In 1820, Stephen Long, explorer and military man, called this country the Great American Desert. Today, he'd be shocked to discover dozens of man-made lakes and huge reservoirs complementing the grassy plains of the region. Nowhere is the relationship of man and the land more poignantly realized than Nebraska's Prairie Lakes Country. This relationship becomes even more evident in the excellent museums, historic homes and memorable personalities of the area such as Willa Cather and Senator George Norris. It's a country rich in history and personality that you'll enjoy getting to know and returning to year after year.
Explore Prairie Lakes Region
The first county courthouse was built of ash logs and was about 16 feet by 16 feet square, the size of the native ash trees. Rumor has it that the first location for the courthouse was chosen because it was the exact geographical center of the county.Stockville, NE Historic Courthouses
Cities and agricultural areas need capital to finance growth. Nebraska Loan and Trust Company, organized in 1882 with James B. Heartwell as need in Hastings by providing a means for Eastern Capitalists to invest in Nebraska real estate mortgages. In 1883-84Hastings, NE National Register
Crane Meadows Nature Center is a year-round educational organization dedicated to providing an understanding of, and access to, the ecosystems of the Platte River valley. Open daily, with expanded hours during the crane season (8 a.m.-6 p.m.), the center offers sunrise and sunset tours to a 25Kearney, NE Nature Centers
Gallagher Canyon (400 acres) and Plum Creek (320 acres) offer good spring crappie fising in the coves, as well as channel and flathead catfish. Drum and carp are common catches here. Both lakes have gravel boat ramps.
Gallagher Canyon is located 10 miles west of Elwood on Highway 23;Elwood, NE Recreation
St. Paul's Baseball Museum is devoted to illustrating the careers of 114 Major League Baseball players with Nebraska roots. All 114 players have made it to the Major Leagues of American Baseball. Five have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame: Grover Cleveland Alexander - 1938St. Paul, NE Museums
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