This exceptionally nice mueseum, which shares a building with the public library, is just a few blocks off I-70 in western Kansas. It is well worth a visit.
The museum began as the hobby and private fossil collection of a local rancher and his wife. Most of the fossils in the museum were collected within a 50 mile radius of Oakley. In addition to an impressive display of fossils, other items in the museum include:
Folkart created from Fossils and Rocks
Bead Art and Papier-Mache
Local History Items
Large Historical Photo Collection
Sod House, Depot, and General Store
Over 11,000 Cretaceous Period Shark Teeth found in the area
Summer Hours (Memorial to Labor Day):
Mon. - Sat. 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM C.S.T.
Sun. 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM C.S.T.
Mon. - Sat. 9-Noon and 1-5 PM C.S.T.
There is no admission charge but donations are appreciated.
Logan County is very proud of its connection with William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill," one of the most famous people of all time. Cody got his legendary title as "Buffalo Bill" here in Logan County.
To celebrate this heritage and educate the public the county has erected a very impressive A twice life-sized bronze sculpture of "Buffalo Bill," by Charlie, Norton, near the junction of U.S. 40 W. and U.S. 83 N. In the sculpture Buffalo Bill is mounted on his favorite buffalo running horse "Brigham" in pursuit of a running buffalo, and memorializes an event that took place here in 1868.
Cody made his living as a contract buffalo hunter, feeding the crews laying railroad track across Kansas for the Kansas Pacific Railroad. At the same time William Comstock, who was also called "Buffalo Bill" by the soldiers at nearby Fort Wallace, made his living feeding the soldiers at the Fort.
To determine the real "Buffalo Bill" a contest was staged west of Oakley, in Logan County. Buffalo Bill Cody won 69 to 46 and thus on that spring day in 1868 a legend was born! Over the next few decades "Buffalo Bill" Cody became the most famous person on earth of his time and shaped the world's image of the America's Wild West.
This impressive life-size statue of a coyote, entitled Survivor of the Plains, stands on a large rock in front of the Logan County Courthouse. It was erected for the Centennial Celebration of Logan County and the City of Oakley, 1887-1987. The bronze sculpture was created by artist Charlie Norton.
The coyote, sometimes called a prairie wolf, has survived life on the prairies with quick wit and keen senses. This wiry and adaptable animal has extended its range in recent years to cover most of the continuous 48 states.
The rock upon which the statue is mounted is native Logan County sandstone, thought to be millions of years old. The boulder was taken from rock outcroppings near Nickel Mine Spring on a nearby ranch. It is dedicated to the historical heritage of Logan County.
3596 East Hwy 40, Oakley, Kansas, 67748, United States
Good for: Solo
428 Center Ave., Oakley, Kansas, 67748, United States
Good for: Families
3538 Us 40, Oakley, KS 67748
Good for: Families
708 Center Avenue, Oakley, Kansas, 67748, United States
Good for: Business
3506 Us Highway 40, Oakley, KS, 67748, United Stat
Good for: Families
About 20 miles south of Oakley is one of Kansas' most remote landmarks, Monument Rocks, also sometimes called Chalk Pyramids by the locals.
A gravel road leads for about 6 miles off U.S. 83 to these chalk formations which stand on private property, but are open to the public. The setting is on the desolate open prairie, many miles from any buildings or human habitations. Please respect the property by not leaving anything behind, climbing on the rocks, or digging in the area. There are no facilities on the property.
It is believed that more than 200 million years ago, western Kansas was part of a large inland sea that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, separating the North American continent into two distinct bodies of land. It is believed that the region was warm, that tropical vegetation grew far to the north and sea-animals lived in the warm waters. There is no evidence of swift-flowing tributary rivers and the fossil evidence suggests that animals dying in this inland sea fell slowly to the bottom.
Scientists speculate that after the ocean had dried up and the bottom had risen above the level of the ocean's floor, other deposits made in lakes and by the winds covered these sediments burying them for millions of years. Over the ages, the winds and rains have again laid bare the ocean bottom, blowing and washing the softer sediments away to expose what are now known as Monument Rocks. It has been designated by Congress as a National Natural Monument.