The Happy Jack Chalk Mine is one of the most unusual and interesting sites of geological interest on the Great Plains.
It is one of only two underground diatomic mines known to have existed in the United States, and the only one that is open to the public.
OUR MISSION: is to develop the Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine site into an educational, historical, recreational and scenic area for local residents and tourism in the distinctive North Loup River Valley area. Through this mission, the Happy Jack Chalk Mine Associations extends itself to identifying education, historic, economic, environmental, social and recreational concerns and opportunities for developing and implementing strategies to better the quality of life for residents and those who visit the Central Nebraska area.
The “chalk” was discovered in the 1850s by an Army explorer and by 1877 local residents had begun to mine the strange lightweight rock. Originally, the “chalk” was used as structural stone in buildings, and one “chalk” building still survives in Scotia, NE. In the 20th century, however, interest turned to mining the rock for other purposes, particularly as a filler in paints.
Today, the mine offers public tours that are both educational and exciting. Happy Jack Chalk Mine is located near Scotia, Nebraska and also includes free hiking trails, picnic areas, scenic views, bird watching and over 150 varieties of native plant life.
Touring the mine is truly a memorable experience. The Happy Jack Chalk Mine is not only Nebraska’s biggest underground adventure, it is Nebraska’s only underground adventure!