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Cape Historical Museum receives pre-historic fossil

September 6, 2018
By CJ HADDAD ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The mammoth or mastodon bone fragment found back in July by utility workers was donated to the Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum Thursday morning.

Though the fossil was not a "funny" bone, it sure did bring a lot of smiles to the faces of those in attendance.

"I have been excited since I got the call about it," said Wendy Schroder, president of the Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum. "Look at all the people that are here that probably didn't know about Cape Coral, but the fossil brought them in."

Article Photos

The mammoth/mastodon bone fragment found by UEP workers displayed at the Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum.


"It's doing mammoth things for us," she added with a smile.

Mayor Joe Coviello and City Manager John Szerlag unveiled the fossil, enclosed in a clear case, with a dedication from the two to the museum.

Coviello thanked the Utility Extensions Project workers that realized what they had stumbled upon.

Szerlag spoke on how amazing it was that this artifact most likely pre-dated human existence in Florida, and how he believed that the Historical Society & Museum was the perfect home for the bone.

"For us to be able to donate it to our local historical museum-I think is the only place that it should be," said Coviello. "I'm only wondering how many of these things were not found, but were there, when they dug up all these canals when building our city."

"Anything that we can do to promote our city, and have things available for our residents to see, is a good thing for us," he added.

The fossil is currently in the main lobby of the museum, in the previously mentioned case, surrounded by information about mammoths and mastodons.

The report on the bone fragment, compiled by the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc. is also available to read.

The report breaks down where the fossil was found, the time period they suspect it came from, how far underground they found it and a skeleton of a mammoth pointing out where on the prehistoric creature the bone came from.

The museum is currently deciding on a permanent home in its facility to let the fossil rest for thousands of years to come.

"It's so old, but just think of hundreds of years from now. If we preserve it correctly, and it lasts that long, people are going to come and say, 'Oh this is what was here!' I think that's going to be good for the future," said Schroder.

North Fort Myers High School student and Cape Coral resident Marissa Logsdon came up with a T-shirt design for the museum depicting a mastodon and wooly mammoth.

She loves to help out at the museum and frequently volunteers her time there, so when staff approached her about a design, she jumped at the chance.

"I really wanted to show the differences between the two," she said of her design featuring both trunked mammals. "Because we're not sure if this fossil bone is one or the other. And a lot of people think they're the same thing, but they're not the same thing."

Logsdon's T-shirts are available for purchase only at the museum. Prices are $18 for adults and $15 for children.

Schroder hopes that this addition to the museum will encourage residents to come out and learn more about the amazing find and the city.

"I would love for people to come and learn the history, not only about the fossil, but to come and learn about everything we have here," she said.

"You can learn all about the history of our city as you walk around and you look at the photographs and artifacts," said Coviello. "This is just one item that goes along with what's here for people to see"

The museum is open Wed-Fri from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission is $5.

Cape Coral Historical Society & Museum is at 544 Cultural Park Boulevard.

Visit or call 239-772-7073 for more information.

- Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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