About the Museum

Our museum is a hidden gem that visitors have compared favorably to some of the best and largest museums in the world!

Advisory Board


  • Mark Bunnell - Chairman
  • Charles Semborski - Vice Chairman


  • Michael Glasson
  • Tim Gwyther
  • Peter Kilbourne
  • Pam Miller
  • Verushka Sterling
  • Dennis Willis
  • Layne Miller - Ex-Officio Advisor, Price City
  • Dana Truman - Ex-Officio Advisor, BLM - Price Field Office
  • Greg Dart - USU Eastern Associate Vice President
  • Dr. Tim Riley - Museum Director

Entrance of the Prehistoric Museum at USU Eastern

Our History


Summer 1960

Lee Stokes (University of Utah) and Eldon Dorman (amateur archaeologist, Price) discuss Price City acquiring an Allosaurus skeleton as a tourist draw.

September 1960

Special presentation to the Price Chamber of Commerce on "Dinosaur Land" to develop tourism in northeastern Utah. This builds on the discussion Dorman (who is a Chamber member) had with Stokes.

Doc Dorman and Don Burge with various founding members of the museum
Some of the founding members of the museum, including "Doc" Dorman (2nd from left) and Don Burge (right)

December 1960

Letters go out from the Chamber of Commerce to various furniture stores seeking display cases for the Prehistoric Museum, which is on the second floor of the Price Municipal Building.

January 16, 1961

The Chamber of Commerce authorizes $2,250.00 to purchase an Allosaurus skeleton.

January 23, 1961

Carbon College, a branch of the University of Utah, accepts responsibility to develop a new museum. Don Burge (geology faculty) and students brainstorm a new museum. However, the local community continues to drive its development.

February 13, 1961

TDr. Claude Burtenshaw, Director of Carbon College, presents to the Board of Regents, of the University of Utah, a proposal to establish a geological museum.

May 8, 1961

University of Utah Board of Regents meet in Price and vote to officially accept the local community's museum project as "the Carbon College Prehistoric Museum."

June 3, 1961

The museum opens in a 1500 sq. ft. converted conference room on the second floor of the Price City Municipal Building. It features artifacts and fossils donated or loaned by the community. It also featured a large mural of Jurassic dinosaurs by the Carbon Art League freely modeled on Rudolph Zallinger's "The Age of Reptiles" featured in Life Magazine, September 7, 1953.

Dinosaur Mural
Carbon Art League painting the dinosaur mural (1961).


"Al", the Allosaurus goes on display in the hallway outside the museum.

Allosaurus skeleton being installed
Jim Jensen (left) installing the Allosaurus skeleton from the Cleveleland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry with Sherrill and Don Burge supervising (1963)

October 14, 1963

County Commissioners discuss a new home for the Museum. The first Prehistoric Museum was located on the second floor of the Price City Municipal building (1964).


Carbon College becomes the College of Eastern Utah, but remains a part of the U of U until 1969, when it becomes an independent community college.


December 14, 1970

Proposal made by City Councilman Fausett for the Museum to move into the unused city gymnasium.

March 1, 1971

City and the College of Eastern Utah sign a Lease and Agreement giving the gymnasium to the museum for ten years. The College begins renovations a few months later.

Spring 1973

Museum moves into the new facility at city gymnasium.


December 14, 1987

The lease for the gymnasium is extended through December 2013.

March 1988

The City and College partner for funding from the Economic Development Agency and Community Impact Board to build a new wing.


Construction begins on the new wing.

West Wing being constructed
Construction of the West Wing - Paleontology Hall (1989)

April 13, 1990

The new Hall of Dinosaurs and Traveling Exhibition Gallery open.

June 1, 1991

Renovated Hall of Man opens (in the gymnasium section).


The museum receives the basement of the former Carbon County Hospital for a fossil preparation lab and collections storage. (The "Bone Lab").


The new Hall of Dinosaurs and Traveling Exhibition Gallery open.



Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM). Museum becomes a State and Federal repository of archaeological and paleontological materials.

January 31, 2004

One-millionth visitor.


Museum explores expansion with a new wing.


July 2010

The Museum becomes a part of Utah State University.