Big Springs is located along the Oregon-California Trail and named after the fresh, cool, pure spring water that poured out of the hillside. The original spring still flows down above a park with swimming pool, playground, and historical museum. The Historic Phelps Hotel has been restored into a bed and breakfast. Located one mile from Interstate 80, you'll will enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this small, western Nebraska community and its many historical attractions.
Chappell is located north of I-80 on Highway 30, formerly known as the Lincoln Highway. Entering Chappell from I-80, you will pass the Pony Express marker, the Chappell Lake and the municipal golf course. Chappell has a beautiful library and museum, which includes paintings by well-known artists, and a rock collection donated by a local collector. Heritage House is an example of 1911 architecture, built and inhabited by members of one family.
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The Phelps Hotel is typical of many hotels erected during the late nineteenth century in western Nebraska. The building is Deuel County's oldest hotel, constructed in 1885 by the Edwin A. Phelps family, who were among the first settlers in the Big Springs vicinity.Chappell, NE Famous Homes
One of the most rare and valuable collections of art in western Nebraska, the Chappell collection features works by Rembrandt, Aaron Pyle, and unusual oriental art.
One wall of the gallery displays fascinating work created by local artist, Aaron Gunn Pyle, deceased, a well knownChappell, NE Arts
The Wallace W. and Libby King Waterman sod house was built about 1886. The original dwelling had three rooms. In 1925, it was enlarged and remodeled by Virgil and Helen Burke Waterman, and the sod walls were covered with concrete. The family lived in the house until 1989Chappell, NE National Register
Home as it was in a more genteel times this 1911 house has been restored to its original condition, complete with period furniture. Also featured is a display of the desk, chair, and flags from the Washington, D.C. office of Congresswoman, Virginia Smith - one of Nebraska'Chappell, NE Museums
The first and greatest robbery of a Union Pacific Train took place near Big Springs on the night of September 18, 1877. The legendary Sam Bass and five companions, after capturing John Barnhardt, station master, and destroying the telegraph, forced Union Pacific Express Train No. 4 to halt.
Chappell, NE Historical Markers