The Crook House at Fort Omaha

Take a step back in time with a visit to the General George Crook House at Fort Omaha.

"Fort Omaha was started in 1868, and this home was started in 1878. Prior to this house, all of the structures were wooden. This was the first brick structure at the fort," Douglas County Historical Society Executive Director Kathy Aultz said. "This was to be the home of General George Crook and his wife Mary. It was started in 1878, and finished in 1879."

The home today is operated as a museum. It's open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Tours are offered, along with rental opportunities for anniversaries, parties and events. There is an heirloom garden that is adjacent to the home, and it's filled with plants that would have been around at least 100 years ago. The house is built in the Italianate style.

General George Crook probably lived in the house for about 2 years, according to Aultz. He was known for his service in the Civil War, and for being involved with the Indian Wars. While Crook was in Nebraska to serve the military, the home itself was built for entertaining. "It was a big deal to be invited to the General's home at the fort. So, Mary Crook's role was that of an entertainer. She held charities which were the equivalent of today's cocktail parties," Aultz said. The Crook's did entertain several notable people including Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant.

"The current furnishings in the home did not belong to the Crooks, as with military, the furnishings would have moved. But the pieces are all local pieces that are of the time period and original," Aultz said. What's also interesting about the home is that the rooms are not roped off. You are able to access the house, and truly experience what it was like to live in a military commander's home during the Victorian era.