Chowchilla, CA. – In the 1940’s and ’50’s, large fruit-shaped hamburger stands dotted the highways of California. The largest of them, the Mammoth Orange, was located in Chowchilla and was a welcome site for truckers and families needing something hot to eat and cold to drink. Those days will soon return if the Fossil Discovery Center has any say.
The Fossil Discovery Center (FDC) of Madera County, located just south of Chowchilla on Highway 99, has already brought to life the Pleistocene epoch by displaying the remains of Colombian Mammoths, saber tooth cats and other animals that once roamed this area. Now the FDC will bring back the golden age of cars having purchased the Mammoth Orange from the City of Chowchilla.
“Buying the orange wasn’t part of the original plan, but it fits in perfectly,” said Lori Pond, current President of the San Joaquin Paleontology Association which oversees the Fossil Discovery Center.
“We’re already working with CalTrans to rename the road leading to the museum to Mammoth Parkway, so if we include the Mammoth Orange it adds to the attraction and will really put Chowchilla on the map,” she said.
City leaders apparently agreed as they went with the Fossil Discovery Center’s bid of $2050 despite other bids also being presented.
“I got up and told the council who I was and who I was with, and told them what our goal was. One of the council members said that sealed the deal,” said Pond.
The next step will be transporting the Mammoth Orange to the museum and beginning the restoration. Pond hopes they will be able to start doing at least some concessions from the stand by the next summer.
“The timeline depends on fundraiser efforts and permitting processes. I’d like to see by summer of 2013 at least have the concessions going with the end result having a full hamburger stand that also serves the freezes, the orange juice and other specialties the stand was known for.”
In the meantime, the team is already working on the marketing plan to let people know about the little slice of past that will be located at the museum.
“We already have “MammothOrange.com” reserved, and we’re working on merchandise with slogans like a picture of the mammoth skeleton inside with ‘Our other mammoth is an orange,’ on it,” said Pond.
They will also host numerous events on the museum’s ample grounds. In the works are car shows, concerts and other family events to go along with the museum’s other fossilized attractions.
To learn more, visit www.MaderaMammoths.org.