We have spent a very enjoyable week in Nebraska City, NE, in the southeastern corner of Nebraska about 4 miles from the Nebraska/Iowa state line. We are staying at Victorian Acres RV Park, a really nice campground just a few miles from the interstate and close to downtown Nebraska City. It is one of the nicer campgrounds we have been to on our trip north this year. Nebraska City is very nice; it seems to have maintained the character of small town America. There is a State Park located in town called Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum. In the park we toured a mansion that was once the home of J. Sterling Morton. Mr. Morton was a journalist who was Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland and the man who introduced a resolution calling for a tree-planting day to be known as Arbor Day. In 1885, the legislature made Arbor Day a legal holiday in Nebraska and set Morton’s birthday, April 22, as the official date. The idea was so popular that over one million trees were planted on that first Arbor Day. As you would imagine the entire park is planted with over 250 varieties of trees and shrubs and about 200 varieties of Lilacs, many of those were in bloom when we were there. The home that started out as four rooms in 1855 was expanded over the years and completed in 1903 as a very impressive 52-room mansion, complete with billiard room and bowling alley. It contains many of the original furnishings of the Morton family. One of J. Sterling Morton’s sons, Joy Morton the founder of the Morton Salt Company donated the land, mansion and carriage house to the state of Nebraska in 1923 to be dedicated as a State Park.
One afternoon we drove to Lincoln, Nebraska about 50 miles west of Nebraska City. Lincoln is that State Capitol of Nebraska and of course I wanted to get a picture of the Capitol Building. While in Lincoln we found a large antique mall to check out also.
Another afternoon we drove about 45 miles North to Omaha to visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. We spent an entire afternoon exploring as much of it as possible. We took a tram ride around the park to see the outside exhibits and then visited most of the exhibit buildings including the Desert Dome, the Rainforest, the Aquarium, the Butterflies and Insects House, and the Kingdom of the Night. It is a very nice zoo and I was glad we went.
The weather was great the first part of this week but yesterday it turned windy and cold. We had planned to leave here tomorrow and make one more stop before getting to South Dakota but now that the weather has gotten colder we may wait another week before going any further north. There’s a lot more things to do in this area so we should be able to keep busy.