Step back in time at southeast Nebraska cabin

A cabin located in the park in Blue Springs was originally built in 1855 by James and Martha Johnson.

"Reverend Johnson came here and built this cabin about a mile and a half northeast of town," local historian Jan Morris said. "Johnson came here to minister to the Oto-Missouri Reservation. He brought his family in 1857, which was Martha and six children. They lived here for several years, then the Hollingsworth family came and rented it from the Johnson's for two seasons. So through the years, it was lived in off and on until the 1930's."

In 1949, the cabin was donated to the Pioneer Club. Maude Boston and several others worked to bring the cabin to town, and there is a photograph of it being transported into town. It was opened in the spring of 1950 for the public to view. The walls are original and made of cottonwood. The cabin, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is full of history. "The stairs in the cabin are from the old Blue Springs Opera house," Morris said. "The cabin has a brick chimney. When the cabin was re-built, there was a Methodist church that had burned in 1948, and some of the bricks from that church are in the fireplace. It is a working fireplace."

The cabin also contains many other artifacts dating back to the late 1800's, including a cradle, and a buffalo hide. There is also a wall hanging that shows where the Ponca walked when they were forced into Oklahoma. The map shows the origins of that trial, but also where the cabin once stood. "When the Ponca tribe was led through this area, they would have went within feet of this cabin," Morris said.

If you'd like to see the cabin, a good time to do it is Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and during a big celebration in Blue Springs on the third weekend of August.