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Reader’s Corner

OK, this is it. The last word, I hope, on Dixie the Dinosaur. So many readers called and e-mailed to help me out on finding her that I can’t name them all. That’s such a great thing about this newspaper and our smallish town that everyone helps each other out. I also received e-mails with Web sites detailing Dixie’s adventures, first in Dixon, and then in Benicia. Maybe I feel a little connected (there aren’t a lot of Dixies out there) but I thought I’d finish up this topic once and for all with some info from a Web site – sent in by an alert reader!

“Dixie is a 50-foot tall brachiosaur quite prominent from I-680. If you get off the highway, you can drive right up to her, but there’s a fence around her, topped with scary barbed wire. The sign nearby said the fence was to prevent vandalism, as Dixie had cost $150,000 to build and set up.”

This, from a sign nearby:



“Dixie is a life-size Brachiosaurus. She is 71 feet long from the tip of her tail to the end of her snout. She stands 50 feet tall. The Brachiosaurus lived in North America and East Africa. They were abundant during the Jurassic period, 130,000 to 180,000,000 years ago. Dixie’s predecessors lived in water and ate plants.

“Dixie was built by William Kreysler & Associated in Petaluma, California. The statue is made of a steel structure covered by a fiberglass skin. It weighs 15,000 pounds, not including the concrete piers which anchor the statue to the wildflowers.




“The dinosaur was flown by a Sikorsky S-64 Sky Crane helicopter to Dixon, California, on Oct. 9, 1994. The statue was installed without an official permit, so there was a brief uproar. There’s something about a life-sized Brachiosaurus which gives pause to bureaucrats. Fortunately, Dixie was beloved by children who passed her on I-80. Thanks to the rapid response of a few local heroes, the bureaucrats backed down and allowed Dixie to stay. When the location was sold, Dixie’s owners announced plans to move the statue to Benicia. There were tears in Dixon when Dixie flew here on July 18, 1996.

“Although Dixie still lacks a Dinosaur building permit, the statue was welcomed to Benicia by a unanimous vote of the Benicia City Council.”

Directions: Northbound: On I-680 north, go across the Martinez-Benicia Toll Bridge, take the first exit (Bayshore). At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a left at the stop sign and go under the highway. You’ll come to a stop sign, and take a right onto Park Road. Keep going through a stop sign (but stop first), up an incline, and past the railroad tracks. Info: (707) 745-6691.

ooo

Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by email at dixier@theunion.com, or by fax at 477-4292.


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