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Nebraska National Register Sites
in Scotts Bluff County

Rural Sites

 Signal Butte (NHL) [25-SF-01] Listed 1966/10/15

Rising 120 feet above the North Platte valley, Signal Butte, located near Scottsbluff, is capped with a thick mantle of gravel and windblown soil. This layer contains three distinct cultural horizons, separated by sterile soil. The approximate ages of the occupations are: A.D. 900-1700; 1000 B.C.-A.D.500; and 3000-2000 B.C. The oldest occupation is attributed to the Middle Plains Archaic period and is a type component of the McKean Complex, a diverse culture widely distributed across the northern and western Plains during the period 3000-1000 B.C.. Prehistoric peoples during this period developed sophisticated hunting and foraging techniques following a prolonged drougth on the Great Plains.

  Fort Mitchell [25-SF-04] Listed 1978/06/07

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the government's ability to protect the overland trails from Indian raiding became increasingly difficult. Attacks by Sioux and Cheyenne war parties in 1864 led to the establishment of a military post near Scotts Bluff. Fort Mitchell was constructed in 1864 and garrisoned by the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry under the command of Captain J. S. Shuman. The fort was a 180-by-100-foot structure built primarily of sod and adobe and consisting of barracks, shops, and a horse corral. A civilian-operated road ranche was also established near the fort. Soldiers from Fort Mitchell participated in a skirmish with Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at Mud Springs Station near the present community of Dalton. Fort Mitchell, located near present-day Scottsbluff, was abandoned about 1868.

 Scotts Bluff National Monument [SF00-035] Listed 1966/10/15

Named for Hiram Scott, a fur trapper who died in the vicinity in 1828, this prominent geological feature was a major landmark to travelers in the North Platte valley. Fur trappers following the Platte passed through the area as early as 1812-13. During the 1840s and 1850s emigrants along the Oregon-California trails moved up the North Platte valley by the thousands. A variety of Pony Express, stage and freighting stations, and military posts were established in the area during the mid-nineteenth century. The Scotts Bluff vicinity has also yielded evidence of prehistoric Indian occupation.

 Robidoux Pass (NHL) [SF00-036] Listed 1966/10/15

This narrow pass through the Wildcat Hills south of the North Platte valley, near the present-day town of Gering, witnessed the passing of thousands of emigrants traveling the Oregon-California Trail between 1843 and 1851. Robidoux Pass provided travelers with their first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains and offered a good supply of fuel and spring water. The earliest travelers using the pass were probably fur traders in the 1820s and 1830s. East of the pass lies the site of a trading post established about 1847 by a Missourian named Joseph Robidoux. Robidoux sold a variety of goods and provided blacksmithing services. Following the opening of Mitchell Pass in 1851, Robidoux Pass and the trading post fell into disuse.

 Henry State Aid Bridges, pdf [SF00-040] Listed 1992/06/29

To provide for bridge construction across the state's larger streams, the Nebraska Legislature passed the State Aid Bridge Act in 1911. The act established a fund whereby the state and county each paid half of a bridge's cost. In 1916 the Scotts Bluff County Commissioners applied for state aid for the construction of two bridges over the North Platte at Henry. The bridges were accepted for state funding, and by 1919 the State Engineer's Office had completed their design. Erected as two series of concrete arches, both bridges are still in use. Between the inception of the state aid bridge program in 1911 and the time it was phased out in 1936, the Nebraska State Engineer's office had designed and built seventeen multiple-span, concrete arch structures. Only six of these remain. The Henry State Aid Bridges are thus significant as among the last of what was once a mainstay river bridge configuration in the state.

 Interstate Canal Bridge, pdf [SF00-041] Listed 1992/06/29

This bridge carries a gravel-surfaced county road across the Interstate Canal north of Scottsbluff. Although the structure's history is largely undocumented, it was probably built as a result of a resolution by the Scotts Bluff County Commissioners. Dated April 20, 1915, the resolution required canal owners to construct bridges where county roads intersected their ditches and canals. Subject to the approval of the road overseer or the county commissioners, these structures were to have been built within thirty days of the resolution. Detailed and configured similarly to three other canal bridges in Scotts Bluff County, this truss bears the earmarks of a circa 1915 structure. Although Nebraska's counties were required by the state legislature in 1913 to use standard twenty-ton capacity designs, the canal companies were not. Most such companies built timber pile bridges. Typically poorly constructed, these small-scale structures either collapsed or were later replaced by the counties with more substantial spans. The Interstate Canal Bridge and the three other trusses in Scotts Bluff County are the only known examples in the state of steel truss erection by the canal companies.

 Knorr-Holden Continuous Corn Plot, pdf [SF00-047] Listed 1992/06/11

The Knorr-Holden Continuous Corn Plot is significant for its role in the educational research conducted at the University of Nebraska's Scottsbluff Experiment Station. Since its establishment in 1912, the plot has been a significant part of the research conducted at the Scottsbluff Experiment Station and to the present, yields valuable information about the ecology, environmental impact, and production principles of long-term continuous irrigated corn.

Urban Sites

 Scotts Bluff County Courthouse, pdf [SF01-003] Listed 1990/01/10

What is presently Scotts Bluff County was carved out of Cheyenne County in an 1888 election. The following year Gering won an election designating it as the county seat. In 1891 the first courthouse was built. The courthouse served adequately, but discussion of a replacement building took place at the turn of the century. Despite this talk, there was no immediate action. Not until 1919 did voters approve a bond issue for a new building. Construction began the following year and in 1921 the new Classical Revival-style courthouse opened.

 Gering Courier Building, pdf [SF01-017] Listed 2004/10/15

Located in Gering this two-story brick building is constructed in the Neo-Classical Revival style. Built in 1915 the structure is significant for its association with the newspaper publishing business in western Nebraska.

 Severin Sorensen House, pdf [SF01-104] Listed 1983/03/31

Severin Sorensen, a Danish immigrant, headed the firm of S. Sorensen and Sons, operators of the Gering Brick Company and general building contractors. The Gering brick factory prospered for nearly thirty years and provided building material for the construction of numerous residential and commercial structures in the North Platte valley. The Severin Sorensen House, located in Gering, demonstrates the Sorensens' approach to residential comfort and style, which was expressed through the family craft of brickmaking. The original house was built by the Sorensen family about 1910 as a basement house with the first story added about 1914-16.

 M. B. Quivey House, pdf [SF09-034] Listed 1983/03/24

Located in Mitchell, this two-story brick and frame dwelling, built in 1914 by Maurice B. Quivey, is a modest interpretation of the Prairie style. The property also includes a one-story frame gazebo. M. B. Quivey was coowner of the Mitchell Mercantile Company, established with F. M. Raymond in 1905.

 Sandford Hall, pdf [SF09-090] Listed 1997/07/09

The hall, constructed in 1934 in Mitchell, has a significant, historic association with entertainment, diversion, and recreation of various types. Sandford Hall has been known throughout much of the North Platte Valley area as a central location for social gatherings. The hall was constructed to replace a similar structure that burned down, the Mitchell Dance Pavilion. The speed of the pavilion's replacement attests to the significance the community placed on the need for this type of facility. Additionally, the nationally recognized quality of entertainment provided at Sandford Hall, as well as the number of people who attended events there, reflects the significance of the structure.

 Scottsbluff Carnegie Library, pdf [SF11-010] Listed 1981/09/03

The Scottsbluff Carnegie Library was originally constructed in 1921-22 with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. Only one other city in Nebraska received a Carnegie grant after Scottsbluff did. The Works Progress Administration funded a large addition to the building in 1936. The building, is designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style.

  Midwest Theater, pdf [SF11-110] Listed 1997/07/03

Located in Scottsbluff, the Midwest Theater was constructed in 1946. It is a two-story, rectangular-shaped building. The theater is an excellent example of Modernistic-style architecture and exhibits a high degree of exterior and interior integrity.

 Western Public Service Building, pdf [SF11-112] Listed 2004/10/15

Built in 1930-1931, the Western Public Service Company building is located in Scottsbluff. The four-story structure is constructed of reinforced concrete on a steel frame. The locally prominent landmark is significant for its association with the development of electric power supply is Scottsbluff that grew to encompass surrounding towns in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.

 Scottsbluff United States Post Office, pdf [SF11-151] Listed 1989/10/05

Constructed in 1930-31, the U.S. Post Office in Scottsbluff is a locally important example of the Late Renaissance Revival style. This style enjoyed considerable popularity in monumental buildings throughout Nebraska from the late 1890s to about World War II.

 Fontenelle Apartment Building, pdf [SF11-165] Listed 1998/07/23

Located in Scottsbluff, the Fontenelle Apartment Building was constructed in 1917. The building is significant for its association with the historic pattern of community planning and development in Scottsbluff. The Fontenelle represents a rare urban property type in Scottsbluff that was constructed just seventeen years after the founding of the city.

 Marquis Opera House, pdf (Flynn Building) [SF11-205] Listed 1985/10/10

The original building, constructed in 1909-10 by L. C. Marquis, was Scottsbluff's first opera house. The brick commercial building housed retail space on the street level with the opera house auditorium on the second floor. In 1916 after the opera closed, the building was remodeled to provide additional commercial and office space. This remodeling gave the structure its present general Neo-Classical Revival character. In 1936 the building was purchased by Wade Flynn and became known as the Flynn Building.

 Lincoln Hotel, pdf [SF11-211] Listed 1998/03/05

Built in 1917-18, the Lincoln Hotel in Scottsbluff is a locally prominent landmark. The historical importance of the building lies in its association with the hotel industry and, more specifically, with the Nebraska Hotel Company. Relatively modern hotels were just beginning to enter into the secondary markets of Nebraska's small towns during the 1910s. As a source of civic pride and an emblem of material and cultural accomplishment, these hotels were pursued and often subsidized by towns eager for their construction. Scottsbluff was no different than many other Nebraska towns when approached with the opportunity for a "first-class hotel": The townspeople courted, and even donated money to, entrepreneurs to entice the building's construction.

 Tri-State Land Company Headquarters Building, pdf [SF11-437] Listed 1997/01/25

Constructed in 1907 in Scottsbluff, the Tri-State Land Company Headquarters Building is the best remaining corporate building associated with the Tri-State Land Company. While irrigation was still in its infancy in western Nebraska, the Tri-State Land Company purchased an abandoned canal, put it back into use, and extended its length allowing for increased agricultural production in the area. Additionally, Tri-State introduced the sugar beet on a large scale to the region. Tri-State encouraged sugar beet production by growing the crop on company-owned land. Finally, Tri-State also sold large tracts of land to speculative investors.

  Saddle Club, pdf [SF11-469] Listed 2007/12/27

Established in 1947, the Saddle Club was the first organized equestrian club in the Scottsbluff area. Established to promote horseback riding, better horsemanship, horse shows and a safe riding experience, the Saddle Club quickly became an important community institution. Established at a time when lives were becoming more and more mechanized, the Saddle Club played an important role in maintaining a tangible link to equestrian activities, both social and work related. This socialization focused on riders and their horse, as well as a rider's responsibility to the community of riders as well as to the larger community. Socially, the Saddle Club has served to pass along "horse sense" to a whole generation who otherwise may have had no opportunity to learn the "Trail Rider's Creed". In doing so, a connection to a past way of life has been maintained.

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