Lincoln Highway

Lewis and Clark Camp Site: Aug 3 - 4, 1804

On August 3 Lewis and Clark held a council with the Oto and Missouria Indians at a site they named "Council Bluff," near present Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. It was the first of many councils they would hold on their journey to the Pacific…

Capitol Hill

This site on Capitol Hill was for a decade the location of Nebraska's second territorial capitol. The building was erected here in 1857 and 1858 and served until the seat of government was removed to Lincoln in 1868. Acting-Governor Cuming…

Central High School

The first session of Omaha High School, now Central High School, was held on November 10, 1859, in Nebraska's territorial capitol on Ninth Street between Douglas and Farnam. Following the removal of the territorial government from Omaha,…

George and Sarah Joslyn Home

The Joslyns purchased the Sutphen farm in 1893 and began landscaping the five-acre site. Omaha architect John McDonald designed the mansion to resemble a Scottish manor. Named Lynhurst and known locally as "Joslyn Castle," the…

Lincoln Highway at Elkhorn

This three-mile brick segment of roadway was once the route of the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway Association was founded by private interests in 1913 to develop a paved, toll-free, transcontinental highway from New York City to San Francisco.…

Platte River History

Just to the southwest is the Platte River, whose valley was one of the great roadways to the west, used by fur traders, emigrants, military expeditions, gold seekers, and Mormons. Mormon migration to the Salt Lake Valley began at Winter Quarters,…

Fremont, Nebraska

Fremont was laid out in August 1856. The town site was named for John C. Fremont, the new Republican Party's nominee for president in 1856, although Democrat James Buchanan was elected. Between 1842 and 1844 Fremont, then a U.S. Army…

The Great Platte River Route West

The north bank of the Platte River, from the 1830's through the 1860's, served as a major overland route to the West. It was used by fur traders, soldiers, gold seekers and other emigrants. The expedition of Major Stephen H. Long passed…

Millar-Sloss Pioneer Cemetery

Ann Young was the 36-year-old wife of George Young and the mother of Seth, the first son born to white settlers in Dodge County. The year was 1856, and after forsaking plans to homestead in Kansas the tiny colony, consisting of the Youngs and her…

Agricultural Park

Due to the generosity of Mrs. Albert Gehner, Mr. Theodore Friedhof, and many other benefactors, this site has become a focal point of agricultural activity in Platte County. The donation of this land, formerly known as the Browner Farm, and a large…

The Villasur Expedition, 1720

In June 1720 a Spanish military force led by Sir Pedro de Villasur left Santa Fe, New Mexico, to gather information on French activities near the Missouri River. The contingent included 45 veteran soldiers, 60 Pueblo Indian allies, some Apache…

The North Brothers

The West produced many fighting men and ranking high among them are Frank and Luther North of Columbus, leaders of the legendary Pawnee Scouts. The Pawnee, located at their nearby reservation, were eager to cooperate with the Army in fighting their…

Andrew Jackson Higgins

Andrew Jackson Higgins, designer and manufacturer of World War 11 landing craft known as "Higgins boats," was born August 28, 1886, at Columbus, Nebraska. His parents were John Gonegle Higgins, a prominent lawyer and judge, and Annie Long…

Duncan, 1871-1971

The history of Duncan, Nebraska has been closely associated with overland routes through the Platte and Loup River valleys. The Mormon Trail passed nearby during the mid-19th Century and the first transcontinental railroad was completed to this point…

The Lincoln Highway-Gardiner Station Section

The Lincoln Highway Association was founded in 1913 to promote a coast-to-coast, toll-free automobile route. The Lincoln Highway, which followed existing roadways through thirteen states, was dedicated on October 31, 1913. The route was marked by the…

Lone Tree

Lone Tree, a giant, solitary cottonwood, was a noted Platte River landmark as early as 1833. Standing on the north side of the river some three miles southwest of present Central City, the tree was visible at great distance. Several travelers…

The Mormon Trail

Brigham Young led the first mass migration over the Mormon Trail to the Great Salt Lake in 1847. The north bank of the Platte was chosen to avoid contact with the travelers on the heavily-used Oregon Trail that follows the south bank of the river…

The Seedling Mile

Here is a section of an original Seedling Mile on the Lincoln Highway. It was completed November 3, 1915. Grand Island was the second city in the United States to build such an example of concrete roadway. The original Seedling Mile extended from the…

Hall County Courthouse

Designed by Omaha architect Thomas Rogers Kimball (1862-1934), the Hall County Courthouse is an exceptional example of Beaux-Arts classicism and borrows on Germanic design sources. Constructed of brick accented with limestone, the building features a…

Old Dodge School - World War II POW Branch Camp

A branch camp of the Atlanta Prisoner of War Camp was located in Grand Island during World War II. Over 300,000 Axis prisoners of war were held in America during World War II. In accordance with the Geneva Convention, these prisoners were often hired…

Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park, site of the first Hall County Courthouse, honors the courageous settlers who peacefully inhabited this area in 1857 when only Pawnee lived here. In 1866 the Union Pacific reached Grand Island and in 1868 the railroad donated Block 19…

The Lincoln Memorial Highway

The Lincoln Highway Association, formed in 1913 to build a New York-to-San Francisco highway, sold "highway memberships" to raise funds for the project. In Nebraska the road, which traversed twelve states, extended westward from Iowa along…

Original Townsite of Wood River

Between 1844 and 1866 thousands of emigrants, gold seekers, and Mormons moved west through the Platte Valley. The first settlers along Wood River 1858-60 operated road ranches to serve travelers. They included Patrick, Richard, and Anthony Moore;…

Joseph E. Johnson and The Huntsman's Echo

In April 1860 Joseph E. Johnson, a Mormon, established a road ranche at Wood River Centre, today's Shelton, and began publishing The Huntsman's Echo, the first newspaper in Nebraska west of Omaha. He had earlier edited papers in Council…

Gibbon

Gibbon, near here, was the site of a unique experiment in homestead colonization. The Soldiers' Free Homestead Temperance Colony was responsible for bringing the earliest settlers, mostly Union veterans, to this locality. Traveling via the Union…

Nebraska Centre - Boyd Ranche

James E. Boyd settled near here in 1858 and by 1860 operated a trail ranche supplying travelers on the Platte Valley Overland Route (Mormon Trail). The ranche included 200 acres of corn and barley. Nebraska Centre Post Office was here until if was…

University of Nebraska at Kearney

In 1903 the legislature appropriated $50,000 to establish a state normal school in central or western Nebraska. After 111 ballots, the State Board of Education chose Kearney as the site. The city donated twenty acres on the west side of town for a…

Buffalo County's Lincoln Highway Seedling Mile

The Lincoln Highway Association was founded in 1913 to promote a transcontinental automobile route from New York City to San Francisco. Dedicated on October 31, 1913, the route was marked by the letter "L" within red, white, and blue bands…

Kearney Cotton Mill

In the late 1880's, Kearney business leaders envisioned the city as a major manufacturing center. The Kearney Cotton Mill was among the many enterprises launched as part of this venture, which included paper, woolen, and oatmeal mills; plow and…

Watson Ranch

In 1888, H. D. Watson established the historic Watson Ranch, at one time containing 8,000 acres, reaching from the fertile Platte Valley on the south to the rolling hills on the north and from downtown Kearney to a point five miles west. During its…

Elm Creek

Elm Creek siding was established in August 1866 during construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. The nearby creek provided both water and timber for the railroad's locomotives. By 1872 a school-church building, a saloon-restaurant, a store,…

The Tobin Indian Raid

Railroads played an important role in the settlement of the Great Plains. Their construction was particularly damaging to the Indian way of life, since railroads helped the military to patrol rapidly along their lines, and villages and farming…

The 100th Meridian

The 100th Meridian is the 100th longitudinal line west of Greenwich, England which was set by Congress as a major goal in building the first transcontinental railroad. Construction of the Union Pacific reached the Meridian on October 5, 1866. The…

Swedish Crosses Cemetery

One of the many Swedish settlements in Nebraska during the late nineteenth century was north of Gothenburg in northwestern Dawson County. An enduring symbol of this settlement is Swedish Crosses Cemetery, where three children of Mr. and Mrs. Berg are…

Fort McPherson

The fort near here was established on the Oregon Trail on the south side of the Platte River in October 1863, on the eve of intensified Indian raids on the Plains. Built next to the well-known Cottonwood Springs and McDonald ranche, it commanded a…

Sioux Lookout

Sioux Lookout, the highest point in Lincoln County, was a prominent landmark on the overland trials. From its lofty summit the development of the West unfolded before the eyes of the Sioux and other Indians. Trappers and traders came by here in 1813,…

Fort McPherson

The fort was established on the Oregon Trail on the south side of the Platte River in October 1863, on the eve of intensified Indian raids on the Plains. Built next to the well-known Cottonwood Springs and McDonald ranche, it commanded a strategic…

Scout's Rest

William Frederick Cody (1846-1917), known to the world a "Buffalo Bill," was the most noted Nebraskan of his day. The Many national and European tours of his various "Wild West" exhibitions made him the living symbol of the…

Cowboy Capital

Named for the Oglala band of Dakota Sioux and located on the Union Pacific Railroad, Ogallala was a lusty cowtown of the Old West. From 1875 to 1885 it was a wild woolly cowboy capital where gold flowed across the gaming tables, liquor across the…

Boot Hill

Boot Hill was the final resting place for many early westerners who helped make Ogallala a booming cowtown in the 1870's and 1880's. These people, the cowboys, settlers, and drifters, came to Ogallala when the railroad and the Texas Trail…

California Hill

This hill, which became known as "California Hill," was climbed by thousands of emigrants heading west during the covered wagon migration, 1841-60. Many were bound for Oregon. California became the destination of a majority of overland…

Lodgepole and the Union Pacific Railroad

The history of Lodgepole has been closely associated with railroad development and overland travel in western Nebraska. It was originally established as a station when the Union Pacific Railroad was completed to this point in 1867. A company of U.S.…

Fort Sidney

Sidney Barracks, when established in 1867, was a temporary camp with one permanent structure, a blockhouse located to the north. In 1869 the Fort was relocated at this site and in 1870 the name was officially changed to Fort Sidney. The primary…

Sioux Army Depot

Sioux Army Depot was established on 23 March 1942 as Sioux Ordnance Depot. It was the only U.S. Army Ammunition Depot in Nebraska during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The depot was initially under the command of the U.S. Army…

Early Irrigation in Cheyenne County

On June 1, 1926, George A. Coulter completed one of the first four irrigation wells in Cheyenne County, among the earliest in western Nebraska, on his farm just south of here. He and his son, James, dug the first twenty-two feet by hand. Charles…