Tour The Grounds
The elegant Stuhr Building, designed by world-renowned architect Edward Durell Stone, serves as our Visitor Center, art gallery, exhibit space and meeting area. It’s also the home of the Prairie Treasures Gift Shop and the Family Activity Center.
Shaped like a wagon wheel and housing Stuhr’s Native American and Cowboy artifacts, the
Fonner Rotunda tells the story of the west. Visitors can learn about topics ranging from
Nebraska’s ecology and agriculture to the tools that made the plains habitable. Pay special attention to “The Arrowmaker” statue in the center of the structure.
One of the first exhibits visitors see upon entering the museum is also one of the most striking exhibits in the area. Led by the Augustine Family, Union Pacific Engine 437, the Railroad Display also includes the Bosselman Family, Hoch Family Union Pacific Boarding Car adn the Ann and Dennis Vanosdall, Union Pacific Caboose.
Pawnee Earth Lodge
The earth lodge, designed in the style of the Pawnee Indian, is filled with authentic items for visitors to experience how life in the lodge existed. See how its inhabitants used the space inside the lodge to live, survive, worship and celebrate family. External viewing only.
Representative of a working farm from the 1890s, the Farmstead features the lovely Cleary Farm House, the barn classroom, summer kitchen, chicken pen and other structures. This area is frequently used for special events and classes and is open for external viewing all year.
Railroad Town Main Street
Along Railroad Town’s main road you will find the one-room Peters School, the Town Hall, the Hardware Store, the Planing Mill and the Post Office. Many of these sites are staffed during Railroad Town’s season.
All aboard! The Railroad Town Depot represents one of the town hubs and features schedules, a telegraph office and loading by for luggage.
Milisen and Lesher Houses
Representative of upper class houses of the day, the Milisen and Lesher Houses are elegant, foundational and recognizable. The Milisen is the more traditional of the two with a play area in the back and music room while the Lesher features a large living room for entertaining and more modern furnishings.
Fonda House and Stolley House
Representative of the middle class homes seen in the 1890s, the Fonda House (or Bell
Cottage) is the birth house of movie star Henry Fonda who lived in Grand Island during his early years. Get a taste of the 1890s farm life in the Stolley House with its summer kitchen, modest living quarters and quick access to the farm.
Mercantile and Silver Dollar
Two must stops when you visit Railroad Town! The Mercantile has all the finest goods from the 1890s from clothing to candy to books and gifts and much more. The Silver Dollar is Railroad Town’s finest eating establishments and serves cool drinks, hot lunch and more.
Blacksmith and Tinsmith Shop
Watch the tradesmen of Railroad Town hard at work on their various projects. The Tinsmith is always happy to show off his goods and show you how the vital trade was important to residents of the time. The forge is hot and the Blacksmith is ready to show off this metal working expertise. These are popular stops in Railroad Town.
The Veterinary Clinic was an important spot in the 1890s life and the recreated shop shows off the size and scope of their services. The horse sign out front of the shop used to hang in Grand Island where it was the home of the largest horse and mule market in the country.
Log Cabin Settlement
A complex of eight structures, the Road Ranche interprets the 1850s-60s settlements that were built along the pioneer trails and served travelers headed west, or returning east. There were once eleven road ranches in Hall County. They were located along the Platte Valley’s emigrant roads and were places where travelers could pause to buy provisions and make repairs on equipment. The Menck and Vieregg Cabins are the main structures of the ranche.