Buffalo County is a place in Nebraska with a long history of transportation routes going through it. You can explore that at a unique museum in Kearney.
During a visit to the Trails and Rails Museum, we talked with community engagement director Broc Anderson. "The museum is a collection of different buildings that are on the property, where we are ultimately trying to preserve Buffalo County history where you can interact with it," Anderson said. One of the features of the museum is the Family History Center. In the center, you'll find a curtain from the old downtown Kearney Opera House. The opera house no longer stands, as it was torn down in 1955. But, the curtain has been saved, and it is two stories tall. If you look closely enough on the curtain, you'll notice some interesting advertisements. One on ad, the word "funeral" is misspelled with an extra "r".
In the Family History Center, you'll find marriage records, family history files, and if you are interested in looking at some older newspapers from the Kearney Hub, you can find them in the center. The Trails and Rails Museum is also now working to raise money to build a "Phase 2" of the center. "The second phase will house rotating exhibits, and it will be a space for events and conferences," Anderson said.
There is much to see on the grounds outside the Family History Center as well. You can see an old hotel, school, German Baptist church, and a reconstructed blacksmith shop. You can also see the old Shelton train depot, and an old-time locomotive. For more information, go to www.bchs.us.