Nebraska ranch earns National Historic Landmark status

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, Nebraka—including the mansion, barn, outbuildings, irrigation system, windmill and landscaped lawns—earned the designation on Jan. 13. National Historic Landmarks are determined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to be nationally significant to American history and culture.

“This national recognition is a great honor for Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, and it reinforces the significance of Buffalo Bill and his influence on how we understand the American West—something Nebraskans have always known and taken pride in,” said Bob Hanover, Nebraska Game and Parks historical parks administrator.

This achievement coincides with the centennial year of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission state park system, and an event to celebrate the Scout’s Rest Ranch designation is being planned for later this year.

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 also in his private life.