Arthur cabin has connection to Buffalo Bill

Pure Nebraska
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 10:53 AM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ARTHUR, Neb. (KOLN) - It’s always exciting to learn about a building that has ties back to the early days of life in Nebraska. In this segment, we learn about a special cabin.

During our visit to Arthur, we talked with Cliff Macomber about the Mill Camp Log Cabin that was built in 1877. You can see the cabin when driving through town. “This cabin originally was built along the Dismal River,” Macomber said. “At that time, Frank North and Buffalo Bill Cody had all of the open range that ran from the Dismal River to the Platte Valley. This cabin was built further east, and then it was moved to the Mill Camp Valley which is where I live now in the northeast corner of Arthur County.”

The log cabin you can see in Arthur was set up as a line camp and used by Frank North and Buffalo Bill’s operation. “Most of the time, they wintered bulls there,” Macomber said. “They dug a lake to have a water source. Later, the ground changed hands to the North brothers. The cabin was actually lived in until 1942. Old Charlie Kramer and his family, they still lived there, and finally moved another house in. So it was occupied a lot of years.” The “line camp” served cowboys working the range. “The different cowboys that worked for the ranch, would ride and kick cattle back on to the proper ground or area,” Macomber said. “These cabins would be a place where they were riding, and they could spend the night there, find some shelter, and get supplies.”

The cabin is apparently all original, and is amazing that it still stands today. “It stood in the Mill Camp Valley until 1977, when my granddad Reynold Macomber donated it to the Arthur Ag society, and the Lions Club moved it to this current site.” Macomber has many memories of the cabin, since it was on family land. “As kids, this was our fort,” Macomber said. “It has a loft in there, and we would pretend we were pioneers. It’s so unique that this building is from that far back in time.” The people of Arthur encourage to you come by for a visit to the cabin. You can also enjoy the baled straw church in town, and what was once the smallest courthouse in America. Be sure to have a meal at the Bunkhouse while you’re in town as well.