Elena Roberts ~ Guest Writer
For over three years, the house attached to the student parking lot, 313 College St., has been occupied by a group of college-aged men who do not attend the University of Lynchburg, and is the only house on College Street not owned by the University.
The Director of Housing and Residence Life, Kristen Cooper, expressed that the University has been interested in purchasing the home in the past, but the purchase did not come to fruition. Cooper shared that there has never been any big issues with the current residents.
There have been strange sightings and occurrences at the house. Loud rock music has been heard from the backyard, and mannequin parts have been spotted scattered all around the house.
The college-aged men living in the house named it “The Dino Den” when they moved in three years ago, according to resident Wesley Montgomery. Montgomery said most of the housemates are not students but young adults living in Lynchburg, working and pursuing music.
Wesley shared that he felt U of L students believed him and his housemates to be strange. “People were kind of caught off guard when we moved in,” said Montgomery. “There was the myth that we were crazy partiers.”
In reality, most of the housemates are straight-edge, hooked on nothing but La Croix. The Dino Den is more of a hub for artists and musicians than a party house.
Another Dino Den housemate, Hayden Nielander, said, “We are really a group of creative people, I guess that comes across as weird. We just want to make something worthwhile.”
Many of the housemates are in successful local bands, such as Good Dog Nigel, Friendlie, Wesley Montgomery and Shallow Talent.
Nielander and Montgomery believe the house was not sold to U of L because the owner has sentimental value tied to it. “The owner lived here with his wife when they were first married,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery shared that the relationship between the Dino Den and U of L campus police has not always been great. “They don’t like us because they have no control over us,” Montgomery said.
As far as the mannequins, Montgomery explained they were given to him. “I brought home about 12 or 13 headless mannequins, and we thought it would be funny if we put them all around the house! Campo hated it! I knew that was the beginning of the end of people thinking we were weird as hell,” said Montgomery.
The Dino Den guys welcome U of L students to come to their shows or join them in their monthly Super Smash Bros tournaments. “Come say hi, we don’t bite!” said Montgomery.
All of the men will be moving out on June 1st, and they plan to have an “Extinction Show” sometime in late May.