Perry`s Pond - Self Guided Tour of Glen Ellyn

Perry’s Pond
On October 16, 1963,
Judge Joseph Samuel
Perry's was having a pond
in his backyard excavated
or dug out. As the
workers were digging, to
make the pond, they
found a large, 42-inch
bone! This was big news
because not every day do
people find a 42 inch bone
in their backyard. The
digging had to stop and
experts from the Field
Museum in Chicago and
Wheaton College were
called in.
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Wheaton College
Everyone agreed that this bone was an important find so the
bone was taken to Wheaton College in nearby Wheaton,
Illinois to be examined. The geologists at Wheaton College
determined that bone belonged to a mastodon!
The discovery of the mastodon bone made Joseph Perry decide to give
Wheaton College permission to continue excavating or digging on the site.
The digging was then done by hand so the machines would not destroy
any of the old bones. This was important so the scientists could look for
more bones and preserve the bones properly. Geologists from the college
eventually found more than 100 of the mastodon's 211 bones. They even
found the complete skull with well-preserved teeth.
Geologists carefully
restored and
reassembled the
mastodon skeleton, and
a model of it is now on
display at Wheaton
College's Armerding
Hall. Anyone who
wants to see it can go
to the college and look
at the creature that was
found right here in Glen
Ellyn in Perry’s Pond. It
was a huge, amazing
If you go to Wheaton College to see Perry’s Mastodon, you will see that the display rotates in a circle.
On one side you can see just the skeleton of the mastodon, and on the other side you can see what
scientist think it looked like with fur and skin.
In 1995 the DuPage County Forest Preserve purchased most of what was Judge Perry's 10acre property. The property is now preserved as a wetland for animals that live in the area.
Perry’s Pond is now part of the Forest Preserve of DuPage County, and the land will be kept
as open space so that no houses, businesses or roads can be built on it.
This is what scientists think a mastodon looked like.
A mastodon was a pre-historic animal that roamed North America long ago
during the Ice Age. Mastodons, along with mammoths, are related to
modern elephants. As adults they stood between 8-10 feet
at the shoulder and weighed between 4-6 tons. Mastodons became extinct
approximately 11,000 years ago. Mastodons were not alive during the time
of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs lived many thousands of years before the
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mastodons were here.
back to the story.
A Geologist is a person
who studies the earth, its
rocks and minerals. They
do more than just name
rocks and dig up
fossilized bones,
geologists help us better
understand the past.
This is a photo of one of the geologist from The Field Museum in
Chicago who came to help work on the careful removal of the bones
from Perry’s Pond.
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back to the story.
An acre is a way to measure land. It is about the size of a football field.
If you have been to a high school track, it is about the size of the inside
of the track. An acre is shown by the blue space in the football field
picture below.
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back to the story