Windmill complex in Bassett puts the spotlight on agriculture

A building at the Rock County Historical Society Museum tells the story of the area's farm heritage.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 11:33 AM CDT
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BASSETT, Neb. (KOLN) - During a visit to the Rock County Historical Society Museum in Bassett, we learned about a building that tells the story of the area’s farm heritage.

Evelyn Armstrong is with the museum, and she said sometimes people miss the building when they visit. “I think this is one of the highlights of the museum, because agriculture is important to the area,” Armstrong said. “The building is off the beaten path a bit on our complex, but there is a sidewalk that leads from the depot over here, so people just need to either start here, or make a point to come here. It’s not air-conditioned, but fall is an excellent time to visit when people have time to browse.”

The museum is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I’m happy to come in on another day if I know someone is coming in advance,” Armstrong said. “We have a farming section, a ranching section, and even a general store.”

One of the highlights of this museum that focuses on ag history is a green wagon you’ll see in the building. “This was bought by an area family in 1867, and they drove it from Chicago!” Armstrong said. “That would have been a long journey. Also, our windmill is beautiful. We have old stoves, washing machines, and other tools. There is a redwood water tower here that was once located in Newport. Some ag students helped us put this together.”

“I just think it’s important to remember this farming history,” Armstrong said. “For people my age, it’s nice to remember these things. But for kids, it’s important for them to know that things have changed quite a bit over the years.”