Fossils, American Indian Heritage, and Ranching...

In the early 1900s, paleontologists unearthed the Age of Mammals when they found full skeletons of extinct Miocene mammals in the hills of Nebraska -- species previously only known through fragments.

At the same time, an age of friendship began between rancher James Cook and Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota.

These two unprecedented events are preserved and protected here... at Agate Fossil Beds.

Two rangers motion in a welcoming way towards open door.

Top 10 Tips For Visiting Agate

"Plan like a park ranger" for your visit to Western Nebraska with these top 10 tips from our rangers.

Large fossilized creatures tower overhead inside the visitor center

When Mammals Roamed The Prairie

Fossils of Miocene age mammals help us understand the lives of these ancient animals. Paleontologists efforts to uncover them began in 1905.

Red Cloud gave these signed, beaded moccasins to James Cook.

The James H. Cook Collection

These beaded moccasins and other items in the James H. Cook Gallery open doors of understanding the Native American culture.

Black and white photo of a gathering of American Indians and Cook at the Agate Springs ranch house.

The Agate Springs Ranch

Both paleontologists and American Indians such as Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota, American Horse and others visited James Cook here.

Last updated: June 8, 2021

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Mailing Address:

301 River Road
Harrison, NE 69346


(308) 665-4113

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