ST. PAUL, Minn. – If you’ve counted yourself at any point among the children fascinated by the dinosaurs at the Science Museum of Minnesota this would be a good time to acknowledge some prehistoric passion. 

No bones without it.

On Tuesday, Science Museum staff and volunteers will hold a retirement party for Bruce Erickson – the man who brought dinosaurs to Minnesota.

“We have this wonderful collection built by a single individual,” says Ed Fleming, the museum’s curator of archeology. “He’s responsible for the paleontology program at the science museum.”

The Science Museum of Minnesota had a handful of bones, but no dinosaurs, when in 1959 it hired a Minnesota-born paleontologist – then engaged in what Erickson describes as “grunt work” in a lab at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Erickson was hired on one condition. “I had to promise that I’d collect a dinosaur for the museum,” he smiles.