Chester H Wilson Geology Museum
The geology museum at Mott Community College got its humble start in 1959 in the form of just a few hallway displays constructed by faculty member Ben Moulten. Throughout the next ten years new displays were added and the collection grew further under Wayne Haglund. Chester Wilson became the director of the collection in 1969 and through his efforts the number of displays expanded steadily. This was made possible with a wide variety of support and contributions from many organizations and individuals, including the Flint Rock & Gem Club, the Michigan Geology & Gem Craft Society, and the Student Geology Club. Chester Wilson also included in the museum many of his personal specimens accumulated throughout his career. The museum was renamed in honor of Chester Wilson and his efforts on September 23, 1991 to the Chester H. Wilson Geology Museum. The Gorman Science Center was gutted for a complete renovation in 1995 and the museum, then located on the third floor, was dismantled and packed away. Chester Wilson retired before the museum could be reassembled and geology faculty member Sheila Swyrtek restored and updated the many displays. The museum’s new home is now located on the first floor of the Gorman Science Center on Mott’s main campus in Flint, Michigan
The Geology Museum will be open to the public the following hours during the Fall 2019 Semester (September 4th - December 18th)
Gorman Science Center, Room G1216
Mott Community College
1401 East Court St. Flint, MI 48503
Parking and Bus Information- Parking Lot Location Map
Visitor parking is located on the basement and 1st floor levels of Ramp J, the faculty and staff parking structure. If visitor parking is full, free open student parking is found in ramps H and G or lots A and S.
Parking Lot Location Map
If buses will be used to transport visitors we ask that they drop off at the Gorman Science Center and park in Lot S if needed.
Tours may be available upon special request. Send requests to the Science & Math Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chester H. Wilson Geology Museum is open to the public so please feel free to drop by and lose yourself among our many cases of minerals, rocks and fossils. Please check the museum hours before your visit as they change each semester.
Admission to the Museum is Free
The Geology Museum at Mott Community College is always willing to host interested community and school groups for a guided tour of our collection. As the facility is small, we recommend groups of no more than 25 individuals at a time. Tours are approximately one hour long and feature a mammoth skull and tusks found locally as well as a large variety of mineral, rock and other fossil displays. Admission to the museum is free.
Many school groups like to include a student scavenger hunt as one of their activities when they visit.
The Chester H. Wilson Geology Museum contains over 2000 mineral, rock, and fossil specimens to explore.
Mott's Mammoth Exhibit
In the Pleistocene, after the ice retreated, a huge lake was left in the area that extended from the Saginaw Valley to the Lennon, Michigan area. With the ice retreat grasses and other vegetation sprung up making an ideal habitat for the mammoths return. And so it was that the mammoth exhibited here died by the edge of a lake and was buried in the mud only to be found and uncovered thousands of years later.
In early 1962 a local farmer, Mr. Barkowski, decided to excavate a pond on his property located in Clayton Twp., Genesee County, Michigan Sec. 31 T7N, R5e, Latitude 42 58' N, Long 83 58' W. contractor, Joe Heystek, first discovered the bones when his bulldozer hit a tusk at a depth of 12 feet in the calcareous clay. He stopped digging immediately and called Flint Junior College (as Mott Community College was named then). The mammoth skull was excavated on May 17, 1962 by Biology instructor Dr. George Buck and students from Flint Junior College. Specimens were sent to the University of Michigan to be radiocarbon dated and were later found to be 11,000 to 11,800 years old.
In addition to the skull, two tusk (one 10 foot, 4 inches long), six ribs, and a number of vertebrae were found. It took six men to lift the skull out which is estimated at 500 lbs. This is an unusual find as mastodons are far more common in Michigan than mammoths, and this was the first example of a complete mammoth skull found in the area.
The Chester H. Wilson Geology Museum is always happy to receive donations of fine mineral, rock or fossil specimens. No radioactive minerals accepted. Please read our donation policy for further details. Thank you for your interest!
The Chester H. Wilson Geology Museum (subsequently referred to as the “Museum”) is a campus museum overseen by the Science & Mathematics Division at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. The Museum welcomes donations when the gifts will add to the educational mission of the Museum. Gifts are accepted only if they are useful to the collections and meet current collecting criteria. The acceptance or refusal of any object is partly based on the potential educational value of the specimen(s) as well as the current storage capacity of the Museum and exhibit space requirements of the donated materials. The Museum reserves the right to reject, prior to delivery, and to dispose of, after delivery, any material(s) deemed no longer appropriate for the collections.
The Museum does not accept specimen(s) or material(s) with stipulations, restrictions, or specific conditions attached. The museum also does not accept hazardous materials such as radioactive minerals.
Should you wish to donate any specimen(s) to the Museum, please contact the department Dean or museum Director in writing or by telephone prior to bringing in your intended donation. The staff may not be able to receive you or your object(s) if you have not already arranged a meeting time in advance.
Should your specimen(s) meet the current collection criteria then it may be integrated into the Museum’s permanent collections. If your specimen(s) is determined to be of non-display quality, then we may add it to the college’s educational collections, which are used to teach students and/or the general public through hands-on learning. Sometimes objects offered for donation are rejected for various reasons such as the college already has a sufficient quantity of specimen(s) or material from a certain location.
Objects are NOT accepted as long-term loans. Objects are NOT accepted with specific conditions attached. Hazardous objects or substances will NOT be accepted under any circumstances.
If you are interested in offering any specimens or material(s) to the Chester H. Wilson Geology Museum please contact Todd Troutman or Sheila Swyrtek by mail, email or phone as listed below.
Dean - Science and Mathematics
Gifts to the Museum may be tax deductible. Potential donors should consult their tax advisors for further information. If a tax deduction is planned, the donation must be appraised at the donor’s expense before being given to the Museum. The Museum or geology area faculty, as an interested party, may not provide a qualified appraisal of the value of the gifts.
It is the Museum’s standard procedure to acknowledge all gifts in writing, unless the donor states that a formal acknowledgement is not necessary.
Take a Geology class at MCC