Historic buildings plentiful in Jefferson County town

Pure Nebraska
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 11:53 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 12:12 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

STEELE CITY, Neb. (KOLN) - During a visit to Steele City, we learned about four historic buildings in the community and several other buildings of significance that still stand today.

We visited with Dennis Kenning to learn more about the history in Steele City. We first learned about an 1880′s Baptist Church. “In 1881, construction started on this,” Kenning said. “The limestone came from the Hanover area. The back of the building actually contains sandstone. It has a circular window that we recently replaced, and this summer, someone had a wedding in here. So, it’s pretty cool that we are utilizing the building in that way again.”

In addition to church, there is an old-time bank, a livery stable, and a blacksmith shop operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society. There are some other buildings in town that are also quite notable. “There is the Clarks store, there is an old bank on the corner, and the old drug store is now the Salty Dog Saloon,” Kenning said. It turns out, those buildings are privately owned.

“The old-time bank is a two-story structure,” Kenning said. “The building was not only a bank, but it was used as a shoe cobbler’s shop at one time. The newspaper office was there, and there were living quarters in the back. So, it was used in a number of different ways.” Behind the bank is the impressive livery stable, and up the street is the blacksmith shop made out of sandstone. The blacksmith shop is used for demonstrations from time to time.

At one time Steele City had four springs, and now there are two. When you come into town, you’ll notice that water is running from two spigots into some concrete troughs. Kenning says the water is running to relieve pressure from the springs, so the water doesn’t back up and cause problems for people’s basements and such. “The springs have to have relief, so the water needs to run,” Kenning said.

There is much to see in Our Town Steele City, so be sure to check it out the next time you are passing by on Highway 8.