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Experiencing Scout’s Rest Ranch

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 11:17 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - During a trip to North Platte, we discovered what you can see during a visit to the ranch where Buffalo Bill Cody once lived.

Adam Jones is the superintendent of the park. “Besides the great hospitality from our staff, there is much to experience,” Jones said. “We have a little over 20 acres of grounds here. This was a working cattle ranch when Bill was here, so this did originally encompass four-thousand acres. There are many things here that are original to the property. The mansion is original, built in 1886. The barn is original, and was built in 1887. When Bill moved here, they planted tons of cottonwoods, and so you’ll see original cottonwoods planted by Bill’s family. We also have duck pond that used to be duck lake, because it was much bigger at one time. It feeds into Scout creek, and that runs all the way to the Platte River. We do have four bison on site. The feeling you get here when visiting is wonderful.”

During your visit, you’ll also see the Cody-North Cabin. “Bill had another ranch northeast of here on the Dismal River,” Jones said. “He and his partners, the North Brothers, had a cabin up there that doubled as their office and sleeping quarters. When that property was sold, the cabin actually traveled around Nebraska. It eventually ended up at this park. So, it’s not in its original location. However, it is the original cabin that Bill used. And it’s furnished as it would have been during the era.”

Jones says Cody was a scout for the Army. When he moved to North Platte, Cody insisted that the barn say “Scout’s Rest Ranch”. It was a way of letting people know that this was his ranch, and it was a place where people could stop and rest. Cody was big in his time. “He was a rock star,” Jones said. “He traveled to Europe three times with his Wild West Show. He met the Queen. He went as far as Germany, as well as all across America.”

If you get a chance, be sure to visit Scout’s Rest Ranch, which is now considered a National Historic Landmark.

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