Trailside Museum of Natural History, Crawford

#45 of 91 in Museums in Nebraska
The Trailside Museum of Natural History is located in the historic Army Theatre at Fort Robinson State Park, three miles west of Crawford, Nebraska on U.S. Route 20.
The building served as a theater and gymnasium for the Fort Robinson army post. The theater hosted many types of entertainment, including boxing matches, dances, and moving pictures. The theater was exclusively used as a gym by 1917 as automobiles and movie houses became more prevalent, allowing soldiers to seek entertainment elsewhere.
The building was acquired by the University of Nebraska in 1955 which opened the Trailside Museum at Fort Robinson in 1961. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, and is also part of the Fort Robinson and Red Cloud Agency historic district.
The most important exhibition is a pair of 14 - foot mammoth skeletons were found nearby. The beasts apparently locked tusks in mortal combat and starved to death as a result.
The museum exhibits the fossils of two mammoths which killed each other when the area was in an ice age. They were trapped due to their tusks and died.
Also in the museum there is a paleontological exhibition made by Mark Marcusson and Gregory Brownde. There are exhibits of animals that lived in Nebraska millions of years ago like the Daeodon or three-toed horse.
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Trailside Museum of Natural History Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
18 reviews
  • Over the last few years the Trailside Museum has transitioned from the darkness into the light. Exhibits are fun, educational and vital. The gift shop is inviting and unique. The "Clash of the...  more »
  • We stopped and since the admission is very reasonable we went ahead and saw the museum again with the one person in our group who really loves geology and natural history and had not been there...  more »
  • Don't let the small building fool you as there is an awful of information inside. If you study everything you could easily end up spending 2 to 3 hours here. Very inexpensive so there is no reason not to expand your knowledge.
  • Nice old museum with a great Mammoth exhibit featuring the remains of 2 full petrified skeletons. You'll just have to go and see for yourself. I went to a few museums on my trip and this one was my favorite. No crowds and plenty of things to see. Only $3 admission. I highly recommend!
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