The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 8, 2012

Mammoth skeleton replica displayed at CJ Community Center

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — After 120 years, Carl Junction once again has a mammoth skeleton.

OK, so the one on display at the Community Center is made of foam. But it is representative, said its creator, Marv Dahmen, of the mammoth fossils found in a mine on land belonging to Carl Junction businessman Silas A. Stuckey in 1892.

Other mammoth fossils have been found in every county in Missouri, Dahmen said, as it was here the enormous Ice Age beasts wound up. They were pushed south by mile-thick glaciers from the upper reaches of Canada.

According to historical reports, the fossilized remains of two adult and two infant extinct species, Elephas Americanus, were discovered at the 20-foot level of Stuckey’s mine on the south end of Carl Junction.

In 1893, the fossils would be taken to the University of St. Louis where they were cleaned and assembled, then on to the Columbian Exposition of the Chicago World’s Fair where one was reputed to be one of the largest ever found.

Dubbed the “Columbian mammoths,” their discovery was made at the cusp of several significant dinosaur fossil discoveries in Utah and Colorado. Those discoveries led to a national craze with all things prehistoric.

What happened to the mammoth skeletons is a mystery, said Dahmen, a retired Carl Junction art teacher of 26 years who also has nurtured a lifelong passion for rocks, minerals and mining.

He speculated the craze for fossils may have led to their sale by Stuckey, perhaps netting him as much as $100,000 — or about $900,000 in today’s currency.

“He owned a hardware store on a dirt street,” said Dahmen. “Is it possible he sold them? Maybe. If they went to a private collection, the trail would have been lost. But museums are careful; they want bones and they want the story.”

Regardless, Dahmen doesn’t believe they are in the U.S., speculating that they instead wound up in Europe and won’t be back to Carl Junction anytime in the foreseeable future.

Gary Stubblefield, president of the Carl Junction Chamber of Commerce, had been hoping against hope that one day those mammoth bones would make their way home and perhaps serve as a catalyst to create an historical museum.

Last year, the community began an Historical Preservation Committee, so when Stubblefield learned of Dahmen’s mammoth replica, he was eager to offer it a home.

Dahmen created the 13-foot, life-size sculpture years ago to display at an exhibit at the George A. Spiva Center of the Arts. To create it, he purchased a child’s model mammoth kit at the hobby store and photographed each piece. He then projected the images onto a 13- by 26-foot piece of paper, and traced the outlines of every bone onto pieces of foam.

After cutting them out with an electric knife, he used a wire wheel grinder to sculpt them, then assembled them on welded steel tubing.

Since then, the mammoth has made outings to the Joplin Holiday Inn, a grocery store and even a parade, but in recent history has made its home in storage at the Community Bank & Trust.

Stubblefield hopes it spurs interest in both the history of Carl Junction and the Historic Preservation Committee. A group of fourth-graders will be the mammoth’s first official field trip visitors.

“I’m excited,” said Stubblefield. “This will help tell our story.”

On display

 Also on display at the Community Center is a display of mammoth bone fossils, minerals and mining artifacts from Dahmen’s personal collection.

Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read


A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter