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.


Membership form you can print and mail.

Membership online form through the Museum's Store on Square.

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-$95
  • Sod Buster $100-$225
  • Homesteader $250-$800

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+



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 displayed on a screen in the Museum entry. For further information, contact the Society at 402-228-1679 or email

Scope of collections:

  • Personal stories that illustrate life in Gage County
  • Events of historical importance
  • Development of communities or organization
  • Business, agriculture, or industrial development

The Society may accept materials that originate from outside the county if they relate to the above criteria, and/or are found to have historic significance to the county. Non-museum collections may be from areas outside of the county as representative items or related local history.



Thank you to the many individuals and/or businesses who donate their time and talents to the Museum.


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. 2019-20 Board Members are:

  • Scott Fitzwater, President
  • Jerry Shelton, Vice President
  • Marilyn Coffin, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Sheila Day
  • Renee Jones
  • Judy Knispel
  • Chris Moran
  • Dave Thomas
  • Jarrett Willett



Administrator: Megan Sothan
Collections Assistant: Amy Neumann


Visit Us!

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

Regular spring/summer hours: Wednesday–Saturday, 10am–4pm.
Regular winter hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10am-4pm.
Closed all major holidays.

Admission: donations welcome.
Tours by appointment.

For more information, call 402-228-1679 or email

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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, had 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 Leigh 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.