The “cornerstone” of Nebraska

Pure Nebraska
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 9:59 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2023 at 10:22 AM CDT
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HAIGLER, Neb. (KOLN) - Residents in Haigler continue working hard to preserve the town’s history, but also to promote everything it has to offer, which includes an expansive community center.

We caught up with LaNeta Carlock to talk about the community of about 150 people in Dundy County. She is a Haigler native, but moved to Omaha for many years. “Stan and I were gone for 40 years after graduating from Haigler High School,” Carlock said. “We worked in our careers for 30 years. We have now been back in town for 25 years. It was the right place to come back to, because we felt so fortunate to come from a community that cared. We thought we could come back while we still had our mental and physical capabilities, and give something back to a community that gave us a good start in life.”

“Haigler is the cornerstone of Nebraska,” Carlock said. “This town has a history of being caring, and there is a volunteer spirit here. That’s why we’ve been able to accomplish all the things that have been done here over the years. We have a welcome center here now, and we have not one, but three museums where there was none before. For example, have a country schoolhouse museum. The building was constructed in the 1800′s. It was moved in from the country. The old Conoco station was an old filling station. It is now the welcome center and a museum, just off Highway 34. We also have the Cornerstone Museum. People just kept giving things to us to create these museums.” The town also has a unique Art House, where local art is featured, and the town has some unique churches as well. In addition to that, there are several businesses in town, including an important grocery store, and a popular restaurant called the Haiger Country Cafe.

“Volunteers are making all of the amenities in this town possible,” Carlock said. “Also, 14 years ago when we first began, the idea of forming a non-profit 501C3 foundation came up. We did that, and in 2014, we received that designation. Alumni, business donors, and everybody within our tri-state area has been so supportive. Since 2007, when the schoolhouse museum was first brought in, we have raised more than $1 million for projects, for the museums, and for converting the old former closed school building into a center for community services.”

Carlock says there plans for more improvements. “We have a jail house that goes back to the 1930′s and that is the next museum project,” she said.