Dinosaur fossils were first found in Diggs County in 1947 with the discovery of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton at the dig-site now known as The Boneyard. The Institute would be officially established two years later in 1949.
The original headquarters for the Dino Institute was an old fishing lodge. The lodge functioned as museum, student quarters, and restaurant for visitors and when a new museum opened on April 22, 1978, the lodge became "Restaurantosaurus".
In the 1990s, the Dino Institute sought out new leadership to better usher them into the 21st century. After a year-long search, they hired Dr. Helen Marsh, who had gained a reputation for saving museums and scientific institutions in bad financial states. Among her first actions would be to buy out Chrono-Tech, a scientific start-up company that was researching time travel, but failed in its efforts to get a government grant. With additional funding from corporate partners, this gamble would pay off with the invention of the CTX Time Rover. While there were many concerned about moving right into time travel tourism quickly with minimal testing, Marsh wanted time travel open to the general public to drive attendance to the Institute and keep their ongoing research into prehistory well-funded.