August 19: West Grand Island, Neb.
Today, the Overdrive 40th Anniversary Tour stops at the TA in West Grand Island, Neb.
Grand Island, one of Nebraska’s “big twelve” cities, was begun as a commercial enterprise and has prospered largely because of the economic success which transportation made possible. A great deal of the history of this Nebraska town is preserved at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, opened in 1967.
STUHR MUSEUM OF THE PRAIRIE PIONEER
Situated on 200 acres in Grand Island, Neb., the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer is a living-history museum that has been depicting late 19th-century life on the prairie since 1960. The building, which introduces visitors to the inspiring story of the men and women who settled the Great Plains, contains two art galleries, a museum shop, and an auditorium where visitors can view “Land of the Prairie Pioneer,” a short film that provides an overview of the museum’s attractions.
After a visit to the main building, visitors can move on to the living-history museum and visit the 40-acre Railroad Town, a recreated 1880s prairie town modeled after the communities that developed along the Union Pacific Railroad’s rights-of-way. Complete with 60 shops, homes, and buildings, many of which have been moved to the site, restored, and decorated with period furnishings, Railroad Town features a train depot and a bustling business district. Costumed merchants and housewives as well as a blacksmith and a marshal stroll the grounds, relating their stories and memories of life on the plains.
Visitors can also tour the railroad and the antique farm machinery and auto exhibits and visit a complex of eight structures (circa 1857-1867) that recreate one of the rural “road ranches” that were built along the pioneer trail to service travelers heading west. An arboretum is also open, weather permitting.
3133 W. Highway 34 Grand Island, Neb.
(688) 01-PHONE (308) 385-5316
1855 Curtis at I-80