Southington, Connecticut: Backyard Concrete DinosaurAll that remains of a menagerie of concrete dinosaurs -- a local landmark said to be at this private residence since the 1950s -- is a headless T-Rex. This is not open to the public.
- On the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike (Route 322), behind house next to the westbound I-691 exit ramp (exit 4), on the right.
- Private property - partially visible from street.
Visitor Tips and News About Backyard Concrete Dinosaur
The Southington roadside dinosaurs were made of wooden frames and chicken wire, with a stucco exterior. When the wood rotted, they probably collapsed. I grew up two houses away from the Marottos, and they would take care of my young sister until I got home from school.
Incidentally, the bluff behind their house is the highest point in the USA within 50 miles of the Atlantic Ocean.[Rich Uznanski, 07/08/2012]
The dinosaurs behind the house in Southington have been there since the late 1950s. Bob Marotto and his wife Freddie occupied the house until the early- to mid-1970s. Mr. Marotto made those all by hand and I was told that at the time the Marottos were to move they contacted the Peabody Museum in New Haven to see if they would want them. The figures are so heavy that it made it impossible to move them safely and without damage.
The stegosaurus in the front yard has alway been there since the making of the others in the back yard, T-Rex and baby and the "space/lizard" man. I remember driving by as a kid and my father telling me the story of their building by Mr. Marotto.
One day we went to my grandparents house and there he was... the dinosaur builder (Apparently Mr. Marotto played the guitar and would sit in with my grandfathers band once in a while). I was in awe of him. What kid wouldn't be, meeting the man who built dinosaurs![Judy O., 03/28/2007]
Southington's unique T-Rex dinosaur was built in the late 1950's by Bob Marotto. The T-Rex is made of wood interior, wire mesh and stucco concrete with glass eyes and aluminum teeth and claws. Stands at least 10 to 12 feet tall. There is a baby T-Rex on its side (to be restored at a future date by the landowner). The lizard-like "Moon-man" statue is in good shape.
T-Rex can be viewed from the road (Route 322); landowner permission is required for closer view. No trespassing allowed on private property. Beware of dog on site -- an underground cable keeps it inside the property.[Peter Picone, 08/08/2005]
Construction on the house appears finished and the dinosaurs are back - at least some of them. There's a standing t-rex, a collapsed (and apparently hollow - perhaps they're not concrete after all?) t-rex, and some sort of unidentifiable lizardish monster creature painted black with white skeleton markings. It never used to be there. Long long ago there was also a stegosaurus but it's left nary a trace.[matt baume, 02/24/2001]
Update March 2004 - Kathy C. reports only the T-Rex is still standing, in need of repair. Note: This is a private home and not open to the public, so don't stop and gawk for too long...
In Southington, on the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, which is also known as Route 322, there are three concrete dinosaurs in the backyard of the house located next to the westbound I-691 exit ramp (exit 4). My recollection is that these dinosaurs started appearing one-by-one in the late 1950s/early 1960s. I remember reading a newspaper account some years ago that mentioned that the dinosaurs were built by the former owner of the house. The dinos are still there nearly 40 years later, although one of them has fallen over and foliage is starting to overgrow all of them. The T-Rex, which I estimate to be 10 to 12 feet tall, is still very impressive![Stan Horzepa, 06/07/1998]