Flashback Friday Encore: Town of Lemoyne Sacrificed for Lake McConaughy, 1941

Lemoyne population sign, ca. 1938 [NSHS RG5995.AM, B22, V1]

 

This year marks 75 years since the the completion of Kingsley Dam and the creation of Lake McConaughy just north of Ogallala, Nebraska. Several different festivities are happening this weekend to commemorate the anniversary. For information about events happening this weekend, July 23-24, at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala to celebrate Kingsley Dam’s 75th anniversary, click here. If you’re looking for a more enduring way to learn more about one of Nebraska’s greatest feats of engineering, we can help. This spring the NSHS received a large collection of research files on the history of the building of Kingsley Dam and the moving of the town of Lemoyne. The collection was compiled over a 50 year period by Cora Baumann, a local historian and former resident of Lemoyne. Lemoyne was in the area that would become Lake McConaughy, so the entire town had to be moved to higher ground. It became Baumann’s mission to document the history of Lemoyne and the families displaced by the flooding of Lake McConaughy. Cora Baumann passed away in 2006, but through the generosity of her son Loy, Baumann’s collection was donated to the NSHS Archives in Lincoln where it is available for public research. For more information about the collection, see the full inventory on our website. Over the next several months we hope to provide you with various selections from the Baumann collection. But, for now, I will leave you with this poem by Lemoyne resident Julius Hoffman: Old Lemoyne Is Gone Old LeMoyne is gone The dwellers moved on Down in the deep There lays the street We used to walk upon Now for the fish And Kingsley’s wish No more mail Nor grocery sale Men had to relinquish Tis wrong not right To put out of sight Tis gone for ever There ranchers never More spend the night How time will change And so arrange No street no alley Down in the valley To us seems strange It came it went By man’s consent Tis no more there And those that care Experienced the event I sympathize with those That had to dispose Of their real estate Had to evacuate Before the water arose In the later years The traveler hears Beneath the lake They used to take Freight on running gears Some may look In a history book Of what some made note And some that wrote Of what the reservoir took Or it wouldn’t be long Forgotten and gone Lemoyne and we That used to be The earth rolls on And Kingsleys he That used to be Thought it worth To rebuild the earth And all is vanity


 

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Fire(s) in Benkelman, 1906

Fire(s) in Benkelman, 1906

Marker Monday: Louis Crompton LGBTQA+ Advocate

Marker Monday: Louis Crompton LGBTQA+ Advocate

Fort Robinson Museum opens, June 3, 1956

Fort Robinson Museum opens, June 3, 1956

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections
History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.
Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.