Hwy. 183, Holdrege, Nebraska
From Native American artifacts to the tools of homesteaders to unique World War II memorabilia, this expansive museum celebrates the vibrant history of the community and the state. Extensive collections of arrowheads, quilts, glassware, household items, and vintage clothing, along with rooms decorated in period style, recall life as it was on the prairie.
A series of exhibits evokes a typical bygone town square, complete with a print shop, blacksmith, and general store. Visitors can walk around pioneering agricultural equipment and antique automobiles while contemplating the impact of technology on farmers and townsfolk. Other points of interest outside the main museum include a one-room schoolhouse, a classic farmhouse, a windmill, and an early Lutheran church.
In addition to its extensive prairie heritage, the museum stands out for its tribute to Camp Atlanta, a World War II POW camp for German prisoners, originally just five miles from the museum’s present site. For years after their release, German prisoners told stories of their exceptional treatment at the camp, and many forged lifelong friendships with their former guards.
An authentic scale replica of the tower that stood at Camp Atlanta now serves as an interpretive center, with items donated by U.S. military officers who worked at the prison, German soldiers confined there, and local people who got to know the POWs. Video interviews with former POWs and guards, as well as several books on the subject, are sold at the museum store.
Open daily year-round except major holidays.