Vermontasaurus – Thetford, Vermont - Atlas Obscura


Thetford, Vermont

This folk art dinosaur was almost pushed to extinction due to lack of a building permit. 


The massive collection of scrap wood that is vaguely built into the shape of a four-legged creature known as the Vermontasaurus is large enough to have been considered a building at one point. 

Created by Brian Boland, a “retired school teacher and experimental balloon pilot,” the Vermontasaurus is a 122-foot-long, and 25-foot-tall dinosaur sculpture made entirely of scrap wood. Building began on the cobbled creature in 2010 near the Post Mills Airport in Thetford, Vermont. Boland and friends created the monster using discarded planks from Boland’s balloon manufacturing business, seemingly just nailing each piece atop one another, creating a chaotic hide. Once completed, the sculpture was subject of local debate as to whether a building permit was required for the great wooden lizard, but eventually, Thetford’s Development Review Board allowed the structure to remain without a permit after deeming it as an artwork.

Ironically in June of 2012 part of the sculpture did collapse, but the belly of the beast was rebuilt by Boland and 50 volunteers in an amended form. During the repairs, the group also created an accompanying baby Vermontasaurus!

Know Before You Go

In addition to several scrap-wood "Vermonasaurs" there is an active airfield with glider launches and a stable filled with vehicles made from surprising objects. The Experimental Balloon & Airship Museum is filled to the rafters with bits of planes, hot air balloons, old medical equipment,  and a tree made from skis & ski poles. 

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