North County dinosaur museum to close its doors this summer

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- One of San Diego County’s most interesting and least known museums is closing its doors for good this summer -- maybe.

The Roynon Museum of Earth Science & Paleontology in Escondido is is a labor of love for owner Keith Roynon. He found his passion for dinosaurs when he was 6 years old, and he spent decades collecting fossils. Visitors can see thousands of fossils and a number of complete dinosaur skeletons.

Roynon started his museum at his Escondido home in 1998.

“Lo and behold, it just got bigger and bigger. The City of Escondido said, 'hey Mr. Roynon – we can’t have school buses coming up the street,'" said Roynon.

Four years ago, the museum found a new home on Grand Avenue in Escondido.

More than 17,000 students have visited during that time.

But Roynon is 81 years old and he wants to retire. Unfortunately, there is no one to replace him.

It's been difficult to keep unpaid volunteers. The museum's director, Sherry Bauer, is the only paid employee.

“Everyone’s sad. I wish there was a way to keep it going. I really do. I’m trying not to think about it – I’m trying to stay positive," said Bauer.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit, now may be your last chance. The museum will remain open at least until June 29.

“If we can find a company in San Diego to help us, sponsor us -- this museum could stay open very easily," said Roynon.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.