Buffalo Bill State Historical Park
It’s Buffalo Bill’s ranch, of course it gets his Buffalo of Approval. You don’t have to take his word for it, there’s tons of reasons this State Historic Park is a must-see for visitors.
Originally the 4000 acre Scout’s Rest Ranch, the historic park now consists of 16 acres that contain Buffalo Bill’s home as well as barns, outbuildings, and a variety of other features.
The house is Cody’s 2nd Empire mansion, built in 1886 at a cost of $3,900, that has been restored and filled with period appropriate furnishings as well as a ton of Buffalo Bill memorabilia.
The barn, once used to house horses, now contains a collection of antique carriages that belonged to Bill as well as a variety of memorabilia from the days of his world-famous Wild West Show.
Come to North Platte and see why a man of taste and distinction gives Scout’s Rest Ranch the Buffalo Bill Buffalo of Approval.
Scout’s Rest Ranch at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park has been designated a National Historic Landmark for the significant role William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody played in the creation of the Wild West entertainment movement of the late 19th century.
About 8.25 acres of Cody’s former ranch property in North Platte — including the mansion, barn, outbuildings, irrigation system, windmill and landscaped lawns — earned the designation Jan. 13. National Historic Landmarks are determined by the U.S. Secretary of the interior to be nationally significant to American history and culture.
Scout’s Rest Ranch was the primary home of the frontiersman-turned-showman from 1886 to 1913. In the late 1800s, Cody developed a series of “Wild West” vaudeville shows that incorporated rodeo performances and re-enactments of historical events of the American frontier. The ranch was a powerful piece of publicity and propaganda in the show as it illustrated how Cody carried out his role as frontiersman and domesticator, not just in the arena, but in his private life.
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West was so compelling, it inspired more than 100 imitator shows, spawned the modern rodeo and influenced the motion picture industry. The movement influenced — and continues to influence — how the entertainment industry, mass media and popular culture present the history of the American West.
The ranch in west central Nebraska at one time covered nearly 4,000 acres of prairie and supported cattle. Cody dubbed his slice of Nebraska as “Scout’s Rest,” a name that reflected his career as a civilian scout for the military and his vision of the ranch as a retreat where he could relax and plan for his vast entertainment empire.
Cody also conducted Wild West business at Scout’s Rest Ranch, including purchasing, training and stabling horses; signing contracts for new performers; and allowing the use of the ranch for performers to rehearse.
Please call (308) 535-8035 before visiting.
Hours: May 1 Open weekends only 10am to 4pm
Memorial Day – Labor Day, 10am-5pm daily
Labor Day – Oct 1, 10am-4pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, closed weekdays
Fee: State Park Permit ($6/daily (for Nebraska licensed vehicles), $8 (non-Nebraska vehicles), $30/annual (Nebraska licensed vehicles) $45 (non-Nebraska vehicles) required for all vehicles and is available for purchase in the house. Admission charged for touring the house, barn and grounds. Admission is: Adults – $2; Children 13 and under – $1; Children 3 and under – FREE.