John Grinvalds Editor of the Daily Sun
At Sticks Stones and Bonez, you can touch the bones of long-dead creatures, observe the behavior of living lizards, and eat a home-cooked meal, all in one day.
Bible verses hang next to the fossils and their scientific explanations. The nonprofit’s employees, each with unique interests and abilities, teach courses in gardening, life sciences, and the encounter between creationism and evolution.
The building that houses the museum and the café has undergone a kind of evolution of its own. Formerly a Tecumseh Presbyterian Church, it was nearing the end of its life and usefulness until owner Shawna Brown and her business partners like Hannah Karbowski had an idea.
“We wanted to do something for our community,” Karbowski said. “We wanted to have a place where families could come together to learn and have fun.”
So they took over the old church and set out to make it a center of learning. But the structure had dust on its bones the couple and their assistants would need to get rid of.
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“The roof was leaking terribly,” Karbowski said. “We are still dealing with leaks.”
COVID-19 shut down the world soon after purchase, wiping out plans for professional work on renovations.
“We decided to do it ourselves,” Brown said. “[Hannah] and I walked inch by inch all over the building and started to work.
They painted the walls, fixed the leaks and worked on the floors. In the end, the interior of the sanctuary became the heart of the museum, with spaces for children to play alongside their learning. Admission is $8.50 for adults and children 5 and older, $7.50 for military and seniors, $6.50 for children 2-4 and free for children under 2 years old.
The museum, which opened on April 29, also has a cafe that serves coffee and meals throughout the day.
For Brown, Sticks Stones and Bonez is a place where faith and science work together.
“I don’t believe science and Christianity are opposites,” she said. “We provide a safe place where families can gather and learn about faith and science. No one has to take sides. »
Brown and Karbowksi have emphasized the importance of openness in learning, and they practice this openness throughout the museum. The fossils and bones, usually kept behind a veil of shimmering glass, lie in the open air.
“I think everyone should be able to experience learning and practical life,” Brown said. “People should feel what these bones look like. It is important to understand. »
Employee Schyler DeFreece, who worked as a zookeeper, teaches classes in life sciences and creatures.
“Now I can share my love for animals with the kids here,” DeFreece said, holding a lizard in her hand.
Brown and Karbowksi said they want the Discovery Museum to be a place for children to congregate, especially in the heat of summer. They hope to cultivate a strong relationship with Tecumseh and the surrounding communities and aim to bring in guest speakers regularly.
The museum is located at 489 Broadway St. You can learn more about the museum on its website: https://sticksstonesandbonez.com/.