Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Merrick County


Rural Sites

   Nelson Farm, pdf [MK00-0116] Listed 2009/08/26

The historic Nelson Farm includes eighty acres associated with John Magnus Nelson's original 1879 homestead just west of Central City. In addition to the associated fields, the farmstead includes a windbreak, windmill, silo, machine shed, Quonset-style metal building, and two historic farmhouses: the original 1887 Ell-house and the c. 1935 Bungalow. The farmstead is dominated by the large barn constructed by Herman Nelson around 1916. The Nelson Farm grew to include 480 acres by 1921, making it one of the largest in Merrick County's Lone Tree Township. The Nelson Farm is significant for its role in local agricultural development and as a good example of the continual development of the family farm over several decades of use.

Riverside Park Dance Pavilion Riverside Park Dance Pavilion, pdf [MK00-155] Listed 1998/12/31

The Riverside Park Dance Pavilion, located near Central City, was constructed in 1940. The structure has a significant historic association with entertainment, diversion, and recreation in Merrick and surrounding counties. The Pavilion has been known throughout much of the area as a central location for social gatherings. It was constructed to replace an outdoor dance floor that had long been a fixture in the community. The rapid success of fund-raising to construct the Pavilion attests to the significance the community placed on the need for this type of facility.

Urban Sites

Wright Morris Home  Wright Morris Boyhood Home, pdf [MK02-001] Listed 1980/10/22

The Wright Morris Boyhood Home symbolizes the noted author's Nebraska childhood as reflected in his writing and photographs. Central City, originally named Lone Tree (the name Morris used in his fiction), appears in several of his most important works. Built in 1893 the dwelling was the author's home from 1910 to 1919.

Patterson Law Office Patterson Law Office, pdf [MK02-002] Listed 1979/03/09

The one-story, false-front commercial building was constructed about 1872 and incorporates Greek Revival details in its design. It is one of the oldest frame commercial buildings in Nebraska. John Patterson, a native of Ireland, established a law practice in Central City and became a well-known trial lawyer and public speaker.

Merrick County Courthouse  Merrick County Courthouse, pdf [MK02-003] Listed 1990/01/10

At the time of the county's organization, 1858, the nonexistent town of Elvira was designated temporary county seat. The permanent county seat designation eventually fell to Central City. The first courthouse, a two-story brick building, was constructed in 1871. Because of disrepair to the original courthouse voters approved a bond issue in 1911 for a new facility. Construction began that same year and in 1913 the Classical Revival-style courthouse was completed.

Hord House  Heber Hord House, pdf [MK02-007] Listed 1987/12/07

The original two-story frame house was built in 1906 and designed by Omaha architects Fisher and Lawrie. A 1923 remodeling by Omaha architect F. A. Henninger gave the house its present appearance. Heber Hord's father, T. B. Hord, established Central City as the base of his vast business operations, which included livestock feeding and ranching, lumber yards, farm supply houses, and grain elevators. Acquiring experience in business matters from his father, Heber Hord established the Alkali Products Company and managed the family operations after the death of T. B. Hord. Heber Hord lived in the house from 1906 until his death in 1949.

State Theater  Martha Ellen Auditorium, pdf (State Theater) [MK02-008] Listed 1988/09/28

The one-story brick building was constructed in 1916 in Central City by Colonel William Shelton and named for his daughter. It was the scene of musical concerts, operas, vaudeville performances, and classics like "The Shepherd of the Hills." The balcony retains the original stairs, railings, and opera chairs. The building served as a movie house in later years and was known as the State Theater.

Cahow Barbershop  Cahow Barbershop, pdf [MK03-001] Listed 1984/01/12

The Cahow Barbershop is important for its association with Central City's noted author, Wright Morris. It appears both in his writing and in his photographs. According to former owner Eddie Cahow, the shop is where Wright Morris's father, Will, met his future wife. Constructed in 1889, the barbershop, located in Chapman is a good local example of a frame, false-front commercial building.


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Last updated 13 July 2005

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