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Nebraska National Register Sites
 in Morrill County

Rural Sites

Camp Clarke Bridge Site [25-MO-68] Listed 1974/11/08

The Custer expedition's discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874 created a need for supplies in the gold fields. The most direct route to the mines was overland from the Union Pacific Railroad at Sidney. A bridge was required so freight wagons and stagecoaches could cross the North Platte River. The bridge was designed by freighter and architect Henry T. Clarke and completed in June of 1876. The massive structure contained sixty-one trusses and spanned over 2,000 feet. Other structures were built near the bridge including a hotel, stores, corrals, shops, and a military blockhouse, referred to collectively as Camp Clarke, near present-day Bridgeport. Construction of a rail line in South Dakota and the decline of the Black Hills gold boom reduced travel over the Sidney-Black Hills Trail by the mid-1880s. Today, no structures remain at Camp Clarke.

Greenwood Stage Station [25MO32] Listed 2012/03/13

The Greenwood Stage Station, located near Bridgeport along the Sidney-Black Hills Trail, served as the second stage station after leaving the Union Pacific railhead at Fort Sidney. The property is one of the few stage stations on the Sidney-Black Hills Trail that retains intact foundations and undisturbed material deposits relating to its active use as a station. The station was an important stop, providing water for stock, food and hotel facilities for travelers, and an exchange of horses for the stagecoaches.

Mud Springs Pony Express Station [25-MO-72] Listed 1973/04/24

From 1859 through the late nineteenth century, Mud Springs Station, located near present-day Dalton, served travelers on the Julesburg "cutoff" connecting Lodgepole Creek to the main Oregon Trail. Mud Springs was constructed in 1859, originally as a stage station and used later as a Pony Express home station. It provided meals, lodging, and fresh horses. After the Pony Express ceased, the station operated as a stagecoach and telegraph station. In February of 1865 employees of Mud Springs were attacked by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors until troops from Fort Laramie and Fort Mitchell arrived.

 Chimney Rock, pdf [MO00-001] Listed 1966/10/15

Chimney Rock was the most famous landmark on the Oregon-California Trail. This natural formation is a slender spire rising over 300 feet from a conical base, an isolated erosional remnant of the bluffs at the edge of the Platte valley near Bayard. It is composed of layers of Brule clay of Oligocene age and layers of volcanic ash. The site is owned by the State Historical Society, which operates the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott visitor center.

 Courthouse and Jailhouse Rocks, pdf [MO00-003] Listed 1973/04/24

Located in the Bridgeport vicinity this complex includes Courthouse and Jailhouse Rock, two prominent erosional remnant buttes; a portion of the Overland Trail dating 1856-69; an early historic Plains Apache archeological site; and remains of the Courthouse Pony Express Station. From as early as 1812 through the westward migrations of the mid-nineteenth century, travelers recognized the rocks as major landmarks.

Schuetz Log Cabin [MO00-179] Listed 2011/03/21

The Schuetz log cabin, located in rural Morrill County, is significant as an excellent example of log construction of the area during the early 1900s. The cabin exhibits significance through its unique log construction, which was favored in frontier regions for its ease of construction when few building supplies were readily available. Despite its fair condition and past alterations, the Schuetz log cabin has maintained its core character defining features that provide for the opportunity to witness and understand this type of construction.

Urban Sites

  Morrill County Courthouse, pdf [MO04-002] Listed 1990/01/10

After a vote of a proposed division in November 1908, Morrill County was officially separated from Cheyenne County on March 9, 1909. County seat contenders were Bridgeport and Bayard. Bridgeport was more centrally located and won the election. Acting quickly, the county residents passed a bond issue to help finance the cost of a new courthouse. Construction began in 1909 and the following year the Classical Revival-style building was completed.

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Last updated 6 April 2012

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