The area around salt licks was always heavily populated by animals and man looking for salt. Big Bone Lick got it’s name from being one of the oldest of the salt licks. It was an area known for the prehistoric animals that were mired and bogged down in the licks.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1807 was the first to document the bones in the area under the direction of President Thomas Jefferson.
The museum commemorates the explorers and the prehistoric bones found in the are - giving the State Historic Site it’s name.