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Gothenburg, Nebraska

Gothenburg, Nebraska

Gothenburg was founded in the late 1800s, by Olaf Bergstrom, a worker with the Union Pacific Railroad. The Union Pacific Railroad was expanding westward and settlements were springing up. Bergstrom chose a farmstead north of the townsite and traveled back to Sweden to convince his fellow countrymen to migrate to Nebraska to build a new town in the west. Along with the Swedes, many Germans and Danes settled in the area, as is evidenced by the name Gothenburg. The town was named for Goteborg, Sweden, but was given a German spelling by railroad officials. By July of 1885, Gothenburg was incorporated as a town with a population of 300.

Gothenburg was one of the first towns between Omaha and Denver to have electricity. Lake Helen was constructed on the north edge of town in 1891 to generate electricity which encouraged several industries and factories to locate in Gothenburg in the 1890s. Lake Helen was the largest man made lake in Nebraska at that time. Electricity brought an industrial boom, followed by agricultural redirection, which became the town's economic mainstay.

In recent years, on the centennial of Lake Helen's construction, Gothenburg was named All-America City by the National Civic League. In 1993, Gothenburg helped Dawson County achieve All-America City status. Dawson County is the only county in Nebraska to win this distinction.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Historic Depot

In the years from 1863 to 1868 the railroad had become a certainty. During the five year period, the first operations of mapping, surveying, setting telegraph poles and planning the roadbed had been completed. The railroad through this territory was completed in 1868

Gothenburg, NE Railroad History

Lake Helen

Foresighted citizens approved a bond issue in 1889 for construction of a 12

Gothenburg, NE Recreation

First Presbyterian Church

In August of 1904, the ground on which the church now stands was purchased for the sum of $450. Ground was broken in August 1905 and the original building was competed in early 1907. At that time, the total cost of the building was $5,650. The beautiful stain glass windows are original.

Gothenburg, NE Historic Churches

1320 Lake Avenue

James E. Norsworthy came to Gothenburg with his wife Sarah in 1889. In 1905 he built this lovely 2-1/2

Gothenburg, NE Historic Homes

Ernest A. Calling House

Ernest A. Calling, a pioneer businessman of Gothenburg, hired L.J. Anderson to build this distinctive Queen Anne style home in 1907. Born in Klipp, Sweden, in 1870, Calling emigrated to the United States in 1889

Gothenburg, NE National Register

Things to do near Gothenburg, NE

Cozad Country Club

Cozad Country Club is now open to the public! Come play on this beautiful 18-hole golf course surrounded with stunning native...

Allen's Opera House

The opera house was built by Charles Allen in 1906. The concrete block used in its construction was manufactured by local bus...