Nebraska History Spotlight: Platte County Historical Society

History Nebraska isn’t the only organization preserving and sharing the stories of Nebraska’s history. This post is our first “Nebraska History Spotlight,” in which we’ll highlight a different Nebraska historical organization each month. For the month of April we selected the Platte County Historical Society (PCHS), based in Columbus.

The PCHS has a mission to procure and preserve local historical materials for the education and enjoyment of the public. They operate the Platte County Museum, which has three buildings with displays, artifacts, and pictures.

Probably the most interesting object in their collection is the Gottschalk Cabin, pictured below. Built in 1857, it is the second oldest cabin in Columbus. Other popular items, shown below, are a 1914 Chevy Baby Grand Touring car and a 1913 Indian Motorcycle.

The first iteration of the PCHS was established in 1935, and had roots in the earlier Old Settlers Club, founded in 1857. The PCHS went through several changes in the 1950s and 1960s, combining with other historical organizations and societies in the area until the current PCHS was formed in 1972. Today, PCHS is looking at enhancing and expanding their website to reach more people and exploring the possibility of building a new museum. If you are interested in supporting them, look for membership information on PCHS’s website,

The website includes an online tour, part of their “Self-Guided Historical Downtown Tour of Columbus” project, which features modern and historic photos of buildings and brief descriptions of their history. You can also find the PCHS on Facebook.

The museum is located at 2916 16th Street in Columbus. The museum is open year-round from 8:30 am-1:30 pm Monday through Friday, and during the summer (May – September), it is also open Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. (402) 564-1856, [email protected]

– Christian Newth, Membership Coordinator, April 2024

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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.
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