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Keith County, NE

Keith CountyTravel the routes of Pioneers, Gold Seekers, Homesteaders and Cowboys. In Keith County you can still see the ruts of the Oregon Trail. This was the route of the California and Mormon Trails, the Pony Express, the stagecoaches and the "Iron Horse," the coast-to-coast railroad.

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

California Hill

California Hill was climbed by thousands of emigrants heading west during the covered wagon migrations of 1841-1860. Most were bound for Oregon, although California became the destination for many travelers after gold was discovered there in 1848

Brule, NE Landmarks

Bayside Golf Course

Our 18-hole golf course is new and exciting, challenging, yet conquerable. With our seven sets of tee boxes, you can see the course in a new light with each round of play. Designed by Dan Proctor and Dave Axland, our course is "Links"

Ogallala, NE Golf Courses

Diamond Springs Station Site

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. A

Brule, NE Landmarks

Boot Hill Cemetery

Since cowboys generally were buried with their boots on, the first cemetery in the area was aptly named Boot Hill. It was Ogallala's only official burying ground during the "end of the trail" decade, from 1874 through 1884

Ogallala, NE Cemeteries

Petrified Wood Gallery

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

Mansion on the Hill

An authentic Victorian style home listed on the National Register of Historic Places , the Mansion on the Hill was Ogallala?s finest residence when it was completed in 1887

Ogallala, NE Historic Homes

Ole's Big Game Collection

Ole's displays nearly 200 mounts representing big game from every continent in the world. Hundreds of pictures and memorabilia share the rustic, knotty pine walls with trophy heads of North American and African big game. Many are world class records. The full mount of a 1500 pound, 11

Ogallala, NE Collections

Boot Hill Sculpture

The sculpture at the top of Boot Hill was done by the late Dr. B. L. Gainsforth, long time Ogallala dentist and orthodontist. The sculpture was done in the likeness of Samual (Lep)

Ogallala, NE Landmarks

Haythorn Ranch - Figure Four Traditions

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


Eagle Viewing

Bald eagles require a relatively large amount of food. Therefore, areas such as those below Central'

Ogallala, NE Birdwatching

Front Street

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

Explore Keith County