Fick Fossil Museum
Backstory and Context
generally associate Kansas with the ocean but Kansas was a very different place
80 million years ago than it is today! Around 70 to 90 million years ago,
an inland sea stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and Kansas
was under water.
By 1964, however, this vast ocean was long gone. It was then that Oakley-area residents Ernest and Vi Fick started to seriously collect the fossils left by the ancient sea creatures that inhabited this prehistoric sea. In 1971, they had collected thousands of shark teeth and complete fossils. Vi Fick incorporated many of those fossil findings into a very unique collection of artwork. Soon, their collection had outgrown their home.
The facility is small, but is easily accessible by the major intertstate that passed by the town. The management has made great effort to bring this museum to a high level of interest, and is certainly more than just a presentation of fossils. Local museums are becoming increasingly rare and this one is a prime example of pride of place and heritage. The eclectic presentation of artifacts reflect local history, culture and art with some significant paleontological specimens. Its presentation provides a delightful slice of Americana and a perfect 1-2 hour diversion amid touching stories and reflections of the human stories told here leave one with a what is usually a daunting passage through Kansas and eastern Colorado. The human scale for this little museum is fitting, and the warm, if poignant, appreciation for this American prairie culture, straining from depopulation in the 21st century, can add a powerful note of nostalgia, as this conflict still continues.
Walking tours are available, and with advanced notice, a docent-led tour can be arranged for small groups. Contact the Museum for more information.