From 1840-1870, over half a million people followed the "Pioneer Interstate." They came in covered wagons, some on horseback, but most of them walked the 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri, to the West Coast.
Ogallala, Nebraska's Cowboy Capital, would see as many as 125,000 head of Texas longhorns yearly herded up to the End of the Texas Trail to be sold and shipped back east. Ogallala was the northernmost shipping point when cattlemen left Dodge City, Kansas, with younger cattle for higher prices. Gold flowed freely, saloons and dancehalls flourished, and rowdy was a daily attitude, especially during the summer drives. Boot Hill became a final resting place for many of these cantankerous cowboys.
North of Ogallala is Nebraska's largest reservoir and recreation mecca, Lake McConaughy. Big Mac has become a favorite of campers, hunters, sailboaters, windsurfers, swimmers, picnickers, ice boaters, water skiers, scuba divers, and many others seeking outdoor fun. Lake Ogallala, formed during the construction of Kingsley Dam and located "down the hill" from the dam, is Nebraska's premiere eagle-viewing facility. Clear Creek Waterfowl Management Area at thewest end of McConaughy attracts large numbers of Canada geese.
Explore Keith County
Kenfield Brothers Petrified Wood Gallery is a museum of natural history specializing in ancient woods. The gallery contains a selection of gems and minerals as well as arrowheads and Indian artifacts collected over forty years by twin brothers Harvey and Howard Kenfield.Ogallala, NE Museums
Visitors can get an authentic taste of the old west at a real working ranch at the historic Haythorn Land & Cattle Company. Under the name of Figure Four Traditions, the ranch experience includes chuckwagon meals, wagon rides and ranch tours. One of Nebraska's largest ranches, the Haythorn Land &Ogallala, NE Historic Ranches
Front Street is a replica front of some typical businesses along a street in an old western town such as Ogallala, with a museum, saloon, restaurant, and gift shop inside. The museum depicts the era when Ogallala reigned as "Queen of the Cowtowns." In addition to an undertaker'Ogallala, NE Historic Downtowns
The Little Church at Keystone is a monument to religious harmony. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this combined Catholic/Protestant Church was built in a pioneer town that was too small for two churches. Special dispensation was received from Pope Leo XIII.Ogallala, NE Historic Churches
In 1859, the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell constructed this Pony Express station on a low terrace overlooking the South Platte Rover. After the Pony Express ceased operation in 1861, Diamond Springs was a stage and freight station under the ownership of Ben Holladay. ABrule, NE Landmarks