For years, we have promised Leighlyn and Abigayle that we would take them to Oakley's Fick Museum. Stan had never been there. I had not been there since 6th grade which was just a day or two ago. Leighlyn had visited the museum with her classmates when she was in the second grade. Today, we finally fulfilled our promise to them.
The museum was even better than I had remembered. I simply cannot imagine anyone not enjoying this educational experience. However, If you are not interested in looking at fossils, 15 foot long prehistoric fish, the skull of a masasaur, Tylosaurus Proriger, which was a 30-foot marine reptile found in Horse Thief Canyon of Gove County, etc, you may want to just pass on by this museum.
Many people associate dust and dirt with museums. You'll have to look long and hard to find anything un-clean in this museum.
Vi and Earnest Fick were once farmers in Logan County. Earnest had a real desire and ability to search out any fossil in the area. Along the way, his wife, Vi, who was an amazing artist all of her life, discovered that she could actually put his fossils into her artwork--literally. For example, she actually used shark vertabrae to construct a picture of a wicker basket. Fossilized snails became gorgeous flowers, etc., etc., etc... What a gift God blessed her with! Some of her earlier artwork that is on display at the museum include pictures of roses in glass vases. They were created with melted dental wax that were colored with melted crayons. Beautiful!
While you are there, you can learn the history of the German family massacre. You'll actually find a sod house INSIDE the museum! There is also a general store, a creamery and a military display. There's also a historical picture display that consists of more than 1,000 photographs.
Former Leotian, Erm Mitchell, has some of his interesting artwork on display.
World-famous George F. Sternberg has donated wonderful fossils that he discovered in this area to the Fick Museum.
Summer hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Saturday. They are open on Sundays during the summer from 2:00 to 4:00.
Winter hours are 9:00-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays and holidays.
The museum is located at 700 West Third Street. It is right next door to the county library.
We were so blessed to have visited the museum when the caretaker was there. She is a totally lovely lady whom knows so very much of the history that is spotlighted in this museum. She is just amazing For the past 30 years, she has been in charge of the museum. She brought the history to life for us. I hope that you are fotunate to meet her there. She is a real joy!
We had no idea just what all is available in Oakley. It is a beautiful town next to I-70 . Many friendly people live there. There are several really nice stores, a few beauty shops, a community-owned theatre, 3 banks, a BEAUTIFUL park that is complete with it's own pond and several cafes including Don's Drive-In Cafe, Our Place, Pizza Hut, Dairy King, Mitten's Truck Stop, etc.
Monument Rocks, a national natural and historic site, is located just 20 miles south of Oakley on Highway 83. Many, MANY fossils have been found there. Leoti's famous, former citizen, Chuck Bonner has his Keystone Gallery which is also a must-see is located between Oakley and Scott City. Plus, you just HAVE TO SEE world-famous Charlie Norton's bronze sculpture of Buffalo Bill that is located right along I-70. Charlie is one of Leoti's brightest stars ever! Come and spend some time in Oakley. There's a few nice motels available to those who are interested in spending the night or two.