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Nebraska State Historical Park


Fort Kearny (1848-1871)
RR 4 Box 59, Kearney, NE 68847-9804
(308) 234-9513
Administered by
NE Game and Parks Commission



Text of Historical Site Markers (from NSHS markers site)
Fort Kearny

[For text of related historical markers: Old Fort Kearny (site near current Nebraska City)
Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cut-off #1 (York Co.),
Nebraska City-Fort Kearny Cut-off #2 (Otoe Co.)]



1968 reconstruction of the blacksmith & carpenter shop - notice the sod roof.
Inside are old vehicles (including Mormon wheelbarrow) & assorted tools.



Old wagons along the path to the stockade.



Inside the reconstructed stockade.



Flagpole along the western edge of the Fort Kearny grounds.


NOTES from brochures & maps provided at the visitor's center -
     "Old Fort Kearny" was located on Table Creek in 1844 (near modern Nebraska City, almost 200 miles away from the site of the second Fort Kearny). By 1847, it had been learned that the original location was not close enough to the Oregon Trail to provide consistant protection to emigrants. By June 1848, the "old" Fort Kearny was abandoned & construction begun on Fort Childs. In December, 1848 Fort Childs was renamed "Fort Kearny". "The California Gold Rush further increased travel on the Trail. According to an 1849 War Department report, 30,000 people passed through Fort Kearny during an 18-month period, bound for California, Oregon, and Salt Lake."*
     In later years, the soldiers at this location provided protection for RR crews. The Fort was abandoned in 1871, and the land was made available for homesteading. In 1928, the Fort Kearny Memorial Association purchased forty acres of the land - that where most buildings had been located. 1929, the State of Nebraska accepted the land title. It was not until 1960 that effort began to reconstruct the fort. There are at least nine buildings waiting for funds to be available.
     Both forts were named for Stephen Watts Kearny.

*From brochure "Fort Kearny, A State Historical Park"; Nebraska Game & Parks Commission.

NE Game & Parks Commission website: Fort Kearny State Historical Park


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© 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project Photo Album by T&C Miller