May 13, 2024 | Last updated May 7, 2024

Marker Monday: Long Pine – A Railroad Town

Looking north up Main Street of Long Pine, Nebraska c. 1910

Looking north up Main Street of Long Pine, Nebraska c. 1910. RG3183-3-4

Marker Text

Like many Nebraska communities, Long Pine’s history is tied to railroad development. When the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley line arrived in 1881, Long Pine became a bustling railroad town.


The Chicago & North Western Railroad (CNW) built a 115-foot tall steel bridge across Long Pine Creek in 1905, and the town became a division point between Norfolk and Chadron. Crews bunked in town, while steam engines were serviced at the roundhouse.


The railroad harnessed the Seven Springs south of town and pumped water to the standpipe providing residents with pure spring water. Freight trains carried goods and livestock to market from surrounding ranches and farms. Five passenger trains per day stopped in Long Pine, bringing many visitors to the annual Chautauqua and the Hidden Paradise resort.


They lodged at Long Pine’s numerous hotels, including the Upstill Hotel and Miller Hotel, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Transferred to Union Pacific in 1984, the last train ran through Long Pine in 1992. Known as the ‘Cowboy Line,’ it is now part of the Cowboy Trail.



Main Street and Cowboy Trail Road, Long Pine, NE. View the marker’s location HERE.


Additional Images

The Hotel Upstill in Long Pine, Nebraska. In front of the hotel are 1930s cars.

The Hotel Upstill c. 1930. RG3183-3-10


View of the bridge across the Long Pine Creek from the shore. The trusswork is enclosed. July 19, 1900.

Photograph of the Long Pine Creek bridge on July 19, 1900. The bridge trusswork is enclosed. RG3474-1531

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