With an expanse of ranch and agricultural acres in the North Platte River Valley, Garden County provides an abundance of upland birds, waterfowl and deer for hunting enthusiasts, and those hunters enjoy an immensely extended season.
As the state's birding hot spot, over 310 species have been identified.
Garden County and neighboring Keith County to the east are the best places in the state and the third best in the country to go birding. The area has the third largest local list for any locality in the entire United States. The reason the area attracts so many different bird species is its range of habitats - a larger reservoir, Lake McConaughy, that stays open most of the winter, the North Platte River, coniferous forest in the cedar bluffs on the south side of the reservoir and the river, deciduous forest next to the river, and the Sandhills grasslands with the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge 20 miles north of Oshkosh.
Garden County, choosing the
title as "garden spot of the west," was formed in 1909, when Deuel County was divided, and Oshkosh was elected as its county seat.
It surrounds the
valley of the North Platte River, once plied by French
traders in their buffalo skin boats, and closely followed by
Mormon hand carts, Oregon Trail wagon trains, and
California prospectors. Nearby Ash Hollow provided a
camping place for weary travelers.
Today, near the town of Lewellen, Ash Hollow is a State Historical Park where
interested travelers may learn of ancient Indians, early
emigrants, and events such as the Battle of Blue Water. They may visit the 1849 grave of Rachel Pattison, the beginning of Ash
Hollow Cemetery, and Ray Brown's sod house, a remnant of the stupendous Ash Hollow Centennial Pageant of 1967. They
may climb Windlass Hill where Oregon Trail ruts are still visible.
Explore Garden County
The Lisco State Aid Bridge, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was one of eight state aid bridges designed by the state engineer's office using multiple-span Pratt pony trusses. With spans ranging from 60 to 100 feet, most were built in the mid-1920Lisco, NE Historic Bridges
An early 1900s school house and an old opera house/theater located downtown are filled with historic items, Indian artifacts, fossils, and a bird collection of 300 stuffed specimens. A second museum building at the south end of Main at E Avenue is a larger building for larger exhibits.Oshkosh, NE Museums
Oshkosh Country Club is a well-kept, nine-hole golf course located near the North Platte River. Beautiful scenery abounds and occasionally wildlife can be observed. The par 36 hole course will test every golfer. League activities prevail during the summer weekdays, including men's, women'Oshkosh, NE Golf Courses
Garden County Courthouse Listed in the National Register of Historical Places [GD03-003] Listed 1990/01/10 In an election held in 1909, Deuel County voters approved the creation of Garden County and the older county lost three-fourths of its territory. Oshkosh was established in 1889Oshkosh, NE Historic Courthouses
This historical marker recounts the largest engagement between United States troops and Native Americans ever fought in Nebraska territory, and one of the 12 largest engagements between Native Americans and the white man. On September 5, 1855, the U. S. Army's 600Oshkosh, NE Historical Markers
Rackett Grange Hall 318 Listed in the National Register of Historical Places [GD04-002] Listed 2001/07/05 Constructed in 1926 the hall, located at the former town site of Rackett 25 miles north east of Oshkosh, is a one-story, false front commercial building. The Rackett Grange Hall #318Oshkosh, NE Historic Buildings
It has been estimated that at least 20,000 persons died on the overland trail between 1842 and 1859. This averages ten graves per miles over the 2,000 mile trail. Of the hundreds that died while crossing Nebraska, only seven identifiable graves remain.Oshkosh, NE Historical Markers