Sarpy County History, Whimsy & Nostalgia
13 Aug 2008
|From Pine Grove RV Park – Greenwood, NE
Today was one filled with driving the back roads of Sarpy County, Nebraska. Our drive took us to Papillion, the County Seat with a population of 16,363. Other smaller communities on our drive were Springfield at 1,450 and Louisville with only 1,046 populations. The largest city on our route was Bellevue with 44,382.
A day like today brings amazement when one discovers hidden treasures in small communities that lie just off the main thoroughfares traveled by motorists going just from point A to point B. Everyone should take time to browse the local “Mom & Pop” stores while driving the main streets of these smaller communities. See the pride citizens take in their homes by driving through the neighborhoods.
Ask local residents and store owners what is interesting to visit in their city, and then get directions to check it out for yourself. Try to find a local café at lunch time or maybe just enjoy a refreshing treat at a quaint ice cream parlor or a drugstore soda fountain you spot along the way. Meeting local people and discovering unique places while enjoying such a day will long remain in your memory as a fond, fun filled experience.
Our adventures today found not one but two drugstore soda fountains with one even serving breakfast and lunch. In Louisville, the smallest community visited today; there were two very whimsical stores, Coop de Ville and Feathers. One having lots of “Bling” in all the store’s merchandise-Amy Sweetie thought of you throughout the store,and the other having items of nostalgia but still lots of “Bling” was present too.
Just outside the city limits of Louisville was where a local entrepreneur opened a business on his farm. It features birdhouses of all sizes with many made in the woodshop on the property. It has other garden décor and fun outdoor accessories. You can find wreaths, home décor, and unique gifts.
These items are featured in three very unique buildings. The Country Store is the main building, and then The Greenhouse holds garden type merchandise. The birdhouses are located in the largest birdhouse in the country! This is a corn crib that has been modified to resemble a huge birdhouse.
Of course old historical buildings are things that communities of all sizes find pride in keeping as part of their heritage. This was evident when we got to tour an 1890 One Room Schoolhouse that is still used today for that purpose. Each spring 4th grade students are brought to the school to study the history of Nebraska.
Next door is the circa 1867 Farmhouse of a local member of the community, John Sautter. Both of these are restored and kept in excellent condition with lots of period furnishings and memorabilia.
In another of the communities we visited today, we found an 1856 Presbyterian Church which is the oldest church in the state of Nebraska and a log cabin home which was built in 1835 and moved to it present location in 1850. It was occupied at that location until 1954; over 100 years. This same city had an Omaha & Southern Railroad depot building built in 1870. Unfortunately, all of these structures were closed and we were unable to view the interiors.
A Sarpy County Museum also located in Bellevue is operated by the Historical Society of Sarpy County. It features some exhibits of the history of the county as well as typical rooms of the houses of early pioneers in the area. At the present time the featured exhibit from June thru August is the Circle of Friends Quilt Show.
At the end of our day we had accomplished once again what this lifestyle has to offer. This is to see parts of the country on back roads off those thoroughfares that only serve the purpose of getting you from “point A” to “point B” the fastest way possible. In doing this, today we found history, whimsy, and nostalgia in four communities of Sarpy County, Nebraska.