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Animals come to town

April 12, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • This black bear was on dipslay at the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center is now in a building in downtown Hancock where it and other taxidermy specimens will be on display.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer,

HANCOCK -- The Sideling Hill animals have arrived in Hancock.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff on Monday delivered a collection of about 15 taxidermy specimens that had been part of the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center to their new home at a museum on Hancock's Main Street, Hancock marketing director T.R. Weaver said.

The collection caused a stir last month when Town of Hancock staff found it missing from the closed exhibit center. They later learned that DNR staff took the specimens from the unheated building for the winter and had been displaying them elsewhere.

The specimens, created from a variety of animals native to Western Maryland, were on display along with geological exhibits at the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center on Interstate 68 west of Hancock until the state closed the center as a budget-cutting measure in August.

State officials agreed to loan the Sideling Hill exhibits permanently to Hancock for display in a new town museum.


The museum, at 42 W. Main St., is scheduled to open May 11 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m., Weaver said.

Weaver said Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, helped the town find out what had happened to the taxidermy specimens and arrange to have them returned.

"With a group effort between us, DNR and Del. Myers, we were very successful in bringing this together again," Weaver said. "I'm just really grateful that everybody worked together."

All of the specimens from the Sideling Hill collection were delivered to the new museum Monday, and Weaver said DNR had agreed to add some additional taxidermy mounts not included in the original collection at a later date.

Hancock Mayor Daniel A. Murphy said the town still needed to arrange the brochures and other tourism information that will be available at the museum and to move over its town history collection currently housed in the Hancock Town Hall and Community Center.

"We've still got some work to do, but we're getting closer all the time," he said.

If you go ...

What: Grand opening ceremony for Hancock Town Museum and Sideling Hill Exhibit

When: May 11, 2 p.m.

Where: 42 W. Main St., Hancock

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