America's Best History Spotlight
On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.
Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch
He was a legend in his time. A western man. A man whose lore preceeded his celebrity, spanned decades of the pioneer west, and ended up an entertainer bringing that western lore all across the world. In the late-1800's, almost everyone in the English speaking globe knew his name, Buffalo Bill. Only a few decades ago, when westerns ruled the television landscape, they still knew his name. Today, it's further back in history's memory, but if you're traveling across the midwest to those spectacular national parks of the Rockies, stop by the state park dedicated to the Rest Ranch where he lived and get a treat of past glory, of past times, or of entertaining before your phone could bring the youtube world right to your doorstep at any moment. Saddle up. It will be fun. Image above: Chomolithograph of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World, Courier, 1899, courtesy Library of Congress.
- What is There Now
- History Nearby
Scout's Rest Ranch
He was William F. Cody, but we known him as Buffalo Bill and this historic site recounts his life both before and after the Wild West Show days on the ranch, some four thousand acres at the time, where he lived and actually held the first Wild West Show, known as the Old Glory Blowout on July 4, 1882, at the behest of North Platte. This extravaganza is credited by some as the first rodeo in the United States.
Cody bought the land for the ranch in ??, and raised cattle and horses there. One year after the Old Glory Blowout, Buffalo Bill would begin his Wild West Show, which would continue, in some form, until 1916, sometimes on his own, with partner Pawnee Bill, or in other circuses. In 1911, after the end of the show season, Buffalo Bill sold three thousand acres of the ranch to partner Pawnee Bill for $100,000. He and his family would live on the ranch until 1913.
Today you can see the exhibits and hear the story of his life in the home and barn on the property and transport yourself back in time to those Wild West Show days.
Buffalo Bill's Scout's Rest Ranch (State Historical Park), North Platte, Nebraska
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the home of Buffalo Bill was built in 1886 for $3,900.
Buffalo Bill State Park is a living history park dedicated in 1965 that now includes twenty-five acres with the historic home, plus other exhibits in the large barn on the property. An adjacent 233 acre state recreation area includes more of the land that was once the 4,000 acre ranch.
Buffalo Bill State Recreation Area includes a small 29 unit campsite, fishing, and picnic facilities. There are also 5 miles of walking trails.
How Much to VisitState Park and State Recreation Area - Vehicle Fee $5 per day
Museum - Additional $2 adults, $1 children 4-13. Free under 4 years old. Fees subject to change.
Hours OpenMarch 30 to Memorial Day - Weekdays from 10:00 to 4:00.
Memorial Day to Labor Day - Daily from 9:00 to 5:00
Labor Day to October 24 - Weekdays from 10:00 to 4:00.
Where Is It LocatedBuffalo Bill State Historical Park is located two miles west of North Platte, Nebraska along Route 30. Address is 2921 Scout's Rest Ranch Road.
Website - Buffalo Bill State Historical Park
More North Platte Area Historic Sites
So what else is there to do near North Platte. Well, there's the Fort Cody Trading Post, the Lincoln County Historical Museum, Cody Park Railroad Museum, and the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center. Check the Visit North Platte link below for more detail on those.
Visit North Platte
There are a variety of national parks and national trails that cross the state. Scott's Bluff National Historic Park and Agate Fossil Beds National Park are west of North Platte. Homestead National Historic Park is southeast of this location. For more info on those, plus information about the Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark Trail, and other that cross the state, check the National Park Service link below.
National Park Service, Nebraska Sites