Nemaha County is the eastern-most county along the Heritage Highway, and is where we begin our journey westward along Byway 136. About 8,000 residents call Nemaha County, and its seven communities, home. The county seat, and largest community, is Auburn, and the county itself is rich with history and natural beauty. And, it's that natural beauty that has attracted visitors to the area for years. For more information visit, www.enjoynemahacounty.org.
The community of Auburn is centered in the heart of Nemaha County. The town of Calvert and Sheridan merged in 1883 to become the town of Auburn. A shift in economic emphasis brought the county seat to Auburn from Brownville in 1883. The rivalry still existed between Calvert and Sheridan so when the county seat was determined to be Auburn, the community leaders made the decision to locate the courthouse at the top of the hill in the Calvert area, but Courthouse Avenue was built to connect the two areas, with the hope the two former town's would unite. www.auburn.ne.gov
The two business districts of Auburn (North and South Auburn) have shopping opportunities for the tourist with gift and antique shops. The visitor will find plenty of dining options with national fast food chains, but a wide variety of the home cooking atmosphere, steakhouses and the specialty food items of Philly sandwiches, and BBQ. Auburn has three Motels one Hotel, and three RV Parks.
A drive around the older parts of Auburn can find a wide variety of historical homes. The Italianate style at 18th and K street and 12th and N Streets, Queen Anne style at 1021 17th and 1721 Q streets, Dutch Colonial Revival 17th and O Street, Side Gabled (vernacular) House at 1508 F street. Other buildings of interest are the Methodist Church at 1205 L Street, Presbyterian Church, 1322 19th Street, Christian Church, 1100 15th, St Joseph Catholic, 2221 N Street, Old German National Bank at 1920 O Street, Carson National Bank at 1901 N Street, and of course, the Nemaha County Courthouse located at Courthouse Square 19th and O Street.
NEMAHA VALLEY MUSEUM For the history buff, the Nemaha Valley Museum is located on the south side of historic Courthouse Square in Auburn at 1423 19th Street. It displays the history of the area in three buildings and a courtyard and houses the genealogy history of Nemaha County. 402-274-2608, www.nemahavalleymuseum.org
The AUBURN POST OFFICE islocated at 1320 Courthouse Avenue and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Auburn Post Office features a painting in the lobby by the artist Ethel Magafan, titled "THRESHING." This is one of 12 paintings in the State of Nebraska that was commissioned by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a WPA project to enhance the Fine Arts to the general public.
LEGION MEMORIAL PARK has a National Historic Park designation. Legion Park was designated a National Historic Park Site (one of six in the State of Nebraska) because of its unusual structures within the park. The land was purchased for a park in 1929 by the City of Auburn. The granite and limestone building structures were part of the WPA projects of President Roosevelt. The material used predominately throughout the park was the red granite boulders found in Nemaha County quarries. The park is home to the City swimming pool and feature a bandstand still in use today for church services, special events and music concerts. The gazebo offers a beautiful setting for weddings. A rock creek dissects the middle of the park for a drainage area and the rock bridges are still used by the pedestrians, originally designed to accommodate horse and buggy.
NEMAHA COUNTY VETERANS MEMORIAL. Legion Memorial Park, Hwy. 75 & 10th Streets, is also the site of the Nemaha County Veterans Memorial dedicated May 30, 2011. The names of more than 1,000 Veterans are carved into the black granite on one side and murals depicting scenes from the Civil War to present.
The AUBURN RECREATIONAL COMPLEX is well-known as one of the best in the state. Since the complex was built in 2001 it has been in constant use hosting state and regional ball tournaments. The complex also features a large picnic shelter house for family gatherings and a RV Park that complements the entire area. Located at 6th & Q Streets. 402-274-3420
STATE HISTORICAL MARKER FOR THE HALF BREED TRACT
One mile East of Auburn on Highway 136 is a State Historical Marker for the Half Breed Tract. This tract was located between the Great and Little Nemaha Rivers. It was the custom for many early fur traders to marry into Native American tribes. As the Native Americans ceded their lands, the rights of the half-breed descendants were not always identified. This situation was recognized by the government in 1830 by the Prairie Du Chien Treaty, which set aside a tract of land for the half breeds of the Oto, Iowa, Omaha and Santee Sioux Tribes.
The AUBURN COUNTRY CLUB GOLF COURSE is 2 miles south of Auburn on Highway 75. It's a nine hole course with grass greens, 2,940 yards and par 35. Auburn has the distinct honor of having an airplane navigated by Leut. Bahl of Humboldt and a passenger named Charles Lindbergh land on number six fairway in 1922. They were seeking permission to give airplane rides at the Nemaha County Fair. The number six fairway is now known as Lindbergh Fairway. 402-274-4500
POLAR PLUNGE Fundraiser for the Special Olympics held at Rotary Lake each year in March.
Lodging Information in Auburn:
Arbor Manor Motel, 1617 Central Avenue 402 274 3663
Auburn Inn Motel and RV Park, 517 J street, (North edge of Auburn on Highway 75) 402-274-3143
Palmer House Motel, 1918 J Street, 402 274 3193
Auburn Inn RV park, 517 J Street, 402 274 3420
City of Auburn RV Park, West on 6th Street to Q street (Auburn Sports Complex) 402 274 3420
ROTARY LAKE sits on the North edge of Auburn and provides fishing experiences for the young and old. The primary fish in the lake are blue gill, catfish, carp and trout. A concrete walking trail around the lake provides a safe place for walking year-round.
Welcome to Brock, Nebraska
The first grist mill was built in 1876, and a saw mill was built on the Nemaha River the same year.
In 1883 a big flood came through and washed away houses and livestock and at that time the town of Brock was moved to its present location.
art gallery and classroom (2 miles west of Brock and Âź mile south) Highway 67. 402-856-3355
(1 mile east of Brock, 3 miles south) or 73203 633 Avenue, Johnson. Coryell Park was homesteaded by the LL Coryell family in 1867. The park commemorates the spirit and values of Nebraska's settlers. Coryell is unique and incorporates peace, recreation and beauty to all who visit. The park has a playground, covered bridge, pavilion, chapel (often used for weddings) and Treasure filled with collectibles of the family, most notably a doll collection. Coryell Park was awarded the honor of one of the State's Hidden Treasure's for 2011. 402-856-2875
Welcome to Brownville
When the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 opened the territory up for settlement, Tennessee native Richard Brown packed up his family and headed west. What started as a small settlement of scattered cabins quickly became a vital port town for riverboats on the Missouri River.
The historic Village of Brownville, founded in 1854, is located on the tree- covered picturesque rolling Loess Hills overlooking the 1804 Lewis & Clark campsite on the Missouri River. Designated a National Historic District, Brownville is celebrating 157 years of American history as a pioneering gateway to opening the west. In 1970, Brownville's significance was recognized with enrollment on the National Register of Historic Places. This scenic frontier river town, abundant with wildlife, showcases the culture and natural beauty of the Missouri River Basin region providing historical, educational and recreational opportunities.
Don't let Brownville's population of less than 200 people fool you. The town offers a big opportunity for memorable experiences. Brownville offers rich artistic experiences, historic museums, unique shopping, picturesque walking and biking trails, unforgettable events. .
Brownville Annual Events
BROWNVILLE FIRST FRIDAY SERIES
The first Friday of every month offers evening entertainment from regional performers, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
BROWNVILLE CONCERT SERIES
Eleven world-class musical performances from classical to jazz to cabaret are presented in the Brownville Concert Hall on N. 2nd & Atlantic Streets. For complete concert details, call 402-825-3331 or visit
the website: www.BrownvilleConcertSeries.com
ANNUAL SPRING FLEA MARKET
Memorial day weekend on Main St. More than 200 vendors from across the United States. Antiques, flowers, jewelry, collectibles and food, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free. (402) 825-6001.
ANNUAL BROWNVILLE FALL FLEA MARKET
Last weekend in September - Main St. More than 200 vendors from 7 states. Antiques, primitives, crafts, flowers, jewelry, collectibles and food, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free. (402) 825-6001.
Brownville Historical Attractions
BROWNVILLE DEPOT AND RAILROAD HISTORY MUSEUM
U.S. Highway 136 and Water Street
Preserved 1875 railroad depot and caboose document the history of the railroad in the region.
Just east of downtown
Completed in 1939, this bridge spans the Missouri River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
DR. SPURGIN'S DENTAL OFFICE
222 Main Street
View many historical dental tools in this old-time dentist's office. Open April-October, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for self-guided tours.
CAPTAIN BAILEY HOUSE MUSEUM
4th and Main Streets
Take a tour through Brownville's rich history. Open mid-May to mid-October and by appointment, Friday- Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
SPIRIT OF BROWNVILLE
72898 A Avenue, Brownville
Cruise the Missouri River in high style on the Spirit of Brownville. This old-fashioned riverboat is the perfect venue for weddings, parties, or business functions. Just call (402) 825-6441 to arrange your private cruise. Or come to Brownville on Independence Day or Memorial Day weekend and enjoy a public cruise at 3 p.m.
LEWIS AND CLARK CAMPSITE
South of town
On July 15,1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition camped here during the exploration of the Missouri River. View the State Historical Marker in the BrownvilleState Recreation Area.
MERIWETHER LEWIS DREDGE AND MISSOURI RIVER HISTORY MUSEUM
Just south of Brownville Bridge, Brownville
Step into the past on this restored sidewheeler dredge. The Meriwether Lewis, a decommissioned US Army Corps of Engineers dredge boat, now houses a Museum of Missouri River History. Hours. Usually open Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily, 1-5 p.m. For hours, please call ahead.
NEMAHA VALLEY LODGE #4
2nd and Main Streets
Founded in 1858, the Masons have been using this building as a meeting hall since 1894. The state's oldest blue lodge and still an active fraternity, Brownville's Masons are the only ones in the state who still schedule meetings based on the full moon.
WALNUT GROVE CEMETERY
North of downtown on 7th Street
Established in 1864, this historic 5-acre cemetery is the final resting place to many of Brownville's early pioneers, including Gov. Robert W. Furnas.
219 Main Street
Located in what was once the town's Ford dealership, the Wheel Museum displays vintage wagons, buggies, a Civil War cannon, and commercial fishing equipment. Open daily April-October, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. for self- guided tours.
Brownville Historical Houses
BROWN/CARSON PERIOD HOUSE
3rd and Main Streets, Brownville
Included on the National Register of Historic Places, this home was built by Brownville's founder, Richard Brown, and later became home to John L. Carson, one of Nebraska's first bankers. The home is now run by the Brownville Historical Society. Open mid-May to mid-October and by appointment, Friday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
GOVERNOR ROBERT W. FURNAS HISTORIC HOMES
230 South 6th Street, Brownville
Call (402) 274-4146 for hours.
Open to the public for special and holiday displays, this 1868 Italianate and Gothic Revival home reflects the typical expressions of the era in addition to serving as an illustrative documentation of historical activities and events related to Historic Brownville.
GOVERNOR FURNAS ARBORTUM & WHISKEY RUN CREEK NATURE TRAIL
5th & Main Streets
The Furnas Arboretum, an affiliate site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, provides educational activities, eco-tourism, birding, symposiums, garden tours and memorial plantings and dedication opportunities. The Furnas Arboretum entrance is located on Main at 5th Street.
BROWNVILLE STATE RECREATION AREA
Brownville, southeast of downtown
Located just east of town, this 22-acre area along the river is home to the Meriwether Lewis Dredge and Missouri River History Museum. Here, you'll find a boat ramp, camping facilities, picnic shelters, water fountains, and modern restrooms.
2nd and Main Streets, Brownville
Situated at 2nd and Main Streets. Come enjoy a picnic and view the Memorial Marker where Co. C 1st Reg. of Nebraska enlisted for the Civil War in 1861.
CAPITOL SQUARE PARK
Bluff overlooking Brownville
Perched on the bluff overlooking Brownville, this site was originally reserved for a capitol building by the town's founders. Today, the park offers picnic shelters, grills, playground equipment, and an unbeatable view.
Arts Opportunities in Brownville
SCHOOLHOUSE ART GALLERY AND NATURE CENTER
427 Main Street
Special exhibitions focus on visual artists of the region and are dovetailed with lectures, workshops and artist receptions.
BROWNVILLE CONCERT SERIES
Eleven world-class musical performances from classical, jazz to cabaret are presented in the Brownville Concert Hall on N. 2nd & Atlantic Streets. For complete concert details, call (402) 825-3331 or visit their Web site: www.BrownvilleConcertSeries.com
BROWNVILLE VILLAGE THEATRE
222 Water Street, Brownville
We are the oldest repertory theatre in Nebraska, and we're excited as we prepare for our 45th season of repertory theatre.
Welcome to Johnson, Nebraska
Johnson is the kind of town many people believe no longer exists. Located along the Heritage Highway Scenic Byway at the intersection of US Hwy. 136 and Hwy. 105, this family-oriented village of 300 residents is quiet and friendly, has a high quality school system, and a variety of stores and businesses that offer all the essentials for Nebraska's âGood Life.â
Here the ambience of small town America combines with the modern amenities to offer fine homes, churches, a new village park complex, basketball and tennis courts, community library, cable TV, high-speed internet access and emergency medical services. Johnson's Annual Father's Day Chicken BBQ Weekend brings in thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the many activities and events. The uniquely picturesque Coryell Park is only 4 miles away. Johnson is the best in small town living. For more information contact the Village of Johnson, 224 Main Street, PO Box 58, Johnson, Nebraska 68378. 402-868-5305, email: email@example.com.
ANNUAL FATHER'S DAY BBQ
June each year on Father's Day weekend.
The weekend is filled with alumni, family reunions, friends, and thousands of visitors. 402-868-5305, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Julian, Nebraska.
Julian was settled by a sizeable number of French immigrants who organized the St. Bernard Catholic Church in 1881. Julian was a flourishing city until the Great Depression of the 30s began to take its toll. Julian still has a heritage of the French immigrants shown in the St. Bernard's Catholic Cemetery and the Lafayette Cemetery near Brock. Julian also has the distinction of being the smallest âTree Cityâ member in Nebraska.
Welcome to Nemaha
ASPINWALL BEND WMA, 1â2 mile south of Nemaha. Located on the Missouri and Little Nemaha Rivers, this is anoutstanding spot to catch channel catfish and carp.Deer, pheasant, quail, turkey and waterfowl are also a common site to the area.
SITE OF ORIGINAL LEWIS AND CLARK CAMP. (Not marked, need to consult with local historians)
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Nemaha was a station for the Underground Railroad for smuggling slaves to the north. Many were ferried across the river, hid in attics of local sympathizers by day and headed to the north by night. There are two documented sites by the Nebraska Historical Society and documented in Nemaha County.
INDIAN CAVE STATE PARK
Nemaha is the gateway to Indian Cave State Park from the north, Highway 67. Indian Cave State Park is located on the banks of the Missouri River, 10 miles south of Brownville and 5 miles east on S64E. Perhaps the biggest attractions are the majestic hardwood forest and the hills that overlook the wide and winding river. Autumn is particularly spectacular here. Horseback trail rides are also available in season. History buffs will enjoy the restored schoolhouse and general store from the old river town of St. Deroin, where old time crafts are demonstrated on weekends from May through October. A group picnic shelter may be reserved. A ramp offers river access for boaters or you can put in at nearby Brownville SRA. For more information call 402-883-2575 or visit www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov
Welcome to Peru, Nebraska
The town of Peru is located approximately 11 miles northeast of Auburn, and is home to just under 600 residents as well as Peru State College.
PERU STATE COLLEGE Peru State College was established in 1863 as Mt. Vernon College, then became Peru State College in 1867. It was the first teaching college in the state. The college, which first held classes as a state-run institution in 1867, is known to be the first and oldest school in the state of Nebraska. The college went through many name changes until becoming Peru State College in 1963. It currently occupies over 20 buildings spread across a 104-acre campus in Peru, and is known as the âCampus of a Thousand Oaks.â 402-872-3815, www.peru.edu
CAMPUS OF A THOUSAND OAKS ARBORETUM is a botanical resource for students, visitors and residents of Southeast Nebraska, located on the Peru State College Campus.
STEAMBOAT TRACE TRAIL starts in Otoe County near Nebraska City and follows the Missouri River along the bluffs. It goes past the ghost town of Minersville. The carved drawings in the rocks known as Sherman's drawings are a feature found nowhere else. The Trail ends in historic Brownville after traveling about 21 miles of unmatched scenery. The flora, fauna, birds and wildlife are abundant throughout the trip. The Trailhead at Peru offers a place for a fresh drink, bathroom and camping. For current trail conditions, log on to www.nemahanrd.org/trail.htm
NEAL PARK is located on the south edge of Peru. There is hiking, biking, birding opportunities and great picnicking areas in the park or beneath the park pavilion.
The PERU MUSEUM features a history of the Missouri River involving fishing, barge traffic and recreation. The museum also houses genealogical information for the Peru Cemetery. For hours please call 402-872-5865.
PERU CEMETERY on Mount Vernon. The observation point features a Tri-State views of Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa.
âOLD MAN RIVER DAYSâ - first weekend in June. For further information call 402-872-6685
Lodging is available at Cabin at Honey Creek 402-872-7275 or www.NebraskaTheGoodLife.com
Hunting and Fishing in Nemaha County
Hunting and fishing opportunities in Nemaha County:
ASPINWALL BEND WMA
1/2 Mile South of Nemaha
Located on the Missouri and Little Nemaha Rivers, this is an outstanding spot to catch channel catfish and carp. You can also hunt for deer, dove, pheasant, quail, turkey, waterfowl, and more.
BROWNVILLE STATE RECREATION AREA
65296 720 Road, Brownville
Just east of town, you can catch buffalo, carp, channel and flathead catfish, and shovelnose sturgeon. Boat ramp.
INDIAN CAVE STATE PARK
65296 720 Road, Shubert
Stop at this magnificent recreation spot south of Brownville for buffalo, carp, and channel and flathead catfish fishing. Please call the park superintendent at (402) 883-2575 about regulations and permits.
The MISSOURI RIVER BOTTOM LAND provides an excellent place for hunting morel mushrooms in the early spring.