People don't 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.
Earnest & Vi Fick
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.
Start of the Museum
The Fick Fossil and History Museum, which was established to showcase the Fick family's findings and artwork, allows you to walk through the history of Logan County. Visitors start in the Prehistoric era, amid sharks teeth and fossils and end walking the through replicas of the early boardwalks of Oakley during the Dust storms of the 1930s.
Most of the fossils in the museum were found within the vicinity of the Fick's homestead near Oakley. Vi combined fossils and shells with oil painting to create one-of-a-kind artwork. These folk-art paintings are prominently featured in the museum.
The museum houses replicas of Oakley's first Depot, a sod house, Prather's Creamery, and Oakley's General Store. The museum also houses a large, impressive collection of rocks and minerals from the Oakley area and around the world including the remains of ancient tombs! Among its more than 11,000 sharks teeth and many fossils there is the world's oldest known mosasaur fossil, a 15 foot Xiphactinus Audax prepared by well-known fossil-hunter George Sternberg, and other rare fossils.
Displays by local artists and collectors are on display monthly.