There’s something magical about visiting an important historical site. With a little imagination, you can pretend that you’re stepping back in time, seeing the world through the eyes of someone who lived decades or even centuries before you. Fortunately for us, there are a variety of historical sites in Nebraska. You can glimpse the life of a pioneer, pretend you’re a cowboy, follow along with Lewis & Clark, and much more. Scroll down to explore some of the top historical sites in Nebraska.
Noteworthy Historical Sites in Nebraska
Chimney Rock National Historic Site
A dramatic, awe-inspiring landmark that rises 480 feet above the surrounding plains, Chimney Rock was a common reference point for pioneers moving westward in the 1800s. To learn more about the landmark, visit the Chimney Rock Museum.
Completed in 1923, Memorial Stadium is a beloved football stadium located on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It’s undergone a few expansions and renovations since then, and now, at over 100 years old, it’s one of the largest and most historic football stadiums in the country. Visit “the Sea of Red” during a game next season and cheer on the Nebraska Cornhuskers!
Homestead National Monument of America
Designed as a tribute to the brave pioneers who traveled across the country following the passing of the Homestead Act of 1862, which promised 160 acres of federal land to anyone who agreed to farm that land, the Homestead National Monument of America is a must-see for history lovers. Be sure to visit its Heritage Center, which features state-of-the-art exhibits relating to homesteading, immigration, agriculture, industrialization, native tribes, prairie ecosystems, and more.
Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Town
Father Edward Flanagan was an Irish priest who rented a boarding house in Omaha in 1917 and used it to help homeless youths regardless of their race and religion. By 1921, he was able to purchase 94 acres on the outskirts of the city, Overlook Farm, where he built Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, which later became Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Town. Today, you can visit Father Flanagan’s Historic Home, which has become a museum dedicated to its founder. Before your visit, be sure to watch the 1938 movie Boys Town, starring Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy, which is based on Father Flanagan’s work.
William Jennings Bryan House
Constructed in 1902–03, this historic home was the residence of politician William Jennings Bryan, who served in the House of Representatives from 1891 to 1895 and as Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. The house is located on the Bryan Health hospital campus and was restored in 1994.
Fort Atkinson State Historical Park
As one of the earliest U.S. military posts located west of the Missouri River, Fort Atkinson was critical for fur trading, river traffic, and relations with Native Americans. It was established in 1820 upon recommendation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and remained active for just seven years, until 1827. During the summer and fall, living history demonstrations sometimes take place here.
Willa Cather House
Willa Cather is a cherished American author known for her novels about life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. Her childhood home, located in Red Cloud, houses family artifacts, including furniture, artwork, books, photos, and even canned goods! Step back in time when you visit this national historic landmark.
Ash Hollow Historical Park
A resource for prehistoric Indians and a common stopover on both the Oregon and California trails, Ash Hollow State Historical Park became popular due to its sweet spring water. When you visit it today, you can still see wagon ruts etched by westbound pioneers. While there, be sure to check out Ash Hollow Cave and the visitor center.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Like Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff was a landmark for Native Americans and pioneers. It towers 800 feet above the North Platte River and boasts rich geological and paleontological history. This is a great place to hike and learn about local wildlife, geology, and paleontology. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of William Henry Jackson artwork.
There’s so much to love about senior living in Nebraska: a low cost of living, outdoor scenery, fun cultural sites, and, of course, historical monuments. For more information about our beloved Cornhusker State, check out our blog posts Places to Visit in Nebraska and Things to See in Nebraska.
Hoping to retire in Nebraska? Look no further than Kinship Pointe. We offer independent living and assisted living communities in four locations: Kearney Northridge, McCook, Seward, and Wayne. At Kinship Pointe, our delightful staff works every day to help residents pursue their passions and live life to the fullest. To learn for yourself what makes Kinship Pointe so special, schedule a tour or contact us online.