Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lester F. Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum (Lincoln, NE)

Located on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the first state and national testing facility when it started in 1920. Sixty years later, in 1980, it was designated as an Historic Landmark of Agricultural Engineering by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Thorpe Opera House (David City, NE)

Built in 1889, the 1,000-seat second floor auditorium was the largest west of Omaha. Performances included political debates, traveling theater acts, magicians and vaudeville. Old playbills and stage curtains with advertising of businesses from the past remain. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pavillion Hotel (Taylor, NE)

This Victorian-era building was built in 1887 and was lauded as the finest hotel between Rapid City and Grand Island. It is located in a popular tourist and recreation area and owners see it as a model for heritage tourism.  The building is under current renovation turning it into a lodging and reception event center.

Pavelka Farmstead (Bladen, NE)

Built in 1905, this was the home of Anna (Mrs. John) Pavelka, the character for whom Antonia was named in Willa Cather's "My Antonia." The house and the "fruit cave" mentioned in the book still exist on the property. The Nebraska State Historical Society owns the National Register of Historic Places –listed property.

Old Great Western Sugar Factory Dormitory (Mitchell, NE)

The old Great Western Sugar Factory Dormitory in Mitchell, Nebraska was built in 1926. Of the several such dormitories built at sugar factories in the Nebraska Panhandle, this was the only one used to house German POWS during World War II. The dormitory later served as a boarding house and nursing home until 1995. New owners are developing it into a hostel, restaurant and health club.

Oak Ballroom (Schuyler, NE)

The Oak Ballroom is a 1937 WPA project built of native oak trees and rock. The original dance hall is still in use. The structure rests in a park-like setting with lagoons dug by workers waiting for more lumber to arrive. Booths were put in place in the early 1950s and a new maple floor was installed in 1954.

Meadow Grove Federal Credit Union (Meadow Grove, NE)

The Meadow Grove Federal Credit Union is located in the old Security Bank which was built in 1905 and has remained in use as a financial institution since that time. When the bank closed in 1929, everything was left "as is" in the vault, which is where it remains today. The original vault and teller cages are still used.

Mars Historical Area (near Royal, NE)

The Mars Historical Area represented the first settlement in the region and opened the area for pioneer settlers. While the original town of Mars has faded away, many of the original dugouts and wagon trails are still visible, as is the old livery stable. Historical tours and camping are available.

Flag Creek Bridge (Orleans, NE)

The Flag Creek Bridge located on the Goldenrod Highway (Highway 136) near Orleans is unique because of its four light pillars. A Transportation Enhancement grant four years ago paid for rewiring of the lights, which had not worked for 40 years. The project was successful and the lights are working again.

Historic Downtown Sidney (Sidney, NE)

Downtown Sidney is a well-preserved Panhandle community that boasts a National Register Downtown District featuring buildings from the late 1870s through the 1950s. The city thrived during an era when the community was a hub of activity at one end of the major trail leading to the Black Hills Gold Rush.

Downtown Scribner (Scribner, NE)

The town of Scribner was organized in 1871. Many original old buildings line the brick streets and Main Street Boulevard. The buildings have seen few "modernizations" over the years that would detract from the look of the original town. The Musbach Museum (1884) is a repository of much of the town's history and the Old Hotel (1901) is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum (Elmwood, NE)

The house is an excellent example of 1920s craftsmanship and still retains most of its original exterior, woodwork, lighting and fixtures. It reflects the rich history of the nationally famous Nebraska author who wrote nine novels and more than 160 short stories about Nebraska settlers.

Bassett Lodge & Range Cafe (Bassett, NE)

The Bassett Lodge & Range Cafe in Bassett, Nebraska is a National Register-listed two-story streamlined Art Moderne style hotel and cafe built in 1949-51. It was developed as an anchor of the downtown commercial core of this Sandhills community and played host to cattle buyers from across the country who attended local sales.