7 Wonders Creation Museum Celebrates 10-year Anniversary
by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D. *
Lloyd and Doris Anderson entertained approximately 100 guests for the 10th anniversary of the 7 Wonders Creation Museum near Silver Lake, Washington, on Saturday, September 27.
The young-earth creation museum built near their home was established in 1998 about 10 miles east of the Castle Rock exit of I-5 on the way to Johnson Ridge and Cold Water Ridge Observatories near Mount St. Helens. The two federal observatories are operated by the U. S. Forest Service to inform the public about the events and significance of the volcano’s May 18, 1980, eruption and aftermath. A live webcam view of Mount St. Helens from the Johnson Ridge Observatory may be seen at www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh. The 7 Wonders Creation Museum is open the entire year, while the other two museums are only open in the summer.
The 7 Wonders Creation Museum displays photographs and artifacts from the May 18, 1980, eruption and other important events during and following the eruption. The museum provides an interpretation of the events at Mount St. Helens, and relates them to similar but even larger events that occurred during and following the Genesis Flood—for example, the erosion of solid rock, the formation of layered strata, the formation of a mini Grand Canyon, and the formation of log mats and standing forests in Spirit Lake. Many of the displays and interpretations are based on research conducted by Dr. Steve Austin, who encouraged Lloyd and Doris Anderson to build the museum. Lloyd Anderson and local volunteers often take small groups of visitors to view the volcano.
Dr. Austin was a special guest at the celebration and helped dedicate a new patio and a beautiful outdoor painting of Mount St. Helens by Pauline Brunt of the Design Science Association of Portland. Dr. Austin also made a presentation to the local planning committee and the 7 Wonders Creation Museum Board suggesting that a new trail be built at the Mount St. Helens Monument to Langes Crest Overlook, which gives a spectacular view of a mini Grand Canyon carved during the mudflows from the eruption. This view should convince even the most ardent skeptic that such geologic features can result from catastrophic processes that occur in hours or days, rather than requiring thousands of years.
Mark Plotkin, Director of the Cowlitz County Tourism Bureau, showed a 15-minute segment of footage recently taken by helicopter over the vicinity of the mountain. He hopes to develop a one-hour documentary for the county on the volcano. A cake in the design of Mount St. Helens was served to the visitors and capped off the festivities at the museum during a beautiful, fall day of celebration.
* Dr. Vardiman is Chair of the Department of Astro/Geophysics.
Article posted on October 9, 2008.