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Dawes County Historical Museum


category : Museums
Dawes County Historical Museum

The Dawes County Historical Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the northwest portion of Nebraska it calls home. The Museum grounds include the log house and barn, 1890s school house, pioneer church and C and NW caboose. The 9,000 square foot Museum houses an impressive collection of area antiques including displays of a general store, a hospital room, blacksmith tools, farm machinery, vintage quilts, a railroad room, and more. These exhibits provide insight into a simpler time.


In 1893, nine cowboys charged out of Chadron, Nebraska to begin the 1,000 Mile Horse Race which ended 14 days later at Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show in Chicago. The race became one of the most famous and longest horse races ever performed. The Museum exhibits memorabilia donated by the descendants of the declared winner of the race and maintains archives pertaining to the event.


The Museum collection includes the Weaver Reed Pump Organ and the A.J. Smith Cabinet Grand Player Piano as well as a rare Angelus Player Organ, a collection of phonographs and violins, and a Harmonium. The Weaver Reed Pump Organ came to Dawes County in 1896 and is still functional.


During the Museum's History in Action Day held annually on the second Sunday in September, demonstrations include butter churning, carding and wool spinning, apple cider making, and rope making. Fun for the whole family includes wagon and buggy rides, horse shoe pitching, music played on a pump organ, and the viewing of a videotape of the first movie filmed in Nebraska.


Genealogy and Historical Research * Original Marriage Certificates * Delayed Birth Certificates * Obituaries * Cemetery Listings * Personal Histories



Admission: FREE ADMISSION
Hours: Hours: Open Memorial Day - September 30, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Address: 341 Country Club Road
Chadron, NE 69337
Phone: 308-432-4999
3 miles South of Chadron on Hwy. 385

Come visit us in Crawford, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Trailside Museum

Located at Fort Robinson State Park at the University of Nebraska State Museum at Trailside, you can view paleontology and geology exhibits on Nebraska's rich fossil history. A 14-foot mammoth skeleton unearthed nearby

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Bordeaux Trading Post

From about 1857 to 1876, an Indian "trading post" occupied a site near here. Built by James Bordeaux, the trading station was often attacked and set afire by hostile Crow warriors. Fortunately some friendly Sioux Indians came to the rescue and drove off the attacking Crow.

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Chadron State Park

Nebraska's oldest state park (1921), Chadron might well be the best kept secret of the state park system. With the majestic beauty of the Pine Ridge as its backdrop, Chadron covers 974 acres of natural beauty to awe any visitor. Located off U.S. 385

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The Museum of the Fur Trade

The museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the North American fur trade and is located three miles east of Chadron, Nebraska, on U. S. Highway 20.

Combining an outstanding collection and scholarship

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