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Nebraska National Register Sites
in Saline County

Rural Sites

Jesse C. Bickle House (The Maples), pdf [SA00-001] Listed 1977/11/23

The present two-story frame dwelling, completed in the 1870s, is a fine example of the Carpenter Gothic style. The house, located near Crete, incorporates an earlier one-story, two-room log structure built by Jesse Bickle about 1864. A founding father of Crete, Bickle was actively involved in the development of the county.

 Frank Pisar Farmstead, pdf [SA00-003] Listed 1986/08/06

Frantisek "Frank" Pisar was a native of Bohemia. In 1872 Pisar, his wife Terezie, and their children homesteaded this eighty-acre tract in Pleasant Hill Precinct. Pisar was an enterprising farmer and by 1885 he owned over 300 acres. He managed a nearly self-sufficient farming operation and built fruit cellars or caves for produce storage. The farm is located at the end of a small limestone vein, which supplied building material for the construction of the original one-and-one-half-story stone house (1877) and stone barn (1888). The property also includes a corncrib, hog house, poultry sheds, and privy.

 Michael Witt Fachwerkbau, pdf [SA00-007] Listed 1980/01/14

The fachwerkbau or "half-timbered" house was built in 1867-68 by Michael Witt, a native of Germany and one of the pioneer settlers near the present-day town of Friend. The dwelling is a relic of German folk architectural traditions and is the only known structure of its type in Nebraska.

 Telocvicna Jednota Sokol (Brush Creek Hall), pdf [SA00-010] Listed 1985/01/18

Brush Creek Hall, located near Wilber, is a simple one-story frame building. It was constructed about 1888 and is the oldest known Sokol hall in Nebraska. The Sokol movement, founded in 1862, is a Czech gymnastic order that advocates a "healthy mind in a healthy body," while promoting patriotic and cultural education. The Brush Creek Sokol was established in 1888 by a small group of boys. By the 1920s there were sixty members, including teams for boys, girls, and adults.

 Rad Tabor 74 Z.C.B.J. (Tabor Hall), pdf [SA00-011] Listed 1985/08/23

Tabor Lodge 74, located near Dorchester in Saline County was organized on October 8, 1899, with fourteen charter members. The Zapadni Cesko Bratrske Jednota (Z.C.B.J.) or Western Bohemian Fraternal Association was an outgrowth of the Czech Freethinking movement, which began in Bohemia (a province in the presentday Czech Republic) in the mid-nineteenth century. The Freethinkers broke away from organized religion and promoted liberalism and strong national and democratic views. As a fraternal organization, the Z.C.B.J. lodges provided security and ethnic solidarity for Czech immigrants in America. The Z.C.B.J. lodges have been primary conservators of Czech heritage. Tabor Hall was constructed in 1914, with a large dance pavilion added in 1934.

 Saline Center Lodge Hall #389, pdf [SA00-043] Listed 1996/01/04

Constructed in 1939, this Z.C.B.J. hall is significant for its association with the Czech-American ethnic culture. The lodge hall is one of two buildings currently identified as being associated with a period of Nebraska history when Czech immigrants were assimilating American culture and establishing a more cooperative attitude among themselves.

Urban Sites

College Hill Historic District, pdf [SA01] Listed 1983/02/10

The district derives its name from Doane College (see Doane College Historic District), a private educational institution affiliated with the Congregational Church. The surrounding residential area, which was referred to by local residents as "College Hill," consists mainly of dwellings built by the founders and supporters of Doane College and Crete's business district. Important individuals include James W. Dawes, governor of Nebraska, 1883-87; John S. Brown, Doane College professor and organizer of the Crete Chautauqua; William H. Morris, appointed district court judge in 1883; and John L. Tidball, who organized the First National Bank in Crete. The district comprises architectural styles popular in Nebraska during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 oswell Observatory  Whitcomb Conservatory and Lee Memorial Chapel  Gaylord Hall Doane College Historic District, pdf [SA01] Listed 1977/08/16

Located in Crete, the district includes three buildings: Gaylord Hall, a large brick structure built in 1884 as a women's dormitory; Whitcomb Conservatory and Lee Memorial Chapel, a two-story brick and steel structure designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Dean and Dean in 1905 and constructed in 1906-7; and the Boswell Observatory, a small, irregularly shaped structure built in 1883-84 to house Doane College's program in astronomy and meteorology. The General Association of Congregational Churches, in its first annual meeting at Fremont in 1857, resolved to "lay the foundations of a literary institution of a high order in Nebraska." Through the efforts of the local pastor and Thomas Doane, chief engineer for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, Doane College was established in 1872.

 Frank J. Rademacher House, pdf [SA01-003] Listed 1980/03/11

Built in 1894, the house, located in Crete, was designed by the Lincoln architectural firm of James Tyler and Son and represents a simplified version of the Queen Anne style. Rademacher achieved success in the furniture and undertaking business from 1870 to 1926 and was a charter member of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association, organized in 1885.

 Johnston-Muff House, pdf [SA01-012] Listed 1977/09/19

The Johnston-Muff House, constructed 1887-89, is a fine example of the Queen Anne style. While employing the usual variety in building materials and roof lines, this dwelling has a side tower rather than the typical corner tower found on most Queen Anne houses in the area. The residence was built for John R. Johnston, a businessman in Crete, and later purchased by Catherine Hier Muff in 1892.

 Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, pdf [SA01-018] Listed 1979/09/14

The present church building, a board and batten stucture, was built in 1872 and received additions in 1889 and 1896. It is representative of an important group of churches influenced by the 1852 publication, Upjohn's Rural Architecture. Richard Upjohn's book contained drawings for modern wooden church buildings. Since his drawings were merely intended to offer general guidelines, many parishes, including Trinity Memorial, located in Crete, adapted or modified the designs as local conditions warranted.
Trinity Memorial Photo Album

Telocvicna Jednota "T.J." Sokol Hall, pdf [SA01-176] Listed 2003/11/26

Built in 1915 the Telocvicna Jednota Sokol Hall is located in Crete. The building is significant for its association with Czech ethnic heritage and as an ethnic community center. Since opening, the hall has been an important gathering site for numerous Czech heritage activities including language and history classes, theater productions, and lodge meetings.

 Warren's Opera House, pdf [SA04-034] Listed 1988/09/28

Located in Friend, the two-story brick commercial block was built in 1885-86 by businessman Joshua Warren, at a cost of more than forty thousand dollars. The opera house occupies most of the building's second floor, and has a curved balcony, box office, dressing rooms, and stage with a trapdoor. Rooms surrounding the opera house were used as a lodge hall and for professional office space. The opera house offered performances such as "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Night Before Christmas."

 Richard R. Kiddle House, pdf [SA04-035] Listed 1985/09/12

The Kiddle House, built in 1886, is an excellent example of the French Second Empire style and incorporates distinctive features, including a prominent two-and-one-half-story entry tower. Builder Richard R. Kiddle, who lived in Friend, was a local carpenter and is believed to have constructed other buildings in the area. The property also includes the original two-story carriage barn built in the 1880s.

 Saline County Bank, pdf [SA08-069] Listed 1990/04/05

The Saline County Bank is located in Western. Constructed in 1887, it is a well preserved example of a late nineteenth-century commercial building, employing mixed-use commercial and office space. The building is designed in the Italianate style. In many towns these banks occupied prominent corners and served as symbols of progress and solidarity in a growing community. Their design, scale and material needed to reflect these qualities, and thus, these buildings were many times a key component in the central business districts.

 William H. Mann House, pdf [SA09-001] Listed 1978/12/29

This imposing house, designed with both Italianate and French Second Empire features, is the only remaining dwelling in the town of Wilber dating to the early 1880s. The milling enterprise founded by William Mann was the chief industry in Wilber for several decades and enjoyed a wide circle of trade.

 Saline County Courthouse, pdf [SA09-016] Listed 1990/07/05

Saline County was organized in 1867. Swan City was the first county seat, a position it held until 1871 when Pleasant Hill gained that designation. In 1877 another election brought the county seat to Wilber. The following year a courthouse was built. Despite its poor condition the replacement courthouse was not assured until 1927. Construction began the following year and the new courthouse opened in 1929.

 Hotel Wilber, pdf [SA09-034] Listed 1978/09/20

The need for a commodious brick hotel in Wilber had been discussed as early as 1890, but not until the spring of 1895 was a stock company formed to finance the construction. In August of 1895 the Hotel Wilber opened. The large, two-story brick hotel was an elaborate addition to the commercial development of this small community of 1,000. It was a social center for local citizens and a haven for travelers to this county seat. The Hotel Wilber is an important example of a building type once common in Nebraska's small towns.

  Sokol Pavilion, pdf [SA09-065] Listed 1998/07/23

Completed in 1930, the Sokol Pavilion in Wilber is significant for its association with the Czech-American ethnic culture. The Sokol movement, founded in Prague, the capital of Bohemia, in 1862, is a Czech gymnastic order which advocates "A sound mind in a sound body," while also promoting patriotic and cultural learning.

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