The Top 15 Historical Sites in Nebraska!

There’s much more to Nebraska than just acres of farmland. Nebraska’s rich history has been well-preserved for visitors at the many historical sites located across the state. So, take a step back in time to the days when courageous land seekers and immigrants who ventured across the country on the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, and learn about the role Nebraska played in the history of our country. Here are the top 15 historical sites to visit in Nebraska.

1. Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln, NE

Designed by New York architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in 1920, the capitol building was completed in 1932 and remains one of the tallest buildings in Lincoln. It is often known as the “Tower on the Plains” and can be seen as far away as 30 miles. The structure houses the offices of the Governor of Nebraska, the Nebraska Supreme Court, the Nebraska Court of Appeals, and the Nebraska Legislature.

2. J. Sterling Morton House, Nebraska City, NE

The original home of J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, sits on a beautiful estate in Nebraska City. The mansion has 52 rooms and is furnished with authentic artifacts that capture the times and life of this famous Nebraskan. The Arbor Lodge State Historical Park encompasses more than 65 acres and the grounds and mansion were donated to the state in 1923 by Morton’s oldest son for preservation.

3. Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE

For over 90 years, Nebraska football teams have called Memorial Stadium home. This historic stadium can hold more people than any Nebraska city except Omaha and Lincoln and is often referred to the “Sea of Red” on game days. 

4. Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, NE

The Homestead National Monument of America was developed in 1936 to commemorate one of the first documented homesteads in Nebraska. It acts as a tribute to the courageous land seekers and immigrants who ventured across the country in the late 19th century with the promise of Free Land thanks to the Homestead Act of 1862.

5. Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard, NE

This dramatic landmark rises 480 feet above the surrounding plains and once acted as a reference point for pioneers heading westward in the early to mid-19th century. Today, visitors can get a sense of what the pioneers felt and saw as they crossed this part of the country at the Chimney Rock visitor center. 

6. Father Flanagan's Boys' Home, Omaha, NE

In 1917, Father Flanagan, the founder and visionary of Boys Town, opened his first Boys’ Home in an old Victorian mansion in downtown Omaha. He helped children both nationally and internationally and the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

7. Ash Hollow Historic District, Lewellen, NE

Located near Lewellen, the Ash Hollow State Historical Park served as a campsite for emigrants on the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. The site provided pure drinking water, wood, and grass for the stock. Today, the park features a schoolhouse, ancient cave, museum, and visitor center with spectacular views of the North Platte River valley.

8. William Jennings Bryan House, Lincoln, NE

William Jennings Bryan served two terms in Congress and was U.S. Secretary of State and the Democratic nominee for President in 1896, 1900, and 1908. His historic residence, also known as Fairview, has been restored and now features the public Bryan Museum.

9. Captain Meriwether Lewis, Brownville, NE

This historic Missouri River dredge boat was launched by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1931 and serves as one of the few surviving examples of vessels built to control flooding and improve river navigation. The site was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

10. Willa Cather House, Red Cloud, NE

Red Cloud, Nebraska was the childhood home of Willa Cather, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and the backdrop for her numerous novels and short stories about Nebraska. The home located in Red Cloud is now one of the most important Nebraska buildings associated with her literary career. 

11. Fort Atkinson, Fort Calhoun, NE

Fort Atkinson played an important role in the Western expansion and the fur trade. The fort is famously known as the site of the council between the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Otoe-Missouri tribe. The post has also been credited as the first town in Nebraska. 

12. Fort Robinson and Red Cloud Agency, Crawford, NE

Many historic events during the final decades of the Sioux and Cheyenne River resistance occurred at these two sites along the White River. Built in 1874, the fort was designed to protect the Red Cloud Agency, an Indian agency for the Oglala Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Today, the Fort Robinson Museum features many exhibits on the fort’s history and historic buildings for viewing.

13. USS Hazard, Omaha, NE

The only Admiral Class Minesweeper left on the planet, the USS Hazard is situated in Freedom Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The minesweeper’s purpose was to aid and protect large naval vessels from the Japanese during World War II. The park also features the only complete collection of USN anti-aircraft guns. 

14. George W. Norris House, McCook, NE

Senator George W. Norris made his home in McCook, Nebraska, from 1899 to 1944. He represented Nebraska for almost 40 years in the U.S. Congress and served 10 years in the House of Representatives. Now, visitors can learn about his life in his beautifully preserved home which has been designated a State and National Historic Site.

15. Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte Memorial Hospital, Walthill, NE

Located on the Omaha Indian Reservation, Dr. Susan Picotte Memorial Hospital was established by Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte, the first female Native American medical doctor. The building worked as a functioning hospital from 1912 until the late 1940s and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993.

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Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
801 South 10th Street, Omaha, NE
History:Construction on the structure that houses the Durham Museum commenced July 29, 1929 on the site of the previous Union Station. Rapidly incr... Read More
2200 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE
Our MissionJoslyn Art Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the visual arts of the highest quality, fostering appreciation and enjoyment of ar... Read More
2401 Central Avenue, Kearney, NE
Mission: The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) celebrates Nebraska's artistic culture and heritage by collecting and preserving, exhibiting and interp... Read More
9014 310th Street, Murdock, NE
The Murdock Historical Society welcomes you to our site and hopes you enjoy learning more about the history of Murdock, Nebraska. Stop by the muse... Read More
646 Main Street, Plattsmouth, NE
Cass County Historical Society Museum at 646 Main in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, tells the history of Cass County since 1854, the year the county was op... Read More
920 Avenue East, Wisner, NE
Museum History : In 1996, the town of Wisner, Cuming County, Nebraska was one hundred twenty-five (125) years. It had been a long time since a sm... Read More
319 North 13th Street, Tekamah, NE
Mission: To collect, preserve, and develop appreciation of the history of Burt County and artifacts associated with that history and to educate th... Read More
1401 Chase Street, Falls City, NE
About As This fine museum building was acquired in 2002 and now gives us ample space for items that were once stored in 5 locations with no public... Read More
306 W. Elm Street, Bancroft, NE
The John G. Neihardt Center is located on the property occupied by John Neihardt when he lived and worked in Bancroft, Nebraska. In the early 1960s... Read More
12th and Marian Road, Hastings, NE
Mission: The Children's Museum of Central Nebraska is a community resource committed to encouraging joyful, life-long learning of young children. T... Read More
4701 South 25 Street, Omaha, NE
About Us: El Museo Latino opened its doors in the historic Livestock Exchange Building on May 5,1993 as the first Latino Art & History Museum ... Read More
12th and R Streets, Lincoln, NE
Museum Hours Monday through Wednesday: 10 am–5 pm Thursday, Friday: 10 am–7 pm Saturday: 10 am–5 pm Sunday: Noon–5 pm ... Read More
3133 West US Highway 34, Grand Island, NE
Mission:       The mission of Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer is to preserve and portray the inspiring era of th... Read More
28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, NE
The Strategic Air and Space Museum is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization which receives no government funding. Donations are tax exempt to the fu... Read More
210 16th Street, Aurora, NE
The Plainsman Museum is a not-for-profit institution, which focuses on the time from 1860-1950, that collects, preserves, illustrates and works to ... Read More
Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, NE
Summer Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day 9 am-6 pm Daily Mountain Time Spring/Fall Hours: April, May Thur-Sun, 10 am-5 pm Mountain Time September,... Read More
402 Willard Avenue, Genoa, NE
Mission Statement: The Mission of the Genoa US Indian School Foundation, a non-profit organization, is to collect and preserve the history of the ... Read More
302 Main Street, Bayard, NE
History: The old Burlington Railroad Depot was built in 1928. The quaint brick structure was all but abandoned by Burlington Northern Railroad Comp... Read More
307 S 7th St, Wymore, NE
To discover, preserve, interpret and celebrate the history and contributions of Welsh pioneers on the North American prairies. Read More
4730 South Street, Lincoln, NE
Mission Statement: Roller skating is the shared experience of many through recreation, sport, and business. The National Museum of Roller Skating i... Read More
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