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Ionia Volcano


category : Landmarks

According to historians, when the explorers, Lewis and Clark, were passing by the bluffs near the site of the present town of Newcastle in Dixon County, they noted that one bluff seemed to be on fire. Some time later, fur trappers reported dense smoke and fire in the region.


Although "volcanic" activity was explained to be the simple decomposition of iron pyrite beds, when they came into contact with water, the Ionia Volcano was still viewed with much apprehension by early settlers in the area. In 1878, the Missouri River washed away the base of the bluff and, with it, all appearances of volcanic activity.


Today, there is an historical marker in Pfister Park in Newcastle, directing visitors to the site of the former volcano. Don't expect to see a volcano when you get there, however, the site is now a river bluff. From this location, the visitor can see three states: Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.



Address: 5 miles north of Newcastle

Come visit us in Ponca, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Dixon County Courthouse - NHR

Built about 25 years after Dixon County was established, the Dixon County Courthouse was built in 1883-84 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dixon County was established in 1858. Several communities competed for the county seat designation, including

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The Ponca Tribe

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Indian Hill Archeological District - NHR

A cluster of eighteen prehistoric archeological sites within less than one-half square mile constitutes the Indian Hill District located near Newcastle. Indian Hill is the only exclusively prehistoric archeological district yet designated in Nebraska and is listed on the

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Ionia Volcano

According to historians, when the explorers, Lewis and Clark, were passing by the bluffs near the site of the present town...