The Spring Hill Dinosaur (also known as the Foxbower Dinosaur) is a cartoonish 20 foot concrete statue that is a hybrid mix of a apatosaurus and a stegosaurus. It is located near 3273 Commercial Way (U.S. 19) in the unincorporated community of Spring Hill, in Hernando County, Florida.
It was constructed in 1962 by the Foxbower Wildlife Museum (AKA Dinosaur Wildlife) which stood behind the Dino until it closed in 1998. The statue is 6 years older then the community of Spring Hill and was constructed at the height of the roadside attraction craize of building concrete dinosaurs, which began in the late 1950's. Today the dino stands in front of Elio's Barber Shop.
The statue was restored in 1999 by Carlo Daleo the owner of A.A. Painting and Pressure Cleaning, and was vandalized with red and green grafiti the following year.
The dinosaur is 22 feet tall and 58 feet long from head to tail. It was built in 1962 by Mr. Herwede who was a local artist that became famous back in the 1950's and early 1960's for constructing concrete dinosaur attractions along various highways in West Florida.The construction design of the dino has been confirmed by its half complete sister dino known as the Brooksville Dino. Herwede was never able to finish construction of the Brooksville Dino due to his death in 1967.
The original color of the dino has always been a rose colored pink and it is constructed out of molded concrete which has been reinforced with both steel i-beams and rebar. What gives the dino its shape is its steel cage which lies between the dino's concrete exterior and its steel skeleton interior.
The Spring Hill Dinosaur was constructed to be a road side attraction for the Foxbower Wildlife Museum; both the Museum and the Dino were both originally owned by Jacob Foxbower. The Museum opened for business in 1963 and the Dino was constructed a year earlier in 1962.
Due to financial hardships, caused by a lack of attendance, the wildlife museum eventually turned into a taxidermy shop in 1970. The taxidermy shop featured over 1,200 stuffed animals which featured a prominent disformity of one kind or another.
Following the death of Jacob Foxbower, ownership of the taxidermy shop and the dino passed to his wife in 1988. Mrs. Foxbower passed away ten years later in 1998 and ownership of the shop and dino passed down to the Foxbower's oldest son Jacob Foxbower. Following the death of his mother, Jacob and his sibiling chose to close the family business in 1998.
Jacob Foxbower sold the building that once housed the Foxbower taxidermy shop, and the land that the dino sits upon, to a local Spring Hill doctor who's name is currently unknown. Today the dino stands in front of Elio's Barber Shop and is regarded unofficialy as a local historic landmark of Spring Hill.
- St. Pete Times (09/09/2000) http://www.sptimes.com/News/090900/Hernando/Dinosaur_in_need_of_a.shtml
- Orlando Sentinel (09/30/2003) http://www.seanmussenden.com/Dinosaur.html