One of Kearney’s greatest strengths is its rich heritage, which has been preserved in museums, parks and historical sites throughout the community.
• CLASSIC CAR COLLECTION
The New Classic Car Collection is the best public car attraction between Chicago and Denver that includes more than 130 vintage automobiles from the early 1900s to the 1980s.
The Collection is housed in a 50,000-sq.-ft. space in the Kearney Cabela’s building. The Classic Car Collection was created to house automobiles donated by Bernie and Janice Taulborg and will open in the summer of 2011.
• THE G.W. FRANK HOUSE
Constructed in 1889 as George Washington Frank’s third mansion, the three-story house is made of Colorado sandstone and features a genuine 5-by-10-foot Tiffany stained glass window. The house, listed on the National Register of Historical Places, was deeded to the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1972 and has experienced ongoing renovations ever since. Today, the G.W. Frank House is utilized as a biographical house museum and is open for guided public touring every Saturday from February through April between 10:30-11:30 a.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day between 1:00-5:00 p.m.
• FORT KEARNY STATE HISTORICAL PARK
Initially built to protect travelers along the Overland Trail, Fort Kearny today is comprised of an interpretive center, a blacksmith-carpenter shop, powder magazine and split log stockade, together depicting the story of this old-time oasis.
• GREAT PLATTE RIVER ROAD ARCHWAY
Designed to bring the westward migration to life, the Great Platte River Road Archway is home to two levels of interactive exhibits, spanning from the history of the Great Platte River Road from the days of the Oregon Trail to today and beyond. The site, which stands as the only historical, educational monument that spans an interstate, also features the TrailBlaze Maze, a unique 4,800-square-foot labyrinth.
• KIDZONE-KEARNEY AREA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
After a recent major expansion and remodeling project, KidZone-Kearney Area Children’s Museum now offers 13,000 square feet of exciting opportunities for children and families to learn through creative play. Exhibit zones include such educational areas as agriculture, automobile, bank, grocery, science, theatre/music and water—among others.
• MORRIS PRESS COOKBOOKS COLLECTION
Morris Press, the country’s largest publisher of fundraiser, business and keepsake cookbooks, welcomes visitors to peruse through its shop lined with thousands of cookbooks—starting at only $2. Upon entering the shop, located along East Highway 30, visitors are presented with a free cookbook.
• MUSEUM OF NEBRASKA ART
Discover the art of Nebraska at the extensive Museum of Nebraska Art, the state’s official art collection. Housed in a circa 1911 Renaissance Revival structure (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is a permanent collection of more than 5,000 works of art spanning a 200-year period. View art representing the work of artist-explorers such as John James Audubon and George Catlin, early Nebraskan Robert Henri and modern-era artists Thomas Hart Benton and Wright Morris. After walking through the galleries, take a stroll outside through the Cliff Hilleglass Sculpture Garden and visit the Hitchock Education Gallery.
• PIONEER VILLAGE
One of Nebraska’s leading attractions, Pioneer Village, is a short 15-minute drive south of Kearney. The 20-acre historical site features live demonstrations and 28 buildings arranged in chronological order of development, together housing more than 50,000 historic items portraying America’s progress since 1830. Prominent structures include a Pony Express station, an historic country church circa 1884, a blacksmith shop, an one-room school house, a historic general store and a historic sod house, as well as an 1800’s steam carousel operating during the summer months.
• TRAILS AND RAILS MUSEUM
Visitors delight in the Trails and Rails Museum, which traces the history of transportation through the Buffalo County area by featuring distinct displays such as a Union Pacific steam engine, an 1871 school house, an 1878 depot, an 1898 church, the circa-1880s Freighters Hotel, a log cabin and much more.