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Buffalo nickel buffalo.

Hornaday's Bull - Buffalo Nickel Buffalo

Field review by the editors.

Fort Benton, Montana

Died 1886

Pet Cemetery.

This buffalo, named "The Big Bull," was killed and stuffed by William T. Hornaday, "America's first taxidermist."

In 1887 the buffalo was put on display at the Smithsonian Institution. The Big Bull became an instant hit with the Treasury Department, who used him as a model for greenbacks, postage stamps, and the Buffalo Nickel.

Buffalo nickel buffalo.

After 70 years (and, apparently, an influx of fresher buffalo), he was shipped to the University of Montana. In 1970 the people of Fort Benton raised $400,000 to have the stuffed buffalo restored and returned to his home town.

Note: There is an ongoing debate about exactly which bison posed for the nickel. According to visitor Gary Snyder: "this bison was not the bison used as a model for the 'Buffalo' nickel introduced in 1913. The official accounts state that the artist, James Fraser, used a living bison named Black Diamond in a local zoo, rather than a stuffed bull at the Smithsonian, although the model for the 1901 $10 note is disputed." Hornaday's Bull folks nevertheless insist that their bison is the true bison.

Also see: Celebrities | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Hornaday's Bull - Buffalo Nickel Buffalo

Museum Of The Upper Missouri

21st St., Fort Benton, MT
I-15 exit 280, then north on US Hwy 87 to Fort Benton. To Hwy 386/80/387, which turns into St. Charles St. Turn on 21st St. Cross Main St. The buffalo is in the Museum Of The Upper Missouri on the right, in the park, adjacent to the reconstructed old fort and blockhouse.
Mid-May - late Sept. daily 10 am-5 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Forever Faithful: Old ShepForever Faithful: Old Shep, Fort Benton, MT - < 1 mi.
Shortest River In The WorldShortest River In The World, Great Falls, MT - 33 mi.
Big John - Cowboy Muffler ManBig John - Cowboy Muffler Man, Great Falls, MT - 36 mi.
In the region:
Rainboffalo, Great Falls, MT - 37 mi.

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