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Nebraska National Register Sites
in Dawes County

Rural Sites

Bordeaux Trading Post James Bordeaux Trading Post, pdf [DW00-002] Listed 1972/03/16

This small trading house, near Chadron, was established in the winter of 1837-38 by James Bordeaux, an employee of Pierre Chouteau, Jr. and Company. Bordeaux maintained this post until 1872 and carried on a successful trade with the Brule Sioux Indians. The site includes two reconstructed buildings, a combined trading house and living quarters, and a small warehouse.

Wohlers Homestead Henry Wohlers, Sr. Homestead, pdf [DW00-043] Listed 2004/10/15

The Wohlers Homestead is located in Dawes County. Constructed between c.1890 and 1914 the farmstead is significant for its association with the broad pattern of agricultural development in Dawes County.

Urban Sites

 Chadron Commercial Historic District, pdf [DW03] Listed 2007/3/27

The Chadron Commercial Historic District is historically significant as a prominent commercial center that played a vital role in the settlement of the community and its expansive neighboring region. The district retains the character and sense of time and place that characterized Chadron from the late nineteenth into the twentieth century.

Chadron State College Chadron State College Chadron State College Chadron State College Chadron State College Historic Buildings, pdf [DW03] Listed 1983/09/08

Chadron State College is the state's primary educational institution in western Nebraska. It was established as a state normal school in 1911. The five hsitoric campus buildings include the women's dormitory, Women's Hall, Crites Hall, gymnasium, and library, all erected during the founding years of the college. Their architectural design reflects the popular styles of the time: Prairie, Neo-Classical Revival, and Art Deco.

 Hotel Chadron, pdf [DW03-023] Listed 2002/08/15

Constructed in 1890 the hotel is located in Chadron. In 1903 the building was sold to the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. The C&N then entered into a joint venture with the Young Men's Christian Association. The agreement allowed for train crews to stay at the YMCA while the rest of the building provided the usual recreational facilities associated with the YMCA. In 1932 the building was again sold and reopened as a hotel.

Dawes County Courthouse Dawes County Courthouse, pdf [DW03-081] Listed 1990/07/05

Dawes County is located in the far northwest corner of the state. It became a county in 1885 when residents successfully petitioned it to separate from Sioux County. In an election, Chadron, the terminus for the railroad serving the area, was selected over Dawes City (present-day Whitney) as the county seat.

The original courthouse was built in 1887. Beginning in 1935, the county board took steps to construct a new courthouse. They met in special session on June 28, 1935, regarding a Public Works Administration (PWA) grant for the proposed courthouse and jail. In October 1935 the commissioners voted to accept a contract with the federal government for the project. In May 1937 the new courthouse, constructed in the Art Deco style, officially opened.

Chadron Public Library Chadron Public Library, pdf [DW03-091] Listed 1990/06/21

The Chadron Public Library is typical of the 1,679 libraries erected in the United States for the purpose of public education through the generosity of Andrew Carnegie, the wealthy Scottish steel magnate who devoted much time and wealth to establishment of free public libraries around the turn of the century. One of sixty-nine he financed in Nebraska, the Chadron Library reflects the simple, boxy, one-story design favored for small towns by Carnegie himself after 1908. It is a significant building in Chadron and symbolizes the growth of Chadron during the progressive-activist mayoralty of James W. Finnegan.

Crawford Post Office Crawford United States Post Office, pdf [DW04-007] Listed 1992/05/11

The Crawford United States Post Office, is a one-story, red brick building constructed in 1938-39 in the Modernistic style. 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 WPA Federal Art Project, thousand 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. Crawford, 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.

Co-Operative Block Building Co-Operative Block Building, pdf [DW04-024] Listed 1985/09/12

The Co-operative Block Building, erected in 1909, is an example of commercial architecture utilizing reinforced concrete construction. The building, located in Crawford, represents an early use of an innovative building design in the Panhandle of Nebraska. The building was the home of the Crawford Co-operative Company from 1909 to 1977.

Fort Robinson Fort Robinson adobe officer's quarters Fort Robinson and Red Cloud Agency, pdf (NHL) [DW07] Listed 1966/10/15

Fort Robinson, located near Crawford, was established in 1874 to protect the nearby Red Cloud Indian Agency, and remained an active military post until 1948. It was a cavalry post until 1919 and after World War 1, became a quartermaster's remount depot to provide horses for the U.S. Army. In 1942 a war dog reception and training center was added; a prisoner of war camp was located at Fort Robinson from 1943 to 1946. The fort was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1948 for use as a beef cattle research station. In 1971 title to Fort Robinson was granted to the state of Nebraska.

Significant events in the history of Fort Robinson were the 1877 killing of Sioux Chief Crazy Horse, the 1879 Cheyenne Outbreak, and the participation of troops from the fort in the 1890-91 Sioux Campaign on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The U.S. Army Equestrian Team trained at Fort Robinson in preparation for the 1936 Olympics.

Forty-nine buildings dating from 1875 to 1912, including officers' quarters, barracks, stables, shops, and the former Army Theater, remain at Fort Robinson. Some are used for staff and tourist housing, while others have been restored or reconstructed as museums.

Near the fort is the site of the Red Cloud Indian Agency, 1873-77; the World War II prisoner of war camp; and the post cemetery. Fort Robinson State Park is operated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The Nebraska State Historical Society and the University of Nebraska operate museums and interpretive programs at Fort Robinson.

Fort Robinson Army Theater, pdf [DW07-147] Listed 1988/07/07

Located within the Fort Robinson and Red Cloud Agency NHL (see separate summary), the Army Theatre is also individually listed in the National Register for its architectural significance and association with performing arts, entertainment and recreation, and social history at Fort Robinson. The wood-frame building was constructed 1904 as the post's theatre and gymnasium. Today it houses the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Trailside Museum of Natural History.

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Last updated 19 September 2011

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