The story behind Jenner's Park

At the Sherman County Museum, you can learn about two brothers who settled in Loup City, and had a vision.

"The Jenner brothers came from England," museum member Donne Trompke said. "They originally were brought over here to be farmers, but they were well to do, they came from a family in London that did brewing, and they really weren't interested in farming."

Instead, Henry and Robert Jenner created Jenner's Zoological and Amusement Park at the turn of the 20th Century. "One of the brothers, Henry Jenner, wanted a park to entertain his children, so he developed this park. He and his brother Bob eventually opened it to the public and it became quite an attraction for the Loup City area," Trompke said.

It's believed that visitors came from around the world to this park, which featured such attractions as the Mummy House, and exotic animals. The park also had many rides. "The had the ocean wave, they had something called a snake swing, and that's because the outsides of the swing were in the shape of a snake. They had different games that could be played, they had a dance pavilion, they had a lovers lane, and they had a baseball field," Trompke said.

As the Jenners brothers got older in the 1940s, the amusement park faded away, but remnants of the park remain. "The park is still here," Trompke said. "It's at the end of O street here in Loup City. In fact, two years ago, there was a dedication of a state historical marker for Jenner's Park. There are some cages in the wall that remain. The one limestone entrance is still there, you can see where a fountain was, and there is still the pole for the stride swing."

But exhibits surrounding Jenner's park are not the only displays worth seeing at the Sherman County Museum. There are exhibits dedicated to local businesses, old-time photographers, and there are extensive buildings that take visitors back to the early years of Loup City. "We have the Marcy building is what we call our professional building, and we have a number of displays in there, that represent different professions," Trompke said. "Marcy was a dentist. The building was originally downtown, and it was moved to the Historical Society grounds. "When they moved the building, there were a number of teeth that were found back behind the building, so it was truly a dentist's office!"

Among the other buildings, there are schoolhouses, a barn, and there is a barbershop museum downtown. But one of the most interesting exhibits still has to the one dedicated to Jenner's park, as the Elsner-Clark exhibit hall features a huge picture from the hey-day of the park on the back wall. "It's one that we felt represented the park, there's people there, they had a lot of foliage, a lot of flowers," Trompke said.

And there are certainly a lot of memories surrounding Jenner's Park, which is now owned by the town. It's a place where people can play, picnic, and consider life in a simpler time.