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Red Cloud, Nebraska

Red Cloud, Nebraska

Nestled in the scenic Republican Valley, Red Cloud, Nebraska has probably been described more often in literature than any other village of its size. This Webster County Seat was once the home of Willa Cather (1873-1947), the noted American author.

Because of the significance of Cather's writings and the history of Red Cloud and Webster County, the area was designated The Willa Cather Thematic District, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places . The thematic district encompasses twenty-six individually significant sites and four historic districts, including the Cather Prairie. In all, more than 190 sites are included in the district, making it possibly the largest historic district dedicated to an author in the United States.

For recreation there is a challenging 9-hole golf course with watered grass greens and fairways, an outstanding baseball facility, a competition sized swimming pool with new bath house, a six-lane bowling alley and a 3/8 mile high-bank, oval dirt racetrack.

Visit this appealing town and enjoy its late 19th century architecture, bricked main street, and historically enhanced lighting.

History... Red Cloud, named for the Oglala Sioux chief, was founded early in 1871 on homestead land filed upon by Silas Garber and Company, July 17, 1870, at Beatrice, the nearest land office. It is one of the oldest communities in the Republican Valley. When Webster County was organized, Red Cloud was voted County Seat at the first county election, April 19, 1871. The election was held in the dugout of Silas Garber, Nebraska's governor, 1875-1879.

The meeting of the Burlington and Missouri River Railways reached here in 1879, accelerating immigration from the East and abroad, bringing together a colorful variety of cultural heritage. During the 1880s, Red Cloud served as a division center for the railroad. The architectural design of Webster Street was established during that prosperous time when many of the first frame and log structures were replaced by more elaborate buildings of brick and stone.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Grace Episcopal Church

Built in 1884 on the corner of Second and Walnut, the Grace Protestant Episcopal Church was moved to its present location in 1891. The brick veneer was added sometime after 1922. Grace Episcopal Church is the church in which Willa Cather and her parents were confirmed on December 27, 1922

Red Cloud, NE Historic Churches

Willa Cather State Historic Site

The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank building, 1889, was erected by Silas Garber, the founder of Red Cloud (1871), the fourth governor of Nebraska (1875-1879), and the prototype for Captain Forrester in A Lost Lady.

Red Cloud, NE Historic Sites

Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial

The Art Gallery and Bookstore, located two doors south of the Cather Historical Center on main street, carries the country's most complete selection of Willa Cather's novels, short stories, biographies, and critical works about her.

Red Cloud, NE Memorials

Starke Round Barn

Nebraska's largest round barn and one of the nation's largest, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1972, and is still in use today. It was built in 1902-3

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

Red Cloud Post Office Murals

One of only twelve public buildings in the state of Nebraska which commissioned murals for its lobby, Red Cloud Post Office houses three works by the western artist, Archie Musick, 1941.

Red Cloud, NE Arts

Things to do near Red Cloud, NE

Palmer Site

National Historic Landmark - The Palmer Site is the location of a Skidi Pawnee village occupied from 1804 to 1844. The...