In the foreground is a 9' fossil mastodon tuck found in the bank of the Cottonwood River near Emporia
The Johnston Geology Museum at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas is a little known treasure. The museum is free, and open whenever the school is in session and the building is unlocked.
Other than a couple of displays and interesting maps & posters in the hall, The Johnston Museum is all in one medium sized room. About 50 cases of geology specimens, fossil displays, and early stone Native American artifacts are squeezed into the room. The displays are well laid out and have interesting labels explaining what they are, where they were collected and putting the artifacts in context.
Most of the items exhibited in the Johnston Geology Museum were collected in Kansas, but there is also a nice display of crystals from the salt flats in northern Oklahoma. My favorite items included tusks from three different mastodons (you can touch one), a display on how Native American implements were made, and a complete 17’ long mosasaur skeleton from the Cretaceous period.
The Johnston Geology Museum is just of I-35, 1/2 mile south of exit 130. The Johnston Museum is in Cram Science Hall on the campus of Emporia State University. If the main doors of Cram Science Hall (shown below) are locked, walk to the doors at the north end of the building.
Before leaving the building, go down one floor and walk north into the Breukelman Science Hall where the Richard H. Schmidt Museum of Natural History displays 600 taxidermy mounts of Kansas birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish.
copyright 2006-2010 by Keith Stokes