Once part of the great buffalo range, Hayes County today is primarily a crop and livestock raising community with Hayes Center located in the center of the county.
Most of the school houses in the county, were made of sod, but a stone school house still stands north of town of Hamlet in southwest Hayes County.
Just a few miles north from the school house is Initial Rock. In the mid-1800s, troops came through this area and camped below the rock where they carved the initials of their company and the year. If physical recreation is what you have in mid, the rock is in a canyon and has no road leading to it.
Eight miles east and north of Hayes Center is Camp Duke Alexis Recreation Area. This area contains approximately 140 acres, including a 100 acre lake, well-stocked with fish. The area around Camp Duke Alexis was once a cherished hunting ground for the Indians. In 1872, a buffalo hunt was staged fro Grand Duke Alexis. The Nebraska Historical Society recently replaced the original sandstone marker with a more durable one, which stands on the same beautiful land where the hunt was held.
Hayes County has six active churches. The Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St. John's Lutheran Church are registered with the Nebraska Historical Society and have many country cemeteries. A complete catalog of cemeteries is found in the County Clerks office.
Keeping the pioneer spirit alive, citizens of Hayes County hold an annual July 4th Celebration.
Explore Hayes County
When you're traveling across the scenic prairie route along Highway 25, you'll want to take advantage of one of the few sand-green courses found in Prairie Lakes Country. There are nine holes of golfing pleasure that can be found by avid golf lovers.Hayes Center, NE Golf Courses
Just northeast of Hayes Center, 50 acres of water surrounded by truly rustic settings sits peacefully within the Lake Hayes Wildlife Management Area. The lake is abundant with crappie, pike, and catfish. North of the lake the wildlife area sports various game birds and plenty of deer on 78 1/2Hayes Center, NE Recreation
The original sandstone marker erected in 1931 on the land where the Duke Alexis Buffalo Hunt was held in 1872, stands just inside the courthouse along with other area artifacts on display in the historical musuem located in the courthouse. The original marker presented by D.L. Neiswanger in 1931Hayes Center, NE Museums
The two-story limestone house, constructed in 1876-81, is a remnant of the village of Estelle, established by John Daniel in 1881. The house was the first post office and general store for the small community. John Daniel and his wife, Mary, came to Hayes County in 1874Hayes Center, NE National Register
The one-story limestone school building, located just north of the John M. Daniel House, was constructed about 1884-86. The original structure had a flat roof; in 1919Hayes Center, NE Historic Schoolhouses