Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Cherry County

Rural Sites

Dry Valley Church and Cemetery [CE00-007] Listed 2007/07/03

Constructed in 1911 the Dry Valley Church is located in rural Cherry County. Built by and for the ranching families surrounding the church site it not only gave the people a place to worship, but also a place to gather and socialize. The church is significant for the important role it played in the settlement of the area and as the social hub of the surrounding ranching community.

 Bell Bridge, pdf [CE00-022] Listed 1992/06/29

The Cherry County Commissioners began considering construction of a bridge at the Bell crossing of the Niobrara River when they visited there in January 1902. Located twelve miles northeast of Valentine, the crossing was situated about midway between the existing Berry and Brewer bridges. One year later the commissioners ordered a pinned through truss from the Canton Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. The bridge was completed in November 1903. As one of the oldest, longest, and best-preserved of Cherry County's remarkable group of through trusses, the Bell Bridge is an excellent example of what was once a mainstay vehicular truss type: the pinned Pratt through truss.

  Bryan Bridge, pdf [CE00-028] Listed 1988/06/23

The Bryan Bridge, constructed in 1932, is located on a turnout off of U.S. Highway 20/83 over the Niobrara River about two miles southeast of Valentine. The 289-foot bridge consists of a 145-foot central steel pin-connected cantilever arch with 72-foot half-arch anchor arms at each end. It is the only one of its kind in Nebraska.

 Twin Bridge, pdf [CE00-223] Listed 1992/06/29

This steel pile bridge carries a two-track county road across the North Loup River a few miles northwest of Brownlee in rural south-central Cherry County. Consisting of a series of steel stringers, supported by steel piles, the bridge was erected in 1900 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company. Since its construction the Twin Bridge has carried intermittent traffic with only maintenance related repairs. The Twin Bridge is technologically significant as the oldest extant steel stringer vehicular bridge identified in the state.

 Borman Bridge, pdf [CE00-224] Listed 1992/06/29

On February 16, 1916, the winter ice on the Niobrara River near the western edge of Cherry County began to break up as the river's level rose quickly. The flood that resulted moved downstream, pushing the ice pack in front of it. Before it passed through the county's eastern edge two days later, the flood had swept away fourteen bridges and damaged or destroyed seven others. In the aftermath of the flood, a representative from the Canton Bridge Company conferred with the county commissioners about rebuilding several of the bridges. The commissioners visited the site of the Borman Bridge (1900) southeast of Valentine with a Canton official and later ordered a replacement span from the Ohio-based company. Using steel rolled by Cambria, Canton erected this pinned Pratt through truss within a month. Of the fourteen Cherry County bridges surveyed on the Niobrara River, thirteen are medium span Pratts. Due in part to the flood, these Niobrara River bridges represent the best preserved group of county trusses in the state. The Borman Bridge is significant as a well-documented example of a mainstay structural type.

 Berry State Aid Bridge, pdf [CE00-225] Listed 1992/06/29

Built in 1899, the original Berry Bridge was one of four spans left intact over the Niobrara River after the disastrous 1916 flood. The county commissioners approached the Nebraska State Engineer regarding state or federal aid to replace this existing truss. State aid was approved in 1918. The Omaha- based Pioneer Construction Company was awarded the contract and the Berry Bridge was completed in 1921. Meanwhile, the 1899 truss was moved some five miles east. The Berry Bridge, located northeast of Valentine is one of the few remaining trusses in Nebraska built under the state aid bridge system. It is significant as a well-preserved, long-span example of the riveted Pratt through truss; a mainstay structural type in the state in the 1910s and 1920s.

 Brewer Bridge, pdf [CE00-226] Listed 1992/06/29

In November 1898 the Cherry County Commissioners received a complaint about the deteriorated condition of the Berry Bridge over the Niobrara River, located about fifteen miles east of Valentine. They met in special session on the bridge, condemned it as unsafe, and in January advertised for bids for a new 150-foot steel truss on cylinder piers. Submitting no fewer than six different plans, the Wrought Iron Bridge Company received the contract. Work began on the bridge in the spring of 1899 and was completed by October of that year. The truss functioned in place for over three decades before the county replaced it with a heavier span (the Berry State Aid Bridge) in 1921. The 1899 span was then moved to the site of the old Brewer Bridge, a casualty of flooding five years earlier. Here it has carried infrequent traffic as the oldest of Cherry County's trusses.

Urban Sites

 F. M. Walcott House, pdf [CE14-001] Listed 1982/10/07

This one-and-one-half-story frame house, located in Valentine, is a simplified example of a Neo-Classical Revival dwelling, based upon earlier Greek Revival style houses in the eastern and mid-western states. F. M. Walcott established one of the largest legal practices in the state and also held the offices of county judge and county attorney.

 Valentine Public School, pdf [CE14-002] Listed 1984/06/14

The bond issue to build the Valentine Public School was approved in February 1897. It was designed by Omaha architect Charles F. Beindorff, and construction was completed in 1898. The two-story brick structure was built for primary and secondary students of Cherry County School District 1. The building incorporates Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival design elements.

 Cherry County Courthouse, pdf [CE14-089] Listed 1990/01/10

Although Cherry County is the largest county (in square miles) in Nebraska, early settlement did not occur until the late 1870s. By the early 1880s, however, settlement began to increase spurred on, in part, by the construction of the railroad. In 1883 Cherry County was organized. The following year Valentine, the county seat, was incorporated. Initially, the county rented office space in Valentine. In 1900 voters approved a bond issue to finance the construction of a courthouse. Events moved quickly thereafter and in November 1901 the courthouse opened its doors.

  Former Valentine United States Post Office, pdf  [CE14-090] Listed 1991/12/13

The former Valentine United States Post Office, constructed in 1936-37, is a one-story, brick and limestone Modernistic style building. While the building retains a high degree of integrity, its historical significance derives from the mural painted on an interior wall.

Through New Deal programs such as the Public Works of Art Project and the WPA Federal Art Project, thousands of artists were employed. In 1934 the Section of Painting and Sculpture (renamed the Section of Fine Arts in 1938) was organized under the auspices of the Treasury Department to provide murals and sculpture for the many federal buildings constructed during the New Deal era.

Between 1938 and 1942 the Treasury Department's Section of Fine Arts (generally known as "the Section") commissioned twelve murals for twelve newly constructed post offices in Nebraska. Valentine, along with the other eleven post office murals in Nebraska represent the Section's goal of making art accessible to the general population by reserving one percent of new building construction budgets for art.

How to list a property on the National Register

Return to Nebraska National Register Sites Index Page

Return to National Register information


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top
Last updated 25 November 2009

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2009 All Rights Reserved