Agate Fossil Beds
Administrative History
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Document Approval Page (omitted from the on-line edition)

Existing Management Zoning and Boundary Map


List of Illustrations

Preface to Online Edition


Chapter I: The Cooks of Agate Springs Ranch

The Story of James H. Cook
Discovery of the Fossil Hills Quarries
aleontological Excavations at Agate Springs
A State Park at the Fossil Quarries?
The Scotts Bluff Experience and A Persistent Preservation Ethic

Chapter II: The Road to a National Monument, 1961-1964

The Preliminary Study and Advisory Board Endorsement, 1961
Harold J. Cook's Death, 1962
The Cook Collection Goes To Scotts Bluff, 1963
Legislative Efforts Fizzle, 1963-1964

Chapter III: Authorization of Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 1965

Statistics for a National Monument
Progress of House and Senate Hearings
Congress Endorses the National Monument
President Johnson Signs Public Law 89-33
An Exciting First Visitor Season
A Management Assistant Arrives

Chapter IV: Years of Expectations, 1966-1970

The First Calendar Year of Operation, 1966
Land Acquisition Program Begins, 1966
Interim Headquarters Development, 1967-1968
Margaret C. Cook Donates the Collection, April 1968
Frustration Over Cook Remaindermen Interests
Another Death and A Harsh Reality, August 1968
Evacuating the Ranch House, 1969
Land Woes and Organizing the Exhibits, 1970

Chapter V: A Decade of Challenges and Reassessments, 1971-1980

Challenging the Cook Estate, 1971
The Solicitor Opines for the Park Service, 1971
Rescuing the Collection from Fort Larned, December 1971
Stalemate, 1972
The Threat of Condemnation, 1973-1974
Senator Hruska's Diligent Offensive, 1975-1976
The Great Agate Fence Fight
Permanent Visitor Facilities? 1977-1980

Chapter VI: One Step at a Time, 1981-1985

Ronald Reagan's Mandate and Core Mission, 1981
Divestiture of the Cook II Collection, 1981-1984
Cooperative Agreement with Sioux County, 1984
A Look to the Past and to the Future, 1985



A. Historic and Contemporary Site Photographs
B. Area and Boundary Maps
C. Legislative Acts
D. Chronological List of National Park Service Employees
E. Annual Visitation Figures
F. Administrative Positions Chart
G. Harold J. Cook's March 5, 1962 Letter to Howard Baker

Index (omitted from the on-line edition)


Cover Page: Harold J. Cook (left) and Captain James H. Cook (right) examine fossils in the "big quarry" of Carnegie Hill. (Circa 1918). Donated by Mrs. Margaret C. Cook. AG—95, Photo File, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.


Fig. 1: Gathering of Sioux Indians at Agate Springs Ranch (Circa 1897-98)
Fig. 2: Harold J. Cook Homestead Cabin or "Bone Cabin" (Circa 1914)
Fig. 3: James H. Cook looks for fossils in the quarries (Circa 1918)
Fig. 4: Harold J. Cook in the quarries (Summer 1950)
Fig. 5: Senator Roman L. Hruska, Mrs. Margaret C. Cook, and Superintendent Harold R. Jones (17 April 1963)
Fig. 6: Superintendent Richard L. Holder examines a daemonelix (1966)
Fig. 7: Moving the Diceratherium slab to the visitor center (3 July 1969)
Fig. 8: Aerial view of Carnegie (foreground) and University (background) Hills (June 1970)
Fig. 9: Aerial view of Amherst Point (foreground), Carnegie Hill (left), and University Hill (background, right) (June 1970)
Fig. 10: Temporary visitor center trailer (1970)
Fig. 11: Diceratherium slab on visitor center porch (1970)
Fig. 12: Sign marking way on Fossil Hills Trail (Circa 1978)
Fig. 13: Display case for daemonelix (Circa 1978)
Fig 14: Vertical display case for daemonelix (Circa 1978)
Fig 15: Fossil Hills Trail at Carnegie Hill (Circa 1978)
Fig 16: Principal interpretive display at Carnegie Hill (Circa 1978)
Fig 17: Fossils at Carnegie Hill (Circa 1978)
Fig 18: National Park Service park entrance sign (10 January 1983)
Fig 19: Headquarters complex of trailers (10 January 1983)
Fig 20: Administrative Office Trailer (10 January 1983)
Fig 21: Visitor Center Trailer (10 January 1983)
Fig 22: Visitor center sales display (10 January 1983)
Fig 23: Visitor center exhibit (10 January 1983)
Fig 24: Origination of Fossil Hills Trail (10 January 1983)
Fig 25: Maintenance Building (10 January 1983)



Captain James Henry Cook
Harold James Cook
and the other members of the Graham/Cook family

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Last Updated: 12-Feb-2003