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A Nebraska Adventure By Sharon Black

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Forty miles northeast of Grand Island, Nebraska, is where the Pawnee lived in their lodges along the Loup River. In the town of Genoa is the Genoa Historical Museum that houses Pawnee pottery shards and rock tools and many arrowheads.

The museum was once a bank and homes four Pawnee artifact collections. The Allen Atkins collection consists of tools, Mammoth teeth, beadwork, peace pipes, and buffalo bones. George Umbarger, John Drozd, and Herb Clausen contributed. {{more}}

A little further away is the United States Indian School Interpretive Center. Its years was 1884 to 1934 and is now a National Historic site. The current brick building was constructed in 1883. Eventually, it housed 40 different Indian tribes and was a boarding school. There were many other buildings on this site like a blacksmith shop. There were also classes in carpentry, harness making, and tailoring. The enrollment in 1932 was almost 600 students and the school closed due to The Great Depression.

The Indian School museum is open June 1st through October 30th.

In the Genoa cemetery are the remains of Pawnee that were held in museums and other places. The monument reads: In memory of 403 Pawnees reburied by the Pawnee Nation on September 11th, 1990.

South of Grand Island is the Hastings Museum and its displays are interesting and educational. They also have a Pawnee display and many historical items.

Outside is a statue of two pioneer brothers on a horse with arrows shot into their arms and pinned together. They made it back home and survived the wounds. It is a famous story in the area.

Sharon’s notes: I was born in Hastings, Nebraska, but lived most of my life in Kansas. I had to have braces and the closest orthodontist was in Hastings. We would go once a month. My parents still had friends and family there and I had cousins. I was influenced by the Native American displays in the park in Red Cloud, which we would travel through to go to Hastings. Later when my parents’ friend had moved to a farm north of Hastings, we traveled to the farm and we passed this historical marker about the brothers on the horse. I quickly read it and I was so upset by it and I thought that must have been the most horrible thing to have happened.

One of the most favorite things to do was go to the Hastings Museum. And I believe they had information about dinosaurs when I was a child. The Wildlife Diorama Hall was always my favorite.

Genoa MuseumUnited States Indian School

Nancy Shaffer board member

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