- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Some New Jersey residents want to preserve a dinosaur replica which once marked the halfway point between Atlantic City and New York.

The Bayville dinosaur has stood over Route 9 in Berkeley Township for more than 80 years since a taxidermist bought the 12-foot brontosaurus to advertise his business. He’s long gone and the road is no longer the major route between the cities, but the landmark remains.

The dinosaur was named “Virginia” by children during a contest, Mayor Carmen Amato Jr. told the Asbury Park Press (https://on.app.com/1BLMzTr ).

Its head had to be replaced in 1999 after a truck careened into a street sign, which slammed into the landmark’s neck, nearly decapitating it.

Sculptor Brian Hanlon created a new head, which he told the newspaper was “anatomically correct.”

It currently is adorned with handprints from children who were encouraged to touch it by a paint store opened on the site.

The mayor said he will contact the property owner, Texas-based Acquired Capital, to see if it is willing to sell or donate the landmark.

Tentative plans call for moving the dinosaur to the Berkeley Township Historical Society.

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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, https://www.app.com


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