosaurus in Cabazon next to Interstate 10. Bell, a Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist, opened the Wheel Inn cafe in 1958. To attract customers, he began building dinosaurs.

Bell thought big. “The brontosaurus is just the beginning.” he said, ” I’ve got 62 acres alongside the freeway.  In the next 30 years, I’m going to build an entire family of giant dinosaurs here.”

The planned park was to be named Claude K. Bell Dinosaur Gardens. A Tyrannosaurus rex, named Mr. Rex, did get built, but Bell died in 1988 before any additional dinosaurs were added.

The Cabazon site was sold in the mid-1990s, attractions added. It is currently run as a museum with a creationist theme.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

Follow Scott Harrison on Twitter and Google+

Thumbnail view of all From the Archive posts.

No comments yet

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published

Advertisement
SHOP LA TIMES PHOTOS
Browse All Photos »

RECENT COMMENTS