The Gage County Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that depends on the generosity of others to fulfill its mission and programs. It would not be possible to have such an excellent building and Museum without the support of volunteers and members.

Members

Membership form posted HERE

Your membership makes a difference! All members receive the Quarterly Express newsletter and a 10% discount in the Museum Gift Shop. Memberships are due every June.

  • Individual $20
  • Family $30

Sustaining Members names are placed on a plaque in the Museum entry and their membership accumulates to the Benefactor Level, at which time their name is permanently placed on the plaque. Sustaining Levels are:

  • Trail Blazer $50-$99
  • Sod Buster $100-$249
  • Homesteader $250 and up

Benefactor Levels are accumulating levels from Sustaining as follows:

  • Friend $1,000+
  • Patron $5,000+
  • Builder $10,000+
  • Master Builder $25,000
  • Silver $100,000+
  • Golden $250,000+

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Donations

The Society is grateful to its members who support the day to day operations of the Gage County Historical Society. Our Endowment Fund supports the Society today and into the future. Planned gifts provide you, as a donor, with another way to leave a legacy of support for Gage County, Nebraska history. There are several ways to create a planned gift such as:

  • will bequest
  • outright gift during your lifetime
  • life insurance designation
  • trust-based contribution
  • gifts of real estate, personal property, and royalties

Memorials over $1,000 are placed on a plaque in the Museum entry. For further information, contact the Society at 402-228-1679 or email gagecountymuseum@beatricene.com

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Volunteers

Thank you to the many individuals and/or businesses who donate their time and talents to the Museum. The Society has dedicated volunteers who staff the museum on Sunday afternoons (some since 1971).

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Board of Directors

The backbone of the Society is the Board of Directors. Board meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at the museum. Meetings open to the public at 7 p.m. Terms are three years. If you are interested in serving on the Board, contact the Museum. 2016-17 Board Members are:

  • Arnold Baehr, President
  • Sheila Day, Vice President
  • Marilyn Coffin, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Gail Butler
  • Leigh Coffin
  • Scott Fitzwater
  • Burt Foreman
  • Renee Jones
  • Chris Moran

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Staff

Lesa Arterburn, Director. Lesa began working at the Museum on a part-time basis in 1988 and has been Director since 2002. She says:

"We take pride in being the first stop for many visitors who have never been to Gage County before. Researchers — from the novice to the scholar — find our files filled with information they seek. Other organizations in the community reach out to us for their historical questions. The increase in genealogical research has outpaced former years. People are reconnecting with family they have never known. We are able to guide the visitor in tracing where their family worked, lived and played."

Rita Clawson, Curator. Rita began in 1990 as Curator and still serves today.

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Visit Us!

Museum is located at 101 North Second Street, Beatrice, Nebraska.

Admission: donations welcome
Tours by appointment.

For more information, call 402-228-1679 or email gagecountymuseum@beatricene.com


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History of the Gage County Historical Society and Museum

In February 1970, Zoa Ann Worden, teacher, historian and author of Queen City of the Blue, hand moved to the Defender's Townhouse (former the Paddock Hotel, which is today The Kensignton) and displayed her collection in the mezzanine. She continued to collect Gage County related items until it was clear a real Gage County Museum was needed. In March 1971, the first organizational meeting was held with approximately two dozen people in attendance.

In June 1971, the Historical Society was incorporated, and in November 1971, the Museum opened at 404 Court. The board realized they needed a permanent site for the Museum. It was Jane Coffin who suggested the old Burlington depot, and her husband Leight and W.W. Cook, Sr. wrote letters and met with Burlington official to secure the old passenger station. The Burlington-Northern Railroad donated the depot to the Gage County Historical Society in March 1973. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Old Postcard of Burlington Passenger & Freight Station

On April 11, 1977 the Filley Stone Barn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The following year, it was willed to the Gage County Historical Society by owner Edwin Pedersen, with over three acres of the surrounding land and $10,000 for restoration.

In 1993, the Oregon Trail Marker became a Historical Society property.