This was truly a mammoth discovery.
A few years ago, a group of local volunteers dug up a strange object while working in a dry lake bed near the outskirts of Grangeville.
Fortunately for science, they had the foresight to contact archaeologists for the Nez Perce National Forest who recognized it as the leg bone of a mammoth.
That 1994 discovery at Tolo Lake led to others and soon the Idaho State Historical Society, the University of Idaho and the Idaho Museum of Natural History were involved. A cooperative excavation project was quickly organized and the dig soon revealed a mammoth graveyard of hundreds of skeletons.
Since that time, organizers raised funds to purchase a resin mammoth skeleton replica and build an enclosed interpretive structure to house this bony beast. Located on U.S. 95, adjacent to the Grangeville Area Chamber of Commerce, this exhibition provides a vivid display of these once immense animals and what this region may have looked like thousands of years ago.
The excavation of Tolo Lake was initially begun as a volunteer project organized by the Idaho Departement of Fish and Game to improve fishing at Tolo Lake.
The lake has now been refilled to protect bones still unearthed and provide enhanced fishing opportunities as originally intended.
REPRINTED FROM THE IDAHO COUNTY FREE PRESS 03/06/96