When you look at the lush pastures filled with cattle and the table-like irrigated fields full of grain, it is hard to imagine how the area appeared in May 1885 when the railroad and land company decided to start a town at this location. Elwood is the Gosper County seat, the home of Johnson Lake and the Elwood Reservoir, and provides the major grain handling center for area farms.
Elwood derived its name from a peculiar incident. The story goes that surveyors platting the town could not decide what to call the new station. The men agreed to name it after the first person they met. It was Elwood Thomas, a homesteader, who came wandering by hoping to find a plug of tobacco. So he received the honor of having the town named for him.
Elwood has dozens of interesting sites for you and your family to enjoy. From the Plum Creek Massacre site north of Bertrand (14 miles southwest of Lexington) to the history of irrigation and the railroad in our state, from sandhill cranes to golf courses, lakes, historical cemeteries, local festivals, a home-based carnival, rodeos, and pheasant hunting opportunities, the community of Elwood provides many wonderful things for visitors to see and do.
The Elwood Reservoir boasts its great fishing, boating and camping facilities. The quiet, colorful setting provides a vantage point to view the Nebraska sunsets!
Elwood is also the home of beautiful Johnson Lake. Sandy beaches, water skiing, jet skiing, hunting, boating, sail boating, fishing and camping facilities provide visitors with hours of entertainment. It also features restaurants, a marina, Chapel of the Lake and an EMS squad. Adjacent to the lake is a lush 18-hole golf course and club house. Putt's Place Go Cart Track at Johnson's Lake is enjoyed by all ages during the summer months.