Marker Monday: Nebraska City

Marker Text

Permanent settlement in this area dates from 1846, with the establishment of old Fort Kearny on Table Creek. Nebraska City, founded in 1854, became an important depot for military and commercial freighting. Pioneer businessmen, such as S. F. Nuckolls, sought to attract freighting interests. In 1858, Alexander Majors, of Russell, Majors and Waddell, decided to use Nebraska City as the point of departure for shipping military supplies west.

Steamboats brought rapidly growing volumes of goods and numbers of people heading west. In 1865, it was reported that up to 40 million pounds of freight were shipped west from Nebraska City.

In 1860, a direct road to new Fort Kearny on the Platte was completed, shortening that journey by forty miles. Known as the Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cut-off and also as the Great Central Route, the trail was originally marked by a furrow ploughed in the sod. Another name for this trail, the Steam Wagon Road, resulted from an 1862 experiment. That summer, a locomotive-like “Steam Wagon” attempted to haul cargo to Denver, but soon broke down and was abandoned.

With the building of the Union Pacific Railroad, overland freighting from Nebraska City soon gave way to railroad shipment.


Location

2120-2182 State Highway 2 Bus, Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska View this marker’s location 40.673479, -95.87219

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

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.

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.