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Nebraska National Register Sites
in Keith County

Rural Sites

 Diamond Springs Stage Station [25-KH-06] Listed 1970/10/15

In 1859 the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell constructed this Pony Express station on a low terrace overlooking the South Platte River, near present-day Brule. After the Pony Express ceased operation in 1861, Diamond Springs was a stage and freight station under the ownership of Ben Holladay. The station was closed in the wake of Indian attacks along the Platte valley in 1864-65, but reopened briefly until the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867 rendered stage travel obsolete.

Beauvais' Ranche Archeological Site [25-KH-22] Listed 1975/02/20

Following a career with Pierre Chouteau, Jr. and Company, Geminian Pierre Beauvais established his own trading post in 1849 on the South Platte River near California Crossing. Beauvais traded with Indians and white travelers and was reported to have one of the best equipped ranches on the Overland Trail. The ranch included log houses, a sod storehouse, and several shops. During Indian raids along the Platte in 1864-65, Beauvais was used by the First Nebraska Cavalry as a base of operations for this portion of the westward route. A barracks was constructed to house the troops and a fortification erected. The ranch was abandoned when the Union Pacific Railroad reached the vicinity in 1867.

Big Blowout Site [25-KH-67] Listed 2001/12/04

Located in Keith County, this site is located along the margins of an eroded linear blowout on a linear dune crest, with cultural components found in three strata. There is a deflated Upper Republican component found at and near the modern surface, an Archaic component in the upper levels of the Brady paleosol, and an early component near the base of the Brady. The most significant of these is the early component in the lower Brady. The Brady paleosol developed in this area over a period dating from approximately 8,360 years B.C. to approximately 4,090 years B.C. The principal and most significant cultural component at this site is found at the lowest levels of the Brady soil. Evidence of this cultural component consists of a broken biface, lithic flakes and flaking debris resulting from an episode of tool production.

  Meismer Bison Kill Site [25-KH-68] Listed 2001/12/04

Located in Keith County, the site has two distinct cultural components. There is a protohistoric Pawnee hunting camp with intact buried features. The more significant component is a well preserved Late Archaic bison kill and primary processing site, with an approximate date of 1,000 years A.D.

California Hill [KH00-004] Listed 1974/07/12

This prominent hill marks one of the points where Oregon-California Trail emigrants crossed the South Platte River enroute to Ash Hollow and the North Platte valley. California Hill, located near the present-day town of Brule, was the first major grade immigrants were forced to climb after leaving the Missouri River. The passing of thousands of wagons up the hill has left deep, visible ruts.

 Roscoe State Aid Bridge, pdf [KH00-092] Listed 1992/06/29

In late summer 1934 the Nebraska Bureau of Roads and Bridges completed the drawings for a multiple-span bridge over the South Platte River in Keith County. The Roscoe State Aid Bridge, located near the town of Roscoe, consists of seven steel I-beam stringer spans, supported by concrete piers in the river's channel and steel pile bents in the flood plain. Completed by the spring of 1935, it has carried traffic since in essentially unaltered condition. The Roscoe Bridge was among the final projects undertaken using state aid. Soon after its erection, the state aid bridge fund was phased out, ceasing entirely in 1936. This structure is noteworthy as a strategic crossing of the Platte River, as a well preserved example of long-span beam construction, and as one of the last state aid bridges built in Nebraska.

 Dr. Burdette L. Gainsforth House, pdf  [KH00-096] Listed 2002/12/05

The Gainsforth House, near Ogallala, was constructed in 1949-50. The residence is significant as an excellent example of a Ranch style house, a design popularized in the 1950s. Next to the house is a detached garage. A unique feature of this property is a tunnel connecting the house and garage. Aside from providing a passageway, the tunnel also housed a bomb shelter. Although not as ubiquitous as the Ranch style house, the bomb shelter was also a post-World War II phenomenon.

Urban Sites

 Keystone Community Church, pdf [KH02-001] Listed 1979/01/25

"The Little Church" was the inspiration of the wife of a wealthy rancher, Bill Paxton, Jr., and the "King's Daughters," a teen-age girls' club. The one-story board and batten structure was erected in 1908 in Keystone, a small unincorporated village. Due to the diverse faiths of Keystone residents, the church was built to accommodate both Protestant and Catholic services. Apses protrude from both ends of the building, creating space for a Catholic altar at the north and a Protestant lectern at the south. The backs of the pews are hinged so that the seating can be reversed. This church is the only known building of its type in Nebraska and one of very few such structures in the United States.

 Leonidas A. Brandhoefer Mansion, pdf [KH04-004] Listed 1973/10/03

Known as "The Mansion on the Hill," the two-story brick residence was built in 1887 by Leonidas A. Brandhoefer. The house, located in Ogallala, incorporates Italianate and Queen Anne elements in its design and was one of the first western Nebraska homes to display the popular eastern residential styles.

  Standard Oil Red Crown Service Station, pdf [KH04-053] Listed 2004/08/20

Built in 1922, the Standard Oil Red Crown Service Station is located in Ogallala. The building is of solid masonry construction, consisting of an office and attached canopy. A brick service bay parallels the station. The service bay, also masonry, features a corner entrance and an overhead service door. The property is significant for its association with retail marketing established by Standard Oil Company.

  Ogallala United States Post Office, pdf [KH04-080] Listed 1992/05/11

The Ogallala United States Post Office is a one-story, concrete Modernistic style building constructed in 1937-38. 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, 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. Ogallala, 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.

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