City's natural history museum looking for a permanent
February 6, 2009 | BRIGHAM CITY -- With the approval
of the City Council, a task force will attempt to find
a location and funding for a permanent home for the
Natural History Museum in Brigham City, which currently
features the Gunther family fossil and mineral collection.
In 2008, the Gunther family donated a portion of their
collection to Brigham City. According to their Web site,
Lloyd F. Gunther has been collecting fossils and minerals
since he was 12 and with the help of his son, Val Gunther,
and grandson, V. Glade Gunther, has acquired a "world-class"
collection. Specimens from the collection can be found
all across the country in different museums and universities,
Val Gunther said.
"We send specimens all over the place," Gunther said,
"but we wanted to save our best material for Brigham
The current location for the museum, 60 S. Main Street,
contains both mineral and fossil specimens, including
several trilobites. Gunther said more trilobites are
collected in Utah than anywhere else in the world. One
display includes half-billion-year-old trilobites that
are exclusively from the Brigham City area.
Gunther said the city has indicated that is will likely
take seven years before a permanent home is ready for
the collection to move in. While the city has indicated
that it will not be contributing financially, Gunther
said it will endorse the project and support fundraisers.
One proposed location for the museum would be on the
block of 100 East between 100 South and Forrest Street,
Gunther said. The city owns most of that block and would
consider tearing down some rental buildings, Gunther
The price to construct the building is expected to
be at least $4 million, Gunther said, and would house
both the natural history museum and the Brigham City
museum, which is currently in the basement of the senior
center. He said they would prefer the building be simple
so "the focus can be on the collections and interactive
exhibits for children."
The vision for the natural history museum incorporates
many interactive exhibits including a movie theater,
a mineral lab, a mock-up of an aquarium that depicts
living fossils such as the alligator and sting ray,
and a reconstruction of a quarry with replicas of fossils,
Admission to the museum is free and appointments are
required. To make an appointment, call 435-723-6420.