Explore Marshfield WI's Jurustic Park
PHOTO CREDIT: Wes Aldridge
Around 1993, rural Marshfield resident Clyde Wynia sculpted a big iron bird with a 9-foot wingspan and hung it from a tree in his backyard.
A neighbor asked, “Where did you ever get something like that?” “I dug it out of the nearby marsh where it inhabited the swamp during the Iron Age,” replied Wynia, which he says was the first thing that came to his mind.
And so was born Jurustic Park, which now features more than 250 iron sculptures on display. “I just couldn’t stop digging and welding these critters back together,” says Wynia, a former lawyer.
Around 15,000 people from all 50 states and about 30 different countries tour the attraction each year. Wynia crafts creatures of all sizes, from 45-foot dragons to tiny mosquitoes.
“But I don’t really dare have a favorite piece,” he says. The artist gets his scrap metal from a variety of Marshfield area businesses and through a scrap yard. He also has a load of new iron delivered whenever the need arises.
Wynia never sells his largest creations, but he contributes pieces to 11 charitable auctions annually to raise about $6,000 a year for various causes. He also donates large sculptures to the city of Marshfield, the park in his township of McMillan, local schools and subsidized housing for seniors.
Jurustic Park also features the work of Wynia’s wife, Nancy. In an on-site studio and gift shop, she makes and sells glass sculptures, her own glass beads and jewelry, small blown-glass items, and also teaches glass making. Her shop also features a corner where she dyes, cards, spins, knits and felts natural fibers.
“It is great to be able to have our retirement careers blend into this one gratifying project and to spend these wonderful years together,” Nancy says.
Still curious? Check out more attractions in Marshfield, WI.