A look inside Tabor Lodge

Pure Nebraska
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 9:54 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Down a country road south of Dorchester, you’ll discover a unique building that’s been a gathering spot for local residents for decades.

During a visit to Tabor Lodge, we talked with Marlene Stehlik to learn more.

“Tabor Lodge originated by 14 Czech immigrants who decided they needed a fellowship hall,” Stehlik said. “They would meet at Pleasant Hill, which is two miles down the road from here. It was the county seat at the time. After 15 years, they decided it was time for them to have a hall. They really started in 1899. Fifteen years later, they bought a tract of land here for $101 and some odd cents, and this hall was constructed in that time. The “Tabor” word came from the Czech Republic, and it means camp. That’s how it got its name.”

Tabor Lodge has an affiliation to an insurance company.

“To become a member you have to have an insurance policy, and that’s how it all started,” Stehlik said. “The company is called Better Life. It started out as Z.C.B.J. Then it became Western Fraternal Life. And now, the two companies merged, and they are called Better Life.”

There are meetings once a month at the lodge.

“When the meetings open and close, there are three words that we always use, and that’s Truth, Love and Loyalty,” Stehlik said. “That’s what I feel our lodge stands for. It’s always open for rents. We’ve gone back to having polka dances now. In the old days, they used to have Czech plays. We don’t have plays now, but the hall is always able to be rented for a meeting or a dance. We even had a little baby have her first birthday party here. So, that was unique.”

The dance floor ballroom part of the lodge was added in 1934. There is an original part, and then the dance floor area came later. It’s another unique place to visit in southeast Nebraska.

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