The Archway Museum in Kearney, Nebraska

I’ve described more than a couple of sights on a roadtrip through Nebraska from the Denver area, such as the Morton Mansion and Lee’s Chicken Restaurant. My husband had a business trip there and I got to joyride along with him.

Of course, Nebraska is one place where our great country gets fed by the noble farmer. Most of the roadtrip looked something like this:

But there was one thing that broke up the flat landscape dramatically, and that was The Archway in Kearney, Nebraska:

That archway houses a pioneer museum directly over the traffic! We saw it on the way to Lincoln and, fortunately, we had enough time and good weather on the way back to manage a rest stop there.

The outdoor area has log structures that look like a fort, complete with bronze buffalo:

and seemingly abandoned covered wagon:

A quite gruesome statue stands outside the main door:

A plaque explains that these two Martin brothers (Robert, 12, and Nathaniel, 15) were gathering hay with their father in 1864 when a Native American tribe attacked. The brothers fled on horseback but were struck with four arrows, one of which pierced both of them. They were left for dead, but they actually survived and lived into adulthood. What a grisly thing to present to our children at this “family-friendly” place.

There was also a replica of a locally famous Hammer Motel, which was located on the nearby historical Lincoln Highway. Unfortunately, now it’s a parking lot, but it was apparently a big deal back in the day. There’s a good article on it here.

The main entrance of The Archway looks like this:

I wanted to show you the inside of the place, but I can’t find those photos ANYWHERE! I swear I took some, but I’m flipped if I can find them. Oh, well, sometimes it happens.

In any case, I found a blog with a photo of the dramatic escalator you see as you walk through the door. There are ambient sounds of horses and wagons and people that enhance the experience. The escalator takes you to the actual archway over the interstate. There, according to the period-dressed ticket-sellers, you can see the settling of the Old West by the pioneers. We didn’t go that day, because I think the 1.5-hour tour time seemed too long at that juncture. We wanted to get home. However, we did spend a few minutes in the gift shop, where, of course, I got a pin for my travel collection.

Adult tickets are $12 each and the tour is self-guided audio. Hours differ according to the season, so check their website. You can even book an event or school trip there. Plus, the outdoor campus is free and is a great picnic area if you want a break from the road for a while.

Ok, is anyone else thinking Archway cookies right now?

Photo for No Apparent Reason: