Dine-A-Ville Dinosaur, Vernal, Uintah County

The Dine-A-Ville Statue is an anthropomorphized dinosaur statue that was constructed in 1958 in Vernal, Uintah County, and is significant under Criteria A and C. Under Criterion A, the Dine-A-Ville Dinosaur is significant in the Area of Entertainment/Recreation. The sculpture represents the growing local awareness of automobile tourism facilitated by an expanding network of federal highways in the 1940s -’50s. The newly paved US-40 enabled travelers to more easily access nearby Dinosaur National Monument to the east of Vernal. Local motel owners George and Helen Millecam commissioned the construction of the statue as a marketing effort to draw tourists to their motel and increase business. The Dine-A-Ville Dinosaur is also significant under Criterion C in the Area of Art as an excellent example of American roadside sculpture and vernacular art from the era of the postwar automobile tourism. The cultural impact of the family road trip and the accompanying popularity of National Parks and Monuments influenced roadside attractions and artwork meant to boost the economic impact on local communities. The Dine-A-Ville Dinosaur qualifies under Criteria Consideration B as a property moved from its original location. Although originally located at the western end of Main Street and used to advertise a local motel, the statue has always been recognized as a broader icon for the city of Vernal, regardless of its location. It was moved to a similar setting on the eastern end of the city, along Main Street/US-40 entering Vernal and is still a local landmark used to promote tourism. The period of significance begins in 1958, when the statue was constructed, and ends in 1973, or fifty years ago, because of its continuous use as an icon to promote local tourism up to the present.